Toy Story 3 Screenshot
Source: Disney+

TikToker Points Out Audio Illusion in ‘Toy Story 3’ and Now We Can’t Unhear It

Mustafa Gatollari - Author
By

Dec. 15 2022, Published 9:45 a.m. ET

Visual illusions are commonplace because even the very word "illusion" involves our sense of sight. Sometimes, these illusions can become a source of widespread debate, like "the dress" that went viral in 2015, with folks arguing over its color scheme: some people saw black and blue while others saw gold and white.

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However, there have also been instances of auditory illusions influencing people to get into arguments with complete strangers online as well: like the whole Yanny/Laurel debacle that started making the rounds online in 2018.

Well there's a new one in town that is a different breed of auditory illusion altogether.

That's because when you listen to it, it sounds like the voice actor is saying two completely different words at the same time. TikToker Chris Olsen Fan (@notolsenchris) went viral on the popular social media application after uploading a clip from Toy Story 3 where Ken screams at Barbie for ripping his vintage shorts.

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Source: TikTok | @notolsennchris

Ken says, "Oh Barbie! Those were vintage!" However, when he says "Oh Barbie" it sounds like he says, "Oh f***!" but then Barbie's name is heard after the fact.

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toy story  ken cursing at barbie
Source: TikTok | @notolsennchris

It appears that the inflection of the character actor's voice, along with the context, paired with his voice acting, may have very well cued viewers into hearing what he was "actually" saying with the line.

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toy story  ken cursing at barbie
Source: TikTok | @notolsennchris

Hear.com defines auditory illusions as instances where we allow our ears to "let themselves be fooled." The culprit behind this is called the McGurk Effect: "Named after one of its discoverers (the British psychologist Harry McGurk), the effect is particularly common in conversation."

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toy story  ken cursing at barbie
Source: TikTok | @notolsennchris

The outlet continued: " It turns out that the way words are formed by the speaker is as important in how they are perceived as the sound that they make. So, if you shape your mouth in two different ways, but say the same word, viewers may very well hear two separate sounds.

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toy story  ken cursing at barbie
Source: TikTok | @notolsennchris

There are some folks who know how create the McGurk effect in daily conversation and dupe people into thinking that they're saying one thing when they're actually saying another word entirely.

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toy story  ken cursing at barbie
Source: TikTok | @notolsennchris

While the provided example Hear embedded shows an instance of visual associations with the word "making an 'f' motion with one's lips while saying the word 'bar'). However, there are other theories associated with these illusions that are referenced in the article.

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toy story  ken cursing at barbie
Source: TikTok | @notolsennchris

Many viewers who saw the TikToker's post remarked at how trippy the clip was and that they could hear both a swear word and Barbie's name at the same time. Others said that they could "convince" their ears to hear either word if they concentrate on one over another.

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toy story  ken cursing at barbie
Source: TikTok | @notolsennchris

What word did you first hear after listening to the clip? Do you hear a cuss word at all? Or do you just hear the name of a recognizable popular toy?

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