A Woman Throwing a BBQ Sparked a Debate About Asking Guests to Bring Sides

Katherine Stinson - Author

May 22 2023, Published 5:53 p.m. ET

Four young people having a barbecue - stock photo
Source: Getty Images

Another week, another question posed on Reddit that sparked a major discussion across the world wide web.

The subject this time around? Good ol' fashioned barbecue.

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An American woman posed the question on the "Am I the A--hole" (AITA) subreddit, inquiring about whether or not she was being a, well, a--hole for asking guests to bring sides to a BBQ that she was throwing.

She explained in her post that her husband, who is Australian, thought it was rude to ask guests to bring anything to a BBQ that they were hosting. So who's in the wrong here?

Midsection of family outdoors on garden barbecue, grilling. - stock photo
Source: Getty Images
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Is this woman rude for asking guests to bring sides to a BBQ?

The Redditor who posed this question on the AITA subreddit explained that she, an American woman, was at odds with her Australian husband over the great BBQ sides debate.

She wrote, "I asked for his friends contact info (he invited 2 families, I invited 4) to start a group text saying something along the lines of: 'planning on starting around x time, if you want to bring a side/app/dessert that would be great, we’ll have plenty of mains.'”

The mains that the Redditor had planned were smoked brisket or ribs, chicken wings, bratwurst, and hot dogs for the kids, along with beer and non-alcoholic beverages.

So all in all, the wife and her husband were going to spend around $200 on the main dishes plus the drinks. As a result, the Redditor didn't see any problem with asking guests to bring sides. However, her husband thought it was "'trashy and low class' to invite people over to our house and then ask them to bring something."

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People eating barbecue picnic in park close-up - stock photo
Source: Getty Images

Some American Redditors wondered if the Australian husband's reaction was a cultural thing, but some Aussies jumped in on the thread and explained that it was also perfectly acceptable and pretty much expected to ask guests to bring small sides (or things like ice) to a potluck food situation like a BBQ.

So if it's not considered rude to ask guests to bring sides to a BBQ in Australia, why did the husband consider it to be rude and trashy?

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Some Redditors on the thread speculated that the husband's visceral reaction might've been a "self-esteem thing." One Redditor wrote, "Maybe it's a self-esteem thing and he thinks people will look down on you two or think you're poor or something? Otherwise I can't imagine why someone would be so against friends bringing dishes to a large gathering."

The OP was unanimously voted NTA (not the a--hole) by Australians and Americans alike, who all agreed that asking guests to bring sides was perfectly reasonable.

Because if there's one thing that brings people together, it's an outdoor barbecue with plenty of delicious sides and good company.

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