Top Ten Student Excuses For Missing Class

Seriously, these are really good; I’m not making them up, and I don’t think they were, either. If you want to get away with something, one of these excuses will probably work.

10. My mother made me give my dog away and I haven’t stopped crying for three days.

9. While driving to school, I fell asleep at the wheel. I pulled over and napped instead of coming to class.

8. My boyfriend was stabbed at a club on Saturday. He’s okay, but I’m finding it hard to concentrate on school right now.

7. A drug lord burned our house down.

6. I had to go visit my brother in jail.

5. My little sister locked me in my closet.

4. My bank card was cloned by the corner store up the street. They wiped out my bank account and I didn’t even have money for subway fare.

3. My Ritalin stopped working. You really wouldn’t have wanted me to come to class.

2. I’ve never met my father. On Friday, I saw an obituary in the paper for my paternal grandfather’s funeral. I contacted my dad through the funeral home. Since then, my father’s entire extended family has been harassing me on Facebook demanding to meet me. I haven’t told my mother. I’m having a nervous breakdown.

1. I pulled my back reaching into the fridge for margarine.


45 responses

  1. I feel deprived. I’ve never had any excuses remotely this interesting. I only get the “my grandmother/grandfather/step grandmother/step grandfather passed away” excuses. Clearly, I need to inspire my students with more creativity!

    (Love the margarine excuse. Of course, given that a colleague badly hurt her shoulder making the bed and had to go on physio for months, I guess it can happen).

  2. Maybe we should impress upon them that the more outrageous their excuses are, the more likely we are to believe them! I almost gave bonus marks to the girl with the margarine excuse – if they knew this, I bet they’d try harder.

  3. This is a really great top ten list. I’ve definitely used the sister locking me in the closet (except it was my brother and it was in the bedroom). You can post this to our site and then link back to your site. The coolest feature is you can let other people vote on the rankings of your list.

  4. I know you’re not making them up. I get prison and funeral excuses a lot. #8 and #3 are also familiar… The second one is something else–that’s some story!

  5. I have a variation on the dog story:
    1st missed day: “We got a new puppy and he chewed my shoes. They are the only shoes I had, so I couldn’t come to school until my mom bought a new pair.”
    2nd and 3rd missed day: “The puppy got sick after eating my shoes. We had to take it to the vet and get it’s stomach cut open to remove the bits of shoe. My mom said I had to stay home and watch the puppy while it recovered because she never wanted the stupid dog in the first place.”

  6. Michelle: yes, #2 is quite a story, and she’s been updating me on it – today she told me that she finally met her brother and it was totally great and she’s thrilled to finally know him, so there seems to be a happy ending at least for now!

  7. Tamara: that story is awesome. And I guess if someone says “I only had one pair of shoes,” you can’t really argue with them about it…

  8. Hi Siobhan,
    I loved this post and am very glad to have discovered my blog. I’ve mentioned this, and others from the Carnival on School Gate today, and will be checking back!

  9. Sarah:
    I received the link to SchoolGate this morning and left a “thank you” in your comments – I am thrilled that you mentioned me, and you have certainly driven up my stats! It’s a great honour. I follow SchoolGate and am always impressed by its take on a variety of subjects, from education policy to classroom issues to more intimate topics like bullying. I encourage all you readers to check it out at TimesOnline:

  10. Pingback: Top ten student excuses for missing class « english@kkc

  11. Perhaps my daughter is a little more inventive ” I have written my essay on George Orwell’s 1984, but my mother’s computer has been hacked into and she is frightened to turn it on now because she is being watched.Until the man comes to fix it I cannot use the printer ” or maybe the paranoia is creeping in.
    Either way I will have to confirm the hacking when I see the English teacher – the rest will have to rely on body language…

  12. Kendra:
    So your daughter was telling the truth? Or no? Because if not, that’s also a very interesting excuse and I’d probably be taken in by it.

  13. LOL
    this is seriously funny.
    wouldn’t say i try using them cus i bet that the place where i live, they just wouldn’t accept this.
    but this is HILARIOUS. 😀

  14. I’ve had the closet one, minus the sibling – the student, who was perpetually late for class, walked in almost an hour late and breathlessly explained that she had locked _herself_ in the closet.

    Mind you, she seemed like the kind of person who probably had a really big closet… but still.

