The 9 Best Moments From the ‘Barbie’ Movie (2024)

There’s a little movie that a few people are whispering about that is in theaters right now. It’s about this sort of obscure doll that people have played with for just a few generations. It’s called Barbie. Have you heard of it?

While we will not admit which of us showed up in full outfits to see Greta Gerwig’s box-office smash and which of us have seen it three times, we will, here at The Daily Beast’s Obsessed, be gushing about it. We have a whole slew of Barbie coverage—read it here!—and we still want to rave about it.

Here’s our team’s picks for our favorite moments from the movie.

The Dance Party Scene

Choosing which surprisingly profound moment made me cry more or which perfectly unexpected line reading made me spit out the most of my soda is too difficult. So I’ll pick one of the movie’s most delightful set pieces: the dance party at Barbie’s house at the beginning of the film. The choreographed musical number in a comedy is a dying art. I live for them: Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, 13 Going on 30, She’s All That, Along Came Polly, Ella Enchanted, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and dozens of others I’m neglecting.

I love thinking about how these Hollywood actors all had to show up to some rehearsal studio and learn choreography for these silly sequences. The Barbie cast dancing to Dua Lipa is perfectly in line with the tone of the movie, and a great kickoff for what’s in store. But it’s the fact that it was clearly and meticulously choreographed delights me the most. — Kevin Fallon

Touring the DreamHouse

From the moment Barbie revealed its DreamHouse, I was obsessed. From the heart-shaped bed, to the lucite walls, to the immaculate ’70s vibes, the set is flawless in its execution—not just pretty, but also cheeky enough to match the film's best moments. It even comes with its own gag: a swimming pool that turns out to have no depth because it is, in fact, a sticker. Even more pleasing than the design, however, is watching Margot Robbie’s “Stereotypical Barbie” swish her way through the DreamHouse.

From her Clueless-esque outfit selection to holding out a plate for slices of bread that always fly from the toaster at the exact same angle, to craning her neck to drink an empty glass of milk, the breezy wake-up, this girl has her morning routine down pat—that is, until she doesn't. By showing us how choreographed Barbie's life was before she woke up with flat feet and a patch of cellulite, director Greta Gerwig underscores that the real dream behind Barbie comes down to more than a body. Instead, it's a rosy-colored vision of what adult life as a woman might be. — Laura Bradley


There’s much to laugh about in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, but nothing funnier than the sight and sound of Ryan Gosling’s Ken singing Matchbox Twenty’s “Push” to Margot Robbie’s Barbie around a beach campfire. Mocking the inherent lameness of both sensitive guys who stare into girls’ eyes while playing guitar and singing, and of frontman Rob Thomas’ ridiculously affected vocal delivery, the scene hits the comedic bullseye.

Making it even better, of course, is the chosen song itself, which Thomas has long claimed isn’t misogynistic, but whose lyrics (“I wanna push you around, well I will… I wanna push you down, well I will”) suggest otherwise, especially when coming from the mouth of a man intent on projecting his oh-so-personal wounded-heart anger. A moment that hilariously skewers clichéd macho nonsense and lousy compassionate-dude music, it’s a moment that’s impossible to take for granted. — Nick Schager

The 9 Best Moments From the ‘Barbie’ Movie (2)

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

The Montages

I’m a sucker for a montage, and Barbie’s quiet, tender flashes of memory hit me right in the heart. My eyes welled with tears during the first two montages—which saw Gloria (America Ferrera) trying to earn the love of her daughter Sasha (Ariana Greenblatt) through Barbie dolls—but the final moment made my whole body feel like mush. Barbie meets Rhea Perlman’s Ruth Handler, the creator of Barbie, who prepares the doll to enter the real world. Ruth tells Barbie to feel, which sends the doll’s mind into a sea of flashbacks of different memories of women—young, old, babies, mothers, daughters, grandmothers.

This is the essence and the beauty of girlhood. Not only are these montages emotional gut punches, they’re also exquisitely crafted by Greta Gerwig, who used home videos from the families of the film’s cast and crew to create the final montage. The cherry on top is Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For,” a sentimental song that fits the tone of the scene perfectly. — Fletcher Peters

The Stephen Malkmus Joke

I usually loathe jokes that are mostly predicated on understanding the reference. But when that jokey reference is to one of my very cool, very niche, very obscure interests, I usually love it. (Listen: As a human, I contain multitudes.) I laughed harder than almost anyone around me when Stephen Malkmus got a very random shoutout in Barbie—a joke that I’d never expect from a big-budget, hot-pink, very mainstream picture. Late into the film, when the Barbies are indulging the Kens’ sudden, stereotypical maleness, Ncuti Gatwa’s Ken waxes poetic about the pleasures of the band Pavement.

