WATCH: We unpack Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next music video

2018-12-01 11:05
ariana grande

Cape Town – Ariana Grande’s music video for her latest hit, Thank U, Next is here and it is filled with pop culture references.

The 25-year-old released the song - in which she sings about her ex-boyfriends – last month and it has since gone platinum.

READ MORE: Ariana’s song to her exes goes platinum as she promises video

Since its release, Ari has promised an epic music video and well, she delivered.

Following the release of a teaser - which saw several celeb cameos and movie references – the final product, directed by Hannah Lux Davis, is here.



While the 05:30 video is packed with pop culture references we went ahead and listed every single reference Ariana alluded to, just in case you may have missed something.


1. Mean Girls

The music video’s intro imitates the iconic “How do I ever begin to explain Regina George” scene with Ariana taking on the role of the widely popular Regina George, originally played by Rachel McAdams, and a bunch of celebs sharing urban legends about her.

The video also refers to the infamous ‘Burn Book’ as well as the ‘Plastics’ dancing in their iconic Jingle Bell Rock scene.

2. Bring It On

Who could forget Bring It On. In the next scenes of the video, Ariana is dressed in the infamous red uniform with her cheerleading squad as well as Toro’s rival squad, which featured Gabrielle Union as head cheerleader in the movie.

Another reference is the infamous teeth brushing scene in the original film between actors Kirsten Dunst, as Torrance, and Jesse Bradford as her love interest, Cliff. 

3. 13 Going on 30

Ariana also pays tribute to Jennifer Garner’s rom-com, 13 Going on 30 by re-enacting the dollhouse scene as well as the moment Jen's character, Jenna Rink, crashes her love interest's, played by Mark Ruffalo, wedding.

4. Legally Blonde

Ariana transforms into Elle Woods – originally played by Reese Witherspoon – and brings back the ‘Bend and Snap’ move.

Other references from the movie include a nod to Bruiser, working out in her office and killing it at law school.


1. Colleen Ballinger - the YouTuber known as Miranda Sings.

2. Jonathan Bennett – who played Aaron Samuels in Mean Girls and reprises the role.

3. Gabi DeMartino - the YouTube star who “lived like Ariana Grande” in a viral parody.

4. Stefanie Drummond - who played North Shore student Bethany Byrd in Mean Girls and reprises the role.

5. Troye Sivan – who collaborated with Ariana on the song, Dance To This.

6. Elizabeth Gillies – Ariana’s former Victorious co-star, who plays Lindsay Lohan’s Cady Heron.

7. Kris Jenner – who plays the role of Regina’s mother (originally played by Amy Poehler) aka “a cool mom, not a regular mom”.

8. Matt Bennett – another of Ariana’s previous Victorious co-stars.

9. Jennifer Coolidge – who reprises her role as the nail technician Elle teaches to ‘Bend and Snap’ in Legally Blonde.


Reese Witherspoon

Jennifer Garner

Mark Ruffalo

Kris Jenner

Troye Sivan

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