Saklad thought so. The race for the hamburger phone was representative of a larger trend on the Juno set. With everything -- music, costuming, set decorating -- Reitman was very hands-on. Every single poster in Juno's bedroom was approved by him. Same with the shoes she'd wear, the music she'd play. It might sound controlling, but it worked: The method helped Juno achieve its unified vision. Like many of the gems in the movie, the hamburger phone was the kind of hyper-specific extension of Page's character that ultimately made the movie that much more relatable to teens of the era. The phone, like Paulie's car bed, was a recognizable sign of arrested development.
But why does the hamburger stand out more than other props from the movie? Maybe because it got slightly more coverage than others. It might also have to do with its symbolic importance in the grand scheme of the movie. Though you only see the phone a couple times, it's present in one of Juno's key scenes: the moment she calls to procure a hasty abortion... but can't because her phone isn't working. "It's this inane kid thing crashing into a completely adult challenge," Saklad explained to us. In other words, the premise of the movie is encapsulated in that one bulky piece of plastic. "That's why it works so brilliantly."
It didn't take long for the phone to strike a cultural chord. By the time the movie came out, in December 2007, a new Japanese outfit had started making more phones as toys. Gone were the days of struggling to hunt down a single phone. The movie's producers would now have hundreds to give out as promos. (Which they did.) And a popular movie would have a chance to... spur a massive spike in hamburger phone sales? (Which it did.) In fact, the month after the movie came out, eBay said demand for the phones jumped 759%. (You can still buy one today.)
Over the years, the hamburg has aged nicely in pop culture, becoming, for a time, an obligatory part of the movie's description (from New York Magazine: "the 2007 indie comedy about a slang-spewing pregnant teenager with a hamburger phone that was an unexpected hit") and finding an appropriate role on Bob's Burgers. Was this all intentional? Part of some genius marketing ploy? Of course not. At least, not from the start. Juno was a $7.5 million movie featuring mostly unknowns, chasing film fest dreams. It was supposed to be a stepping stone for everyone involved, but Saklad said everything just clicked in a way that was wizard as hell.
"To imagine that the hamburger phone, of all things -- this insignificant toy -- would actually set off a revolution," he added, "is hysterical."