Homework. No one wants to do it. But no one wants to get in trouble either. So, here are some of the best homework excuses that are serious, funny, and might even work for strict teachers!
As a teacher myself, I’ve heard most of these excuses. I laughed at a few and rolled my eyes at most.
At the end of the day, you’re only going to get away with not doing homework if you’ve got a solid excuse and a bunch of evidence to back it up. Good luck!
Read Also: 27 Pros and Cons of Homework
Cliché Homework Excuses
These are terrible homework excuses that, really, students should avoid. They might be fun to use, but most of them have been over-used. Your teacher won’t believe you unless you’ve brought some evidence along with you.
1. My Dog ate my Homework.
Look, no one’s ever going to believe this one. Maybe avoid it unless you want to spend lunch time inside catching up.
2. My Computer Broke.
This one’s more believable but it’s been over-used. Thanks to all the liars out there, this homework excuse is well and truly ruined.
3. My Mom Forgot It.
Nothing like blaming your mother for your own failures. Most teachers would probably tell you to take a little personal responsibility and send you on your way.
4. The Internet was Out.
As believable as any excuse, your teacher might tell you that you’d better buy yourself an old hardback encyclopedia.
5. My Grandma Died. Again.
The oldest excuse in the book, I always ask for evidence of this. Some people seem to have 15 grandmas.
6. The Older Kids Took it off me and Tore it Up.
Chances are, your teacher’s going to be very concerned by this. They might even escalate this to a disciplinary issue!
Related: A List of Extension Excuses for College Students
Funny Homework Excuses
These ones might get a laugh out of your teacher and your classmates. But, you’re not likely to get out of trouble in the long run.
7. My Mother wanted to Display it on the Fridge.
You might get a few laughs from your friends out of this one. But, your teacher is going to tell you to go home, take it off the fridge, and bring it to class!
8. The Police Confiscated it as Evidence.
This one might make your teacher pause and wonder. Why is it confiscated? Is it so poorly written that the police consider it an outrage? Maybe your joke will deflect them from punishing you, though.
9. I was Abducted by Aliens and They took It.
If your teacher believes this one, let me know. I’ve got some air guitars to sell them.
10. I sent it to you in the Post.
In this day and age, you might have to tell your teacher they should wait a few months to it arrive. The postal service isn’t what it used to be.
11. My Dad mistook it for a Letter and Posted it to China.
Funny, but clearly not true. Your teacher is going to ask one simple question: why is your dad sending letters to China?
12. I had to burn it in the Fireplace to keep myself Warm.
Like Pablo Escobar burning cash, you’ve thrown caution to the wind and thrown your homework book into the fire because, well, if you didn’t, you wouldn’t have survived the freezing cold night.
13. It flew out the Window of the Car.
Just picture it. You’re frantically doing your homework on the drive to school. Your dad winds down the window and – woosh – the homework’s gone for good. And class is in just 15 minutes!
14. I thought I’d do it Tomorrow because I’ll be Older and Wiser Then.
A clever joke, but you’re probably going to be known as the class clown from that moment onwa rd!
15. I did my Work. It’s all Up Here in my Head.
Be prepared for your teacher to give you a snap quiz on the spot if you’re bold enough to say you’ve got it all in your head! But, if you pull it off, maybe you’ll get away without too much trouble.
16. I didn’t do it because I didn’t want to add to your Workload.
Sure, it sounds nice, but your teacher will see right through this cheeky response. But hey, when you’ve got nothing to lose it’s worth a try.
17. My Hand fell Asleep and I didn’t want to Wake It.
Imagine you were trying so hard to do your homework and write down those answers. But, your hand just wouldn’t obey your command!
18. My Cat ate it knowing that I’d Blame the Dog.
This one’s a funny twist on “my dog ate my homework” that might just get a laugh out of your teacher (and a little bit of leniency).
Related: Excuses for Skipping Class in College
Excuses For Strict Teachers
Okay, here’s where things get serious. If you’ve got a teacher who you know is going to be mad, you need to come into this with a plan. Usually, that means providing evidence to support your excuse.
19. I was Sick. And I have a Sick Note.
Being sick (genuinely!) is one of the few reasons for not doing your homework that might actually work. You’re going to want to be able to present a note from your parent and maybe even a doctor.
20. My Mother or Father went to Hospital. And here’s the Sick Note.
If your mom or dad is in hospital, chances are you’re going to get a free pass. Bring evidence, even if it’s a photo of dad in the hospital bed with tubes coming out of his nose!
21. My Computer Screen Broke. And here’s a Picture.
I’ve actually gotten this one from students a few times and it really took me back. I thought: “is this legit, or is this image from 3 years ago?” A receipt from the computer repair store with a date on it is usually a better piece of evidence. But then again, why didn’t you go to the library?
22. The computer broke, but here are my hand-written notes.
I’m usually pretty impressed by this excuse. Your computer broke, but you still made the effort to give the homework a go anyway. Great resilience!
23. The wi-fi didn’t work, but here are my hand-written notes.
This excuse is very similar to the previous one. If you turn up with nothing and say the wi-fi broke, the teacher probably won’t accept that excuse. But if you actually tried to write some notes anyway, well done!
24. I wasn’t here when the work was assigned.
This is an excellent homework excuse for strict teachers. It’s really quite legitimate. How were you supposed to know you had homework!?
25. I tried, but I didn’t understand the Instructions.
This puts the onus back on the teacher. Why didn’t they provide clearer instructions? It’s usually a good idea to show some evidence that you at least gave it a go, though.
