Oppenheimer is a three-hour epic about the power to end humanity. Barbie is a 1-hour, 54-minute candy-colored feminist romp. If you go full Barbenheimer — between commercials, trailers, and breaks between movies, you’re looking at six to seven hours at the theater. So you have to ask yourself, if you’re doing a double feature, which do you see first?

Wait, What Is Barbenheimer?

The internet has been wild for months with the concept of Barbenheimer, aka a Barbie and Oppenheimer double feature on the day they both open. (Both are officially in theaters Friday, but will screen early Thursday night.) Even Tom Cruise embraces Barbenheimer.

A few days ago, Rotten Tomatoes asked people if they’re seeing Barbie or Oppenheimer, and a few brave souls (like yourself) said they’re seeing both — going full Barbenheimer.

Most said they’re seeing Barbie first, and dear reader, they’re making a big mistake. 

Let’s assume they’re seeing Barbie first because they expect it’s going to be more exciting, less dense, and of course, shorter than Oppenheimer. They’re not wrong! Barbie is a silly ride through Barbieland with a cast stacked with every Barbie and Ken variant. It’s the cavity-inducing summer snack we all deserve. Barbie’s the key lime pie to Oppenheimer’s (burnt) broccoli. 

Also Read: Barbie Evades Ban

That’s not to say Oppenheimer isn’t good! It’s everything you come to expect from a Christopher Nolan film: dark, brooding, a bit talky, adult, and serious, with next-level visuals that leave you reeling. Especially this time around. We’re talking about the a movie about the guy who created the atom bomb, for crying out loud. 

But, but, but, now you’re thinking: “Why does it matter if I see Barbie before Oppenheimer? Both are Hollywood blockbusters with A-list actors.” Both even have everyone’s favorite childhood actors all grown up. Barbie has Superbad’s Michael Cera and Oppenheimer has Drake and Josh’s Josh Peck. In a different timeline, you might even see Peck co-star in the goofier of the two movies, but in this multi-verse, it’s Michael Cera who plays Allan, the Drake to Ken’s Josh in Barbie. Times have a-changed, indeed.

Why You Must See Oppenheimer, Then Barbie, to Do Barbenheimer Right

The order you see the movies matters because Oppenheimer is medicine and Barbie is sugar. Think about it: Do you take the chaser before the shot? No! Have we already forgotten Mary Poppin’s most important lesson? “A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.”

And Oppenheimer is definitely medicine. Audiences have been taught for the last 365 days that Nolan’s explosive epic is coming to wipe the smile off your face and make you sit up straight in your chair. Even cinema’s resident prickly Facebook prognosticator Paul Schrader, who admittedly isn’t a Nolan groupie, calls Oppenheimer “the best and most important film of this century.”

Also Read: Why Oppenheimer Was the ‘American Prometheus’

Maybe it is. History is an explanation of the present, but what’s most important is really a subjective point of view in movies. At the end of the day, everyone with a camera is doing the same thing — from filming your dad’s last birthday on your iPhone, to Christopher Nolan simulating an atom bomb explosion, to Greta Gerwig using every last drop of pink paint to create Barbieland — using light, shadow, and sound to capture or create something meaningful. 

What you see on screen might be more important to you than someone else, but it’s no less important because of it. Even if one person with a camera is more skilled than the another. 

Plus, Oppenheimer might’ve dropped his first bomb 15 years before Barbie debuted on shelves, but Barbie is the only one who’s getting a sequel. So see Oppenheimer first and chase it with Barbie, if you ever want to feel joy again

Barbie and Oppeheimer, aka Barbenheimer, are in theaters Thursday night, together and separately.

Main image: Margot Robbie as Barbie and Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer in Barbenheimer.