Barbie (2023 Film)
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Barbie refers to the 2023 film about the classic line of toy dolls starring Margot Robbie, Will Ferrell and Ryan Gosling, directed by Greta Gerwig. The movie was announced by Warner Bros. Pictures in mid-2019 and is set to release in mid-2023. In early 2022, memes and tweets appeared en masse following a sneak peek of Robbie dressed as Barbie in the film. Ryan Goslin's Ken inspired memes as well and the leak of roller-skating costumes taken on a set in Venice Beach, California also did in June 2022. Many memetic references centered on buying tickets to Barbie too, in reference to the Tickets to Joker, Please trend.
On July 15th, 2019, the movie was announced by Warner Bros. Pictures. Multiple film-centric news outlets tweeted about the announcement on the same day. For instance, Variety magazine posted a tweet that received roughly 1,900 likes over the course of three years. It was announced that the director of Ladybird, Greta Gerwig, and Noah Baumbach were to write and direct the comedy movie. Actress Margot Robbie, known for Suicide Squad, among other films, was to play Barbie.
Following the initial announcement, memes were already surfacing in regards to the film. For instance, on July 17th, 2019, Twitter user ericeidelstein made a meme about the likeliness of Barbie's character being woke. It received 80 likes in three years (shown below).
On June 30th, 2021, Robbie was interviewed by Vogue magazine, wherein, she talked about the upcoming Barbie movie. She was quoted saying, "it comes with a lot of baggage… And a lot of nostalgic connections. But with that come a lot of exciting ways to attack it. People generally hear ‘Barbie’ and think, ‘I know what that movie is going to be,’ and then they hear that Greta Gerwig is writing and directing it, and they’re like, ‘Oh, well, maybe I don’t…’”
Inspired by the interview, reactions peaked in the summer of 2021. Some people started to relate the movie to the upcoming Polly Pocket movie directed by Lena Dunham, making jokes about the two feminist directors and what they'd do with the films. For instance, on July 9th, 2021, Twitter user post_prufrock posted a tweet that earned roughly 4,300 likes in nine months (shown below).
On October 25th, 2021, it was announced that actor Ryan Gosling was going to play Ken.
First Look at Margot Robbie as Barbie
On April 26th, 2022, multiple film-centric news outlets posted a photo of Margot Robbie as Barbie, being a first look at her character design (shown below). For instance, the Twitter account FilmUpdates posted the photo and received roughly 125,900 likes in two days. Additionally, the film's release date was announced as July 21st, 2023.
Internet users and meme creators reacted to the photo en masse going into the remainder of April 2022. Many creators started to exploit the image, photoshopping it into various movie posters. For instance, on April 27th, 2022, Twitter user PeliDeTarde made the picture into a poster for Titane, a 2021 movie about a woman who's impregnated by a car. The image received roughly 29,900 likes in one day (shown below, left). Also on April 27th, Twitter user smhrbst made a movie poster, earning roughly 10,200 likes in one day (shown below, right).
Barbie vs. Oppenheimer
On April 26th, 2022, the Twitter account DiscussingFilm asked their followers whether or not they'd be seeing Barbie or Oppenheimer on July 21st, 2023, as both films were set to release on the same day. The tweet received roughly 23,300 likes in one day (shown below).
Due to the stark contrast in the images as well as the subject matter for each, Twitter users started to post memes, playing with the aesthetics of each and hinting that they were going to see both. For instance, on April 26th, 2022, Twitter user Gr4deEQuality replied with a GIF of some men looking serious and walking, captioning it, "Me and the boys on the way to watch Barbie," earning roughly 6,100 likes in less than 24 hours (shown below).
Me and the boys on the way to watch Barbie pic.twitter.com/XkFHaU2Pg1
— Grade 🌙 (@Gr4deEQuality) April 26, 2022
Creators started to reference meme templates en masse that highlighted contrasts between colorful aesthetics and black and white aesthetics, these being, most predominantly, the Black And Pink Meme Houses and My Sister And I Are Polar Opposites. Many of the tweets also referenced the Tickets To Joker, Please phrasal template.
Ryan Gosling Ken
Ryan Gosling Ken refers to actor Ryan Gosling's portrayal of Ken in the 2023 film Barbie. Due to Ryan Gosling's strong association with Literally Me roles, such as Driver and Officer K, the actor being cast as Ken inspired memes drawing humor from this association after the initial reveal of Margot Robbie's depiction of Barbie and Gosling's Ken for the movie in early June 2022 when first-look photos were released.
Tickets to Barbie, Please
Many memes regarding the upcoming Barbie film referenced the trend Tickets to Joker, Please, instead captioning image macros of people asking for "Ticket to Barbie, Please." The first meme of this nature was posted on April 26th, 2022 by Twitter user FanboyGhibli who wrote "2 tickets for Oppenheimer and Barbie good sir" in a reply that received roughly 6,600 likes in two months (shown below, left).
As the movie continued to trend going into June 2022, more memes using the phrase emerged. For instance, on June 15th, 2022, Twitter user roguerone made a meme using a brooding image of Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe from The Lighthouse, earning roughly 243,700 likes in one week (shown below, right).
