In a TikTok video, anonymous user im_blessed55 documented his experience, which showed he ordered a Venti Frappuccino.
“At Starbucks, they were doing the pay for the person behind you thing. I pulled up and ended a 23 car streak,” im_blessed55 wrote in the 14-second text-to-speech video. “They tried to set me up. The person behind me bill was [$46] when mine was [$6].”
He went on to caption the video: “How y’all feel about this am I wrong? What would y’all have done?”
The video has since been viewed more than 1.6 million times and has received more than 2,430 comments from people who have different perspectives.
Many commenters agreed that im_blessed55 made the right call to not pay the $46 bill.
“I ain’t paying for anyone,” one commenter wrote. “Starbucks is a treat from me to me.”
“I remember someone in front paid for my drink and I turned around and saw a car filled with like 5 teenage girls and I was like nah and ended it,” another user recalled.
“This happened to me once and I got flustered and just said thank you and drove off,” another user wrote.
TikTok users who are in favor of the pay it forward trend offered alternative suggestions like paying for a portion of another customer’s order or tipping baristas with the total value of your drink.
Several commenters who claim to be current or former drive-thru employees shared that pay it forward lines make the checkout process more complicated.
“As a drive through employee, my favorite people were the ones who would end these godforsaken lines,” one user wrote.
In recent years, the pay it forward trend has gained mainstream attention as fast food customers pay for fellow patrons’ orders in hopes of spreading cheer and kindness.
The trend has become particularly popular in drive-thru lanes during the coronavirus pandemic. For example, a Dairy Queen in Minnesota received national attention when 900 customers kept a pay it forward chain going for three days during the 2020 holiday season.
Fox News Digital reached out to Starbucks and im_blessed55 for comment.