There’s a lot going on in your life. School, sports, clubs, friends, family, crushes, Netflix… they can’t all be your number one priority at the same time. Finding the time to do everything you need – not to mention want – to do can be difficult, and sometimes things fall by the wayside. You can’t always go get a milkshake with your besties, or paint your little sister’s nails, or finish the next episode of New Girl. Schoolwork is extremely important, but sometimes even with the best homework tips and latest apps, you just don’t get it done. Whether it’s because you genuinely forgot it was due, you didn’t have time, or you did it and forgot to bring it to class (the worst), it happens, and in those moments, you need a good excuse.
We’ve all been there – oops! Before you have visions of getting an F or being sent to the principal’s office, take a breath. If this is the first time you’ve forgotten to do homework for this teacher, you can almost definitely talk your way out of the repercussions. But no one falls for “the dog ate my homework” any more. Get a little more creative with one of these excuses. While we definitely don’t want to encourage you to skip schoolwork, we do want to help protect you when you make a mistake. Here are 13 excuses to give your teacher when you forget your homework:
1. The hedgehog ate it.
Hedgehogs are way more unique than dogs. Your teacher will be so surprised, they’ll just go with it—why would you make up something so weird and expect them to believe it if it weren’t true? Plus, hedgehogs are freakin’ adorable when they eat. Look at that little guy go!
2. You had to babysit last minute and the kid(s) require constant supervision.
You may not have done your homework, but it’s because you were being even more of a responsible person. While the child probably didn’t burst into flames à la The Incredibles, everyone knows you can’t leave kids alone for a moment or they’ll swallow pennies, put their fingers in electrical sockets, or simply run away. They should applaud you.
3. The WiFi is broken at your parents’ house.
How can you be blamed for this? You didn’t break it, the internet company did. And you can’t drive/don’t have your own car/don’t have someone else to drive you, so you can’t go to a coffee shop/library/friend’s house. You can do it at the school library after school today.
4. Coach kept you late at practice.
If they’re big on school spirit and want the team to get the big W at the upcoming game, they can’t get mad you skipped your assignment to practice extra hard. Then again, if they’re friends with the coach and they find out you made this up…you might be sitting the next game on the bench.
5. Your after-school job needed someone to cover a shift.
Your job needs you, and you need the money. You know homework is important for your grades, but if you can’t afford to go to college, it won’t help very much. Hit ’em again with the responsibility factor—planning for your financial future.
6. Your devious sibling played a prank that ruined it.
Siblings can be a pain in the butt. There are any myriad of things they could have done to ruin your homework—hidden it, shredded it, drawn on it, deleted it, changed all of the “and”s to “LOL.” Sibling pranks know no bounds. And don’t worry, teacher, they’ve been grounded for their shenanigans.
7. Autosave didn’t work.
We’ve all experienced the blue screen on a PC, or the spinning wheel of death on a Mac. Microsoft Word isn’t perfect, and neither are you.
8. Your computer crashed.
It’s in the shop! You’ll be able to submit your work after the IT guys figure out what’s wrong, promise.
9. There was so much traffic you didn’t get home for hours.
This, of course, is highly dependent on where you live in relation to school. But if you can get away with a traffic jam, it’s worth a shot once or twice a school year.
10. The email with your attachment didn’t go through?
That’s so weird! You submitted it following the exact instructions provided. You have no idea how the file didn’t go through, but you have it saved on your computer at home, so you’ll re-send it after all of your extracurriculars are done today, which will be a few hours after school lets out…
11. Wait, you thought it was due tomorrow!
So sorry for the mix-up, you accidentally wrote the wrong date in your planner. Total misunderstanding!
12. No excuse. Just start crying.
Hopefully they’ll just be too caught off guard to ask you what happened.
13. You forgot to do it.
Hey, sometimes, people just appreciate honesty. If this is the first time you’ve screwed up, telling the truth could be the best policy. Ask for a one-day extension, and don’t let it happen again. If it does happen again…use excuses 1-12.
Which of these homework excuses have you tried before? What did we forget to include? Let us know in the comments.
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I’m sure most, if not all students, have at least a few times (or more!) during school where they’ve handed in a homework assignment late, and so as not to get into trouble, given an excuse to their teacher as to why they couldn’t complete their homework on time. Be careful not to use the same excuse too many times, or your teacher may not be so sympathetic next time!
If you’re like me, and often forget about their homework (oops), then maybe this list of excuses can help to bail you out:
- “My dog ate my homework!” – Hmm, perhaps not the most subtle or workable of excuses, but if you really do have a dog… There may be more than a 0.0001% chance that it could work?! If all else fails, you could always bring a stool sample as proof…
- “Homework? I don’t remember getting any homework?” – You probably DO remember getting your homework, but your teacher doesn’t know that, right?
- “Ahh, I thought it was in my bag, but it looks like I’ve left it at home by accident!” – Of course you left it at home by accident! This one is a great excuse, it’s worked a fair few times for me, anyway…
- “I didn’t understand the homework, could you explain it to me so I can give it a second go?” – This excuse works better more for maths or question based homework rather than essays. However, it’s a good way to hit two birds with one stone (you get help on your homework, and a deadline extension!), especially if you actually don’t understand the homework assignment!
- “My computer crashed and I didn’t save my work/my printer stopped working!” – With more and more people using computer based software to complete their homework, a whole new spectrum of excuses have been opened to the desperate, homework-lacking student.
- “I had too much homework from my [insert subject name] class to complete the homework you assigned,” – Poor you, clearly you’ve been given way too much homework by all your other teachers to do this piece! A homework overload is never a good thing.
- “Oh, I think I was absent when the homework was given out…” – You were obviously ill when the homework was handed out in class, even though your teacher is looking at your ‘tick’ of attendance in the register!
- “I’ve been busy with extra-curricular activities and volunteering work outside of school,” – If you’re doing any work or activities outside of work, hey, why not use them as an excuse for not doing your homework! It’s a pretty believable one (especially next to excuse 1.).
- “I’ve been so ill over the past few days, so I haven’t been able to do any of my homework,” – Bed ridden, feverish and unable to distinguish your cat from your sheet of homework, how on earth can you be expected to work in this state?!
- Tell the truth – After using all these excuses, perhaps it’s time to pull out your triumph card – the truth. On the occasion, your teacher may appreciate your use of the truth rather than the usual bombardment of (unbelievable) excuses. Use this one when you’re feeling especially sincere (and desperate).
I hope these excuses have been helpful, just remember that the more you use them, the more unbelievable they’ll become to your teacher. In fact, it may just be better (and easier) for you to hand in you homework on time!