person in car speaking with caption 'the chronicles of not having enough money to exit the parking garage' (l) person pressing help button in parking garage (c) parking garage employee making peace sign with hand in car window (r)

@michellemennella/TikTok Remix by Caterina Cox

‘It says $16. I have $0’: Woman gets stuck in parking garage because she doesn’t have any money left

'Just say you forgot your card and they always let you out.'


Phil West


Posted on May 18, 2023

A woman documented her experience of being stuck in a parking garage without any means to pay the $16 fee. As she told it, her dad had cut her off, which left her with $0 and a problem to solve.

She posted her misadventure to TikTok, where it received over 223,000 views.

The video came from creator Michelle Mennella (@michellemennella), who said she “decided to blog” after a dinner with friends. She had just returned to the parking garage to get her car, only to realize her predicament.

@michellemennella Not all heroes wear capes #parkinggarage #parkingticket #parkinggaragestory #nightout #dinnerwithme #dinnerparty #collegelife #fau #atlanticavenue #delraybeach #bocaraton #floridaatlanticuniversity #southflorida ♬ original sound – michelle mennella

“I drove and parked in the parking garage,” she explains “and I spent my last dollar [at dinner] because my dad cut me off. Just realized, you know, I have to pay to get out of the parking garage. It’s saying $16. I have $0.”

The on-screen caption with the video summarizes it as “the chronicles of not having enough money to exit the parking garage.”

In the video the woman waves around for help to no one in particular. She eventually pushes the “Help” button on the payment machine and explains her situation to someone over the intercom.

The attendant comments, “That’s a problem,” and then asks if she has CashApp or Venmo. After saying she has Venmo, the voice cuts out. A garage worker then appears at her car window and helps her figure things out and leave the garage.

As she notes in the caption, “Not all heroes wear capes.”

Viewers had plenty of advice for what the TikToker should have done in this situation.

“U just let the card decline then call the help and gaslight them and say yeah idk why it’s not working,” one offered.

A second person counseled, “Girlll just pull out another ticket as if you just got there and use the ticket to get out. Works every time.”

Yet another suggested she talk to the parking garage attendants. “Just say you forgot your card and they always let you out,” they said.

One person seemed to favor a riskier approach. They suggested that “Next time this happens just wait for someone to pay their ticket and then just quickly drive behind them when the gate opens.”

Of course, it being social media, plenty of people were judgmental about her entire parking garage debacle.

One sniffed, “This is so Miami.”

Another asked, “Girl how old are you? Bffr.”

That led a commenter to come to the creator’s defense. “Age has nothing to do w this, some people are in hard spots and that’s okay. u clearly have no life and get off by making others feel bad.”.

The critical comments also inspired Michelle to create a response video. She says, “Babe, if you had a rich dad, you would do it too,” blowing a kiss.

@michellemennella Replying to @🌹🤍 #daddysmoney ♬ original sound – michelle mennella

But some commenters found the whole ordeal entirely too relatable.

One noted, “Me after my parents cut me off for over spending. LMAO I had to use an installment card to pay for parking and I oop.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Michelle via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: May 18, 2023, 5:46 pm CDT