During a woman's visit to a Californian restaurant, she felt uneasy as all customers and staff abruptly halted what they were doing and stood up for the national anthem.
She recorded a short video of the incident and posted it on TikTok. However, to her surprise, even the viewers from outside the United States were equally appalled as she was.
The footage, which was recorded at the Rainbow Oaks Restaurant in Southern California, had a caption that was intended to be humorous: "By far the most dangerous situation I've ever been in #godblessamerica #getout #illegal #whitepeoplethings".
Rainbow Oaks Restaurant is a lodge-style eatery that serves breakfast around the clock, and it is well-known for playing the American national anthem every day, a fact that TikToker Paulina (@paulinappa_0) was unaware of.
Amidst everyone standing still with their right hands placed over their hearts, Paulina and her friend chose to remain seated while enjoying their pancakes.
TikTok users expressed equal surprise and shock in the comment section, just like Paulina.
"Like who does that in the middle of lunch?" asked one viewer.
"This feels like a horror movie," another user said. "Everyone stands up as soon as the music plays as you find yourself been the only person not standing."
And a third wondered: "Was it like for a reason? Or did it just start playing randomly and they all got up on reflex?? Wild."
Especially those who were not from the US, were amazed at how passionately Americans honored their national anthem.
A commenter, claiming to be from Australia, stated: "Whaaaat?? So freaky. We play ours at the Olympics and ANZAC Day and that's pretty much it."
A second noted: "In Spain we don't even hear the national anthem that much, so this would 100% freak me out so much."
The video even made some Americans feel slightly uneasy.
While some expressed discomfort, the majority of commenters defended their passion for the national anthem and even invited those who didn't appreciate it to leave the country.
"Yeah I can see how dangerous this is. Everybody respecting the flag and not paying any attention to you whatsoever. How did you survive?" one viewer said.
Another argued: "We are Americans and that's what Americans do is respect our flag and honor the men and women who have fought for YOUR freedom. Have a little respect."
Following the video's viral spread, Jeanene Paulino, the owner of Rainbow Oaks, addressed the criticism and made it clear that she had no intentions of discontinuing the tradition.
"I come from a long line of patriots, so I was thrilled to keep the tradition going. No, we won't be stopping," she told Fox & Friends First.
She added: "I feel like, if we take a few minutes out of our day to be grateful for the men and women who have made the sacrifices so that we can stand up and say how we feel and she said how she felt."
"And I wish she realized that it's because those men and women who made those sacrifices that she was able to do that."