Everything Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson's Whirlwind Romance Gave Us—Including "BDE"

Though they were only together for roughly five months, the former couple gave us "BDE," "thank u, next" and so much more

By Tierney Bricker Oct 14, 2019 4:25 PMTags

And for Pete and Ariana's romance, we're so thankful...

Following a whirlwind summer romance and engagement, Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson announced their breakup on Oct. 14, 2018. Yes, the Earth has completed one full rotation around the sun since the pair called off their engagement, which happened less than one month after they officially began dating. But for that brief period of time, from May through October, the public could not get enough of the singer and the comedian's relationship. Every tattoo was documented (and then later covered up). Every Snapchat was archived. Every outing was photographed. Every interview with Pete included a bite from him about how damn lucky he was.

"I'm still convinced she's blind or hit her head really hard," Davidson cracked in an interview with Variety. "Something is going to happen, and she's going to be like, 'What the f--k is this thing doing around?' For right now, it's rocking."


Until, you know, it wasn't rocking just two months later. While their love ultimately wasn't built to last, their relationship's legacy has lived on, with Ariana and Pete gifting us with a few substantial pop culture moments that have proved to withstand the cruel hands of time. 

Ariana Grande & Pete Davidson: Romance Rewind

"BDE": Arguably the biggest contribution any celebrity couple has made in recent memory is the introduction of "BDE" aka "Big D--k Energy" to the masses, with the term taking over social media after Ariana tweeted (and then deleted) a message about the size of her then-fiance's penis.

After the screenshot of her tweet when viral, "BDE" came into play thanks to Twitter user @babyvietcong, who wrote, "Pete davidson is 6'3 with dark circles, exudes big d--k energy, looks evil but apparently is an angel, and loves his girl publicly the only thing wrong w him is that he's a scorpio but anyway.....id married him within a month too."

Pete Davidson Returns to SNL and Jokes About His Absence

And like that, a meme was born, with debates raging on about which celebs have "BDE" (Rihanna? For sure has BDE) and which, sadly, were not gifted with the energy. Vox did an explainer article, basically boiling it down to "BDE" meaning you are confident without being cocky, a trait Pete displayed throughout his romance with the "NASA" singer by being just as amazed as the public that he was able to land her. 

I feel like I won a contest," the comedian told Jimmy Fallon pre-split. "It's fucking lit, Jimmy. It's so funny walking down the street, because dudes are walking by and they [tip their hats at me].

See? BDE. 



"thank u, next": OK sure, Ariana name-checks almost all her famous exes in the now iconic breakup anthem, but there's no denying that her split from Pete, for whom she's so thankful, was the initial inspiration for the 2018 hit. (Also, we're so thankful for the video inspired by all of Ari's favorite rom-coms—including Mean Girls, 13 Going on 30 and Legally Blonde.)

And there's no denying that Thank U, Next, Ariana's fifth studio album that came out in February 2019, definitely came out sooner rather than later in some small way because of her fleeting romance with Pete, giving us gems like "7 Rings," "NASA" and "Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored."

"pete": How refreshing was it to have a music artist just outright say (and name the damn song after) the person who inspired the tune? No secrets or cryptic messages here! 

Lollipops as an appropriate accessory: Niche? Yes. But after the pair was photographed out and about in NYC, with Ariana enjoying a sweet treat while hungrily eyeing her beau, yet another Internet meme was born

SNL makes headlines: Listen, we all know Saturday Night Live can go through slumps. But Pete's high-profile new romance became a unexpected featured player on the longrunning NBC sketch series in 2018, with viewers constantly wondering how the star would bring it up during Weekend Update. And the references kept on comin' after the split, with Lorne Michaels clearly knowing Pete and Ari, together or apart, were good for business...at least for a little bit. 