Holding up a vinyl copy of the band’s seminal Slanted and Enchanted, Ken explains to an uninterested Barbie how Malkmus was inspired by the Velvet Underground, much like every other indie rock band from the ’80s and ’90s. As someone who has woman-splained the glories of Pavement to many a guy before, I found myself relating more to Ken than Barbie in this moment. Perhaps this was not Gerwig’s intended effect, but no matter what, the hyper-specific one-liner made my year. — Allegra Frank

“We Mothers Stand Still…”

I’ve basically accepted that it’s my station in life to be writing and/or crying about this moment in Barbie for the rest of my days. But that’s OK, because I think it keeps me level-headed. Right before Barbie is thrust into the final, stunning montage of moments in womanhood and girlhood, Ruth Handler tells her, “We mothers stand still, so our daughters can look back to see how far they’ve come.” It’s just one line, but it holds a wealth of emotion, and conjures vivid imagery and endless gratitude for our own parents—or maybe, for those of us with strained relationships with parents, gratitude for ourselves.

Like nearly everything in Barbie, the line is already being nitpicked to death by people willfully misreading it as a sentiment about mothers giving up their own lives, instead of how mothers must eventually let go of their children’s hands, to watch them grow into themselves. I caution against that. The mask of cynicism and the unwillingness to look deeper will only tarnish a viewer’s emotional capacity outside of the dark theater; it’s there where we can allow ourselves to feel it all. — Coleman Spilde

“You’re So beautiful…I Know It.”

Greta Gerwig’s pitch-perfect Barbie movie is full of spectacular moments. From dance and song sequences to laugh-out-loud jokes to passionate monologues, there really is so much to love about the film. However, my favorite moment is a quieter one. It comes shortly after Margot Robbie’s Barbie realizes that the real world isn’t at all like she imagined and women are not at all as empowered there as she thought. While sitting at a bus stop bench in Venice, California, and looking around at the real world in front of her, she sees all the pain, love, laughter, and loneliness that is, frankly, human existence. Then she looks to her right and sees an old woman sitting next to her and says, “You’re so beautiful.”

The older woman quickly and cheerfully chirps back, “I know it.” It’s such a quiet moment in a very loud and vibrant film. And that is why it stands out so much. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Gerwig talked about how that scene was almost cut but she fought for it as it was the “heart of the film” for her. I couldn’t agree more. It’s a beautiful moment of human interaction and an important moment for Barbie’s overall journey. I still tear up a bit just thinking about it. — Shannon O’Connor

The Pride & Prejudice Moment

Never have I ever felt so surprised—or so seen—as when Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy popped up two-thirds of the way into Barbie. The context is brilliant: After Ken seizes control of Barbie Land with his patriarchy and his horses, Margot Robbie’s Barbie falls into a deep funk. All of a sudden, we see an advertisem*nt for a new doll called “Depression Barbie” (“anxiety, panic attacks, and OCD sold separately!”), who’s so sad that she watches the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice on repeat; it even cuts to an actual scene of Firth as the brooding Darcy. Reader, I was so stunned by the sheer particularity of this scene that I yelped—loudly—in awe.

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Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Thankfully, the rest of my theater was howling along, too, so I know I wasn’t the only one who felt personally attacked by such a hyper-specific joke. I’d be lying if I said the 2005 Keira Knightley/Matthew Macfadyen adaptation wasn’t actually my go-to “sad night in” P&P of choice. But the sentiment still stands: Gerwig, who once ripped our hearts out with Little Women, has again made us romance-fiction lovers (and, yes, occasionally depressed gals) feel so mortifyingly understood. — Madeline Roth

Issa Rae’s Pronunciation of The Godfather

My favorite portion of Barbie, unfortunately, had nothing to do with the titular doll’s emotional journey—although, it was hard not to shed a tear during that Billie Eilish needle drop. Instead, I found myself most engaged (aka laughing hysterically) during the parts where it unapologetically skewered straight, white-dude culture, from the Snyder Cut to Matchbox Twenty to the appropriation of Spanish. Screenwriters Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach send these jokes into overdrive when the Stereotypical Barbie (Margot Robbie), Gloria (America Ferrera), and her daughter Sasha (Ariana Greenblatt) must deprogram the other Barbies after Ken (Ryan Gosling) introduces patriarchy to Barbie Land.

Eventually, after she’s been un-brainwashed, President Barbie (Issa Rae) helps rescue the other Barbies from the now obnoxiously bro-y and domineering Kens. In one scene, where she acts as a decoy to help another Barbie escape, she walks over to a Ken and Barbie in front of a TV and asks if they’re watching The Godfather—only she pronounces it the “gud-FAAA-ther” in some sort of quasi-German accent. It’s one of several moments where Rae makes a meal out of her brief appearances in the film. It’s also hysterical (and aspirational, TBH) that this Barbie’s brain simply just doesn’t register something so stereotypically macho. Mostly, it speaks to Rae’s charisma and comedic brilliance that she was able to deliver one of Barbie’s most indelible moments, given how busy the spectacular film is. — Kyndall Cunningham

Read more of our Barbie coverage HERE.

    The 9 Best Moments From the ‘Barbie’ Movie (2024)
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