->''"I'd love to go hang out, but I have go to sit in my house by myself..."''
-->-- ''Webcomic/HyperboleAndAHalf'', [[http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/09/four-levels-of-social-entrapment.html "Four Levels of Social Entrapment"]]

So Alice needs Bob to do some yardwork. Bob would rather continue being lazy. So what does Bob do?
->'''Bob''': Uh... I can't. I'm allergic to grass. And rakes."

The injury or disease may or may not be largely inhibiting or even real. The 'faker' may have to MaintainTheLie in order to truly get away with his/her scheme. Said liar may also be subject to LaserGuidedKarma.

An extension of this could be when it turns out to actually be a big deal.

See also the WoundedGazelleGambit, a Lame Excuse used to get someone else in trouble. When the Lame Excuse is simply a way for the person to excuse him/herself from the room, they typically say something nonsensical like "INeedToGoIronMyDog". See IHaveToWashMyHair when a lame excuse is used to avoid a date.



[[folder: Anime ]]
* In ''Manga/StrawberryMarshmallow'', Miu, in a bid for attention, pretends to be ill briefly (while Chika really ''is'')... but ends up actually getting a serious fever.

[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* In an issue of ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}'', a hostage shouts, "Don't shoot me! I have diabetes!"

[[folder: Fanfics ]]
* Prussia, France, and Spain were ''definitely'' not watching Germany, Italy, and Japan [[ThePeepingTom get it on]] in the finale of ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11886910/1/Gankona-Unnachgiebig-Unità Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità]]''. Yep. [[BlatantLies They were only performing surveillance on the ship]]. Yeah. Sure.
* In ''Manga/LoveHina'' fanfic ''Fanfic/ForHisOwnSake'' Naru has a habit of always defending herself when being called out after her violent episodes with "you wouldn't understand" which is undermined either by people like Seta asking her to help them understand (to which she claims he still wouldn't get it so she won't bother) and her family, who calls her out on using it as an excuse for everything (to which she declares they'll ''never'' understand).

[[folder: Film ]]
* ''Disney/{{Pocahontas}}'': "I'd help you to dig, boys/but I've got this crick in me spine."
* ''Film/DrStrangelove'': Lionel Mandrake - "I'd love to come, Jack, but you see, the thing is, the string's...gone out...in my leg!" A literal Lame Excuse.
* In ''Film/BigEyes'', Walter pretends to have pulled his shoulder while picking up a paintbrush in order to get out of painting in court.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Madagascar}}'': While Alex is putting the finishes on his Statue Of Liberty made of branches and vines, Melman [[StatingTheSimpleSolution asks why they can't ask Marty]] (who's busy making his own island shelter) [[StatingTheSimpleSolution if they could borrow some fire to light it up]]. Alex's response? "That's wildfire! We're not using wildfire on Lady Liberty!"

