What Passing The Vibe Check Means On TikTok


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By Adam England/Aug. 26, 2021 1:55 pm EDT

There’s often quite a lot of confusing lingo on TikTok, with words taking on all manner of new meanings, and even new words and phrases being coined. The video-sharing platform’s impact on the English language isn’t quite at the levels of Shakespeare (yet) but it’s slowly getting there. You’d be forgiven for finding it difficult to know what everything means — even the most seasoned TikToker can find themselves stumped from time to time and it’s easy to see why. “Extra,” “period,” “yeet,” what does it all mean? While a lot of these words and phrases are rooted in AAVE and have been around for a while (via USA Today), their more recent adoption by Gen Z through TikTok means that a lot of people are left scratching their heads. 

One of the latest phrases we’ve now gotta get to grips with is “passing the vibe check.” But just what is the “vibe check,” and how do you pass it? The “vibe check” can be kind of subjective, with people having differing views as to what constitutes “passing,” but here’s what it means. Do you pass the vibe check? 

The 'vibe check' measures how cool someone is

If you’re vibe-checking somebody, you’re weighing up and assessing them (via Mynewsdesk). Passing the vibe check is seen as a positive thing, as it usually signifies that the person carrying out the check thinks that they’re cool, or otherwise likes them. Alternatively, if someone doesn’t pass the vibe check, there’s most likely a negative reason for this. 

You might say something like “The couple in front of me at the checkout let me go ahead because they had a whole cart and I just had a bag of chips, they really passed the vibe check” or “My neighbor has been playing loud music all night, he’s not passing the vibe check right now.”

According to Mashable, the term “vibe check” can also refer to something altogether more violent: smacking somebody to check their vibe. However, it’s perhaps safe to assume that someone’s vibes won’t be all that great after they’ve just been hit, so it’s probably best to stick with the first definition. 

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