Few things can induce a headache more than splitting the bill at restaurants.
When it’s only a party of two, and each person orders more or less the same amount of food and drink, splitting the meal in half definitely makes the most sense.
But for larger groups, all of whom have orders which vary significantly in price, splitting it evenly might not be the most fair solution.
Redditor rayconraker certainly didn’t think so, despite her friends insisting on doing so every time they went out to dinner.
This led the original poster (OP) to find a way to beat them at their own game.
But when her actions resulted in anger from her friends, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for ordering an expensive meal with friends who always insist on splitting the bill?”
The OP shared how going out to dinner with her friends is a fairly regular occurrence, and though she always orders much less than everyone else, she still has to pay the same amount.
“I (24 F[emale]) get dinner every week or two with my group of friends (24 M[ale], 23F, 26M)”.
“For whatever reason, all three of them are super pro splitting the bill evenly four ways instead of simply paying for what they order.”
“This wouldn’t be an issue, but I usually get a salad for my main course because ordering most other things gives me a stomachache and I don’t drink alcohol and I don’t really like soda, so I usually just get a glass of water or a bottle of San Pellegrino if I’m feeling crazy.”
“My friends, on the other hand, usually order expensive alcoholic drinks, expensive courses like seafood/steak, and even get appetizers (which I don’t eat).”
“So, when we split the bill, it comes out to at least $150 at least every time.”
“I almost never contribute more than $20 to the bill, sometimes even only like $15 total.”
“My friends always insist that we split the bill, which I find extremely annoying because I should be paying significantly less.”
“However, whenever I try to pay for only what I ordered, they all call me a cheapskate and say they won’t eat out with me if I keep being cheap.”
Eventually, the OP eventually found a way to give her friend a taste of her own medicine.
“Last night when we went out, I decided to be petty.”
“I ordered a total of three glasses of their most expensive wines, some sort of fancy charcuterie board for the appetizer, and the most expensive item on the entire menu, which was some sort of steak.”
“I even ordered a slice of tiramisu for dessert.”
“My dinner alone ended up being $150.”
“We split the bill once again, but I could tell they were irritated.”
“This morning I woke up to a block of text from 26 M in our group chat basically saying that he was pissed and they knew I was only doing what I did to piss them off.”
“My other two friends agreed with him.”
“I feel kind of bad but I also feel like what I did is only fair because they do the reverse to me all the time.”
“I should mention that I do just fine financially and that the extra money I spend because of the bill splitting doesn’t impact me in any significant way.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
The Reddit community agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for showing her friends exactly what she goes through every time they go out to dinner.
Several agreed that the OP gave her friends exactly what they deserved, with many wondering why she was friends with them in the first place.
“But why are you friends with these people?”
“They sound awful.”
“Tell em via text that you did exactly what they always do to you and to pound sand.”-FileDoesntExist.
“Even splits were fine when you were subsidizing their dinners.”
“They probably still owe you, lol.”-flaky-burnt.
“If anything, all you did was balance the ledger against years of putting in way more than your fair share.”
“That you did it to be petty doesn’t mean anything.”
“If they’re all agreeing with him, simply text them back and let them know you’re fine with paying in a more equitable manner based on whatever everyone has ordered going forward.”
“Also, you have no clue why they’re pissed or think you did it on purpose to piss them off, given that you have had to pay for a lot extra for ages and were called cheap when you didn’t want to do that.”
“Did they really think that spigot was always going to flow only in one direction?”
“Being pissed at you now sounds like they were just using you all this time.”
“Have they just been using you all this time?”
“Return that awkward to sender and lean back and have yourself a drink while you lick the envelope.”- animaniactoo.
“NTA but are they really your friends?”
“They have said they won’t eat out with you unless you help pay for their food.”
“Doesn’t sound like friends to me.”-EwokCafe.
“They’re just upset because you got back at them for all the times they did the same to you.”
“If this doesn’t get them to let you pay for just what you ordered without complaint when you go out them it’s time to find new friends to go out with.”-1976Raven.
“However, if you have a problem with this then why do you keep going?”- Ok_Task_9603.
“Uhm, it kind of seems like your friends are using you?”
“You want to pay your own way because you order way less, you’re a ‘cheapskate’.”
“You order what you like and it just happens to be expensive and suddenly you’re only doing it to ‘piss them off’?”
“Girl, they know they’re ripping you off and they’re using you to get a sort of ‘discount’ on their own meals.”
“Otherwise this wouldn’t bother them.”
“You just gave them what they wanted.”
“Now they got to deal with it.”-SlothWilliamBorzoni.
“To be fair, you did do it to piss them off.”
“But I feel it was justified.”
“They’ve been taking advantage of you so that they can pay less and being AHs about it and calling you cheap for not wanting to pay 2-3x more than you should have to for your meals.”
“Now they know how it feels and how irritating it is.”
“When my friends and I get to go out together, we always pay our own bills.”
“Because it isn’t fair to make people who ordered less pay more.”
“Exception if we’re treating someone for a birthday or to cheer them up due to personal life stuff.”
“Also, we’re freaking adults.”
“When my sister and I go out, we no longer live in the same state, so very rare now, we’ll either pay our own bill or one of us will pick up the tab for food and the other will pay for the movie tickets or entrance fee or whatever.”
“We try to make it as even as possible because fair is fair.”
“But your ‘friends’ insisted on splitting the bill, knowing full well they were screwing you over.”
“So you complied with their idiotic insistence and turned the tables on them.”
“Tell them to stop being cheap, as you’ve by now paid far more for their meals that they did for your one meal.”
“You need better friends.”
“Ones who don’t see you as a personal ATM and a verbal punching bag.”- ChildofMerlin2.
“If they had a problem with sharing an expensive bill, they should’ve never started splitting it evenly.”- sweetsundays.
“NTA, but you should insist on paying for your own meal.”
“If they keep arguing the point after you’ve insisted and STILL want to split the bill, that’s on them.”
“Man f*ck splitting bills.”
“The only legitimate reason for splitting a bill is if you shared the food.”-unapproved_dentist
Other’s pointed out that the OP can avoid any conflict going forward by simply asking for a separate check at the beginning of the meal.
“But if you do go out to eat with them again, tell the waiter that your meal is on a separate check.”-Lawn_Orderly.
“NTA, but you need to start using your words right at the ordering stage.”
‘”Yes, I’d like a salad and water, please’.”
“‘Oh, and do you mind putting my order on a separate check? Thank you’.”- SparklesIB.
“You went to them with your concerns and they insulted you.”
“Your friends suck.”
“They are taking money from your pocket in an arrangement that they are bullying you into.”
“Then you give them a taste of their own medicine they all band together and blame you again.”
“I hope you replied to their text that you will be getting a separate check from now on and if they hadn’t been jerks the first time you when you brought it up in a mature way then you wouldn’t have done that to them.”-Laines_Ecossaises.
Maybe after seeing how it feels to pay for more than you ordered, the OP’s friends will come up with an alternative way of dividing the check going forward.
That is, assuming there will be more group dinners.