The 61 Most Ridiculous Excuses People Actually Used to Get Out of Work

If you're planning on playing hooky, you're going to have to try a bit harder than these folks...

1 / 61
llama wouldn't stop barfing
Nicole Fornabaio/

Sick llama

An employee couldn’t come in because his llama wouldn’t stop barfing.

2 / 61
ate cat food
Nicole Fornabaio/

Tummy troubles

An employee called in sick because he ate cat food instead of tuna and was deathly ill.

Take a break at your cubicle and laugh with our collection of cartoons about office life.

3 / 61
stuck in the blood pressure machine
Nicole Fornabaio/

Stuck on you

An employee got stuck in the blood pressure machine at the grocery store and couldn’t get out.

4 / 61
retrieving belongings from the dumpster
Nicole Fornabaio/

Dumpster diving

An employee’s wife found out he was cheating, and he had to spend the day retrieving his belongings from the dumpster.

You won’t believe these outrageous lawsuit stories are true!

5 / 61
broke his arm
Nicole Fornabaio/


An employee broke his arm reaching to grab a falling sandwich.

6 / 61
poisoned him with ham
Nicole Fornabaio/

What’s your poison?

An employee claimed his grandmother poisoned him with ham.

Don’t miss these 75 short jokes anyone can remember.

7 / 61
fortune-teller asked him not to step out of the house
Nicole Fornabaio/

Potential brain damage

The employee said that he couldn’t come to work because his fortune-teller had asked him not to step out of the house or he would suffer a brain hemorrhage.

8 / 61
accidentally got on a plane
Nicole Fornabaio/

Blowing the coop

An employee couldn’t come to work because she accidentally got on a plane.

In need of some professional motivation? This hilarious collection of jokes about work should banish even a serious case of the Mondays.

9 / 61
lucky night
Nicole Fornabaio/

Walk of Shame

An employee had a “lucky night” and didn’t know where he was in the morning.

10 / 61
funeral of his wife's cousin's pet
Nicole Fornabaio/

Family ties

An employee had to attend the funeral of his wife’s cousin’s pet, because he was an uncle and pallbearer.

On a more serious note, here are some common phrases you should never say at a funeral—and what to say instead.

11 / 61
someone glued her doors shut
Nicole Fornabaio/

No way out

An employee said that someone glued her doors and windows shut so she couldn’t leave the house to come to work.

12 / 61
teeth flew out the window
Nicole Fornabaio/

Dental drama

An employee’s false teeth flew out the window while driving down the highway.

Don’t miss these bizarre excuses people used in car insurance claims.

13 / 61
his fish was unwell
Nicole Fornabaio/

Sick fish

An employee refused to come to work because his fish was unwell.

14 / 61
ozone in the air flattened his tires
Nicole Fornabaio/

Something in the air

An employee claimed the ozone in the air flattened his tires.

Check out these real-life stories of the world’s dumbest criminals.

15 / 61
bowling the game of his life
Nicole Fornabaio/

Lucky strike

An employee was bowling the game of his life and couldn’t make it to work.

16 / 61
at the casino all weekend
Nicole Fornabaio/

Show me the money

An employee had been at the casino all weekend and still had money left to play with on Monday morning.

Discover the things lottery winners will never, ever tell you.

17 / 61
bats got in her hair
Nicole Fornabaio/

Bad hair day

An employee said bats got in her hair.

18 / 61
was bitten by a duck
Nicole Fornabaio/

Mighty ducks

An employee said she was bitten by a duck.

Don’t miss these 50 bad jokes you can’t help but laugh at.

19 / 61
traumatic stress from a large spider
Nicole Fornabaio/

Buggin’ out

An employee was experiencing traumatic stress from a large spider found in her home, and had to stay home to deal with it.

20 / 61
suffering from a hangover
Nicole Fornabaio/

Honest Abe

The employee said he’d gotten drunk the night before and was now suffering from a hangover.

From coast to coast, here’s each Canadian province’s signature hangover cure.

21 / 61
uniform on fire
Nicole Fornabaio/

Microwave mistakes

An employee caught their uniform on fire by putting it in the microwave to dry.

22 / 61
in a good mood
Nicole Fornabaio/

Oh happy day

An employee woke up in a good mood and didn’t want to ruin it.

From a thief returning a stolen car with a full tank of a gas to a multi-million dollar maple syrup heist, here are the most Canadian headlines of all time.

23 / 61
child stuck a mint up his nose
Nicole Fornabaio/

Mint emergency

An employee’s child stuck a mint up his nose and had to go to the ER to remove it. (In this employee’s defense, this is a pretty believable excuse.)

24 / 61
grandmother was being exhumed
Nicole Fornabaio/

Law and order

An employee’s dead grandmother was being exhumed for a police investigation.

As these quirky tales prove, mail delivery is anything but a boring job.

25 / 61
feeling too upset
Nicole Fornabaio/

Unhappy ending

An employee was feeling too upset after watching The Hunger Games.

These pop culture references will confuse anyone born after 1990.

26 / 61
too many garage sales
Nicole Fornabaio/

Money woes

An employee had a headache after going to too many garage sales.

27 / 61
had to mow the lawn
Nicole Fornabaio/

Duty calls

An employee had to mow the lawn to avoid a lawsuit from the Homeowners’ Association.

You’ll be glad these hilarious DIY disasters didn’t happen to you!

28 / 61
a cow broke into her house
Nicole Fornabaio/

Holy cow

An employee said a cow broke into her house and she had to wait for the insurance man.

