18 Fake Excuses to Call Out of Work

We have all had those days when we want a break from work. Unfortunately, you can’t merely say to your boss, “I am taking a day off.” It does not work this way. Well, every employee wishes it did. The sleek way out is to make up fake excuses to call out of work, even on short notice.

If your usual excuse won’t cut it this time, I have made a list of solid excuses to help you get a day off.  The excuses are so bulletproof that even your boss will understand and sympathize with you.


Fake Excuses to Call Out of Work

1. I feel unwell

The sickness excuse is the most common excuse any employee can make and get away with. It might be an abused excuse, but it is still believable, especially if you have a doctors note to back it up. If necessary, you could always backdate the note.

When you’re not feeling well, just call in sick. Whether you mention having the flu, menstrual cramps, allergies, or a stomach bug, you can keep the explanation somewhat general. In most cases, bosses won’t inquire too much, but if they do, it’s okay to add some extra details to make it convincing. You can say something like:


“I woke up feeling really sick today with a bad sore throat and cough. I don’t want to spread germs, so I won’t be coming to work.”

“I’m dealing with really bad menstrual cramps today, and it’s hard for me to get up from the couch. I won’t be able to come to work this afternoon; I’m sorry.”

“My allergies are acting up due to the weather change, and I can’t manage my symptoms well today. I need to take a sick day.”

2. I have a sudden doctor’s appointment

You should use doctor’s appointments as fake excuses to call out of work. However, it’s best to use them sparingly. Your boss may wonder if you are sincere, but they usually won’t pry since medical matters are private.


Be cautious not to use this excuse too often, or you may need to provide doctor’s notes later. Use it on the day of your shift or even the day before, if needed. You can explain to your boss that you have been trying to get an appointment for weeks and finally got one for tomorrow.

Alternatively, you can say, “I woke up with a high fever and had to see a doctor on short notice. I’m sorry for the late notice, but I can’t come to work today,” or “My doctor’s office called and changed my appointment to this afternoon. Sadly, I’ll need to leave work early today.”

3. I have a sick child in need of my care

When kids are sick, people understand and sympathize, especially if your boss has met them. Taking care of sick kids takes a lot of attention. They can easily spread their germs, so your boss and coworkers will appreciate you not coming in. You can use this excuse at the last minute or even the night before if their illness is serious.

Explain to your boss that your son has a fever today, so you need to stay home and take care of him. If you have twins, then say something like, “My twins were sick all night, and I need to be with them today.”

4. I have experienced a small accident or injury

Accidents can happen to anyone. If you need to pretend to have a small injury that affects your work, consider things like slipping, a twisted ankle, small cuts, or knee discomfort. If you are meeting your boss soon, try to fake an injury that gets better fast or can’t be seen, like a strained muscle.

Avoid pretending to have serious injuries like needing stitches or casts, especially if you work in an office. You can use these two foolproof fake excuses to call out of work:

  1. Last night, while running, I twisted my knee, and today it’s swollen and painful. I have to see a doctor, so I need the day off.
  2. I fell because of my son’s toy spaceship and hurt my ankle. Walking is tough, so I need a day off to heal.

5. I am dealing with food poisoning

Do you have food poisoning? Food poisoning can strike suddenly and be quite severe, and people understand how unpleasant it can be.

It is one of the best fake excuses to call out of work since it’s hard to trace. Moreover, the recovery usually takes only a day or so, making it convenient for a mid-week break. When calling in, sound genuinely unwell to make it convincing.

A common thing to say is that you woke up all night with food poisoning, and can’t make it to work today. Or you can speculate by saying that you believe you have food poisoning since you can’t keep anything down.

6. I have a dental issue or dentist’s appointment

A chipped tooth is a good last-minute excuse to miss work. Dental emergencies often get sympathy, so just explain briefly. It’s tough to work with a bad toothache, and dentist appointments can be tricky to arrange, so your boss will probably understand your need for the day off.

Just say, “I broke a tooth during breakfast this morning and have to see a dentist right away.” Some smart employees will explain that their dentist had a cancellation, so the appointment was moved to today.

7. I have a severe headache (or migraine)

Migraines are really bad headaches that can make it hard to work well. They’re quite common, and people usually sympathize with you.

If you tell your boss you can’t do your job because of a migraine (even if it’s fake), they’ll probably understand and let you take the day off. Three fake excuses to call out of work are:

  1. “I’ve got a migraine today, and it hurts too much to look at a computer screen. I’m taking a sick day.”
  2. “I have a terrible migraine today, and I can’t make it through my shift later. I need to take the day off.”
  3. “I can’t make it in this evening. I’ve had a really bad migraine all day, and it doesn’t seem to be getting better.”

