12 Most Ridiculous Excuses For Missing Class

12 Most Ridiculous Excuses For Missing Class

If you’re a supervisor for any period of time, you’re likely to hear a ton of excuses for why people don’t fulfill their roles.

There are excuses for missing work, meetings and deadlines. They come in all varieties, from legitimate to less than believable. And, of course, everybody’s got one.

When you’re a student, your full-time job is attending classes, whether you admit it or not. You’re probably also too young to realize that your excuses are overused and you aren’t that great at lying. Trust me, as a university professor, I’ve heard them all.

1. I Overslept

Just because you can’t wake up without your Mom’s help doesn’t mean I’m going to reteach an hour’s worth of material. Perhaps you can cry to your Mom about how mean I am.

2. My Dog Died

I love my dog. She is a calming and loyal part of my life. I would be sad if anything happened to my little companion, but I would still be there to teach my classes. The death of a non-human thing is not an excuse for your absence. Speaking of…

3. My Grandmother Died… Again

You can only have so many grandmothers who go to be with the Lord during a single academic year. If your grandma were anything like mine, she’d give you a piece of her mind for using her death as a lame excuse. If she’s not dead, shame on you for putting her in the grave.

4. I Have My (insert unpleasant feminine issue here)

Seriously? Every woman on the earth could use this excuse at one time or another. You know what we do instead? We pop some Midol, suck it up and get on with our responsibilities. I suggest you do the same.

5. I Was Working On My Paper For Another class

Nothing makes professors angrier than hearing that you think another class is more important than theirs. Schedule your time appropriately.

6. We Had Class Today?

Yes! We’ve had class at 9 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday for three months. Why would we randomly not have it today? Just because you didn’t feel like showing up doesn’t mean that class was canceled.

7. I Had To Appear At A University Event

I support my university, but I disagree with missing classes to make university appearances. It seems too frequent that these are the students who need to be in class most. Students, students, you’re all pretty, now get to class!

8. My Car Broke Down

I love it when the car breaks down and suddenly that crazy smart phone you can’t put down during my class can’t send an email, text or make a phone call. I assume at some point your car began working again to drive you to tonight’s big party.

9. I Had To Work

Really? I had to work too. My job is teaching you, which I cannot do if you’re not here. I hope they’re paying you well at Taco Hut. By the way, do they have good benefits for when you’re 40 and work your way up to manager?

10. My Brothers/Sisters Needed Me At The House

This sounds like a childcare issue, but these students aren’t referring to younger siblings. They’re talking about their fraternity brothers or sorority sisters. I was Greek in college so I know for certain – there is nothing important enough going on in the house that can’t wait until class ends. Trust me here.

11. I Have An Appointment

Yes, you do. You have a standing semester-long appointment with me. Schedule your doctor, dentist, repairman, hairdresser, mechanic, spiritual adviser, parole officer, or whomever around your commitments in my class.

12. No Excuse

This may be my favorite of all. You walk into class like you never missed a thing, then you act shocked when you don’t understand the material. You may even do something really stupid like walk up after class and say, “I was absent. I didn’t miss anything, did I?” No, evil genius, you obviously know exactly what’s going on. In fact, when we realized that you weren’t here, we just sat perplexed about how to go on without you. I’m sure you’ll be fine on the final exam.

These are the lamest so far, but with each academic year comes new opportunities for stupidity. Even the guy who couldn’t come to class because he was in jail had a more legitimate excuse than some of these. I mean, he really couldn’t come to class. Neither could my husband’s employee who called in sick after dropping a TV on his penis. You think you have problems, right?

What about you? What’s the worst excuse you’ve ever received from someone who missed a commitment?

Featured image courtesy of mikebaird licensed via creative commons.

Kenna Griffin


Kenna Griffin (@profkrg) is the blogger behind www.profkrg.com, which aims to create an ongoing educational dialogue between professional journalists and media students and educators. In her spare time she teaches journalism, multimedia, public relations, media law, and media ethics courses as a full-time university professor. Oh, and she is a doctoral candidate in mass communication on the side.

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I didn't attend class today, and I had a very good reason. I have been sick with the flu. I emailed all my professors as well to let them know. So at least I know I had my bases covered.


I once slept through a class by accident, and in the interest of not giving a lame excuse, told the professor that I was kidnapped by terrorists with an ideological objection to the cirriculum.

Lucky for me this professor had a sense of humor.


Brutal. You don't want students acting like kids so you treat them like kids. If they think they can pass whatever tests you use to determine whether they have mastered the material without attending your class then let them try. If they can, that says something about the value of your teaching. If they can't, that's what they get for skipping classes - a grown up consequence.

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thanks, this was enjoyable. It applies to almost every situation where people don't turn up and you believe they should have.

It's really a discussion for another place, but are you sure students have a commitment to attend class? It may be the only time and place at which you deliver information you (or the university) believe they need. IMO, students have a choice about whether or not to attend & needn't make an excuse if they don't. Also, IMO, we do a bit too much prolonging of childhood in our institutions of higher education.


ROFL! Especially #4 & #12. Not guilty on all these counts, I paid for my education, was going to get my moneys worth! All 12 are great... Thank You!


My kids just blame me! ... ... ... and, they're usually right!

Dhara Mistry
Dhara Mistry moderator

I would be lying if I said I wasn't guilty of a few of these especially #11!. There was one that was my favorite when I was in school: "My washing machine broke and whole of my house was flooded with water". I did use it a number of times though out my school era! ;)


My best one was "I'm in a pole dancing competition and stand to win $10,000". This speech prof was, well... speechless. Wonderful post! Ellen @chattyprof


Enjoyed this one tremendously. Definitely hitting my Twitter/Facebook feed for all those high school/college aged friends (starting with my 16- and 18-yr olds)


Yeah, I had a professor who would get realllllly mad when a student would say, "Did I miss anything?" Oh, no. I was just up here reciting the alphabet again. Amazing they pay me to do that day after day, huh?"

If it makes you feel any better, these same scenarios arise in the business world. I have heard some crazy stories in my day. Facebook is not your friend when you post that you're going to a St. Patty's day party and then call the next morning with a "jaw" ache. I think that's called a hangover, yo. :)

Great post!


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