Yes, and? Every hidden Easter egg in Ariana Grande’s new music video

She really soft launched Eternal Sunshine

After three long years, it finally happened. Ariana Grande has returned to pop music and we are all so much better for it. After teasing new music on social media she dropped her latest single, yes, and?, last week and it was unlike anything we’d heard from Ariana before.

The song, which serves as the lead single of her upcoming album Eternal Sunshine, seems to hit back at the public’s interest in her private life. Over the past year she has been in the constant face of criticism, from a public obsession with her weight to rumours about her love life. When news broke of her relationship with Wicked co-star, Ethan Slater, Ariana was the internet’s villain, a home-wreaking, boyfriend-stealer who was not “a girl’s girl”.

In yes, and? Ariana brushes the critics aside to embrace “her most authentic life”, a message she drove home in the song’s ICONIC dance music video. Bright, bold, and nostalgic, the video is also filled with little references and Easter Eggs that fans have been uncovering online. Here’s everything you may have missed:

The staircase in the video references the Sweetener era

Shortly after the video dropped, fans were quick to point out that the staircase seemed to be a reference to the staircase used in promo for her fourth studio album, Sweetener.

Cast our minds back to 2018 when, a year on from the devastating Manchester Arena attack, Ariana gave us Sweetener. Her most vulnerable and experimental at the time, the album looked at all the bad in the world and promised the listener light at the end of the tunnel. In promo, music videos, and performances, Ariana used staircases to symbolise feeling lost and upside down, but climbing upwards anyway, which really summed up the message of the Sweetener era.

From what we’ve seen so far, it seems that Eternal Sunshine might be carrying similar optimistic themes, so its nice to see Sweetener (which is criminally underrated) referenced in the video.

The statues represent her past eras

In true Taylor Swift fashion, Ariana seems to gather her previous eras together at the start of the yes, and? video. The statue sat on the stairs is posing like Ariana did on the cover of her debut album, Yours Truly, the one on floor in front of it resembles the cover of her second album, My Everything, and the statue lying down on the left is posing like the cover of Thank U, Next.

Some fans have suggested that the two statues together on the left make a six, referencing her sixth album, Positions, which I guess I can see. Some people on X have been suggesting that the two statues on the right are referencing her ‘Reebok’ era which, if you weren’t there, came between Dangerous Woman and Sweetener when Ariana had a brand partnership with Reebok that she’d post about, a lot. Why she would reference that in the video I don’t know, but I guess it was an era?

Ariana teased the album cover

Whilst the statues around Ariana symbolised her previous work, the statue of her in the middle was a nod to her upcoming album. Though she has said on Instagram that the album will have multiple covers, she secretly revealed the cover pose for one of them in the video.

and the album’s title

At the start of the video, Ariana invites critics to watch her performance through a red notecard that says “ag7” followed by some co-ordinates. They lead to Montauk, New York which, as some fans were impressively quick to deduce, was an important filming location for the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, hinting to the album title – Eternal Sunshine.

The 2004 movie, which stars Jim Carey (who Ariana is openly a HUGE fan of), revolves around erasing the memory of a former lover. I’ll admit I’ve never seen it, but trust me I’ll fix that before March 8th.

The video is a tribute to Paula Abdul

The music video for yes, and? takes heavy inspiration from Paula Abdul’s 1988 video for Cold Hearted. From the outfit, to the warehouse, the dancers and the audience of critics, the videos have a lot of similarities.

Since yes, and? takes inspiration from late-80s house music and ballroom culture, the video homage seems to suggest that the rest of Eternal Sunshine may follow suit.

She speaks directly to her critics

In the past year, Ariana has not been able to catch a break from critics online, from conversations about her weight to the drama that surrounded her divorce and new relationship with her Wicked co-star, Ethan Slater. In yes, and? she finally responded to all of it through lyrics such as “don’t comment on my body, do not reply” and “why do you care so much whose *** I ride”.

In the video, she sings these lines directly to an audience of critics, whilst cleansing their energy with a tuning fork – icon behaviour.


What are you doing here? In the background of the video the name Pete is graffitied on a wall, which is surely a reference to her ex-fiancé, Pete Davidson, right? Similar to her current relationship-drama, her split from Pete Davidson was also a target for a lot of criticism, which may be why he’s been included in the video.

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Featured image credit via YouTube