You’d think Jennifer Lopez, a celebrity famous for her endearing, performatively humble nickname “Jenny from the Block,” would be quite generous with tipping service workers—and yet, according to TikTok (which, take that with a grain of salt, obvi), you’d be wrong.
If you’ve been on the clock app of late, chances are you’ve seen at least a few posts roasting or spoofing how Lopez and husband Ben Affleck allegedly poorly tip service workers when together. In these TikToks, oft set to some comical audio, users recreate Affleck leaving servers a standard or generous tip—only for JLo to take the tip back and replace it with a much smaller one. Now, if you’re wondering how this big-little internet inside joke arose, the more recent allegations stem from a couple TikTokers in the service industry getting real specific about how the couple has treated them or their friends earlier this month.
Per a now-deleted TikTok from a former casino employee, “Ben Affleck has one of the worst reputations in the casino industry. We hate him. He’s cheap [and] rude to other players.” As for Lopez, who she called “stingy,” the TikToker claimed “[Lopez] tells [Affleck] not to tip. He doesn’t tip anymore, baby! You don’t need to tell him nothing, he ain’t doing it.” There’s some mild corroboration to this: In 2014, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Affleck was banned for life from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s blackjack table in Las Vegas.
But in another TikTok that’s still live with 5.5 million views, user @redpeppaflake recalls her friends’ recent experiences as servers at a casino in Vegas waiting on Affleck and Lopez. Her description of Affleck is starkly different from that of the previous TikTok: “Ben’s a great tipper, he respects service workers, and so he tipped a lot of people a lot of money that night. Jennifer goes around to each of those people, and takes back the tip, and gives them maybe $5, $10 bucks—maybe.” Prior to sharing the casino story, @redpeppaflake recalled her dad’s stories of working as a driver at a car service company, and why he purposefully avoided driving for Lopez when she came to town: According to her dad, Lopez would have drivers who looked at or spoke to her fired.
When asked to comment for this story, @redpeppaflake declined, responding that her “goal is for [Lopez] to be a better person not to capitalize off of her being an awful person.”
Per another now-deleted TikTok from last week, which you can still watch via other TikToks that have stitched it, a casino manager posting anonymously through a filter recounts Affleck and Lopez’s 2021 Vegas trip, during which Lopez brought her mom with them. According to the casino manager, one of her cocktail servers spent her entire shift and “an extra hour-and-a-half over” taking care of Affleck. By the end of her shift, Lopez joined Affleck, who then gave the waitress a $10,000 tip. “Her entire shift was just him, so no other tips,” the manager explained.
She continued, “[Lopez] immediately snatched the money from the tray, said ‘hell no,’ took it back. [Affleck] was so mortified that the next day, when Tiffany [the waitress] came into work, there was a note that said he profusely apologized, was completely embarrassed, with a huge bouquet of flowers and $25,000.”
The couple seems to visit Vegas pretty often, including in July for their first wedding. This prompted the following tweet from Las Vegas Locally, the popular Vegas-based Twitter account for local news and rumors:
Some of the many replies to the tweet come from people who claim to have firsthand experiences, like one user who said they saw the couple in Vegas during their “first go-around” in the early 2000s. “I witnessed [Lopez] pull back a huge tip from Ben to a dealer at the Hard Rock and replace it with a $20,” they said. Another user wrote, “My ex’s mom was [a] blackjack dealer in the high limits. Said Ben tried to leave a 5k tip then JLo took it back and left a 500 chip.” Someone replied to this tweet to add: “Similar story out of the palms almost 20 years ago. My mom worked day shift and heard that she pulled a $10k tip and left a couple hundred for a grave shift dealer.”
Representatives for Affleck and Lopez did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Jezebel on these claims. But upon some digging through the dustiest of internet archives, I found the rumors about this pattern—of Affleck leaving a sizable tip and Lopez taking it back—date back to 2003. The Mirror in London reported in February 2003 that in Vegas, Lopez was “nicknamed Pay Low among Vegas dealers last November after Affleck left a $5,000 tip and Lopez replaced it with $300.”
In another incident the tabloid referenced, after winning a big jackpot at a high-stakes poker table, Affleck gave the dealer $2,000 in tips—“but before [the dealer] could pick it up, Lopez grabbed the cash and left $200 instead.” Per the short article, “Affleck is known for his generosity at the tables, twice handing out $150,000 tips to dealers at the Hard Rock. But since becoming engaged to Lopez…she has kept a close hand on his spending.”
A few months later, in July 2003, the Irish Examiner detailed a rumored incident in which, at a pool in Vegas, “under the watchful eye of his tight-fisted bride-to-be, [Affleck] tipped the waiter $100.” When Lopez briefly stepped away, Affleck then allegedly “called the waiter back and slipped him another $500.”
Take what you will from the recent onslaught of TikToks about Lopez, Affleck, and the great give-and-take (ba-dum, tss!) of their relationship. What I will say is that it’s hardly novel or surprising for celebrities, or rich people in general, to be stingy with service workers—generosity doesn’t exactly go hand-in-hand with wealth hoarding. There are quite literally dozens of celebrities notorious for bad-tipping and general shittiness to wait staff. But what makes rumors about Lopez and Affleck particularly comical—and very sad!!!—is the whole little routine they allegedly have going on.