The hundred-dollar tip was fake, the server's reply was priceless


Jun. 26 2024, Published 2:56 p.m. ET

In the world of hospitality, dealing with rude customers is part of the job. But, though the food should always come out hot, sometimes revenge is best served cold. This was the case for a server who shared their story on Reddit’s r/pettyrevenge in August 2023. A regular customer, trying to impress his date, left a fake $100 tip. The server’s ingenious reaction exposed the customer's deceit and earned them a genuine tip from the customer’s date.

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The story begins with the server recounting their encounters with a regular patron who typically came alone or with friends, rarely tipping well and keeping to himself. "I’ve never had a problem with him until he came in one time with a date," the server explained.

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On this occasion, the man was accompanied by a woman the server had never seen before. After finishing their meal, the couple asked for the check. As the server approached, they noticed the man placing a $100 bill on the table. "The guy says to the woman, 'Watch this,' as he puts down a hundred-dollar bill. He saw me see and joked, 'Oh! you weren’t supposed to see that,'" the server shared, recognizing it as an attempt to impress the woman.

To the server's shock, the $100 bill turned out to be fake. “It was so frustrating because I needed the money but at the same time I thought it was because I did a great job,” the server shared. After discussing the incident with their manager, who found it "ridiculous," the server decided to bide their time for the right moment to respond.

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Source: Photo by Vladislav Reshetnyak

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Two weeks later, the same man returned with the same woman. The server, busy with other tables, saw this as an opportunity to teach the man a lesson. With the fake $100 bill in their pocket, they approached the couple's table. "I get to their table and they instantly recognize me; the woman seemed normal, but the guy looked nervous," the server described.

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When it was time to present the check, the server placed the fake $100 bill on the table and said, “Hey, not sure if you remember me from last time but I believe you forgot this, just returning it because I believed it was too much.” The woman appeared confused, realizing her date's deceit. The server walked away, only to find a $0.00 tip from the man on the signed receipt. However, the woman left a $50 tip for the server.

Reflecting on the incident, the server hoped the woman saw the red flags. “I’m hoping she placed the $50 there,” the server said. “One can only assume that the guy didn’t want to tip on his card, so he wrote obnoxiously big zeros.”

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The server’s story struck a chord with many on Reddit, garnering 15,000 upvotes and over 730 comments. u/tricularia commented, “My dad always told me that if you want to know how someone will act in a long-term relationship, pay attention to how they treat servers in restaurants. And since I started paying attention, I am definitely noticing a pattern there.”

Another user, u/Its_only__forever, shared their own experience: “As someone that has been in the industry for over 2 decades, I love this. I had a party once that tipped me in pennies spread across the table when they left. I scooped that s**t up so fast and chased them out and just dumped it at their feet with an 'I think you forgot something.' Yes, I got in trouble. Yes, it was worth it.”

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Many commenters hoped the woman would realize the man’s true nature. “This is fabulous! I hope the lady dumped him because you showed her what kind of jerk he was,” said u/assignmentfit461. u/thekeekses added, “As a woman who was raised by a single mother who was a server for many, many years, I ended a relationship with a guy because he didn't tip.”

This story serves as a reminder that a clever and calm response to rudeness can sometimes yield unexpected rewards and highlight the importance of treating service workers with respect.

This article was written with assistance from artificial intelligence. Megaphone creates content primarily driven by people but aims for full transparency in how our storytelling is produced. To learn more about our policy on artificial intelligence, click here.


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