Thank U, Next


Album Cover For Thank U, Next

Nicholas Abbatiello, Staff Writer

Ariana Grande’s latest release, “Thank U, Next” now has nearly 170 million views on YouTube. With so many cameo appearances by celebrities and references to classic 2000s teen movies, the video was almost for sure to be as the song says, “a smash.”

And it was. “Thank U, Next” broke numerous music video records, such as most plays in 24 hours (50 million views) and fastest music video to rise to 100 million views. The song itself also received the most streams in one week for a female artist, according to the Billboard Top 100 charts. As well, the  song has been on top of the Billboard Top 100 for three consecutive weeks and after being dethroned by Travis Scott’s, “SICKO MODE,” returned back to the top for the duration of the fourth week after its release.  

In the video, besides all of the celebrity cameos, there were quite a few movie cameos including: Legally Blonde, 13 Going on 30, Mean Girls, and Bring it On.

For the Legally Blonde cameo, Grande can be seen reenacting many scenes from the movie such as arriving at Harvard Law School in her Porsche and all decked out in pink clothing. The video also featured the famous scene at Paulette’s salon, where they even got the actress Jennifer Coolidge to play her iconic roll as Paulette.

In her scene depicting 13 Going on 30, Grande can be seen with the dollhouse that Jenna (played by Jennifer Garner) held so dearly to her heart. Viewers can even recognize the sparkles that come off of the doll house when she wishes she was 30 years old.

The most star studded roster was apparent during her Mean Girls tribute, from the students that attended North Shore High to the infamous Plastics themselves. The familiar introduction of students sharing thoughts about Regina George (played by Ariana in Thank U Next) had celebrities left and right putting their own twist on the lines.

Troye Sivan makes a reference to Apple Music’s misstep in the lyrics of Thank U, Next. Colleen Ballinger, better known for her character, Miranda Sings, makes an appearance addressing the rumors that Grande was pregnant. Jonathan Bennett comes back from the original Mean Girls cast as well as Stefanie Drummond to share a few lines. Kris Jenner even makes an appearance during the Jingle Bell Rock dance scene to play Ariana’s mom, Joan Grande. For “Victorious” fans, Grande’s previous co-star, Elizabeth Gillies plays Cady from the Plastics.

Another one of Grande’s “Victorious” co-stars, Matt Bennett appears in the toothbrush scene from Bring It On. Grande also recreates the cheer scene as well as the mixtape dance break scene from the movie.

Besides all of the cameos, Grande’s song itself explores her previous relationships and how they turned out. She talks about what she had learned and how they all changed her. It’s a song about female empowerment, the importance of oneself and moving on, and is symbolically portrayed by many strong characters from famous movies.