Some people enjoy doing homework, while others despise it. Regardless of the type of person you are, homework can be boring, repetitive, or too difficult to understand. And sometimes there is just too much of it! In addition, if you have a full class schedule, homework can quickly become overwhelming.
There are several excuses for not doing homework, whether due to procrastination, lack of motivation, or external forces preventing you from doing it (like your dog eating it). We’ve all been there, so try not to be too hard on yourself. But rest assured, if you get into a situation where you cannot complete your homework, we’ve created this list of excuses that might help ease your anxiety while gaining some sympathy points from your teachers.
Excuses for not doing homework
We researched this topic and asked an English teacher of 35 years about some of her students’ most common and best excuses for not doing homework. She helped us put together the following list:
1. I was sick
Being sick, or claiming that you’re sick, can be used to get out of almost any scenario, including an instance where you did not complete your homework. Who wants to do homework when they are sick? Maybe some people will, but the majority will want to get their rest and recover to their usual selves.
2. My computer crashed
This excuse would not have worked only a couple of decades ago, but today, almost every student relies on their computer or laptop to do their work. So if you don’t have computer access, this is a plausible excuse for not doing your homework on time.
3. My internet died
Like the excuse above, completing your assigned homework can be difficult if you don’t have internet access. Of course, not all homework relies on an internet connection, but if you need to research a particular topic, then it certainly might.
4. I broke my arm
If you broke your arm or any other bone, that is a believable excuse for not doing your homework. If this is your excuse and you didn’t break a bone, you’ll need to figure out a way to sell it. Is getting a fake cast worth going the extra distance just to get out of a bit of homework? We’ll let you be the judge of that!
5. There was a death in the family
Nobody will question your reasons if there has been a death in your family or of a loved one. This excuse will definitely buy you some time. If nobody actually passed away, you can still use this one with a low chance of getting caught, but it might make you feel guilty inside. This is a good excuse if you can live with yourself for making such a thing up.
6. My bag got stolen
Having your property stolen is another one of those believable excuses for not doing your homework. If you tell your teacher that your bag was stolen and it contained your work, they will give you a pass and some additional sympathy points along the way.
7. I was in a car accident
Being injured in a car accident is another excellent excuse for not doing homework. Not all car injuries are visible, either. So if you were in a fake car crash, you could claim internal injuries or whiplash.
8. I had to work
Unfortunately, many students today need to work a part-time job to pay for things like tuition, books, food, and other items of necessity. If you tell your teacher that you had to work to help out the family or pay for your school, they will give you a pass.
9. I got stuck babysitting my younger siblings
If you’re the older brother or sister, you’ll know that babysitting is part of your job. You will get stuck babysitting from time to time, which might prevent you from completing your homework.
10. Practice ran later than usual
Being part of extracurricular activities like sports or part of the school band will mean that you’ll need to practice. Sometimes, practice can go longer than anticipated and cut into your normal time when you do homework.
11. I had a personal issue I was dealing with
Using personal issues as an excuse for not doing homework is good because it’s very open-ended. Personal issues could mean a variety of things; most likely, your teacher won’t pry too much. Saying you’re having personal issues at home might also gain you sympathy points with your teachers.
12. My parents forced me to spend time with them
You might get annoyed with your parents when they want to spend time with you as you get older because you have more important things to do in your eyes. However, it’s tough to blame your parents for wanting to do something as a family. Unfortunately, this time hanging out with them may cut into your homework. This excuse is perfect if your parents are divorced.
13. I have too much homework in other subjects
If you have a lot of homework from different classes, you will need to prioritize what gets done first, especially if you have limited time. This means that sometimes homework will not get done in classes that you feel are less important. If you are going to use this excuse for not doing your homework, you shouldn’t tell your teacher that their class is not essential to you but that you had too much work in other classes that were worth more of your grade.
14. I was in the hospital
If you tell your teacher that you were at the hospital and couldn’t complete the homework, the first thing they should ask is if you are okay. If they do this, you’ll know they are sympathetic toward you. Using the hospital as an excuse to get out of homework is very general; you could have been in the hospital for countless reasons, so pick wisely if you are going to use this one.
15. My pet got sick
Using a sick pet as an excuse for getting out of doing your homework is another believable option. If your teacher is also a pet owner, then they will surely understand your situation.
