"Don't get me wrong, I'm not insane, I know I shouldn't be making fun of how anyone looks", Pete later said before his own picture was put on the screen.
During a later appearance on the show's "Weekend Update", segment, Davidson addressed the breakup directly. While on the weekly segment, Pete quickly joked that he had moved back in with his mom, hinting at his breakup with Ariana. "She's a wonderful, strong person, and I genuinely wish her all the happiness in the world", he said. "Now, please go vote on Tuesday". Davidson also joked about the break-up during a comedy show with Judd Apatow, saying "Well, as you could tell, I don't want to be here". The promo was met with backlash from Grande herself, who tweeted out criticism toward her ex after the promo was released. In responses to her fans on Twitter, Grande revealed that "thank u, next" would be both the title of a song and the album it would appear on, and the song would come first. "Wrote some songs about Ricky / Now I listen and laugh / Even nearly got married / And for Pete I'm so thankful / Wish I could say thank you to Malcolm / 'Cause he was an angel".
The NBC series reference Grande and Davidson's romance frequently, starting with a sketch in the season 44 premiere poking fun at how famous Davidson had gotten since starting to date his then-fiancee.