Ariana Grande: Five things to know about Thank U, Next
Ariana Grande has released a music video for her latest hit Thank U, Next and the internet is abuzz, dissecting all the cultural references.
The self-love anthem broke YouTube records as it became the first video to reach 1 million views in less than 34 minutes. The track has stayed at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 since its release three weeks ago.
The singer recently opened up about the bomb attack on her 2017 Manchester concert in a new documentary series on the behind-the-scenes of her Dangerous Woman Tour.
Grande, 25, took a break from social media in October, following intense media coverage on her break-up from fiancé Pete Davidson after five months together.
Here are five things to know about the five-and-a-half-minute video, which the singer teased fans with for weeks.
1) Paying homage to teen rom-coms
Grande parodies some classic noughties films in Thank U, Next.
Opening up the video is teen hit Mean Girls, with Grande transforming into high-school queen bee Regina George and recreating that raunchy talent show dance.
She then morphs into Elle Woods, valley girl and Harvard Law student from Legally Blonde.
The original Elle, Reese Witherspoon, enjoyed the re-imagined scenes from the 2001 comedy about a blonde sorority girl hoping to win back her ex-boyfriend by getting a law degree.
Skip Twitter post by @RWitherspoon
Also… 2 weeks ago I saw Cameron Diaz at Fred Segal and I talked her out of buying a truly heinous angora sweater! https://t.co/S06dEhLta2
— Reese Witherspoon (@RWitherspoon) November 21, 2018
End of Twitter post by @RWitherspoon
Then comes that cheerleading classic Bring It On and its cheer-off between the Toros and Clovers.
Skip Twitter post by @ArianaGrande
‘i transferred from los angeles, your school has no gymnastics team this issaalast resort …….. ok i’ve never cheered before so what?’ pic.twitter.com/hD3pDR3K1k
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) November 21, 2018
End of Twitter post by @ArianaGrande
Skip Twitter post by @itsgabrielleu
Why yes, I am an East Compton Clover! Are we meeting today @ArianaGrande I'll bring the punch ??? https://t.co/4aeValUtx2
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) November 21, 2018
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And finally – if three films weren't enough – comes 13 Going On 30.
Skip Twitter post by @misslefroy
ariana grande, #thankunext (2018) – jennifer garner as jenna rink (2004) pic.twitter.com/KtlNZBZr2d
— clarice (@misslefroy) November 30, 2018
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2) The stars making cameos
Well hello, momager Kris Jenner as Amy Poehler's "cool mom" character from Mean Girls.
Skip Twitter post by @babi
I’m not a regular mom. I’m a cool mom! #ThankUNext pic.twitter.com/a5kPSkSUnj
— Babi (@babi) November 30, 2018
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We also have romantic interest Jonathan Bennett (aka Aaron Samuels) in the Mean Girls sequence.
Another love interest cameo is in Bring It On's tooth-brushing scene – with Grande's former Victorious co-star Matt Bennett.
Skip Twitter post by @andaslmn
matt and ari’s scene gahd my ‘victorious’ heart ? #thankunext pic.twitter.com/BkDYcTXlub
— ? (@andaslmn) November 30, 2018
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And the video also featured Jennifer Coolidge (aka Paulette Bonafonté) from Legally Blonde and that iconic bend and snap move.
Skip Twitter post by @withoutmeagb
teaching us all a valuable lesson: the bend and snap #ThankUNextVideo pic.twitter.com/XHHso9dg7m
— ???? ? (@withoutmeagb) November 30, 2018
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3) The exes
Thank U, Next has been described as an ode to all boyfriends past as it came into creation after Grande and Pete Davidson ended their engagement (read to the end if you're curious about who dumped whom).
- A brief history of Ariana and Pete
- Pete Davidson speaks out on Ariana split
But the comedian is not the only ex to get a shout-out.
In the opening part of the video, the singer name-drops four and uses the Mean Girls' infamous Burn Book to highlight her thoughts on three of them.
Pete Davidson is huuuuuge – ahem – and we will leave that to you to decipher that one for yourselves.
Big Sean is described as "so cute" and "so sweet" – and in case you can't read it, the last bit says "could still get it".
Ricky Alverez is a great dancer apparently, and the pair will be friends forever.
Finally, her fourth ex, Mac Miller, who died in September from a drug overdose, is called an angel and is not given a page in the Burn Book.
4) The opening sequence
It features Mean Girls' "army pants and flip flops" girl (aka Bethany Byrd) and the singer Troye Sivan – but what is the opening sequence actually about?
The general consensus on the net is that Grande is poking fun at the public's curiosity about her personal life by recreating the gossip sequence about ultimate mean girl Regina George.
Skip Twitter post by @MarcelinaChrost
Why does every gossip portal say that #ThankUNext is about @ArianaGrande ex? After all, she sing about how to appreciate herself and how much love we can give to ourselves, we do not need anyone to be valuable! Listen to the songs to the end for some conclusions..
— Marcelina Chrost (@MarcelinaChrost) November 4, 2018
End of Twitter post by @MarcelinaChrost
5) Things you might have missed
So beady-eyed viewers may have spotted the following:
Skip Twitter post by @DanaSchwartzzz
confirmed: Ariana Grande knows more about immigration law than the president of the united states pic.twitter.com/CVXNJiXP7C
— Dana Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz) November 30, 2018
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The TUN initials on Grande's cheerleading uniform stand for Thank U, Next.
Another costume-related Easter Egg is her Mean Girls shirt, which says "A Little Bit Needy". In the original film, Rachel McAdams wore a shirt that said "A Little Bit Dramatic".
In her Legally Blonde entrance, Grande drives a Porsche with a licence plate that says "7 Rings" – the internet thinks this is a reference to friendship rings she and her six best friends have.
Skip Twitter post by @CatchMeIfUKenze
the "7 RINGS" license plate is in reference to the friendship rings she just got with her 6 best friends ? (see her IG stories that says "3/7":https://t.co/eRlGrZYylB) pic.twitter.com/u6V6uy3CH8
— Mackenzie Anderson (@CatchMeIfUKenze) November 30, 2018
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And finally – for those patient readers – the devil is in the detail. On Davidson's Burn Book page, Grande wrote "sry, I dipped". Translation: she's sorry, she dumped him.
Skip Twitter post by @RJohnElvisT
Dipped is slang for left. Like “I gotta dip,” means I gotta leave. So in this context I’d say it means she’s the one that left him.
— Rhett the JET???? (@RJohnElvisT) December 1, 2018
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