🪗 What is #corecore?

The hashtag has racked up 30 million views in the few months that it’s been a TikTok phenomenon. But unlike most previously popular -cores—think cottagecore, normcore, breakcore—corecore has no mission statement, no how-to video, not even a basic description of style. There are no tweets on it, no compilations, no Discord channels where corecore heads congregate; Google offers nothing, and there’s not even a KnowYourMeme post. It’s practically a specter, a trend-hallucination that appears on your ForYou page then vanishes (sometimes literally—my favorite corecore account, “wes1upp,” mysteriously deleted their page this month along with all their videos. There is no archive. RIP).


In the last month or so, the scene has transformed as it skyrocketed in popularity. It’s become dominated by moodiness. The most popular corecore videos now tend to be a minute long and feature whole clips taken from movies or YouTube videos or political speeches of people talking, often about something poignant or unnerving: feeling like you’re invisible, the commonplace dehumanization of women, the way social media has withered us into human husks of loneliness crawling through life’s cyclical sadnesses. It was at once fascinating and perplexing to watch the scene turn so nihilistic. That wistfully poetic strain of the style was always there, lurking under the surface, and then it took over.

Tyler Hellard @poploser