Skip to content

LeBron James No. 4 on list of worst celebrity tippers. Guess who’s No. 1?

Aug 17, 2011, 6:41 PM EDT

"Home & Home" Concert After Party Getty Images

LeBron James may be plummeting on the Forbes list of most influential athletes, but he’s near the top on another list: Worst celebrity tippers. LeBron, apparently, makes Scrooge McDuck look like Santa Claus … a fact I did not know. At least that’s according to Miami New Times, which compiled a host of Worst Tipper lists from other sites and publications and came up with a Worst Ten.

Some are not so surprising (No. 5, Jeremy Piven, once left a signed Entourage DVD as a tip). Some kind of are (No. 3 Barbra Streisand? No. 6 Usher?).

But who is the worst tipper of all? The answer may not shock you.

1. Tiger Woods came in number four on Zimbio’s scrooge compilation and was cited on every single list. The reason he doesn’t tip: The man worth more than $500 million says it’s because he never carries cash. The Frisky reports Tiger dated “a gal in Las Vegas who had to tip for him whenever they went out.” And according to List of the Day, Tiger once “pulled a mulligan on a $5 tip, repocketing the money meant for a waitress after realizing he had tipped her earlier in the evening. He was possibly distracted by the $10,000 hand of blackjack he was playing.”

Top Ten Cheapest Celebrity Tippers:

1. Tiger Woods: Claims he never carries cash.
2. Madonna: Once left an $18 tip on a $400 bill.
3. Barbra Streisand: Famous for leaving $10 tip for $457 tab.
4. LeBron James: Didn’t ever get tipping talents, left $10 on an $800 bill.
5. Jeremy Piven: Left signed Entourage DVD as tip.
6. Usher: Once left his autograph as a tip.
7. Mariah Carey: Famous for diva demands and no tips!
8. Sean Penn: Left $0 on a $450 tab in New Orleans.
9. Bill Cosby: Once left a $3 tip on a $350 bill
10. Rachael Ray: Promotes less than 20 percent tip on her show.

Considering all the money and effort spent by both Tiger and LeBron for charity, I think that them being on this list isn’t such a big deal. Of course I might feel differently if I were a waiter or a bartender.

***
Top Ten cheapest celebrity tippers [Miami New Times]
Tiger Woods Regains No. 1 Ranking … For Tightwad Tippers [The Dish]

  1. trbowman - Aug 17, 2011 at 9:16 PM

    I used to bartend.

    I honestly didn’t need another reason to dislike Tiger Woods but, thanks anyway.

  2. mikeinthevine - Aug 17, 2011 at 10:43 PM

    Considering all the money and effort spent by both Tiger and LeBron for charity, I think that them being on this list isn’t such a big deal. Of course I might feel differently if I were a waiter or a bartender.

    What an ignorant comment that is. What the hell do their charitable contributions have to do with tipping? It just shows what a bunch of self centered aholes these people are. Tiger you deserve every bit of the bad sh*t that’s happening to you.

  3. bringbacktheflex - Aug 17, 2011 at 10:44 PM

    Your article didn’t describe the service that was rendered, or how many times they left a poor tip. I have received HORRIBLE service at resturants and left the appropriate tip for bad service. Maybe these celebrities were harrassed by their servers. Maybe they responded to poor service with a poor tip.

    Just saying someone is cheap because of a poor tip isn’t fair reporting. Just because someone makes a lot of money doesn’t mean they should reward poor service.

    • 1742hawk - Aug 17, 2011 at 11:31 PM

      Please review the article again. It says Kitty Woods never carries cash. His date always left the tip. So Kitty must always get poor service or harassed by the waitress? ha.

    • goforthanddie - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:11 AM

      Read it again. This isn’t based on a single experience (“according to Miami New Times, which compiled a host of Worst Tipper lists from other sites and publications”).
      And not carrying cash is no excuse, that’s what your head stooge is there for. Oh, and you can write in tips on a CC.

      • bringbacktheflex - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:24 AM

        Golly gosh! Since the tabloid websites say it then it must be true. We know that they NEVER exagerate or lie about anything.

    • ceberw1 - Aug 24, 2011 at 6:48 PM

      On the Cleveland Plain Dealer site, they are saying LeBron’s stinginess has been well known in Cleveland for years.

  4. frankvzappa - Aug 17, 2011 at 10:59 PM

    all the money in the world can’t change skin pigment

    • 1742hawk - Aug 17, 2011 at 11:33 PM

      or the white pointed hood on your head.

