Bored Panda works better on our iPhone app
Continue in app Continue in browser

BoredPanda Add post form topAdd Post Search
Tooltip close

The Bored Panda iOS app is live! Fight boredom with iPhones and iPads here.

Guy Skips Friend’s Birthday Dinner Because The Cheapest Entrée Is $41, And People Have Opinions
480

Guy Skips Friend’s Birthday Dinner Because The Cheapest Entrée Is $41, And People Have Opinions

Interview With Author
ADVERTISEMENT

Birthdays can become pretty expensive pretty fast. Not only to the host, but the guests as well. From covering travel expenses to buying gifts and contributing to group activities, the dollars can add up quickly.

Last month, TikTok user Sean Lans shared a video about skipping a friend’s birthday dinner because it was too costly for him. Sean still went to congratulate his buddy, only he joined the party after everyone ate.

This, however, didn’t sit well with his friend, who felt disappointed by Sean’s late arrival, saying he missed out on sharing the full experience.

More info: Instagram | TikTok

It’s a privilege to have people celebrating your birthday, and this TikToker thinks we shouldn’t push it

Image credits: cottonbro studio

“I think it’s unfair when someone chooses a really expensive restaurant for a birthday dinner”

Image credits: @seanlans

“It’s causing this disagreement with a friend right now, for his birthday, he chose a restaurant and the cheapest entree is $41. And so I didn’t go and now he’s mad at me. The reason I decided not to go is because the plan was dinner and then going out and the place he chose to go out already had a $35 ticket, and I am a little bit broke as it is. So I said: Okay, I’ll skip the dinner and then just go out, I thought that was a good compromise, because I would still be seeing him on his birthday. “

ADVERTISEMENT

“The dinner just wasn’t appealing to me, like the item I would actually get on the menu was $47”

Image credits: @seanlans

“Because the $41 item was a burger, just the burger and the patty, and the fries was $11 extra. And you know, at a fine dining restaurant, a burger’s just gonna be three bites. And I also don’t eat red meat. When I met them after the dinner, it was clear that the vibe was a little bit off and a mutual friend was like, yeah, he was kind of mad that you didn’t go and I said: Yeah, I don’t really know what to say. 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. And it’s not like I ditched him”

Image credits: @seanlans

“There were other people at his dinner, but I’m pretty sure none of them actually wanted to go to this restaurant, because who wants to spend a lot of money on awful food with small portions? I guess I was just the only one to speak up and said: yeah, that doesn’t really work for me, but I’ll meet you out after. Just read the room. Yeah, it’s your birthday. But you should know if your friends are going to be happy with where you choose. So yeah, I stand by my decision. I don’t think your birthday is about doing the biggest, fanciest thing. It’s about having fun with your friends and doing something you like.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Sean’s video has since gone viral

@seanlans Restaurants in new york are so expensive in general it’s actually crazy #nyc #birthdaydinner #storytime #gay #expensive #broke #fyp ♬ original sound – Sean Lans

We managed to get in touch with Sean and he said he shared this experience online for a couple of reasons.

“First, it fits in well with my style of content, which is generally stories about intimate or intriguing moments in my life,” he told Bored Panda. “Second, I like to choose stories that may be a little controversial, because this increases engagement. In this case, spending money, expensive dinners, and friendship dynamics are all topics that cause drama in many people’s lives but they’re relatable enough that many people will have opinions.”

“As a result, the reactions are mostly what I expected to see, where people think it’s fine for the birthday person to choose whatever restaurant they want, but it’s not fair for them to get mad at someone for not wanting to come for financial reasons,” the TikToker added. “I was surprised to see how many people expect the host to pay for everyone, but this seems to be due to different cultural expectations.”

“I was also surprised that many people think $41 is reasonable to spend on a burger and several people said that I should’ve spent the year saving up for this friend’s birthday dinner; I disagree with both of those perspectives, but it goes to show how much discourse there is on this topic.”

Sean personally thinks that each guest should pay for their own meal. “With large dinners where not everyone necessarily knows one another and there could be a large variety in what everyone orders, splitting the check evenly is almost never fair, so everyone paying for their own individual order is the best way,” he explained. “I don’t see any problem with the host paying for their guests, but I don’t think this should be an expectation because many people will not be prepared to cover such a large expense.”

ADVERTISEMENT

With that being said, the content creator believes that for all guests to have fun at a birthday dinner, the host needs to be mindful of everyone’s financial situation.

“The birthday person has the right to choose what they want to do to celebrate, but it should be within reason because a real friend will not knowingly put their friends into an uncomfortable financial situation,” Sean added. “Involving them in the planning process is a great way to achieve this because allowing everyone to have a say on the restaurant can give someone an opportunity to raise any concerns before the actual event.”

“However, this needs to be conducted in a judgment-free environment because some people may struggle to speak up in front of a group of people and they also may feel pressured to comply because it is a special occasion.”

Some young people are even going into debt to attend their friends’ birthdays

Image credits: Valeriya Kobzar (not the actual photo)

It’s understandable that people want to commemorate their birthday — the occasion is one of the most significant days of the year to many.

And who better to spend it with than your closest confidantes? A 2022 YouGov poll of 1,000 Americans showed that 72 percent spend their birthday with friends nearly every year or at least some years.

