School can be a drag, no doubt about it. Some mornings it’s really difficult to get yourself out of bed to get ready for your first class. Whether you’re in grade school, high school, college, or university, we all have days where we wake up searching for good excuses to miss school that morning.
Maybe we need to come up with an excuse to tell our parents why we can’t attend classes that day. Or perhaps we need to use our excuse on the teacher. Sometimes it is our classmates to whom we need to explain our absence.
If you’ve ever found yourself waking up thinking, “I just can’t do this today” when it comes to going to school, then this article is for you. We’ve put together some of the best excuses for missing school to help ease your anxiety.
To make things simple, we have broken this article into sections:
Let’s get into it!
Good excuses to miss school using an illness
The first list of excuses on this page to miss school will be the most straightforward and easy ones: you are sick. These excuses to miss school can be used on your parents, teachers, classmates, and friends. Often, the simplest excuse is the best one to use. Overall, it’s best to avoid coming up with complicated stories, because if someone questions you about it a few weeks later, you may not remember all the details you once provided. That is why claiming that you are sick usually works.
Keep in mind, if you are faking though, you’ll need to be able to do a bit of acting!
1. Cold or flu
Using a cold or the flu ranks #1 on our list of good excuses to miss school because catching a cold or the flu is extremely common. While in school, germs are passed around rather easily, so there should be no surprise when you tell your parents that you caught a nasty bug from someone in class.
2. Stomach virus
A stomach bug can strike quickly and without warning, nasty things that they are. If you’re not sure you can hold yourself together without a toilet nearby then please, for everyone’s sake, don’t go to school today. This is another one of those good excuses to miss school because it could be the flu you’ve caught or something you ate the night before that didn’t agree.
3. Aches and pains
There are lots of different viruses and infections that can cause aches and pains all throughout your body. When your muscles become inflamed, you might feel these aches and pains when walking, standing, or even laying down. If your body is in a lot of pain, then be sure to use this excuse to miss a day of class or two.
There are many different types of infections that can affect young people, and some of them can be quite serious. If you have an infection, you’ll want to treat it right away so it doesn’t get worse. Some common infections that teens get are:
- Bacterial skin infections
- Cold sores
- Respiratory infections
- Urinary Tract Infections
5. Migraine headache
Migraine headaches can take you out of action for an entire day. They vary in intensity, but when you have a bad migraine, it can lead to nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound. Being in the classroom with a migraine is not a good idea since it is an environment with a lot going on. If you need to focus, you won’t be able to with a migraine.
6. Strep throat
Strep throat is a type of bacterial infection that can make your throat so sore, it becomes difficult to talk or swallow. If you have strep throat, you might also experience fever-like symptoms and swollen lymph nodes. Strep throat can last multiple days, so it’s a good excuse to miss school for longer periods of time.
Bronchitis is another type of viral respiratory infection that can be very difficult to deal with. When you have bronchitis, your airways become inflamed which leads to lots of coughing and excess mucus production. You can tell when someone has bronchitis because of their very mucusy cough. This is a tough one to fake if you’re looking for an excuse to miss school.
Although mental health is not considered a physical sickness, it should be taken seriously. Therefore, we’ve placed it on our list of excuses to miss school when using an illness.
According to the World Health Organization, one in seven youths (10-19) will experience some form of mental disorder. This is a serious problem that isn’t going away anytime soon and is exactly why youths need to take care of their mental state. According to the same data, suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds.
If you are feeling depressed, anxious, or suffering from other mental health problems, taking a day off can really help you regroup. If you are honest and willing to share your problems, then your parents, teachers, and friends will surely understand.
Excuses not to go to school besides being sick
If you’re looking for new excuses not to go to school besides being sick, then continue reading through this section. Using a sickness can be difficult to fake, or perhaps you’ve been “sick” a few too many times throughout the year.
1. Family emergency
Using a family emergency as an excuse to miss school is another top choice. This excuse is good to use on your teachers and friends if they ask, although if what you say isn’t true, it might be a bit tougher to pull off on your friends if they know your family well.
2. You had to pick up an extra shift at work
A lot of students have part-time or even full-time jobs on the side to make money. School is after all super expensive, especially when you get into college and university. Things like tuition, course materials, room & board, and food really add up over time. If you don’t come from a wealthy family, then the reality is you’ll need a job to make ends meet.
If using work as an excuse to miss school is a real situation for you, then it’s not like you’re even getting a break. Being at work as opposed to being at school is still tiring, if not more so. Most students would probably rather be at school.