      • sasquash20 - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:07 AM

        When I was in college at Rutgers, I had a job delivering pizzas. I got so fed up with the tips African Americans left me that I wrote a paper on it. For 2 months I wrote down every tip that I got. The averages were all different among the ethnic races. Whites tipped the best at just over $2.00 a delivery, Asians were next around $1.40, Latinos followed that at a pathetic .75 cents, and the worst tippers of all by a mile were African Americans at .27 cents a delivery. I’m not making this up. I have had conversations with waiters and bartenders who totally agree that African Americans tip horrible.

        So go ahead and give me thumbs down, I could care less. But take care of your delivery drivers, waiters, and all service people.

        • samsterino - Jun 10, 2013 at 8:35 PM

          I won’t give you thumbs down for being accurate via data supported experimentation.
          I have a good deal of anecdotal evidence as well. By the by, if you buy a canoe, paint it black.This way it will NEVER tip.

        • spicytysie - Aug 1, 2013 at 9:18 PM

          This isn’t true for everyone. I recieve an equal share of poor, average and good tips from all ethnic groups. I have for years. Delivering a pizza isn’t as stressful or demanding as waiting tables or bartending. I’ve done it all. Sounds to me like a prejudice person with a bad case of confirmation bias.

      • ahemahem - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:29 AM

        I’m African American, and it wasn’t until I was out of college that I knew how to tip. My dad was Navy and often absent, we were poor and never learned how. My kids learned early.

        I am willing to bet that a lot of those kids didn’t even have dads.

      • sasquash20 - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:36 PM

        You may be right with that ahemahem. I suspect many of the African Americans I delivered to were not in the best situations with either finances or family. Seemed to be a lot of single moms on there own. Still as a 19-20 year old kid I just wanted a decent tip.

    • stinkfingers - Aug 18, 2011 at 7:56 AM

      In case you didnt know… 6 of the top 10 are white.

      I’m not sure what your point is here…

      • samsterino - Jun 10, 2013 at 8:55 PM

        Mariah is biracial. Therefore, you can say 5.5 of the top 10 are White

  5. 1742hawk - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:23 AM

    sasqaush…did you track about American Indian,Arab-American, Russian, South African,or Australians in your case study?

    • cleanslaton - Aug 18, 2011 at 11:33 AM

      I heard that the best color to paint a canoe is black, because then it will never tip.

      Also, notably left off the list–Scottie Pippen. He’s even got the best nickname: ‘No-Tippin Pippen.’

      A famous story from a tattoo shop owner here in Austin, that used to have a shop in Chicago–as told over the local sportsradio airwaves [and often replayed when applicable]–Is that Scottie Pippen had the owner close down the tattoo shop to have a private session with the artist & to avoid any possible throngs of fans while Pip was getting inked….also, thereby eliminating any other business that would come in. Pippen got the tat, paid the bill, left ZERO tip.

      I just hope the celebs that don’t tip remember where they’ve been, because a second appearance will merit gallons of loogies being unloaded into their orders.

    • sasquash20 - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:38 PM

      Never delivered to an Indian ever. No I generalized. But I got an A on the paper.

      • speaknoforkedtongue - May 13, 2013 at 3:00 AM

        If you did, you may have found that many Native Americans are very fair. I start at 20% and go up or down depending on a subjective scale of service: up to a high end of 30% for superior service and down to no lower than 10% for poor service. No matter the service, anyone performing a demanding job with little guarantee of fair wages, should be rewarded.

  6. mrarcadian - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:33 AM

    Nothing new here, most rick people dont tip, how you expect them to be rich, maybe worth 500 million, but money is just paper.
    so far these people are ZERO!!!
    Espiecally eldrick, so funny.

    nothing new here.

  7. florida727 - Aug 18, 2011 at 7:15 AM

    This’ll get a lot of thumbs-down clicks, but I don’t really care.

    I remember when tipping was 10%. Then it went to 15%. Then it went to 20%. WHY? Giving someone a tip is supposed to be an act of appreciation, not a “requirement”. If you’re a waiter, waitress, bartender, etc., and you depend on tips as your source of income, you better go find another job. BTW, how many of you HONESTLY reported your tips on your tax returns? Yeah, didn’t think so. Part of me says, why should I tip at all? Pay you extra FOR DOING YOUR JOB? Isn’t paying you what your employer is supposed to do? WHATEVER you get, you should be glad for. No one HAS TO tip you anything. Remember that next time you rant about getting ‘stiffed’. I don’t get tips for showing up at my office every day, why should you just because you decided to shlep food or pour booze in a glass for a living?

