OBJ – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Has the “OBJ” emoji ever popped up on your screen when you’re looking at something on social media? Or have you ever been playing a video game, and someone says “OBJ”? Maybe someone sent you a text that included an emoticon but all you see is an Obj symbol? If any of these are true, this post is for you. OBJ is a common way to either ask for an objective or have an image replaced over the internet. This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


The term “OBJ” has multiple meanings. Most commonly, “OBJ” is a shortened version of “object”. When seen on social media, or even in text, an “OBJ” on your screen means that there is some type of figure (be it an emoji, photo, or something else) that your phone cannot render. Specifically, it means object replacement character. Anything that your device can’t read will show up as OBJ with a dotted box around it.

When playing video games, you may hear someone say “OBJ”, or see it typed in a chat. In this context, it typically means “objective”. Though video games are not the only place where they may be used this way, it is the most common. In-text, “OBJ” may also mean “oh be joyful”. In this instance, “oh be joyful” is typically referring to beer or some other kind of intoxicating drink. Since this phrase has multiple meanings, context is very important when it comes to understanding what the intended meaning is.

Example Usage

  • Just bought my first house [OBJ] (in this instance, the [OBJ] may be an emoji)
  • Head for the OBJ (objective) before the enemy reaches it!
  • What’s the OBJ (objective), boss?
  • I would like to know the obj for when we arrive at the drop spot.


When it comes to “OBJ” as a shortened version of “object”, the abbreviation has been around since the creation of emojis, which have been in use since 1999. Not all types of phones are able to render every emoji, especially with so many new emojis coming out on a regular basis, so something like “OBJ” had to be programmed for those instances.

Phrases Similar to Obj

  • Emoji
  • Item
  • Mission
  • Goal
  • Focus

Phrases Opposite to Obj

  • Nonobject
  • Nonentity
  • Nothings

What is the Correct Saying?

  • “OBJ” – “object”
  • “OBJ” – “objective”
  • “OBJ” – “oh be joyful”

Ways People May Incorrectly Say Obj

In terms of “OBJ” used to mean “object”, it is difficult to use the term incorrectly. But when intending to use the term “objective”, using it to reference anything that is not an objective or goal would be incorrect use. For example, saying something like, “I do not want to go to the store today, going to the store is my objective” would be incorrect, as that would be the opposite meaning. In relation to “OBJ” meaning “oh be joyful”, since that typically means beer or an alcoholic beverage, using it to reference something that is nonalcoholic would be incorrect, such as referring to a soda as an “OBJ”.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Obj

  • If you wanted to use “OBJ” as “objective” when playing a video game, you may say, “going to that marker is my OBJ” or “my OBJ is killing the boss of this level”.
  • If you wanted to use “OBJ” as “objective” in real life, which could sound like, “going to the store is my OBJ for today” or “I have a lot to do today, but my current OBJ is getting some coffee”.
  • To use “OBJ” as “oh be joyful”, you could say, “I got into the OBJ last night, and now I’m hungover” or “going to a bar is never complete without paying for some OBJ”.
  • I am sending over a list of the current obj’s for the upcoming meeting.

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