Thank U, Next

Why are young people suddenly bombarding social media with images that accompany these words:


Last Saturday pop princess Ariana Grande released a new single “Thank U, Next” right before her ex-fiancé Pete Davidson appeared on SNL, and there were no surprises when the single shot into the charts. It broke the single-day Spotify female record for a female artist (twice!), accumulating a cool 8.5 million global streams in a day. Four days after its release, it had over 40 million Spotify streams.

What’s also so initially impressive about the release is that Grande is commenting on the events of the moment almost in real time. Her whirlwind of a personal life has played out so publically over the last 3 months that the song’s release is an unpredicted quickfire response, and tabloid gold. Intuitively fans can listen to it and imagine how intimate personal events inspired its creation.

The song itself goes from heartbreak to hope. It features lines about four of Grande’s ex-boyfriends, poignantly including reference to Mac Miller who recently passed away at the age of 26. The lyrics take the form of a love letter to herself, portraying a Beyoncésque image of a ‘strong independent woman’ who doesn’t need a man to define her.

As if all this wasn’t enough to get followers instantly hooked…


In addition to the single inspiring an outpouring of love for Ariana from her fans, the release has sparked the internet’s favourite thing, a new groundbreaking meme.

The idea is that you share 3 images of related things - one of which taught you love, one patience and one pain (echoing the lyrics). The ‘love, patience and pain’ meme, as it’s been dubbed, takes Ariana’s lyrics about her ex-boyfriends, and reimagines them in many weird and wonderful ways. From old TV series’ crushes to public transport and food - no topic is too out there, or too local. A bunch of people are even turning the meme back on their own favourite bands. The opportunities certainly would seem never ending.

Arguably we can all learn a little love, patience or pain from a meme - even if they also often get the “thank u, next”, treatment themselves.

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