Previous: Goats Mating
Next: Changes to Vlogbrothers



View count:545,328
Last sync:2023-01-25 11:30
In which Hank shares his personal rules for tipping, discusses why we do it, and how it kills time lords...and then he says the word Poohster.


Shirts and Stuff:
Hank's Music:
John's Books:


Hank's Twitter:
Hank's Facebook:
Hank's tumblr:

John's Twitter:
John's Facebook:
John's tumblr:


Other Channels
Crash Course:
Hank's Channel:
Truth or Fail:



A Bunny
( - -)
((') (')
Good morning, John. Today I want to delve into a peculiar practice of that most mysterious of cultures: the American. It's a deeply illogical practice, economically troubling, psychologically dubious. I will regularly give money to people who are not asking for it. I am not required by law to do this but I feel as if I should.

And I don't know why I feel this way. I've recently discovered that I don't know why I feel a lot of the ways that I feel. I'm kind of an insane person. For example I spend my afternoons watching videos about goat sex and fictional soccer teams. But anyway to start off our discussion about tipping, I wanna go into my personal rules, which are, as it happens, the best rules for how to tip.

If you're at a restaurant that has a jar, a dollar goes in the jar if I have a dollar, if I don't have a single, then you're screwed. If you sit down and someone comes to you to bring you food and talk to you then that person deserves, at the very minimum, 15%. But almost never do they get 15% because there are three ways that they can increase their tip:

1. Good service.
2. If I feel particularly nice that day.
3. The math is difficult and so I round up.

My personal inability to do math in my head is probably responsible for my most generous tips. If at the end of step two I have not gotten above $2 per person, I give $2 per person. Leaving a 25% tip on a $3 bill is not good tipping.

Now, next tip, after a deep psychological investigation of my own inner self, I have figured out that what I would like to be the reason for me giving tips is that those people are making me happy so I wanna make them happy. But there are a lot of lesser motives that I believe are in fact much more responsible.

Wait staff make less than 50% of their living off of their wages; most of their living is from tips and so I would feel bad. Also I live in a very small town and the person who's waiting on me is probably friends with someone who I'm friends with and I don't want it getting around that I'm a jerkface. And I think the number one reason why I do it is because it's the thing to do.

The more I think about it the more I realize that pretty much everything I do I do because it's the thing to do, and I don't know why the thing to do is the thing to do. It just is.

Sometimes I feel like my entire life is just one long string of 'that's the thing to do!' Get out, 'thing to do'! I don't need you! I make my own things to - I don't! My brain is encapsulated by this culture and it makes me do all the things to do. Not that I mind I mean most the things to do are pretty cool.

Now the reason why tipping is supposed to be the thing to do is because we want to encourage good service. It is important to note that this does not work.

Things that influence tip more than the quality of service include:
  • the ethnicity of the waiter or waitress
  • the gender of the waiter or waitress
  • the weather outside on that particular day
  • the cost of the meal
  • and whether or not they've drawn a smiley face on the check.

Smiley face, interestingly, raises the tip of waitresses by 9%; lowers the tip of waiters by 3%.

W. T. F.

Here's the thing about tipping, 96% of Americans do it every single time but in lots of other countries it's just not a thing that gets done; in fact in, like Japan and China it's considered insulting. In Europe where there are service charges included in the check, higher wages and also, like, medical care, that's inexpensive or free, waiters and waitresses don't need tips in order to be above the poverty line.

In the United States however we have this idea that everything should be controlled by the market, which is how the UK ends up with television shows like QI and Doctor Who, and we're stuck with documentaries about fictional apocalypses on the History Channel.

And that is why tipping kills Time Lords. I don't- where- how did I get here?

Leave the most interesting comment to win my Winnie the Poohster.

John I will see you on Monday when you celebrate our 5th anniversary. It's a wonderful life.

Don't forget to be awesome and if you're in America, don't forget to tip at least $2 per seat.