Writer Nicole Cliffe asked her many followers for the pettiest Venmo requests they've ever received or sent. If you're not familiar with it, Venmo is an app that makes it easy to send money to people from your bank account, and it can come in handy when splitting bills or making utility payments to your roommates. But anyone who knows your handle can send you a request for cash—which you can also refuse. There's also a social media element, so if you don't set those requests to private, anyone you're connected with can see all the back-and-forth drama over toilet paper, or whatever. The potential for drama is there, because drama follows humanity from app to app.
What is the most unreasonable Venmo request you or a friend has ever received? (I am inspired by a guy who unexpectedly Venmo’d his friends the next day for the cost of the food he cooked them for dinner.)— Nicole Cliffe (@Nicole_Cliffe) May 29, 2018
In Cliffe's opinion, it is fair to Venmo request something when it was discussed, but springing a Venmo request on someone out of the blue is forbidden!
(No Venmo request is unreasonable if it was established in advance, all requests sprung on you afterwards are totally unreasonable.)— Nicole Cliffe (@Nicole_Cliffe) May 29, 2018
People responded with total delight, because this stuff happens all the time. It particularly seems to happen when it comes to food, like shared meals. And I don't mean at restaurants. People are charging for dinner parties they throw at their own homes!
Group potluck. We all brought sides and wine (some even brought entrees). Friend cooked one main dish, which was burgers sous-vide. Machine wasn't working. We waited two hours to eat near raw burgers. Got venmo-ed the next day for the meat.— Shane Pangburn (@shanepang) May 29, 2018
College roommate, who went on to sue his mom for investing his trust fund with Bernie Madoff, charged a friend $1.07 for a slice of pizza. "The seven cents is for the taxes." Friend reimbursed him with a check made out *to the roommate's parents*.— Ryan Clinton (@ryanclinton) May 29, 2018
Was @ a midtown bar having a drink w/a friend. She said she was hungry & wanted to order food. I said I wasn't. She ate almost everything & once she was done offered me the scraps (< 5% remaining). I took a couple of the leftover fries. She then made me split the food bill w/her.— Samantha Previte (@previtee) May 30, 2018
There are also often arguments over alcohol and drugs, as there are in the real world:
I was charged for a glass of wine I drank (it was $12 wine), when invited over to dinner. Kicker, I also brought wine but chose to drink some of the bottle already opened that was offered to me. I left $19 wine with dinner invitees.— Christina Warren (@film_girl) May 29, 2018
someone accidentally left edibles at my apartment then left cross country and asked me to sell them and venmo them the $10 profits— kellygrace (@history_baby) May 29, 2018
But all of those may be put to shame by this story of someone tabulating the shared cost of a tablespoon of salsa:
I was once sent a Venmo request for 38 cents for my part of a shared jar of salsa— Ashley Dobson (@ashleyddobson) May 29, 2018
My husband wanted me to decline it and just hand her a penny the next 38 times I saw her— Ashley Dobson (@ashleyddobson) May 29, 2018
I like that story because it implies you can get money for the old condiments in your fridge.
But there were more tales of drama involving relationships, including a few that had people wondering why they paid the requesters? Reject that!
my ex-wife once sent me a paypal request for dinner money for a date she had with someone else— Kristen Arnett (@Kristen_Arnett) May 29, 2018
The week before last my ex girlfriend came with her new girlfriend to the same punk show I was at. They happened to be walking in at the same time as my BFF. When my bestie didn't give my ex a hug, my ex left and told me I owed her $24 for the price of her & her gf's tickets. pic.twitter.com/wDQEG7KjXo— Kaylee Christine (@KayleeGoBetween) May 30, 2018
But the real answer is that interpersonal drama and pettiness was not invented by an app. This particularly hilarious tale of a dinner party gone terrible wrong involved handwritten notes:
Long before Venmo or the Internet existed one of my family members hosted a dinner party. At the end she asked each guest to look under their placemat, where they found a bill for the meal.— Will Stegemann (a.k.a. Gentle Knievel) 🏳️🌈 (@WillStegemann) May 29, 2018
Everyone refused to pay and nobody was invited back.— Will Stegemann (a.k.a. Gentle Knievel) 🏳️🌈 (@WillStegemann) May 29, 2018
Lots of people got Venmo'd after dates that went badly, which might actually be a good thing. It proves you were wrong to go on a date with them in the first place.
A friend got Venmo’d by a Tinder date for the cost of her single coffee the next day because she didn’t go home with him. He’d paid for her even though she repeatedly said she’d pay for herself.— EM (@mclaineileen) May 29, 2018
I Venmo'ed a guy who stood me up for the second time for the price of the cocktail I ordered waiting for him to never show up— Courtney Rainey (@courtney_rainey) May 29, 2018
This story left me with a lot more questions than answers:
I requested $5,000 from the guy I lost my virginity to on Venmo when I found out he was republican and thought slavery was the solution to homelessness— radel's sleep tweets & other existential moments (@realradel) May 30, 2018
But this is my favorite, because it's a tale of pettiness that was completely justified:
one time my friend sent me a request for $0.20 for emotional distress bc i sent him that picture of yoda photoshopped smooth— elisabeth (@threelisabeth) May 29, 2018
I wish I could charge everyone for all the horrible stuff I've seen on the Internet.