What Does [as] Stand For? TikTokers Are Baffled by the Adult Swim Trend

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Jun. 6 2021, Published 5:35 p.m. ET

The last few days have seen an unprecedented surge in short TikTok clips tackling problems big and small. While these impeccably humorous and deeply satisfying uploads vary greatly in terms of style and topic choice, they do share exactly one trait — each of them features the mysterious combination of two letters, [as], or, in some cases, the logo, [adult swim]. So, how did the TikTok trend begin? How did [as] come into the picture?

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What does "as" mean on TikTok?

The latest TikTok craze calls on users to come up with creative reinterpretations of bumps — also known as bumpers — which used to be broadcast on Adult Swim, the adult-oriented division of Cartoon Network in the 2000s. Some of the first bumps featured two older people jumping into swimming pools and engaging in various poolside activities. As per Fandom, Adult Swim diversified the bumps later on, sticking the logo onto a range of entertaining short clips.

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The latest TikTok trend appears to tap into the rich, albeit lesser-known cultural resource Adult Swim bumps can perhaps be classified as. Most TikTok videos filed under #adultswim tackle dilemmas with the use of absurd humor. Most of them feature music producer VANO 3000's remix of "Time Moves Slow," the all-around iconic song by BADBADNOTGOOD.

TikTokers are now coming up with their own take on Adult Swim bumps.

For her take on the trend, TikTok user @manaldotcom chose to poke harmless fun at her summer activities.

"Hey," she captioned the video. "It's summer vacation. You're seriously reading for fun?"

Just as she is about to assume a comfortable position in a cushy armchair, with a book in one hand and pair of headphones within reach, the scenery starts to change somewhat.

"Also," goes the caption. "It's 6 a.m."

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Source: TikTok

It is at this point that one of the paintings randomly starts to fall off. And then, the [adult swim] logo appears in the middle of the frame.

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A TikTok by @ellieloveux exemplifies a different creative direction.

The short clip kicks off with an extreme closeup of the TikToker's face, highlighting the glittery grey eyeshadow under her eyes. Her frequent blinking helps create a gloomy, if not unsettling effect.

"Don't swallow your words," she writes in the caption. They're not empty calories."

Source: TikTok
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In the last few frames, she turns her face to look directly into the camera. She opens her mouth, only to reveal that a few pieces of paper adorned with the logo, [as], were stuck on her tongue.

A clip by @noordabashh takes the dark humor characterizing some of the clips to the next level.

In the first few frames, she tries to put her hair up with a jaw clip.

"If you think your room is haunted," reads the caption.

Next, she grabs a purse, a skateboard, which was propped up against the door, and a hat.

"It probably isn't," she writes in the caption.

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Source: TikTok

She turns away from the door, which, as though driven by its own will, pops wide open. Turns out, the logo, [as], was painted on the back panel.

"Probably," appears the caption as the door pops open.

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