The wait is over! Ariana Grande has finally dropped the highly anticipated video for “Thank U, Next” and she did NOT disappoint. The 5-minute video is a tribute to the early oughts cult classics; Mean Girls, Bring It On, 13 Going On 30, and Legally Blonde. Plus, the video is flooded with familiar faces, including Jennifer Coolidge and Ari’s old Victorious buddies, Matt Bennett and Elizabeth Gillies.
Ariana displays self-awareness in poking fun at the rumors surrounding her relationship and breakup with Pete Davidson in the opening scenes of the vid. There’s a Mean Girls-style rumor mill confessional where Colleen Ballinger, Troye Sivan, Gabi DeMartino, backup dancer Scott Nicholson, and OG Mean Girl Cast member Stefanie Drummond all talk about different Ariana rumors.
Ari starts off “Thank U, Next” as the Mean Girls HBIC herself, Regina George. She writes in her own version of the infamous Burn Book, adding pictures of some of her exes, including Big Sean, Ricky Alvarez, and Pete. Then, we see “The Plastics” walking down the hall dripping in head-to-toe pink with Jonathan Bennett, A.K.A. Aaron Samuels, in tow. Soon after, the video parodies the iconic “Jingle Bell Rock” scene, except this time, Regina’s mom turns out to be none other than — wait for it — Kris Jenner!
Next, Ariana takes us to Bring It On as Torrence Shipman is flirting with Cliff in the bathroom while they brush their teeth. In the original movie, Cliff gives Torrence a mixtape, but in Ariana’s version it’s a mixtape from herself, mimicking the lyric, “I know they say I move on too fast // But this one gon’ last // ‘Cause her name is Ari // And I’m so good with that.”
Of course, this only further drives Ariana’s point that she’s taking a break from her love life for some much needed self-love and, TBH, we couldn’t be happier for her! With all the drama that went on with Pete and the media frenzy around their split, some alone time seems to be just what the doctor ordered.
Following the Bring It On segment, Ari spends a brief moment in the 13 Going On 30 universe. Remember the scene in the film where Jenna Rink went to her best friend Matt’s house to get the dollhouse he made her as a kid? Welp, Ariana put her own spin on it right before bringing us to the final segment of the music video, which was inspired by Legally Blonde.
For starters, the 25-year-old rolled up to Harvard Law School in Elle Wood’s iconic Porsche. The music video then cuts to Ariana in Paulette’s beauty shop with Jennifer Coolidge herself! They have a cute moment talking about dating men with “big front teeth,” but one of the best parts of the whole entire video had to have been when Ari did the “Bend and Snap,” which incited a dance montage.
Overall, the music video is loads of fun and full of nostalgia. Obviously the song is a BOP and the music video raises the bar so high, making it one of the best music videos of the year hands-down. All we have to say is that Ariana really did the damn thing. But, come on… did we really expect anything less?
Thank U, Next!