Skip to Content

15 Good Excuses for When You Forgot to Do Your Homework

15 Good Excuses for When You Forgot to Do Your Homework

Having to do a ton of homework after a long day at school isn’t a great feeling. But, if you don’t do it, you’ll get in trouble if you don’t have good excuses not to do homework.

Instead of settling for a zero, you need to come up with good excuses to convince your teacher to give you a pass. These excuses not to do homework must be rock solid or else you might end up in even more trouble.

Saying the dog ate it is not a good excuse not to do homework, so don’t even think about using that one. Here are 15 of the best excuses not to do homework that are guaranteed to work:


Things to pay attention to before making up excuses not to do homework

Before you go ahead and make up your excuses not to do homework, there are some things you must pay attention to. This will let you know if the excuse will work or not.
The main things are:

01The teacher’s personality
If your teacher is the strict, no-nonsense type, he/she won’t fall for basic excuses. You must ensure that it is foolproof.


female teacher holding a stick
Photo by acworks on photo-ac


02Your reputation
If you are a good student who always does homework, most teachers will give you a pass if you fail to do it once or twice. But, if you are a frequent offender, they’ll have a hard time believing you.


03How believable it is
Your excuses not to do homework must not be over the top or surreal. It should be something that can happen to anyone and should not be able to be easily disproven.


4 excuses about blaming family when you forgot to do your homework

Sometimes family can come in the way of getting your homework done on time. This can be because of a toxic home environment, or simply because a lot is going on at the moment.
Here are 4 good excuses not to do homework that can be blamed on your family:

01“My parents were fighting”
If you live with parents who don’t get along, it can get uncomfortable very quickly, especially if you need help to complete your homework.
Verbal and physical fights can make it hard for you to concentrate on doing your homework and sometimes it is easier to block them out or go to sleep to get some peace.
Teachers understand that not everyone has a good home life so they are likely to make arrangements that allow you to get work done at school. If you want to use this excuse, this is what you can say:
“I’m sorry but my mom and dad are going through a rough patch right now and I can’t focus on my assignments over all the shouting.”
You are unlikely to face any consequences from this excuse if you are being truthful.
The teacher may refer you to the guidance counselor to offer assistance or reach out to your parents and educate them on how this is affecting you.


05 couple making conversations and being mad

Photo by acworks author on photo-ac


02Taking care of a sick sibling
If you are an older sibling, you will likely have certain responsibilities around the house. One of these may include taking care of a younger sibling, especially if your parents are at work.
This is a good excuse to use regardless of the illness because it is hard to focus when you are worried about a little brother or sister. It might also require your full attention which means you won’t end up getting much done.
Here’s what you can say:
“My baby brother was throwing up all night while my mom worked the night- shift so I had to stay by his side until she came home.”
This is a good excuse to use because people usually recover from upset stomachs within 24 hours and your teacher will have a hard time disproving it.
Plus, if it isn’t true, you could always bribe your sibling into telling a little white lie for you.
If your parent is contacted and you made no mention of the illness to them, it will be obvious that you are lying. You may face detention depending on your school rules and further punishment at home.


04 baby child close up crying

Image from Pixabay under CCO License


03Same notebook as sibling
If your parents buy school supplies in bulk, you may get notebooks that look similar to that of your siblings. In a rush to get to school, you can easily pick up the wrong notebook.
This is a good excuse to use if you got given homework to complete overnight or over the weekend. You will seem careless for not packing your bag the night before, but hey, accidents happen.
Your excuse will be more believable if you actually have your sibling’s book as proof you took the wrong one. Here’s what you can say:
“Aww shucks! I picked up the wrong green book. My sister probably has my homework in her book bag.”
You have to be careful with this excuse because you will be expected to turn up with the homework the next day. If you don’t, it will be clear that you weren’t being truthful.



