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->''"I'm busy right now, working on this... excuse."''
-->-- '''Rosa Diaz''', ''Series/BrooklynNineNine''

A paper-thin excuse to leave is made by a character and accepted by the other characters.

Usually the mundane "Well, I'm off to work," "I think I'll call it a night," "Gotta use the head", "GoingToTheStore" type of comment, rarely related to the plot. The British or TheRoaringTwenties equivalent would be "I have to see a man about a horse (or dog)."[[note]]This was also an UnusualEuphemism for needing to use the toilet.[[/note]] If the character is TheDitz, a BadLiar, or simply ''desperate'' to get away, they may come up with a less plausible excuse, like "I think I hear my mother calling me" or "I need to take my goldfish to the vet." Particularly desperate and / or dimwitted characters might even [[BuffySpeak come up with something absolutely nonsensical]], or might just abandon the whole 'reason' part of the reason ("I have to go over there, for... some reason." or "I have to go be somewhere else"). Alternatively, a clever DeadpanSnarker may offer a blatantly nonsensical excuse as a form of deliberate snub. When a character wants the remaining characters to [[LampshadeHanging know what they are up to]], they'll often go with a blatantly transparent "I have a thing with a guy" excuse.

Sometimes said character needs to convince additional characters to follow them out, suggesting they TalkAboutThatThing. If it's a group of women in a restaurant, they'll all go to the restroom at the same time (often {{lampshade|Hanging}}d by the men who ponder ''why'' women all go to the bathroom together.)

GoLookAtTheDistraction is the inverse of this, where the character says something intended to make the hearer leave the room. When a character is forced to leave the room due to an event or plot point, it's DeusExScuseMe. Can be used to LeaveTheTwoLovebirdsAlone. Compare NotEvenBotheringWithAnExcuse, which subversions of this trope often lead into. Also compare IHaveToWashMyHair, which tries and fails to be plausible. SteppingOutForAQuickCupOfCoffee applies if the character's ''real'' reason for leaving is to let the others do something he's not supposed to participate in or know about. Has nothing to do with MicrowaveTheDog.

Very often a LameExcuse. Not to be confused with MyHovercraftIsFullOfEels, or with KickTheDog. Contrast with SuspiciouslySpecificDenial. A string of these becomes a HurricaneOfExcuses.


* There was a series of radio ads ca. 1970 for spray shampoo done as phone calls where a girl is trying to brush off a geeky suitor (voiced by geeky actor Arnold Stang) claiming she needs to wash her hair. He counters by telling her all about the product, to no avail for him.

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' plays with/subverts this; when everyone but Orihime want to leave class to stop hollows/arrancar/whatever the enemy of the arc is, they give excuses that could work if it was the first time (the teacher doesn't seem to mind, though). Orihime tells everyone the truth (not in a SarcasticConfession way) about exactly what she's going to do, but since she imagined herself as a robot before she got spiritual powers, [[LethalChef enjoys making horrific amalgamations of foodstuff]], and is just a general {{Cloudcuckoolander}}, no-one believes her and thinks it's her imagination going crazy once more.
* In ''Manga/{{FAKE}},'' one kid tells Bikky "I gotta go home and feed my mongoose." Another says he has to help his sister with her homework. Given the kid's intelligence, Bikky finds the two equally implausible.
* Once [[LesYay Teana arrives to visit the hospitalized Subaru]] in ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers'', [[LeaveTheTwoLovebirdsAlone Erio and Caro quickly depart from Subaru's hospital room]], loudly telling her that they'll go buy her some hot soup from the cafeteria.
* ''VideoGame/{{Medabots}}'': When Ikki, Erika and Metabee pretended to be students of Rosewood Academy to sneak in there and the doorman asked why they weren't wearing their uniforms, they said they spilled caviar on it and their butler would bring them later. (It was a school for rich kids) The Screws tried the same excuse but their leader ruined it by stating they spilled caviar on their butler.