16. I thought it was due tomorrow
Claiming ignorance may or may not work, depending on your teacher. You might get a pass if you tell them straight-faced that you thought it was due tomorrow. Make sure to hand in your homework the next day if you are going to use this excuse.
17. Bullies took it away from me and ripped it up
Using bullies as an excuse for not doing your homework is another good way to earn sympathy points from your teacher. The only problem with this excuse is that your teacher will want to know who is bullying you. If you’re making this up, you won’t want to pin the blame on somebody. Also, if you’re telling the truth, exposing your bully may get you into deeper trouble with them.
18. My baby brother/sister spilled milk all over it
Gahh! Your baby brother or sister spilled milk all over your freshly printed assignment. This excuse is similar to your dog eating it. It might work if your teacher is gullible.
19. I missed the lesson where it was assigned
This excuse involves playing the ignorance card again. For example, if you were absent earlier in the week when the assignment was given out, you could use this reason for not handing it in. However, your teacher may flip things back on you and tell you that you are responsible for asking someone what you missed.
20. I was doing volunteer work
Using volunteer work as a reason for not doing homework will, at the very least, portray you as a good person. Whether or not your teacher goes easy on you is another story.
21. I did it, but I must have forgotten it at home
Claiming that you did your homework but somehow forgot it at home could work, depending on your acting skills. This is another excuse where if you use it, you better hand it in the next day.
22. It was too easy, so I thought it was a waste of time
You’re a brave individual if you use this excuse with your teachers. If you have demonstrated your intellect with your teachers, and they know that you’re smarter than the other kids, you might get away with this. However, it might make you look like a jerk.
23. My parents rushed me out the door, and I didn’t get a chance to grab it on the way out
Blaming your parents because you didn’t hand in your homework is a good way to divert the blame to somebody else. Maybe you have a big family, and mornings are always chaotic. If this is your situation, this excuse might be good.
24. I mixed it up with someone else
If you try to claim that you mixed up your homework with someone else’s, you will need to provide more details to your teacher because this can be confusing. So be prepared to have a backstory ready for why you handed in your brother/sister/friend’s homework instead.
25. I ate something and had an allergic reaction
Using food poisoning or an allergic reaction to something you ate will buy you a day or two for your homework if your teacher is sympathetic.
26. The homework file on my computer got corrupted
You finally finished your homework and went to save it, but something weird happened, and the file got corrupted. Now, all your assignment reads is a bunch of gibberish, and there is no way to undo it.
27. I was studying for something more important
If you’re getting good grades in a particular class, you can use this excuse and say that you had to study for another class because your grades are not as good. Claiming that it’s more important to get your grades up in another class for your overall GPA will work in this scenario.
28. I was out of town
If you had to go out of town on short notice, it might leave you with no time to finish your homework. Using this excuse will work if the reason you went out of town appears valid. You could also claim that you were out of town on a family vacation.
29. I was too tired and fell asleep earlier than usual
Lack of sleep can cause a lot of health problems. If you have insomnia, you know how painful it can be to sleep rarely. If by chance, one night, you were just so tired that you fell asleep earlier, then so be it. You’re not used to sleeping much, so you have to take advantage of the times when you can, even at the expense of not doing your homework.
30. My dog ate it
We’re joking with this one, but we had to add it to the list anyways. According to the teacher we consulted for this list, this excuse still gets used. Saying your dog ate your homework is another way of saying, “I didn’t do it, and we both know it.”
Funny excuses for not doing homework
If you’re feeling creative and brave, you can use one of these funny excuses for not doing your homework with your teacher. Keep in mind these excuses will probably not work. However, using one of these funny excuses may get a reaction or a laugh out of your teacher. If you can break them down a bit with your comedic approach for why you didn’t do your homework, then that’s one step in the right direction for them to go easy on you.
