Sometimes, family movies sneak in an adult joke or two to keep those long-suffering parents entertained: from Anna telling Kristoff that foot size doesn’t matter in the musical Frozen to Shrek asking Donkey if he thinks Lord Farquad is “compensating for something” with his giant castle.
Needless to say, Disney movies have never shied away from throwing in a couple of risque jokes, but one viral TikTok purported that in the animated movie, Toy Story 3, the House of Mouse took it one step further and had Ken drop the f-bomb to Barbie in a blink-and-you-miss-it scene.
The scene in question involves the two lovebirds – who were voiced by Batman actor Michael Keaton and Jodi Benson respectively – quarrelling over Ken’s loyalty to Toy Story character Lotso, with Barbie ripping up some of Ken’s outfits to force him to talk. As she rips up a pair of his favourite tights, it’s commonly thought that Ken yells in response, “Oh Barbie!”
But in a TikTok posted by Kitty Feeley, which currently has 36.9 million views, she asks whether viewers can hear the original line or instead hear Ken yelling “Oh fuck!” Both Kitty and various commenters insist that they can hear both, and while it certainly sounds that way, we can confirm that Ken didn’t start yelling expletives at Barbie.
The reason why we can ‘hear’ Ken saying “Oh fuck” in the Toy Story movie is actually due to a psychological phenomenon known as the McGurk Effect.
According to IFLScience, this occurs when the brain is effectively tricked into hearing different things based on the visual information present, meaning that because the TikTok includes on-screen text referencing “Oh Barbie” and “Oh fuck,” we can technically hear both, because we’re subconsciously primed to listen out to those two specific phrases.
It’s the same phenomenon that caused the viral “Yanny or Laurel” debate a few years back. Rest assured, your favourite Pixar movies haven’t started throwing around f-bombs, but if you want to know more about Barbie and Ken, check out our guide to the 2023 Barbie movie.