What does #tbp mean on TikTok? Viral hashtag explained

Alec Mullins
Two kids from The Black Phone

TikTok has quickly become one of the largest social media apps in the world and big-time movies always tend to make a splash on the short-form app. That’s why #tbp has stuck around as one of the trending hashtags for quite some time.

The world of fandom is more expansive than ever these days. Long gone are the days when diehard fans would gather on relatively unknown message boards to share their love for their books and movies. These days it’s all broadcasted across the much larger webs of Tumblr, Twitter, and TikTok alike.

In this case, #tbp becoming a trending force is largely thanks to fan edits of a certain 1970’s-themed horror movie that was released back in June.

What is #tbp on TikTok?

The Black Phone is equal parts a coming-of-age story and a supernatural horror. It takes place in 1978 and tells the story of Finney and Gwen Blake. These siblings are from Denver, Colorado, which also happens to be the stomping grounds of a serial abductor known as ‘The Grabber’.

The film was created by Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill, the duo behind 2016’s Doctor Strange and 2012’s Sinister, and is adapted from Joe Hill’s 2004 short story of the same name.

The film was quite a critical success, currently holding an 82% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and has clearly struck a chord with a young audience on TikTok. At the time of writing, #tbp has 369 million views alone while #theblackphone has a massive 2 billion total views as well.

The kinds of content that get posted with these hashtags are varied, but many of the clips are supercuts highlighting a user’s favorite moments from the film although some of the edits are focused on the young cast and their friendship outside of filming as well.

These kinds of communities aren’t a rare spot on the internet and many of them arise from media, like Stranger Things, which puts together an ensemble cast of relatable children. While a story that’s partly about child abduction and psychic powers may seem an unlikely choice to be such a hit, there’s no arguing that the film has been a tidal wave for the younger generation.

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