Oppenheimer and Barbie

Warner Bros. Pictures/YouTube Universal Pictures/Youtube (Licensed)

What is the ‘1 ticket for ‘Oppenheimer’ please, 1 ticket for ‘Barbie’ please’ meme about?

The Barbenheimer choice is now splitting your fictional faves.


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Posted on Jul 17, 2023   Updated on Jul 24, 2023, 8:45 pm CDT

Now that we’re only days away from the theatrical releases of two of the summer’s biggest films—Barbie and OppenheimerBarbenheimer frenzy is in full swing. We’ve got memes for days, debates about viewing orders, mashup shirts, and fanart galore, and now we’re now declaring which movie our fictional faves would prefer.

A riff of the classic “Tickets to X” meme with a bomb and sparkly heart emoji for extra effect, the “1 ticket for Oppenheimer, 1 ticket for Barbie” meme asks a simple question: If made to choose, what movie would they ask to see? It’s not always as simple as you’d think.

Take the Lannister twins from Game of Thrones in one of the earliest iterations of the meme. While you’d think that Cersei Lannister would be a Barbie girl and Jaime Lannister would be more into Oppenheimer after all of that experience with dragons (GOT’s version of nuclear weapons), you’d be wrong; Jaime’s the big softie of the two.

Over the weekend, more and more iterations of the meme popped up.

For some characters, the determining factor was a character’s outfit. Do they love wearing black or darker hues? They’re into Oppenheimer. But the characters in pink, pastels, softer colors, or anything brighter than purple or maroon are more Barbie people. Sometimes, those characters are played by the same actor.


Other times, it’s more about the dynamics. Do you have a classic grumpy/sunshine dynamic on your hands? The grump will be up for Oppenheimer while the sunshine is into Barbie.


Or perhaps it’s more fitting to say that two characters would see one of the movies together, such as Ted Lasso’s Roy and Keeley: While their dynamic and outfits would normally scream the Oppenheimer/Barbie split, Roy is so in the bag for Barbie that he would’ve purchased tickets as soon as he possibly could. (After all, the man wore an ugly tie-dye shirt his niece made for him in season 3 despite everyone taking the mickey!)

While these fictional characters won’t be filling up theaters for Barbenheimer any time soon, it’s become increasingly evident that some people behind the rising memes will. Last week, AMC Theatres announced that over 20,000 AMC Stubs members purchased tickets for Barbie and Oppenheimer on the same day, indicating that some theatergoers are willing to commit to the bit.

But luckily for us, we don’t have to choose. We can always go for both.

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*First Published: Jul 17, 2023, 12:05 pm CDT