3. Death of a loved one
If someone close to you died, then this is a good excuse to miss school. Depending on your relationship with the person and how close you were to them, you can even take some significant time off. If it was a distant aunt or uncle that you didn’t know too well, you can at least be absent from class on the day of the funeral.
If you are faking the death of a loved one as an excuse to miss school, it will probably only work on your teachers. This is not an excuse you can use with your parents or friends, since they will know your family situation and be aware if you’re lying.
4. Sick pet
There are multiple scenarios where using a sick pet as an excuse will work without question. Everyone loves a cute animal so this excuse will make it hard for you to be denied. If that person is a pet owner themselves, you’re golden.
5. Serious injury
Hopefully, it’s not true, but even then, saying you really hurt yourself is a valid reason for getting out of class for a day or more. Keep in mind that most serious injuries will exhibit some telltale signs, like a cast on your arm or a row of stitches. If you claim you busted your leg and aren’t walking around on crutches, your teachers might question what’s actually going on.
6. Attending a protest
What can you say, some causes are bigger than going to class today. Showing face at a worthwhile protest for something you believe in is a great excuse to not go to school. Maybe you were protesting the next round of vaccines, or you joined in with a group march to protest mandatory puppy neutering, it doesn’t really matter. If it’s a cause you care about then your teachers and parents should respect that.
7. Dentist appointment
It’s vital that you visit your dentist for cleanings and anything else that deals with your oral health. Simply tell your teachers that you weren’t able to get a different appointment time and apologize for missing class. A note from your dentist might help, but it’s not the same as a doctor’s note so you might not be asked to provide one.
8. Bus broke down
You tried to make it to class but then the crappy public transit bus broke down again. You waited for another bus, but it took a while to show up, at which point you would have been super late for class. You didn’t see the point in interrupting the lesson, so you just went home.
9. Poor weather conditions
You’ll have to use your best judgment on this one because severe weather that could keep you out of class, will likely have affected more students than just yourself. If you can combine this excuse for missing class with something else, then it could work at any time. For example, it could have been so hot out that your car overheated, or so cold that it wouldn’t start. Maybe it started to rain, and you didn’t have a jacket, so you went home to change instead of arriving at school soaking wet. Your excuse could also be something like the poor weather triggered a migraine, so you stayed home.
10. Team or club event
Your extracurricular activities aren’t as important as your actual classes, but as long as you don’t use this excuse all the time, it will work just fine. Baseball, basketball, football, or soccer tournaments and the like often happen during school hours. It’s usually the same with chess or drama club events. Keep in mind that these types of events are usually easily verified, so you better hope your teacher isn’t in an investigatory mood. It’ll work great on your parents though.
11. Doctor’s appointment
Your health is important, and if the only appointment you could get was during school hours, then so be it. Your professor will likely only ask you for a doctor’s note if you skipped something major, like an exam. We recommend giving this excuse to your friends instead of your teachers, but if legit, it’s an excuse nobody can argue with.
12. Had to take care of your younger sibling
Your parent’s work shifts were overlapping today, and the babysitter canceled. There was nobody else available to watch your younger brother or sister, so you had to take a day off school to do it.
13. Religious holiday
There are a lot of religious holidays on the calendar, so we recommend double-checking first. If something falls on the day you missed class, then you have a tailor-made excuse already. Be careful using this excuse for skipping class if you attend a Catholic school though. In that case, they probably won’t be too thrilled to learn that you’ve been practicing Judaism on the side. Don’t even bother with your parents because they’ll see right through your attempted excuse.
14. Medical consultation
Using a medical consultation as an excuse not to go to school can be good if you’re the paranoid type. Claiming that you are worried you have an underlying condition that’s keeping you up at night might work. It’s better to be safe than sorry, am I right?
Excuses to miss school to tell your parents
If you still live at home with your parents, you’re most likely still in grade school or high school. Coming up with excuses to miss school to tell your parents is one of the more common scenarios when you’re in this level of school. It’s definitely easier than coming up with the best excuses for hickeys. If you want to stay home, they are going to be the first people you need to get past to enjoy your freedom for the day.
1. Class has been canceled
We used to give this one to our parents all the time and 90% of the time it worked great. The class could’ve been canceled because the teacher didn’t show up, or there weren’t enough students to make the lesson worthwhile. The class also could have been canceled in favor of independent studying at home. There are lots of plausible reasons why class might have been canceled if you’re creative enough to come up with them.
