TikTokers Spark Heated Debate Over Birthday Dinner Etiquette — Including Who Should Pay

The video-sharing platform is abuzz with opinions on who should pay for a birthday outing at a restaurant

<p>Getty</p> A birthday cake being sliced and served in a restaurant with a group of friends.


A birthday cake being sliced and served in a restaurant with a group of friends.

A debate over who should pay for an individual's birthday dinner has sparked a heated discussion on TikTok.

Last month, a TikTok user named Sean Lans posted a clip on the video-sharing platform, where he detailed that he opted to skip a friend's birthday dinner due to the high prices of the food and drinks at the restaurant chosen for the celebration.

"For his birthday, [my friend] chose a restaurant where the cheapest entrée was $41, so I didn't go, and now he's mad at me," Lans explained at the beginning of the clip. "... I am a little bit broke as it is, so I'm like, I'll just skip the dinner, and then go out."

Highlighting that his friend was not happy with his choice to skip the dinner but join their group afterward, Lans defended his decision, stating, "I'm not really looking to spend the equivalent of a week of grocery money on a single night out. I think I made a fair compromise, so I don't know what to tell you."

He closed his video by stating: "Yeah, it's your birthday, but you should know if your friends are going to be happy at where you choose. ... I don't think your birthday is about the biggest, fanciest thing. It's about, like, having fun with your friends and doing something you like."

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<p>Getty</p> Friends celebrating a birthday.


Friends celebrating a birthday.

Related: TikTok Divided Over How to Split the Bill When Out with Friends — Expert Gives the Answer

In the comments section of his post, Lans was met with praise from others who agreed with him.

"It's his bday so he doesn't need to change plans but also u don't need to go if you're tight on money. He should understand at least," one user wrote, as another added, "Friends who make you feel bad for being tight on money are not your friends period."

Others, meanwhile, sided with the friend who was celebrating his birthday, stating that Lans should've been more prepared and anticipated the restaurant outing in advance.

"If you can't spend $100 a year to celebrate your friend , are you even a friend?" wrote one commenter, as one other said: "I feel like you have all year to save up for your friends [sic] birthday no excuses."

Related: Martha Stewart Shares Her Etiquette Tips for Eating Out and Traveling: 'I Never Leave Messes' (Exclusive)

Not long after Lans' video went viral, influencer Tinx sided with him and stated in her own TikTok video that a friend celebrating their birthday should pay for everyone’s dinner during their celebrations.

“If you invite a person to a restaurant of your choosing for your birthday, you should pay for everybody,” she said.

Tinx continued, “I know that is going to be deeply unpopular, but I just think that you can’t pick a restaurant and ask people to come and celebrate you and pay for themselves.”

The star then reiterated that it would be her "treat" if she planned an outing and invited a group to attend.

“To pick an expensive restaurant and expect everybody to pay, and in this person’s case, then get pissy when they say, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t afford that,’ is really bad manners," Tinx concluded.

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