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All of the Movie References in “Thank U, Next” Broken Down

From the moment when Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next” single was released in late November, the song has been an unstoppable hit. Not only has “thank u, next” been on the Hot 100 list for weeks, but it has also climbed to the No. 1 slot. Grande backed up the powerhouse single with a pop-culture, nostalgic, rom-com marathon music video referencing “Mean Girls,” “Legally Blonde,” “Bring It On” and “13 Going on 30.” The music video also had countless cameos of the famous actors within each of these films including Kris Jenner, Troye Sivan, and Jennifer Coolidge, among others. The video itself has already broken the record for the most streams in one week for a song led by a woman, according to Billboard.

“Thank you Next,” is an ode to all of Grande’s past relationships and her broken engagement to NBC’s Saturday Night Live cast member, Pete Davidson. This song preaches the importance of self-love along with its catchy chorus that is quite the ear-worm.

Movie buffs, this one is for you. Here is a breakdown of Grande’s early 2000’s pop-culture movie references…

“Mean Girls”

The introduction of the “thank u, next” music video starts with the iconic scene from Mean Girls where Ariana Grande is seen as the infamous Regina George in her bedroom. The music video has cameos of actors Lindsay Lohan and Jonathan Bennett who play Cady Heron and Regina’s ex-boyfriend Aaron Samuels, in the original film.

As the song continues, Grande is seen with the iconic burn book making her first Pete Davidson reference while pasting in a photo from when they were together.

Grande later recreates the iconic scene of the plastics performing “Jingle Bell Rock.” Kris Jenner makes a cameo in place of Regina George’s mother excitedly recording their performance.

“Bring it On”

As the video progresses the scene switches to the iconic cheerleading movie “Bring it On.” Matt Bennett, Grande’s former co-star in the Nickelodeon TV show “Victorious”, joins her in recreating the movie’s tooth brushing scene.

“13 Going On 30”

Grande makes more references to her broken engagement with Pete Davidson using the marriage scenes from Jennifer Garner’s most famous romantic comedy “13 Going On 30.” The scene focuses on the magic dollhouse as Grande sheds a tear.

“Legally Blonde”

Finally, toward the end of the video Grande plays Elle Woods, originally played by Reese Witherspoon, from “Legally Blonde” released in 2001. Grande uses her dog, Toulouse to stand in for the chihuahua that stole everyone’s hearts, Bruiser. The scene then cuts to the iconic “bend and snap” scene taught by Jennifer Coolidge. WARNING: Don’t try this one at home or you might break the local delivery man’s nose!

The song “thank u, next” is not only an empowering breakup track but has become a pop culture mash up that has something for everyone.

By: PLNU sophomore Maya Harrison


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