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.
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."
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.
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.
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.