* The girls of ''Anime/DemashitaPowerpuffGirlsZ'' had to come up with excuses when they were summoned. The first excuse was pretty understandable, but they would then degrade to these by the third one.
* Ahiru of ''Anime/PrincessTutu'' tries to do one of these, but...
-->'''Ahiru:''' Yeah, that, that! Well, see you later...
* In ''Manga/SchoolRumble'', there is an episode where Eri, Mikoto, Akira, and Takeichi Fuyuki plot to have Tenma and Karasuma go out to eat curry. They suggest that all six of them go, but as they are on their way, they all make excuses to duck out, [[LeaveTheTwoLovebirdsAlone leaving Tenma and Karasuma alone.]]
* An episode of ''Anime/HeartcatchPrettyCure'' had Tsubomi and Erika stuck with some of their friends during a monster attack. As their friends were wondering where the Cures were, Erika attempts the weak excuse "We're gonna go now..." before they're stopped and told to stick together. It gets to the point where Tsubomi's ready to put her foot down before Yuri shows up to fix things. As for Itsuki, she was busy trying to warn everyone away.
* Attempted by the [[SpiderTank Tachikomas]] in an episode of ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex''. After discovering that they're going to be facing up against anti-tank helicopters that they'll be virtually helpless against, they try to avoid it by complaining that (despite being robots) they need to go back to base because they have stomachaches. Batou doesn't buy it for a second.
* In ''LightNovel/HaiyoreNyarkoSan'', when Yithka asked why she didn't simply ''ask'' for Nyarko's help rather than going with a FreakyFridayFlip plan as her first resort, her response is "Well, now that I've finished [[InfoDump giving out my exposition]], it's time for me to go!" and runs out of the house at top speed.
* Inverted in ''Anime/DragonBallZResurrectionF''. Beerus and Whis have no interest in Goku and Freeza's fight. They only came to the site of the battle to eat the sundae Bulma offered them, of course.
* In ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'', WrenchWench Winry goes gaga over Ed's State Alchemist watch and begs Ed to let her borrow it. Ed refuses since he knows she's just going to take it apart to see how it works, and he doesn't want anything to happen to his badge of office. So Winry tries to turn on the charms with Major Alex Armstrong. He resists enough to use the trope ("''I think I'll go chop about a year's worth of firewood...''") so he can leave the room.

* Creator/EddieIzzard
** "I... am just going... to go... to the Bahamas... I left my... cat in the... refrigerator there..."
** "I've gotta go now 'cause my grandmother's on fire, and..."
** Even funnier when repeated later in the same show, as part of a whole iteration of his routine in French: "Je dois partir maintenant, parce-que ma grand-mère est flambée..."
** "My cat's exploded."
** "I was dead at the time! I was on the moon! With Steve!"
* Creator/DaneCook went pretty well with this in "Cheating".
-->'''Dane's Wife/Girlfriend:''' How did you get lost?\\
'''Dane:''' Uhh..they changed the roads!
* Creator/GarryShandling, in his HBO special ''Stand Up'':
--> "I was on the airplane, talking to my mother on one of those air phones, and you know that thing where you just want to get off the phone? I said to her, 'Mom, I've got to get off the phone. Someone's at the door.' And I swear to God, she knew I was on the airplane, but she said, 'Oh, all right. I'll let you go, then.'"

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/MarvelAdventures [[ComicBook/TheAvengers Avengers]]'', the Avengers don't really want to talk to a prison warden, although he's actually pretty reasonable and friendly.
-->"Not that we wouldn't enjoy some prison food, but we have to -- we have to go oil ComicBook/IronMan before he rusts!"
* Clark Kent does this a lot when looking for excuses to disappear and change into Franchise/{{Superman}}. Fortunately, his disappearances often lead to him hitting a news story jackpot on whatever weird shit is going down in Metropolis, and just makes him seem like a BunnyEarsLawyer.
