What is Barbenheimer?

Barbie and Oppenheimer

Because the popular 2023 movies Barbie and Oppenheimer released on the same date (July 21), many cinephiles refer to them collectively as Barbenheimer. This punchy portmanteau went viral due to the two movies' contrasting tone and topics, which netizens compared via a series of hilarious memes.

Origin of Barbenheimer

Twitter user @NextBestPicture (Matt Neglia) is often credited with coining the term Barbenheimer, in an April 15, 2022 tweet. However, the term didn't go viral until early 2023, when producer David Ehrlich used it in a tweet of his own, counting down the days til "Barbenheimer weekend."

Use of Barbenheimer

In the lead-up to Barbenheimer's release, netizens produced a bevy of Barbie and Oppenheimer mash-up memes, many of which featured the word Barbenheimer. On the movies' release weekend, many theaters hosted Barbenheimer double features, in which cinema-goers could see Barbie and Oppenheimer back-to-back.

Thanks in part to the Barbenheimer phenomenon, both Barbie and Oppenheimer had very successful opening weekends. While discussing Barbie and Oppenheimer's box office take, and their potential impact on the movie industry, many fans and news outlets continued referring to the movies as Barbenheimer.


You wanna see Barbenheimer this weekend?
I'd see Barbie, but I'm a pass on Oppenheimer
One of many fake posters for Barbenheimer
One of many fake posters for Barbenheimer

Related Slang


Updated July 28, 2023

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