Ryan Gosling as Ken in "Barbie" wearing a fur jacket and sunglasses posing smoothly.
(Warner Bros.)

In Honor of ‘Barbie’s Ken, Let’s Celebrate the Greatest Movie Himbos Ever

The himbo is the greatest male archetype in movies cinema, and all signs are pointing towards Ryan Gosling’s Ken in Barbie being a stellar example of the perfect character type. If you have any doubts, just watch this clip:

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The man’s job is beach, for crying out loud. That is a himbo career path if I ever heard one.

Now if you know what a himbo is, you’re agreeing with me right now. If you’re not agreeing with me, it’s probably because you don’t know what a himbo is, so let me explain: A himbo is a hot, sweet, uncomplicated male character who lacks the anxiety indicative of a complicated mind. Some might call them dumb, but I personally reject that simplistic characterization. A himbo lives in the current. They’re unbothered by what happened yesterday, and what could happen tomorrow—they exist purely in the now and are present, fully. Some may call that dumb because what is growth without understanding cause and effect, but to the himbo, today is good enough.

Unfortunately, the himbo is not as common a character type as I would like, so when a new one is created, he should be embraced in celebrated. Now that Ken is about to be fully realized in his himbo glory with Barbie, it’s time to honor the himbos that came before him. So with that in mind, I’ve created a list of some of the greatest movie himbos of all time. Enjoy.

Chris Hemsworth as “Kevin” in Ghostbusters

No himbo would ever hate a reboot simply because it dared to cast women in the starring roles. Being misogynistic is the anthesis of the ethos of himbo-ism. So if you didn’t see the 2016 version of Ghostbusters because it was drowned in a weird smear campaign from people who never saw the movie, you are sorely missing out for many reasons, including Hemsworth’s Kevin. Hemsworth manages to hold his own against comedy veterans Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones and frankly steals every scene he’s in. He’s laugh-out-loud funny. Watch the above clip and you’ll understand why.

John Cusack as “Llyod Dobler” in Say Anything

A himbo gives compliments freely and without expecting to be complimented in return. They adore their significant other, if they have one, and prioritize spending time with them as much as possible. Anyone who has ever seen Say Anything knows Llyod Dobler may not be the first himbo that comes to mind, but if you sit with the knowledge and respect for what a himbo is, you may come to realize that Lloyd is possibly the best movie himbo of all time, simply for telling his love interest, Diane Court, to watch out for the broken glass on the pavement when they were walking in a parking lot. You can see it in the clip below.

Kellan Lutz as “Emmett Cullen” in Twilight

The Twilight Saga is the himbo equivalent of a movie franchise because it’s straightforward, a little absurd, but oddly compelling. Emmett Cullen is the least complicated member of the vampire coven, who lives to make his girlfriend happy when he can, seems to insist on riding in cars by standing up in the back seat, and generally can be relied on to be good-natured but ready to fight whatever enemy crosses his family’s path. In a movie saga about brooding teenagers, vampires, and a few shape-shifting wolf-boys-in-love, Emmett is a break from the full-on angst of everyone else. Also, I will forever love him for the completely himbo decision to bring a bag full of eggs as his fake lunch to fool all the other teenagers at the high school he’s attending that he’s not a vampire in the scene below:

Val Kilmer as “Nick Rivers” in Top Secret!

Now, some might think Kilmer’s quintessential himbo role is Madmartigan from Willow, but the nice thing about himbos is that they don’t ask you to pick your favorite among them. They simply appreciate your time and attention. What sets Rivers apart here is that he can sing, and look handsome while doing it. He also inadvertently joins the French Resistance to fight the East Germans and willingly steps aside for the woman he likes because her long-lost boyfriend has turned out to be the de facto leader of the Resistance and Rivers doesn’t want his burgeoning romance to affect the cause. What can I say? 1984, when the movie was released, was a very odd time to be alive! Seriously, though, he can sing pretty well. Himbos are multi-faceted and talented in their own way.

Keanu Reeves as “Ted ‘Theodore’ Logan” in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

If there was a patron saint of movie himbos, it would be Keanu Reeves, who maybe embodies the best of himbo-ism on and off screen: good-natured, kind, un-bothered. One of my favorite celebrity quotes of all time comes from Reeves, and is the distillation of pure himbo, per The Independent from a 2003 write-up:

Is there anything more ordinary or charming than Keanu’s smiling admission: “I’m a meathead. You’ve got smart people and you’ve got dumb people. I just happen to be dumb.”

Now again, I do not think to be a himbo is to be dumb, I do however believe to be a himbo is to be very charming and unassuming, and so that quote is pure himbo all the way. What makes Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure work so well is that neither Ted, nor the titular Bill, are particularly bothered that they have to travel back in time to meet famous people from history in order to pass their senior history assignment so that they can save the world through their music. A more neurotic character type would be too hung up on what this all means, and how it changes the fabric of their entire outlook on life. Not a himbo. A himbo takes earth-shattering news in stride because remember, a himbo lives for today. He’s not concerned about how this impacts tomorrow because tomorrow will come regardless.

That, my friends, is the himbo way.

(featured image: Warner Bros.)

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Image of Kate Hudson
Kate Hudson
Kate Hudson (no, not that one) has been writing about pop culture and reality TV in particular for six years, and is a Contributing Writer at The Mary Sue. With a deep and unwavering love of Twilight and Con Air, she absolutely understands her taste in pop culture is both wonderful and terrible at the same time. She is the co-host of the popular Bravo trivia podcast Bravo Replay, and her favorite Bravolebrity is Kate Chastain, and not because they have the same first name, but it helps.