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Classic teen films reference in Ariana's Thank U, Next music video

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The music video for Ariana Grande's latest single thank u, next is a dream come true for fans of teen movies, and is full of cameos from the original movies and Grande's celebrity friends. The music video broke YouTube's record for the most number of views garnered within 24 hours of release, with 46 million views in its first day. It's little wonder, given the overwhelming nostalgia of
homages to movies like MEAN GIRLS and LEGALLY BLONDE, as well as cameos by popular YouTubers like Gabi DeMartino and Troye Sivan.

In addition to recreating the teen movies of the early 2000s, the music video also references real-life gossip and drama. The song is a thank-you note to each of Ariana's ex-boyfriends - with Big Sean, Pete Davidson, Ricky Alvarez and the late Mac Miller, all making appearances in her Burn Book. There are also some serious deep cuts - like Troye Sivan saying he heard a rumor that Grande was dating a girl called Aubrey. This was actually the result of a misheard lyric in the song when Grande says she's in a new and lasting relationship with herself.

We've broken down the music video with all of the references and cameos in the Thank U, Next video.

 

 

 

 

MEAN GIRLS AND THANK U, NEXT MEAN GIRLS AND THANK U, NEXT
MEAN GIRLS AND THANK U, NEXT
MEAN GIRLS

The music video opens by reenacting the film's montage of student gossip, which featured some surprise cameos of singer Troye Sivan and MEAN GIRLS' original stars, Jonathan Bennett and Stefanie Drummond. YouTuber Gabi Demartino, who notoriously impersonates the singer, also makes a small cameo as a student discussing the rumors surrounding Ariana's character.

While walking the school halls with her version of the film's, Grande's former co-star Elizabeth Gillies portrays Lindsey Lohan's character, Cady Heron. who co-starred with Grande in the Nickelodeon sitcom Victorious.

In another scene, Ariana is dressed in the same attire as Rachel McAdams' character, Regina George wearing an 'A' necklace with a blond wig as she chronicles her love life through her revamp of the film's Burn Book. Each page shows a photograph of her exes, rapper Big Sean, her former backup dancer Ricky Alvarez and Pete Davidson with messages including, for Sean, she wrote, "So Cute, so sweet (could still get it)", for Alvarez "Great dancer, good times man, friends forever" and for the most controversial one was for Pete Davidson, she wrote, "I love u always. Sry I dipped". She also makes a quip about her previous comments about Davidson's physique, writing "HUUUUGE" underneath their photograph, but for the late Mac Miller, who was left out from the Burn Book presumably as a sign of respect.

In her version of the film's holiday dance sequence, Kris Jenner plays Amy Poehler's role from the MEAN GIRLS, recording the girls' dance on the stage while imitating the choreography herself. She is, after all, a Cool Mom.
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BRING IT ON AND THANK U, NEXT BRING IT ON AND THANK U, NEXT
BRING IT ON AND THANK U, NEXT
BRING IT ON

Next up is an homage to the 2000 film BRING IT ON, which originally starred Kirsten Dunst as the newly-crowned leader of an elite high school cheerleading team. In this segment, Grande plays the role of Dunst's character, Torrance Shipman, and recreates three key scenes from the movie, the cheer-off with the rival team the East Compton Clovers; a scene in which Torrance brushes her teeth with her love interest, Cliff (originally played by Jesse Bradford); and a scene in which Torrance listens to a tape Cliff made for her and dances around on her bed.

The cheer-off scene once again features Chipolone and Luria as members of Torrance's cheerleading team, the Toros, and also includes the heavily pregnant YouTube star Colleen Ballinger, better known as Miranda Sings. Another Grande's Victorious co-stars, Daniella Monet, plays another member of the Toros. The Clovers are played by Grande's backup dancers, Nekai Johnson, Luz Remigio, and Patience Aquart, as well as her fellow musicians and Thank U, Next co-writers Tayla Parx and Victoria Monet.

The portion of the video also features one more Victorious actor, Matt Bennett, who plays the role of Cliff in the tooth-brushing scene.
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13 GOING ON 30 AND THANK U, NEXT 13 GOING ON 30 AND THANK U, NEXT
13 GOING ON 30 AND THANK U, NEXT
13 GOING ON 30

Grande's homage to 13 Going on 30, the 2004 movie in which Jennifer Garner played a teen who finds herself suddenly aged up, comprises the shortest amount of screen time. Here, Grande recreates a scene from towards the end of the movie, in which Garner's character tearfully watches her childhood friend and love interest, Matt (played by Mark Ruffalo), get married to someone else. The dollhouse was a gift from Matt and was sprinkled with magical wishing dust, which is what causes the magic overnight ageing and ultimately causes her to turn into a 13-year-old again.

Grande's hair and outfit are an exact recreation of Garner's look in the movie. Garner responded to the video on social media, saying, "Every now and then something comes along that just brightens your day. @arianagrande you're adorable. Thank you, pretty girl."
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LEGALLY BLONDE AND THANK U, NEXT LEGALLY BLONDE AND THANK U, NEXT
LEGALLY BLONDE AND THANK U, NEXT
LEGALLY BLONDE

The final movie homage introduced in the music video is LEGALLY BLONDE, with Grande playing the role of Reese Witherspoon's character, Elle Woods. In the first scene, Grande arrives at Harvard Law School wearing a hot pink outfit and accompanied by her pet dog, Bruiser.

The action then moves to a salon. Here, the music pauses for a moment and we get to enjoy another great cameo of actress Jennifer Coolidge, who reprises her role as Elle's friend Paulette Bonafonte from the movie. Once they get done talking about Grande's ex's, the music returns and Grande launches into a recreation of the bend and snap scene from the film. Just like in the original movie, the whole salon then joins in with their own attempts at the move that can supposedly win over any man, and a UPS guy arrives to deliver a package to Paulette.
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Recently, Thank U, Next became the fastest video to earn 100 million views, reaching the number in just four days after its release. Grande shared her gratitude to her fans and the music video's director Hannah Lux Davis on social media after she heard about the record-breaking news and even joked with her video co-star Matt Bennett that "100 million ppl saw us brush our teeth this week."
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