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TikToker sparks debate after skipping friend’s expensive birthday dinner

A common birthday tradition is taking the birthday person out for some kind of dinner, but people are questioning what to do if the price is too high.

A man recently took to TikTok, under the username @seanlans, to share a personal experience of his to explain why he thinks expensive birthday dinners are “unfair”.

Sean said that he had recently skipped his friend’s birthday dinner because the cheapest entree on the menu was $41. “The reason I decided not to go was because the plan was dinner and then going out, and the place he chose to go out already had a $35 ticket and I am a little bit broke as it is, so I’m like, I’ll just skip the dinner, and then go out,” he said in his video.

According to the TikToker, after meeting his friend group after their dinner, Sean sensed that the “vibe was off”. This was confirmed when a mutual friend explained that the birthday person was complaining about him and was upset that he wasn’t at the meal.

“I’m not really looking to spend the equivalent of a week of grocery money on a single night out,” he said.

“Read the room. Yeah, it’s your birthday, but you should know if your friends are going to be happy where you choose,” Sean added.

After posting his video, it received almost two million views, with people divided on whether or not it’s appropriate to spend the money or bow out when celebrating a friend’s birthday.

Some comments said that Sean did the right thing by trying to include himself in what he could reasonably afford. “You did the right thing. Not everyone has unlimited money to spend like your friend,” one comment read.

Another commenter agreed, writing: “I wanted a nice dinner for my birthday but I knew it was out of my friend’s price range so I just paid for the dinner lmao. Weird to expect friends to drop crazy money on your birthday!”

Others assumed that if the friend sent the birthday dinner invites, it’s customary for them to be the ones to pay for it.

“Wait... I would just assume that the dinner is covered by the host no? I’ve never been to a birthday dinner that I had to pay for my own food,” one person wrote in the comments.

“Isn’t it common courtesy to pay for your guests if you’re having a bday dinner???” another commenter asked.

Another argument was that both parties were wrong to some extent, and that a friend can choose wherever they want to celebrate the occasion, but they should also respect that some people may not be able to afford it.

“Idk I feel like it’s his birthday so he can choose an expensive restaurant, but you also had the right to choose not to go,” one comment read.

“He has the right to choose where he wants to go for his birthday. However, as a friend he should understand some people can’t afford it,” another commenter agreed.

“It’s his bday so he doesn’t need to change plans but also you don’t need to go if you’re tight on money. He should understand at least,” a third commenter wrote.