You caught all the film references in Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next video — Legally Blonde! Bring It On! Mean Girls! 13 Going on 30! — and definitely couldn’t miss the cameos (we see you, cool momager Kris Jenner), but it’s time we brought you in a little closer. Thank U, Next is crawling with nods to Ari’s own increasingly rom-com of a life, including winks at what her ex-fiancé Pete Davidson’s packing and music from her next album. We present to you the best Easter eggs.
Ari’s Regina George also has her very own Burn Book, but hers is more lightly singed. Each of her exes named in the song has his own page (except Mac Miller; for him, she looks up to heaven), including photos from their relationship with some notes. Big Sean, for example, she looks back on fondly with “so cute,” “so sweet,” and, ahem, this crucial parenthetical: “could still get it.” We’d tell Ari that Sean is also reportedly single now, but she’s already moved on with herself.
Her former backup dancer and ex, Ricky Alvarez (remember, he was the one next to her during #donutgate) gets the very mature “good times man” remembrance with a promise to be “friends forever.”
Oh, ho, ho, ho, but then there’s Pete Davidson. Poor, left-in-the-dust Pete. Her message to her formerly betrothed is bittersweet, noting that she’ll “love u always,” but also that she’s “sry I dipped,” confirming that she left him. But, then, the biggest of compliments: “HUUUUUGE,” in reference to his … well, you get it.
Pete gets two other shout-outs later, during her Legally Blonde moment. Both in memoriam of his “really big” you know what in a skit with Jennifer Coolidge as well as the very strategically placed BDE logo on the UPS guy’s shirt. Because, uh, they’ve got a package.
In the Legally Blonde section, Ariana is studying the of-the-moment topic of immigration law and policy. She’s also got a textbook on search and seizure, which hopefully means she’s planning on doing some social-justice work.
Pulling a Taylor Swift, Ari has also included hidden messages throughout the video teasing song titles from her next album. During Mean Girls, she’s seen wearing a shirt with the words “Little Bit Needy” on it, a reference to one of her new songs, “Needy.”
Her license plate during Legally Blonde teases “7 RINGS.”
And the most obscure song tease of all of them, “Imagine,” appears in the background of her Bring It On cheer.
Ari isn’t dating “Aubrey” like you might assume from her pronunciation of her own name or what Troye Sivan says in the intro, but she is very much having a love affair with herself. She rewrites the mixtape moment from Bring It On where Cliff sends a love song to Torrance to be a song she’s sending from Ari to Ari, and includes posters of herself on her walls, both in Bring It On--land and the world of Legally Blonde. Plus, if you look closely at the dolls in her 13 Going on 30 homage, they’ve all gotten her own face taped over them, which is sorta creepy in a Sharp Objects way, but also a fun shout-out from Ari to Ari. (On close inspection, one of the faces is the selfie she took of herself in her Jenna Rink hair.)
One family cameo among the self-love: Ariana subtly shouts out her brother Frankie on the wall of her Bring It On room with an autographed photo of a figure skater that matches his own autograph. (In Torrance’s room, she had a poster of Nancy Kerrigan.)