All The Cameos In Ariana Grande's "Thank U, Next" Video, Because There's So Much Star Power
Ariana Grande's song "thank u, next" is about what she's learned from her exes. But the video is all about nostalgia and movies from the early 2000s, and it features plenty of guest appearances from people who are not the singer's ex-boyfriends. All of the cameos in Ariana Grande's "thank u, next" video might make your head spin, so here's a guide to why the people in the video look so familiar.
The "thank u, next" video focuses on four classic movies that Grande's fans might remember from sleepovers back in the day. There's Bring It On, Legally Blonde, Mean Girls, and 13 Going on 30. Naturally, Grande inserted herself into the lead roles, stepping into the shoes of iconic characters like Elle Woods and Regina George with ease.
Still, the video is far from a one-woman show. Grande has enlisted the help of her friends, fellow celebs, and even some of the movies' original stars to make the "thank u, next" video absolutely epic. Honestly, it's already iconic, and fans might just be saying "thank u, next" to every other music video that's come before it.
Here's a list of everyone who made a cameo in the "thank u, next" video, because there are a lot of people involved.
Grande's spot-on Jennifer Coolidge impression is well-documented, so it only makes sense that the singer would invite Coolidge to reprise her Legally Blonde role for the video. The actor appears as the iconic Paulette in the video, sporting a Bruiser Woods T-shirt and everything.
Grande’s conversation with Coolidge in the video includes a joke about one of her exes' endowment, a likely reference to the articles written about Pete Davidson’s reported "Big Dick Energy." Hilariously, though, Coolidge's Paulette seems to think Grande is talking about her ex having a big front tooth.
And speaking of Bruiser, Grande's dog Toulouse has a cameo in the video, too, People pointed out. Moonie, the dog who played Bruiser Woods in Legally Blonde, passed away in 2016. But Toulouse pays homage to the legendary pup in the video, donning pink clothes similar to what Elle might have dressed Bruiser in during her time at Harvard Law School.
Bennett played Aaron Samuels in Mean Girls, and he brought back the role for "thank u, next." In the intro, Bennett says that Grande told him his "hair looked sexy pushed back," so he wore it that way, a reference to the exchange between Aaron, Regina, and Cady in the original movie.
Grande's Victorious costar has a "thank u, next" cameo, too. Bennett appeared in the video in a scene inspired by Bring It On's iconic toothbrush moment, stepping into the role of Cliff.
The YouTube comedian, known for her character Miranda Sings, appeared in the "thank u, next" intro as another student who's a fan of Grande's. "One time, on Twitter, I heard Ariana was pregnant. So I got pregnant, so we could be pregnant at the same time. Turns out it was just a rumor," Ballinger says in the intro, before turning to the side and revealing her pregnant belly.
In addition to her role in the intro, Ballinger also played one of the Bring It On cheerleaders in the video.
Grande revealed that the Dynasty actor would be joining the "thank u, next" video in an Instagram post ahead of the trailers. Gillies looks almost identical to Lindsay Lohan's Mean Girls character, Cady, so Grande's casting choice was on point here.
Aside from Gillies, the "thank u, next" video also includes cameos from Grande's friends Courtney Chipolone and Alexa Luria as the minions to Grande's Regina George.
6Tayla Parx & Victoria Monét
Parx and Monét co-wrote "thank u, next" with Grande, so it makes sense that they have cameos in the video, too. The singer's friends appear as two of the other cheerleaders in the Bring It On-inspired scenes, alongside Luz Remigio-Frias, Nekai Johnson, and Patience Aquart.
Grande's friend and fellow artist appeared in the Mean Girls-inspired "thank u, next" intro, with a joke about Apple Music's lyric error when the song first came out. The service mistakenly identified Grande's lyric, "her name is Ari" — a reference to Grande herself — as "her name is Aubrey."
In the video's opening moments, Sivan says, "I heard she's a lesbian now and dating some chick called Aubrey." His character appears in the beginning of the actual video, too, in the school hallways as Grande and the other "plastics" walk by.
When Grande revealed that someone would be playing her mom, Joan Grande, in the video, fans' minds immediately went to the Kardashian-Jenner matriarch. TMZ reported on Thursday that Kris Jenner would be in the "thank u, next" video, so it only makes sense.
Jenner is the perfect stage mom in the video, wearing a pink sweatsuit similar to the one Amy Poehler wore as Regina's mom in Mean Girls. Jenner is only mouthing her support for the ladies' Christmas dance routine, but it's easy to imagine her telling Grande's Regina that she's "doing amazing, sweetie."
Grande's backup dancer appears in drag in the "thank u, next" video . "I heard if you record her snoring and play it backwards, it sounds like Fantasia," Nicholson says during the Mean Girls parody at the beginning, before the song starts.
The YouTuber, who looks a lot like Grande in the "thank u, next" intro, has a line that's inspired by one of the tattoos Grande got with her ex-fiancé, Pete Davidson. "Ariana says, 'Honest to God, knock me out,' so I decided to punch myself in the face. It was awesome," DeMartino says in the "thank u, next" video.
The Mean Girls actor, whose character apparently loved when Regina George punched her in the face, is back, this time with words of admiration for Grande. "Ariana broke off an engagement, so I found a guy to propose to me, and I broke off an engagement," Drummond says in the "thank u, next" intro.