Walker Hayes and Matt; Photo Courtesy of TikTok
Walker Hayes and Matt; Photo Courtesy of TikTok

Walker Hayes Meets Fan With Autism After Viral TikTok Video, Invites Him To Dinner At Applebee’s

Walker Hayes recently made an autistic fan’s dream to meet him come true, which Hayes dubbed “a night I will never forget.”

Hayes met Matt, who went viral on TikTok after he met up with his former teacher, Tara at Applebee’s and she gifted him a T-shirt with lyrics to “Fancy Like” for his birthday. In addition to celebrating his birthday at Applebee’s and receiving the shirt with the lyrics to “Fancy Like,” Matt also ordered an Oreo shake, as the song references.


Pure joy at Applebees! #fancylike #walkerhayes #applebees #autism #autistic #spedteachersoftiktok #slpsoftiktok #autismmom #inspiring #friendship

♬ original sound – Autism Little Learners

Hayes saw the video, which was shared by Tara, and then posted it to his Facebook page. “I just had to share this,” Hayes wrote back in March. “I love everything about it.”

Applebee’s also loved the video of Matt so much that they gifted him some “Fancy Like” swag and hooked him up with meet and greet passes to Hayes’ concert on July 9.

“I know you, brother Matt,” Hayes said upon going in for a hug when he met Matt backstage at the concert. “You’re my favorite video all year, of you at Applebee’s. Seriously, I watched you 1,000 times, I did,” he said.

Hayes went on to tell Matt that he enjoyed his viral video so much that he shared it with “at least a hundred people,” labeling his joy as “infectious.”

“I love you, man,” Matt answered in response before he and Hayes shared another hug.

In a subsequent video, Hayes signed Matt’s “Fancy Like” T-shirt and then asked Matt to sign the “Y’all Life” T-shirt he was wearing. In a third video, Matt and Hayes performed the TikTok dance to “Fancy Like.”


Matt’s dream came true when @walkerhayesofficial invited him to do the Fancy Like dance with him. I’m not crying, you are! So much gratitude to @applebees and Walker for making this happen! Best day ever! #walkerhayes #fancylike #applebees #specialneeds #goodpeople #goodintheworld #countrymusic #nashville #imnotcryingyouare #fancylikedance #autismlittlelearners

♬ Fancy Like – Walker Hayes

“@walkerhayesofficial and @applebees made Matt’s dreams come true this past weekend,” Tara captioned the video of him meeting Hayes. “Matt not only saw his favorite artist in concert, but also got to MEET him! Walker was a class act and took so much time with Matt. What a kind human being with a big heart. We definitely need more of this in the world right now!!!,” she continued.

While meeting Hayes backstage at the concert, Matt asked him if “Fancy Like” was truly inspired by a date night with his wife, Laney at Applebee’s. Hayes responded that it was and that he and Laney have been going to Applebee’s on dates since they were in high school. Hayes also told Matt that Applebee’s recently awarded him a gold card, which enables him to eat free at the restaurant for the rest of his life, before inviting Matt to join him there the next time he’s in town.

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