Someecards Logo
Friend won't split dinner bill because of 'mooch couple,' gets told they 'ruined the vibe.' UPDATED

Friend won't split dinner bill because of 'mooch couple,' gets told they 'ruined the vibe.' UPDATED


When it comes to money, you've gotta set boundaries within your own budget, even if it occasionally makes things awkward.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, the OP asked if they were wrong for refusing to split the bill at a group dinner. They wrote:

"AITA for preemptively striking against splitting the bill at a group dinner?'​​​​​​"

Title says it all, but here’s the story. I was invited to a group dinner and decided to go. I usually decline because two couples in this group are freeloaders and the split the check type. They order expensive items on the menu, appetizers and cocktails while I get a moderately priced dish and a coke. I was told they wouldn’t be there this time, and that why I decided to go.

Well, they were there. I didn’t bother asking what the story was, because it didn’t matter. I knew what was gonna happen come check time. So I excused myself, went to flag down my server and asked if he would please separate my bill from the others. He agreed. When time came to pay the bill, I handed the server my CC, and paid my bill.

(I tipped 25%) The freeloaders went “oh, I thought we were splitting like we always do.” To which I said “oh, well your bad.” But this prompted two other people in the group to ask for separate checks too, which the server happily did. After I paid, I told everyone good night and went on my way.

The next day I got a text from another person in the group (nine total. The two freeloading couples and five solos) that I was an AH for doing that. They do normally split the bill, as it gives everyone a chance to have a nice meal they couldn’t otherwise afford. And it also makes splitting the 20% group gratuity easier. I told her I would not be guilted to staying within my means and not paying for moochers.

Then I said the only reason why I came was because I thought the mooch couples wouldn’t be there because they’ve been doing this for years. Still I’m being accused of disrupting the group vibe. Did I? I would think not because of the two that also asked for separate bills.

Redditors had a lot to say in response.

JeepersCreepers74 wrote:

NTA. "I'm sorry, I always assumed we were getting together to socialize as friends, not subsidize meals for other people that cost more than what I have budgeted for myself. If that is the 'group vibe,' then I hereby opt out of the group."

The fact that others followed your lead in requesting separate checks shows you are not the only person who feels this way--they were just looking for someone else to be brave enough to do it first! If I were you, I would contact those two and start a new dutch dinner group.

OP responded:

Great idea! I think I’ll do that.

_mmiggs_ wrote:

NTA. Splitting the bill cannot possibly "give everyone a chance to have a nice meal they couldn't otherwise afford". That doesn't make mathematical sense. It can certainly mean that some people can have their expensive meals subsidized by people who choose cheaper meals, but you've got to do that by agreement.

It's common enough, in my experience, for something like a group of work colleagues eating together to subsidize the junior member - but that's by agreement. It's not something you try and stealth someone in to doing.

HPNerd44 wrote:

NTA I hate when people try to split the bill. Telling the server you want separate checks from the get go before ordering also helps set expectations. The fact that two other couples asked for separate bills shows you that you’re not the only one who is tired of this.

Ajstross wrote:

NTA. Maybe Mr. and Mrs. Moocher could afford more nice meals out if they didn’t always order several courses and the most expensive items on the menu. It’s not up to you or anyone else in the friend group to subsidize their extras. Order what you can afford, plus tip, and pay your own way.

celticmusebooks wrote:

They do normally split the bill, as it gives everyone a chance to have a nice meal they couldn’t otherwise afford. Yeah, that's not how math works. Some people are having a nice meal they couldn't otherwise afford while OTHERS are being forced to pay for that meal. KUDOS to you for finally sticking up for yourself. This was actually the perfect solution using your friend's convoluted logic.

Some people had nice meals that they could afford (you and the people who opted out of treating the moochers) -- some people had exorbitant meals they either couldn't afford or were to cheap to pay for (the moochers) and the last group got to have a nice meal and subsidize the moochers.

If the problem is that the moochers can't afford the restaurant they could order less food or less expensive food OR the group should make the effort to choose a restaurant the moochers can afford.

We have friends who like to just split -- and everyone orders roughly the same price range of meals and other friends who refuse to split (ironically because they like to order the most expensive items on the menu and say they wouldn't feel comfortable ordering what they wanted if other people were subsidizing their meal).

A day later, OP jumped on with an update.

I forwarded the text to the two people who also asked for separate bills. They both were upset by the text and reassured me that I was not the AH. They said they too were growing tired of the moochers and wish they stood up for themselves sooner. Then one of them said that the group vibe was disrupted when I first stopped coming.

Everyone knew why, so it made the mooching the elephant in the room, and his bad for not addressing it out of his need to go along to get along. The other agreed and then they both said they missed having me there. That made me feel so good 🙂.The three of us then reached out to the solo member who didn’t ask for a separate check. This person is also the organizer.

The first thing she did was apologize to me for poor communication. She admitted they changed their minds about not coming in plenty of time to inform me, but she really wanted me to come. She realized she should have when she saw the look on my face. She said she was tired of the mooching too but was too much of a coward to say something, which only fueled their “we always do it this way” ammo.

She then filled us in on what happened after we left (turns out the other two separate bills left shortly after I did.) Everyone ended up getting separate checks, which made the two mooch couples angry. They justified their mooching the same way the chick in the text did.

They have expenses we don’t and “would it kill us to help them have a little joy?” Yeah. Not happening buddy. The four of us are going to start having a new group dinner at a different restaurant.

Redditors were happy to hear about the update.

CaptainBaoBao wrote:

I have been a guy without the money to eat with other friends. Splitting the bill, in fact, worsened the problem because the spliced part is still above what i could afford, and I couldn't even protest since they " helped me."

It is why I cut that evening meetings.

Latter_Discussion_52 wrote:

I've heard it said before, Frugal is when you order a meal you can afford. Cheap is when you order a meal you can't afford, and expect someone else to pay. I can't stand people who pull that "splitting the bill so they can get whatever they want" crap. Good on OP for starting a chain reaction by standing up to the moochers. No more free passes for them.

rusty0123 wrote:

Long ago, there was a co-worker at our office who did this, only worse. We worked in a huge building with a pretty nice restaurant in the lobby. About every other week a group would go there for lunch. It was a bit pricey, so we would go when the lunch special was especially good.

Every time a group headed out, this one co-worker would attach herself to the group. No one invited her (because of her behavior) but she would come anyway. If we escaped before she noticed, she would come to the restaurant after us and asked to be seated at our table. We really couldn't say no without blowing things up at the office. This restaurant wouldn't split checks during the rush of the lunch hour.

One of the reasons why we only went when everyone wanted the lunch special. Made it easy to pay as a group. This woman would conveniently excused herself to the restroom right before the check came. Wouldn't return until the check was paid--we couldn't wait too long because we were all on a clock. She'd say, "oh, I missed the check? I'll pay you back."

Then she never did. One day, when she left for the restroom, we left the table one by one while she was gone. Except for one or two who hung around. When she got back, they told her that since she owed (those that left) for lunches, she could just cover for them today. She paid, but she never tried to lunch with us again.

Fandanglethecompost wrote:

I recall going to dinner with my cousin and a group of his friends, who were all earning way more than me. Previously when I'd been around them, they split the bill and I'd be landed with paying a lot more than I spent. So I just ordered what I felt like.

Come end of meal, and they decide to all pay for their own. My share came to about what I'd have paid if we'd split, and I had a good meal. I tried not to eat with that lot often!

It's refreshing this all ended well.

Sources: Reddit
© Copyright 2024 Someecards, Inc

Featured Content