#trending: No one shows up for 3-year-old's birthday bash; parents say this is why they don't plan parties
UTAH, UNITED STATES — One stay-at-home mother from Salt Lake City, Utah, was left devastated when not a single person turned up at her daughter's third birthday party despite seven families having RSVPed "yes".
- TikTok user Breanna Strong said seven families had indicated on Facebook that they would be going for her daughter's birthday party
- However, three changed their RSVP on the morning of the party and the rest did not show up
- Most people were not surprised as it appears that birthday party no-shows are common
- Though fellow parents sympathised with her and her child, many also spoke against having big parties for their kids
- Instead, these parents prefer to celebrate birthdays with smaller gatherings, travel or other activities
UTAH, UNITED STATES — One stay-at-home mother from Salt Lake City, Utah, was left devastated when not one person turned up at her daughter's third birthday party despite seven families having RSVPed "yes".
In a TikTok video posted on Sunday (Nov 6), Breanna Strong films an empty party room, with place settings set up at two eight-seater picnic tables and an untouched Frozen 2-themed birthday cake.
"We invited 27 kids to Avery's third birthday party," she writes in her video caption.
"Not a single one of her friends showed up."
She then shows a pizza box being thrown into a bin, labelling it: "Money and time wasted."
The party room shown in the video appears to be at KidsTopia, a jungle-themed indoor playground in Salt Lake City. According to the KidsTopia website, it costs at least US$279 (S$390) for a party package of up to 20 children, not inclusive of food and drinks, cake or decorations.
In the next frame, Avery is shown sitting alone at one of the tables and eating a slice of pizza, with the caption saying: "Breaks my momma heart so bad."
Ms Strong continues in the video: "Literally going to go home and snuggle my babies."
Her video has since gone viral with 7.4 million views and 16,200 comments.
Several netizens initially doubted her story, saying that the video must have been staged or "something went wrong communication-wise".
However, most people were not surprised as it appears that birthday party no-shows are common.
Some parents said they have made it a "rule at (their) house" to go for any party they are invited to precisely for this reason, but there have been times when they were the only ones to show up.
Ms Strong later explained in the comments that they had planned the party on Facebook.
"Seven families said they were coming," she wrote. "Three changed their RSVP this morning and others didn't show."
The incident, along with many similar stories shared in the comments, has generated much discussion about the practice of children's birthday parties.
Though fellow parents sympathised with Ms Strong, many also spoke against having big parties for their kids — some because of "the anxiety of people not showing up", others because of how costly it can get.
"I honestly think people just don't attend birthday parties anymore," said one parent on TikTok. "I've stopped doing them."
Instead, these parents prefer to "keep it intimate" with less than 10 people, they said. They also plan these small gatherings with family members instead of friends.
Others said they celebrate by travelling or planning a special day out, spending the party money on "what the birthday kid wants".
Even non-parents agreed, with one sharing: "This happened to me on my 16th birthday. Never tried again until I was like 26 and it happened again.
"I'm 39, now I always treat myself to a spa day."
Thankfully, the birthday girl herself did not seem to be particularly affected by her absent friends. Ms Strong commented: "She got everything she wanted. Pizza, Frozen cake and jungle gym. She didn't know any different rather than having fun.
"Just shattered my heart."
In a follow-up video posted on Tuesday (Nov 8), apparently taken the morning after the failed party, the mother-daughter duo recount the birthday festivities as Ms Strong styles Avery's hair.
More than once in the video, the toddler proudly declares to the camera: "It's my happy birthday."
She also gushes about her "Elsa cake" and Barbie dollhouse gift from her parents. Elsa is one of the main characters in the Frozen franchise.
"I hope you had a good day," her mother tells her, to which she responds: "I did!"
Related topicstrending parenting children
Read more of the latest in