Goblin Mode – What is it and why is everyone suddenly talking about it?


If you've checked Twitter recently (and let's face it, you probably have), then you might have noticed the emergence of a new, slightly odd phrase. The term is being used to describe the state that many people have entered throughout these strange last couple of months on planet Earth between a global lockdown and a war. If the early days of the pandemic were about learning new skills and baking sourdough bread on Instagram, pretending that everything was brilliant and wonderful, the slow departure of Covid has seen a new term enter the zeitgeist - "Goblin Mode".

If you're not familiar with the term then allow us to explain what is involved, because there is a good chance you've embraced "Goblin Mode" in the last few months. You know those days where you scroll endlessly on social media and stuff your face with crisps? That, I'm afraid to say, is you in full Goblin Mode.

Although the term has only entered popular culture fairly recently, it has apparently been used by Twitter users for more than 10 years. The origins are a little vague, but some people have concluded that the term came from a Reddit post at the end of 2021 where a user claimed to sneak around their house “like a goblin making goblin noises”. Yikes.

But looking at Google trends, we can see the phrase started to grow in popularity in early February of this year:

Goblin Mode Google Trends

But to add further confusion to the matter, there was an article (which ended up being fake) about Julia Fox going Goblin Mode on Kanye West...whatever that means. Cue another spike in interest around the term, especially when Julia Fox actually had to post on her Instagram that she'd "never used the term ‘goblin mode' " - ha.

So what do we make of all this? Well, we think that people embracing their Goblin side is definitely less cringe than people posting about how productive they've been during the lockdown. Long live Goblin Mode.

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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