In Ariana Grande’s new hit single “Thank U, Next,” she sings about self-love and lessons she has learned from her exes. The song’s music video reached 1 million views in less than 34 minutes, according to BBC News. Besides just breaking YouTube records, the video gives reference to several iconic 2000s films as well as some of Grande’s past boyfriends.
Grande “name drops” Big Sean, Ricky Alvarez, Mac Miller and Pete Davidson (her ex-fiancé) in the first few lines of the song: “Thought I’d end up with Sean but he wasn’t a match / Wrote some songs about Ricky now I listen and laugh / Even almost got married and for Pete, I’m so thankful / Wish I could say, ‘Thank you’ to Malcolm (Mac) ‘cause he was an angel.”
In the music video, she writes the names of all four of her exes in the infamous “Burn Book” from the “Mean Girls” movie. She even goes so far as to recreate the movie’s “Jingle Bell Rock” dance. Grande plays Regina George as well as several other roles from movies like “Legally Blonde,” “Bring It On” and “13 Going on 30.”
A few of Grande’s co-stars from the former Nickelodeon show “Victorious” play a variety of roles in the “Thank U, Next” video. Elizabeth Gillies, who played Jade West in “Victorious,” plays Cady Heron from “Mean Girls,” while Matt Bennett, who played Robbie Shapiro in “Victorious,” plays Cliff Pantone from “Bring It On.”
In some behind-the-scene footage, Grande says that “[They] are basically recreating a bunch of [her] favorite scenes from classic, girly, early 2000s, ‘90s movies — that have shaped and molded so many of us into the strong and intelligent, but still playful and girly, women that we are today.”
She incorporates an abundance of Easter eggs and alumni from the four films into the five-minute video. Jonathan Bennett reprises his role as Aaron Samuels from “Mean Girls” and Jennifer Coolidge comes back as Paulette Bonafonté from “Legally Blonde.”
In order for Bennett to fully transform back into Aaron Samuels, they had to flat-iron every piece of his hair to ensure it was smooth and in place. According to BuzzFeed News, it “gave him chills” to see himself looking like Aaron 14 years later after the movie came out.
“After every take, everyone would just applaud and laugh and be so excited. With all the crap that’s happened to [Ariana] in the past year, to have [to] be around all these things that make her happy, you can totally see that shining through,” said Bennett.
Grande has made it her main priority to keep her fans happy. With all the content she has released in the past few months, including her new album “Sweetener,” her fans are definitely pleased. “Thank U, Next” just happens to be a huge bonus.