The Barbie versus Bratz doll faceoff is baked into the Bratz origin story. They were created by a former Mattel employee, Carter Bryant, and debuted in 2001 courtesy of MGA Entertainment. The New Yorker dubbed the dolls “Barbie’s new rival,” in 2006 and indeed, they served as a sassy, sultrier counterpart to the mid-century Barbies. While Barbies were prim and willowy, Bratz dolls had a discernible attitude — making them the perfect stand-ins for the sneering, anti-Barbie teens in “Barbie.”
The Easter egg theory made the rounds on TikTok, with users chiming in to endorse the reference. “Both Bratz and Barbie meant everything to me as a kid,” wrote one TikToker. “It’s so cool seeing this little reference.”
The theory extended beyond the annals of TikTok, too, with writer Emily Nussbaum tweeting, “My mind is blown: just found out that the 4 tween girls in Barbie are named after the first Bratz dolls from 2001.” The teenagers are credited on IMDb as “Junior High Friend,” but it’s entirely possible that they are referred to as the Bratz doll names in the film.
The Bratz dolls may not be getting their own live-action movie anytime soon, but the company made an appropriately tongue-in-cheek jab at the Barbenheimer phenomenon. An official Bratz TikTok shows the dolls excitedly getting ready to go to the movies, coordinating pink outfits, only to reveal they’re seeing “Oppenheimer.” Stay bratty, Bratz dolls.