Why “Crop” & “Story Time” Are All Over TikTok Comments

Photo: Refinery29 UK
Some TikTok trends are more self-explanatory than others. It's a place where we can learn about others' morning routines, check out the latest headband hairstyles and follow creators who wear Victorian fashion every day.
It's become a place to exchange serious ideas, too. TikTok is helping people to question if they're really straight, or just subscribing to "compulsive heterosexuality". It's also helping to expose the sexist double standards between Gen Z acne sufferers.
But sometimes, something becomes "a thing" on TikTok for no apparent reason – remember the word "cheugy"? The latest slightly baffling TikTok trend is seeing the words "crop" and "story time" appear all over leading creators' comments.
Essentially, this is a TikTok in-joke. People are posting these words as comments because they're used to seeing them there anyway. Like, all the time.
"Crop" or "need crop" is a quick way for followers to ask a creator for a cropped version of a video they've shared. That way, they can repurpose the video for themselves without any usernames or "like" buttons visible on it.
Because popular creators are being asked for a "crop" so often, some TikTok users are posting it in their comments in a tongue-in-cheek way. Consider it the TikTok equivalent of an eye-roll emoji.
Meanwhile, "story time" is TikTok shorthand for "tell us more". If a creator has shared a juicy story but hasn't quite got to the punchline, it's a way for their followers to ask for the final part.
Now, though, "story time" is also being used in an ironic way – like, we really don't need you to tell us more.
Of course, it's not always easy to tell whether "story time" and "crop" are being used sincerely or playfully, but the more you see it in a creator's comments, the more likely it is that someone's having a joke.

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