Ariana Grande dropped the ‘thank u, next’ video Friday: cute and calculated?


On Saturday I attempted to upgrade the backend here at Celebitchy. I thought I knew what I was doing and I did it right! It’s just that one of the databases broke through a fluke, the site had to be restored from a backup and it was a lot of stress. We were back by Sunday morning, no harm no foul. Plus I watched a couple of cute Netflix movies while eating my feelings (The Christmas Chronicles and The Tribe) and I got to see the new Ariana Grande video for “thank u, next!” I watched it a few times, it was super cute and I enjoyed it. As you know, I’ve turned into an Ari stan since she dumped Pete Davidson and owned that narrative. Honestly I didn’t immediately recognize the four early 2000s movies the video is referencing, even though I’ve seen three of them. (I haven’t seen Bring it On yet!) The Washington Post has a handy explainer video along with the scenes that she’s referencing from Mean Girls, Legally Blonde, 13 Going on 30 and Bring it On. That’s below. In case you can’t watch the video at work, THR has a breakdown too. Everyone is talking about this cute video, dissecting the references she’s making and bringing it back to Ari’s theme of owning her personal story. She is her own brand and she is amazing! Here’s that video with the breakdown of the references, the actual video is above.

While I enjoyed the hell out of this and don’t mind having this song running in a loop in my head, of course this was all planned for maximum exposure and to get us talking. Friday used to be where stories went to die, but now it’s how something gets talked about all weekend. It worked too, thank u, next broke the YouTube record for most views in 24 hours. Plus there’s a lot to unpack. Ari half admits she dumped Pete (she wrote “sorry I dipped” in the burn book next to Pete) and she references his BDE with the word Huuuuge under his page. (That’s at 1:05.) Then, she has a conversation with Jennifer Coolidge at the hair salon in a scene that’s straight from Legally Blonde (Coolidge played Paulette in that movie) where Ariana said “he was really cute and it was really big” and Coolidge says “I’ve only gone out with one guy who had a really big front tooth.” Then they do the bend and snap from Legally Blonde. Plus it’s got Kris Jenner in it!

These are not my teen movies, I grew up in the (late!) 80s but especially for the people who loved and watched these films as teens, Ariana just nailed it. The director of this video, Hannah Lux Davis, told Cosmopolitan she was obsessed with Mean Girls and that she worked with Ariana to work in other movies from their youth. She also revealed some Easter eggs in the video, like that the cheerleaders wore uniforms that said “Lovers” instead of “Clovers.”

I’m going to start teaching Zumba soon, and I just found my cooldown and stretch song. I’m going to do the arm swing thing (Mean girls Christmas performance) followed by the bend and snap (cheerleaders!) at the refrain. I’ll have to use the clean version though. Sometimes people bring their kids with them.

In other Ariana news, she tweeted “True love doesn’t exist” and then tried to take it back, deleting it and writing that she was hungry. She also wrote that on the day she came up with “thank u, next,” she went to Tiffanys with her friends, drank champagne and bought everyone rings. That sounds like an awesome way to get over a breakup.

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56 Responses to “Ariana Grande dropped the ‘thank u, next’ video Friday: cute and calculated?”

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  1. Alissa says:

    I love the video and the song. I’ll be honest, Ariana really grew on me after the Manchester bombing, and now I really like her. I know I’m wicked in the minority, but I actually liked her and Pete together and secretly hope that they get back together at some point. also, I’m turning 30 this year so these were definitely my teen movies and it hit all the nostalgia points.

  2. Brunswickstoval says:

    I liked the video but am I the only person who finds the constant use of the F word in the chorus jarring? It just doesn’t sit right with the sentiment of the song. Makes it really hard to listen to

  3. Char says:

    The only thing really missing is Kris Jenner saying “You’re doing amazing sweetie”.

  4. Darla says:

    I’m a little confused by this whole big thing. When I was her age the last thing I wanted to run into was a big one. I liked them small to medium. Even now I am happy with a medium. Huge? Just not into it.

    • FarahH says:

      I think she’s a size queen. Her other high profile relationship was with Big Sean, and you can guess how he got that name.

      • Darla says:

        lol yes I can guess. Okay. Just weird to me. I of course have friends who are the same, but we are 45 and up. It just wasn’t a thing when I was a young girl like she is. Not for me or any of my friends and I had a lot of them.

      • ...otaku fairy says:

        Speaking of Big Sean, notice that on his page in the video she wrote “Could still get it.” Of all the guys she’s dated since I’ve been following her, he was the cutest.

  5. Doodle says:

    I was an extra in Mean Girls when it filmed in Toronto and it was a horrible experience. It always kills me a little bit that it’s such a popular movie that I can’t enjoy.

    • Lily says:

      Aw why was it horrible

      • Doodle says:

        Where to start – the bathroom was broken, no heat on a cold winter day and the staging area was in the basement of the school so it was freezing, not enough seating so if you got up for any reason you lost your seat. I think what really drove the bad experience home for me though was when the fist fight broke out and the one girl got punched in the face and blood went everywhere. I think her nose was broken. I was over it at that point.

    • Scotchy says:

      Being an extra is the worst.. Very few productions know to treat the “human furniture”. I feel your pain. There are a few shows that there is no way I can watch due to how horrible the conditions were for background performers!!

  6. Lizzie says:

    Bring It On is On Demand free with HBO right now. Please watch today. It is essential.

    • Celebitchy says:

      OK! I definitely will. I’ll see if I can get my kid to watch it with me.

      • Heat says:

        Yasss! Bring It On is my very fave of all of these, and one of my favourite movies ever. It’s so rewatchable.

    • DiegoInSF says:

      Bring It On and Mean Girls were MY teen movies, seen them like 40 times each… literally!

