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Augustana Observer

‘Thank U, Next’: Ariana Grande become an icon with new video

Ariana Grande’s song “Thank U, Next” has iconically broke a string of records. This song has reached number one in 13 different countries including the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.

The song references Ari’s past relationships with Big Sean, Mac Miller, Pete Davidson and Ricky Alvarez. It is believed that she was inspired to write this song after her ex-fiance, the comedian Pete Davidson, joked about their relationship on Saturday Night Live.

Not only did Ari release a landmark song, but she paired it well with an iconic music video that references all of the crowd-pleasing movies we teen girls grew up on: ‘Mean Girls’, ‘Bring It On’, ‘13 Going on 30’ and ‘Legally Blonde’.

I’m not usually a fan of music videos however, Ari created this song as a personal tribute to her love life and past exes but she added her best friends to the mix and made musical masterpiece in the process.

The beginning of the music video references a scene from Mean Girls when Janis Ian is beginning to describe Regina George. However, instead of Regina, all of the students are talking about Ariana Grande.

These students include two true characters from the movie, Aaron Samuels and Bethany Byrd. Stefanie Drummond’s character, Bethany, instead of remarking on “army pants and flip flops”, references Grande’s recently broken off engagement.

When Ari walks down the hallway with her best friends they do a good job replicating “The Plastics” from Mean Girls.

It’s almost hard to tell that it was not Lindsay Lohan walking down the hallway.

The music video continues with its Mean Girl reference and enters into Ari’s bedroom where she is creating her ‘Thank U, Next’ book which has images of her exes and, of course, is a reference to Regina’s ‘Burn Book’.

Aside from that, the first thing anyone thinks of when they hear ‘Mean Girls’ is the talent show. Ariana Grande did not skip a beat as she and her friends performed the most memorable ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ dance and it even featured Kris Jenner as the Cool Mom.

This scene was incredibly significant because everybody who loves ‘Mean Girls’, loves this scene. Ari included all of the most memorable rom-coms and chose the most iconic scenes from them to create the ultimate iconic music video.

The next movie reference we see begins with a mixtape labeled “To: Ari, From: Ari” given during the iconic toothbrushing and flirting session. This is a reference to the film ‘Bring It On’ when Cliff and Torrance brush their teeth and Cliff gives Torrance a mixtape.

Ari, just like Torrance, listens to the tape and begins to dance on the bed recreating the scene.

This is one of the best parts of the video because Grande’s lyrics mention that she’s moved on to a girl named Ari, herself. By endorsing self love she shows the world that she can be an independent woman.

While not as obvious as the other rom-coms, Ariana Grande still managed to give homage to the classic ‘13 Going on 30’. Grande chose the most emotional part of the film to be the bridge of her song.

She references the dollhouse scene towards the end of the movie, which refers to when the protagonist, Jenna, finds out her best friend, Matt, who is actually the love of her life, is getting married to someone else.

The music video not only has the magic sparkles of the house, much like the magic sparkles that fell on her to turn her thirty, but it also features Ari with the fitting effort to recreate Jenna’s girl next door outfit.

Quickly the ‘13 Going On 30’ homage turns into ‘Legally Blonde’ as Grande pulls up in all pink, with a small dog.

The music video features small references, like Ari trying to impress the boys while reading law books. Or her on the elliptical in an orange top, balancing the laptop rather than the books in the movie.

It also features monumental callbacks such as the blue and purple walls of the nail shop and Paulette, the nail lady, in the exact same outfit in as the movie, and she also has the opportunity to fall in love with the UPS man once again. But most importantly, she does the “Bend and Snap”.

The remainder of the music video consists of a montage of shots that are referenced from each of the four iconic rom-coms. Including a small dog on a pool float, and Kris Jenner’s final line ending the song “Thank U, Next [explitive]!”

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‘Thank U, Next’: Ariana Grande become an icon with new video