Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next Video Combines Mean Girls, Legally Blonde, Bring It On, And More

Shortly after Ariana Grande's massive track release "thank u, next" earlier this month, the young pop icon teased a music video for the empowering single with tons of references from early 2000s rom-coms. In anticipation for the release, fans were taught love, patience and pain but now the wait is over, and it's so amazing. Take a look:

Thank you, Ariana -- now our nostalgia is on high for this era of female-led comedies at the start of the 21st century. The five-minute video has no shortage of movie references to unpack here so let's get started.

The music video opens with an iconic scene from Mean Girls, with some of the actors of the film making cameos: Jonathan Bennett as Aaron Samuels and Stefanie Drummond as Regina George fangirl Bethany Byrd. The original cast members, along with internet sensations Colleen Ballinger and Troye Sivan, talk about the chatter spreading around Ariana Grande, including the news of her recent split from SNL's Pete Davidson last month. Grande takes the place of Rachel McAdam's Regina here, donning long blonde hair and writing in a burn book of her own about her famous exes, including the late rapper Mac Miller.

The scene then shifts over to the Plastics' holiday talent show performance with Kris Jenner as Regina's "cool mom" no less before moving on to recreating scenes from 2000's Bring it On. Ariana Grande trades her blonde hair for her recognizable high pony as brushes her teeth like Kirsten Dunst did in the cute scene film with Jesse Bradford. The pop star delivers the beautiful lyrics about how she's "having better discussions" with herself as it transitions into a dance with a squad of cheerleaders.

The "thank u, next" music video then takes an emotional turn as Ariana Grande embodies Jennifer Garner's Jenna Rink in 13 Going on 30. She recreates the pivotal scene in the film when Jenna watches her love get married as she holds the dollhouse he gave her years ago. The singer does quite the good impression of Garner in the sequence as she sings about her future wedding.

Like a movie marathon of sorts, it skips suddenly to Ariana as Elle Woods and her beloved furry companion Bruiser as they take on law school together. A cameo by Jennifer Coolidge, who played Elle's friend Paulette in Legally Blonde, also appears, giving her a little advice about dating men with big... teeth. Ariana then starts to recreate the 'bend and snap' scene in the hair salon as the video starts to switch between all the rom-com references and the video comes to a close.

Ariana Grande's latest music video is certainly her most ambitious undertaking as an artist, as she plays homage to these glittery-pink classics. The song is about seeing the positives in break-ups and practicing self-love. Through the experiences of these films, many women have felt heartbreak and passion in the stories of these heroines.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.