“My dog ate my homework”

Teachers share the funniest excuses they’ve heard from students.


Addie Gleason

English teacher Dan Barnes points to a book that was eaten by his student’s dog.

Starting out at a new school, teachers carefully craft lesson plans and decorate their classrooms, preparing for the typical trials and tribulations of the everyday class commotion. However, there are some instances that cannot be prepared for: excuses. As teachers work to perfect their assignments, students work to fabricate the perfect lie to get them out of trouble. Nonetheless, there are some excuses that just miss the mark. Read on to hear the funniest excuses teachers have gotten from students.

Tom Herpel

From sick babies to bathroom situations, Latin teacher Tom Herpel has heard a few funny excuses throughout his career.

[The student] said that their baby sibling got sick, took the piece of paper and vomited on the homework. They brought in a worksheet with this huge yellow stain. We all know what vomit smells like, [the paper] didn’t smell like anything, they probably poured apple juice on it or something,” Herpel said.

Laughing, Latin teacher Tom Herpel recounts his student’s funny stories. (Ashlyn Gillespie)

However, the excuses do not just stop at homework. Late students hoping to avoid being marked tardy also contribute to Herpel’s collection of funny excuses.

“The one that always makes me laugh is ‘I got stuck in the bathroom.’ First of all, what does that mean? I can’t ask ‘what are you trying to say’ because if it’s personal, I can’t say anything. Then I’m like, ‘seriously? What’s going on?’ And they say, ‘oh, I saw some buddies in the bathroom and that’s why I’m late.’ I’m like, ‘okay, why didn’t you just say that?’ Why do you say this ominous ‘I got stuck in the bathroom,’ that makes no sense,” Herpel said.

Michelle Kerpash

English teacher Michelle Kerpash describes a kid’s sticky situation at Target. (Madi Michajliczenko)

Although English teacher Michelle Kerapsh did not have specific accounts from her own classes, one excuse came to mind from a student in her child’s class.

My child came home and told me that a boy in her class didn’t have his homework done. The teacher said, ‘Well this was kind of an important assignment. Why don’t you have your homework done?’ He’s like ‘I tried, but we were at Target and my mom pulled an epic Karen and had to talk to a manager. We were there all night, and by the time I got home I didn’t have any time left to do my homework. It was really bad,’” Kerpash said.

Dan Barnes

English teacher Dan Barnes has heard his fair share of homework excuses, one of the most notable being the classic excuse kids grow up hearing.

“A student came up to me, this was in my second year of teaching and he goes, ‘Do you know how in cartoons the dog eats the homework? What if my dog actually ate my book?’ I was like, ‘Are you serious?’ I still have [the book] because it cracks me up,” Barnes said.

Comic by: Addie Gleason

Apparently the dog was not the only hungry one, because a different student showed up late to class over frying some bacon.

“Before the food policy in an honors English three class we were doing breakfast together at the end of the semester. I had a student come in late, because he fried up two whole packages of bacon and it took longer than he thought. He came into class late, but he came in with a full tray of bacon for us so none of us were upset,” Barnes said.

What is your go-to homework excuse?


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