In a nostalgic turn of events, a viral TikTok trend paid tribute to Cartoon Network’s adult-oriented late-night block Adult Swim – now marketed as a separate network. The trend saw creators recreating the late-night good vibes of CN’s famour “bumps” ending in Adult Swim’s famous logo.
Adult Swim had started off as a spin-off to Cartoon Network’s children-oriented content. The name was based on the success of an earlier show, Space Ghost Coast to Coast. On the show, Adult Swim was the term for a lifeguard’s break. Since the children can’t be trusted to swim by themselves, they are kicked out, and only the adults can swim, hence adult swim.
Cartoon Network promoted the adult block with late-night “bumps” which were essentially transition clips between commercial breaks and featured programming. They included short films, brief textual sequences, or time-lapses which almost always ended with the Adult Swim logo appearing somewhere within the action.
While bumps were not unique to Adult Swim, its transitions became known over the years for their ability to break through the fourth wall in a cheeky, conversational style.
The Adult Swim TikTok trend kicked off after artist Vano 3000 created a dreamy beat which has become the sound of the trend. The anonymous artist Vano 3000 told Insider that he started posting TikTok videos while making beats in his truck in Florida. Since then, he’s been releasing beat tapes online, building a dedicated following of his own.
On May 23, he used the now-viral Adult Swim beat on TikTok for the first time to soundtrack a video of him standing on a street corner, eating a sandwich.
TikTokers took to it typically hiding the Adult Swim logo either in text as [adult swim] or [as] or somewhere in the environment, revealing it by moving a subject’s head, exposing someone’s back as they lay down on a towel, or flipping a mirror.