However, among certain circles, as illustrated by Sean’s case, birthday parties have ballooned beyond the standard blowing of candles.

ADVERTISEMENT

But while lavish celebrations give single and child-free adults an opportunity to bask in the spotlight, similar to the effect of weddings and baby showers, as we can see, throwing massive events can strain a relationship.

Weekend trips, expensive experiences — think multi-course meals, excursions, and concerts — or multiple events over many days have been becoming popular choices.

Some even go into debt for these lavish affairs. According to a report from Credit Karma, 36 percent of Gen Z and millennials said they have a friend who drives them to overspend; of those, 15 percent of Gen Z and 21 percent of millennials cite birthday celebrations as the reason for their spendthrift behavior.

But is it worth it? Well, Jeffrey Hall, a professor of communication studies and the director of the Relationships and Technology Lab at the University of Kansas, thinks that a fair number of expectations is written into the social contract of any friendship.

Hall has even narrowed the expectations of an ideal friendship down to six categories, ranging from similarity with the other person to enjoying their company.

But where does acknowledging a birthday fall within these defined assumptions of friendship? “It doesn’t,” Hall said.

Conflict in friendship arises when two people have differing ideas on what it is to be a friend, Hall explains. In this gray area, tensions brew, say, if the birthday honoree expects their best friend to throw them a surprise party but the BFF considers a thoughtful text message sufficient acknowledgment.

So far, Sean and his friend haven’t directly discussed the matter, mainly because the disagreement wasn’t face to face. “However, since that birthday dinner occurred, I’ve spent time with that friend on a few different occasions and things have been back to normal, so I don’t think there were any hard feelings from the events of that dinner,” he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

But even though most people have supported him, some disapproved of his decision

ADVERTISEMENT
Poll icon

Poll Question

Thanks! Check out the results:

You May Also Like

17 Y.O. Is Done Sharing Her Birthday With Her Late Twin, Parents Are Not Having It

Do you think the girl should be allowed to celebrate her birthday without the remembrance of her deceased twin?

Take the Poll

Woman Refuses To Chip In For Babysitting Because She Doesn’t Even Have Kids, Asks If She’s A Jerk

Do you think childless individuals should be expected to chip in for group babysitting costs during friend gatherings?

Take the Poll
Share on Facebook
You May Like
Popular on Bored Panda
Leave a comment
Add photo comments
POST
andrewrichardson avatar
AndyR
Community Member
1 week ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

$41 for a burger isn't fine dining, it's a mugging.

acey-ace16 avatar
Ace
Community Member
1 week ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Quite so. Some of the monstrosities that get labelled as 'burgers' I could easily see costing that much to create, doesn't make them worth it though. Things like truffles (not a fan), half a kilo of prime steak completely ruined by mincing it up, a bun so huge you can hardly get your hands around it let alone your mouth... It's high time the "Gourmet Burger" was relegated to the dustbin of culinary history.

Load More Replies...
soniborah_1 avatar
EasyBreezyCataneze
Community Member
1 week ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I really don't understand this culture. In my country, if it's my birthday and I invite people to a restaurant, I will pay for the guests. Sometimes friends bring a cake. If they don't, it will not cause any issues because it's not necessary. It's only for lunch or dinner plans with friends without any occasion that people pay for their food or divide the bill equally

zora24_1 avatar
Trillian
Community Member
1 week ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Same here. How weird to invite and expect them to pay for they own meals.

Load More Replies...
hargreavesbeth6 avatar
CatLady
Community Member
1 week ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is why I host my birthday dinners at my house, serving food I can afford to buy.

jppennington avatar
JayWantsACat
Community Member
1 week ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

To me, house parties are more fun anyways if you're not going out after the restaurant. And in many cases, even if you are.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
andrewrichardson avatar
AndyR
Community Member
1 week ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

$41 for a burger isn't fine dining, it's a mugging.

acey-ace16 avatar
Ace
Community Member
1 week ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Quite so. Some of the monstrosities that get labelled as 'burgers' I could easily see costing that much to create, doesn't make them worth it though. Things like truffles (not a fan), half a kilo of prime steak completely ruined by mincing it up, a bun so huge you can hardly get your hands around it let alone your mouth... It's high time the "Gourmet Burger" was relegated to the dustbin of culinary history.

Load More Replies...
soniborah_1 avatar
EasyBreezyCataneze
Community Member
1 week ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I really don't understand this culture. In my country, if it's my birthday and I invite people to a restaurant, I will pay for the guests. Sometimes friends bring a cake. If they don't, it will not cause any issues because it's not necessary. It's only for lunch or dinner plans with friends without any occasion that people pay for their food or divide the bill equally

zora24_1 avatar
Trillian
Community Member
1 week ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Same here. How weird to invite and expect them to pay for they own meals.

Load More Replies...
hargreavesbeth6 avatar
CatLady
Community Member
1 week ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is why I host my birthday dinners at my house, serving food I can afford to buy.

jppennington avatar
JayWantsACat
Community Member
1 week ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

To me, house parties are more fun anyways if you're not going out after the restaurant. And in many cases, even if you are.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
Popular on Bored Panda
Trending on Bored Panda
Also on Bored Panda