People Are Siding With This Woman Who Ended The "Pay It Forward" In A Starbucks Drive-Thru, And Here's Why

You've all heard of the "pay it forward" gesture in drive-thrus, correct? It's where one person pays for the order of the person behind them, and that person returns the act of kindness by paying for the car behind them, and the chain goes on and on...until someone eventually breaks it.

NBC

Well, a 23-year-old woman named Grace Brassel went viral for proudly announcing that she broke the pay it forward chain.

Nickelodeon

In her TikTok, which has nearly 2 million views, she says: "So today I went to the Starbucks drive-thru to get my little drink and sandwich, as a hot girl does. And I go to the barista to pay and he goes, 'You don't have to pay me today.' And I'm like, 'Tim! Stop messing with me. You always mess with me like this.' And he's like, 'You don't have to pay me. The person in front of me paid for your drink and food as a nice gesture.'"

Grace sitting in a car
@gracejohanna / Via tiktok.com

She continues, "And I was like, 'THIS IS AN EPIC DAY! Today is my best day ever. People are so kind. WOW!' And then he drops this bomb — he says, 'Yeah, so for every five people in front of you, they returned the gesture back.' So you're telling me that these people were shamed and caught into this congo line of morality that they had to give the gesture back? I'm not that girl. I deserve to have a good day. I deserve to have a free sandwich."

Grace in a car counting her fingers
@gracejohanna / Via tiktok.com

Grace adds, "You're not taking this away from me. That defeats the whole point of someone doing something nice for me. I am the one that was helped, and I am not helping anyone else. OK?"

Grace sitting in a car with her hands raised
@gracejohanna / Via tiktok.com

BuzzFeed spoke to Grace, who said her initial reaction to someone paying for her order was confusion. "It had never happened to me before. I was really caught off guard because I felt like it was such a kind gesture, and I needed that kind of good luck to start off my day," she said.

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But, as Grace said in her TikTok, the barista insinuated that she should continue this good deed, since the five cars in front of her did. "Immediately I was bummed out because I wanted to embrace the free sweet-cream cold brew and spinach feta wrap and continue my day. I am not the kind of person afraid to admit they like free things."

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The comments became flooded with differing opinions about the pay it forward gesture. Some people shared that they also take the free drink and leave...

Person writes "When this happens I say 'aww thanks that's so sweet' and drive away"
@gracejohanna / Via tiktok.com

...and that having to pay for the car behind you removes the excitement of getting something unexpectedly for free.

Comments: "I gotta put me first"; "Exactly it defeats the whole point!" and "I think I'm gonna bring this up in my ethics class"
@gracejohanna / Via tiktok.com

Baristas are actually on board with this thinking too.

Comment from barista: "I 100% agree w this, sometimes it's important to indulge and appreciate a nice gesture without feeling obligated to pay for anyone else"
@gracejohanna / Via tiktok.com

Lots of people said that when it happened to them, it actually made them spend a significant amount more than they would have just paying for their own order.

Comment: "No bc this happened to me once and the person behind me was $35; I had a $2 ice cream cone I PAID FOR IT"
@gracejohanna / Via tiktok.com
Comment: "This happened to me once and the order behind me was $30 and all I ordered was 1 coffee"
@gracejohanna / Via tiktok.com
Comment: "It's always my luck that it's a soccer mom behind me and her order is $58"
@gracejohanna / Via tiktok.com
Comment: "Lol I felt cornered once and my $3 coffee turned into a feast for the person behind me; never again"
@gracejohanna / Via tiktok.com

Another important conversation about tipping was also brought up.

Comment: "Tip the barista instead"
@gracejohanna / Via tiktok.com

People had the suggestion to just tip the employees what their order was worth instead of feeling obligated to pay for the mystery amount of the car behind them.

Comment: "I've seen some people end the morality train by just tipping whatever their order was worth bc it's still being kind but just to the employees"
@gracejohanna / Via tiktok.com

This is a way to still pay it forward, but to someone who is actually working and making your drink!

Comment: "I always tip the barista $5 when this happens instead of buying someone a drink who was already planning on paying"
@gracejohanna / Via tiktok.com

(Especially because you planned on spending that amount on your order anyway.)

Comment: "As a starbucks employee i HATE PAY IT FORWARDS! you know what's better? tipping the barista at the window"
@gracejohanna / Via tiktok.com

And, for the record, it is confirmed that many baristas dislike the pay it forward gestures to begin with.

Comment: "Baristas hate pay it forward chains the people that do them never tip either"
@gracejohanna / Via tiktok.com

Apparently, it's really confusing and hard to ring up in the system, which makes sense.

Barista comment: "thank you pay it forward is really sweet but it gets super hectic and confusing"
@gracejohanna / Via tiktok.com

All in all, hundreds of thousands of people back those who choose to end the pay it forward gesture.

Comment: "Pay it forward on a different day to some1 else, that's what I do; if we do it on the same day, what's the point of the gesture given to us?"
@gracejohanna / Via tiktok.com

But there are also still people who just think the chains should continue in an effort to spread kindness!

Comment: "The message isn't supposed to be getting free food; it's about making someone else's day just like they made yours"
@gracejohanna / Via tiktok.com

Grace believes the psychology behind the whole thing is interesting. "Although the idea of it is nice, in actuality, it makes no sense. How can one successfully implement a good deed if it is unknowingly tossed around like a morality hot potato? How long could this go on? Who is the one that is going to accept it? Is that person breaking the pay it forward just a selfish person who thinks they deserve handouts? I’m sure most people felt too embarrassed to take it, but nothing is getting in between me and a free $7 coffee," she said.

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  1. So, what are your thoughts?

    So, what are your thoughts?

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    Everyone should pay it forward to the car behind them and keep the chain going for as long as possible.

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    We should stop the trend altogether.

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    People should tip the employees instead of paying for the order behind them.

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    I have another idea that I will share in the comments.

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