Big Tippers: 20 Celebs Who’ve Left Generous Tips
As Americans, we all know the basics of tipping etiquette — or do we?
Plenty of celebs go above and beyond when tipping, sometimes giving tips that rocket past 20% and into 200% territory and beyond. If you think you’re a good tipper, just wait until you see these big tips from generous celebrities.
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Last updated: March 3, 2021
- Tip Amount: $225
Jim Carrey might be known for making his butt cheeks talk on film, but one of Canada’s richest celebrities also knows how to dine. In April 2016, he dropped $151 on sparkling water, pinot noir, lemon chicken and quinoa at Chester in New York City’s Meatpacking District, reports Page Six. When it came time to pay up, he embellished that tab with a hefty $225 tip. And if you think 151% is a big tip (which it is), you haven’t seen anything yet.
- Tip Amount: $2,000 and $2,020
In July 2017, Donnie Wahlberg skipped some of the best restaurants in Charlotte, N.C., to dine at one with the best hash browns — a Waffle House. Eating there before a New Kids on the Block gig at the Spectrum Center, Wahlberg was so impressed by the wait staff that he left a $2,000 tip on a tab of $82.60, reports USA Today.
In a post-waffle Instagram post, he explained his generous gesture: “My mom waited tables and my dad tended bars — for years! So, when I walk into a Waffle House and the staff treats me like a king, you better believe I treat them like queens!”
To kick off the new year this year, Wahlberg left a tip of $2,020 on a $78 bill at an IHOP on New Year’s Day and encouraged other people to do the same.
- Tip Amount: $1,000 & $500
Amy Schumer is more than a comedian — she’s also a super-charitable serial tipper. Amy first made headlines for tipping in 2016, when she left $1,000 on a $77 bill for the bartenders at a performance of “Hamilton,” according to one employee who posted a photo of the receipt and tip on Instagram.
In 2017, during a break from shooting “I Feel Pretty,” Schumer continued her streak while noshing on clam chowder and oysters with a $500 tip on an $80 tab at the Union Oyster House in Boston, reports People magazine.
Schumer told Howard Stern that she used to wait tables and bartend, so leaving big tips “feels good.” However, “it’s a little selfish because it feels so good to be able to do that and know that you made [the wait staff’s] night,” she added.
- Tip Amount: $4,000
Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse in Chicago isn’t exactly cheap. Instead, this is the type of place where you can order a jumbo porterhouse for $106 or an Australian lobster tail and turf for $182.25. With prices like that, server Mohammed A. Sekhani is probably used to big tips. Still, he might not have been prepared for what Johnny Depp put on the table in 2009.
A regular at the restaurant, Depp requested a private room after hours and was served by his favorite waiter, whom he calls “Mo.” After a few courses of shrimp cocktails, Clams Casino and $500 bottles of Italian wine with his “Public Enemies” co-stars, Depp left “Mo” a parting gift of $4,000, reports Radar Online.
- Tip Amount: $200
Every once in a while, TMZ reports on some celebrity dirt that’s more uplifting than scandalous. Such was the case in May 2016, when the gossip outlet detailed Rihanna’s night at The Lodge on 6th, a bar in Austin, Texas.
After sipping on Jameson and Coca-Colas with her crew from a little after 1 a.m. until closing time, RiRi reportedly tacked $200 onto a bill of $82.25. That’s definitely worth a few hours of bartending work, work, work, work, work.
- Tip Amount: $500
Not to be outdone by the new musical guard, singer Mick Jagger showed the wait staff that he actually can get some satisfaction. In November 2016, he and his traveling party absolutely feasted at Philippe Chow in New York City, downing lettuce wraps, chicken satay, tuna tartare, prawns, noodles, Peking duck and Baked Alaska cake for dessert, reports TMZ.
The Stones frontman — who is one of the Super Bowl’s richest halftime performers — enjoyed a spread that came to a total of $478, but that was before he added a bounteous $500 tip. That night, his server learned that you might not always get what you want — but sometimes, you do get five Benjamins.
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- Tip Amount: $5,000
You know you’re a decent person when your team loses two crucial games on a trip to Memphis, Tenn., but you leave a $5,000 tip anyway.
That’s exactly what happened during the NBA playoffs in April 2017, when San Antonio Spurs coach and wine aficionado Gregg Popovich reportedly racked up a bill of $815.73 at McEwen’s Memphis, according to the San Antonio Express-News. A Reddit poster claiming to be Popovich’s server shared the meal’s receipt, which sported a post-tip tab of $5,815.73. That’s a 612 percent tip.
- Tip Amount: $800
While filming “Robin Hood” in 2009, actor Russell Crowe took nine cast and crew members to a low-key pub at the Carew Inn outside of Tenby in West Wales.
The historic, family-run venue — known for its cozy atmosphere, traditional ales and home-cooked food — probably doesn’t get a ton of £240 tabs, let alone £600 tips (or nearly $800) on those tabs. But Crowe wasn’t done yet. Before leaving, he reportedly serenaded the staff with his guitar, reports The Mirror. There’s no confirmation on if anyone at the Carew tipped him for his performance.
