Blonde woman explaining her experience Taco Bell pay it forward scam, Taco Bell Logo Sign

@meredith.donovan/TikTok Ian Dewar Photography/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘Did you get 55 tacos?’: Taco Bell customer’s drive-thru order is so expensive she’s accused of a pay-it-forward scam by next driver

'So, I just got screamed at in the Taco Bell drive-thru.'


Melody Heald


Posted on Aug 13, 2023

Choosing to pay for another customer’s order can make someone’s day. But that simple gesture can easily go wrong. That’s what a Taco Bell customer with a sizable order total found out after being accused of being part of a “pay it forward” scam.

In the video, TikTok user Meredith Donovan explains what happened. “So, I just got screamed at in the Taco Bell drive-thru,” says Donovan, who is known by username meredith.donovan.

During a recent trip to the Mexican fast food chain, Donovan’s order totaled a whopping $60. As Donovan waited in the drive thru line, she noticed a woman exiting the car directly ahead of her. “The lady had gotten out of her car in front of me and is running towards my car, screaming her head off,” Donovan said.


Excuse how busted i look, i just needed my taco bell okay

♬ original sound – meredith d

Alarmed, Donovan rolled up her windows and locked her car doors. But she could hear the other customer say the word “scam.” Donovan learned that the car in front of the woman had paid for her meal as a random act of kindness. The woman attempted to pay the favor forward, but became suspicious after learning the next order totaled $60.

Although the two eventually deescalated the situation, Donovan admits “I did almost sh*t my pants.”

The video has accumulated over 36,000 views as of Aug. 13. Many viewers speculated about what Donovan could have ordered to reach a $60 total.

“Did you get 55 tacos?” one viewer asked.

“55 tacos 55 Crunchwraps 100 cheese roll ups,” a second commenter suggested.

Additionally, other users revealed their thoughts about the “pay it forward” concept.

“people are wild. I’m not paying for no ones food. idgaf who you are,” one user wrote.

“that’s the chance u take when u do,” a second joked.

This isn’t the first time a “pay it forward” gesture turned into someone else’s regret. A TikTok creator went viral in 2021 calling the concept a scam after she paid a $30 Starbucks tab for the person in line behind her. Her own order, which was paid by the car ahead of her, cost just $10.

The Daily Dot reached out to Donovan via Instagram and TikTok for comment.

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*First Published: Aug 13, 2023, 10:29 pm CDT