TV & Movies

A Favorite New Girl Character Wore Ken’s Barbie Cowboy Outfit First

Kenergy existed even before Barbie.

When Barbie first brings its iconic doll and her boyfriend, Ken, into the Real World, one of the first things the two do is change outfits. The Western wear they choose is new to them, but Ken’s cowboy outfit is giving New Girl fans deja vu. It turns out he has the same taste as another character with big Kenergy.

Long before Ken (played by Ryan Gosling) discovered the joys of fringe, New Girl’s Schmidt (Max Greenfield) took the same sartorial plunge for a Wild West-themed charity event. He’s desperate to attend “the party of the year” in the sitcom’s 2011 pilot episode, so he badgers Nick (Jake Johnson) into getting his ex-girlfriend to put them on the list. When it comes time to attend, he shows up for the not-so-culturally appropriate event in a full Western look: a cowboy hat, a fringed shirt, jeans, and a belt with a large buckle. Schmidt’s ’fit is almost identical to Ken’s, despite the episode airing 12 years prior to the Barbie movie’s premiere.

“SCHMIDT WORE IT FIRST,” the Instagram account itsnewgirlquotes captioned a reel that called out the similarity. Their video shows Gosling’s Ken in the look, with text overlay reading, “anyone else ever feel like kens [sic] cowboy outfit looked familiar,” and then transitions to a New Girl scene showing Greenfield in it as Schmidt.

The most noticeable differences between the two looks are the colors of their hats (white for Ken and black for Schmidt) and the pink handkerchief around Ken’s neck. Overall, though, New Girl fans seem to delight in the two fictional characters’ nearly identical ensembles. Many took to the reel’s comments to point out that Schmidt and Ken are actually quite similar in terms of personality, too. “Nobody is more ken than schmidt,” one wrote, while another said, “Schmidt IS the original Ken! His whole personality.” Others speculated that Schmidt would fit right in in a “mojo dojo casa house,” and at least one called Schmidt “KENOUGH.”

It turns out some eagle-eyed fans spotted the New Girl-Barbie outfit crossover even before Barbie opened in theaters on July 21. TikToker @_maddie_erwin_ caught it after glimpsing Ken’s fringed apparel in the trailer. “Did anyone notice this??” they captioned a June TikTok that showed both Ken and Schmidt’s shirts. The official Barbie Movie account replied, “Schmidt’s got BIG Ken-rgy.”

Fox via Peacock

The Barbie team hasn’t otherwise addressed the nearly identical New Girl outfit, but Gosling himself pointed out another place the cowboy getup appeared: in K-pop idol Jimin’s “Permission to Dance” music video. Gosling recorded a video about it, and it shows him announcing plans to gift the artist Ken’s guitar.

“Hi Jimin, it’s Ryan Gosling here,” he said. “I noticed that your ‘Permission to Dance’ outfit was the same as my Ken outfit in the upcoming movie ‘Barbie.’ I have to give it to you — you wore it first. You definitely wore it best and there’s an unspoken Ken code that if you bite another Ken’s style, you have to give them your most prized possession, so I hope you’ll accept Ken’s guitar as my humble offering. Besides, Ken doesn’t really play anyway, so… it’ll be much better in your hands.”

Schmidt seems like he’d love Ken’s next-most-prized possession (maybe his fur coat? Something with horses?), but alas, he isn’t known to have received anything.