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I Will Forever Be Sobbing Over This Mac Miller Reference In Ariana Grande's 'We Can't Be Friends' Video

My free time these days is literally just me watching Ariana Grande’s “we can’t be friends” music video on repeat. It’s a cinematic masterpiece based on another cinematic masterpiece: 2004’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Ariana brilliantly, *presumably* uses the film’s plot to help tell her own story about her recent divorce from Dalton Gomez. (In case you somehow missed it, their split was a whole messy affair involving SpongeBob.) I assume that Evan Peters, who stars in the music video with her, is supposed to represent the low-key mysterious celebrity real estate agent.

However, there might be more to the “we can’t be friends” story than just Dalton and SpongeBob. Some Arianators have pointed out that their queen also included a significant reference to Mac Miller, the late, beloved rapper who was one of her great loves. The music video might be a commentary on different kinds of loss — not just divorce. As if I needed any more reasons to cry about this. Allow me to explain the key Mac hint in Ariana’s latest pop culture phenomenon video.

Fans Think The Dog In Ariana’s Music Video Represents Mac’s Dog

If you’re familiar with the music video, you know the scene where Ariana’s ripping our hearts out, crying and begging to keep a special necklace from her ex. There’s a flashback to when her former lover gave it to her, but then, as the memory is manipulated, the necklace transforms into a dog collar. A giant, fluffy dog replaces Ariana’s ex next to her. In real life, Ariana was left with Mac’s dog, Myron, after the rapper tragically died in 2018. She is probably implying that all she has left of him now is his dog. I have to say that I think this theory is valid, and I’m getting dehydrated from this sobbing marathon.

It Wouldn’t Be The First Time Ariana’s Referenced Mac In Her Work

Ariana Grande Mac Miller
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Over the years, Ariana has paid tribute to Mac in her music many times. Of course, in 2018’s “thank u, next,” she croons, “Wish I could say ‘thank you’ to Malcolm / ‘Cause he was an angel.” He also got a few shoutouts in her 2020 album, Positions. One track, “six thirty,” may be inspired by Mac’s leaked unreleased song “6:30.” In another, “just like magic,” Ariana sings, “Take my pen and write some love letters to heaven.” After that line, there’s a pause in the music while crickets chirp. Since Mac was so special to Ariana, there will probably always be devastating but incredibly sweet little moments like this in her work. Excuse me while I go watch “we can’t be friends” for the trillionth time.

Ilana Frost
Ilana Frost
Ilana Frost is an entertainment writer at Betches. As a teenage girl in her twenties, she spends her time stanning Olivia Rodrigo, baking cakes for award shows, and refusing to ever leave her Reputation era.