* In the ''[[ComicBook/SonicTheHedgehog Sonic]]'' comic book series, in issue 2, Sonic tells Tails to head home. When Tails asks why, Sonic answers with a checklist including "To let Princess Sally know about them", "BecauseISaidSo", and "[[BreakingTheFourthWall To allow the artist more room to draw]]."
* In ''ComicBook/ScottPilgrim'', Scott uses the not-even-trying version of this: "We have to go, uhh... thing the... thingy."

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}''
** In ''Dogbert's Clues for the Clueless'', the advice given to women who wish to turn down requests for dates is to give excuses whose implausibility and specificity should be relative to the guy's normalcy -- that is to say, "nearly normal" guys should be given vague yet plausible lines such as "I have 'plans,'" whereas "loser-type" guys should be dismissed with specific yet implausible excuses such as "I need to wax my cat."
** Dilbert himself was given the infamous excuse of [[IHaveToWashMyHair "I need to wash my hair"]] when he asked a random woman on a date. When she suggests meeting him on some other day, his reply was, "I'll pass. I was hoping for someone with clean hair."
** "I'd love to, but... uh... I'm clinically dead. What you're seeing is merely the last few movements before I stiffen."
* In an early ''ComicStrip/{{Pogo}}'' strip, Simple J. Malarkey in preparation for eating Pogo tries to tie him to a chair on the excuse that it's "earthquake weather," but Pogo hurries off claiming that he "left the children on the stove."
** Well, possum babies are rather small... But why would you let them play on there in the first place?
* Jon Arbuckle of ''ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}'' was always hit with these when he asked certain women onto dates. At least, [[RelationshipUpgrade until Liz finally accepted him.]]
-->'''Jon''': She has to stay home and floss her otter.
-->'''Garfield''': Trusting soul, or blooming idiot? [[BreakingTheFourthWall You make the call.]]
* In ''ComicStrip/AdamAtHome'', Laura escapes a MotorMouth by [[http://www.gocomics.com/adamathome/2012/01/22 saying her llama is double-parked.]]
* Discussed in one strip of ''Redeye''. Loco complains to a frog about how others use ridiculous excuses to avoid talking with him. The trope is played straight by the frog, who says that he "has an appointment with his hairdresser".
* In the "[[EveryoneMeetsEveryone how they met]]" introduction to ''ComicStrip/WhatsNewWithPhilAndDixie'':
-->'''Dixie:''' Oh my -- just look at the time! Gotta go -- I've got kids on the stove!
* Kroton in the ''Magazine/DoctorWhoMagazine'' comic strip once escaped an uncomfortable situation by claiming he wanted to go get some fresh air. Being a Cyberman (although a friendly and easygoing one), he left muttering to himself, "Brilliant excuse, Kroton... since when did you start breathing?"
* In 1933 [[ComicBook/MickeyMouseComicUniverse Mickey Mouse]] story, after [[WesternAnimation/{{Goofy}} Dippy Dawg]] "borrows" some furniture for their detective office, Mickey gets a call from Second-Hand Dan about his items being robbed. As soon as he knows than Dan is on his way over, Dippy announces that it's his lunchtime and leaves.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''Fanfic/KyonBigDamnHero'', after Yuki teleports Kyon into her apartment with the intention of [[spoiler:letting Haruhi having a make-out session with him and record her doing that]]:
-->'''Kanae:''' We have to take care of that ... thing in the kitchen, right Asahina-san?
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' fanfics:
** In ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4110160/1/Things_Shinigami_are_not_allowed_to_do Things Shinigami are not allowed to do,]]'' one of the "rules" is 'The following are awful and pathetic excuses for leaving a Captains' Meeting: "I have to floss my otter. I have to wash my hair. My {{sugar daddy}} called me. My grandmother died. I'm having relationship troubles with my hamster. My dog is having kittens. My fish is drowning."
** In ''Fanfic/AProtectorsPride'', the main characters run out of class because of hollow attacks going on outside. They yell various excuses as they leave.