  15. Honestly, Maggie, I may have conflated your closet story with one of my own students’ excuses involving a sibling (who locked her in the car, maybe, or something?) to come up with that one. I could have sworn that it was genuine, but the one I’m remembering was a long time ago, and it seems highly unlikely that two separate students came up with such hilarious excuses involving closets…

  16. Tiqah: some of them are funny, but some, not so much, especially because I think they’re true!

    Jennifer: I think I might have been taken in this term by a student who said she couldn’t do her oral presentation because her menstrual cramps were so bad she couldn’t stand up. She really did look sick, but since then her behavior has suggested to me that she’s not the most responsible person in the world and might have been playacting. I hate it when that happens, but really, we have to make judgment calls about this stuff…

  17. Wow, you sound like a realllllly awesome teacher ^^ hahahaha
    I’m a college student: an excuse i thought would be interesting: I had a nightmare that a car was gonna run me over on my way walking to college so i was worried it was a prophecy from God who wanted to save my life!!!

    But i only use such an excuse with the lecturers who i have a good, friendly relationship with, and who know i like messing around and appreciate my humor 🙂

  18. 4ever: That is a GREAT excuse, and if someone gave it to me I’d probably not only accept it but congratulate them on their ingenuity!

  19. Wow, these ARE some interesting excuses. Number 2 is practically a screen play. I actually DID have a 3rd grader tell me one time that she couldn’t come to Saturday school tutoring (we do it like twice a year) because she had to go to Louisiana to see her brother, who was in jail…

  20. Mister Teacher: yes, the jail-related excuses are myriad, but, as one of my colleagues pointed out, they’re pretty easy to verify…

    #2 is an ongoing one; I receive periodic updates, and may write a whole post about it once the semester is done.

    Thanks for commenting!

  21. Those are actually amazing… I am so tempted to trying using the margarine one, whether or not I’d get away with it, however…

  22. I heard one about four students who were late back from a road trip and missed an important chemistry exam. They explained to the professor that they had planned to return in plenty of time, but had had a flat tire on a remote road. The professor agreed to give them a make-up exam, and put them in separate rooms to write the paper. It was only two pages long. The first page was a fairly easy synthesis question. The second page had just one question: “Which tire?”

  23. They are indeed very good. Luckily, I only ever needed to use one excuse, and it was one of the first I hit upon – Ringing up the school when my mother was out shopping and saying “I’m afraid I can’t come in today, my mother might be dying”. It wasn’t even technically a lie, since I had no idea what she was doing.

    I’m somehow surprised it kept working throughout my school life though…maybe after the first few times they got so used to the repetition that they forgot to check and just assumed I had an ill mother. Maybe it’s because they couldn’t prove me wrong…however you look at it, that trumped all the other excuses I’ve tried for sheer effectiveness.

  24. Pingback: Top 10 Posts of 2009 « classroom as microcosm

  25. i go to the lesson then say ”im gonna be sick” and run out. you get the rest of the day off and your teacher will fall for it as he dosnt want to clean up a load of sick

  26. I once had a student say she couldn’t hand in her homework because her cat threw up on it. With raised eyebrow I said, “You want me to believe that?” She replied, “I brought it with me but I don’t think you want it.” And she pulled out this paper with a nice icky stain on it! I said, “You’re right. I don’t want it.”

  27. I once had a student show up and tell me he hadn’t done his homework because his house caught on fire. (It was true.) He was so worried I would think he was making it up that he brought his mother to school to tell me the whole story!

  28. One of my students told me he had to miss the test because he was testifying against a violent criminal from his neighbourhood and was going to be put into the witness protection program! (He wanted to do a make-up test later). When I asked for some confirmation of this info he became quite vague and I didn’t hear about it again. But I was very tempted to give him some creativity points at least!

  29. Here’s an email one of my fellow students sent to the whole class. I would like to officially enter it into running for the BEST of 2012!!!
    Here goes….

    “Its been a bad week and I was un-able to attend class. I was on my way to my grandmothers funeral when my girlfriend went into labor in the back seat of my car. It was so stressful that I suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and on my way to counseling to help me cope I was in a car accident and suffered minor amnesia. By the time I had regained my memory and remembered there was class today, it was too late and class was over. So, if I could have you to send me the notes it would help a bunch.”

    This guy has set a new standard for requesting notes and if I could have ever stopped laughing, I’d have sent him those notes! And no, I didn’t believe a word of it

  30. Haha! It makes me think of the excuses I have used. Not sure if they are repeated by others too; since I couldn’t believe people use jail excuse all the time!

    1) A cow with was running after me, and I ran for my life in any street I found (it has actually happened to me – but not when I used it as excuse).

    2) I found a crying child in the middle of the street. I had to take her to her home. 😀

    I used them when I was late in class and was not allowed in. My sister though had once said that our neighbour had died and it doesn’t look good to step over a dead body.

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