Music

Every Movie Referenced In Ariana Grande’s ‘Thank U, Next’ Music Video

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Earlier today Ariana Grande dropped her much-anticipated music video for absolute jam ‘Thank U, Next’. It had cheerleaders, it had mean girls, it had immigration law and Kris Jenner. And it had fans of female-led films from the early 2000’s ecstatic.

As of writing, the ‘Thank U, Next’ music video has accumulated nearly 14 million views in five hours, and the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. As soon as it was released fans took to social media to share their reactions and identify beloved films.

The video opens with a recreation of the rumours scene from 2004 comedy flick Mean Girls. Various students share things they allegedly heard about Ariana Grande, including Australian singer Troye Sivan, who says, “I heard she’s a lesbian now and dating some chick called Aubrey. It’s fuckin’ sick.” This is a reference to a fan theory that Grande was dating a woman, which was based on a mishearing of the ‘Thank U, Next’ lyric “‘Cause her name is Ari” as “‘Cause her name is Aubrey”.

Grande goes on to recreate several more Mean Girls scenes, including the Plastics walking down a school hallway with original Mean Girls actor Jonathan Bennett. Fans particularly took note of an appearance from Kris Jenner of Keeping Up With The Kardashians fame during the Jingle Bell Rock scene, decked out in a baby pink tracksuit, holding a camcorder, and being a living meme.

Grande then recreated the tooth-brushing scene from 2000 cheerleading film Bring It On, a scene I had completely forgotten about but that is a standout for the playful, nonverbal flirting throughout it. Not a single word is exchanged between Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Bradford in the original, nor Ariana Grande and Matt Bennett in the homage, but the scene still speaks volumes.

Also from Bring It On are scenes of Grande on a bed listening to a mixtape, here a gift to herself instead of from a love interest as in the film, as well as the obligatory cheerleading scenes.

Only one scene from 2004 time-travel film Suddenly 30 got a shoutout, but it’s the most emotional section of the music video. In the original, Jennifer Garner walks sadly away from Mark Ruffalo’s wedding to another woman, clutching her homemade dollhouse and broken heart. The is displayed during the section of ‘Thank U, Next’ wherein Grande wistfully thinks of meeting the right person and getting married in the future.

The video then jumps to 2001’s Legally Blonde, Grande arriving at Harvard decked out in hot pink and accompanied by her dog Toulouse. Taking on the role originally played by Reese Witherspoon, Grande sunbathes on the lawn while reading a book on immigration law and works out on an exercise machine.

Grande then chats to Jennifer Coolidge at a beauty salon in a short break from the song. Coolidge reprises her role from the original film, swapping stories with Grande about their love lives before Grande demonstrates the iconic “bend and snap”.

Among all the joyful fan reactions, Legally Blonde‘s Reese Witherspoon and Suddenly 30‘s Mark Ruffalo also took to Twitter to express their appreciation for the homages. Icons blessing an icon.

I’m so fucking grateful for early 2000’s movies.