--->'''Teacher:''' Where do you think you're going?\\
'''Ichigo:''' Family business.\\
'''Inoue:''' I'll go with him to make sure he's okay!\\
'''Ishida:''' I'll go make sure he doesn't hurt anyone.\\
'''Chad:''' [[LampshadeHanging Do you even want to know?]]\\
'''Teacher:''' ''[resigned]'' No, no I don't. Just go.
* In the creatively titled ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' fanfic ''Drabbles'', the chapter "Sickly" is filled with these as characters try to avoid paperwork.
-->'''[=McGee=]:''' I, uh, need to be... somewhere else. Labby's ab. I mean, Abby's lab. I need to be -- helping Abby. In her lab. She needs my help with... converting the gigabytes into RAM and disguising them in a Boolean operator to slip past the firewall.\\
'''Ziva:''' I, ah... also need to be somewhere else. The director has personally requested that I... go somewhere else. Not here. Do you hear [=McGee=] calling for help? I hear him calling for help. I'll go help him. Somewhere else.\\
'''Tony:''' Eh, boss, I'm not feeling so good. I must becoming down with a serious case of... papertosis.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fanfics:
** Used in ''[[http://www.equestriadaily.com/2011/09/story-once-bitten-twice-shy.html Once Bitten, Twice Shy]]'', which [[{{Shipping}} ships]] {{Socially Awkward Hero}}es Twilight and Fluttershy. After a staggeringly bungled "first date", ''both'' participants came up with absurd excuses:
--->'''Twilight:''' ''[after failure level has reached critical]'' Time flies when you're having fun! Ahahaha...ha...\\
'''Fluttershy:''' It does. Wouldn't you know it? I have to go feed my... bed!\\
'''Twilight:''' I have to go wash my books!\\
'''Fluttershy:''' So many important things!\\
''[both disappear at maximum speed, blushing furiously and wishing the ground would open and swallow them]''
** ''WebAnimation/TurnaboutStorm'':
*** [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Rainbow Dash]] pulls this off in the detention center after [[VisualNovel/AceAttorney Phoenix]] asks her to tell him what she's hiding from him.
---->'''Rainbow Dash:''' Um... well... uh-oh, looks like visiting hours are over! Catch ya' later Nix!\\
'''Phoenix Wright:''' Hey! No they aren't! There are still five minutes left!... She's gone...
*** Spike after Twilight catches him [[RightBehindMe calling her a total nerd]].
---->'''Spike:''' Oh!? You're back Twilight! I-um... uh... I was just on my way to... um... organize those awesome books my intelligent and smart friend reads! Uh... later!
** Freaking out about her first date, Twilight Sparkle in ''Fanfic/TheFirstOfMany'' tries to weasel her way out of it by excuses such as "having died by Alicornitis."
** Early on in Shining Armor's side story of the ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'', he's having a conversation with [[PrinceCharmless Prince Blueblood]], who makes the mistake of insulting Twilight right in front of [[BigBrotherInstinct him]]. [[OhCrap Realizing]] his mistake, Blueblood quickly [[VerbalBackpedaling takes back what he said]] before stating that he "left the toaster on in [his] haste to leave the shower" and runs off.
** The Blog/ReadingRainbowverse is a collection of blogs about ponies reading webcomics. The askers frequently give them awkward questions... to which they respond by saying "Let's read the comic, hahahaha!" It's practically a RunningGag.
** In chapter 6 of ''Fanfic/TheGreatAlicornHunt'', Rarity encounters Prince Blueblood. She reminds him that Applejack is nearby.
--> ''"Oh my is that Duke Wellington?"'' Blueblood exclaimed in a terrified falsetto. ''"Oh do excuse me everyone I fear I have some important business involving boots to discuss if you will please excuse me..."'' He didn't so much hurry away as frantically scuttle, his hooves skidding on the tile floor in his haste to be quit of this particular fresh slice of hell.
* ''WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged'':
** Vegeta in gives us an example of not even having an excuse, as he's that desperate to get away from Freeza and off of Namek.