- I was attacked by a swarm of bees
- I was stuck in a parallel universe where homework doesn’t exist
- I was cursed by a witch and had to break the spell
- I was trapped inside a magical painting and couldn’t escape
- I was possessed by a demon and lost control of my actions
- I was in a hotdog eating contest and was so full that I couldn’t move after
- TV is just too good right now
- My homework was so well done that I didn’t want to make the other students look bad
- I fell into a giant puddle, and my homework was ruined
- I was abducted by aliens and just returned to Earth
Excuses for not doing homework to use with your parents
If you’ve been able to provide some good excuses for not doing homework to your teachers and they believed them, that’s great, but you’ll also need to work on your parents. Your reasons for not doing homework may work on your teachers, but you’ll have to adapt for your parents because they have more information about your personal life. For example, claiming a family emergency will not work with your parents as it would with your teachers.
So if you’re at home playing videogames or watching TV instead of doing your homework, try using these excuses with your parents to get them off your back:
1. My teacher extended the deadline
The class was complaining about too much homework, so your teacher did everyone a solid and extended the deadline.
2. I finished everything while I was in school
The teacher gives lots of opportunities to work in class, so I used this time to finish all my homework to chill when I got home.
3. I’m waiting for my classmate to complete their section of the assignment first
I can’t do my homework until my classmates finish their section of our group project. They are the ones slowing me down!
4. Homework is pointless in my class and not worth any marks
My teacher told us that tests and exams make up 100% of our final grade, so there’s no point in doing the homework if it isn’t worth anything.
5. I already know everything there is to know
I have already studied for the class and know everything there is to know. So doing the homework won’t teach me anything.
6. My teacher went easy on us and didn’t give us any work for a week
The teacher felt bad about giving us so much homework in previous weeks, so they decided not to give the class any more homework for the next week.
7. A substitute teacher is filling in
Our regular teacher is away, and a substitute teacher is filling in. The new substitute teacher does not care what we do since they are only there temporarily.
8. You’re going to do your homework later on a video chat with your classmates
You’re taking it easy right now because later at night, you will get on a video chat with classmates and do the work together.
9. My teacher said the homework was optional
My teacher gave us the option to do the homework and said it wouldn’t be graded either way. Normally I would do it regardless, but I didn’t feel like it this time.
10. I’m already getting straight A’s and need a break
I just need a break! I’ve been working so hard lately, and my grades reflect that. If I skip homework for one night, it will not affect my grades.
Excuses for not doing homework to use with your classmates
Sometimes you’ll need excuses for not doing homework to use with your classmates, primarily if they are relying on you for group work. For example, if you are working on a project or assignment together and haven’t completed your portion of the work, they might get pissed off. For this reason, it’s good to have excuses you can use with your classmates.
1. I was sick
It could be a migraine, a cold, flu, covid-19, or other viruses. You were so sick you couldn’t complete the homework.
2. My pet was sick
You were worried about your family pet, so you took them to the vet to ensure they were okay. You were there all night worrying about them.
3. There was a power outage at home
The whole block lost power, and as a result, you couldn’t do your share of the homework. The power outage lasted all night, so there was nothing you could do!
4. I thought it was due later
Whoops! You swear you thought it was due later.
5. My ex was harassing me
You were trying to do the work, but your ex kept harassing you by calling and texting you or even showing up at your front door. Needless to say, you couldn’t get much done because of them.
6. I had no place to work
Typically, you work in your room, but you couldn’t this time because there were renovations taking place in your house. So you had to move all your stuff out of your room, which took forever!
7. My parents forced me to do something
How annoying! Your parents insisted you do something together as a family. You tried to tell them you had vital homework to do, but they insisted, stating that you don’t spend enough time together. This excuse works great if your parents are divorced.
8. I was in an accident
Maybe it was a car accident, or you fell down the stairs. Regardless of the accident, you were too injured to do anything and needed to recover.
9. I was fighting with my partner
Being in a relationship is tough. So tough that sometimes you fight all night with your partner about meaningless topics. Once you two get going, the next thing you know is that it’s past midnight, and you got nothing done.
10. I’ve been carrying the group all year, and now it’s your turn
It’s time for everybody else to pick up the slack! You’ve been the key to your group’s success in class so far, and you’re tired of carrying everyone else. Sheesh!
What if your teacher or parents are strict and don’t believe your excuses?
Sometimes your excuses for not doing homework will not cut it, no matter how much you try to convince your teacher or parents. They may be so strict that they will not accept any possible reason you may throw at them.
In these scenarios, it’s better to just come clean and explain why your homework isn’t complete without passing the blame.
