What Does Goblin Mode Mean? Let’s Dissect This Slang Term!

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Heidi Lang

Instagram 101 | Feb 16, 2024

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Appearance matters a lot in the world of social media. People put so much time and effort into curating the most beautiful aesthetic feed. When they take selfies, they need to capture the best angle to look polished and perfect. Their profile picture and bio has to be trendy and always on point. However, in recent years, people have started to embrace going “goblin.” But what does goblin mode mean in the first place, and why do people love it so much?

You may have heard the slang term “goblin” used in an endearing and funny way on social media. Today, we’ll dig into what it means, where it came from, and what makes it such an appealing concept. Stick around to learn a thing or two about this new trendy phrase and unapologetic way of life.

A woman sleeping in bed in a comfortable, face-down position while ignoring her alarm clock.

Let’s Get Right to It—What Does Goblin Mode Mean?

The slang term “goblin” refers to a person who is unapologetically low-effort, self-indulgent, and maybe even lazy. And while all these words might sound negative, being a goblin is often seen as funny and relatable.

See, going “goblin” became popular on the internet during the pandemic. Everyone stayed cooped up at home with no chance to do their hair, makeup, or dress to the nines. People were feeling depressed around the circumstances of the pandemic, too.

As a result, people started questioning everyday social norms, such as having always to look presentable and perfect. So, instead, they showed their candid looks from home. Instead of selfies with glittering eye makeup and designer clothing, they unapologetically posted content with their house clothes. That meant sweatpants and pajamas, high ponytails, clean, makeup-free faces, and tons of eating junk food in bed!

The slang word “goblin” comes from the notion that a mythical goblin is not a part of society. People see them as weird and wild, and so they keep to their impish selves. But in a world that embraces authenticity, people have started to announce that they are “going goblin proudly.” When they post goblin-like content, they might caption their posts with hashtags like #goblinmode or #goblingirl. And it’s all in good fun!

A woman sitting on the floor with her legs crossed eating chips while ignoring chips on the ground.

How the Goblin Mode Meme First Made Waves on Social Media

Before the goblin mode meme became one of the most popular memes online, it went viral for other reasons. Weirdly, it had something to do with mega-stars Julia Fox and Kanye West.

It all started in 2022. A Twitter troll created a fake headline about Julia Fox and how she loved going goblin with her partner Kanye. People lapped it up and reposted it non-stop—so much so that Julia had to make a statement about it. She denied ever having used the slang term in any interview.

The confusion about the celebrity died down quickly. However, people absolutely loved the term “goblin” and kept using it. And over one year later, it’s still a term people use fondly!

Fun Fact: Going “Goblin” Won Oxford Word of the Year in 2022

In 2013, the word was “selfie.” In 2019, it was “climate emergency.” And in 2022, the Oxford Word of the Year had its first public vote. And after over 300,000 people cast their vote, the coveted title went to “goblin mode.”

Oxford Languages president Casper Grathwohl said that the team was surprised at the level of engagement at the voting. It seems that people really love goblin mode, not just as a funny slang term but as a lifestyle, too.

This comes as no surprise since everyone at that point could admit to resonating with living like a goblin. Gone were the overly curated days. Instead, people felt more confident with unedited, unfiltered content showing their funniest and most real selves.

A woman carelessly lying in bed while eating chips.

What Is the Appeal of Going Goblin Mode?

But why does the world love the concept of going goblin mode so much? Our answer to that is, well, what’s not to love?

“Going goblin” basically means showing your most authentic self. People today are sick of overly curated images and perfect bodies. Social media content that shows relatable, eccentric, and unexpected lifestyles is more interesting now. So, people love the concept of the goblin as a meme.

Many users today are drawn to content creators who show off their goblin side. Since they’re more relatable, it makes fans feel emotionally connected to them, in a way. Content from people who “go goblin” is also undeniably entertaining and hilarious! They bring positivity to a world of insane beauty, social norms, and the pressure to be a certain way online.

It’s also quite freeing to express yourself as a self-proclaimed goblin online. There’s no pressure to meet the societal standards of beauty and perfection online. Instead, you can take a spontaneous selfie at home in your jammies and post it for your friends to see. It’s a way to show the world that you’re fun and confident and that you don’t take yourself too seriously.

And it’s not just the meme and personality that people love. According to clinical psychologist Amy Sullivan, PsyD, “going goblin” is actually terrific for one’s mental health. Being able to shut down and be unapologetically comfortable at home is a must for burnt-out individuals. She says it lets you rest, recharge, and reconnect with yourself.

A woman with her hair up applying a face mask in front of the bathroom mirror.

Being a Proud Goblin Can Win the Hearts of Potential Followers!

Aside from churning out high-quality content on Instagram, taking pride in being a “goblin girl” can also result in growth. The more unapologetic you are about your comfy, at-home lifestyle, the more relatable you seem. And people love authenticity!

So, if you tend to “go goblin,” don’t hide it in an effort to look perfect online. Try showing off your goblin side on social media, whether it’s through Reels or Stories. You might win higher engagement rates and tons of new followers when you show your true, quirky, candid colors online.

Now that we’ve answered the question, “What does goblin mode mean?” you’re free to go goblin whenever you please online. That said, remember that just because you have a quirky online persona, it doesn’t mean you’ll be a star overnight. You also need to work hard to grow your account by reaching the right audiences.

That’s where Path Social can help. Our targeting algorithm hunts down your niche audience and promotes your content to them. As a result, you’ll get more likes, comments, and new followers in your community. Start gaining more followers and engagement today with our help!