--->'''Vegeta:''' Yeah, that's just great. If you'll excuse me though, I've gotta... Bye.
** When Frieza nearly calls Zarbon gay after learning he has a girlfriend, he takes the first opportunity to distract Zarbon so he won't need to explain.
--->'''Frieza:''' ''[kills a random minion]'' Oh no, that minion died. Could you go fix that? We'll continue this conversation never.
* In the ''Hetalia'' fanfic ''Arthur Kirkland's Diary'', England attempts to escape from America by way of: "I forgot to water my oven this morning."
* From ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'':
-->'''Rupert:''' You know, on second thought... [[HesitationEqualsDishonesty we, um, left the, er, iron on.]] We've gotta go!
* In ''Star Wars'' fanfic ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2372876/3/It-s-Ok-Master-the-Force-hates-me-too It's OK Master, the Force Hates Me Too,]]'' Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi responds to Master Yoda's requests for guests to come over for his "famous stew" is "I'd love to, but I have to… go… study… something. Bye!" Which His Master, Qui-Gon follows up by saying ""I have to help him. Being his Master and all that. Bye!"
* ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5001646/27/Nothing-but-Trouble Nothing but Trouble]]'' has a genin state this verbatim when she leaves to spy on Naruto, Anko, and Kurenai after hearing they're going to have a threesome.
* In the ''Manga/{{Saki}}'' doujinshi ''[[http://www.mangapark.com/manga/saki-kazekoshi-buchou-monogatari-doujinshi/v1/c0/all Saki: Buchou Monogatari,]]'' which takes place in an AU in which Hisa went to Kazekoshi, Hisa, being invited to go out to karaoke with some of her classmates, also invites Mihoko, who refuses because it's against school rules. After Mihoko gives her answers two of Hisa's classmates tell her that they knew Mihoko would refuse, and that it was better not to have invited her at all, because she is "super serious" and "annoying." Hisa then promptly says that she wants to go home and complete her jigsaw puzzle. She ends up catching up to Mihoko and walking her home, comforting her.
* In ''WebVideo/ImAMarvelAndImADC'', as ComicBook/{{Cyclops}} and [[ComicBook/{{Watchmen}} Nite Owl]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMhn10cG_BU see the next event]] ([[Comicbook/FantasticFour The Thing]] vs. Franchise/{{Superman}}... [[WesternAnimation/MonstersVsAliens Monster vs. Alien]]), Cyclops leaves with a bizarre excuse (that's also an in-joke): "Excuse me, I think I heard [[ComicBook/JeanGrey my girlfriend]] [[NeverLiveItDown/ComicBooks dying]]."
* ''WebVideo/WeddingPeachAbridged'': "Hmmm... got to think of a lie."
* In ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]: TheAbridgedSeries'', Shad, after finding the cannon, says that he loves the book so much.
-->'''Shad:''' Excuse me, Link. I'm going to go somewhere and... [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial not have sex with this book.]]
* In ''Literature/TheVampireDiaries'' story ''Let It Bleed'', the main character Kady sees John and says that she needs to go buy tickets a to a Music/{{Huey Lewis|AndTheNews}} concert.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8045114/43/A-Marauder-s-Plan A Marauder's Plan]]'' Harry finds Hermione, Neville, Dean and Seamus repacking his trunk and when he asks what's going on the latter two become a bit uncomfortable.
-->'''Dean:''' We should... we have that...\\
'''Seamus:''' Yes, yes. That thing.
* In ''Fanfic/FistOfTheMoon'' after hearing that the training trip will keep them so busy that Ami will likely not even have time to study, Usagi babbles: "Um, I just remembered an important tea ceremony I have to attend."
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8023885/16/Hogwarts-Shuffle Hogwarts Shuffle]]'' Lavender Brown becomes a bit nervous after she implies she has a kink of some sort and Ron playfully suggests that she share it with him.
-->'''Lavender:''' I um... need to be going... somewhere. Bye Harry!
