landlord speaking at counter with tablet and caption 'so you'll tip a barista who pours overpriced coffee into a cup' (l) person at counter with tablet and caption 'a tip I'm not tipping my landlord' (c) landlord speaking at counter with tablet and caption 'but not the guy who's on call 24/7 to make sure you have a safe home' (r)


‘Truly unfunny and evil behavior’: TikTok about tipping a landlord goes viral

The video is being admonished on Twitter weeks after it was posted to TikTok.


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Posted on Feb 28, 2023

It doesn’t take much for conversations about tipping (when to tip and how much) or the relationship between landlords and tenants to get people riled up. But a viral video seemingly designed to anger as many people managed to combine both.

Earlier this month, Matthew Tortoriello and Kevin Shippee, who are behind @twoguystakeonrealestate on TikTok, posted a skit showing landlords how to advocate for getting their tenants to pay them a tip on top of monthly rent. One of the guys is positioned behind a counter with a prompt for tipping displayed on a tablet, like something you’d see at a restaurant. The other one is wearing a green wig (which has appeared in other videos on the channel) and is a stand-in for an entitled tenant.

The gist of the skit is that the tenant thinks it’s absurd to pay a tip on top of rent. The landlord responds by pointing out all of the other places that the tenant tips and how little those employees do to earn that tip compared to the landlord who is on call for their tenants 24/7 in case something goes wrong.

“So you’ll tip a barista who pours overpriced coffee into a cup,” the landlord says at one point, later following it up with, “So you’ll tip an extra 25% for somebody to carry you a basket of chicken wings.”

@twoguystakeonrealestate When you’re paying your landlord the rent and a tipping screen appears… #investmentproperty #realestateinvesting #passiveincome ♬ Cooking Time – Lux-Inspira

The skit ends with the landlord suggesting that he’ll add gratuities to a tenant’s rent when lease renewal arrives instead, giving the landlord the desired outcome of getting more money from a tenant on top of rent. (The video includes the hashtag #passiveincome.) It positions the tenant as a leftist caricature while making the landlord the reasonable person who can logic their way to the desired outcome. Even if you don’t take Tortoriello and Shippee’s message about tipping landlords as a serious stance to make, the skit doubles as a commentary on how pervasive tipping has become.

Its presentation is ridiculous, and even some of Tortoriello and Shippee’s core demographic—fellow landlords or people interested in real estate—seemed skeptical about asking their tenants for a tip when paying rent.

“Tipping your landlord is wild and I’m a landlord lol I expect the rent and nothing but the rent most landlords wouldn’t even appreciate it,” one user wrote. Two Guys Take on Real Estate responded by noting some of their tenants have given them Christmas cards and food over the years.

But in the past few days, the video got a second life on Twitter, where it’s been viewed more than 6.9 million times, a stark contrast to the over 445,900 views it got on TikTok. And even if the initial response to Two Guys Take on Real Estate’s video may have mostly been from landlords, it’s generating a wave of backlash.

People are quick to point out the entitled nature of landlords expecting more money on top of what might be hefty rent, the ridiculousness of the notion, and how in other industries where tipping is part of the culture, those employees provided services (with the insinuation being, unlike their landlords).

Two Guys Take on Real Estate is somewhat aware of the video’s second life on Twitter. Its Twitter account retweeted Barstool Sports’ reposting of the video, which is captioned, “Landlord TikTok is a real place.” It also liked a reply suggesting the video was satirical in nature.

“There’s something wrong if you think this video is serious….” the liked comment from @dad_montgomery stated. “Maybe take a break from the internet for a while.”

We reached out to Tortoriello and Shippee for comment.

Even at its most abstract, the video comments on how we’re conditioned to tip for everything now, regardless of whether people deserve it. But perhaps when the suggested correct party is someone many already paint as a villain, that point gets lost in translation.

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*First Published: Feb 28, 2023, 4:34 pm CST