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The Grand Story behind “MonkaS”

The Grand Story behind “MonkaS”

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When you start writing, one of the first thing style manuals teach you is to avoid using the word “very”.

So, instead of quantifying an adjective with the rather generic word “very”, find a stronger adjective that does the trick.

For instance, rather than describing someone as “very smart”, you could describe them as “brilliant” or “a genius”.

Similarly, your friend wasn’t “very angry” with how he was being treated; he was “furious”.

And, the building wasn’t “very big”; it was “massive”.

You get the picture.

However, what about when you want to describe someone as being “very anxious” or “very scared”?

Well, you could use the stronger adjective “terrified”, or you could use “MonkaS”.

The Story Behind MonkaS


What is the meaning of “MonkaS”?

“MonkaS” is used to signify extreme tension and anxiety.

It is a Twitch emote that is based on Pepe the Frog, the feels good character: The emote consists of Pepe the Frog with bulging eyes and sweat dripping from his face, indicating how anxious and afraid the character is. 

“MonkaS” has become so popular on Twitch that it has spawned other variations, including “Monkaw”, “MonkaGIGA”, and “MonkaThink”.

If the above paragraph seems like gibberish to you, keep on reading and it will all make sense.


A quick breakdown of things you need to know

If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you’re probably aware that this isn’t the first Twitch emote we’ve covered: We’ve looked at Poggers, Pepega, and Jebaited to name a few.

However, for those of you who are new to our blog or those that have no idea what Twitch or emotes are, you’re probably still scratching your head over that last paragraph you read.

So, for you, this is a quick breakdown of everything you need to know to follow the conversation:


What is Twitch?

Twitch is a game streaming platform where fans get to watch their favorite gamers play different games.

What is an emote?

Twitch allows the viewers to interact with each other as well as with the gamer through a chatbox. And, just like you can use an emoji in your everyday texts, Twitch lets both gamers and viewers use emotes to send pictographs to one another.

The only difference is that there are way more emotes than there are emojis. To be more precise, whereas there are around 2000 emojis, there are more than 30,000 emotes out there.

Part of this huge difference can be explained due to the fact that any gamer can create their own emote for their fans, while an emoji usually has to be sanctioned by the Unicode Consortium.

This difference is why a lot of people on the internet describe emotes as “emojis on steroids”.


Who is Pepe the Frog?

The short version is that Pepe the Frog is a cartoon character created by Matt Furie. And, even if you don’t recognize the name, you have most likely seen the character’s face before given how popular it is.

In fact, Pepe has been the star of several emotes and online memes. What’s more, this cartoon character has a fascinating story outside of the comic book pages, a story that I highly recommend you go check out.

These are the basics you need to understand what’s going on. If you want to read more about Twitch or emotes, you can check out any of our previous articles about Poggers, Pepega, and Jebaited.

Additionally, for a deeper look at Pepe’s incredible journey in the real world, one that took him from a beloved character to a symbol for the alt-Right and then back again, you should check out the Pepega article.


Another look at “MonkaS”

Do you remember the last time you were nervous, like really nervous?

How did it feel?

Odds are your heart was racing, your eyes were darting all around, and your body was sweating bullets. Well, “MonkaS” tries to capture all these emotions into one picture.

Basically, you have Pepe the Frog with bulging eyes that are staring straight ahead and with sweat pouring down from his forehead.

So, when someone uses it, what they’re saying is that the situation warrants being terrified. Obviously, you can see how such an emote may come in handy when watching a gamer try to navigate a tough spot.


How to use “MonkaS”?

As mentioned earlier, “MonkaS” is the ideal emote to use in tense situations.


Example #1

Now, you should remember that “MonkaS” isn’t exactly a word; it’s an emote that works on Twitch.

Let’s say a gamer is streaming their gaming session on Twitch, and several fans are watching the whole thing as it unfolds.

Now, while playing, the gamer reaches a critical part of the game where one wrong move could not only mean losing but also having to start from the very beginning.

If the fans are aware of this, they will probably flood the chatbox with “MonkaS” emotes.


Example #2

However, like most things that are born on the internet, “MonkaS” found a way outside of the virtual world and into the real one.

Today, many people, especially young gamers, use the word “MonkaS” itself in the middle of their conversations. The word still has the same meaning as the emote.

As for the pronunciation, rather than being read as a single word, “MonkaS” is pronounced as a word followed by a letter. So, when saying the word, you actually say “monka-ess”.

Here is how it would be used in the middle of a conversation:
Let’s say two gamers are having a conversation about how they won their last game by a hair:


Gamer 1: Oof. That was close. I was pretty monkas by the end there.

Gamer 2: I hear ya. There were times where I thought we wouldn’t make it. I was monkas for the last half hour.


Example #3

However, once “MonkaS” made its way into real-life situations, it didn’t have to confine itself to conversations about gaming.

Instead, people could use it in any tense situation that warranted it.

For instance, let’s say that two people are awaiting the results of their exams.

