customer at Starbcusk drive thru window speaking to worker while taking card back (l) Starbucks Drive Thru sign on brick wall (c) customer leaving Starbucks drive thru (r)

Summer_Wind/Shutterstock @damondarlingtv/TikTok (Licensed)

‘Nah, I better not’: Starbucks customer changes mind on paying it forward after hearing how much order is

'I’m glad he warned you and didn’t just swipe the card.'


Brooke Sjoberg


Posted on Dec 24, 2022   Updated on Dec 24, 2022, 11:01 am CST

Pay-it-forward drive-thru chains are common during the holiday season, when customers may want to share their generosity with others in line behind them. However, such displays have been criticized online, especially by people who don’t want to participate in them or those who feel the generosity could be better shared by tipping the drive-thru employee.

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

In the video, a Starbucks employee informs him that the order behind him costs $20.55. Darling thinks about it for a moment before telling the drive-thru cashier that he “better not” participate in the pay-it-forward chain. In his comment section, he clarified that he had a $10 budget.


I look like Mr. Beast?

♬ original sound – Damon Darling TV

Some viewers agreed with the move, with a few pointing out that spending $20 at Starbucks is more than most might plan to do when entering the drive-thru.

“20 dollars for Starbucks is insane,” one commenter wrote.

“We’ve all been here before,” another said. “Like nah nevermind.”

“Lol yea if you’re spending $20 at Starbucks you don’t need a favor,” a third added.

Others shared their own experiences of being asked to pay larger totals in pay-it-forward lines.

“Omg that happened to me at Arby’s and their order 30 dollars lol,” a commenter shared. “Like goddamn. I had to bite the bullet.”

“My mom try to do that the other day at McDonalds,” another wrote. “There order was like $30 something she said nvm.”

“Someone paid for mine the other day so i was gunna pave it forward but the peoples order behind me was $20 as well, i said maybe next time,” a third said.

The Daily Dot reached out to Darling via Instagram direct message.

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*First Published: Dec 24, 2022, 11:00 am CST