She may have said "thank u, next" to her past relationships, but Ariana Grande fans think the lyrics in her new song "Positions" are shading Pete Davidson. Two years after the couple ended their brief engagement, the singer released "Positions" and its presidential-themed music video on Oct. 23 — and while most of the track seems to be inspired by Grande's new beau, Dalton Gomez, the line that caught most fans' attention may be a reference to her famous ex.
"Heaven sent you to me," Grande sings in the first verse. "I'm just hopin' I don't repeat history." Though on the surface the lyric implies that the singer doesn't want her current relationship to end in heartbreak, Grande takes a significant pause between "re" and "peat," leading fans on social media to wonder if that line is actually a dig at Davidson.
The similarities between the lyric in the "Positions" intro and a line in Grande's Sweetener track "Pete Davidson" also raised some eyebrows. "Universe must have my back, fell from the sky into my lap," she sang on the 2018 love song she wrote about the comedian. Grande has not yet commented on the inspiration behind "Positions," nor has she confirmed that the "repeat" line is a reference to her ex. Still, that hasn't stopped social media users from speculating on Twitter.
After their very public whirlwind romance came to an end in October 2018, both Grande and Davidson spoke quite a bit about their relationship and their breakup. In addition to mentioning the Saturday Night Live star as one of the exes she's "so grateful" for in "thank u, next," the singer also described their romance as a "distraction" from her breakup with the late Mac Miller in a June 2019 interview with Vogue.
"My friends were like, 'Come [to New York City]! We're gonna have a fun summer.' And then I met Pete, and it was an amazing distraction," Grande said at the time. "It was frivolous and fun and insane and highly unrealistic, and I loved him, and I didn't know him. I'm like an infant when it comes to real life and this old soul, been-around-the-block-a-million-times artist. I still don't trust myself with the life stuff."
Davidson, who frequently referenced Grande on SNL throughout their relationship, told Charlamagne Tha God in February that he has no ill will towards his ex, but plans to continue joking about Grande in his stand-up routines. He also opened up about the breakup in his 2020 Netflix special, Alive in New York, where he described the singer as "a very, very powerful woman, you know, and very smart."
In the special, Davidson also joked about the downside of being named in "thank u, next," which became one of Grande's biggest singles. "That song came out, and my friends were like, 'Bro, I love you. I love you, right? [But] sh*t is catchy. It's catchy, you're going to have a rough 8 months,'" he joked. Even his own grandpa thought the song was a hit: "[He] was like, 'It's a slap. Peter, it's a slap. I'm really sorry, it's a good song and I don't even listen to that.'"