The 7 Most Popular Twitch Emotes of 2018

Twitch emotes are an essential part of streaming and gaming online communities

A teenage boy streaming a video game on Twitch.

 VOISIN/PHAN / passage

Twitch emotes are essentially special emoticons or emoji and are used to communicate support for a streamer or to convey a message or emotion associated with its image.

It's almost impossible to watch a Twitch stream without encountering a quirky emote or two. Whether you spot a few of them used in the middle of a conversation in the Twitch stream's chat or catch a random flurry of images flying across the stream itself in an animated explosion of color and excitement, emotes are almost as much a part of the Twitch experience as the video games and streamers themselves and they're here to stay.

Here's everything you need to know about Twitch emotes plus 10 examples of the most-popular ones that are currently being used by Twitch streamers and their viewers.

What is Twitch?

Twitch is an incredibly popular video streaming platform which mostly focuses on video game gameplay broadcasts but also offers some live streams involving artwork creation, cooking, talk shows, and casual conversation.

Popular streamers are frequently upgraded to Twitch Affiliate or Twitch Partner status which grants them new community and stream features. Viewers on Twitch can choose to support their favorite Twitch Affiliate or Partner by subscribing to their channel with a recurring monthly donation.

Twitch subscriptions support the streamers financially with many choosing to stream on Twitch fulltime once they get enough subscribers. As a reward for subscribing, subscribers are given priority access in channel competitions, personal in-stream alerts, and access to exclusive emotes which they can use in Twitch chatrooms.

What Are Twitch Emotes?

Twitch emotes were first introduced to the Twitch streaming platform in 2015. There are literally thousands of emotes that can be used on Twitch with global emotes being available to everyone and others being exclusive to Twitch Affiliates and Partners subscribers.

Tip: Viewers who subscribe to a Twitch Affiliate or Partner gain access to that channel's emotes which they can then use in any channel's chatroom in addition to the one associated with the Affiliate or Partner.

Emotes typically consist of unique artwork or a photograph that's been shrunk down to a size just a bit larger than a traditional emoji. Most emotes reference a niche in-joke or meme that's well-known to its creator's audience and no one else, however, some become so popular that their usage expands beyond Twitch to social networks such as Twitter or Instagram where they're referenced by name and are given extra meaning.

How Are Twitch Emotes Used?

Once given access to an emote by becoming a subscriber to a Twitch Affiliate or Partner, an emote can be triggered in a Twitch chatroom by typing its name.

While viewers can only activate them in chatrooms, some streamers incorporate emotes into their stream's alerts so that larger versions of them appear onscreen when they're used.

How Many Types of Twitch Emotes Are There?

There are four main categories of emotes on Twitch.

  • Robot Emotes: These are basic replacements for the traditional emoji for :), :(, :D, etc. These are available to everyone.
  • Global Emotes: These consist of faces of or icons associated with Twitch staff members or popular Twitch streamers. These emotes are triggered by typing their name such as Kappa, DoritosChip, bleedPurple, etc. Anyone can use these.
  • Subscriber Emotes: These emotes are only available to Twitch Partner and Affiliate subscribers and usually feature photos of the associated streamer or artwork relating to their channel.
  • Turbo Emotes: Twitch Turbo users gain access to these emotes which are basically alternate styles for the traditional emoji. One set features purple Twitch speech bubbles while the other uses cartoon monkeys.

Examples of Twitch Emotes

Example #1

Image: Small photo of Josh DeSeno's face.

Activation: Kappa

Meaning: The Kappa Twitch emote is basically just a photo of Josh DeSeno, an original employee of Justin.TV, the company that would eventually become Twitch. DeSeno was in charge of creating the chat experience on Justin.TV and thus he became associated with it.

The emote has since evolved to express an eye roll or a sarcastic "Well done!" or "lol" and has become so popular that gamers will often say "Kappa" out loud when they do something embarrassing while playing a game. The emote's name comes from the Japanese mythical creature, the kappa, though there's no connection beyond that.

Example #2

Image: A small image of a can of salt being poured into a pile.

Activation: PJSalt

Meaning: The PJSalt emote is a reference to the gamer slang for being a sore loser, salty. It's frequently used as a way to troll a Twitch streamer in their chat after they lose a match while playing a game and are visibly frustrated or angry.

Example #3

Image: A small version of the yellow lightning bolt from the Might Morphin' Power Rangers TV show.

Activation: MorphinTime

Meaning: Simply a fun reference to the Power Rangers TV series. Occasionally used in Twitch chatrooms to drum up excitement. Usually interpreted as the poster yelling out "It's morphin' time!!"

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"PogChamp"

PogChamp Twitch Emote

 Twitch

 

The PogChamp emote is based on the professional Street Fighter player, Gootecks, and is used as a quick and easy way to express excitement or hype while watching a stream on twitch.

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"PJSalt" Twitch Emote

PJSalt Twitch Emote

 TwitchEmotes.com

One of the most-used emotes on Twitch, the PJSalt emote is a great way to laugh at someone who's getting frustrated with a game or is being a sore loser. 

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"TriHard" Twitch Emote

TriHard Twitch Emote

 Twitch

Based on streamer, TriHex, the TriHard emote is frequently used in chatrooms when a viewer or streamer is simply trying way too hard to impress someone.

Some people have occassionally used it to target black streamers on Twitch but that is more of a recent usage by a minority and isn't what the emote stands for. 

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"GayPride" Twitch Emote

Twitch GayPride Emote

 TwitchEmotes.com

Twitch added several LGBTQ+ emotes in 2018 in an effort to encourage and inspire the diverse streamers on the platform. These are frequently used to support LGBTQ+ streamers or just to show some pride in the chat.

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"BlessRNG" Twitch Emote

BlessRNG Twitch Emote

 TwitchEmotes.com

This relatively new Twitch emote, compared the most of the other popular ones, was created by Twitch streamer BlessRNG and is frequently used as a humorous way to bless a Twitch stream or chatroom due to the streamer's Jesus-esque hairstyle and pose.

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"Kappa" Twitch Emote

Kappa Twitch Emote

 Twitch

The classic Kappa emote is used to troll everyone on Twitch and has become part of gaming culture the world over.

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"Hahaa" Twitch Emote

Hahaa Twitch Emote

 Twitch

This image of Andy Samberg, which has now been immortalized as the Hahaa emote, is a way for Twitch users to express intense feelings of cringe during a stream.