All The Pop Culture Callbacks In Ariana Grande's "Thank U, Next" Video

List Rules
Vote up the references that made you feel the most nostalgic.

We've all been patiently awaiting the release of Ariana Grande's music video for her 2018 single, "thank u, next." In the song, Grande - who broke off her highly publicized engagement to Pete Davidson in October 2018 - sings about her exes and the lessons they taught her. Grande teased the video through social media posts and trailers before dropping it on November 30, 2018. It references four early-2000s romantic comedies: Bring it On, Mean Girls, 13 Going on 30, and Legally Blonde.

Grande recruited stars from the films she features, including Jonathan Bennett, who played Aaron Samuels in Mean Girls, and Jennifer Coolidge, who played Paulette in Legally Blonde. Also making appearances are Grande's close friends like Troye Sivan and Colleen Ballinger of "Miranda Sings" YouTube fame. This star-studded, reference-packed music video is one of 2018's most-anticipated releases.


  • 1
    254 VOTES

    Jonathan Bennett, Who Played Aaron Samuels In 'Mean Girls,' Makes An Appearance

    According to an interview in Out, Jonathan Bennett says Grande's manager contacted him through Instagram to appear in the video. At first, he didn't think it was real, but when his team verified that it was, he quickly agreed.

    254 votes
  • 2
    294 VOTES

    She Recreates The "Jingle Bell Rock" Talent Show Scene

    Grande dances with her friends and backup dancers to "thank u, next," just like The Plastics dance to "Jingle Bell Rock" in Mean Girls. The scene is complete with choreography mishaps and sultry Santa costumes.

    In Mean Girls, the gold lettering behind the group reads "Winter Talent Show," but Grande replaced that with "Thank U, Next."

    294 votes
  • 3
    215 VOTES

    Grande Does The Bend And Snap From 'Legally Blonde'

    Elle Woods famously teaches Paulette to bend and snap in Legally Blonde. Grande recreates the scene in a nail salon similar to the one in the film.

    215 votes
  • 4
    230 VOTES

    Grande's Dog, Toulouse, Steps In For Bruiser

    Grande recreated the scene in Legally Blonde where Elle Woods's dog Bruiser studies with her on the lawn at Harvard. Grande features her own pup, Toulouse.

    230 votes
  • 5
    206 VOTES

    Grande Writes In Her Own Version Of The Burn Book

    The video features a book titled "Thank U, Next" that looks just like the Burn Book from Mean Girls.

    Grande broke off her engagement with Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson in October 2018. In her version of the Mean Girls burn book, titled "Thank U, Next," Grande writes a message that reads, "sry I dipped... I love u always" with Davidson's name in a heart.

    Below a photo of the former couple, Grande scrawled "HUUUUUGE," in what appears to be a reference to his endowment.

    206 votes
  • 6
    228 VOTES

    Stefanie Drummond From 'Mean Girls' Cameos

    Stefanie Drummond, who was in Mean Girls, makes an appearance. In the movie, she delivers the memorable line, "One time, she punched me in the face. It was awesome."

    To the left of Drummond is Scott Nicholson, one of Grande's backup dancers and close friends.

    228 votes