[[folder: Literature ]]
* ''Literature/HankTheCowdog'' has Drover, who often complains of a bad leg when put under pressure. Once or twice Hank has done the same thing when he's really scared.
* In Danny Wallace's autobiographical book ''Yes Man'', it's mentioned that before the events of the book, he'd been making up a lot of excuses to avoid going out with friends. These included saying that he couldn't come out because he'd won a competition to meet Lionel Richie, and claiming that he'd accidentally reversed all his leg joints. In the prequel book ''Join Me'' (also autobiographical), there was an especially hilarious incident of this, where Danny was [[ItMakesSenseInContext pointing at a woman on the plane and mouthing "join me"]], and her son asked him why he was doing this. His response? [[spoiler: "[[CrowningMomentOfFunny Sorry. My leg hurts.]]"]]
* In Creator/WilliamFaulkner's ''Literature/AsILayDying'', the father Anse claims he can't maintain his crops because sweating will kill him. It's not clear whether he actually believes this or is just using it to get out of work.
* In Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/{{IT}}'', Richie says he can't help dig a hole because he's "got a bone in his leg."
* In at least one of her books, Creator/MissManners speaks about the Lame Excuse, preferring it over the False Excuse (which has a nasty tendency to fall apart if someone decides to PullTheThread). She also differentiates the classic Lame Excuse (e.g. "That's the night I'm supposed to play solitaire") and the "inexplicable" Lame Excuse, which is essentially a non-answer (e.g. "It just would be too difficult that night"). The classic Lame Excuse and the False Excuse fall under this trope more than the inexplicable Lame Excuse does; the main difference between the False Excuse and the classic Lame Excuse is that the latter is a (generally) understood euphemism that isn't ''supposed'' to be taken literally.
* One of the Demons of Ignorance in ''Literature/ThePhantomTollbooth'' is the Threadbare Excuse, a shabby little fellow who seems to like latching on to someone and muttering these into their ear. [--"Well, I've been sick... the bus was late... but no-one else did it..."--]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* Arfur Daley in ''Series/{{Minder}}'' always says his back hurts in order to get Terry to do all the hard work.
* Mr Lucas of ''Series/AreYouBeingServed'' tries to fake being sick so he can go watch a movie. Among other things, he tries the trick of sticking soap in his mouth. It was supposed to go under his tongue, but he swallowed it instead. He persuades Captain Peacock to send for the medical staff, as bubbles from his hiccups float by, prompting Captain Peacock to add:
-->'''Captain Peacock:''' ...and a loofah.
* Basil Fawlty, the lead character of ''Series/FawltyTowers'', often uses the excuse of "the old leg wound playing up" to get out of dealing with difficult customers.
* ''Series/FatherTed'', after Ted's offensive "Chinaman" impersonation is witnessed by a Chinese family:
-->'''Ted''': And basically if I don't stretch my eyes like that from time to time I get this thing the doctor calls "Fat Eyes".\\
''(Their car speeds away, spraying Ted with mud)''\\
'''Ted''': ''(waving at the car)'' I hope you wouldn't think it'd be anything of a racial nature! Thanks for being so understanding, see you again, bye!
* ''Series/{{Castle}}'':
** After having a big fight the night before, Beckett gives Castle a frosty reception when he shows up at her desk the next day. Castle claims he's just looking for his sunglasses. Beckett sneers that that has to be the lamest excuse she's ever... she doesn't get to finish, because Castle icily lifts his sunglasses off her desk and shows them to her, leaving her with some egg on face.
** Played with in another episode, after Beckett's apartment has been blown up and Castle has invited her in to stay the night; Castle's mother Martha encounters Beckett cooking breakfast in her pajamas, and in order to forestall [[{{UST}} the obvious alternative explanation]], Beckett explains that she's there for her own safety. It's the truth, sort of, but the way Beckett blurts out that she's there "on orders from the FBI" certainly makes it ''sound'' like a Lame Excuse:
---> '''Martha''': Darling, I'm not one to judge.
* The Dead Parrot sketch from ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' is a good example that a bizarrely large segment of the audience misses. Michael Palin knows the parrot is dead, ceased to be, expired and gone to meet his maker, so virtually everything he says is a Lame Excuse. This is the whole point of the sketch; the shopkeeper's providing Lame Excuses, the customer ''knows'' the shopkeeper's providing Lame Excuses, the shopkeeper ''knows'' that the customer knows, and so on.
* In an episode of the ''Series/TheMuppetShow'', Miss Piggy asks one of the other members of the cast to watch her dog while she's out on the stage. Each person there proceeds to invent a lame excuse to fob the task onto someone else. Possibly subverted with Gonzo's excuse [[INeedToGoIronMyDog "Oh My God! I left an anvil in the oven!"]], as given the nature of some of his acts, his excuse might actually have been true. Though the question of what he was planning to do with [[NoodleImplements a freshly baked anvil]] was never answered.
* In ''Series/TopGear''''s race across London, Richard finished first on a bike, then Jeremy in a speedboat, the Stig on public transport, and then, much later, James in a car. While they make reasonable excuses for James being so late such as the time lapse being misleading, they then delve into the facetious excuses to save face, such as claiming that Hammond died in a crash and that London doesn't even have a river.
* On ''Series/PetticoatJunction'', Uncle Joe Carson often avoided work by claiming to have a bad back.
* In the first episode of ''Series/TheWorstYearOfMyLifeAgain'', Simon claims he had been about to leap into action to defend Alex against and Howe but was prevented from doing so by a cramp in his leg.
* In the ''Series/MadeInCanada'' episode "Beaver Creek - The Movie", production head Richard arrives at a meeting with his PointyHairedBoss Alan claiming that he has another meeting with a network executive in an hour. When Alan begins to pitch an idea for a series with a swimming pool as its central "character" which he believes is genius but which Richard's fellow production heads Victor and Veronica clearly believe is stupid, Richard changes his mind and says the meeting is right now, then leaves. When Alan tries to press on, Veronica claims that she does budgets, not ideas, and Victor claims that he needs to be on set with Richard.
* ''Series/FrontierCircus'': In "Mighty Like Rogues", ConMan Georgie Jukes claims to have a bad back that prevents him doing any heavy work.
* Barry Allen of ''Series/TheFlash2014'' is apparently prone to these when explaining why he was late to a crime scene:
-->'''Captain Singh:''' What's the excuse this time, Mr. Allen? Before you answer, allow me to remind that you that last time it was car trouble. Want to know why that one was particularly memorable?\\
'''Barry:''' ''(embarrassed)'' I do not own a car.
* ''Series/LittleLunch'': In "The Beep Test", Melanie attempts to get out of the beep test by claiming to have broken her foot and stealing a walking cast off a younger boy. Mrs. Goncha doesn't buy it because her foot wasn't broken two minutes ago and makes her give the cast back. During the test, Melanie realises that she has actually injured her foot by trying to jam it into the too small cast.

