Punctuality matters, particularly when it comes to getting an education. That doesn't mean it's always possible, though.

Recently, this Reddit question has bee getting a lot of traction.

Teachers of Reddit, what was the best excuse for being late that turned out to be true?

And honestly, once you start reading people's responses it's plain to see why. These stories were bonkers. We've got a goat trying to ride the bus, we've got vigilantes, we've got a roving gang of chickens, and one shooter with very bad aim.

It's like a smorgasbord of ridiculosity and we love it.

More Important

A kid's apartment burned down overnight. He was a little late, but still came. He was 16 and could have helped them sort things out. Education was more important to them because AP exams were coming up.

- arcant12



Told me he got pulled over by the cops for wobbly driving on his bike and they thought he was drunk. Turned out he was just dodging all the slugs on the street.

- Fortisvol

Waiting On Death

One of my organ students told me he was late arriving for his lesson because he got stuck behind a lengthy funeral procession en route to the cemetery.

I knew he was telling the truth because I had played the organ for the service earlier that morning and the church was packed.

- Back2Bach

Brendan Took A Shortcut

This happened to me as a pupil; a very quiet, unassuming kid in our class came in to German with about five minutes of the class left.

We went to a Catholic school and the teachers were all quite strict and intimidating. Classes were usually silent, especially in junior school. When this boy came into class at the end of the lesson that day, the door flew inwards with such force that the teacher gave an audible gasp.

It had been raining heavily outside, his hair was plastered to his forehead. His blazer was dripping and sodden. He had mud caked into his trousers up to his knees, and he was breathing heavily.

The teacher exclaimed, 'Brendan! What happened?' We all stared up at him in shocked silence. This quiet, unassuming little boy let out a big sigh and just said, 'I took a shortcut.' And went straight to his seat.

That line became iconic in our school for years afterwards.

- Lestat85

Does Dad Count? 

This was in College, student turned in work late after not showing up for two classes. Two classes amounted to a full week so it was noticeable.

Professor looked at him and said "I hope somebody died for you to be this late"

He retorted, "DOES MY DAD COUNT????"

Honestly I've always heard you can hear a pin drop and never really thought anything of it, but yeah you could hear a fcking pin cut through the air after that.

- whereegosdare84

Vigilante Nights


I'm an English professor, and one year a pretty good student showed up without one of his 2 major term papers. He explained that his safe had been stolen by a contractor who was working on their house. His laptop was in the safe, and that's where his paper was. I genuinely believe him because he been a really good student.

Then over the next few weeks, he started to show up to class looking very tired. He said that he was on a hunt for the person who stole his safe, and he was spending late nights with his cousin driving around looking for the guy because they knew his van.

Now, the student and his cousin were both recently back from tours in Iraq and had seen combat experience. They wanted to find the guy to beat the sh!t out of him and get the safe back because his wife's wedding ring was in the safe as well as a bunch of cash.

He rewrote the paper and turned it in, apologetic that it wasn't up to his usual quality, but he still kept coming to class looking like he hadn't slept.

After a little while he came very happy to my office hours, and he reported that he found the guy after a long search that involved breaking into a meth den shaking people down with baseball bats and even bribing some sex workers. He said that they found the guy's van at a Taco Bell after getting a tip, and they cornered him and waited for the police to come.

I read in the news that he had in fact done a citizen's arrest and stopped the guy at a Taco Bell, and that they ended up calling in the Secret Service because he used the cash that he stole from the safe to buy a bunch of counterfeiting equipment. Secret Service apparently investigates counterfeiting, so the whole investigation happened because this guy who I dub "the white Shaft" tracked the scumbag down through the bad side of town late at night to get a wedding ring, some cash, and his research paper back. It all turned out to be true. He got the ring and the laptop back. I gladly accepted his original paper, and it got a much higher grade than the rewrite.

- kidnuggett606


She had to take her sister to school and drive her mom to rehab. She was always late to class because her mom just wanted to sleep in. Problem was, if the mom was late or did not go she would have violated her probation and gone to prison. I never marked her late. If she missed anything important she could come in at lunch or after school to make it up.

- Rm156

A Really Social Goat

I was the student...my neighbor had a really social goat, and she figured out how to escape her pen in order to come over and hang out. She escaped and followed me to the bus stop, and when the bus came, she tried to follow me onto it. I couldn't actually get on the bus without her being right behind me, so I had to get off, bring her home, and call my dad to bring me to school.

