55 legit excuses to avoid online Google Meet and Zoom meetings

55 Legit & Absurd Excuses to Avoid Online Meetings 🤣

15 minutes read

Sometimes you feel as cool as 1999-Matrix Keanu Reeves … Other times you maybe feel like his crusty counterpart (below right 👇). No tea, no shade to disheveled Reeves, in fact, I have acquainted with this look myself (especially in the mornings)!

Keanu Reeves (left). Actual footage of me in the morning (right).  

If you’re having one of those days where you feel like a hot mess, then a video meeting is probably the last thing on your mind! Well, if you’re looking for excuses to avoid online meetings, then buckle up, because we’ve got oodles of excuses for your misuses! 

This is our one-stop guide to getting you out of meetings in style and hopefully still employed. In our guide, you’ll get beginner-level excuses, the best excuses from Reddit and Twitter, and some of our own gems!

Or, if you’re looking for a particular style of excuse, then skip to whatever tickles your fancy, including:

Humble old faithfuls

Let’s breeze past the typical and the boring – here are your old faithfuls. These have been tested by many, and have been certified as ‘easy’, and are relatively high on the believability scale. However, over-usage can lead to serious complications.

#1 Wifi problem excuse

You cannot attend an online meeting unless you’re able to go online!

#2 No electricity excuse

The electricity cut out AND coincidentally, you have no power on ANY of your devices. Such a shame!

#3 The “I’m sick” excuse

Was it the burrito you ate last night? Who knows!

#4 Bathroom-break excuse

As the famous saying goes, “behind every great meeting-evasion is a toilet excuse”. These excuses might be embarrassing, but they’re rather failproof. You may go into much detail as you dare.

#5 “The meeting isn’t working” excuse

For some reason, Zoom is insisting I enter a pin to enter the meeting. Damn you Zoom!

#6 Clashing-meetings excuse

What a shame, but I just now realized I have another meeting at the exact same time as our meeting! Such a pity.

#7 “I didn’t know” excuse 

I made an oopsie! It just somehow totally slipped my mind.

#8 Timezone differences excuse

What, you’re now in daylight savings?! I absolutely had no idea.

#9 Didn’t get the invite excuse

I would have loved to join, but somehow your meeting invitation went to my spam box.

#10 Blame it on the family/the pets /the spouse/the boogie

Like Michael Jackson always says, if you want to avoid a meeting, then simply blame it on the boogie!

#11 Jury duty excuse

I bet you didn’t think of that one!

Excuses from the Twitter-verse

David QC put the call out to Twitter, for the best and most creative excuses to avoid “tedious meetings and unwelcome zoom drinks”. This clearly aroused something…

#12 Prior-commitment excuse

Sometimes, a typical excuse can be re-vamped just with some conviction and fancy wording.

#13 Politely decline excuse

The people of Twitter certainly like to finesse their excuses, unlike the people of Reddit, which you will see later in this article.

#14 Behave like a brat

This one is not an excuse, but rather a loophole. Simply ensure that you never get invited again. The downside, you’ll probably get fired. This tactic is definitely not for beginners!

#14 Become a social outcast

Feel like ruining the relationship with all of your colleagues, for the sake of skipping a meeting? Then quickly run down to your local antique store, spend a minimum of $1000 on antique war memorabilia. Soon enough, you’ll be on your way to self-isolation!

#15 Zoom-room is occupied

After-hours invitation? No worries! Just say your one-and-only Zoom room is occupied by somebody else in the house.

Legitimate excuses

Okay, so you’ve used up all of the ‘standard excuses’ and you’re in the market for something a little more ‘creative’ then check out these legit excuses.

#16 Step-by-step excuse action-plan!

For those who aren’t comfortable making an excuse without a 5-step action plan.

#17 Therapist appointment excuse

Ain’t nobody going to argue with you about that one!

#18 Scheduling error

Similar to the ‘clashing meeting’ excuse, but specifically for managers. If you’re in a pickle, simply skip the meeting and blame the intern for making a scheduling error. Done and done! This excuse is brought to you by Tosaylib. You legend!

