The Video ‘Starbucks Cup-Size Scam’ is an Old Internet Joke

All sizes of Starbucks paper cups hold the same amount of liquid.

Fact check

Starbucks cafes sell drinks in a variety of sizes using it trademark paper cups, including the popular “high” (12-ounce), “large” (16-ounce), and “windy” (20-ounce). But according to a popular online rumor, Starbucks is fooling its customers with this system because, presumably, all of its carrying cups hold the same amount of liquid.

In May 2022, a video went viral on Facebook that allegedly showed a man pouring coffee from one cup (A) into another that appeared larger (B). While one would expect the contents of the small cup (A) to only partially fill the larger cup (B), the video seemed to show that the same amount of coffee filled both cups to the brim.

This video has been deceptively edited. The various cup sizes at Starbucks do not hold the same amount of liquid.

While we’re not entirely sure how the video above was created – our best guess is that the larger cup (B) had a false bottom to take up some volume space – we can safely say that this video isn’t exactly accurate. represents the quantity. of liquid in two different sized Starbucks cups. How? Well, this is not the first time we have seen someone claim that different sized cups contain identical amounts of liquid.

This video is just the latest iteration of an online prank that has been going on since at least 2016. We first denied the prank in 2020, after a video went viral on TikTok, which allegedly showed how the small, medium and large cups at McDonald’s hold the same amount of liquid. In 2017, another version of the prank was concentrated on the Jack in the Box restaurant.

These videos don’t show any kind of “fraud,” or prove that different sized cups at fast food restaurants or Starbucks actually contain the same amount of liquid. These videos actually use tricks (some cups can be pre-filled with liquid) or deceptive camera techniques (cups can be changed when they are moved out of a frame) to pretend that customers are getting the same amount of liquid, no matter what. what size cup do they order.

In 2018, for example, a YouTuber did this “experiment” using plastic Starbucks cups that the coffee chain uses for its cold drinks.

In May 2022, after this rumor went viral again, another group of YouTubers took it upon themselves to investigate. Again, they found – not surprisingly – that different cup sizes held different amounts of liquid.

Back in 2016, the YouTube page “As Seen on Social Media” also denied the prank. That video focused on McDonald’s cups, not Starbucks.

The “Starbucks Cup Size Scam” does not show that Starbucks’ tall, large, and windy cups all hold the same amount of liquid. This is an old online prank that uses tricks and deceptive editing.


Bain, Ellissa. “TikTok Video Shows ‘McDonald’s Cup Sizes Are Same’ – Internet Users Say It’s a Scam!” HITC, Nov. 10 2020,

Haasch, Palmer. “Experiment: I Tested Viral TickTock Theory That All McDonald’s Cups Hold the Same Amount of Liquid.” Intern, Accessed May 31, 2022.

Jayne, Tamara. “[Video] Starbucks Venti And Grande Are The Same Amount. “Says, August 30, 2019, containing-the-same-amount.

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