This is because if your teacher or parents don’t believe you or care regardless of what you say, you can have a clean conscience by telling the truth. Furthermore, if your parents or teachers know you’re telling the truth, they might have more respect for you and your situation, knowing that you could have blamed it on the dog or an alien abduction.
How to finish homework faster
If you’re tired of using excuses for not doing your homework and want to become a better student, then it’s a good idea to learn some tips on how to finish your homework faster. If you can finish your homework faster, you’ll have extra time to do the things you want with your friends and family. This will reduce the stress and anxiety that comes with the feeling of not getting your homework done. Not only will these tips help with getting your homework done faster, but they will also teach you how to get caught up on schoolwork if you’re falling behind.
Here are some tips on how to finish your homework faster:
1. Set up your workstation
The first step is to make sure you are doing your homework in a productive environment. If you do your homework in your room or an office, make sure that your space is neat and tidy. A clear space can equal a clear mind, which can put you in the right mindset before you start working.
2. Make a list of things that need to get done
Make a list of all the things you need to get done. Don’t worry if the list is larger than anticipated. Seeing everything in a list will become satisfying when you start crossing things off it. Before you know it, your list will shrink in size and eventually disappear.
3. Estimate the time it will take for you to complete each item on your list
It’s a good idea to put a time estimate for all the things on your list. This way, you can start prioritizing items based on time. You can also plan your breaks better this way.
4. Unplug from screens and distractions
If one of your main problems is procrastination, then it is especially important to limit distractions. It’s easy to get wrapped up on Instagram or Tiktok for hours at a time. Unplug from your phone and any other screen that isn’t necessary for your homework.
5. Start with any outstanding items
If you’re wondering how to get caught up on school work that is outstanding, then you should with all your outstanding items first! Pick the easiest outstanding item to get the ball rolling, then work to finish them all before moving on to tasks with future due dates.
6. Break down larger tasks into smaller ones
If you have a lot of bigger tasks, then you should break them down into smaller ones. For example, if you have to write an essay on a particular topic, break the essay down into smaller chunks like the intro paragraph, the supporting paragraphs, and the conclusion. Make each of those paragraphs a smaller task. It will seem more manageable this way.
7. Start with something small and easy
If you’re really struggling to even get started, then the best thing you can do is just pick the smallest and easiest task on your list of items and do that first. Once you cross it off the list, you might become more motivated to move on to the next item. Keep going from there and build momentum.
8. Take breaks and stretch
Taking breaks is really important for mental and physical well-being. Within every hour, do 50 minutes of concentrated and focused work with a 10-minute break at the end. Stretching is another great thing you can do while on your break to get your blood flowing. Set a timer for 50 minutes, then again for 10 minutes when the 50 minutes elapse.
9. Stay focused
If you do 1-hour blocks of 50 minutes of work, with 10 minutes of break, then its important that the 50 minutes of work is high quality. Do your best to stay focused on the task at hand. Then, you can release that focus on your 10-minute break.
10. Relax and reward yourself at the end of your working session
Did you complete your list? A large portion of it? Or did you only complete a few small tasks? If you’ve struggled with homework, then any amount you’ve completed should be a celebration. Even if you only completed 1 task on your list, that’s one task that wasn’t completed yesterday. Make sure to give yourself credit, and reward yourself with whatever makes you happy. Of course, the more you complete, the bigger the reward!
How to finish homework last minute
There isn’t a method on how to finish homework last minute that will always work. Realistically, you shouldn’t be leaving things until the last minute. However, there is one technique you can try.
If you have an assignment that due the next day, but you haven’t done anything for it, do the absolute bare minimum and hand it in. Pull your teacher aside and say that life got in the way, but you still wanted to submit something. Explain that you aren’t happy with your work, and would kindly request that you can resubmit it again in another few days to show what you’re truly capable of.
Your teacher might see this as a positive effort and will reward you with a later deadline. Of course, this means that you will need to put more effort into the assignment. If you don’t do it, or hand in something lackluster, then this strategy on how to finish homework last minute will not work again.
If you’re having trouble finishing your assigned work in school, then we hope this list of excuses for not doing homework will help you. Of course, we always recommend taking an honest approach. However, if you’re feeling embarrassed or ashamed about not finishing your homework again, then try one of these excuses if it makes you feel better.