    For the record, I generally do tip 20% (usually reluctantly because rarely does the service warrant it), rarely over that, but frankly, I just round it up to the nearest dollar amount closest to 20%. Makes it easier to record in the checkbook when I’m using my debit card.

    • frankvzappa - Aug 18, 2011 at 8:42 AM

      Jackass, you get paid for going to your office…people who work for tips, THAT IS HOW THEY GET PAID…if i deliver a pizza to you and you stiff me, i end up paying out of MY pocket to do YOU a FAVOR…you can argue that waitresses, etc. should be paid a LIVING WAGE, but to argue that they shouldn’t worry about tips and just accept the $2.50 an hour they are making is ridiculous…do you support paying foreign children pennies an hour to take formerly American jobs? that’s what i thought…

      • florida727 - Aug 18, 2011 at 10:17 AM

        I PAY MORE to have my pizza delivered than if I go pick it up, NOT including your precious tip. I never have it delivered any more. Why? It takes ridiculously longer to get it (sometimes more than an hour v. 15 minutes if I’m willing to go get it), and often times it’s not as hot when it hits my front door than if I go get it myself, and the two places I get mine from, even the farthest one is less than 10 minutes away.

        If waitresses, etc., are only making $2.50/hour, then that’s wrong. They should be paid minimum wage (if not more IF THEY’VE EARNED IT by being good at their job). Living off tips is no different than the guy on a street corner holding up a sign begging for money, except he does absolutely NOTHING to get it. It’s still a reliance on someone else’s generosity to make money. Go get an education, and live within your means. Works for most folks.

        As far as the foreign children remark goes, totally irrelevant, not even on-point. Besides, it would take them even longer to get that pizza to my house.

        • aaron912 - Jun 10, 2013 at 3:37 AM

          Florida 727 your an idiot apparently you know nothing about hospitality industry every bartender waiter waitress table games dealer makes 3dollars an hour and lives off tips if there weren’t good people out there tipping you’d have no one waiting on you at a restaraunt or bar or casino!! Wise up idiot and now a days most casino dealers have to claim all tips because they get a check at the end of the week!!

      • secretasianman17 - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:02 PM

        Who applied for the job? Who accepted the job? Who knew upon accepting that job that tips are optional? And what the heck does child labor in foreign countries have to do with the fact that you get stiffed for tips? I think your attitude has more to do with that than anything… Just sayin…

        • samsterino - Jun 10, 2013 at 9:01 PM

          Ok, fair enough. However when pizza shops refuse to deliver to “certain areas”, then don’t scream racism, discrimination or any of that old tired Horse crap.

    • denverdude7 - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:05 AM

      Pay you extra FOR DOING YOUR JOB? Isn’t paying you what your employer is supposed to do? Giving someone a tip is supposed to be an act of appreciation, not a “requirement”.
      ____________________________________________________________________________

      florida727,

      You are right. Tipping is supposed to be an act of appreciation. However, waiters, waitresses and bartenders are not included on the minimum wage scale. Many are paid $2.50 / hour with the rest coming from tips.

      Perhaps you would prefer they be paid at minimum wage? In that case, that $20 steak dinner you just ate would now cost $30.

      Also, it is obvious you never waited tables, bartended or bussed a table. If you had, you wouldn’t be saying the things you are. These people have to deal with drunk patrons, insane demands, and complaints about food they had no hand in preparing.

      You sound like silver spoon-fed ignoramous to me.

      • florida727 - Aug 18, 2011 at 10:23 AM

        Hardly silver-spooned. My dad was a construction worker for 40+ years. We made ends meet, and actually always lived in nice houses in nice neighborhoods, but the one thing I admired about my dad, and wish I was smart enough to follow his lead on, is that he never had any debt. Paid cash for every house we ever lived in. Never had a car loan in his life. HE LIVED WITHIN HIS MEANS. And he never even went to college. So, no, I never worked in the ‘food preparation’ industry. I worked in men’s clothing stores, sporting goods stores, taught tennis lessons and snow skiing lessons. That’s how I made money as a kid.

      • secretasianman17 - Aug 18, 2011 at 11:46 AM

        Perhaps you would prefer they be paid at minimum wage? In that case, that $20 steak dinner you just ate would now cost $30.

        Denverdude, the thin air up there may have caused you to have some sort of hypoxic brain injury. How can paying someone minimum wage (assuming at least $7.25/h) make the cost of a single steak go up $10? Is each server only serving a single patron an hour? Isn’t each server responsible for at least two tables? And I have never seen a table that only seats one person.

        I agree in part with what florida727 said. This is a job that they applied for knowing that the majority of their wages would come from tips. If they wanted a more lucrative job they could go accross the street and apply at McDonalds and make 300-400% more per hour and get benefits. We all know the reason that doesn’t happen is because the majority of their income is not reported to the IRS.