Knowing full-well that these results will have a large bearing on their future, they are nervous and anxious. What follows is an excerpt from their conversation:


Guy 1: Hey man, any news yet?

Guy 2: No, nothing till now. I only know that the results are supposed to come out today.

Guy 1: Dude, I’m in total monkas right now. I haven’t been able to eat anything all day.

Guy 2: You aren’t the only one feeling the monkas. Last night, I couldn’t sleep.


Example #4

Even online, “MonkaS” has been used in situations other than gaming. For instance, you will find it used on popular meme sites like 9gag.

Additionally, during the recent escalations between the US and Iran, people were using the “MonkaS” meme online like crazy.

People also used the “MonkaS” meme at the beginning of this year when news of the coronavirus pandemic broke out.


Example #5

Obviously, since this is the internet, it didn’t take long for some people to use “MonkaS” ironically.

In other words, they started using it in situations where the outcome was already determined or where the win was a sure thing.

Here is an imaginary example between two gamers talking about an easy part of the game:


Gamer 1: Did you see how easy it was to finish that level? You were probably monkas, weren’t you?

Gamer 2: Absolutely, I was so monkas that I finished the whole thing in under 20 minutes on my first try.


The origins of “MonkaS”?

Now that we have a better understanding of this popular emote and how to use it, let’s take a look at where it came from:

“MonkaS” was originally created by an individual who went by the name of “MonkaSenpai”, which should explain where the emote gets its name from.

“MonkaSenpai” was a subscriber of Nymn and used “MonkaS” as their personal emote.

That said, the earliest traces we have of “MonkaS” go back to 4chan: In 2011, this emote was added to a 4chan thread that was submitted to /lit/.

However, “MonkaS” was still an obscure meme back then, and it would take a while for things to change.

In 2016, “MonkaS” was uploaded to FrankerFaceZ, which is a public Twitch library that enables streamers to add custom emotes to their streams.

Another famous emote that was added that year was “Pepe Hands”.

Anyway, “MonkaS” remained unknown until a Redditor called kucykzaglady submitted the emote to the r/forsen subreddit.

This was almost a year after the emote had first appeared on FrankerFaceZ.

After arriving, at the r/forsen subreddit, the emote took off, gaining immense popularity almost overnight and becoming one of the most used emotes on Twitch.

The name r/forsen might have rung a bell for you, and that is because we mentioned that subreddit back in our Pepega article. 

In addition to acting as a breeding ground for several Pepe the Frog emotes, r/forsen is a subreddit dedicated to Sebastian Hans Eli Fors, also known as Forsen, along with his committed fans, who go by the name the “Forsenboys”.

The Forsenboys can be a bit rowdy, and Forsen himself is known for spamming as well as popularizing Twitch memes.

Knowing that, is it really any surprise that “MonkaS” skyrocketed in popularity after it found its way to the r/forsen subreddit?

However, this isn’t the end of the story.

In early 2017, “MonkaS” was also included in the TwitchQuotes database, and later the same year, the emote found its way to the subreddit r/placepixelart thanks to a Twitterati known as @nanilul.

Today, you can get the “MonkaS” emote from the Twitch extension BTTV (BTTV stands for Better Twitch TV and enables people to integrate custom emotes into their Twitch experiences.)

Viewers on Twitch love the “MonkaS” emote so much that they tend to spam it way more than anyone should. Consequently, the meme of “overusing monkaS” came about. 

Moreover, some streamers will ask their viewers to “stop overusing monkaS”.

Nevertheless, “MonkaS” is so popular that almost every streamer has it enabled on their stream. The same can be said for other popular emotes like “gachiGASM”.

Over and above, “MonkaS” has spawned several variants, each of which describe fear and anxiety. Here are some of the variants you should know:

  • MonkaW
  • MonkaGIGA
  • MonkaOMEGA
  • MonkaThink
  • MonkaEyes
  • MonkaHmm
  • MonkaH


Let’s take a closer look at two of these different variations:


The different variations of “MonkaS”



On Twitch, the suffix “-W” is used to convey facial expressions that are overdramatized. These facial expressions could be by the streamer or an emote/ meme.

Consequently, it should come as no surprise to learn that “MonkaW” is an exaggerated version of “MonkaS”. “MonkaW” is a zoomed-in version, where the focus is on Pepe’s eyes.

“MonkaW” was added to FrankerFaceZ back in 2017, but it took off in 2018. Today, it is one of the most popular emotes on Twitch, and when ranked on the list of most popular emotes on Twitch, it comes in at 16.



If you thought that “MonkaW” was an exaggerated version of “MonkaS”, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

“MonkaGIGA” is a picture of a perspiring Pepe the Frog, but the difference here is that the eyes are enlarged to such a degree that Urban Dictionary describes “MonkaGIGA” as the “deep-fried” version of “MonkaS”.

The idea is that the enlarged eyes send across more fear and tension.

Ergo, when someone asks you how to describe something as being “very” “MonkaS”, you respond with “MonkaGIGA”.