Guy Who Broke A Starbucks Drive-Thru “Pay It Forward” Chain Wants To Know If He’s An A-Hole

It’s always sweet to hear of those “pay it forward” stories. You know, the ones where someone’s Starbucks order is paid for just out of the goodness of someone’s heart. These random acts of good have gained popularity over the years and this man wants to know if he is an asshole for not wanting to participate.

In a Reddit post (the original post was locked by moderators for comments getting too out of hand), a man wanted to know if he was rude for driving off after someone paid for him at the Starbucks drive-through.

“I was at Starbucks and got to the drive-thru window and was told that the person in front of me paid for me, and I said ‘that’s great!’ and then proceeded to drive off but the lady was looking at me like I was extremely greedy or something. I purchased two drinks and the people behind me were a minivan full of kids sooo… I would’ve probably ended up spending more. But to me it’s the principle. I never asked anyone to pay for me, so why should I automatically be expected to pay for others when I never asked for it? It feels pretty s***** for others to get angry because someone took away my freedom to pay for my own drink and thrust it on me the principal that I have to now pay for someone else.”

He makes a fair point. Let’s see what others have to say.


“NTA. Coerced charity is a bastardisation of selfless giving.” – redwilier


“There is no conflict here. Nobody cares.” Fuwalda


“INFO: Was the “lady” really “looking at [you] like [you were] extremely greedy or something” or was that just you feeling like you weren’t doing something you were expected to do?

You’re not an AH either way, I’m just reluctant to call her an AH when she didn’t actually say anything.” – WebbieVanderquack



You didn’t ask to be paid for and hey, maybe you didn’t have the money to spend on more than those two drinks, maybe it was the company card, maybe lots of things. It doesn’t matter and you’re not an AH for this.” –StenFace



You are totally right on being free to not to pay for a van of people, I would not either.

The lady is also not an asshole, since she didn’t even say anything or force you in any way. She could be disappointed, but still, how people react to things is not about us until they directly harass someone.

I have the feeling that knowing that you were somehow “expected” to pay is the main cause of your discomfort, hence the feeling of being judged.” – Lady_Nightshadow


“indeed, I bet the lady was just dissapointed the chain was broken but if she was judging you and pressured because of it, she would be the AH.

If i’m in retail I’m not there to make someones else’s bill to something. Everybody have their own reason and right to refuse something like that. Seeing a minivan full of others and I’m by myself? I can also make that quick calculation and ‘nope’ out of there. Either way, paying the drink OP would’ve paid or not. OP would’ve broken the chain anyway because the minivan had to pay up for the rest.

Same thing as the whole table would say they’ll just split the drink bill evenly (I’m not agreeing at all) while everybody else is popping wine bottle after wine bottle and I’m minding my own business with a coke or just water and then expect me to pay for their alcohol? nope!” – ToastAbrikoos


“NTA, people before you did it, that’s nice, but you don’t have to pay for the next person. You didn’t ask for it, so you don’t have to continue it” – your_local_velma


“Nta I don’t really get the point, is it an American thing?” – HappyRainbowSparkle


“It’s the holiday season. It’s a way of spreading the “cheer.” Starbucks drive thru customers are notorious for doing this, and I’ve seen other establishments start picking up on this trend.” – floravalentina


“NTA. It’s stupid of her to give you a greedy look. The chain has to end at some point. You didn’t ask for it. Enjoy your free drinks.” – v2den