26. I volunteer at the soup kitchen on Monday Nights.
Everyone loves a good Samaritan. If it gets you out of homework, well, that’s just the universe giving you good karma.
27. I’m so sorry. I thought it was right here in my Bag!
This one helps show that it at least is a genuine mistake.
28. I had way too much Homework for my other Class.
Follow this one up with “You should talk to that teacher about how their overbearing homework requirements are impacting your students!”
29. The Library was Closed and I don’t have Internet at Home.
This one might get you a little more sympathy. The fact you don’t have internet at home means you’re not as privileged as many other kids, so your teacher might let you off lightly.
Related: Fun Things to do when Bored in Class
Truthful Homework Excuses
30. I was too busy doing something more important.
Your teacher is instantly going to say “what was more important than your education?” Don’t respond with “video games.”
31. My parents kept me really busy on the weekend. But I promise I’ll do it tonight.
One thing I would say about this excuse is that you’re saying “Hey, take it up with my parents. I wanted to do some homework!” But, you’re also saying you’ve got a plan to get it done asap.
32. I was at football practice all night.
Many teachers will still say “learning comes before sports” (which, as a teacher, I agree with). But, you’ve got a leg to stand on here. You don’t want to let your team down, which is fair.
33. I did my homework, but I left it at home.
This excuse does show that you at least put the effort in. But, you failed at the finish line! Come to class tomorrow with the homework and you’ll win back some respect from your teacher.
34. I forgot I even had homework.
Hey, it’s truthful. But you’re not going to get any sympathy for this one.
35. The computer didn’t break. It was the Printer this time!
An excuse that’s almost as bad as “my computer broke”, the printer issues excuse at least needs some photographic evidence to back it up. And, why didn’t you email the homework to your teacher?
36. I had a Headache.
Headaches are the worst. As a teacher myself, I’d probably have a little sympathy for this excuse if it’s a one-off. But, I’d expect my student to bring a note from the parent to corroborate the story.
37. The homework was far too Easy.
This isn’t a good reason not to do homework. Your teacher is going to expect you to absolutely ace your next test.
38. My tutor accidentally took it home with them.
Nothing like blaming your tutor for your own problems. As a teacher, I’d probably roll my eyes and tell you that you need to keep better track of your things.
39. I accidentally squished it in the bottom of my bag and now it’s got rotten apple juice all over it.
This one’s funny to me because, well, as a kid this always used to happen to me. Rotten bananas were usually the culprit.
40. I spilled cereal all over it because I was doing it over breakfast.
This sounds believable. I would tell my student the should at least show me the ruined homework as evidence. And, I’d also tell them that breakfast isn’t the best time to do your homework.
See a List of 11 Homework Statistics
Blame the Parents
41. My parents don’t believe in homework and won’t let me do it.
There are some parents like this. If a student said this to me, I’d be on the phone to the parents. So, if you don’t want your teacher to call your parents, don’t use this excuse.
42. My mother said band practice was more important.
It’s really hard for teachers to argue with parents via the student. But in my experience the teacher usually responds with: “you need to have better organization skills to get all of these things done in your own time!”
43. I help my father at work on a Tuesday afternoon. I just can’t get it done on Tuesdays.
Once again, the teacher is likely going to tell you to have more organization skills. But, you might occasionally get an extension out of this. Especially if you let the teacher know in advance.
44. My father looked at it, said it was outrageous government indoctrination, and told me not to do it.
While I think this is hilarious, it’s also something that happens a lot these days. Why is this world so divided? Science isn’t controversial, people!
45. My mother was looking over my homework and forgot to give it back to me.
Okay, time for me to put my teacher voice on: “She didn’t forget to give it back to you. You forgot to ask for it back.”
46. My mother threw it in the trash.
This must have been frustrating to you! A teacher with a quick wit will respond: “it shouldn’t have looked like trash then. You must have done a bad job!” Or, a more serious teacher might just tell you that you need to be more organized net time.
Blame the Teachers
47. You give too much Homework.
There are plenty of people out there in this world who think teachers do give too much homework. They believe it’s not fair and it’s preventing children from leading a balanced and healthy life.
48. Your instructions are impossible to understand.
This one really puts the pressure back on the teacher because you’re basically telling them that they’re bad at their job.
49. This was way too hard for me. You need to give me more guidance.
Sometimes, it’s true, teachers do assign homework that’s way too hard. You do need to be resourceful and find ways to learn yourself. But at the same time, the teacher really should know better.
50. The homework is too easy. It’s a complete waste of my time.
Assigning homework is like playing Goldilocks. It can’t be too hard, can’t be too easy.
51. Between you and all my other teachers, you’re assigning hours of homework every night. You all need to get together and resolve this.
This one’s surely going to set a cat amongst the pigeons. The teachers are going to talk about this at their next staff meeting. But, they might coordinate and come back at you as a united front!
FAQ: How to Get Out of Doing Homework?
The best ways to get out of doing homework are to:
- Let the teacher know in advance that you won’t be able to do it. Teachers respond better when you give them an excuse before time, not after.
- Bring evidence of why you didn’t do it. If you want your teacher to truly believe your excuse, you need evidence. This can be notes, photos, receipts, or anything else proving your story is true.
Really, the best way to avoid any issues is to just do the homework in the first place. But if you’re reading this article, chances are the horses have left the stable. You’re at a stage where you’ve got to come up with an excuse because in 10 minutes your teacher is going to be asking you why you haven’t done anything!
Well, good luck with that! I hope you don’t get into too much trouble, but I also hope you learn that next time the best solution is to just get that homework done in advance.
Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education.