Beach Off!

The Best Moments From Barbie That Are Already Iconic

“She’s not dead, she’s just having an existential crisis.”

I saw Barbie on opening night. I wanted those lively-theater vibes, the ones we missed so much in 2020 and 2021 and still feel like an extra special treat. I wanted to see everyone dressed up in their pink-everything, Barbie-best, and I was not disappointed. And I wanted to see if Greta Gerwig — whose work I’ve loved for a long time (Frances Ha, anyone?) — could pull off the impossible acrobatics of making a movie that’s both subversive and bank-rolled by giant corporations like Mattel and Warner Brothers.

I don’t know if anyone could pull that off. And turns out, I kind of don’t care that Barbie doesn’t, because it’s a heck of a lot of fun and goodness knows we need a little fun. Gerwig, along with Margot Robbie, and a dizzyingly star-studded cast, kindly worked their patooties off to deliver a joyful, warm, and extremely pink hour and 54 minute-long celebration of girlhood, motherhood, and womanhood. The world was, apparently, so very ready for an old-school, summer blockbuster Movie Event and Barbie is exactly that. Oh, and it has to be said that Ryan Gosling as Ken worked harder than I’ve ever seen him work, and now my husband wants to explore the possibility of a world in which he wears tie-die hoodies — for these things, and the silly fun that is Barbie, I am grateful.

Though it’s hard to choose, here are some of my very favorite moments from Barbie. What were yours?

Note: Lots of spoilers for the Barbie movie are ahead (obviously!).

1

Ryan Gosling and all the Kens singing “Push.”

The little fake campfires, the weird way he sings “well I wowna take you for grawnted,” — sheer perfection. Has anyone checked on Rob Thomas, though? Surely he’s in on the joke.

2

Kate McKinnon as Weird Barbie.

“I can do the splits. I have a funky haircut. And I smell like basement.”Warner Bros. / Barbie

She’s been played with too hard (it’s fair to say we all had that Barbie), and she’s better off because of it. The Gandalf to Barbie’s Bilbo, Kate crushes it. Wise, warm, and unbelievably flexible, she delivered so much of the humor and heart I wanted from this movie.

3

Horses. All the horses.

“To be honest, when I found out the patriarchy wasn't about horses I lost interest,” says Ken. Same, Ken, same.

4

When Gloria, played by America Ferrera, hugs her daughter so hard.

And her daughter lets her! Most parents have been there at one point or another, and there is nothing like the moment when they let you back in. America Ferrara sort of owns this movie — is it her story as much as it is her Barbie’s? — and this was my favorite moment of hers.

5

Allan’s quiet awesomeness.

In a world of sameness, there’s only one Allan. He’s a little confused by his own existence, but he goes with it, and his heart is always in the right place. Some may say that Ken stole this movie — like any good antagonist, really — but it’ll always be Allan for me.

6

Barbie's pink Birks at the end.

Yes, it was product placement, but it was beautiful. As Barbie says at the very start of the film when her thoughts of death flatten her feet, “I would never wear heels if my feet were shaped like this!” True, Barbie, true. Welcome humanity, mortality, Birks, comfort, and support!

7

Seeing the cast of Sex Education together again while we wait for Season 4.

Apparently starring in the Barbie movie as Ken, physicist Barbie and a Mattel employee is what they’ve been up to between seasons.

8

“Beach” as a job.

First of all, Greta Gerwig apparently told Ryan Gosling that “beach” — the word, the concept, the essence — was how he should think of Ken’s entire internal life, which feels so true to how Ryan Gosling played his character with near-heroic vigor. Second of all, how do I apply?

9

Issa Rae’s Mattel mute-button moment.

Issa Rae saying “motherf*cker” with a little Mattel mute button was perfect.

10

Ken’s tie-dye “I am Kenough” hoodie.

I sort of hate myself for it, but I need one of these.

11

That sweet montage at the very end

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The montage of mothers and daughters that plays at the very end (you know, the one that made your eyes well up) when Barbie chooses to become human was, apparently, pieced together from home footage that Greta Gerwig collected from cast and crew members.

With so many little moments to love in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, it’s hard to choose favorites. And yet, these are mine. What were yours?