Roller Skating Costumes in Venice Beach
On June 27th, 2022, paparazzi photography outlet The Daily Stardust posted multiple photos on Instagram and elsewhere showing Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling dressed in multi-color, roller-blading outfits on Venice Beach in Los Angeles, California, filming a scene for the upcoming movie (shown below).
Additionally, a video was taken by the paparazzi outlet Backgrid that showed Robbie skating on the Venice Beach boardwalk in a different costume. It was reposted to Twitter by the account margotswhore on June 27th where it received roughly 3.6 million views and 135,200 likes in one day (shown below).
MARGOTS BARBIE VOICE WAITT pic.twitter.com/rsbpwQtChU
— nai (@margotswhore) June 27, 2022
The costumes inspired many reactions and memes across social media. For instance, Twitter user cybrxangel noted that the costumes were inspired by the "Hot Skatin'" Barbie doll, earning roughly 8,200 likes in one day (shown below, left). Twitter user fiImgal instead reacted to photos of Will Ferrell on the Venice Beach set, earning roughly 115,600 likes in one day (shown below, right).
Ryan Gosling Screaming
On June 29th, 2022, Twitter account @SiteBastidores4 shared a clip from the Barbie set filmed by the papparazi network The Hollywood Fix in which Barbie, played by Robbie, knocks out a man who slapped her buttocks, with Ken, played by Gosling, reacting with a high-pitch scream. Later that day, Twitter user @filmgal shared the video, with the clip accumulating over 4.1 million views, 12,500 retweets and 151,500 likes in one day (shown below).
RYAN’S SCREAM???? pic.twitter.com/7tWHFMqaNQ
— bethany (@fiImgal) June 29, 2022
Later that day, Twitter user @dykesiobhan posted a clip comparing Ryan Gosling's scream with Ken's scream in the Barbie animated series. The video (shown below) gained over 3.5 million views in one day.
barbie behind the scenes ken screaming pic.twitter.com/D87jtrqQlk
— media (@dykesiobhan) June 29, 2022
Similar to previous leaks from the set, the clip inspired memes and discussions.
Barbie Trailer Reaction
On April 4th, 2023, the official trailer for Barbie was released (seen below). The post by the Barbie movie's official Twitter account received over 173,000 likes in less than 24 hours as the teaser rapidly went viral and garnered significant coverage, discussions and memetic reactions shortly after.
WELCOME TO BARBIE LAND, did you bring your rollerblades? 🌟 #BarbieTheMovie only in theaters July 21. pic.twitter.com/gBKLlF0aCI
— Barbie Movie (@barbiethemovie) April 4, 2023
Response to the trailer was largely positive. The meme by the Twitter account @filmdaze (seen below) was typical of many reactions upon its release. The tweet on April 4th, 2023, received almost 28,000 likes in less than a day.
Two moments from the trailer were of particular interest to cinema fans and meme makers. First, a shot of Barbie's foot leaving a slipper was shared and commented upon by many, including Chrissy Teigen, who tweeted about the foot on April 5th (seen below, left), receiving almost 55,000 likes in six hours. Others, like Twitter user @TimDuffy, who received almost 250 likes in a similar timeframe, compared the foot shot to the work of another famous director with a liking for feet.
Second, the casting of Michael Cera in the role of Allan also overjoyed many cinema fans after it was revealed in the trailer. The Allan doll is a rare Barbie doll, introduced in 1964 as Ken's friend, and has since been discontinued. Some fans showed their enthusiasm for Cera's casting, such as Twitter user @capbeebara (shown below, left) who received over 172,000 likes in less than 24 hours for their tweet on April 4th. Many posters enjoyed the font of the text promoting Allan in the promotional poster for the character, thinking it read "Allah" instead of "Allan." For example, also on April 4th, Twitter user @dog_starman made that mistake and received over 104,000 likes in a similar timeframe (shown below, right).
Barbie Movie Poster Parodies
Barbie Movie Poster Memes, also known as Parody Barbie Movie Posters, refers to a series of Photoshops and spoofs of promotional movie posters for the 2023 film Barbie. The memes were inspired and based on a set of Barbie posters uploaded to Twitter in early April 2023 that featured various actors in the film, such as Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling and Michael Cera. The parody posters were made using the website BarbieSelfie.ai, which is a generator tool launched by the company to create custom variants.
 Twitter – @ericeidelstein
 Vogue – Margot Robbie Refuses To Be Put In A Box
 Twitter – @post_prufrock
 Twitter – @FilmUpdates
 Twitter – @PeliDeTarde
 iMDb – Titane 2021
 Twitter – @DiscussingFilm
 Twitter – @Gr4deEQuality
 NY Post – Ryan Gosling as Ken
 Instagram – thedailystardust
 Twitter – @margotswhore
 Twitter – @cybrxangel
 Twitter – @FanboyGhibli
 Twitter – @roguerone
 Twitter – @SiteBastidores4
 Twitter – @dykesiobhan
 Twitter – @Marcus_cel
 Twitter – @barbiethemovie
 Twitter – @chrissyteigen
 Inverse – The Real-Life Scandal Behind Barbie's Two Strangest Characters
 Twitter – @capbeebara
 Twitter – @dog_starman
Apr 28, 2022 at 10:57AM EDT
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