04Got big family news
Getting big news can overshadow the other things you have going on in your life. The big news can be good, like a promotion or marriage announcement, or bad, like a terminal illness or death.
In either case, the big news will make you forget about homework completely until it is time to submit it. This is what you can say to your teacher:
“I found out my favorite cousin was diagnosed with cancer last night so we all went to the hospital to comfort him.”
If you are going to use this excuse you must be truthful.
Sometimes a teacher may innocently call your parents to congratulate your family or offer sympathies. At this moment, your parents might set the record straight and you may end up in some hot water.
Also, it is not just because you would get caught out badly if you were lying, but for ethical reasons, you should NEVER lie about somebody getting cancer.


relationship failure problem sad
Image from Pixabay under pexels license


3 excuses that blame technology

As reliable as technology is these days, certain things may happen that will make it difficult for you to complete your homework assignments.
Here are 3 excuses not to complete homework that you can blame on technology:

05“My computer crashed/had an error message”
If you had an assignment that was to be completed online, traditional excuses not to complete homework will often not work. Something drastic or unavoidable must happen.
Having your computer crash is a good excuse because, without a computer, you won’t be able to complete the task.
If it is a case where there are multiple devices in your household, you can tweak your excuse to say the software gave you an error message.
This is what you can say:
“I was in the middle of doing my homework when all of a sudden, the page went blank and an error message popped up. I even tried it on my brother’s laptop and was denied access.”
If your teacher finds out your computer didn’t crash or calls customer service and is informed you didn’t attempt the assignment, you are likely going to get in trouble.
But chances are your teacher has too much on his/her plate to call in about one student being unable to do an assignment.


man using three computers researching

Photo by olia danilevich under pexels license


06Brought the wrong thumb drive
If your homework is in the format of a presentation, you likely had a lot of time to prepare. As a result, your teacher will be reluctant to believe certain excuses.
A perfect excuse is blaming it on your thumb drive. It is good to use when you can prove you did the work, for instance, by doing the presentation without the help of your slides.
Here’s what you can say:
“I have two thumb drives, so I suppose the data is on the one at home. Are you okay with me presenting anyway and emailing the slides to you and the rest of the class when I get home?”
Offering an alternative is a great way to get out of it, but if you struggle to present the information, your teacher might take it as a sign that you did not do it, so be careful.


man showing his hand with usb stick

Photo by Anete Lusina under pexels license


07School computer blocks personal cloud drive
Some schools have certain network settings that block students from doing certain things on their computers. One example is accessing personal emails and drives.
If you accidentally did your homework using the wrong user profile, i.e. a personal and not a school profile, you will have trouble getting to it at school. This is good to use if your teacher is aware of these settings.
Check out this example of what you can say:
“I’m not able to get to the file I stored it in because I didn’t use my school account.”
If you are a good student, your teacher might excuse your carelessness and you won’t get in any trouble.
However, certain teachers might contact your parents and request for the file to be sent to an email address.
If it doesn’t exist, you already know that you are in big trouble.



3 excuses for when you have conflicts

Unfortunately, teachers can sometimes put too much pressure on students to complete homework.
Students might end up with a ton of homework that has to go in the same day, or experience scheduling conflicts with their extracurriculars.
If this is your experience, here are 3 excuses not to do homework:

08Had practice/a game
If you participate in clubs or sports, there may come times where they overlap with your academics.
For instance, you might have to practice regularly for a big game coming up or dedicate extra time to club activities.
This means that you won’t have as much time to get your homework completed. It is only good to use when it is legitimate and your teacher is aware you participate in those activities.
This is what you can say:
“I was pretty beat after the semi-finals last night, so I passed out while I was doing my assignment.”
Do not overuse or abuse this excuse especially when the activity is optional or not that time-consuming.
For example, if you volunteered on a Saturday, you had all of Sunday to complete the work. Your teacher won’t buy the excuse.


football game starting position words to describe athlete
Photo by football wife under pexels license


09Had other assignments
Time management is a skill every student needs to master, but sometimes, it is simply impossible when you have a ton of assignments due in a short period of time.
It is good to use especially if you are slow in school and your teacher is sympathetic towards your plight. It is also good to use since other students may be able to back you up.
Here’s what you can say:
“I was trying to get everything done last night but before I knew it, it was past my bedtime and my mom insisted I go to bed.”
Remember that your teacher can always check with other teachers, so don’t create phony assignments. This will not only get you in trouble with that teacher but with others for lying.


