Ariana Grande has done it again.
On 30 November, the unpredictable pop diva has finally dropped her music video for ‘thank u, next’ and we know it’s 2018, but can we just say: IT’S SO FETCH. Chockfull of references to iconic noughties flicks such as Mean Girls, Legally Blonde, Bring It On and 13 Going On 30, the five-minute music video is a delightful romp of throwback mayhem, unexpected celebrity cameos – Kris Jenner, Troye Sivan, and hold up… is that the actual Aaron Samuels?! – and loads of not-so-subtle details that you probably missed. Let’s break it down point by point, shall we?
#1 Remember the girl who Regina George punched in the face?
Besides doing God’s work in getting OG heartthrob Jonathan Bennett to reprise his character as Aaron Samuels (someone gotta push back his hair!), Ari also casted Stefanie Drummond, who played Bethany Byrd in Mean Girls – or more famously known as the “army pants and filp flops” girl who got punched by Regina in the face. Only this time round, she “found a guy to propose to me and I broke off an engagement” because “Ariana broke off an engagement”.
#2 Big Sean is so cute, so sweet, and “could still get it”.
In Ariana’s version of the Burn Book, there’s a page dedicated to her former bae Big Sean, complete with the words “cute”, “sweet” and most importantly, “could still get it”. Well, time to hit her up, @bigsean!
#3 Meanwhile, Ricky Alvarez got friendzoned.
Hey, at least Ricky’s a “great dancer” and they’ve spent some “good times” together. Friends forever!
#4 She apologised to Pete Davidson.
On Pete Davidson’s page, a huge “HUUUGE” runs across the bottom – a reference to the long-running BDE joke. Besides reiterating the well-known fact that the Saturday Night Live fella is well-endowed, Ariana also wrote “sry I dipped”, which is a slang for leaving.
So here’s a translation for the uninitiated: sorry dude, I dumped ya.
#5 Ariana Grande is a little bit… needy.
Channeling her inner high-school queen bee as Regina George, Ariana struts down the hallways of a recreated North Shore High with her gang of Plastics in tow. She rocks a tank top with the words “A Little Bit Needy” on it, a play on the “A Little Bit Dramatic” shirt from Mean Girls. According to Arianators on the Twitterverse, it’s likely to be a track from the upcoming album.
#6 Then there’s Karen Smith already doing her job as a weather girl.
Ariana’s close friend Alexa Luria plays ditzy airhead Karen Smith, and in case you missed it: she’s pictured holding her chest as she walks down the hallway, a nod to Amanda Seyfried’s ability to tell the weather by feeling her breasts.
#7 Can we talk about Kris Jenner as Ariana’s cool mom?
Kris Jenner is not a regular mom, she’s a cool mom! When the Plastics were performing the mandatory Jingle Bell Rock dance for their winter talent show, the momager pops out to cheer on Ariana as Amy Poehler’s scene-stealing character in Mean Girls.
#8 Meet the “TUN” cheerleading team!
In the next scene, Ariana reimagines Bring It On with her very own cheerleading team. Their cheerleader uniforms feature the initials “TUN”, which is an acronym that stands for ‘thank u, next’.
#9 Ariana debuts her newly-chopped mane via a paper cut-out.
She then transforms into Jenna Rink from 13 Going On 30 as she carries the iconic Barbie Dream House from the 2004 romcom to the front porch. Eagle-eyed fans spotted that one of the paper dolls is a selfie that she posted on Instagram, which showed off her new post-split haircut sans her trademark ponytail.
#10 She drives a Porsche with a license plate that reads “7 RINGS”.
Finally, Ariana is seen cosplaying as Elle Woods from Legally Blonde as she steps out of a black Porsche, which has a license plate that contains the words “7 RINGS” — allegedly another track from her forthcoming album.
Another fan theory courtesy of Twitter user @CatchMeIfUKenze suggests that it’s in reference to the friendship rings she got with her six best friends. Hmm, what do you guys think?
#11 The political secret behind Ariana’s law school textbook.
While she’s out studying on the lawn, fans pointed out that the law textbook that she’s reading has a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it political message that will make Elle Woods proud. The book is titled “Immigration and Refugee Law and Policy”, which can be seen as Ariana showing support for immigrants seeking refuge in the US.
#12 More BDE references, just because.
In a conversation with Jennifer Coolidge, who reprised her role as Paulette Bonafonté, Ariana made yet another bold reference to Pete Davidson’s BDE: “I mean, he was really cute you know. It was really big.” And as if that wasn’t enough to add to the shook factor, she also got the UPS guy from Legally Blonde to don a uniform with a badge that says “BDE”.
Watch Ariana Grande’s ‘thank u, next’ music video in its full reference-filled glory: