A scene from 'Barbie' over the explosion from 'Oppenheimer'

How the Internet Is Preparing for ‘Barbenheimer’

This month, two of the most anticipated summer films are set to premiere on the same day, and they couldn’t be more different from each other. On July 21, Greta Gerwig’s Barbie will premiere in theaters alongside Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. Barbie is the first live-action adaptation of the hit toy line of the same name by Mattel, starring Margot Robbie as the titular character and Ryan Gosling as (just) Ken. Meanwhile, Oppenheimer is a three-hour-long war drama exploring J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy)’s development of the atomic bomb during World War II. Despite the differences, both films have gained quite a bit of attention, with Oppenheimer translating the history of the atomic bomb into an epic thriller and Barbie shaping up to be the wildest, most unique film in a long time.

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However, it didn’t take long for viewers to realize that these clashing films will premiere on the same day. For some, choosing between satisfying their inner history buff or satisfying something they didn’t know needed satisfying by seeing Barbie and Ken chased by Will Ferrell will be the most difficult decision of the year. For others, this coincidence provides an opportunity to experience the greatest double feature they’ve ever seen. Then there are those of us imagining what the theaters will look like on July 21. On one side will be the effervescent Barbie crew in bright colors, while on the other will be the brooding, mysterious intellectuals for Oppenheimer.

Internet users soon ran wild with the “Barbenheimer” idea, sparking an onslaught of Barbie vs. Oppenheimer memes. Even Tom Cruise promoted Oppenheimer and Barbie‘s “explosive” double feature. The hilarious memes range from those encouraging the marketing of the films as a double feature, highlighting the stark contrast between the films and their audiences, or proposing unique marketing tactics for Barbenheimer. Here are the 10 best Barbie vs. Oppenheimer memes.

Switching between Oppenheimer and Barbie modes

One does not simply walk into a Barbie or Oppenheimer showing without being prepared. For those attempting a double feature, a clothing change may very well be required between films. Some of us just have to be in the right mindset before watching a film, so don’t mind us while we rip off our trenchcoats after Oppenheimer to reveal our sparkly pink Barbie dresses underneath.

Your Oppenheimer is getting all over my Barbie

Um, have theaters actually thought of this, though? The walls of a theater are only so thick. Imagine leaning forward, captivated by Ken and Barbie’s oncoming first kiss, only for the theater to begin violently vibrating and the Barbie theme song drowned out by the screams of civilians next door.

Your move, Oppenheimer

Barbie‘s marketing team went all out by unveiling a $10 million Malibu Barbie DreamHouse. It sure would be a shame if someone were to, you know, Oppenheimer it.

The OG Barbie and Oppenheimer houses

The Black and Pink House Meme has been around since 2015, but the Barbie and Oppenheimer double feature has truly given these homes their time to shine.

Barbenheimer couples

No one will be impacted by Barbie and Oppenheimer‘s dual release date as much as couples. There will probably be a few breakups, but hopefully also some compromises. Nothing will prove how greatly opposites attract quite like a Barbie and Oppenheimer couple arriving at the theater and separating to go see their respective films.

The BarbieOppenheimer election

While most are pumped for a double feature, some are still aligning themselves with one film or the other. Users have even created electoral maps to depict which states are Oppenheimer states and which are Barbie states. From the looks of it, Barbie is in the lead and could be crowned the superior film.

Oppenheimer steps up its marketing

Oppenheimer‘s marketing team hasn’t acted on the Barbie DreamHouse opportunity, but it seems the Barbenheimer war has begun at Warner Bros. studios.

What’s your Barbenheimer schedule?

The dual release date already has viewers arguing over whether Barbie or Oppenheimer comes first and what their double feature day will look like. The consensus is that you’ll need to have black coffee, cigarettes, mimosas, a spa day, an existential crisis, and a joint to survive the emotional rollercoaster of hopping between Barbie and Oppenheimer.

Civil War II


We’re all excited now about the big Barbenheimer release, but, at the end of the day, we’ll have to decide which film is better. Things could get pretty intense.

Oppenheimer‘s mooching

Some users have already decided that Barbie is the superior film and have speculated that the double feature idea is just a scheme to “save” Oppenheimer. It does seem like a lot more people care about Oppenheimer since they learned of Barbenheimer, and now Barbie promotions are basically also Oppenheimer promotions, even though Oppenheimer‘s advertising hasn’t been as grand as Barbie‘s. Imagine Oppenheimer becoming the biggest film of the year by riding the pink coattails of Barbie.

(featured image: Warner Bros. / Universal Pictures)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.