All the Barbie Easter Eggs and References, Ranked

As a movie, Barbie succeeds not by shedding the affect of its mega-brand however by interrogating it. Director Greta Gerwig’s box-office triumph is so self-aware that it crawls into the in-joke and makes a house there. As such, one in every of Barbie’s best delights isn’t solely Margot Robbie’s pitch-perfect Stereotypical Barbie, or Ryan Gosling’s crooning as “Simply Ken,” however the quite a few Easter eggs and meta-references scattered all through the movie—every lining a path of breadcrumbs that leads not solely again to Barbie itself, however to the purpose of Barbie as an icon of gender politics. Forward, we rank a handful of the funniest, most inventive, and most vital Easter eggs we may discover in our (many) viewings of the summer time’s greatest film.


16) BAX

As Barbie drives by Barbie Land, we get a glimpse of the world’s airport (although no clues as to the place, exactly, these Barbies may be flying). A large signal outdoors reads “BAX”—a transparent nod to Los Angeles’ well-known LAX. Cute, however nothing groundbreaking.

15) The Pegasus Statue

Throughout one of many Barbie Land seaside scenes, audiences can catch a glimpse of a statue alongside the coast. Formed into the type of a winged horse, it’s a nod to the 2005 animated movie Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus. This reference will get bonus factors merely for the long-lasting nature of the film itself, which various of us zillennials watched till the DVD melted in our fingers.

 

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14) Tanner

At Bizarre Barbie’s home, we meet a plastic pooping pup named Tanner, primarily based on an actual toy of the identical title that was recalled in 2007, because of its aspiration-inducing pooper scooper. Tanner doesn’t contribute a lot to the Barbie plot, however he’s cute—and a hilarious reminder that even Barbie isn’t too proud to wash up her doggie’s doo doo.

13) Video Woman Barbie

Additionally on the Island of Misfit Toys—a.ok.a., Bizarre Barbie’s home—we’re launched to Video Woman Barbie, primarily based on an actual toy that youngsters may use to seize footage utilizing a video digicam contained in the doll’s physique. (The digicam lens was in her necklace, whereas the monitor was on her again.) Make it make sense!

12) Skipper, Tutti, and the Treehouse

Barbie’s little sister, Skipper, makes a fast look subsequent door to Barbie’s Dreamhouse, the place she lives in a treehouse, itself replicated from the Chelsea doll playset. The littlest sister Skipper shares with Barbie, named Tutti—one in every of two since-discontinued twin dolls—doesn’t seem on display screen, however a restaurant in Barbie Land named Tutti Frutti appears to wink at her existence.

11) The Wizard of Oz

You may discover that, when Barbie drives by Barbie Land in her pink Corvette, she sails previous a movie show taking part in The Wizard of Oz. Contained in the doorways to the theater, there’s even a yellow brick highway resulting in the Emerald Metropolis, glistening within the distance. The reference is a little bit of foreshadowing for the unusual journey of self-discovery Barbie herself is about to embark upon when she enters the Actual World.

10) Sugar Daddy Ken

One other of Bizarre Barbie’s cohort contains Sugar Daddy Ken, the real-life title of a real-life doll so named after his best accent: a West Highland Terrier named Sugar. As a Mattel spokeswoman apparently instructed the New York Submit in 2009, per Ladies’s Put on Each day, “He’s Sugar’s daddy, as a reference to the canine.” Riiiight. At a whopping $82 per unit, Sugar Daddy Ken wore Trina Turk and Lilly Pulitzer, and was thought-about reportedly a part of the grownup collectible spin-off of Barbie and Ken merchandise.

9) Earring Magic Ken

Maybe the best of Bizarre Barbie’s unorthodox friends is Earring Magic Ken, modeled after the ’90s doll of the identical title (one which was later coined, unofficially, “Homosexual Ken.”) The toy’s introduction prompted an notorious column by intercourse columnist Dan Savage named “Ken Comes Out,” through which Savage wrote, “Hanging round Ken’s neck, on a metallic silver thread, is what ten out of ten individuals within the know will let you know at a look is a cock ring.”

He continued, reporting the response of a Mattel spokesperson: “Mattel Toys, within the particular person of Lisa McKendall, denies every little thing. ‘Completely not,’ she stated. ‘It’s a necklace. It holds charms he can share with Barbie. C’mon, it is a doll designed for little ladies, one thing like that will be completely inappropriate.’ OK, Lisa, let’s name it a necklace. Queers have been sporting cock rings as necklaces for years.” The truth that Gerwig took the time to learn up on this lore and recreate it within the Barbie movie? Completely outstanding.

earring magic ken

Yvonne Hemsey//Getty Photographs

8) Ruth Handler’s tax scandal

Barbie doesn’t dedicate an excessive amount of time to outlining all of the backstory of Barbie creator Ruth Handler, nevertheless it doesn’t go up the chance to briefly reference her tax scandal: In 1974, Ruth resigned as president of Mattel and, in 1978, she was charged with tax fraud and false reporting. Within the movie, actress Rhea Perlman mentions her character’s monetary mishaps with a smirk, a hilarious meta-moment—and an illustration of imperfection that effectively captures the film’s themes.

creator of the barbie doll

Jeff Christensen/RETIRED//Getty Photographs

7) “The Creation of Adam”

When Stereotypical Barbie first meets her creator, it’s throughout the context of a tiny yellow kitchen deep inside Mattel HQ. There, Ruth makes Barbie a cup of tea. And as Robbie instructed Selection, “There’s a second when Ruth Handler, the creator of Barbie, offers Barbie a cup of tea and our fingers contact like ‘The Creation of Adam’ by Michelangelo, imitating the second when God offers life to the primary man. Greta snuck that in there.” It’s an iconic picture, replicated in movie and artwork 1,000,000 instances over, nevertheless it’s significantly poignant in a movie concerning the creation of an icon itself.