* Subverted in ''Fanfic/QuitePeculiar''. Deryn's housekeeper leaves her alone with Alek on the pretense of having a roast in the oven. Deryn is surprised later to see that she really did.
* Occurs in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11309151/31/50-Weird-Things-Kirby-Has-Done 50 Weird Things Kirby Has Done]]'' with [[FanNickname Bandana Dee]] having two consecutive days off from work as a {{mook|s}} and trying to avoid spending them at a sleepover with [[CloudCuckoolander Kirby]].
-->'''Bandana Dee:''' I--uh--have an appointment. With--the... grass!\\
'''Kirby:''' Grass? Like, grass grass? Plant grass? Green grass? Growing grass?\\
'''Bandana Dee:''' Yeah. Um. Well. Fertilizing, you see. With... cow shit?\\
'''Kirby:''' Oh. Yeah. Yeah! But... you're having a day off? So there wouldn't be any work?\\
'''Bandana Dee:''' Voluntary... work? They—like—um. We're short on botanists. Kind of.\\
'''Kirby:''' So you're a stand-in botanist! Okay. Got it!
* In the ''VideoGame/Persona4'' fanfic [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10776108/2/Do-Bonds-Truly-Last-Forever Do Bonds Truly Last Forever?]], the reunion between Yu and his old friends initially goes well, until Yosuke loses his temper and [[WhatTheHellHero calls Yu out for not visiting in 10 years]] and storms out. Immediately afterward, Yukiko, Chie, Kanji, Teddie and Naoto all make up various excuses to leave.
* In ''Fanfic/Article2'' Celestia excuses herself saying she left her sewing machine on fire.
* In ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/8870533 I'll Be Home For Christmas]]'' Hermione forces Ron into the room so they and Harry can have a discussion about Ron's objections to Harry's homosexuality and all the other Weasleys clear out in a hurry.
-->'''Ginny:''' You know, I just remembered, I have that...that...''thing'' that I need to take care of. C'mon George, you can help me.
* In ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/4744052/chapters/11118836 Dream a Dream]]'' Seamus and Dean need a reason to escape from a clingy Ginny.
-->'''Seamus:''' We're being initiated into a cult. Very prestigious. Invite only. You understand, right?
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11996609/6/Wear-Me-Like-A-Locket-Around-Your-Throat Wear Me Like a Locket Around Your Throat]]'' Harry narrowly avoids being caught snooping in Dumbledore's office.
-->'''Harry:''' I'm sorry, sir, but I've got to, er, go to the library. Now. I said I'd meet someone. About something.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* The Abominable Snowman, ''WesternAnimation/MonstersInc'' "Oh, look, we're out of snowcones..."
* In ''Disney/{{Bolt}}'', Rhino the hamster gives excuses on leaving whenever Mittens and Bolt have serious discussions. The first time actually works as a pretty good gag when he ''does'' [[CrowningMomentOfFunny come back with a ladder!]]
* In ''Disney/TheManyAdventuresOfWinnieThePooh'', when Piglet hears that the next story will be about bouncing, he hastily excuses himself with the following:
-->'''Piglet:''' I think that I just remembered something that I forgot to do yesterday and shan't be able to do tomorrow so I suppose I better go back and do it now!
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheLEGOMovie'', Superman avoids [[ButtMonkey Green Lantern]] by claiming that he "has to visit Krypton" before flying off, leaving Green Lantern to point out that [[DoomedHometown Krypton was destroyed]].
* Subverted in ''WesternAnimation/Shrek2'', when Shrek and King Harold are about to go at it with each other at dinner.
-->'''Donkey:''' I gotta go to the bathroom.\\
'''Chef:''' Dinner is served!\\
'''Donkey:''' Never mind. I can hold it.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/AllThePresidentsMen'', when Bob Woodward asks Ken Dahlberg about how his check wound up in the account of a Watergate burglar, Dahlberg exclaims that he can't talk now, his neighbor's wife has been kidnapped. [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Piper_kidnapping She was]].