29 / 61
forgot he had been hired
Nicole Fornabaio/

What job?

An employee forgot he had been hired for the job.

Here are 50 funny animal pictures that you need in your life!

30 / 61
couldn't decide what to wear
Nicole Fornabaio/

Fashion emergency

An employee couldn’t decide what to wear.

31 / 61
got a cold from a puppy
Nicole Fornabaio/

Puppy problems

An employee got a cold from a puppy.

Here are 15 dog cartoons to make every owner chuckle.

32 / 61
locked himself in the house
Nicole Fornabaio/

Windowless house

The employee insisted he’d locked himself in his house by mistake and that the house did not have any windows to crawl out of.

33 / 61
hurt his back chasing a beaver
Nicole Fornabaio/

Leave it to beaver

An employee hurt his back chasing a beaver.

34 / 61
blocked in by police
Nicole Fornabaio/

Room raiders

An employee was blocked in by police raiding her home.

These have got to be the weirdest things people have found after the snow melted.

35 / 61
the meal he cooked
Nicole Fornabaio/

Cooking fail

An employee said the meal he cooked for a department potluck didn’t turn out well.

36 / 61
casserole in the oven
Nicole Fornabaio/

Dinner dilemma

An employee had just put a casserole in the oven.

37 / 61
too much birthday cake
Nicole Fornabaio/

Let them eat cake

An employee ate too much birthday cake.

These birthday jokes are guaranteed to get a laugh!

38 / 61
gall stone
Nicole Fornabaio/

Healing powers

An employee had a gall stone they wanted to heal holistically.

39 / 61
called in sick from a bar
Nicole Fornabaio/

Happier hour

An employee called in sick from a bar at 5:00 p.m. the night before.

Find out the craziest things drive-through workers have seen on the job.

40 / 61
forgot it wasn't the weekend
Nicole Fornabaio/

No concept of time

An employee forgot it wasn’t the weekend.

41 / 61
petroleum jelly in their eyes
Nicole Fornabaio/

Can’t see the laptop

An employee put petroleum jelly in their eyes.

42 / 61
had to watch a soccer game
Nicole Fornabaio/

Different time zones

An employee said he had to watch a soccer game that was being played in Europe.

You won’t believe these outrageous stories of lucky people are true!

43 / 61
thought Flag Day was a legal holiday
Nicole Fornabaio/

Holiday mix up

An employee though Flag Day was a legal holiday.

44 / 61
mother made his favorite dish
Nicole Fornabaio/

Too full to move

An employee said his mother made his favourite dish and he ate too much.

45 / 61
visit the exotic animal clinic
Nicole Fornabaio/

Sick pet

An employee has to take his pet turtle to visit the exotic animal clinic.

46 / 61
wind blew the deck off their house
Nicole Fornabaio/

Damaged house

An employee said the wind blew the deck off their house.

47 / 61
kids changed all the clocks in the house
Nicole Fornabaio/


An employee was late because they overslept because their kids changed all the clocks in the house.

Take inspiration from these April Fool’s Day pranks from around the world.

48 / 61
cornered by a moose
Nicole Fornabaio/

Don’t move a muscle

An employee was cornered by a moose.

49 / 61
mother locked them in a closet
Nicole Fornabaio/

Time out

An employee couldn’t come to work because their mother locked them in a closet.

50 / 61
Ordered a pizza
Nicole Fornabaio/

Home delivery

An employee ordered a pizza that was late being delivered, and they had to be home to accept/pay for it.

Think you’ve got a special order? Check out more hilarious pizza delivery stories!

51 / 61
sunrise was so beautiful
Nicole Fornabaio/

Dazzled by the sun

An employee thought the sunrise was so beautiful that they had to stop and take it in.

52 / 61
mother-in-law wouldn't stop talking
Nicole Fornabaio/

Chatter mouth

An employee said their mother-in-law wouldn’t stop talking.

Making a fast food faux pas is no fun! Here’s a look at the most common friendly mistakes—and what to do instead.

53 / 61
was offered a grilled cheese
Nicole Fornabaio/

Too good to pass up

An employee was offered a grilled cheese sandwich and couldn’t say no.

54 / 61
too cold to work
Nicole Fornabaio/

Below freezing

An employee said it was too cold to work.

These are the nicest things CEOs have done for their employees.

55 / 61
morning sickness
Nicole Fornabaio/


A male employee claimed he had morning sickness.

56 / 61
coffee was too hot
Nicole Fornabaio/

Caution! Your beverage is hot

An employee’s coffee was too hot and they couldn’t leave until it cooled off.

Don’t miss the 150 funniest Reader’s Digest jokes of all time.

57 / 61
astrologer warned them of a car accident
Nicole Fornabaio/

Took the road less travelled

An employee was an hour late because an astrologer warned them of a car accident on a major highway, so they took all backroads.

58 / 61
their dog ate their work schedule
Nicole Fornabaio/

Blame the dog

An employee claims their dog ate their work schedule.

See what the 50 most popular dog breeds look like as puppies.

59 / 61
fell asleep in the parking lot
Nicole Fornabaio/

Snoozing on the job

An employee was at their office but fell asleep in the parking lot.

60 / 61
fake eyelashes were stuck together
Nicole Fornabaio/

Eyes glued shut

An employee’s fake eyelashes were stuck together.

61 / 61
drove to their former employer's location
Nicole Fornabaio/

Wrong office

An employee accidentally drove to their former employer’s location even though they haven’t worked there for five years.


Now, check out the craziest things car mechanics have seen at work.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest