The true meaning behind BetterTTV’s most infamous Twitch emotes

By Kenneth Williams


Jun 29, 2021

Reading time: 3 min

User-developed Twitch overlays have brought a new era of emotes to the popular streaming platform, but a popular new icon’s meaning can be hard to discern at first glance.

BetterTTV is a popular browser extension that aims to improve the Twitch experience by implementing community-designed emotes. However, non-BetterTTV users only see the command word for the emote. While not a default part of the Twitch experience, streaming fans use the extension to better express themselves with custom chat icons.

It’s difficult enough to judge the meaning of a Twitch emote when it’s visible. If you’re confused about all the monkas and Gachis getting spammed in Twitch chat, here’s a quick breakdown of BetterTTV’s most popular custom Twitch emotes.

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monkaS and its related emotes are among the most popular on BetterTTV. All of them represent a certain emotion being experienced by a cartoon frog named Pepe. monkaS, which is pictured above, is used to express worry or nervousness about whatever’s happening on screen. Another popular monka emote is monkaW, which is a more intense version of the original emote. 

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Pepega is another BetterTTV emote that features Pepe the cartoon frog. While monkaS is used to express worry on a streamer’s behalf, Pepega is used to call them crazy. The term is usually used with negative connotations, but can also be used to compliment a streamer for a particularly daring play.


The KEKW emote is used as an alternative to other humor-expressive emotes like LUL or SeemsGood. The icon is Spanish comedian Juan Joya Borja, who went by the stage name El Risitas. A comedic interview from 2007 featuring Borja’s unique laughter went viral in the mid-2010s, and his face is still very relevant on Twitch. Sadly, El Risitas passed away in April 2021.

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The Gachi emote is one of the oldest internet memes to still be relevant today, though we won’t go into its exact history. Billy Harrington’s face is played as a head-rocking GIF used to compliment high-energy music. Harrington is a former adult actor whose muscular physique has inspired several BetterTTV emotes. BASS is just the most popular.

Stream catJAM but with default ableton instruments + cats by John D |  Listen online for free on SoundCloud

While GachiBASS is used for rocking guitar solos and heavy drum beats, catJAM is more for relaxing or groovy down-tempo tunes. Modern esports tournaments have leaned towards ambient and chill music for their breaks, which has contributed towards the rise of catJAM. The original catJAM video was uploaded by TikTok user micklagi and featured “I Wanna Dance” by Jonas Blue.

5head on Twitter: "Forsen is gone… "

5Head is interesting because it’s a spinoff of an official Twitch emote. 4Head is commonly used to lampoon an unwise decision being made by a streamer, and 5Head is used for when that decision turns out to actually be the correct move. However, the 5Head emote can also be used as a more intensely ridiculing form of 4Head. It’s up to you to decide if the streamer truly has a galaxy brain or not.