TikTok/@instrumentality.project Brooke Sjoberg

‘How to ruin a barista‘s day 101’: TikToker’s $50 single drink order at Starbucks sparks debate

'I'd quit on the spot.'


Brooke Sjoberg

Internet Culture

Published Dec 13, 2021   Updated Dec 13, 2021, 11:22 am CST

A $50 drink at Starbucks featured in a viral TikTok has earned @instrumentality.project 2.6 million views on the platform.

The TikTok creator used the Starbucks app to order a beverage that featured nearly every possible add-on; caramel drizzle, milk substitutions, additional flavor shots, and so on. Some commenters, claiming that they are Starbucks baristas, told the TikToker that the drink would be either very difficult or impossible to make. All of the things @instrumentality.project added to their beverage would apparently exceed the volume of the cup.

The TikToker used their “stars”—Starbucks’ in-app rewards—on the order, bringing the total down to $0.

One such commenter claimed that someone else had tried to do this before and that it crashed their point of sale system. “Someone ordered a joke drink like this once and it literally crashed our system so yeah do it, give those baristas a break,” they wrote.

In a follow-up video, @instrumentality.project really did go to a Starbucks location and attempted to order the complicated beverage. He placed the mobile order with as many add-ons as possible, but ultimately, they could not make the beverage.

“They didn’t make the drink, but offered a replacement so I told them to fill it with espresso, Frappuccino chips and a banana,” text overlay on the video reads. “Not bad tbh.”


Reply to @fidencioespinoza4 An updaye for those curious #starbucks #coffee #nyc #fyp

♬ original sound – Becca means

An additional follow-up video shows that the rewards program stars they used to buy the chaotic beverage have been restored to their account.


Other baristas who commented on the video described this beverage as their “nightmare.” “As a Starbucks Barista I would drop kick this order into another dimension,” one wrote.

The Daily Dot reached out to @instrumenality.project via Instagram and Starbucks via email.

Must-reads on the Daily Dot

‘Chick-fil-A come get me’: Worker shares 3 menu secrets after quitting in viral TikTok
‘Karen is recording’: Woman tries to shame Subway worker over sandwich preparation in viral TikTok—it backfires
‘Don’t let moving companies scam you!’: Mover locks TikToker’s roommate in truck after refusing to release their belongings
Sign up to receive the Daily Dot’s Internet Insider newsletter for urgent news from the frontline of online.

Share this article
*First Published: Dec 13, 2021, 8:03 am CST