Ariana Grande knows how to generate hype. As she does with many of her projects, Grande relentlessly teased the new music video for her breakup anthem “thank u, next” over the last two weeks. The pop star began her teaser content rollout with photos of her and her two best friends, paired with quotes from Mean Girls. Later, she shared a picture with Jennifer Coolidge from Legally Blonde. The posts that followed referenced two other classic early-aughts chick flicks, 13 Going On 30 and Bring It On. I’m embarrassed that I know this promo timeline by heart.
Today, Grande releases the much-anticipated video. It’s directed by Hannah Lux Davis, who previously worked with Grande on her videos for “Focus,” “Love Me Harder,” “Into You,” “Side To Side,” and most recently, “Breathin.” For “thank u, next,” Grande plays the lead role in her cinematic recreations, putting her own spin on iconic characters like Elle Woods and Regina George.
Every detail is spot on, right down to the “thank u, next”-emblazoned “Burn Book.” She even recruited members from the original Mean Girls cast (and, randomly, Troye Sivan) to spread fake rumors about her in the intro. And if you thought Sivan was random, wait for the Kris Jenner cameo as Grande’s mom, Joan. Watch the whole thing below.
One interesting subplot here for the chart fiends: “thank u, next” held off Travis Scott and Drake’s great “Sicko Mode” for #1 again last week, but with momentum from Scott’s Astroworld tour launch, a new Skrillex remix out this week, and an ad campaign, “Sicko Mode” may have the juice to surpass “thank u, next” on the coming week’s chart. Grande’s video arrives at the top of a new streaming week, so if “Sicko Mode” does become Scott’s first #1 this coming Monday, “thank u, next” seemingly will have the power to take back the throne the following week.