The Barbenheimer phenomenon refers to a notable and humorous internet trend that emerged in anticipation of the simultaneous theatrical release of two highly contrasting blockbuster films, "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer," on July 21, 2023, in the United States and various other countries. The term "Barbenheimer" is a blend of the titles of these two films.
The phenomenon gained momentum on social media platforms as users reacted to the stark contrast between the two films. "Barbie," directed by Greta Gerwig, is a fantasy comedy centered around the popular fashion doll character Barbie. In contrast, "Oppenheimer," directed by Christopher Nolan, is an epic biographical thriller that explores the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, a physicist renowned for his role as the scientific director of the Manhattan Project, which led to the development of the first nuclear weapons during World War II.