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9 excuses students use teachers will (almost) never believe

Your excuses would probably not change the grades you've received, but sometimes we all take a shot. You know, because Michael Jordan said you miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
EdChron Desk on August 4, 2014 - 3:51 pm in MAIN, Opinions, The Good Stuff


When it comes to homework being forgotten or turned in late or not studying for a test, teachers have heard every excuse in the book from their students. If you are going to use an excuse, make sure it is one that has some credibility behind it. Your excuses would probably not change the grades you’ve received, but students take a shot anyway. Because Michael Jordan said you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

But your teachers aren’t easily fooled, and you’re not the first student to give an excuse. Here are some excuses teachers have heard so often they would be gazillionaires if they get a thousand bucks every time a student use these lines:

My dog ate my homework

It’s a classic, so your teacher is not going to believe you if you use it as your excuse. However, there is a very real chance this can happen! In fact, your cat might also eat your homework:

Now, if you bring in the shredded paper with very distinctive dog bite marks on it, you might have a chance, says Andrew Jaussi who submitted this excuse to the National Education Association website.

I had to take care of my baby brother

This is a valid activity which your teacher wouldn’t accept as a reason for not doing your homework. But this is a terrible excuse if you’re a single child. Your teacher may just ask around and find out that you don’t have a baby brother. The teacher might also email or call your parents, so beware.

Of course, if your baby brother is Charlie, and he bit your finger thus disallowing you to write that essay, you might get a smile (or smirk) from your teacher.

I was sick, here’s a note from my mom

A doctor’s letter could verify you’re sick, but a handwritten letter from your “mom” would be hard to believe, especially if her handwriting looks like this:


My computer crashed

This might have worked in the 1990s, but teachers in the 90s rarely gave homework that requires using the computer. No teacher is likely to care anymore that your internet died last night, or your printer ran out of ink, or that you got the blue screen of death right when you were about to print the report you didn’t save. This excuse would probably indicate you’re doing your homework at the last-minute.


I left my homework in mom’s car

A student trying to get the upper hand would think the teacher wouldn’t expect a parent to leave work and send the homework to school. But this excuse wouldn’t work if Mrs Hannigan knows you ride the school bus.

I got robbed and they stole my homework

Because the homework is the most valuable thing a child would have in his bag, robbers have been hiding in the alleys, pouncing on school children to get their daily dose of knowledge.

I didn’t know this topic will be tested

You fail your test, and you go to your teacher, and you give this line. All you’re likely to get in return for your efforts is a raised eyebrow. This excuse will hold no weight, especially if everyone else in class knew the topic will be tested. You could try gathering your classmates to corroborate, but if they got the answers right anyway, you’re fighting a losing battle.

This excuse is also one of the more common tactics students try to use on teachers.

But I wrote this myself, it’s not plagiarism

Your teacher has explained over and over the definition of plagiarism, and there are many plagiarism checkers online. In fact, the simplest way is to google a chunk on your work and teachers can easily know if a work has been plagiarize or referred to.

When you’re in higher education, you’ll oft hear this little joke: “Stealing from one source is plagiarism; stealing from many is research.” Just remember to cite your references.

I forgot this was due today. I’m sorry.

This is the most useless excuse because it isn’t – you’re really not trying to wriggle you way out of this. You’re admitting to your error and apologized for it. Your teachers are likely to believe this one. It’s your responsibility to remember when your homework is due, and you probably will get some sort of punishment for it, but if you make a really adorably cute-yet-apologetically-sad expression you might get away with it.


If you’re in a university and you plan to try the cute face with your lecturers, don’t.

What are some of the common (and funny) excuses you’ve heard?

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