If there's one thing we learned about restaurant receipts in 2012, it is that they are no longer just for monetary transactions. They are also useful tools for communication, whether to flirt with a diner by noting their "best butt" or apologize for a meal that was a "100% shitshow." More notoriously, receipts have also become vehicles for vile racial slurs and punishing underpaid servers not just with bad tips but also mean messages. And, of course, 2012 continued a long tradition of people just blowing thousands of dollars on booze. Here's a look back at the year that was in receipts:
A 100% Shitshow
The most recent receipt debacle of 2012 was unique in that it was curse-filled but totally inoffensive. A New Hampshire family endured a meal at Friendly's in which they had to wait 30 minutes to put in their order, then another 45 minutes for the wrong food. Twice. They ended up getting their food and a waiter comped them for the meal — printing "100% Shitshow" on the ticket because, well, it was a 100 percent shitshow. The family laughed it off, but some TV newspeople and Friendly's itself took the cursing very seriously.
In the great tradition of servers identifying their tables using insults and slurs, a server named Jeff at California's Chilly D's Sports Lounge got busted for identifying three women as "fat girls" on their receipt. The women turned down the restaurant's offer for a discount, but owner Maggie Lewis took to Facebook to reassure guests that "Joking/insulting an employee or a customer is INTOLERABLE in our establishment."
Chicago Bears Prank Rookies
Mastro's Steakhouse [Photo: Facebook]
There's nothing quite like playing a prank on a newcomer, which is exactly what Chicago Bears defensive lineman Israel Idonije did earlier this year with the help of Mastro's Steakhouse. Idonije brought some rookie players to the restaurant under the pretense that they would be paying for the meal – which clocked in at $38,091.91 with most damage done by three orders of a "Bears dinner" for $9,999 apiece. But there is no such thing as a "Bears dinner" and it turns out Mastro's was totally in on the joke. Good one.
Andy Murray's $6,500 Hakkasan Bill
There's nothing quite like a famous person blowing a whole ton of money at a restaurant with friends. Fresh off of winning the US Open, Scottish tennis player Andy Murray and friends stopped in at Hakkasan, where they racked up a bill that would have come to $6,448 plus tax and tip were not almost the entire bill comped (including some $200 bottles of champagne). The party paid the $1,289.60 tip, though — and Murray's contribution to the damage was a $6 lemon soda.
A 'Best Butt' Discount
Discounts are great and all, but what about when they are awarded on the merits of one's anatomy? One Dallas-area burger chain Twisted Root has a collection of wacky discounts employees can offer customers, such as "Best Butt" and "Best Looking." So lucky Twisted Roots diners with great butts might indeed find themselves looking at a two-cent discount.
Rich Kids Rack Up $132,000 Tab
Ah, rich kids. They can always be counted upon to rack up insane bar tabs in luxurious destinations. In the summer of 2012, a group of 16 rich young people visited the St. Tropez outpost of Nikki Beach for a drinking spree that resulted in a $132,000 receipt — thanks to things like Red Bull, Dom Perignon and caviar. Also a couple of cappuccinos because why not?
Olympics Officials Drop $69,000 on Lunch
But rich kids aren't the only ones who can rack up a hefty bill. It appears some Olympics officials got crazy at lunch in London during this summer's Olympic Games. Though the authenticity of this receipt is unverified, it reveals a total of £44,660.26 (about $69,424.37), meaning about $4,628.29 per person. Most of this damage is thanks to one £19,000 bottle of Hennessy 1853.
Killen's Steakhouse's Best Ticket Ever
Some wine-loving diners at Houston's Killen's Steakhouse ran up a $12,559.35 tab on an entire year's allocation of both Screaming Eagle and Scarecrow wines. It is apparently "One of the best tickets Killen's Steakhouse has ever had" and the server took home $2,700 having only tipped out 3 percent.
The Dutch in Miami's $30+K Tab
[Photo: Eater Miami]
The Miami outpost of New York restaurateur Andrew Carmellini's The Dutch had one great night this spring when a party of eight crushed $30,820.36 worth of food and drinks. All in all, it worked out to be $22,852 in booze and $1,380 in food, plus gratuity of more than $4,000.
Peyton Manning Receipt Costs Server His Job
While judging celebrities' exorbitant restaurant and bar receipts might be a fun pastime, it also proved to be a dangerous one in 2012. One server learned the hard way that it's not always a great idea to show off that huge tip you got from a famous person. One server at Raleigh's The Angus Barn lost his job for posting football player Peyton Manning's receipt on the internet. But the good news is the receipt revealed Manning to be a pretty nice tipper, leaving an extra $200 on a bill that included 18% gratuity.
42 'Pussy Shots' on a £200K Tab
In more rich young people news, a 23-year-old British money person named Alex Hope blew £203,948.80 — or about US$323,000 — in a Liverpool nightclub named Playground. A lot of this money went toward a blowout champagne evening, but also there were 42 orders of something called "pussy" shots, which went for £3 apiece. So that is worth noting.
The 'Get a Real Job' Hoax
One of the year's most outrageous receipts actually turned out to be a hoax. Back in February, Twitterer @FutureExBanker sent in a receipt in which his "jerk boss" purportedly tipped exactly 1% and wrote "Get a real job" to server Breanna of True Food Kitchen in California. But that was, of course, too good/terrible to be true. The restaurant found the merchant copy that revealed a $7 tip on a $33.54 bill — and no career advice whatsoever.
Exorcism For Possessed Child at Table 6
Though this particular gem hails from 2005, it was unearthed in 2012 in all its glory: a kitchen ticket that calls for the exorcism of a possessed child. A tipster told Eater that "the young kid at the table wouldn't stop screaming and this was how the waiter wanted to assist." It's unclear whether or not the exorcism was successful.
High as Shit Kids
In early 2012, some kids ordered $14.64 worth of pizza from Virginia Beach restaurant Chichos Pizza. But were they high? Their server certainly thought so, labeling them as "high as shit kids" on their receipt.
"My Time Is Worth More Than Yours"
Austin Grill [Photo: Maya B./Yelp]
One lucky server in Washington, DC, started off the year terribly with a $0 tip and a mean note from a customer. An Austin Grill patron left his server Zachary this goose egg of a tip with the note, "I make more money than you do. My time is worth more than yours." Which, naturally, resulted in someone Photoshopping "Fuck this guy" over the receipt and posting it to Reddit.
The 'Lady Chinky Eyes' Receipt
Do not forget this year's offensively racist receipt from a Papa John's in New York City that called a customer "Lady Chinky Eyes" on a receipt. Yes, always a good idea to be racist and then write it on a paper that you hand to someone who just paid for goods and services from your business. Papa John's apologized on Facebook and confirmed that the employee was fired, so at least there's some justice in the world.
A $100K Birthday Party in Dubai
A Dubai nightclub called Cavalli Club hosted a high-rolling group of birthday partiers in early 2012, resulting in a more than $100,000 tab in less than three hours. How did they do it? Well, there was just a small birthday cake involved, but shitloads of caffeine and tens of thousands of dollars of champagne, mostly Cristal because obviously.