Pete Davidson: Love him or hate him, his romance with Ariana solidified the 25-year-old's spot among young Hollywood's power players, with his unexpected romance with Kate Beckinsale following the end of his engagement making just as many headlines, and his "beautiful" new relationship with Margaret Qualley also generating buzz. Plus, he's set to star in Suicide Squad 2 and is still stealing the spotlight on Saturday Night Live...even when he's not in the episode

For more memories from the couple's five-month relationship that took pop culture by storm, look back on Ari and Pete's whirlwind romance…

Start of Something New

Soon after confirming her split from rapper Mac Miller in May 2018, E! News confirms the pop star and Saturday Night Live comedian are casually dating. "Ariana was holding Mac together for a long time and it wasn't a good relationship for her," a source shares at the time. "She is in a very good place and very happy now."

Speaking Out Against the Haters

In an emotional Instagram Stories post, Davidson (who is open about his struggle with borderline personality disorder) defends himself from those who think the mental illness negatively impacts his relationship with Grande. 

Let the Instagram Flirting Begin

A picture is worth a thousand words but an Instagram caption says it all. The lovebirds exchange flirty messages on social media and fans go wild. 

A Match Made in Hogwart's Heaven

On May 30, 2018, the pair officially confirms their relationship by posing together on Instagram. Meanwhile, a source tells E! News, "Everyone thinks they're really cute together. People don't realize what a great sense of humor she has. It makes them a good match. They're having a good time." 

Officially Inked

Things go from 0 to 100 when Pete debuts not one, but two tattoos as a tribute to his girlfriend of only a few weeks. The 24-year-old opts for Grande's initials on his right thumb and an image of the black bunny mask the singer wears on the cover of her 2016 album Dangerous Woman on his neck. 

Always On His Mind

In early June, Pete performs a stand-up comedy set at the Hollywood Improv, where he took a moment to shout out Ari. An eyewitness recalls, "He started saying how he felt so lucky like he won the lottery and couldn't believe he was so lucky... After that, he kind of got into more of a comedy act, but it was pretty sweet because that was the most genuine and happy he seemed during the whole thing."

Head Over Heels

Ariana jokes on social media, "I am but a pete davidson update acc stay tuned for more (pete follows / comments sumtimes)" 

A Surprise Proposal

They're engaged! Multiple outlets report that Pete popped the question and Ariana said yes. "They're just two people who found love quickly and make each other happy all the time," a source shared with People. "They both started talking about it this past weekend. It's nothing they've been hiding."

PDA Alert!

The two lock lips while out in NYC in late June. 


Pete and Ariana become the proud inhabitants of a $16 million unit in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, which he later reveals was purchased by the pop star. 

B-Day Princess

Donning a Louis Vuitton-themed ensemble, Ariana celebrates her 25th birthday at a dinner gathering with her close pals and beau. 

A Touching Tribute

In addition to getting Pete's late father's FDNY badge number tattooed on her foot, she begins wearing a gold pendant that belonged to him. 


Grande leaves no stone unturned in her deeply personal fourth studio album, which drops in August. From "R.E.M." to "Sweetener," the star chronicles falling in love with Davidson, the man who comes through her life "like the sweetener you are."

Date Night Done Right

The couple makes their red carpet debut at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards, where Ariana performs "God Is a Woman" and takes home the award for Best Pop Video.

A Tragic Turn

In September, news of Ariana's beloved ex-boyfriend Mac Miller's death sends shockwaves through Hollywood. Originally scheduled to attend the 2018 Emmys in support of Davidson, the couple bows out in order to "take time to heal." 

Piggy Smalls

Pete and Ariana adopted a pet teacup pig, which Ariana called an "emotional support animal" in a tweet. Pete tattooed the animal on his torso and Piggy even appeared in Ariana's music video for "breathin."

Work, work, work, work, work

Ariana supported Pete at Saturday Night Live and wrote, "I love you like Kanye loves Kanye." 

The End of the Engagement

In October 2018, news broke that the two had called off their engagement.

Latest News