Best Excuses to Skip Class

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interior views of an empty Japanese-style classroom.

My attendance level in college classes would’ve locked up a spot in the MLB Hall of Fame, but unfortunately, most professors aren’t all that impressed with a .465 attendance average. Despite that obstacle, I was able to maintain excellent grades in both participation and attendance in any given class, due to the fact that I had zero issues with creating some of the most elaborate lies Canvas messages have ever seen. The University of Pittsburgh records show that I have two deceased grandmothers, a step-cousin-in-law that recently went missing, and a chronic case of explosive diarrhea that only flares up in times of great stress – like midterms and finals season. With that incredible career stat-line and, I’m here today to offer you the best excuses to skip class.

The Go-To Answers

Small sicknesses are always the best excuses to use, and anytime you do, it’s always in your best interest to go into a little bit too much detail. That makes for real trustworthiness.

A Stomach Bug

The stomach bug is a staple of get out of class excuses, and that’s because it rarely ever fails. Nobody wants to hear about what a stomach bug entails because whichever end it’s coming out of, everyone knows it isn’t pretty. Giving a little bit too much information is almost guaranteed to result in a gaslit professor or boss and a free day for you.

Strep Throat

Strep is a great way to take one day off because as soon as you’re locked in on antibiotics, you’ll be fine to go back and join the world. During the days of your contagiousness, though, everyone would prefer you stay home, and it’s rare that anyone will want to see a doctor’s note.


I always bank the fever for when I intend on making my absence from classes multiple days in a row. You can’t have a fever one day and be back to perfect health the next, so it’s always best to let your professor know that in order to make sure no one else in the class gets sick, you’ll be taking every precaution you can.

The Believable, But Morally Reprehensible

These lies are great because they elicit pity from the professor reading the email, but if you are ever caught in one of them, your reputation will fall from grace like Kobe fell from the sky. Uses these class skip excuses sparingly.

Death of a Family Member

The death of a family member can be a dangerous play. Some professors might catch on after you’ve had your sixth or seventh tragic loss in one semester, so you shouldn’t go breaking these out left and right. I’d say a maximum of three dead aunts is a good number to keep in mind. Make sure that you keep the relationship distant enough that they can’t prove it, and follow your claim up by having an obituary that matches your lie at the ready.


This one only works if you actually have been to the hospital recently. The next time you’re in the ER for a severe anal tear or another super common occurrence, keep your hospital discharge paperwork handy. A quick few minutes on photoshop means that if anyone needs proof, you’ll have it locked and loaded.

Traumatic Event

Picking a traumatic event is always fun because you can be as creative as you like and there’s not much anyone can do to show that you’re lying. A friend or relative being robbed at gunpoint or a roommate in a schizophrenic frenzy are definitely not great on the conscience, but they guarantee you a sympathetic check mark in the “present” column of the attendance sheet.

The So Outlandish That It Must Be True

If you’ve exhausted all your rational excuses for deciding to skip a class, it’s time to think outside the box and get so elaborate that there’s no way it’s a lie.

The Water Turned Off While You Were Showering

College apartments don’t have a great reputation, which means that claiming the water shut off is an easy claim to make. What really sells this is if you also attach a picture of yourself with a half shampooed head and shaving cream still on your face. There’s no way a professor will ever suspect a lie.

Homeless Man Puked on Me During the Walk to Class

Funny enough, this actually did happen to one of my roommates on his walk to class. A hobo just yacked on his sweatpants, and he came home, showered, and didn’t go to class. No problems from the professor. Even weirder than that, it then happened to me five times for five different classes after he experienced it. Weird, huh?

Fake a Kidnapping

This one may take a toll on family and friends, but if you just aren’t really feeling a certain semester of college, you can always take a few weeks off under the claim of kidnapping. It rarely ever works because most people blow their cover making credit card purchases at the local vape store, but if you can manage a few weeks of not spending money, you’re almost sure to get As in all your classes to celebrate your “heroic escape.”

Ferris Bueller gave us a good starting point, but let’s face it, clammy hands was never going to cut it forever.

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