        Taking a job that may only make you $20/day is a risk that servers know when they accept the position. Saying all of that I don’t mind tipping my 20% and sometimes more if the service warrants it, but I also don’t mind leaving less if my expectations are not met. Simply doing thier job nets them $2.50 an hour. The smile, good attitude, and prompt and courteous service are what they get tipped for. It is not an entitlement.

    • memphisyinzer - Aug 18, 2011 at 11:03 AM

      I didn’t give you a thumbs down for your opinion…..you’re entitled to that. However, I did give you a thumbs down for your ignorance to the reason people tip waitresses, bartenders, etc, due to the fact that they are making a pittance of a salary and tips are their way of life. Do your homework !!!!! Try working in their profession and see if you change your mind. Then let’s see if you ask why you should tip if they are JUST DOING THEIR JOBS !!!

      • skids003 - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:25 PM

        memphis, I never worked in those professions, but I see how people treat them when I am around, and you’re right, I don’t see how they deal with some of the a88holes they have to deal with. And it’s usually the people with the most money that treat them the worst, then tip them next to nothing. I am not patting my back, but I usually over tip just because of what I see them put up with.

      • secretasianman17 - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:56 PM

        I guess you using the word ignorance is ironic. This is not a profession. It is a job. They do not get paid a salary. They get an hourly wage. This line of work is not hard, it may be frustrating, but it is not difficult. If you can carry a tray, use a simple calculator, and are literate then you qualify for this position. I worked full time while obtaining my BS. I worked as a press operator making bumpers for 18-wheelers (you know the ones that haul all the food you serve). The building I worked in was nothing more than a large steel barn with no air conditioning. I lived in the Deep South so it is not uncommon for temps to get >100 with >90% humidity. That is hard work. I made $5.15/h. I didn’t get tipped. I was lucky to leave each day with the TIP of each finger intact.

        Don’t compain about making $2.50/h for a job that requires no more skill than an elementary education, a job that is inside where the temp is always a nice 72 degrees, a job that’s most difficult aspect is quite possibly smiling, and -last but not least- one that they asked for.

        • aaron912 - Jun 10, 2013 at 3:45 AM

          secretasianman you are an idiot because I’ve dealt in a casino for 20 plus years and u think it takes no skill or brains to do it I’d love to see you get on a craps table and deal to nine people at a time with 40 different bets paying odds of 6to5 15to1 30to1 7to5 and so on to all nine people you’d cry for your mommy after 5 mins so shut up if you have nothing smarter to say than anyone can do this stuff!!!

        • samsterino - Jun 10, 2013 at 9:11 PM

          I hope your garbage man doesn’t pick up your trash for 2-3 weeks. May be you’ll come to see that many of the more important jobs in society don’t require all that much technical or college derived “skill”.they need functional intelligence, people skills and doing the right thing hen no one is watching.

      • mturner12 - Oct 2, 2011 at 9:15 AM

        Thank God for Memphis….

        I’m a waitress because I got laid off. I could have collected unemployment; food stamps; medicaid; housing and energy assistance but no I went to work to make an honest days wage for an honest days work…..I had never been a waitress before and I quickly found that it’s the hardest job anyone can have. I carry very heavy things sometimes; stand on my feet for hours; give out directions to funeral homes; nursing homes; hospitals and so forth; I calm the screaming child; I allow others to take their bad day out on me; I tolerate the lingering stares of gentleman along with their advances while I diplomatically decline them; I stay open late because a couple is visiting an hour past closing causing me to get home late and sleep through breakfast with my kids but thank God my tips paid for their breakfast; I absorb the insults of classless people just because they feel like being jerks not because I did anything wrong and for this I’m paid three dollars and sixty cents an hour….for saving your tax payer dollars by not collecting state aid; for teaching my children to work hard; the public comes in and shows me their rashes and sneeze on me like it’s the doctors waiting room; it’s amazing how utterly disgusting so many people are….yes I asked for the job and you should be thankful I did seeing as how your taxes aren’t paying for my supper; yes the most difficult part of my job is smiling when I’d really like to rip a customers eyes out and have a few arrested for the thoughts they’re thinking when they look at me and yes I think some of the things posted regarding this article are more obscene than beastiality pornography but hey for you bad tippers that are so full of yourself karma really comes round and one day when you’re choking on your free bread I hope the waitress smiles as she delivers the Heimlich and she will deliver it because in most cases she’s trained to do so; I hope she smiles when she calls 911 because she recognizes your allergic reaction to whatever it is that you didn’t bother to tell her you were allergic to and I hope you get the best service every time you go out because we don’t need jerk money; we just need to go to work and earn our living the best we can….I’d rather a jerk keep his money than sully the taste of the food I buy with my tips for my children; I want my tip to come from someone who wants me to have it; someone who wants to do the right thing and reward me for the well done job I delivered.

