Woman shocked after going to Party City for just 2 balloons and seeing total

@katmcgahan/TikTok JHVEPhoto/Adobe Stock

‘I would’ve said nevermind so fast and ran away’: Woman issues warning about the Party City balloons

‘We can’t even have balloons anymore.’


Melody Heald


A woman was left disheartened after going to Party City for just two balloons. “We can’t have anything fun anymore,” TikTok user Kat (@katmcgahan) announces in a video after a trip to Party City.

In the video, Kat is sitting in her car after purchasing two balloons for her friends’ joint 30th birthday.

“Um, I have a public service announcement,” Kat (@katmcgahan) says. “I just went to Party City and got two balloons. A No. 3 and a No. 0.”

The large letter balloons retail for $6 a piece. So her total, without, air would have been a little over $12. However, Kat got them filled with air. And when it came time to check out, she was in for a shock.

“‘All right. That will be $32.15,’” she recalls the cashier telling her.

“I think I literally said, ‘Holy sh*t,’” Kat recalls.

The worker confirms with Kat that each balloon is $15, meaning that helium was more than the ballon themselves.

“$15 a piece? $32 for balloons?” Kat says. “We can’t even have balloons anymore.”

“Like, how did we get here? It’s some air and a little bit of plastic,” she concludes.

Kat joked that she was “on my way to start my balloon side-hustle” in the caption of the video, considering apparently a ton of money can be made on balloons.


on my way to start my balloon side-hustle🎈🎈🎈

♬ original sound – katmcgahan

The Daily Dot reached out to Kat via TikTok comment and direct message. Her video garnered over 21,000 views. In the comments section, viewers shared what they would’ve done in Kat’s position.

“I would’ve said nevermind so fast and ran away,” one viewer wrote.

“I would have said I left my card in the car be right back,” a second commented.

More affordable alternatives

Viewers also shared more affordable alternatives.

“Dollar tree also sells the gold numbers now for $5!!! With helium,” one user shared.

This is true. Dollar Tree sells the number balloons with helium for only $5. However, the size of these balloons are unclear. The Party City ones are 34 inches.

“PopShelf sells the number balloons and they’re $5 I think & helium included,” a second revealed.

This is also true. Retail store pOpshelf sells helium balloons for $5 a piece.

“Just went there I bought all my balloons from Amazon and had them fill them for $1.50 each,” a third stated.

Why are balloons so expensive?

Balloons are filled with helium, and the helium is what is expensive. While helium is what makes balloons float, it is a finite resource. And some say it will run out in merely 25 years, according to CNA. And like with most things, during helium shortages, the cost of the resource goes up.

A Party City representative shared the following with the Daily Dot in a statement:

“Party City promises to provide our customers with durable balloons made to last for the life of your party. Our extensive balloon assortment is complete with all the characters you love and are available in the colors you want, shapes you’ll use, and sizes you need. Poor-quality balloons can result in popping and deflation. We strive to offer our customers fair prices, without compromising the high-quality nature of our products and materials. Our balloon pricing varies based on several factors, including material, size, shape, and design.

The balloons featured are 34” Foil Number Balloons, one of the largest balloon sizes we carry. Inflating a balloon of this size requires a larger amount of helium, contributing
 to the cost of inflation.

Our 34” Foil Number balloons are a fan-favorite for birthdays, anniversaries, and celebrating number-worthy moments. If you’re looking to add a “wow” factor to your celebration with balloons while saving on helium costs, we suggest considering our 9”, 11”, 12”, and 18” balloons for your celebration. These standard-size balloons will bring your party to life and require less helium than the 34” Foil Number Balloons.

We provide full-service balloon inflation – creating a seamless experience for our customers, so your balloons are celebration-ready before you leave the store. For those looking for a cost-friendly at-home inflation option, consider purchasing Party City’s helium tanks (available for purchase in stores and online at PartyCity.com

One (1) Jumbo Helium Tank containing 14.9 Cubic Ft. of Helium will inflate approximately:

  • (50) 9in Latex balloons, or (28) 11in latex balloons, or (21) 12in latex balloons
  • (24) 18in foil balloons or (7) super shape foil balloons

A Pro Tip for Number Balloons: they can be filled with air (instead of helium) and secured in place on a wall or tabletop, offering a more cost-effective approach. Many people do not realize that air-filling number balloons is an option.

Party City advocates for responsible balloon use by reminding customers to always secure their balloons with a weight and not let go, helping to protect the environment.”

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