* In the 2009 film version of ''Film/ThePictureOfDorianGray'' Basil comes out with one in order to get out of what is developing into a MAJOR lover's tiff. "Perhaps I should take my leave?"
* In ''Film/AmericanPsycho'', Patrick Bateman declares at several serious moments that he has to "return some videotapes."
* In ''Film/DodgeballATrueUnderdogStory'', Owen sees his crush heading towards the bar just as the rest of the team is turning in for the night. He excuses himself by saying, "I gotta have a bathroom ... I mean ... go to the-- drink. ...in the bathroom." Dwight gives him a look and replies, "Whatever you do, wash your hands."
* In the film ''Film/TheWeddingPlanner,'' self-appointed matchmaker Penny must contrive a reason to abandon the leads at a movie. "I just remembered that I promised my friend's brother's godmother that I would help her change her fax cartridge because she's going out of town tomorrow... on an African safari!"
* Ian Hawke does this in a cruelly apathetic fashion in ''Film/AlvinAndTheChipmunks'', flat out stating he is going to pretend he has a lunch to go to.
* In ''Film/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince'' (and also in [[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince the book]]), Dumbledore uses this method to leave Harry alone with Professor Slughorn so as to persuade him to return to Hogwarts--specifically, by asking to use the loo. The fact he returns afterwards with a magazine he wants to keep "for the knitting patterns" just highlights [[EccentricMentor his eccentricity and hilarious kookiness]]. It was still a nice bit of [[ObfuscatingStupidity obfuscation]].
* ''Film/DirtyWork'': "I have to go... lift weights. ''[[LampshadeHanging What]]?!''"
* In ''Film/BetterOffDead'', Lane uses one of these to get away from a tenacious paperboy. "See, the problem here is, is that my little brother, this morning, got his arm caught in the microwave, and, and uh, my grandmother dropped acid, and she freaked out and hijacked a school bus full of penguins, so it's kind of a family crisis, so, come back later? Great."
* ''Film/NationalLampoonsChristmasVacation''
** This is played more or less straight by Rusty, who isn't making up excuses to allow his parents to talk, he just wants the hell outta the situation. "I gotta get to bed. I still gotta brush my teeth, feed the hog, still got some homework to do, still got those bills to pay, wash the car..."
** After Clark drops off his Christmas gift to his boss, Mr. Shirley, said boss ends the awkward conversation with:
-->'''Mr. Shirley''': If you'll excuse me, I'm in the middle of an important call. ''[{{beat}}, then picks up the phone]'' Get me somebody. Anybody. And get me somebody while I'm waiting.
* In ''Film/ScottPilgrimVsTheWorld'', we see a ''Series/WheelOfFortune'' -esque wheel of various flimsy excuses in Scott's head when someone asks him who his former girlfriend Knives is in front of his new girlfriend Ramona, and the needle [[HeadsTailsEdge lands on the line between]] "I gotta pee" and "Who, her?" and he ends up saying "I gotta pee on her! I mean, I gotta pee. Pee time." The other options on the wheel that are visible (though [[FreezeFrameBonus you have to pause to see some of them]]) are "She's nobody", "She's forty!", "No speaka English", "[[CallBack Tell Pac-Man story]]", "Pass out", "Idiot!", "When's dinner?", "Uh..." "It was nothing" and "No, you are."
* ''Film/ShesTheMan'': When caught in an awkward moment with Olivia and "Sebastian" (i.e. Viola), Duke says, while DistractedByTheSexy, "I gotta go change my ... feet."
* In ''Film/TheHouseOfYes'', Jackie finds out her [[{{Twincest}} twin brother has a fiancée]], prompting her to laugh hysterically and claim she has to go brush her hair.
* Michele from ''Film/RomyAndMichelesHighSchoolReunion'' does this a couple of times. On one occasion she asks to be excused because "I cut my foot earlier and my shoe is filling up with blood"; the second time the situation is so awkward that she simply declares "I have to go... away."