2. You are boycotting your teacher
If true, there’s just no way you’d go to class to support some jerk. It’s a good excuse to give your parents for missing school, but you better have a reasonable backstory ready. There’s no way your parents won’t ask you why you feel the way you do about the teacher. Ask yourself if this is a can of worms you really want to open.
3. Field trip
Unless your parents are super involved in your school curriculum, saying your class had a field trip is an excellent excuse for taking the day off school. Think about it, your parents won’t be skeptical because you actually didn’t miss class, you just weren’t in the classroom.
4. You need to catch up on your homework
You’ve been trying to keep up but somehow you still fell behind. You concluded it would be better for your learning to catch up with homework instead of sitting in class today. You have your friend taking notes and you’ll find out what you missed later, but for now, you’re focused on catching up.
5. The teacher didn’t show up
You dragged yourself to class but then the teacher didn’t even show up. That’s why you’re home early, not because you skipped school. Your parents might be a bit skeptical, but they’ll probably take your word for it provided you haven’t used this excuse to not go to school a bunch of times already.
6. Female problems
You know your body best, so nobody is going to argue this excuse with you. These things happen and it’s a good excuse because it’s like taking a sick day, minus the need to provide a doctor’s note.
7. Helping a friend in trouble
Your good buddy has been having a rough go of things recently and needed your help. Maybe they needed a ride, an extra hand to move their stuff, or just some moral support cause they were going through some things. Friends stick together and what’s missing a day of class in the face of that?
8. Your teacher creeps you out
Your teacher is a weirdo, and they really give you the heebie-jeebies. You’re not even sure if it’s safe for you to be attending their class but usually, you just suck it up and go. Today you just couldn’t handle the tension, so you didn’t make it in. This excuse will work on your parents but be careful that they don’t start digging deeper into the matter, otherwise, you could get your teacher in some serious hot water, and yourself in trouble for lying.
Excuses to miss school to tell your teacher
Coming up with excuses to tell your teacher why you’ve missed school will most likely be required for high school, college, and university. Your teacher will have a different set of reactions to your absence than your parents, and technically, they cannot force you to go to class. However, if you’re already struggling with your grades, you may need to provide additional rationale for why you’re missing school.
1. You got lost
Getting lost is a great excuse for missing class if you’re new to the neighborhood or the school. It can be confusing getting to where you’re going if you don’t know your way around, which means it’s totally feasible that you got lost. If your school is one of those massive three-story buildings, with multiple campuses, it’s no wonder you got mixed up today.
2. Your house got flooded
Damn your crappy plumbing! The toilet backed up, a pipe burst or your brother let the tub overflow last night. Long story short, you’ve been trying to get your home back in order before all your belongings get ruined, and that’s why you had to miss school today.
3. Hiding from a bully
You’ve been having an issue with “insert bully’s name here” picking on you non-stop. It’s gotten to the point that you fear for your safety and just going to school is ruining your life. Bullying is a pretty darn good reason to miss class, but you’ll likely have to follow up your excuse with some finger-pointing that could lead to an inquisition or worse.
4. Suffering from insomnia
You’re stressed out about an upcoming exam and haven’t been able to sleep at night. Insomnia isn’t good for your health, or your grades, so you’ve been trying to get sleep whenever your mind and body allow it. Unfortunately, that just so happened to be when you should have been at class yesterday.
5. Your parents don’t like the lessons being taught
A good way to get out of going to class is to blame someone else for your absence. In this case, it’s your parents, who don’t like the lesson plan and have said they’d rather you didn’t attend. Will this excuse to miss school work? Probably. Will it annoy your teacher and possibly get you a failing grade in the process? It’s somewhat likely.
Excuses to miss school to tell your classmates
Giving your classmates excuses for missing school can be important if you are working on a group project together. They may want to know why you’re not at school and slacking on your share of the assignment. Or perhaps you just don’t want people to know your business. After all, gossip can spread quickly amongst your classmates. Having some believable excuses for why you’ve been slacking is definitely a good idea.
1. You’re going on a date with someone from another school
Giving this excuse for missing school to your classmates won’t make them forgive you for skipping that group presentation yesterday, but it would work to cover up another, more embarrassing reason you missed class, like having a cold sore.
2. You have an audition
You missed class because you had an audition? What kind of audition? Did you get the part? That’s likely how the line of questioning will go, so be prepared to elaborate on your statement a little bit. Say something like you were auditioning to be in a TV commercial or to be in a band if you play an instrument.