[[folder: Theatre ]]
* The play ''Sheik, Rattle and Roll'' has a pair of cowardly guards as characters. At one point when ordered to attack someone, one of them yells, "Oh! My gammy leg!" and clutches his leg. A second later, the other shouts, "Oh! My dandruff!" and clutches his head.
* In the musical, ''Theatre/NextToNormal'', Natalie gives a series of these during the song "Gonna be Good" so that her father will not have her boyfriend Henry stay for dinner.
-->'''Natalie:''' Oh Dad, Henry can't stay he's got...homework...surgery...Rabies!

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* In ''VideoGame/TheSims'', if you try to call over a person you're not very close to, they'll often give one of these by way of rejection. Unless they just outright say 'no', anyway.
-->"I can't come, I'm waiting for the [[FridgeLogic telephone repairman]]."
* Elaine in ''VideoGame/MonkeyIsland'' sometimes uses a variation of her own signature line to avoid (usually) dire situations involving the bad guys.
--> '''[=LeChuck=]:''' Sail with me, and I'll make ya Queen of the Dead!
--> '''Elaine:''' I- I can't. I'm washing my hair tonight.

[[folder: Visual Novels ]]
* [[DumbMuscle Masato]] from ''VisualNovel/LittleBusters'' often gives these as excuses for not handing in homework, though his tend to be more imaginative than lame:
-->'''Kengo:''' Why not use that excuse again? [[BadLiar A space alien came and burned your homework with a beam of light.]]
-->'''Masato:''' That won't work a second time... [[ComicallyMissingThePoint It's definitely unnatural to meet aliens that often.]]
-->'''Kengo:''' Even at the very first time, the teacher pretended he didn't hear you.

