What’s Corecore?

The new art and political movement created by Gen-Z on TikTok

Whats Corecore?

Breanne Soto, Staff Writer

A new trend has surfaced on TikTok recently that has started some conversations within different subgenres and fandoms on the app. #corecore and sometimes also referred to as #nichetok has been a hashtag associated with what most people will think is a compilation of random media that really has no relevance or meaning. Although having a combined 778 million views, many users on TikTok couldn’t really explain core-core and why so many people resonated with those kinds of videos. 

If you are part of Gen-Z, you might already be familiar with the word “Core” already. “Core” is a suffix people on the internet use to describe certain aesthetics, and subcultures. Examples you have probably heard of include Cottagecore, Kidcore, Emocore, and Cybercore. So when I realized Corecore is just two suffixes together, I was even more confused. According to Know Your Meme, Corecore is a trend that “plays on the -core suffix by making a ‘core’ out of the collective consciousness of all ‘cores.'”  The first TikTok that pops up with the #corecore hashtag on the app is a compilation of videos with themes of consumerism, ego, detachment, materialism, and money according to a user in the comment section.  One user in the comment section said, “I think core-core is really hard to pull off right. Thus one was kind of all over the place with no glue bonding it all together”.  That only made me even more confused as to what #corecore really is.


#nichetok #corecore

♬ original sound – Hudson Froh812

The first video to pop up when your search #corecore on TikTok

The user @hekensabbat  described #corecore in a video perfectly. They said “It’s when you put a bunch of videos and photos together with music in the background and convey some sort of emotion to the viewer. People use this type of video style to express political images, the way they’ve been feeling, or to have fun with it. It can be interpreted as whatever you like, that’s just the simple definition of it.” Media in #corecore videos can be different. Mostly they contain other TikTok videos, movie clips, and screenshots of articles. @hekensabbat was the first to create a #corecore video that was dated back to July 2022 and continues to create the same kind of content on their page.


♬ –

one of @hekensabbat ‘s videos

After watching more and more #corecore and #nichetok videos, I understand the main goal of making those videos. The reason these kinds of videos could also be considered #nichetok is because of the media being used in the videos to convey a message or evoke emotion. Popular examples of what used to be niche fandoms are American Psycho, Breaking bad, Fight Club, and Blade Runner 2049. So what makes a #corecore video also a #nichetok video is basically using media from “niche” fandoms or “niche” references. For example, if a #corecore video is trying to evoke emotions of grief and solitude, the creator might add a “niche” scene from a “niche” TV show or movie, which would not only make the video #corecore but also #nichetok. Dictionary.com explains niche as a “place or position that’s particularly appropriate for someone or something, especially due to being very specific and different from others. Niche often refers to a position or interest that allows someone or something to thrive in a particular environment.” In simpler terms, niche usually means exclusive, and goes hand in hand with the saying “if you know, you know” or “the girls that get it, get it” trend on Tiktok. 



a #nichetok video (#corecore including media from niche fandoms)

#corecore videos can include a vast array of messages and emotions. There really is no clear-cut way to make a #corecore video. I have seen multiple videos with ideas including Climate change, the effects of technology on society, and feminism. Sometimes the message is not as deliberate as others, but I think that’s what’s great about #corecore. After indulging myself in these kinds of videos and scrolling through the #corecore and #nichetok hashtags, I feel like I learned something from each video that I now carry on. I remember seeing a #corecore video about consumerism and technology that made me really upset. It made me realize how much people miss out on opportunities and experiences due to always being concerned about what is going on online. I now try to limit myself how much I scroll through apps and be mindful of how often I use my phone during conversations and out with friends. 


#climatechange #nichetok #corecore

♬ QKThr – Aphex Twin

#corecore video containing the topic of Climate Change

The user @kylemakesshortfilms explained why he enjoys #corecore and #nichetok so much in a video he posted. “Because we live in this time where we rely on algorithms to recommend things for us to watch.  We’re often like bombarded by all these very contradictory images often like violence and charity videos and prank videos. Like all these things are so absurd but core-core does a really good job of making it into poetry.” I also resonated with his explanation, because I also feel like TikTok makes us very desensitized to so many themes that wouldn’t be acceptable in public and professional settings. It’s hard to navigate through so much content being thrown at you in apps like TikTok where their For You Page seems never-ending. 

With other genres of videos surfacing TikTok, it is important to not confuse #corecore videos with the also new #pinkcore videos on the app. #pinkcore is similar to #corecore, as it contains a compilation of media, but is much more lighthearted. #pinkcore videos consist of video game clips, cat videos, and memes added with sound effects. Light-hearted music or internet rap is usually played, compared to #corecore music consisting of piano scores and Aphex Twin


I LOVE CATS !!! #fyp #pinkcore #valorant #valorantgaming #ow2 #cat #catsoftiktok #edit

♬ original sound – Red

A #pinkcore video

In a sea of memes, clickbait, and prank videos, #corecore stands out in the algorithm as a “breath of fresh air” and an opportunity to take a break from mindless scrolling. Writer Chance Townsend says This is what makes core-core so interesting: one’s feelings that couldn’t be expressed through words are instead presented through images. Whether that emotion is happiness, a fear of the future, or the excitement of falling in love, core-core edits, through the use of multimedia, speak to our common experience.” I think #corecore is going to stick around as long as digital media is going to stick around. #corecore as of right now is the only art movement and genre that came from Gen-Z creators and is unique to social media. I am looking forward to seeing what #corecore evolves to, and how my generation will use it to speak their minds in a time where it seems like technology is recommending us things to consume, and therefore what we believe. 


#corecore video about social media