bartender speaking with caption 'tell me wtf u would do in this situation' (l) bartender checking ID (c) bartender speaking (r)

Cup Of Spring/Shutterstock @sam_d0ll/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘I’m not saying you don’t look young. I’m saying you don’t look like a teenager’: Bartender says a mother got mad after she didn’t ask for her ID

‘Tell them it’s for the senior discount!’


Jack Alban


Posted on Aug 15, 2023

A TikToker chronicled a frequent social interaction that happens between bartenders and their patrons: to card or to not card patrons who clearly appear old enough to drink alcohol, and when should they not?   

“Tell me wtf u would do in this situation,” is a chyron superimposed over Bartender and TikToker Sam Doll’s (@sam_d0ll) video, which has now tallied 312,300 views.

Sam begins the video by ranting directly to camera, “Ok let’s say that an older woman and a young woman, call them a mother and daughter, come up to your bar…and order a drink. So you ask the daughter for her ID and like clockwork, the mom says, ‘Oh, you don’t want my ID?”

As a bartender,  you don’t want to be insulting and so you have to walk a delicate tightrope between placation and patronization.


service industry complexities 🥴

♬ Chopin Nocturne No. 2 Piano Mono – moshimo sound design

Sam, offered three solutions: “Option one: you go ‘oh yeah, give me your ID. Option two: you ask for both IDs to begin with so that you can just avoid this whole interaction, even though again…I have eyes and I can see you’re of age. Option three: they say ‘you don’t want to see my ID,’” to which Sam sarcastically rebuts, “Do you wanna show me your ID? Hope they laugh instead of getting offended.”  

Sam mentions that some clearly-of-age patrons get legitimately offended when bartenders don’t ask for their ID, to which Sam states very directly, “I’m not saying you don’t look young. I’m saying you don’t look like a teenager. You’re an adult.”

Many bartenders in the comments section offered their suggestions as to how to handle this: ranging from playful to downright snarky.

 One user wrote, “You say ‘no ma’am, I’ve know a BEAUTIFUL TWENTY-NINE year old woman when I see one.”

While another also had a charming solution, “I will always say ‘hmm i’ll let it slide this time…’ and they absolutely eat it up.”

Others bartenders in the comments were less kind. It is worth noting that bartenders are sometimes known to be a little, shall we say, blunt– due to working long hours, upside-down sleep schedules, and dealing with a wide variety of ‘colorful’ personalities.

 One user commented, “Option 4, ask for ID if they say that….Tell them it’s for the senior discount!” Well, that’s one way to do it. Another user echoed this rather ageist sentiment, “Say ‘no sorry we don’t have a seniors discount.’”

Some users, who spoke from a customer’s POV, had more self awareness, “I’m 44 and I get annoyed when they DO ask for my ID. It cuts into my drinking time.” 

For those folks who aren’t in the service industry: bartenders are required to check ID if the person looks younger than 30. Bear in mind, laws pertaining to over-serving people heavily fall on the bartender, so it’s important that folks mixing up drinks are aware of all of their customers– their intoxication levels as well as their age. Cops often send underage patrons into all sorts of businesses and if they’re served the bar often has to pay hefty fines with the onus often falling on the bartenders and bar owners alike.  Florida even has an Investigative Aid Program which hires teenagers 15-19 to go into bars to help run sting operations on businesses selling to minors.

The DailyDot has reached out to Sam for comment.  

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*First Published: Aug 15, 2023, 10:04 pm CDT