The driver hears the cost of the Starbucks order and stops the pay-it-forward line

Pay-it-forward drive-thru chains are common during the holiday season when customers want to share their generosity with others in line behind them. However, such ads have drawn criticism online, particularly from people who don’t want to take part or people who feel the generosity could be better shared by tipping the drive-thru employee.

A TikToker who often shares his drive-thru encounters shares an example of declining to join a pay-it-forward line because of the $20.55 cost of the order. The video posted by Damon Darling (@damondarlingtv) on December 23 has had over 792,000 views.

In the video, a Starbucks employee tells him that the order behind him is $20.55. Darling thinks about it for a moment before telling the drive-thru cashier that he “better not” be a part of the pay-it-forward chain. In his comments section, he clarified that he was on a $10 budget.


I look like Mr. Beast?

♬ Original sound – Damon Darling TV

Some viewers agreed with the move, with some pointing out that spending $20 at Starbucks is more than most plan on entering the drive-thru.

“$20 for Starbucks is crazy,” wrote one commenter.

“We’ve all been here before,” said another. “Like no, never mind.”

“Lol yeah if you spend $20 at Starbucks you don’t need a favor,” added a third.

Others shared their own experiences when asked to pay larger sums in pay-it-forward lines.

“Oh my god this happened to me at Arby’s and her order was $30 lol,” shared one commenter. “How damn. I had to bite the bullet.”

“My mom tried this at McDonalds the other day,” wrote another. “The order was about $30 what she said nvm.”

“Someone paid for mine the other day so I wanted to push it but the people behind me’s order was $20 too, I said maybe next time,” said a third.

The Daily Dot contacted Darling via Instagram direct message.


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*Initial publication: December 24, 2022 at 11:00 am CST

Brooke Sjoberg

Brooke Sjoberg is a freelance writer for the Daily Dot. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin in 2020.

Brooke Sjoberg The driver hears the cost of the Starbucks order and stops the pay-it-forward line

Jaclyn Diaz

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