#19 Dealing with a client excuse

Maybe your client called you in a tizzy. Perhaps a last-minute client request came in. Whatever it is, your boss will much prefer you to attend to your client than attend a meeting! This excuse is brought to you by Tosaylib. You double-legend!

Blame it on the kids

#20 Sick kids excuse

It is bound to happen sooner or later!

#21 Diaper-overload excuse

I think nobody would blame you for missing a meeting due to diaper problems!

#22 Blame it on the boogie

If blaming it on the kids is not your thing, you could just blame it on the boogie instead. Yes, yes, I know I told this joke twice.

Michael Jackson performing Blame it on the Boogie | Michael jackson, Michael jackson gif, Micheal jackson

Playing dumb

Some people have a certain knack for playing innocent:

“I didn’t know that the last chocolate chip cookie was yours” – said my boyfriend with literally every item of food in the house. 🍪🍔

If you are one of these people, then go ahead and use one of these excuses.

#23 “I thought it was Sunday today” excuse

This one has a high difficulty level, but once executed, is foolproof. This excuse is brought to you by Tosaylib. This person just keeps on giving!

#24 “I thought you cancelled the meeting” excuse

Have a team member that can’t make up their mind? Always cancels meetings? Well, that can be really confusing you know!! Someone might accidentally not turn up to a meeting one day.

#25 “I totally forgot the time” excuse

I was too busy being a hard worker, and was totally consumed with my tasks that I forgot the time! Oops.

Totally bonkers excuses

These next excuses are higher up on the difficulty scale. If you manage to make one of these excuses believable, you likely run the risk of people questioning your sanity. Proceed with caution.

#26 “Somebody is spying on us” excuse

Difficulty level: master. Pretending you think somebody is spying on you in your own house, is definitely cause for concern. A big enough concern that one might have to leave their Zoom meeting.

#27 Master-level excuse

This excuse is not recommended for beginners.

#28 “A random man broke into my house last night and he’s asleep on my couch” excuse

I’d probably want to miss a GMeeting too if there was a random man asleep on my couch as well! This excuse is brought to you by Tosaylib. Will the genius never end?

#29 Smelly excuse

Apparently, this person from Texas throws dear-old misunderstood skunks under the bus, to get out of meetings. You clever rascal, you!

#30 ‘I got my fingers stuck in a bowling ball’ excuse

I’ve personally never tried to write on a laptop, or use the track-pad with my hands stuck in a bowling ball, but I imagine it is particularly difficult. Meeting avoided!

#31 Pretend to have a wardrobe malfunction.

Let’s say you accidentally *cough cough*, knocked over the webcam, revealing your knickers/boxers. I think that would earn you a get-out-of-jail-free pass for a day or two!

Surprise, surprise, across my research, I came across a plethora of toilet-related excuses. In fact, this Reddit thread is pretty much 80% ? related. I know this probably says something about the state of humanity, but I can’t quite figure out what yet. 🤔🤔 In the meantime, whilst I ponder the future of mankind, enjoy these 🚽-related excuses.

#32 Discrete toilet excuse

In a polite manner, let the meeting attendees know you must use the lavatory. If they need details, they should not hesitate to ask.

#33 No-apologies toilet excuse

Apparently using the toilet has become some kind of an ‘assertion of dominance’.

Source: Reddit. Ah, the lovely people of Reddit!

#34 Dominant toilet excuse

Imma go ahead and assume this is a ‘guy thing’. 🤷‍♀️

#35 Vaguely terrifying toilet excuse

When you want to scare people with a really great excuse without actually explicitly saying the excuse. Now, how does one actually do that?

This is one if for the shy pooper.

#36 Demanding toilet excuse

When your toilet needs are quite needy, and you simply have to tend to your bowels all day long.

#37 Original toilet excuse

This excuse is for those bored with the standard toilet excuse. Simply add some spice to your ‘excuse game’ and experiment with unconventional wording!

#38-41 Triple-pointer toilet excuse

Below we have not 1, not 2, but 3 consecutive toilet-related excuses made by the lovely people of Reddit. 

