TV & Movies

TV Characters, Ranked By How Much They’d Tip On An iPad

Yeah, most of these people aren’t ponying up 20%.

by Ginny Hogan
Originally Published: 
Emily from 'Emily in Paris,' Michael Scott from 'The Office,' and more TV characters.

ChatGPT may well eat the world soon, but I still maintain that technology has been good for a few things. For instance, vibrators have a longer battery life, and I was able to watch my niece’s first steps from 300 miles away. Also, iPad registers have gotten even the greediest of scrooges to turn over 15% to impress a first date. (When the person behind you can see exactly how much you’re tipping, you’re more likely to round up.)

How well someone tips tells us quite a bit about their character, which is why it’s often been used as a character development tactic on TV shows. Not all of these people had the nifty and very public iPad to work with, though, so one question remains: How much would our favorite characters fork over if presented with a touch screen? Consider the following list of TV characters, ranked by how much they’d tip on an iPad.

Kimberly Finkle, The Sex Lives of College Girls

She tips way too much because she gets what it’s like to be on financial aid (this is, in some ways, her whole personality). She tips extra, even on an iPad. Maybe 25%.

Walter White, Breaking Bad

Walt tips well for the same reason many of us do: out of guilt. But he’s got quite a lot of it, so I’d say he tips 22% on the iPad — though he’d rather pay cash.

Barney Stinson, How I Met Your Mother

All Barney does is give tips. It’s one of his tricks, after all. 21%. Legendary.

Ross Geller, Friends

In Season 3, he tips more than Rachel’s dad, which isn’t saying much, because Rachel’s dad’s main character trait is that he’s rich, and rich people notoriously tip terribly. Still, I’d say Ross tips at least 20%.

Adam Conover, Adam Ruins Everything

He comes out against tipping, although he does tell people they’re assholes if they don’t. I’d have to assume he tips decently — 19%.

Samantha Jones, Sex and the City

She won a contract with Lucy Liu when she tipped 25%, but then lost her as a client over a Birkin Bag scheme (classic). I don’t think that experience turned Samantha off tipping, but she might be wary of over-tipping. I’d put her at 18%.

Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation

Leslie goes out to dinner with her beau and orders the cheapest red, so you know she’s applying that same logic to the tip. She’s a generous but fair tipper — 17%, though when the national standard moves up to 18, she’ll boost hers to 19%. Exactly.

George Costanza, Seinfeld

In Season 6, he and Jerry discuss whether or not the waitress is nice to George because she likes him, or because she wants to get tipped. He doesn’t want to overtip and forever wonder about her intentions, so I’d say he tips about 16%. A good enough tip to sidestep complaints, but not good enough to justify her flirting if she didn’t like him.

Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm

He’s a wild card, because he famously tips what the other guy leaves. On an iPad, though, he’s tipping alone, and if I had to guess, I’d say having to deal with technology annoys him. Maybe 15%, because he’s an asshole, but not the no-tipping kind.

Lorelai Gilmore, Gilmore Girls

Lorelai and Rory openly discuss how they’ve been overtipping Luke for years — so no, I don’t think Lorelai’s a good tipper. She strives to be a working class icon, but she also strives to bat her eyes to avoid most of her responsibilities. My guess is 13%.

Michael Scott, The Office

He says himself that he always leaves a generous 10% tip, so no need to hypothesize. My heart goes out to anyone who has to deliver to Scranton.

Dwight Schrute, The Office

Even worse than Michael. He says he would never tip for a job he can do himself, so let’s assume he’s tipping about 5%.

Emily Cooper, Emily in Paris

We never actually see her tip, but we have to assume she doesn't know how. Like all millennial marketers, the woman can barely use an iPhone. She tips nothing.

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