Folks Online Are Declaring "Broke People Should Never Laugh" While Footing Dinner Bills

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

May 22 2023, Published 6:06 p.m. ET

A person with an empty wallet
Source: Getty Images

The global economy is in a tricky spot. According to an April 2023 report by the International Monetary Fund, we're looking at slow economic growth thanks to the fallout of the COVID state of emergency and the ongoing effects of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, just to name a few troubling factors.

Among other things, it has made financial situations even trickier to navigate, with folks always caught in a struggle with earning money and trying to make ends meet on a regular basis.

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Given the state of the economy, it seems almost ironic that folks talking about not having money should start trending on TikTok.

In yet another TikTok craze that's sweeping the platform, folks are up and telling others that "broke people should never laugh" as they foot the bill for dinners or generally eating out. These short and succinct videos seem to put people on blast for not being able to pay their own way for dinner, though context tends to vary. Let's break it down.

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It's become a TikTok trend to tell others that "broke people should never laugh."

Several people on TikTok are using their platform to call out their relatives or loved ones for being too broke to pay for food whenever they eat out. These videos usually start with folks at a dinner table laughing only to be interrupted by someone (the person paying the bill) doing a voiceover as they yell "Broke people should never laugh." The quote is immediately followed by silence from the laughing party.

The quote reportedly comes from rapper-singer Nicki Minaj.

The situation seems to vary between videos, with individual TikTokers calling out different demographics who can't chip in for their food.

"When you're on holiday in your 20s and 30s and your parents still pick up the cheque," one video caption states.

"When your dad still pays for you in your 20s..."

"When you're 23 and 24 and your older sister still picks up the tab..."

"When your kids are being bad AF and start ordering refills," and so on.

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For the most part, it's meant to be a lighthearted jab from someone with the financial stability to pay for dinner, though it could easily be misconstrued as someone punching down at people who aren't exactly flush. It makes sense for misbehaving kids, but it can carry different connotations for millennials and Gen Z kids.

Nevertheless, folks in the comments sections for these videos seem to be taking it in good spirits.

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"Humble them real quick," one person commented.

Another user even sympathized with the plight, writing, "I'm 27 with a kid and married and look forward to vacations with my parents because they'll pay for the food every time."

Another person felt for the person paying the bill, claiming, "I just know that bill was in the triple digits."

Having money isn't always easy for folks, but people seem to be taking this latest TikTok trend in stride.

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