Is there a common name for the "I'll pay, no I'll pay, NO I'LL PAY!" dance?

This always makes me super anxious.
Starting a new thread? Well, yeah, but lets deal with that another time…Anecdotally, women seem to really enjoy the game of arguing over who’s going to pay for the round, and men less so. I appreciate anyone getting a round in and am happy to chip in myself, yet, simultaneously I wish everyone would just get their own damn drinks. Maybe it’s like a fear of finding one self in debt to others?
Regardless, is there an actual name for this shenanigans?

In my experience, it has been men who fight to pay the bill. Back when I was younger and had a higher paying job, I did my share of arguing.

Heh. Whatever happened to taking turns at the pub, or playing one of those card/dice/skill games? There’s also the old trick of dealing with the maître d’ in advance so your lunch guests don’t even get near a bill.

I gave up that stupid game a long time ago, and I’ve also warned my wife about doing it. She used to get ridiculous about who is paying. I prefer to have an understanding up front about who’s paying for what. Barring that, when someone says “Hey, I’ll get it.”, I just say “Thanks, my treat next time.”

Anyway, this is a form of ritual speech/behavior. Eg even if you have no intention of paying or simply don’t care, etiquette dictates you refuse a few times before accepting your friend’s offer to pay.

My etiquette provides for just one (1) round of this. It will go like this:

Arguer #1: Here, let me get the bill.
Me: No, no, let me get it.
Arguer #1: No, really, let me pick this up.
Me: OK.


Over here, some of us might call it Mrs Doyle Syndrome, but there are other symptoms that could apply to.

Back in the day, before cellphones, I knew a guy who carried a pager. I noticed that during our group’s weekly lunch he would often get paged as the check was on its way. One week I also needed to make a call, so I followed him toward the pay phone.

He stood by the phone for a minute or three, then returned to the table. Bastard!!

It’s called my father and my grandfather. They did this every time, except neither would give in. When I was a kid, the three of us took a roadtrip to do some genealogy research and were gone for four days.

It was exhausting because every time we had breakfast, lunch or dinner, stopped for gas, stopped at a hotel, paid for copies at the library, etc. it was the same argument. “I’ll get it, you got the last meal!” “Yeah, but you paid for the gas!” “Yeah, but you got the hotel last night.” “But you got the hotel the night before that!” “But we’re in your car putting the mileage on it, so I should pay.” “But I borrowed your truck last month” “You’re always welcome to use my truck” “You are welcome to use my car like on this trip” “Yes, but this is a long trip and I want to pay”

Eventually one of them would give way and then make the statement that the other insisted on paying for “everything” with a promise that the next time, he would pay and there would be no argument about it!!!

There would be an argument about it.

Upmanship? I usually give in so early they’re stuck with the bill without the satisfying drama.

“Alphonse and Gaston”…from the comic strip of the same name.

If I had to give it a name it would have to be close to Brinkmanship or something like that but about a much more mundane matter.

I don’t even feign that I will pay the bill after someone else makes the offer, I love free stuff!!!

This. I’m not going to keep arguing. If they insist on paying, fine with me!

The first thing that sprang to mind was the Alphonse and Gaston thing that ZonexandScout mentions, but that’s probably too obscure for younger and less comic-history-savvy Dopers.

The question is similar to, but not identical with, this old SD column:

The second thing I thought of was that “Ambi-ambulation”.

This is what I do. There’s never more than one round.

Sometimes when I wind up with the tab, I add HUMOROUSLY, “Next time, we’ll go someplace really expensive, and you can pick it up.”

Or if they’re paying, I’ll say, “Oh, it’s your treat? In that case, let’s order more food!” And then I pretend to signal the waiter.

I got a million of them. I’ll be here all week.

Speaking as a store cashier, I call it a paint in the ass.“I got this. No, I’m paying. No, I said I’ll pay. Well, you paid last time.” On and on, while I’m waiting for payment and the people behind you on line are waiting to pay.

Can’t you settle this little drama before you get on line?

For the sake of brevity, may I suggest Gophering?

I don’t know any name for it other than “fighting over the check”.

Is there a name for the act of outflanking your check-fighting opponent by leaving the table briefly before the check comes and pre-paying without your opponent’s knowledge? I’ve pulled off some brilliant instances of that maneuver but I don’t know what it’s called.