Ariana Grande’s affection for Mean Girls predates her stardom; just before her 14th birthday, she created a YouTube version of the 2004 classic with friends during a sleepover.
Now, 12 year later, Grande is paying more professional homage to the Lindsay Lohan teen smash, creating an affectionate pastiche of the iconic movie for the video for her new track, “thank u, next,” which was released earlier this month.
Monday night, Grande took to Instagram to drop a few teasing glimpses of the video, featuring actors from the original movie including Jonathan Bennett, and stills which showed her channeling the Regina George character played by Rachel McAdams.
The clip kicks off with comedian Colleen Ballinger depicting a pregnant teenager in the halls of a bustling high school.
“One time on Twitter, I heard Ariana was pregnant. So I got pregnant so we could be pregnant at the same time.”
As the camera pans to her pregnant belly, she sighs, “Turns out it was just a rumor.”
Stefanie Drummond, who played Bethany Byrd in the original film, is also featured, saying: “Ariana broke off an engagement, so I found a guy to propose to me and I broke off an engagement.”
Another segment of the video features Grande’s friend Courtney Chipolone. Grande recently posted a (sideways) picture of them kissing with a caption that will only make sense to Mean Girls enthusiasts.
In her cameo, Chipolone says: “Ariana says, honest to God, knock me out. So I decided to punch myself in the face... it was awesome.”
Since it was released in early November, ‘thank u next’ has become the fastest song to reach 100 million streams on Spotify, and all the indications are that this new video will cement its status as a pop-culture classic in its own right.