- Tip Amount: $1,000
Known as one of the most charitable celebrities in Hollywood, Ellen DeGeneres’ tipping story is a little different (and a lot more famous) than the rest. At the 2014 Academy Awards, DeGeneres very publicly ordered pizzas for the crowd from Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeria Hollywood while hosting the ceremony live on the air. After the restaurant’s employee Edgar Martirosyan showed up to serve the pizzas, she learned that he didn’t get tipped.
DeGeneres swiftly remedied that oversight by inviting Martirosyan onto the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” and tipping him $1,000, reports ABC News. More than that, the CEO of Big Mama’s & Papa’s reported that Edgar’s five minutes of fame substantially boosted the chain’s sales in the days following the Oscars.
- Tip Amount: $4,000
Here’s a pro tip if you’re trying to pay off your student loans by waiting tables: Always, always make sure Shaq sits in your section.
In March 2017, the pro-athlete-turned-entrepreneur dished all about his famously generous tipping habits to Jimmy Kimmel, revealing that once the meal is over, he simply asks his server, “How much do you want?” When one waitress requested a tip of $4,000, Shaq happily obliged.
When it comes to valets, Shaq said his minimum tip is “about $300.” And if he doesn’t have that kind of cash with him? “I won’t stop. I’ll just keep driving,” he said.
- Tip amount: $50,000
Jay-Z’s tips and spending are both super-sized. While partying at the Fountainbleu hotel in Miami in 2011, the rapper left a $50,000 tip after buying $250,000 worth of champagne and spending thousands more on food as he was celebrating the release of his album “Watch the Throne,” People reported.
More recently, Jay left an $11,000 tip on a $91,135 bill while celebrating a friend’s birthday at Zuma in NYC in February 2018, Page Six reported. He could have even more money to blow soon thanks to his new venture fund.
Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson
- Tip amount: $300
Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson is spreading the love. The former pro football player left two $300 tips in January 2018 — one on a $26 tab and the other on a $110 tab — as a part of his commitment to his #Lovemovement2018. Johnson tweeted copies of his receipts, which also showed that he added an “I love you” note to each of the bills.
- Tip amount: $4,000
UFC boss Dana White left a 250 percent tip while dining with a dozen friends at Empire Asian Restaurant & Lounge in Boston in January 2018, the Boston Globe reported. The $4,000 tip “stunned the staff,” according to the report.
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- Tip amount: $1,000
Pro NFL football player Sealver Siliga must have really liked his meal at Applebee’s because he left a $1,000 tip, ESPN reported. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers player was dining at the chain restaurant with three friends on Christmas Eve 2017 and wanted to spread some holiday cheer. He asked the store manager how many people were working that night, and when he was told 10, he left $1,000 so that each could take home a $100 tip, according to the report
- Tip amount: $1,000
Chrissy Teigen gave an Outback Steakhouse server the tip of a lifetime when she visited an Ohio location of the chain in November 2017. Mikayla Scott told the Associated Press that the model left her a $1,000 tip after dining there with her husband, John Legend, and their daughter, Luna. Scott used the generous tip to fix her family’s car along with sharing some of it with co-workers.
The rich celebrity power couple was in the area to catch a high school football game in Legend’s hometown.
- Tip amount: $500
Tyler Perry was feeling extra generous while dining at Green Vegetarian Cuisine in San Antonio in September 2017. The husband of the waitress who served the famed filmmaker shared a photo of Perry’s receipt on Facebook, which showed a $500 tip on a $27 bill.
“It couldn’t have came at a better time,” said the Facebook post. “Thank you Lord for always watching over our family and thank you Tyler Perry also. He didn’t have to tip like that but for some reason out of the kindness of his heart he did.”
- Tip amount: $5,000
Dr. Dre left a waitress shocked when he left her a $5,000 tip at the end of the night, Radar Online reported. The Beats by Dre founder was partying at West Hollywood’s Skybar in 2014 when he was inspired to leave the generous sum of money. Perhaps the tequila shots he was taking had something to do with it.
- Tip amount: $25,000
Basketball legend Charles Barkley believes it’s essential to pay it forward. “I think it’s important when you’re successful [to be a good tipper],” he told Conan O’Brien in 2014. “I’ve tipped $25,000 before.”
Barkley explained he gave the giant tip during a blackjack game where he won $700,000. And he added, “I probably should have tipped more.”
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- Tip amount: $500
In 2013, a night out for Taylor Swift with her tour mates Austin Mahone and Ed Sheeran became a memorable event for the chef and waitstaff at Philadelphia’s Ralph’s Italian Restaurant. After dining at the Italian eatery, Swift posed for a photo with head chef Shawn Gallo, gifted him two tickets to her show and left a $500 tip, Gallo told E! News.
“It was so kindhearted of her,” he said. “It was my son and I’s first concert we’ve ever been to. It was really special.”
- Tip amount: $300
Jessica Simpson doesn’t abide by the 20 percent tipping rule — she’s been known to leave three times as much. The singer reportedly left a $300 tip on a $500 bill while dining at Lavo restaurant in 2011, according to the New York Post. In addition to her generous tip, Simpson even added a sweet note for the waitress, according to the report: “You were amazing and make this world a better place. Love Jess.”
Click through to read more about the richest celebrity power couples.
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Dan Ketchum contributed to the reporting for this article.