People Share The Absolute Best Responses To 'You're Late'
Photo by Pierre Bamin on Unsplash

Be it for reasons out of our control, or simply because we didn't allow enough time, all of us have shown up to something late at least once in our lives.

And the only thing that could make us feel worse than we already do about our tardiness, is being told "you're late."

Naturally, the obvious response to the obvious reminder would be a simple, "I'm sorry."

Though it's fair to say that when someone so blatantly states the obvious, maybe they deserve a somewhat more original response?

Redditor ReddBolt511 was curious to hear the best retorts people have given, or recieved, to being told they were late, leading them to ask:

"What's the best response to 'You're late'?

I learned my lesson.

"The first time I was late in over two years, HR wrote me up."

"In the evening I went home on time and HR asked me why I was already heading out."

"I told them I have learned my lesson and won't be late for the second time."- atot806

Tell me something I don't know.

"I know, thank you for your patience."- dayglo98

"This way, you’re not acknowledging your screwup, but commending the other party for waiting for you. Started doing this a couple of years ago and it works wonders." - Ma1


"Sorry I didn’t want to come."- HonestSapphireLion24

"I used this one in my last place of employment, works a charm." - Sashie-

"Sorry, I meant to be absent."

"Let me fix that."- stupid_trollz

Argue Peace Out GIFGiphy

Gonna have to do better than that!

"A bloke in my high school had a cracker that I’ll never forget."

"Teacher: 'you’re 10 minutes late'."

"Student: 'yeah sorry I was walking slowly'."

"It did not go down well."- Rosemount3051S

Catch me up, why don't you!


'What did I miss?"- rwubmc

Be one step ahead.

"Don't give them a chance to say anything."

"Walk in and say: 'I see you have started without me'."- JustBeingDylan

Here I Am Oscars GIF by The Academy AwardsGiphy

Be like the superhero they are...

"Walk past them and say:"

'"Well, now we’re waiting for you'.”

"RDJ as Iron Man".- miguelmoen

Maybe just be honest?

"I remember a guy was late for grade 12 chemistry class and our chemistry teacher was really strict and when the teacher asked him why are you late he quickly spat out"

"'Because I didn't make it here on time'."

"It's a great line but he didn't do it on purpose."- nardpuncher

You knew it was coming...

"How do you know my menstrual cycles?"- ThisAnswerIsLit

Black Girl Period GIFGiphy


"I used this to explain why I was late in Uni once:"

"You're 5 mins late, you oversleep or something?"

"No, I just miscalculated how fast I had to walk" - Epsil0nStar

"My geometry teacher liked to say 'If you're early you're on time, if you're on time you're late, and if you're late it's unacceptable.' And I hated that phrase."

"So when I was finally late once she told me her little phrase, I asked if I could use the board. I drew out the transitive property we had learned, a=b, and b=c, so a=c. I then split up her phrase."


"B=On time"



"So I demonstrated that if A=B and B=C and C=D then that means that if I'm early it's unacceptable, if I'm on time it's unacceptable, and if I'm late it's unacceptable, so my only option is to not show up at all. I thought I'd get a smirk and told to sit down since it showed I was applying what she taught us, but I just got detention instead. Probably the wittiest moment of my time in school." - DisgruntledDimebag

Track Star

"I did track and field for a bit when I was around seven. One guy came half an hour late to practice once, the coach asks him why he was so late. Without missing a beat he goes: 'Sorry mum hit a red light."' - Swooper86

Wizarding World

“A wizard is never late, nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to. - Gandalf the Grey" - Wudchuck·

Into The Spiderverse

"Time is relative, right? Maybe I’m not late, maybe you’re all just early. - Miles Morales" - anxiously-applying

Clapping Back

"Your grasp of the obvious is inspiring." - spaghettiThunderbalt

Working the System

"I was running late for an important meeting once, and I knew I was gonna be 5 minutes late. So I stopped into a donut shop and picked up a dozen. Arrived ten minutes late, but apologized, held up the box and said, “I wanted to surprise everyone with this but the shop took longer than I thought it would, these just came out!” My delay was completely forgotten and I was actually thanked for it."

"Suffice to say 1) I’m American and 2) this only works once so use it sparingly." - What Archer What

Potty Humor

"I had a classmate pull this off. she looked the teacher dead in the eye and said: 'very bad diarrhea. I laughed to tears. The best thing was she really had to go." - EstaLisa

Uno Reverse

"I can go back home..." - GothamIntrovert

"I do recommend adding 'if you want me to' at the end because it might seem like a threat to go back home if they give you repercussions for being late." - EnderBoiiwastaken

Royal Response

"A queen is never late. Everyone else is simply, early" - blueeyed_bashful96

Quick Thinking

"It depends on which clock you are looking at."

"We had a temp employee use that one once and I still laugh about it." - monstermack1977


"If you know you’re gonna be late, change the time on your phone and then act confused as to why all your clocks at home were changed. And that you thought you were on time." - Competitive_Lab_3924

Power Move

"I'm early for next time." - Manifestival1

Next time you find yourself running late, rather than worrying about it the whole time, maybe spend it thinking of a clever response?

You'd be surprised how much is forgiven by a good laugh.

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