Ariana Grande has become a master of holding our attention. Exhibit Z: The music video for "thank u, next", which has enjoyed more buzz than most Oscar bait movies this year. The cat—or should I say, the pet chihuahua—is finally out of the bag. Decked in early aughts cosplay, Ari takes us on a nostalgic flashback through some cinematic classics (Mean Girls, Legally Blonde, Bring It On and 13 Going on 30). Some references are obvious, but there are plenty of blink-and-you'll-miss-'em easter eggs and cameos. Let's explore them together!
Right off that bat, we get a cameo from YouTube star Miranda Sings a.k.a. Colleen Ballinger.
That's cool and all, but OMG it's Mr. October 3rd himself, Aaron Samuels (played by Jonathan Bennet)! Hair status: still would look sexy pushed back. Eyebrow status: deserve their own paycheck.
Boom! Another Mean Girls alum! Stefanie Drummond reprises her role as Bethany Byrd, the girl who got punched in the face by Regina George and thought it was awesome. Not sure who the person next to her is, but I'm into what they're serving.
I know pop stars are busy and all, but would it have killed Troye Sivan to learn his two lines and not rely on reading from a cue card? This is not SNL, bro! This is an immersive fantasy! Get it together!
Despite receiving the harshest line in the song ("Wrote some songs about Ricky, now I listen and laugh"), Ariana's donut-licking accomplice gets some positive reinforcement—"Great dancer." "Good times, man." "Friends forever."—in the Burn Book.
A lot of Arianators find YouTube star Gabi DeMartino's commitment to looking just like her idol creepy. But Ari seems to think it's chill.
Nice try on making the Big Sean Burn Book page illegible by flipping it really fast.
*smashes pause button*
*gets out monocle*
"(Could still get it)."
Ooooooooooooo, get it, Ari!
Pete's turn! And his page doesn't disappoint. Not only do we get confirmation that she was the dumper, but we also get the 2,382nd reminder that he has a "HUUUUUUUUUGE" pee-pee(te).
Because the real Lindsay Lohan is too busy attempting to kidnap refugee children, Ariana hired her Victorious co-star Elizabeth Gillies to play Cady. Also, Ariana's tank top teases a lyric from "Needy," an unreleased song from her next project, which she played a snippet of on Instagram last month.
This quick nod to Karen's "ESPN" weather-predicting breasts is not lost on me.
Who could possibly fill the heels of "cool mom" Amy Poehler? The ultimate momager, Kris Jenner; that's who!
It wasn't that long ago that Kris was playing this role in real life:
Another Victorious reunion with Matt Bennett for the iconic Bring It On tooth-brushing, foamy-spit scene.
There's nothing Ariana's brother, Frankie, loves more than attention, so he's probably pretty blissed out over his easter egg cameo as a figure skater.
Ariana is ready to get her Harvard law degree! And her license plate is ready to give us another hint at a track title from the upcoming album.
Jennifer Coolidge is back to reprise her Legally Blonde role. All these years later, she's still got the facial expressions down.
In case the "HUUUUUUUGE" Burn Book passage wasn't enough of a hint, Ariana confides, "He was really cute (shady editor's note: debatable) and it was really big." Yes, Ari. WE KNOW!
The Gospel of Elle Woods clearly states that, "Whoever said orange is the new pink was seriously disturbed." Judging by the MacBook and top, Ariana might have been that person.
Is there anything cuter than 13 Going on 30's Jenna Rink nae-nae-ing? Probably not.
Bend-and-snapping to the beat of "thank u, next" comes close though.
(Shout out to the scene-stealing "YAAS!" extra. And the Tan France lookalike too.)
Speaking of keeping an eye on extras, notice how the UPS logo on this dude's shirt has been changed as a nod to Allison P. Davis' famous study of Big Dick Energy.
Like all great things, this video must come to an end, but if Ariana's obvious rubbernecking thirst below is any indication, we might get a "thank u, next" sequel (ur welcome, next?) before we know it.