[[folder: Web Original ]]
* In the Creator/RoosterTeeth Short 'Catch', Matt tries to reverse the order they throw the ball in, because he's sick of baseballs being thrown at his head by Nathan. Joel insists they can't switch because the rotation of the earth doesn't allow for it.
* Also in a Creator/RoosterTeeth creation, ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', the character Caboose says, "I am allergic to things I do not want to do." The way he says it with complete seriousness might even suggest he believes it himself (his intelligence is certainly faulty enough for it to seem plausible to him).
* [[WebVideo/TreeFog It's my cousin. He can talk now. It's actually miraculous.]]
* In WebVideo/{{Phelous}}'s review of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Sub-Zero explains that he left the movie early because he had ice on the stove. [[SubvertedTrope Cut to him cooking ice on a stove]].
* The premise of a Creator/FoilArmsAndHog sketch, ''How to be Late for Work''.

[[folder: Web Animation ]]
* ''WebAnimation/TheLeetWorld'''s Chet as he tries to avoid "black hole where fun goes to die" Asher:
-->'''Asher:''' Hello, Chet and Player. Your presence is required in the living room for an educational lecture on the proper use and maintenance of your firearms.
-->'''Chet:''' Uuhh, as awesome as that sounds, I have, like, this condition where blood shoots out of my eyes if I learn too much or something, so... I gotta blaze!
* ''WebAnimation/DSBTInsaniT'': When Koden, Amber, and Frog ask Tide why he isn't going to help save them from the White Killer Eels in the aquarium exhibit, Tide says he doesn't want the Eels to not like their handler. While its a valid excuse, its presented in-universe as a cowardly cop-out.
** Martha refuses to help Bill and Andy fight [[Franchise/{{Digimon}} Tyrannomon]] because her ice powers will do no good against it since it can breathe fire. Again, while a valid excuse, its presented as a cowardly cop-out. She eventually just openly admits its because she's scared.

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** Bart once tries "[[CriticalResearchFailure Oh, my ovaries]]!"
** When Ned Flanders asks Homer to baby-sit for Rod and Tod because Ned has to sort out the liberation of Maude, who has been taken hostage in Holy Land, Homer answers: "Uh, gee, I'd really love to want to help you, Flanders, but...Uh, Marge was taken prisoner in the...Holy Land..."
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'' had Grandpa do this by saying he has a "bad bug". As a result the babies [[LaserGuidedKarma tried to help him get better]] by giving him "good bugs" to eat.
* ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDoo'':
** Scooby Doo often pretended to be injured, hoping to get out of helping to solve the mystery at hand. Referenced in the ThemeSong:
--->"Come on, Scooby Doo/I see you/Pretending you've got a sliver/You're not fooling me/'Cause I can see/The way you shake and shiver"
** Shaggy in one episode refused to enter a room of a haunted house, invoking the Fifth Amendment: "I refuse to enter on the grounds that it might ''intimidate'' me!"
* The ''WesternAnimation/HorribleHistories'' animated program featured a smart-mouth jerk attempting to get out of Grecian-style wrestling by claiming to have sprained his ''oesophagus''.
* On ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', Peter Griffin constantly takes this UpToEleven:
-->"I will not be coming to work today, I was in a terrible plane crash. My entire family was killed and I am a vegetable. I'll see you tomorrow."
** And later in the same episode after his boss finds him playing hookey.
--->'''Peter:''' That plane crash I told you about, it turned out to be gas.
* WesternAnimation/{{Doug}} tried to pull one of these at Beebe's pool party because he was embarrassed about how he looked in a swimsuit, only to find out everyone else was doing the exact same thing. The lamest excuse being "It's way too hot for a swim." And Beebe, [[SpoiledSweet a true hostess]], wasn't going to go in the pool until everyone else did. Finally, it was up to Doug to snap everyone out of it.
* In The ''WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine'' episode ''[[Recap/ThomasTheTankEngineS1E3TheSadStoryOfHenry The Sad Story of Henry]] Sir Topham Hatt doesn't bother helping the passengers push or pull Henry out of the tunnel.
-->'''Sir Topham Hatt''': My doctor has forbidden me to push/pull.