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Barbie's Fart Jokes Were A Gas - But We'll Never See Them

If you watched "Barbie" and thought that it really needed way more fart jokes, then take it up with Greta Gerwig and her editing collaborator Nick Houy — because they cut a fart joke from the finished film.

On IndieWire's Filmmaker Toolkit Podcast, Gerwig and Houy spoke to the outlet about why they decided the fart opera just wouldn't work... and how they've actually been trying to write fart jokes into all of the movies Gerwig has directed thus far. "We've always tried to get in a proper fart joke and we've never done it," Gerwig said. "We had like a fart opera in the middle [of 'Barbie']. I thought it was really funny. And that was not the consensus."

"It was in the wrong place, too," Houy agreed "We need to work it into a more significant narrative moment next time."

Where this fart opera took place during "Barbie's" narrative will remain a mystery forever unless Gerwig and Houy feel like getting specific, but it's also worth wondering how fart jokes could have made their way into 2017's "Lady Bird" or 2019's "Little Women." What if the tense arguments between Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf in "Lady Bird" had been punctuated by little toots? Imagine, if you will, the scene where Bob Odenkirk shows up in "Little Women" and says the movie title — but this time, he crop-dusts his loving family. Just something to think about.

Nick Houy and Greta Gerwig worked hard to make Barbie's chaotic story flow smoothly

Even without a fart opera, there's still a whole lot happening in "Barbie." At various points, Helen Mirren narrates the story, Ken invents patriarchy and falls in love with horses, and there's a commercial for "Depressed Barbie" — and that doesn't even cover the whole dream ballet situation. So how did Houy and Gerwig balance the wild pace of the movie while keeping viewers along for the ride?

"We're both big George Saunders fans," Gerwig said. "And we talked about his Russian short fiction book because, to me, it was one of the best books about filmmaking without being a book about filmmaking. He says, you have to keep your reader in the sidecar with you. As you're writing and editing, you keep checking on them. Is the reader still in the sidecar or did I lose the reader on a turn?" 

"[Finding the places] to really keep the pace as tight as possible and then where to let it breathe, I think, is so important," Houy said, as a follow-up. "It's everything. I think we've definitely done versions of all of our films where we're like, 'That was too fast, throughout. Way too fast throughout."

"Barbie" is in theaters now, but there's no fart opera. If we had to guess who's silently ripping one throughout the movie, though, our money's on Allan (Michael Cera).