TikTok Can't Decide If Ordering Expensive Food Breaks An Etiquette Rule

Some rules of etiquette — like saying "please" and "thank you" or covering your mouth when you sneeze — are obvious. Others, meanwhile, aren't quite as cut and dry. For example, when someone else is treating you to a meal, should you hold back on getting extravagantly priced menu items, or can you order whatever appeals to your taste buds without regard for the cost? Such was the topic of debate in the comments section of a recent TikTok that, as of this writing, still doesn't seem to have come to a conclusion.

The viral video was posted on February 13 by user Pandora Davis, who filmed the short clip while dining out at a restaurant with her daughter and her daughter's friend. In the TikTok, the camera pans to a large plate on the table containing shrimp, crab, and a baked potato, foods commonly associated with a higher price tag. "When my daughter's friend['s] plate was the most expensive," reads the text overlay on the video, which probably wouldn't have made such an impact on viewers if the friend had paid for her portion of the meal. However, it appears that Davis was the one footing the bill, leading many to question whether or not it was appropriate for her dinner guest to order such an extravagant plate of food.

Was this dinner guest's order inappropriate?

Davis' recent TikTok has sparked quite a discussion in the comments section of the video, where more than 7,000 people have shared their thoughts on what is considered a "proper" order when being treated to a meal. Some found the dish ordered by Davis' daughter's friend to be inappropriate. "As a guest you should get what you want...within reason. Not take advantage," user @ticklemenibbles commented. "I would be so embarrassed if my friend did this to my mom," another user said.

A third shared their "rule" of going out to dinner on somebody else's dime. "Never get anything more expensive than the celebrant or the one paying the bill," user @danicadelray wrote, though this isn't everyone's point of view. "Idk why yall are mad. If my friend's mom offered to pay for my food I would've almost chose the whole menu," a fourth user commented. Several others said that people shouldn't offer to pay for a meal if they expect their guests to only order certain items.

While commenters were ultimately split on what's right in regards to this TikTok video, the Chicago Tribune Miss Manners column advised that the general rule is to order "from the middle of the menu," unless the host specifically suggests that you try a pricier item. Ultimately, if you're unsure whether or not the dish that caught your eye is OK to order, asking the host may be the best way to avoid any confusion.