Source: Reddit.

Alright, I think we get the point. If you’re hanging for more proof, or want to satisfy your toilet-humor cravings, then check the Reddit links at the end of the article.

The creative art of excuses

Then there are those creative pioneers that gracefully practice the art of excuses executed with poise and perfection. Enjoy. ☕

#42 Flight is delayed excuse

Have you seen all of the fake holidays posted on social media these days? How hard can faking a flight/holiday be? There are only 103949023 videos online showing you how to fake your way through something in the social media era. You’re welcome!

#43 Faking a computer crash excuse

Yes, anyone can tell their boss that their computer, phone, and tablet all miraculously broke down at once. But only a truly creative, special kind of individual can prove it… or at least, fake it! Follow this little hack below!

#44 Fire alarm excuse

This excuse might just be crazy enough to work!

Source: Reddit.


For those who want to have your cake and eat it too, these future lawyers have found a way to make that happen!

#45 Fake virtual background loophole

Thanks to this hero for going above and beyond the call of excuse-duty.

#46 The no-excuse excuse

For those who want to avoid the whole ‘excuse situation’ altogether. 🤣

#47 The honorable confession

For the times you feel like you have to be an adult *sigh*.

#48 The secret excuse

I would love to tell you, but then you’d be in great danger. Honestly, it is for your own protection!

#49 If you can’t beat em, join em

Don’t spend all of your energy trying to ‘get out of meetings’. Instead, why not put that effort towards enjoying them, however you can?

Female only excuses

Men look away, attempting to use these excuses could result in your unemployment.

#50 I have an appointment with my gynecologist excuse

Only tell this one to your male colleagues. Even if you give them only 30 second’s notice – there is no way they will want to know more about your gyno visit. This one is foolproof ladies. 💁‍♀️

#51 I’m pregnant excuse

You know, there has to be SOME upsides to being a woman! 🙌🙌

#52 I’m female…excuse?

Depending on the awkwardness of your male colleagues, simply being a woman might be justifiable enough to skip meetings.

#53 Bad-hair day excuse

This article from Wales Online. They really dug deep into the top excuses Brits gave. I’m choosing to highlight my personal favorite.

legit excuses to not attend a meeting. Google meet. Zoom
Source: Wales Online.

Our excuses

Here at tl;dv, we’ve had our own reasons thrown around the Slack channels as to why team members cannot attend meetings synchronously or ‘live’.

#54 I’m having breakfast with my mum excuse

This one was well received by the team, because, here at tl;dv we ❤️ our mammas!

The awesome team @ tl;dv

#55 Haircut excuse

In order to attend video meetings, one must freshen up their look every now and then! This is exactly what one of our team members did! We approve this message. 👍👍

More awesomeness from the team @ tl;dv

#56 I stayed up late excuse

At tl;dv, we value people’s work-life balance. We also practice trust and equip our employees with the tools and the freedom to get their job done. If this means not occasionally attending a meeting live, that is totally fine.

Will the awesomeness from team tl;dv never end??

In fact, I’ll let you in on a little secret … not only is not attending every meeting totally fine, in fact, we encourage it.

Why? Because not all meetings need to be attended LIVE or SYNCHONOUSLY.

We record our meetings, and watch them later, thanks to tl;dv.

Therefore, if you’re not an essential participant, if you don’t have time, maybe you have an appointment, or maybe you have a deep-working session, we simply catch up on the meeting later, asynchronously with tl;dv.

Don’t waste your time coming up with demoralizing excuses, instead, just simply record your ? meetings.



This array of excuses, ranging from the legitimately believable, to the down-right crafty have been created by myself, and also sourced from various corners of the internet, including:

These Reddit threads

This Twitter thread

These articles

  • “26 Best Excuses to Get Out of Work (Or Miss Work)” by Algrim
  • “Excuses for when you don’t want to go to a virtual” group project meeting by Ubyssey.
  • “The 50 Most Unbelievable Sickie Excuses People Have Tried to Get Away With” by Coburg Banks.
  • “Bizarre excuses people are using to get out of Zoom meetings” by Wales Online.