In Barbie (2023), the CEO of Mattel (played by Will Ferrell) brandishes a pair of pink drumsticks:

The CEO of Mattel holding a pair of pink drumsticks in the boardroom

As far as I remember, the CEO doesn't actually use these drumsticks for drumming or anything else in the movie (other than as a phallic symbol), but I could have missed something.

Are the pink drumsticks a reference to something in either the Barbie universe or elsewhere?

  • There was a drummer Barbie doll but the drumsticks weren't pink but it's possible it's an indirect reference.
    – Paulie_D
    Dec 2, 2023 at 7:54
  • 1
    "pink drumsticks"? a woman? drummer? Sandy West would probably have loved that reference :D RIP legendary woman. Barbie being a girls universe, pink seems the right cliché though.
    – OldPadawan
    Dec 2, 2023 at 10:23
  • I've seen people mentioning the Stepbrothers film
    – Valorum
    Dec 2, 2023 at 14:01
  • @Valorum I've just had a look at the trailer to Step Brothers — I will not be watching this film. Can you (or someone else) explain the reference in an answer? Dec 2, 2023 at 15:39
  • @ElementsInSpace - They're only guessing. I've not seen anything definitive.
    – Valorum
    Dec 2, 2023 at 18:05

1 Answer 1


This appears to be a subtle reference to Will Ferrell's notable resemblance to drummer Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

The striking resemblance of Chad Smith and Will Ferrell is remembered once again. In scenes from the trailer for the film Barbie , the actor appears in some moments holding drumsticks, in other words, an obvious reference to the Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer (at least that's what we believe).

Chad Smith from the Chili Peppers in the movie Barbie? Will Ferrell appears holding drumsticks in scenes from the film

The two famously had a "drum off" on The Tonight Show.

enter image description here

Chad Smith also appears on the film's musical credits and official Barbie album (credited as one of the writers of the song Butterfly).

  • Could you identify which of Smith or Ferrel it is drumming in your image?
    – Darren
    Dec 4, 2023 at 9:38
  • @Darren - I believe that to be Ferrell, but you've defintely made the point about how similar they look
    – Valorum
    Dec 4, 2023 at 10:53
  • Might be useful to have pics of both just to prove your point :)
    – Darren
    Dec 4, 2023 at 10:54
  • 1
    @Darren - There's a clicky-link to the video in the answer.
    – Valorum
    Dec 4, 2023 at 10:55
  • 2
    I wouldn't describe it as "subtle". Dec 5, 2023 at 18:22

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