3. There’s a rare sneaker drop you can’t miss
This your classmates will definitely understand, but they might be a bit jealous of your new kicks (provided you managed to snag a pair). You can always tell them you’ll make up your share of the workload next time.
4. Avoiding a stalker
Part juicy gossip, part terrifying nightmare. Having a stalker is a solid excuse for skipping class because doing so is really the only way to avoid such a creep. Maybe you’ll even get some volunteers to help you deal with the weirdo’s case after class tomorrow. That’s what you get for not having the right excuses for accidentally liking a photo.
5. You’re getting straight A’s, what does it matter?
If you’re always in class, and maybe even pulling more than your weight in group assignments, then who could be upset if you didn’t show up for class today? If you’re a gifted academic, then it shouldn’t matter if you take the class as optional once in a while.
Good excuses to miss school on short notice
If you went to bed the night before fully planning to go to school as usual but woke up with a change of heart, you’ll want some good excuses to miss school on short notice. These excuses will most likely be needed by your parents but can also be used for teachers and classmates.
1. You are having a mental breakdown
Maybe you woke up on the wrong side of the bed, or something happened the night before, but whatever the reason, you’re just not yourself today. You feel like you’re on the verge of collapsing and are afraid that if somebody at school says the wrong thing to you, then you might snap at them. You really don’t want to do that, so it’s best you take a day to collect your thoughts and come back stronger the following day.
2. There was a gas leak
There are two ways to deliver this excuse. One, the version where it’s your home that has the gas leak, will work on your teachers, but not on your parents because they’ll obviously know the truth. In the second version, it’s your school that had the gas leak and you’ll be using this excuse on your parents. It’s a great excuse for missing class on short notice, just make sure you pick the right scenario, otherwise, you’ll not only get caught in your lie, but you’ll end up looking really dumb too.
3. Your car broke down
This is one of the classic excuses not to go to school that will work on both parents and teachers alike. It doesn’t even have to be your car that broke down, it could be your parents, your friends, or the uber drivers. Car trouble happens and sometimes it’s impossible to just walk away from the vehicle and go to class.
4. You got sprayed by a skunk
You were walking your dog early this morning when you turned a corner and surprised a skunk. It felt threatened and unleashed its noxious spray in your direction and you caught it straight in the chest. Now you smell like Chief Keef’s tour bus and that’s why you won’t be making it to class today.
5. You hurt yourself on the way to school
You weren’t paying attention on your way to school and you; fell down the stairs, walked into a light post, tripped and sprained your wrist, bumped heads with a passerby, or any other painful situation you can think of. Whatever event you choose, it needs to have had a painful enough outcome that making it to class doesn’t sound like a reasonable choice.
Excuses to miss school for a week
If you need to miss school for more than a week, your excuse will likely need to be different than what we’ve mentioned so far, and possibly more extreme. Of course, you can be sick for a week, but if you’re faking it, at some point your parents will catch on and force you to go to school.
1. Chronic illness
You were making out with someone you didn’t really know and contracted a case of mono. The doctor says you need to rest up for a while, so you’re being forced to take at least a week off school to recover.
2. You were beaten up
Maybe it happened at school, or at the baseball game, it doesn’t matter. You were on the losing side of a fistfight and now you need to take the week away from class to let the swelling go down.
3. Your parents need care
Your parents are older, and they just got the flu and are basically bedridden. Your parents contracting covid-19 could be used in this excuse scenario too. Either way, they need you to take care of them by doing the shopping, cooking meals, and taking care of the house.
4. Family vacation
You’re heading on a family vacation so you’re saying “adios” to classes for the week. This excuse works best if you provide some advance notice, but last-minute vacations happen too. Everyone will be too jealous to even question the authenticity of this awesome excuse to miss school for a week.
5. Broken bone
You “insert type of accident here” and broke a bone. If it’s not true then maybe you’ll need to claim it was a small bone, like in your foot, or just a hairline fracture, because otherwise, a week might not be enough to heal up. You can fake a limp for a couple of weeks, but if you say you broke your arm, then you should probably be wearing a cast to prove it.
6. Planned abortion
Ummm, it’s probably better to give your teacher this excuse for being absent from class in private because it’s not really the kind of gossip you want to be spread around school. It’s a heavyweight excuse for missing class for a week or more, and it will for sure work unless you attend a Catholic school. In that case, you’ll be out of class for a lot longer than a week.
