Skip to content

Friends Gather To Surprise IHOP Waitress With $1200 Tip For The Holidays

Friends Gather To Surprise IHOP Waitress With $1200 Tip For The Holidays

It’s called “Shock and Clause” and we love it. After being inspired by a group in Colorado, Zellie Thomas, got together with a dozen friends to be a blessing to an IHOP waitress this holiday season.

The friends each brought $100 with them as they sat down to eat, enjoy each other’s company, and leave a special gift for an unsuspecting waitress. After paying the balance for their meals, Thomas and his friends were able to surprise the waitress with more than the standard 20% tip. They gave her $1200. 



“She was still looking at it as we were paying the bill. We gave her the money and she was starting to count, like, ‘Wait, wait: You guys gave me too much were supposed to give me this amount.’” And we were like, ‘No, that’s all for you. That’s your tip,’” Thomas said.

In a video posted to social media, the waitress can be seen getting emotional saying, “Oh, my God, you’re going to make me cry. Thank you. I appreciate that.”

Thomas spoke to Because Of Them We Can on how he went from inspired to involved. “Someone read a news article where a group of friends did something similar. They were inspired asking, ‘why not us and why not here.’ They suggested it on Facebook and people replied that they were supportive. She deserved every last dollar,” he said. 

As an activist in New Jersey, giving back and advocating on behalf of others is at Thomas’ core. He hopes this becomes an annual tradition. “We all have the abilities to change someone’s life or make someone’s day a lot better. And sometimes, it’s even really as simple as putting out the call to your friends, and you’ll be surprised at how many people respond to that call of action,” Thomas told  

Shock and Clause it is! Kudos to the deserving waitress and to friends who gather to make a difference.