Girl dinner is everywhere right now. And married women are furious.

If you enjoy a simple no-cook snack plate for dinner, then you'll understand TikTok's latest viral food trend, the 'Girl Dinner'. 

With over 480 million views of girl dinner-related clips on TikTok in just a few months, the trend was reputedly started by a TikTok creator by the name of Olivia Maher, who shared her love of cheese and grapes as a meal that she called a "medieval peasant or girl dinner".

@liviemaher #girldinner #medievaltiktok ♬ original sound - Olivia Maher

Media coverage of the trend and its origins has since gone global. Even British food icon Nigella Lawson weighed in on the term by Tweeting that she calls this style of low-maintenance dinner, 'picky bits'.

I've been enjoying 'picky bits' or 'girl dinners' for YEARS; long before it was a viral trend and just a quick way I could enjoy a yummy dinner while watching TV once the workday was done. 

Not only are girl dinners fast and varied (do I opt for the blue cheese or cheddar with my crackers? Hommus or avocado dip? Grapes or apple?) but they require little to no preparation, cooking or washing up. 

But as I'm now married with kids, I only get my dream snack-meal occasionally, because my girl dinner offerings simply wouldn't fly in my household. There are expectations of a hot meal that we must eat around a table with the inclusion of some basic nutrients. 

And even though my husband is the one to do most of the cooking – because he enjoys it and I do not –  I'm the official wash-and-clean-upper, and this whole daily family dinner is a lot of work. Frankly, I miss my cheese plates.

Many married women miss those girl dinners too. 


Among the hundreds of millions of clips about girl dinners on TikTok, there's a rising number from furious married and divorced women about how girl dinners are a reminder of the inequality in their marriages.

These are women who spend hours each week shopping, planning, cooking and then cleaning up after dinner for husbands and (in some cases) kids. 

Or women who, after divorce, are embracing simple girl dinners after the endless expectations once placed on them to conjure up meals every day. 

The loudest voice of them all is TikTok creator Laura Danger, whose video caption sums it up: "Why do YOU think there’s such a gap in labour after nuptials?"  

"We have to talk about girl dinner and how it relates to the oppression of straight married women," she asks, going on to explain how married women are doing seven hours of extra work around the house each week compared to married men and their single female counterparts. This includes daily dinner prep and cooking.

@thatdarnchat Why do YOU think there’s such a gap in labor after nuptuals? #girldinner ♬ original sound - Laura Danger

"When women marry men, they gain about seven hours of additional work like cooking and cleaning and picking up around the house," she says in her TikTok that's been viewed 3.4 million times.

"This is women without children. So women gain seven hours and men lose an hour. So the difference for men is very small, but the difference for women is very big – and why? Girl dinner."

Laura goes on to explain that single men and women might both be eating girl dinners, but when women marry men, they "turn into wives" and there are different expectations placed on a wife.


"Women end up cooking more, doing their wifely duties and men don't."

She says that the inequality mindset starts in the teen years where data shows young boys, aged 15-17, have an hour more leisure time than girls of the same age. Where teen girls are helping their mum or running errands, boys are gaming or relaxing.

"Girls are raised with the knowledge that when they become wives, all the social expectations of being a wife will fall on them, and so they internalise the need to learn those things. Men are not judged in the same way women are when they don't keep a pleasant space. Settling down means something different for husbands and wives. 

"I hate cooking but I fell into this trap and I tried to learn how, I tried to like it when I became a wife. I feed my kids' good food, but I'm a girl dinner girl, a girl dinner wife. And that's okay. Eating pickles and chips for dinner doesn't make me a bad wife!"

Laura I am with you – and I'm not even the one cooking most of the meals for my family. 

Listen to Mia, Holly and Clare discuss Girl Dinner on Mamamia Outloud. Post continues below.


While I appreciate the effort my husband goes to in order to provide our family with delicious and nutritious meals, when I clear the table after we eat and I approach the multi-pot pile up in our kitchen, my heart sinks. 

The planning, shopping, chopping, cooking, cleaning and washing WORK of each daily dinner should not be underestimated. It's a lot, and for many married women with and without kids, they're the ones doing the majority of this unpaid and often underappreciated labour. Every single day. So it's no wonder they miss their snack plates.


I understand those who say that girl dinners are small and lacking in nutritional content, or worse, border on eating disorder territory, but mostly come 6pm, I'm just exhausted and ready to relax. 

But marriage is a compromise and my kids need more than a nightly dose of pickles and cheese so I have to be realistic. Also, I enjoy the fact my husband is leading by example and teaching my boys to cook, while I clean up, and they see us working as a team. 

At least we're not perpetuating the notion that their future wives will be the ones stuck in the kitchen doing all that extra labour each week.

That doesn't mean I can't embrace the occasional girl dinner as an act of rebellion when my husband goes away in two weeks. The kids will enjoy my elevated mood and eating dinner in front of a movie, and I am already planning my girl dinner menu with glee. 

Maybe some bread. Maybe some blue cheese. Maybe some pickles. 

I might even cut up some apples.

Laura Jackel is Mamamia's Family Writer. For links to her articles and to see photos of her outfits and kids, follow her on Instagram and TikTok.

Feature Image: TikTok / Canva.

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