- shoppy33

Friendly Fire

Not a student, but one of my Teaching Assistants when I ran a pre-school in West Philly... 'sorry I missed yesterday, my friend shot my mom'. Naturally, I'm a little speechless... 'oh no it's ok, he was AIMING FOR SOMEONE ELSE'

- Scoutnjw

Eight Is Enough

Student told me he couldn't do the work because he was delivering oil from 3PM until 11PM. In middle school. He wasn't lying.

Dad has broken his both of shoulders and one clavicle so his grandma and pregnant mom were "switching off driving" (pretty sure he was doing most of it at night) and he was hooking the tanks to the oil.

I called all his teachers and had his work load lightened and got permission for him to come in an hour late each day as he was providing the only income for his family of eight, as he was the oldest. Tutored him so he could pass seventh grade. I paid cost of oil only for years until I moved out of the area.

- backaritagain

Chicken Gang


When I was student teaching, I was late because there was bunch chickens in the middle of the road. They wouldn't move at all. This is in the middle of a city of 200,000 people. Freaking chickens.

I finally get to school and profusely apologize to my mentor teacher and I told her why I was late thinking it sounded ridiculous. She said, "yeah, those chickens are fcking a$$holes, they surrounded my car in the McDonalds parking lot last year. Dont worry about."

- Makenshine

An Audible Gasp

Hmmm, I had a student whose father had died and had not done any homework or prep for the geography class, from what I heard the teacher scolded him for not doing so but the student didn't want to say anything (presumably sensitive issue) so his best friend shouted at the teacher "DON'T YOU HAVE ANY SHAME, HIS FATHER DIED LAST NIGHT" and the teacher said "I don't care", there was an audible gasp and I was in the next room.

Needless to say that teacher is no longer employed here.

- 19you1

Hit And Run

I'm not a teacher. I was the late student.

I was constantly late to a class my senior year of high school. I had depression and was on a 504 plan as a result. For this reason I was allowed some extra time in the hallways before class to recover from the mental stress of being in a class, etc. It was super helpful and yes, a pretty weird 504 plan!

One time I was running late and witnessed a car hit a pedestrian crossing the road, severely injuring him, and the car drove away. My brother, who was into cars, recognized the car and identified it to me as our neighbor- who was also in my first period class. I stopped to help the pedestrian, also a student at the school, because I had some first aid/lifeguard training. I called him an ambulance and waited for it to show up. I also called the school and told them that he would be going to the hospital. Yep, pretty nice of me.

When I got to school my brother and I went down to the front office to get a note for tardiness. The admin I called was waiting for us. He thanked me, gave me a note, and told me to tell the teacher that if there were any questions, to call him. My brother told him about the car that he had recognized and that we knew the driver and who that person was. We both went to our classes.

I got to first period late again and my teacher didn't even want to hear my excuse. I pressed the note into her hand and told her the story anyway. The driver of the car was sitting in the back of the classroom with a guilty look on her face. She looked scared stiff.

When my teacher wouldn't stop giving me sh!t for my "lie" I gave up and waited for justice to take its course. For the record, I never lied when I came to class late, I always told the truth- I slept late. I never invoked my 504 plan for that particular class, even though my teacher knew about it and would be forced to accept it.

Halfway through class the administrator entered with the School Resource Officer and informed my teacher that the student needed to come with him right now for a hit and run. He saw that I was sitting there and thanked me again for my help and for putting another person's needs above my own.

Man, it was nice to help that kid but it was really nice to see my teacher's face go from disgusted at the driver to shocked and disgusted when she realized my story was true.

- TheFork101

40 Laps

One kid was always late to basketball practice. The coach's rule was that for every minute you are late you run a lap after practice.

The kid's car ran out of gas in the parking lot on the other side of the school. Instead of leaving it and running to practice, he put it in neutral and pushed it himself to the other side where the gym was.

He was 40 minutes late for practice! That's 40 laps of a 3-ball court gymnasium! We calculated how many miles it was but I can't remember.

Picture pushing your car by yourself for 40 minutes, then a full basketball practice (basically 2 hours of running and drills with a few breaks) and then jogging a few miles after everyone is left and THEN using a pay phone to call your parents to collect you.

A few of us waited around to give him a ride.

- kernsomatic

The Investigation

Not a teacher, but when I was in elementary school, my bus driver hit someone on a bicycle. We all had to stay on the bus for about three hours until the investigation was over.

- jward1111



I'm the kid in this scenario, I was in around 6th grade when my mom was driving me to school, and this herd of deer just runs into the middle of the road a d surrounds us, we were stuck for around 45 minutes.

- ichaen

"Tail" As Old As Time

I was the student. I put a pack of beef jerky in my bag in middle school to take to lunch and when I woke up in the morning my dog had ripped through my bag to get to the beef jerky, so my dog literally ate my homework.

- YaBoiNebula935

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