What is Adult swim? Meaning of TikTok trend explained, what are the bumps and bumpers, and when song is released 


Video sharing social media platform TikTok is no stranger to a viral trend, from recipes, dances, comedy and more.

The latest trend taking over the app is an altogether more nostalgic one, with users paying tribute to the late night Cartoon Network channel Adult Swim.

What is Adult Swim?

Adult Swim, which is usually stylised as [adult swim] or just [as], is an American nighttime programming block of the network Cartoon Network.

Adult Swim first launched in 2001, and was established as alternative programming at night when the Cartoon Network primary audience would be asleep, aimed at adults. Adult Swim would air adult animation features, mockumentaries, comedy and more.

It’s shows were known for their sexual themes, nudity, strong language and graphic violence. The programmes were often very experimental and surreal.

In 2005, Adult Swim was granted its own separate Nielsen ratings report from Cartoon Network since the two target different audiences. Some of the shows that are currently in production and seen on Adult Swim include Robot Chicken, The Eric Andre Show and Rick and Morty.

Adult Swim has been broadcast in the UK on and off since 2002.

In the UK, CNX was launched as a Cartoon Network spin-off in 2002 and featured much of the same content found on Adult Swim, but it was shut down after just a year.

In 2006 however, a nightly Adult Swim channel was launched, however in 2008 it stopped broadcasting. In 2010, a handful of Adult Swim shows were aired, with the Adult Swim branding, on the channel FX.

Adult Swim then returned to the UK in 2015, with a new block on the FOX channel. This was discontinued in 2017.

Once again, Adult Swim would return to UK screens with a new block on E4 in 2019.

What’s the trend?

The new TikTok trend has got users paying tribute to something called “bumpers” that were aired between Adult Swim shows.

These bumpers were short videos featuring entirely random scenarios – usually the Adult Swim branding was hidden somewhere in the video, or else it would just pop up at the end.

UK viewers might be more familiar with a similar idea executed by Channel 4. These featured random, everyday scenes wherein the Channel 4 logo would eventually be revealed.

TikTok creators are celebrating the Adult Swim bumpers, and the nostalgia associated with them, on the app by making their own versions.

What’s the song that plays on the videos – and who started the trend?

The trend, and song, was created by user @supvano, also known as Vano 3000, who has made several of their own Adult Swim inspired bumpers. On Instagram, he also revealed that the Adult Swim TikTok account was following him.

Vano 3000 is a music producer, and created the song used by videos participating in the trend by sampling BADBADNOTGOOD’s song Time Moves Slow.

Currently, the full version of the song that’s used in the trend is still unreleased, and Vano 3000 has yet to set a date for when it’ll be dropped.


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