What is #grasscar? Why TikTok users are turning cars into mobile gardens

Kieran Bicknell
TikTok #Grasscar Challenge
Original image: Lupus in Saxonia

Designed for short-form viral video content, TikTok has exploded onto the social media scene in recent months and its latest car-centric craze is a little strange, to say the least. Say hello to #grasscar.

These videos show various people either modifying their own cars or pranking others by replacing the floor mats of their vehicles with artificial grass. Yes, the same sort of plastic grass that you can buy from your local Home Depot or other hardware stores.
Perhaps this is some form of light relief after how serious the last few months have been. Maybe it’s a way for apartment owners to have a little slice of their own ‘garden.’ Whatever the reasons for #grasscar are, it’s certainly caught the attention of TikTokkers across the world.

It appears that the first grasscar video (or at least the first to gain any major traction) was posted by user Erin Rease back on the 16th of June. Since then her video has over 2.8 million views and we’ve seen everything from tiny hatchbacks to full-on SUVs receiving the ‘#grasscar’ treatment.

Even US race series NASCAR got in on the act, commenting on Erin’s post saying: “We may have found a new series” which of course got the full support of Erin herself.

Is this a marketing stunt waiting to happen?

Unfortunately for NASCAR, ‘grasscar’ is a form of lawnmower racing that already exists in places such as Texas, sorry guys! That having been said, it would be a great marketing ploy by an astroturf manufacturer to cover a NASCAR entrant vehicle in fake grass…

The strange, almost hypnotic, soundtrack that accompanies these videos gives them somewhat of a creepy feeling, at complete odds with the apparent innocence of creating grass mats for your vehicle.

Whatever the reason for this choice of soundtrack, it certainly adds a whole new dimension of weirdness to the challenge.

Safety first

There’s also the (boring) safety aspect to consider here. Whilst regular car mats are designed to be non-slip, there’s no guarantee that astroturf will have the same properties. Should you take part in the #grasscar challenge, be sure to double-check the ‘grass’ won’t slide underneath the pedals of your car whilst driving.