The 34 Most Ridiculous Excuses People Actually Used to Get Out of Work

"Grandma tried to poison me. Again."

View as Slideshow
“Hey boss, I’m really sorry but I can’t come into work today. No, no, I’m fine—It’s just that [deep sigh] my llama keeps barfing.” Ah, yes. The old sick llama defense. So goes one of the great calling-into-work-sick excuses of all time, shared with careerbuilder.com by an actual employee who works for an actual company somewhere in America. This masterfully weird alibi comes from the latest of CareerBuilder’s annual sick day surveys, which invited more than 5,000 hiring managers and employees to reveal the most bizarre excuses they’ve heard (or used) to skive off of work. Trust us—it gets way weirder than llamas. Here, for your amusement and inspiration, are the most ridiculous excuses people have used to get out of work, compiled from five years of actual employee testimonials.

1. Tummy troubles

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee called in sick because he ate cat food instead of tuna and was deathly ill. (Still not as bad as the dumbest job applicants of all time.)

2. Stuck on you

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee got stuck in the blood pressure machine at the grocery store and couldn't get out.

Content continues below ad

3. Dumpster diving

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee's wife found out he was cheating, and he had to spend the day retrieving his belongings from the dumpster.

4. #Priorities

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee broke his arm reaching to grab a falling sandwich.

5. What's your poison?

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee claimed his grandmother poisoned him with ham.

Content continues below ad

6. Blowing the coop

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee couldn’t come to work because she accidentally got on a plane.

7. Walk of Shame

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee had a “lucky night” and didn’t know where he was in the morning.

8. Family ties

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee had to attend the funeral of his wife’s cousin’s pet, because he was an uncle and pallbearer.

Content continues below ad

9. No way out

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee said that someone glued her doors and windows shut so she couldn’t leave the house to come to work.

10. Dental drama

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee’s false teeth flew out the window while driving down the highway.

11. Something in the air

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee claimed the ozone in the air flattened his tires. (It would take the world's dumbest boss to fall for that.)

Content continues below ad

12. Lucky strike

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee was bowling the game of his life and couldn’t make it to work.

13. Show me the money

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee had been at the casino all weekend and still had money left to play with on Monday morning.

14. Bad hair day

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee said bats got in her hair.

Content continues below ad

15. Mighty ducks

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee said she was bitten by a duck.

16. Buggin' out

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee was experiencing traumatic stress from a large spider found in her home, and had to stay home to deal with it.

17. Microwave mistakes

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee caught their uniform on fire by putting it in the microwave to dry.

Content continues below ad

18. Oh happy day

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee woke up in a good mood and didn't want to ruin it.

19. Mint emergency

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com 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.)

20. Law and order

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee’s dead grandmother was being exhumed for a police investigation.

Content continues below ad

21. Unhappy ending

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee was feeling too upset after watching “The Hunger Games.” (Maybe she should have seen these movies with the best happy endings instead?)

22. Money woes

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee had a headache after going to too many garage sales.

23. Duty calls

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee had to mow the lawn to avoid a lawsuit from the Homeowners' Association.

Content continues below ad

24. Holy cow

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee said a cow broke into her house and she had to wait for the insurance man.

25. What job?

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee forgot he had been hired for the job.

26. Fashion emergency

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee couldn’t decide what to wear. (Can't figure out what to wear either? These style tricks will earn you a promotion.)

Content continues below ad

27. Puppy problems

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee got a cold from a puppy.

28. Leave it to beaver

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee hurt his back chasing a beaver.

29. Room raiders

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee was blocked in by police raiding her home. (These have got to be the dumbest laws in every state.)

Content continues below ad

30. Cooking fail

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee said the meal he cooked for a department potluck didn't turn out well.

31. Dinner dilemma

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee had just put a casserole in the oven.

32. Let them eat cake

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee ate too much birthday cake.

Content continues below ad

33. Healing powers

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee had a gall stone they wanted to heal holistically.

34. Happier hour

The-34-Most-Ridiculous-Excuses-People-Actually-Used-To-Get-Out-of-WorkTatiana Ayazo/Rd.com An employee called in sick from a bar at 5:00 p.m. the night before.

Content continues below ad

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you this newsletter. For more information please read our privacy policy.