Today we are talking about those “tardy to class” excuses. Reddit user u/minecraftplayer48 asked teachers to share the best excuses students used for being late that ended up being true and the stories were all pretty great. But it wasn’t only teachers who chimed in; a lot of people shared stories from when they were students and had an excuse that was so crazy they didn’t think anyone would believe them. 

From getting pulled over by the police to assisting with births, we have collected some of the craziest answers from this thread.

Here are 35 of the best excuses for being late that were actually true.


“I apologize that I’m writing this on mobile, so there might be errors. I’m an English professor, and one year a pretty good student showed up without one of his 2 major term papers. He explained that his safe had been stolen by a contractor who was working on their house. His laptop was in the safe, and that’s where his paper was. I genuinely believe him because he has been a really good student.”



“This happened to me as a pupil; a very quiet, unassuming kid in our class came into German with about five minutes of the class left.

We went to a Catholic school and the teachers were all quite strict and intimidating. Classes were usually silent, especially in junior school. When this boy came into class at the end of the lesson that day, the door flew inwards with such force that the teacher gave an audible gasp.

It had been raining heavily outside, his hair was plastered to his forehead. His blazer was dripping and sodden. He had mud caked into his trousers up to his knees, and he was breathing heavily.

The teacher exclaimed, ‘Brendan! What happened?’ We all stared up at him in shocked silence. This quiet, unassuming little boy let out a big sigh and just said, ‘I took a shortcut.’ And went straight to his seat.

That line became iconic in our school for years afterward.”


“Sorry Bohemian Rhapsody came on just as I parked.” – My art teacher when he was about 5:55 minutes late.


“A kid missed my first-period class one morning but was in school later that day. When I asked him why he hadn’t arrived in time for my course, he said his cow was birthing its calf that morning, so he’d picked being in the barn over English. Made sense to me. His essays weren’t going to win any ribbons at the county fair, but his calf could.”



“When I was student teaching, I was late because there were a bunch of chickens in the middle of the road. They wouldn’t move at all. This is in the middle of a city of 200,000 people. Freaking chickens.”

I finally get to school and profusely apologize to my mentor teacher and I told her why I was late thinking it sounded ridiculous. She said, “yeah, those chickens are f**king a**holes, they surrounded my car in the Mcdonald’s parking lot last year. Don’t worry about it.”


“Told me he got pulled over by the cops for wobbly driving on his bike and they thought he was drunk. Turned out he was just dodging all the slugs on the street.”


“When I was in college, my psych professor told us that the only excuse for being late was a funeral procession. For any other reason, you wouldn’t be allowed to come in.”

“A few weeks into the semester, I was headed from one building to another, which involved crossing the main road. Lo and behold, there was one very long funeral procession going by. I got a short video of it as proof, then stood on the sidewalk to let it go by.”

“Unfortunately, the procession made me five minutes late to class. I knocked on the door, and the professor came over to start to tell me off. I showed her the video.”

“Well, I’ll be damned, c’mon in.”


“She had to take her sister to school and drive her mom to rehab. She was always late to class because her mom just wanted to sleep in. The problem was if the mom was late or did not go she would have violated her probation and gone to prison. I never marked her late. If she missed anything important she could come in at lunch or after school to make it up.”



“Not me but in my class.

This was in College, a student turned in work late after not showing up for two classes. Two classes amounted to a full week so it was noticeable.”

Professor looked at him and said “I hope somebody passed away for you to be this late”


“Honestly, I’ve always heard you can hear a pin drop and never really thought anything of it, but yeah you could hear a f**king pin cut through the air after that.”


“This one happened to a classmate when we were in college training to be teachers. She missed a really important class and came for just the last 10 minutes or so because her neighbor knocked on her door while in active labor asking for help a little while before she was supposed to leave for class. A classmate walked back to the neighbor’s house with the preggo neighbor and delivered her baby in the living room while on the phone to 911. Paramedics came and mom and baby were fine, but the classmate needed to go home and shower/change first because she was covered in blood.”



“The kid was late to school and had to miss a very important football game. The reason? His fat Pug fell asleep on his phone. The pug’s fat rolls muffled his alarm.”


“I was one of about 20 kids who were late to school. We showed up at the school office as a group and when questioned why we were late, we said that the school bus blew up”.

They questioned “So the engine blew up”

The kids “No, the whole bus, in flames. It blew up”

“There were many conferences between the teachers, all of them thinking we embellished the story. Next thing you know, one of the admin staff has the news website open, a very obvious image of an entire bus on fire with a bunch of kids in our school uniform standing in front of it. Our late slip for a class read school bus blew up.”


I had a six-year-old turn up late to her lesson and blurt out “sorry I was late, I had to colour in a bunny!”

Seems fair.




“Not a student, but one of my Teaching Assistants when I ran a pre-school in West Philly… ‘sorry I missed yesterday, my friend shot my mom’. Naturally, I’m a little speechless… ‘oh no it’s ok, he was AIMING FOR SOMEONE ELSE'”


“Not a teacher, but a kid walked me to my class one day and literally just said “sorry I’m late, I didn’t want to be here”. He wasn’t wrong I suppose.”



“Bear in the backyard. No access gate. Animal control had to tranq it from the room and drag it through the house. Made the news. Got to retake the test I missed after sending her the news article.”


“I was the student…my neighbor had a really social goat, and she figured out how to escape her pen in order to come over and hang out. She escaped and followed me to the bus stop, and when the bus came, she tried to follow me onto it. I couldn’t actually get on the bus without her being right behind me, so I had to get off, bring her home, and call my dad to bring me to school.”




“A guy in my college class missed class one day. The next day he came in with his eye covered up and medical paperwork in hand. Apparently, he got pecked in the eye by a chicken.”


“In my hometown, if you walked anywhere late and said the phrase “Sorry, grain train” you were never challenged. It was extremely common for 50+ carriage trains to run through the middle of town.”



“We had an exam in my class and the teacher got a message from a student saying that he was going to be late because his car had a flat tire (the student was known to party), the teacher didn’t think it could be true, so as a joke the teacher asked him to bring the tire back. He brought the flat tire back in the middle of the exam. Needless to say, the professor didn’t expect that.”



“A flock of wild turkeys on the road. Not always school, but this happened more than once in my life.

For those of you who have never found yourselves in this situation: there is no way out of it. Wild turkeys will move when they damn well decide to do so, and only then.”




“A kid’s apartment burned down overnight. He was a little late but still came.”