Good excuses to miss online school
Online learning took over during the pandemic, but hopefully, with kids back in school, online classes will be reduced to a smaller role. However, there are still plenty of schools that offer online classes regardless of the pandemic, especially many continued learning programs. This is why it’s good to have some excuses for missing online school up your sleeve.
1. Power outage
There was a power surge and your fuse box melted, or a tree fell on the overhead wires killing the power to your home. If the class you missed is attended remotely, then how could you have made it if your computer didn’t have power? This is the perfect excuse for missing online school.
2. Internet outage
Similar to a power outage, it would be quite the feat to attend an online class if you’re unable to get online. Internet service disruptions are common enough that this is a very plausible excuse for skipping an online class.
3. Computer died
You need a computer to join an online class, and unfortunately, yours wasn’t working. Maybe you couldn’t find your charger and the battery died, or something broke in the computer and you can’t get it to boot up.
4. Siblings needed help
Due to the fact that your class is online, and you can stay home to attend, you’ve also been put in charge of babysitting your younger brother during the week. Well, today, he needed your help, and family takes precedence, which is why you weren’t online for class today.
5. Computer virus
Your antivirus software failed, so your computer got infected and it’s not working properly. If that’s the case then missing an online course is probably the least of your concerns, which is why your professor likely won’t question you too much. Add that if anyone receives any weird emails or social media messages – it wasn’t you…
Overall best excuses to miss school
The overall best excuses to miss school are like most excuses found on this website, the simple ones. They don’t take much planning or execution and are difficult to disprove.
For example, if you tell your parents you’re sick, you may need to fake a cough, put a hot cloth on your head, or plan a few trips to the washroom, but using illness as an excuse doesn’t open a line for questioning. The key things are that it’s simple material, getting sick happens to everyone, and verifying if you’re feeling under the weather or not isn’t easy.
The best excuses for missing school should also be easy to remember. If you tell your teacher an elaborate story about chasing someone after they stole your bag, for example, they may ask for details. Even worse, they may ask you to file a report with the school and the police. You don’t want to get into any situation like that unless you absolutely need to.
In conclusion, keep it simple and be convincing! If that strategy fails, then it’s good to have a few crazy excuses up your sleeve, just in case you’ve come down with the same cold a few too many times.
What are good excuses to miss school and what are bad excuses?
In the wide world of excuses to miss school, there are some that will work better than others. It usually comes down to reading the situation correctly and knowing who you’re giving an excuse to so you can choose the perfect one. That said, good excuses have some general traits when compared with bad ones. Let’s explain that a bit so you understand what we mean.
A good excuse for missing school should be as uncomplicated as possible. Elaborate excuses often seem good in your head, but once you begin explaining, you really just sound like you’re making stuff up. Better to keep it simple and stick to the point.
Your excuse also needs to be believable, so if for example, you say you broke your arm, but aren’t wearing any sort of cast, that’s just not going to work out. The best excuses revolve around common problems we all face and don’t require you to use props of any kind.
Lastly, you’ll want your excuse to show that your intention was to be present at school but because something happened you weren’t able to. That’s why we recommend using excuses like “the bus broke down”, or “I couldn’t find the right classroom”, because they show your commitment to showing up even if you didn’t make it.
Let’s recap. The best excuses for missing class are simple, believable, and enforce that you would have been there if you could. These guidelines are pretty straightforward, and something you should keep in mind when deciding on which excuse for missing school to use.
Examples of good excuses for why you missed class
- You were sick
- You got lost on the way
- You had a doctor or dentist appointment
- You were studying for another course
- The bus broke down
Bad excuses for why you missed class
Let’s briefly go over what a bad excuse for being absent from class would look like. For starters, a bad excuse isn’t believable for one reason or another. Saying you had a meeting with NASA just isn’t going to fly.
A complicated excuse that is easily verified is also not a great option to use because you could easily get caught in a lie. Really elaborate excuses are bad because more often than not, they don’t seem legitimate, and you might forget some details and end up looking like a fool. It’s better to keep things simple, and plausible, and stick to your guns if someone doesn’t believe you.
What works for you?
There are a ton of reasons you could have missed class listed above, so if you need one, then take a quick read and make notes of any that could fit your situation. Then go over your shortlist and pick the best one. We did our best in this article to give plenty of examples of excuses to miss school when claiming an illness, as well as excuses not to go to school besides being sick.
If you didn’t like the excuses we’ve included, you can let us know what has worked for you in the past by leaving a comment!