Ryan Gosling displaying high kenergy.

Kenergy

Part of a series on Barbie (2023 Film). [View Related Entries]

Updated Jul 13, 2023 at 06:45PM EDT by Zach.

Added Jul 13, 2023 at 06:44AM EDT by Philipp.

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About

Kenergy, also spelled Ken-ergy, is a slang term coined by actor Ryan Gosling, who portrays the doll Ken in the 2023 movie Barbie, to describe the quality of carrying the vibe of that character and having "Ken" traits. The term, a portmanteau of "Ken" and "energy," has been said by Gosling in multiple interviews about the film. The word caught on online in mid-2023 and has been used in multiple memes about the movie leading up to its release.

Origin

On July 12th, 2022, Entertainment Tonight published an exclusive interview with Ryan Gosling in which he joked about Chris Evan's character in the movie The Gray Man referring to him as a "Ken doll." Gosling responded, "[It's] not an insult at all! I'm proud of that. I have that Ken-ergy that you can feel, obviously," apparently referencing both the dialogue and the upcoming movie Barbie in which he portrays Barbie's boyfriend, doll character Ken.[1]

I have that Ken-ergy that he could feel, obviously. I still feel like the Ken-ergy is alive.

On July 13th, 2022, CNN International mentioned the catchphrase in a tweet[2] about the interview (shown below).


CAN International CNN International @cnni Ryan Gosling is really, really excited to be playing everyone's favorite plastic boyfriend, Ken, in the highly anticipated “Barbie” film – so excited, in fact, that he's coined a new term: "Ken-ergy." cnn.com Ryan Gosling is bringing major 'Ken-ergy' to the upcoming 'Barbie' film | CNN Ryan Gosling is so excited to be playing everyone's favorite plastic boyfriend, Ken, in the highly anticipated "Barbie" film, that he coined a new term: "Ken-... 10:00 PM - Jul 13, 2022 :

On July 19th, 2022, MTV News published an interview with Gosling in which he again used the term (shown below). The interview accumulated over 330,000 views on YouTube[3] in one year.



It's been cathartic. There’s always been a Ken inside of me. It’s the role I was born to play, I’ve had this Ken-ergy if you will, and the Ken-ergy is alive in me now.

On July 19th, 2022, the film news Twitter[4] account @DiscussingFilm tweeted the quote, with the post gaining over 1,000 retweets and 10,000 likes in one year.

Spread

Ryan Gosling continued to use the phrase, along with other Ken-based puns such as "kenough" and "kenning" in interviews about the film in 2023. On April 25th, 2023, film news Twitter[5] account @FilmUpdates tweeted a quote of Gosling saying, "I doubted my Ken-ergy." The tweet (shown below) received over 8,900 retweets and 130,000 likes in three months.


FILM UPDATES Film Updates @FilmUpdates Ryan Gosling on playing Ken in ‘BARBIE’: “Up until this point, I only knew Ken from afar. I didn't know Ken from within. I doubted my Ken-ergy. I didn't see it. But Margot [Robbie] and Greta [Gerwig] conjured this out of me." 5. 2:17 PM • Apr 25, 2023 23.6M Views ...

Following the tweet, memes using the phrase started gaining popularity online. For example, on April 25th, 2023, Twitter[6] user @kendallhosseini posted a meme referencing Kendall Roy from Succession that gained over 920 retweets and 15,900 likes in two months (shown below, left). On April 26th, iFunny user HeavenAscensionDIO posted a screenshot of the tweet, captioning it, "The Kenergy is in all of us, we just haven't discovered it yet." The post (shown below, right) gained over 4,600 smiles in two months.


jay @kendallhosseini Jeremy Strong on playing Ken in ‘SUCCESSION’: “Up until this point, I only knew Ken from afar. I didn't know Ken from within. I doubted my Ken-ergy. I didn't see it. But Sarah [Snook] and Jesse [Armstrong] conjured this out of me.” 6:30 PM Apr 25, 2023 496.9K Views . HBO The Kenergy is in all of us we just haven't discovered it yet DiscussingFilm @DiscussingFilm Ryan Gosling says "I doubted my Kenergy, I didn't see it" when he got asked to join 'BARBIE'. #CinemaCon 1:14 PM Apr 25, 2023 2.4M Views

As Ryan Gosling continued to use the expression in more interviews, memes about it continued to appear on Twitter, iFunny and other sites.

Various Examples


People of Barbie-Land Lend me your Kenergy Wireframe Render Carl™ 13 @1stPlayerCarl It's giving minimum Kenergy 12:05 AM. Jul 12, 2023 244 Views : Ryan Gosling says "I doubted my Kenergy, I didn't see it when he got asked to join 'BARBIE'. #CinemaCon Me focusing my kenergy in order to Bag some blonde bitches
sedona @sedonacheloha kendall roy suing succ-verse ryan gosling for inventing the term "ken- ergy" before he could 12:59 PM . Jul 22, 2022 ... Breaking Bad Breaking Bad @Breaking Bad Walt always had Ken-ergy Sony Pictures Television Come on #Barbie B lets go party. 6:47 PM Jul 10, 2023 · 10M Views @SPTV Jul 10 shar¹ happy bisexual! @shexwoman the kenergy is off the charts 2:18 PM Jul 12, 2023 85.2K Views : ...

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