girl doing homework

Image from Pexels – under CC0 license


10Had to study for a test
When you have a test or quiz coming up, it’s normal to prioritize studying for your test over doing homework.
This is a good excuse to use when the class isn’t one you are currently struggling in and your teacher knows you are dedicated to your work.
Say this if you want your teacher to cut you some slack:
“I would have done the homework, but I had to study for my Social Studies test and Mr. Harris marks super hard!”
If the test doesn’t exist, you run the risk of not only ruining your standing with both teachers but facing certain penalties like demerits or detention for lying.


5 excuses for when you blame yourself

If there isn’t anyone to blame but yourself, it’s always a better idea to go with the truth than a lie. Being able to hold yourself accountable says a lot and it is obvious to seasoned teachers when students are grasping at straws.
Here are 5 excuses not to do homework when it’s all your fault:

11“I was sick”
If you have a serious illness that sometimes gets in the way of your schoolwork, there’s a good chance your teachers are already aware of it so don’t go making anything up.
In such a situation you are better off using something your teacher can’t prove, like a headache or stomachache.
It is good to use for overnight assignments rather than weekend assignments because these things don’t last all week and you’ll less likely get blamed for waiting until the last minute.
This is what you can say:
“I had a terrible headache last night, so I ended up taking a painkiller and going to bed.”
Since your teacher can’t really prove this, they are likely to just believe you. But, if this is a common occurrence, your chances of being believed will decrease significantly.


womain in sweater blanket sick taking medicine teddy bear table gray background

Photo by 4330009-under CCO License


12“I left it at home”
Everyone makes mistakes, such as leaving stuff at home. This is a good excuse to use only once or twice otherwise it will make you seem careless.
This is how you can say it:
“It looks like I didn’t pick up my homework from my desk last night when I was packing my bag. May I submit it tomorrow?”
You will of course have to produce the work you claim to have left at home. If you do not bring it the next day, you will not get off so easily.


13“I was absent”
If you didn’t know about the homework, there’s no way you could do it right?
This is a good excuse to use when the work was assigned but you were not informed of it in your absence. Chances are, your teacher will give you time to get it done so you can catch up to the rest of the class.
Here’s what you can say:
“What assignment?”
Note that this excuse will not work if your assignments are sent digitally.
It could also be risky for the reason of the teacher being likely to have an attendance record so they will know if you were there or not on the day the homework was assigned.


shock kid wearing blue dress

Photo by Andre Guerra under Unsplash license


14“I didn’t understand it”
Many students know what it’s like to follow the lesson in class to get home and be completely blank, especially if the homework is harder than the examples in class.
Sometimes, teachers give hard assignments to challenge their students, and will not expect them to get all the answers right. In this situation, it is important to make an attempt than to not do anything at all.
You should also be able to highlight what aspects you are not able to complete or else you will just seem lazy.
This is what you can say:
“I was having trouble understanding how to approach section B, therefore I couldn’t complete sections C or D.”
If the topic is something that was previously covered or you have done similar tasks, your teacher will not believe you. If you get caught in this lie, you might not get another chance.


quote harry s truman convince confuse

Image from Canva – under one-time use license


15“I did the wrong section”
Another common mistake is doing the wrong thing for your homework. Perhaps you heard “Section D” instead of “Section B” and ended up wasting your time.
It is good to use when the mistake is one anyone could have made, for instance, when it rhymes, or the page numbers sound similar.
It won’t make sense if you do another topic altogether, especially if the class isn’t at that part of the syllabus yet.
Say something like this:
“Wait, you said page 703? I had 103 written down in my notepad!”
Note that you must present the work you did. If you don’t, your story is less believable.



Now that you have your excuses not to do homework, please don’t take advantage of them.
Sure, homework might be no fun, but it will be helpful in the long run and you’ll find that when test time comes, you’ll have an easier time recalling what you have learned!