8. Oh! I Injured Your Back

Nobody likes having a sore or strained back, and it’s a common issue. You can use this reason if your manager knows you’re active or have a heavy-lifting job at home. Pretend to have a back injury because it can affect tasks like sitting at a desk or doing manual work.

Below are three bulletproof and fake excuses to call out of work:

  1. I strained my back yesterday while moving heavy appliances during my kitchen renovation.
  2. I hurt my back at the gym today, and I can hardly move.
  3. I hurt my back yesterday while helping my daughter move into her dorm. I’ll need a day off to get better.

9. I Need a Day for Mental Wellbeing

People even fake mental illness for disability, I assume that it won’t be difficult to prioritize your mental wellbeing. Mental health is a personal matter, and understanding bosses are usually considerate.

You can explain your anxiety about an upcoming event or difficulty concentrating at work and ask for some time off to take care of yourself. Keep in mind that a compassionate, younger boss may be more likely to accept this request. That said, below are two fake excuses to call out of work:

  1. I’m going through a tough time mentally and need a day off today(don’t get into the details).
  2. My anxiety has been overwhelming lately. I’m taking a personal day today to focus on self-care.

10. Urgent Family Situation

Family emergencies can be effective excuses because they’re often private. Most bosses won’t pry for details due to their sensitive nature. It’s a good idea to have a plausible scenario in mind, as almost anything can qualify as a family emergency.

For instance, you could say that your dad had a bad fall this morning and needs emergency surgery. You have to be at the hospital with him, so you won’t be able to come to work today. Two common excuses employees can use to get out of work are:

  1. I have a family emergency and need to leave town suddenly. I apologize for any inconvenience.
  2. I received a call from my elderly grandma, and she sounded really confused. I need to check on her.

11. Hello, Boss, I Just Donated Blood

Donating blood can leave you feeling weak and lightheaded because of the temporary lowering of blood pressure. Mention casually that you’ll be donating blood the day before you want to take a day off from work to make it more convincing. Then, when you call in, explain that you feel too weak to come in.

You can simply say that you did not think you would feel so dizzy after donating blood. It’s probably not safe for you to come to work today. If you need to nail this fake excuse, add that you passed out after donating blood this morning and need the day to rest and recover.

12. I Am Observing a Religious Holiday

You can take time off for religious holidays if you let your boss know a bit ahead of time. Just make sure to choose a holiday that makes sense for you, so it doesn’t seem strange. Most people plan ahead for holidays, so it’s good to give your boss a heads-up a day or two before.

13. The Nanny is Unavailable Today

Finding childcare can be really tough when your regular daycare or caregiver isn’t available. This excuse is especially useful if you have young children. It’s difficult for your boss to verify, and if they have kids too, they will likely understand and be sympathetic to your situation. You can use any of these two fake excuses to call out of work:

  1. My son is getting sent home from school early today, so I need to go pick him up. I’ll have to leave the office early as a result.
  2. My nanny called in sick last minute and I can’t seem to find anyone else to look after my child.

14. I Have Visitors from Out of Town

If you have unexpected friends or family visiting, this can make a legitimate reason to request time off. Explain that you need to host and spend time with your guests or pick them up from the airport during work hours. Stress that it’s unexpected or an emergency, so your boss understands why you didn’t mention it earlier. Some of the excuses to use include:

  1. My sibling is flying into town unexpectedly due to a personal emergency, and I need to be available to pick him up from the airport.
  2. My sister got summoned for jury duty, and I have to take care of my nephew all day tomorrow.
  3. My mom is planning a surprise visit tomorrow, and I haven’t seen her since before the pandemic.

15. I Woke Up to a Flooded Basement

Severe home problems can occur unexpectedly, like power outages, flooded basements, or fallen trees. These are all valid reasons to call out of work to address the issues. Your boss is likely to understand the frustration and grant you some time off to deal with them. Keep the story simple. For example, you could say, “My basement is flooded from last night’s storm. I have to stay home today to handle the damage and call repair professionals.” Two other fake excuses to use to call out of work are:

  1. A pipe in my kitchen burst, and I had to call an emergency plumber. I won’t be able to come to work today.
  2. The stairs on my back porch collapsed, and the only time a carpenter is available to check it is during my work hours today. I’ll need to take the day off.
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