What does it mean to go ‘goblin mode’?


Gone feral yet? (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

Are you experiencing symptoms of ‘goblin mode’?

If you devour fistfuls of grated cheese at 4pm as your first meal of the day, have become physically fused to your dressing gown or quite literally hiss when a beam of sunlight or – God forbid – fresh air floods into your room, you might be at risk of going ‘full goblin mode’.

The term originated after Twitter user Juniper manufactured a fake headline about Kanye West’s then-girlfriend Julia Fox, an actress and model so glamorous that West reportedly did a whole photoshoot of her in a public restaurant.

In the headline, which incorrectly claimed that Fox was planning to write a tell-all book about West, it was claimed that Fox was furious at West because ‘he didn’t let me go goblin mode.’

Of course, nobody, including Fox herself, knew what ‘goblin mode’ actually meant — but that didn’t stop the internet from attaching meaning to it.

Given that goblins are generally thought to be gross, feral and a bit unhinged – with the Merriam-Webster dictionary describing goblins as ‘an ugly or grotesque sprite’ – people took ‘goblin mode’ to mean getting in touch with your inner-goblin, letting the ‘grotesque’ and ‘ugly’ parts of yourself fly free and proud.

No longer were we going to submit to the Marie Kondo lifestyle of cleanliness, ‘sparking joy’ and uber-organisation – instead, we were going to embrace living in our own filth, watching re-runs, braless in our unmade bed as we devour our third consecutive takeaway of the week.

Universally, everyone has those days where they ‘slob out,’ skip a shower or two and indulge in all their bad habits, but the drive to portray that blemish-free, perfectly-filtered life on social media meant that nobody would dream of being honest about it.

But now, people are not only giving themselves permission to go full ‘goblin mode,’ but are enthusiastically posting about it online.

While being a couch potato is nothing new, going ‘goblin mode’ combines that with a sense of feral-ness: like a racoon digging for food out of the bins.

One viral TikTok, which has gotten nearly 2 million views since being posted in late February, for example, shows the user describing their cat as going ‘goblin mode’ as they stand on their hind legs and devour their treat like… well… a goblin.

There’s various theories floating around about why people are choosing now to go ‘goblin mode.’

Some say its a direct counter to the ‘cottagecore’ aesthetic of the early pandemic while others argue its a rebellion against the high-maintenance #thatgirl trend on TikTok, wherein viewers are encouraged to undertake ten-step skincare routines and reach specific beauty standards in order to be happy.

But the thing is, despite the term only catching on in February, it’s actually been around for a fairly long time.

As far back as 2020, Urban Dictionary had defined Goblin Mode as when you ‘lose yourself and so become a goblin,’ and as early as 2021, TikTokers were describing themselves as going ‘goblin mode’ as they pulled frozen waffles out of the bin and devoured them, still-frozen, straight from the packet.

Earlier this year, even, one viral Reddit post showed someone take the idea of going ‘goblin mode’ perhaps a bit too literally, as they described how they relieved stress by ‘creeping round’ their home like a goblin in a ‘crouch-like position’ and ‘collecting trinkets.’

Ultimately, no matter how you might express your inner-goblin (some are even equating ‘goblin mode’ to a sex position), it’s important to remember what matters: becoming physically repulsive, and being unafraid of getting a bit weird and feral with it.


MORE : Julia Fox ‘isn’t writing a book about Kanye West’ and insists she’s ‘never used the term goblin mode’


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