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      Can’t believe I’m gonna say this cuz I’m old, lol, but Bring it On is as essential as say… any John Hughes movie. For realz.

      Not into AG at all, but I enjoyed reading about Manchester. She did a good thing.

    • lucy2 says:

      I love Bring it On. It’s on I watch whenever I come across it.

  7. Kimmy says:

    Bring It On is so so so good.

  8. Aren says:

    I haven’t heard more than 30 seconds of the song and so I’m not interested in watching the video, specially because Kim’s mom is there.
    Having said that, what I’ve been wondering since this campaign began is, what if she had not broken up with Pete? Would the song exist? Would all this marketing display be the same?

  9. Clare says:

    My takeaways from this
    1. Hmm, industry people really seem to like the Kardashians
    2. The squat-move in the xmas song made my knees hurt
    3. I need to re-watch 13 going on 30.

  10. Originaltessa says:

    I find the song and video boring. Ariana mumbles and looks preening or bored. Don’t consider her a quality entertainer.

  11. Amelie says:

    I pretty much caught all the references to all the movies right away as Bring It On, 30 Going on 30, Legally Blonde, and Mean Girls all came out when I was in high school. I’ve never watched Bring It On in one sitting though so I didn’t recognize the toothbrush scene in the video as referencing it. I enjoyed it and while I’m a bit tired of all the Ariana exposure, it’s pretty clever of her to turn her breakup into a hit song using early 2000s pop culture references in her video which will make people nostalgic. Not sure Taylor Swift would have thought to have done the same! (As everyone lauds her for being a “brilliant businessman”).

  12. keroppi says:

    Her enunciation is terrible. I’m assuming that there are actual lyrics?

  13. sassbr says:

    Ariana Grande’s videos are usually amazing and she looks great but does she keep the non-expression on purpose? She dances with no expression, like a mannquin, and I have to think it’s sort of on purpose.

  14. DiegoInSF says:

    I love it so much! Her music is so so good, I can listen to it all day. I want her to come with her next album stat! I, too, have become an Ariana Stan! Fun fact: when she’s as Elle Woods, the textbooks are on Immigration and Refugee law! Yasss!

  15. Ceecu says:

    I like the song and video minus Kris Jenner. I would have rather saw any mom, maybe one of those toddler and tiara moms than her. It doesn’t help that I loathe her and her family.

  16. lobstah says:

    Did anyone see Lindsay Lohan’s attempt at relevance on her IG? I felt embarrassed for her. But, also, laughed.

  17. BANANIE says:

    I didn’t get the 13 Going on 30 reference. I felt like it didn’t add anything really, and isn’t as obvious a reference so people might not get it. I love that movie but it’s nowhere near on the same level as the others in terms of general popularity.

  18. Littlefishmom says:

    I do not understand, in any way, the hype over this girl. She sings out of her nose. People hang on her every single move- I really don’t get it. Don’t like or dislike, just indifferent. Is it me? I respect the opinions of people here so I’m curious to know if my vibe is off.

    • Usedtobe says:

      Not you. I don’t get the hype either. Mind you it’s not really my taste in music but when a good Top 40 jam hits, I usually GET it, whether I like it or not. I do not GET Ariana Grande. Any song, her, nothing.

    • Leslie says:

      I think this song in particular is kind of catchy, but I really don’t get the hype over Ariana either. She’s okay, but not amazing.

    • lucy2 says:

      I don’t get it either. She has a good voice but I don’t like how she sings, and the songs aren’t my thing, but whatever.
      It does seem like she’s grown up a lot in the last year or two, and I respect how she handled the Manchester attack and feminist issues – but I still can’t get past the little girl aesthetic she’s still doing.

    • Yes Doubtful says:

      She has a nice voice, but her songs are mediocre at best. She’s taken a page from Taylor’s book and just likes to use her relationships for press and material and to play the victim. I hope Pete was okay with her putting the BDE out there. I feel bad for him even though it’s partly his fault that he’s in this mess.

      • Levin says:

        While visiting a college, a student asked Pete what his favorite thing to eat was. He revealed that it was her vagina. I’m sure he can cope with this.

  19. Leslie says:

    I don’t know what Ariana did to her mouth, but she can barely speak in the video. She doesn’t actually mouth many of the words but when she does it appears that her mouth can barely move.

    Also, the video is late-90s, early-00s nostalgia, but has nothing at all to do with the actual song. I think from a creative standpoint, it would have been better to reference one movie the entire video rather than cram four movie references in.

  20. Harryg says:

    But must she always sing like she were crying? Nowadays most singers either whine-cry, or scream.
    And stop with the porny poses.

  21. frankly says:

    I’ve seen every episode of “Victorious” (mom work) so my big thrill was: Look! It’s Jade!

    And for the 80s ladies (like myself), “Victorious” did a funny “Breakfast Club” full-episode send up.

  22. Kathryn says:

    I was hoping there would be more of an arc with tying in four movies. I liked the video, very cute, but it was just four movie references crammed in. Could have been easily linked with an arc about dating/exes like High School (Mean Girls/Bring it On), College (Legally Blonde), and Post-Grad (13 Going on 30). Not everything needed to be a frame-for-frame recreation she could have added a bit more of her own story in too.

  23. Case says:

    I loved the video! I’m Ariana’s age, so I too have an appreciation for these movies (especially Legally Blonde!).

  24. Tiffany :) says:

    I like it overall, but there was too much effort in trying to be sexy. The mugging and posing…its like an extended version of Jlo squinting with her mouth open on the red carpet. I love the set ups for this video, it’s all very cute and I think it works well with the song. I just wish there was less try-hard sexy posing.