6) “Sí Se Puede”

In one of many remaining scenes of the movie, Gloria’s (America Ferrera) husband (performed by Ferrera’s IRL husband, Ryan Piers Williams), tries to encourage Barbie with a few of his beginner-level Spanish. “¡Sí se puede!” he tells her, to which Gloria responds, “That’s a political assertion.” (Their daughter Sasha, performed by Ariana Greenblatt, rolls her eyes and calls it “appropriation.”)

That line, which interprets to “sure, it may be performed” or “sure, we are able to” carries a number of references. On the floor, it’s a wink to the 2002 Disney unique movie starring Ferrera, Gotta Kick It Up!, through which she and her fellow cheerleaders famously chanted “Sí, se puede” to encourage one another. On a deeper stage, it’s a callback to the slogan popularized by the labor activist Dolores Huerta to protest a invoice that denied farm staff the precise to strike. It turned the motto of the United Farm Employees union, which Huerta co-founded with Cesar Chavez, Larry Itliong, and different organizers. A long time later, it even impressed President Obama’s personal “Sure, we are able to” marketing campaign slogan. So, Gloria is true: It is a political assertion.

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5) 2001: A Area Odyssey

As first revealed in Barbie’s teaser trailer, the movie begins with a sequence mimicking the opening scene of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Area Odyssey, through which primates uncover the usage of instruments, i.e. “The Daybreak of Man.” Barbie’s scene is a spin on “The Daybreak of Girl,” through which little ladies uncover the usage of grown-up dolls and smash their outdated child dolls to bits in response. It’s a deliciously intelligent solution to start a movie concerning the outsized affect of a plaything on womanhood.

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4) Arched toes

Considered one of Barbie’s signature traits is the form of her toes: They relaxation in an everlasting arch, excellent for slipping into the excessive heels that got here packaged with so lots of her playsets. So when Stereotypical Barbie’s arches hit the ground halfway by Barbie, it’s not only a shock; it’s a shock to the whole social order of Barbie Land. Out of the blue, she’s an object of disgust. “Flat toes!” Hari Nef’s Physician Barbie shrieks when Stereotypical Barbie reveals her newest ailment. The second isn’t solely a hilarious bit; it’s the best encapsulation of how Barbie’s so-called “perfection” is nothing greater than a facade.

barbie

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Photos

3) The Matrix

When Barbie ventures to Bizarre Barbie’s humble abode in pursuit of an answer to her “malfunctions,” Bizarre Barbie presents her with two choices: She will be able to keep in Barbie Land and develop ever-weirder, or she will be able to search the Actual World for the kid influencing her imperfections. Bizarre Barbie illustrates this alternative with a play on The Matrix’s “purple tablet or blue tablet” scene: In a single hand is a pink heel, representing the lie of Barbie Land; within the different is a Birkenstock, representing the reality of the Actual World. And actually, it doesn’t get rather more actual than a well-worn Birk.

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2) Midge

Emerald Fennell performs Barbie’s ostracized neighbor Midge, a pregnant doll discontinued within the early aughts for being “too bizarre.” (And likewise for “selling teen being pregnant”?) Anyway, Midge’s cameo is among the movie’s finest—partially due to Fennell’s hysterical potential to pop out and in of scenes with a discomfiting smile. But it surely’s the ostracizing of motherhood inside Barbie Land itself that feels particularly poignant. In a supposedly excellent feminist world, why would somebody like Midge not solely be such a uncommon sight, however an uncomfortable one?

the 2003 toy fair held in new york

Lawrence Lucier//Getty Photographs

1) Allan

Michael Cera’s flip as “Ken’s buddy” Allen has shortly grow to be a fan-favorite visitor function. (Allan’s even been heralded by Vulture critic Jen Chaney because the “Unsung Hero of Barbie.”) Primarily based on the true Allan doll, whose primary promoting level was that every one of Ken’s clothes and niknaks may match him, Cera’s Allan is determined to flee Barbie Land so he can get out from underneath Ken’s shadow. Patriarchy, man—it hurts all of us.

Headshot of Lauren Puckett-Pope

Tradition Author

Lauren Puckett-Pope is a workers tradition author at ELLE, the place she primarily covers movie, tv and books. She was beforehand an affiliate editor at ELLE. 

Headshot of Erica Gonzales

Erica Gonzales is the Senior Tradition Editor at ELLE.com, the place she oversees protection on TV, motion pictures, music, books, and extra. She was beforehand an editor at HarpersBAZAAR.com. There’s a 75 p.c probability she’s listening to Lorde proper now. 


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