    • tedstryker25 - Aug 24, 2011 at 10:42 PM

      I’m not going to give you a thumbs down BC I assume your ignorance is based on lack of logic. Have you considered the fact that a significant portion of the ccountry does not require bars and restaurants to pay full minimum wage to tipped employees? If they were required to do so and pay a reasonable wage to service industry employees , where do you think they would make up the extra money? Your $9.99 steak just became $11.49 and your $3.50 beer is now $5.00. In addition to this, on a small scale a bartender /server is essentially a private contractor. The level of service they give is typically directly used to determine compensation. If you received the same amount per hour regardless of service rendered how much do you think service would be affected? And bringing the tax claiming issue into this is really not your concern when appropriation of tip (which btw stands for To Insure Promptness) What a certain sect of people decide to keep from Uncle Sam is not exclusive to the service industry. Society had set a loose standard for appropriate “wage” in this particular vocation at %15-20. Some are above some are below but generally you end up in this area. People in this business do have a right to complain if someone decides for some usually unjustified reason to leave below this standard. Would you complain if instead of the $25.00 you make her hr someone came in and utilized your service and paid you only $16 just because they didn’t agree with your societally determined worth? Just a thought.

  8. tomahawk12 - Aug 18, 2011 at 7:51 AM

    Top 10 A-Whole list.

  9. justacasualfan - Aug 18, 2011 at 8:00 AM

    Another great sports story. Who won the game?

  10. toasale - Aug 18, 2011 at 8:14 AM

    At this point in time, I am NOT surprised by anything remotely negative TW does. Cheap azz is what he is. His comeupance will continue, until he is regarded as nothing more than zilch.

  11. denverdude7 - Aug 18, 2011 at 8:46 AM

    Tigger & Bron-Bron on the Top 10 list of poor tippers?

    I am stunned !!!

    Both are in the “It’s All About Me” club so this shouldn’t really be a surprise.

  12. winkeroni - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    I don’t understand why people tip poorly. Even if a server is doing poorly, I give that lady or gentleman the benefit of a doubt and try to tip generously. I’m obviously having the better day, not sure if it’s because there’s a beer in my hand or because I’m not waiting tables. (I don’t look down on servers, it’s a great way to earn some cash while earning a degree)

  13. twajoke - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    Is anyone surprised? Tiger treats fans young and old like $h!t. He promotes a foundation for his own benefit (a tax write off) and uses those kids for photo-ops.

    I have had conversations with various shop owners in Florida and the Bahamas that have all said he is the most arrogant unappreciative customer they have ever had. They all wish he would take his business elswhere.

  14. anotheryx - Aug 19, 2011 at 10:13 AM

    I love Rachael Ray, but how the heck does she belong on this list?

  15. loneriderintx - Oct 2, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    I hardly know where to start here. You good people in the service sector need to get a clue. I have bar backed and bar tended for brief periods. It is a shite job and I never depended on it. I have known up close and personal many waitresses and bartenders in the food and adult beverage industry over the years. A few are hard working honest people, but many are drama queens, lazy tab padding and generally morally and or financially irresponsible people. I am not talking about some kid who it is his or her first entry level job or the old lady playing out the string at the coffe shop. I am talking about those who make a “career” out of it. These jobs should pay minimum wage or better. News flash just in. They dont. If it did pay more, say 8.50 an hour you still would bitch and expect 20% + tips because some of you have it your heads that you should be able to party all night after work, sleep most of the day and still rake in 40,000 to 60,000 a year mostly tax free. The rest of us dont owe you that. Your sense of entitlement is hilarious and beyond ridiculous.

    • loneriderintx - Oct 2, 2011 at 11:13 AM

      I forgot to add that most of these people expect to make this kind of scratch while working less than 40 hours a week if possible. I think some of these reprobates get the 500.00 $ a night stripper stories confused with 50.00 $ a night hash slinging reality.

  16. samsterino - Jun 10, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    A server can render top notch service and still get a horrible tip. So why not just add a reasonable
    service charge and get it over with. Any one who objects can stay home and heat a can of soup.
    Also, restaurant owners may want o consider paying servers a little more, as they charge times what the food costs, ant keep 2 sets of books to reduce their taxes.