Picture this: You just got dumped and are feeling very lonely. Someone asks you to describe how you feel using only video clips, memes, images, and whatever other mediums you can find on the internet. Then, you're told to combine them to visually tell a story, set to music.
As you gather your clips, it just looks like a jumble of various movie and TV scenes that don't fit with each other. But then the artist in you comes out and you start to arrange the clips in a certain order. You find a song that matches the mood. You watch your makeshift slideshow and you're all up in your feels. This is corecore, the newest aesthetic trend on TikTok.
What is corecore on TikTok?
Corecore is basically a style of editing on TikTok where various images, videos, memes, headlines, and so on, are all combined into one video while a song or audio clip play in the background.
It sounds insignificant at first — like someone just crammed a bunch of digital assets together. But it's been garnering attention for the way it's presented.
Corecore videos are often a compelling and artistic way to send a message to viewers. Some may try to tell a story over time or demonstrate a problem. Or raise awareness for a certain cause.
For example, the video below sheds a light on poverty and privilege by incorporating some clips of wealthy millennials flaunting their money juxtaposed with scenes from DR Congo, Africa, where resources are sparse.
Other corecore may be made in an attempt to show viewers that they're not alone. Take the case of the TikTok below, which features a barrage of clips filmed by women who have been hurt by a man and/or feel insignificant — something that I'm sure all women who have ever been heartbroken can relate to.
But not all corecore videos take on such a somber tone. Some corecore videos are meant to be just for fun — like this one, which combines videos of cats with video game scenes to a fast-paced energetic tune.
As corecore videos are becoming more popular, they may start to decrease in quality.
According to Know Your Meme, the corecore aesthetic was first referenced on Tumblr in 2020 but didn't reach viral status on TikTok until 2022.
That said, there is a fear that many people are tapping into the trend, but are not producing meaningful complications. As Know Your Meme writes, "Going into 2023, corecore videos became more nonsensical."
It seems creators are running out of ideas and are slacking on their corecore videos.
In fact, if you search #corecore on TikTok, you may notice that many of the videos that come up lack the emotional appeal, significance, and/or storytelling skills that many of the earlier TikToks had. Not to mention, some don't even qualify as corecore videos as creators sometimes add random hashtags to the caption for more views.