What is Kappa? The Story Behind Twitch's Undisputed King of Sarcasm



The world of memes is a complex and oftentimes bewildering landscape to navigate. To the outsider, it’s an ever-expanding language of seemingly nonsensical words and images.

But to the insider, the symbols of this world are powerful tools of communication, often subject to controversy, transformative meanings and varying durations of popularity.

However, since Twitch’s launch in 2011, one emote has become the universal trademark of sarcasm and continues to thrive atop the platform’s throne…

Written & Hosted by: Josh Bury (@ThrownGauntlet)
Shot & Edited by: Miles Hackett (@miles_hackett)
Animation by: Christian Pearson (@Chr_Pearson)

Dr. Danesi’s book – The Semiotics of Emoji: The Rise of Visual Language in the Age of the Internet

Footage and Image courtesies:

Seagull and Dallas Fuel Fusion Clip

Courtesy: The Overwatch League

Rear Window binoculars clip
Courtesy: Paramount Pictures

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III
Courtesy: New Line Cinemas

Imp/Kappa artist rendition from Final Fantasy VI
Courtesy: Square Enix

“I’m an ass man” song, Billy Gunn WWE theme song
Courtesy: WWE

Twitch emote stats:

Courtesy: Streamelements.com

Star Wars:” That’s not true, that’s impossible” clip
Courtesy: Lucasfilm Ltd / 20th Century Fox

From cave drawings to emojis: Communication comes full circle | Marcel Danesi | TEDxToronto

Courtesy: Tedx Talks
Ahfu Aegis Steal

Courtesy: Twitch.tv/dota2ti

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me radar joke clip
Courtesy: New Line Cinema

MVP Phoenix vs. Power Gaming (MPGL SEA Championship)
Courtesy: BeyondTheSummit

The International 20I7 EG vs. TNC, game 1
Courtesy: Twitch.tv/dotati

Travis Scott flexes on a stream sniper

Courtesy: Twitch.tv/Ninja

Kappa at Worlds 2014

Courtesy: Riot Games

Hey Kappa Kappa song

Courtesy: SC2HL

Minecon Kappa fan

Courtesy: TheMisterMees (YoUTube)

Shy Ronnie 2 ft. Rihanna

Courtesy: The Lonely Island

Michael Scott: “Boom Roasted” – The Office clip
Courtesy: NBC Studios

Face Behind the Kappa Comes and Goes

Courtesy: Boyka (YouTube)

Music used under license from Associated Production Music LLC (”APM”).

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  • idk why but the professor sounds like a boomer trying to understand memes

    Sheriff Dill June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • He seems familiar from somewhere but can't put my finger on it

    TotallyNotStable June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • Kappa

    David Vitale June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • "slightly smug" understatement of the century.

    Jonas Larsen June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • Kappa.

    quixtovity June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • OMEGALUL

    Where did it went? June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • Twitch memes are so cringe…

    MapleSyrup. June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • Kappa digga

    Ferdinand Dichtl June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • Greyface

    1942 cryp June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • I like that professor tbh

    zenzebeat game exp June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • 3:45 Says the F word.

    3:51 Can't say the D word.

    Wilkas June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • imagine his ex and how they have to see his face everywhere, poor bastard

    Dav3 Harley June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • That guy wanted everybody to say kappa kappppaa but i feel bad for him no one actually cared or followed 🤣🤣🤣

    Pate Lokam June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • A BIZZARE world. Sounds like a Jojo reference to me

    Sorta Live June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • Meme professor is my dream job

    achraf mirrane June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • that professor knows what hes talking about kappa

    J H June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • This professor seems sooooo interesting, he seems to analyze everything he sees, he's got a lot to teach to p about relations and communication

    Thibaut Fauchier June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • Kappa

    Natoy Itlog June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • I still have no idea what kappa means

    Hobbes June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • Ngga, You Look Like A “Josh DeSeno.” Great Explanation By The Way. 😏🤙

    Javell Jack June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • Pog

    John Sandoval June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • /s is way better than some dudes face

    brentstah June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • He's got a PHD in memealligy

    Void Galaxy June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • So being black is not allowed anymore?

    sickgaming June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • Let's try to get 69 likes. No more. No less. We can DO IT!

    Mike-Sander Wazowski June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • "OvEr tHe CoUrSe Of HiStOrY mAnKiNd HaS aTeMmPtEd To CrEaTe UnIvErSaL sYmBoLs FoR sIgNiFyInG tHe PrEcEnCe Of IrOnY, BuT tHoSe EfFoRtS hAvE fAiLeD"

    IssipNoodles June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • Kappa

    Avēx June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • Lets get a nice loud KAAAAPPAAAAA

    tedPaytt June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • /s hasn't failed imo, i see it frequently

    axim June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • “Think of the eggplant emoji, It’s just a FUCKING eggplant.”

    Lord Turtle June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • The symbols that were handed off to viewers and took on a life of its own?

    Eggplant Sweat Drops.

    Mesadeath C Cube June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • Found this by searching "twitch guy emoji".

    Aomine Daiki June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • I thought it was mendo

    Ashley waugh June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • The memes professor could be a RDR 2 character.

    Wolf. June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply
  • Near the end, when the dude tried getting everyone to say kappa and no one did i actually stopped watching the video after about two minutes of laying on my bed saying "oh no. Oh no."

    AllHailOreo June 19, 2020 5:59 pm Reply

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