Why Did Ken Yell Sublime in 'Barbie'? Let's Unpack That Sublime Scene

Fans are fixated on a scene in 'Barbie' movie where Ken (Ryan Gosling) yells sublime. Why did he yell that and what did he mean by it?

Kelly Corbett - Author

Jul. 31 2023, Published 11:54 a.m. ET

ryan gosling as ken
Source: Warner Bros. / Youtube

There's no shortage of conversation, memes, pink, and just general appreciation for Greta Gerwig's Barbie.

The popular film — which had the biggest opening weekend for a film directed by a woman ever — was filled with so many memorable moments.

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Most notably, fans latched on to the powerful speech given by Mattel employee and mom Gloria (America Ferrera).

But there were also some smaller details — like this Gotta Kick it Up! Easter egg scene — that stuck with fans.

Another example would be when Ken (Ryan Gosling) randomly shouted sublime in the middle of the film. In fact, some folks are calling this scene "the funniest part of the entire movie." But what was even the purpose of it? Let's unpack.

Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie attend the "Barbie" European Premiere
Source: getty images
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What is the sublime scene in 'Barbie?'

In case you missed it, there is one scene in Barbie where Barbie (Margot Robbie) goes to visit Ken at his mojo dojo casa house after he and the other Kens had taken over Barbie land. After greeting Barbie at his swinging saloon doors, Ken asks if he can be excused for a moment. He then steps aside behind a wall where Barbie cannot see him and he spontaneously yells "sublime," before returning.

It's a quick scene that's easy to miss. But it's also one that got many people talking.

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What is the meaning behind the sublime scene in 'Barbie?'

In an interview with The Associated Press, Margot complements Ryan on his performance of Ken and revealed that the scene where he yelled sublime wasn't actually scripted. Ryan made it up on the spot.

There are a lot of things that Ryan did that were like spur of the moment," Margot said claiming that the aforementioned scene and the one where he put two pairs of sunglasses on at once were both improved. "He made people cry with laughter multiple multiple times in this film," she added of her co-star.

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And as it turned out, Ryan's minor ad-lib really made an impact on fans. In a video of the scene posted to TikTok, one user wrote: "This was actually the funniest part of the movie."

Another said, "I was heeing and hawing at this part omg."

And one user praised Ryan's extremely spontaneous but fitting word choice: "This made me laugh so hard. I knew the gag was coming but 'sublime' wasn't the word I expected."

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So, why did Ryan choose to yell sublime? While there are a few folks teasing that he was yelling the name of his favorite band, it seems more likely that Ryan yelled that word to remind Ken that he is, well, sublime.

After all, it was an unprecedented and likely scary period for him as he and the other Kens were now in charge of everything after spending years believing that women were superior to them.

It was as if Ryan was giving his character a little pep talk and reminding himself that men are sublime or rather noble, great, etc.

And luckily, he chose just the perfect word to make this incredibly small scene a sublime one.

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