* ''Film/AnnieHall'':
** Creator/WoodyAllen gives a barely-disguised one to a spooky Creator/ChristopherWalken:
--->'''Duane:''' Can I confess something? I tell you this as an artist, I think you'll understand. Sometimes when I'm driving... on the road at night... I see two headlights coming toward me. Fast. I have this sudden impulse to turn the wheel quickly, head-on into the oncoming car. I can anticipate the explosion. The sound of shattering glass. The... flames rising out of the flowing gasoline.\\
'''Alvy Singer:''' Right. Well, I have to - I have to go now, Duane, because I, I'm due back on the planet Earth.
** There's another scene where Alvy, leery of Annie's becoming a regarded singer and expanding her social circle, begs off going to a party a fellow musician (Paul Simon) invites them to, claiming a previous engagement, and the next scene has them at the cinema showing ''Film/TheSorrowAndThePity''. Again.
* In ''Film/ShallowHal'', Mauricio sees Hal dancing with three unattractive women in a dance bar and decides to "rescue" him:
-->'''Mauricio:''' Hey, Hal, it's ten o'clock. We have to go do that thing. You know, at the place.
* ''Film/MontyPythonsTheMeaningOfLife'' features one of the universe's most unfortunate examples, shortly after Mr. Creosote does his thing.
-->'''Wife of Guest:''' We have to go -- um -- I'm having a rather heavy period.\\
''[awkward pause]''\\
'''Guest:''' And... we... have a train to catch.\\
'''Wife:''' Yes... of course. We have a train to catch. And I don't want to start bleeding over the seats.
* In ''Film/GroundhogDay'', Phil can't even be bothered to make something up.
-->'''Ned:''' So, what are you doing for dinner?\\
'''Phil:''' Ummm... something else.
* In ''Film/FourWeddingsAndAFuneral'', Tom is hitting on a woman at one of the weddings:
-->'''Tom:''' Apparently, an enormous number of people actually bump into their future spouses at weddings, which is interesting.\\
'''Woman:''' Yes, I met my husband at a wedding.\\
'''Tom:''' (''downs his entire drink at one gulp'') Good Lord, I seem to have finished my drink. If you'll excuse me.
* In ''Film/ClassAct'', the excuse that [[CloudCuckoolander Popsicle]] gives his Uncle Theapolis for being out all night is that he's in the hospital with a broken leg. As he's about to leave and get off the phone, he then tells him that he has to go walk his dog.
* In ''Film/BugsyMalone'', when Fat Sam tells Talullah "Go make yourself beautiful" (in other words, make herself scarce while he talks shop with Bugsy), Talullah huffs, "Fine, I'll go manicure my gloves."
* In ''Film/TheParentTrap'' remake, after TheReveal, tears begin to well up in Chessy's eyes. She asks Annie if she wants some food, and without waiting for an answer walks into the kitchen. Annie is wise enough not to follow.
-->'''Chessy:''' I'm just gonna make you everything we have, [=OK=]?
* Ty Webb in ''Film/{{Caddyshack}} 2'' does this after introducing Jackie to Chandler Young.
-->'''Ty''': Well, I'd like to stay and chat ''(glances at bare wrist)'' but I have a thing.

* In ''Literature/AmericanPsycho'', Patrick Bateman tells people that "I have to return some videotapes" several times; when being questioned by a PI about where he was at a particular time, he invents that he was "probably returning videotapes". At other points, he tells people variously that he's buying cocaine, leaving to Pago Pago, or has an important meeting with [[Series/TheCosbyShow Cliff Huxtable]].
* In the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' book, ''Discworld/AHatFullOfSky'', when Roland came to wish Tiffany well on her apprenticeship, Miss Tick [[LeaveTheTwoLovebirdsAlone immediately declared in a sticky-sweet voice]] that she saw "a very fine and interesting example of a... a... a big stone over there," so she'll just go and have a look at it. Tiffany felt like pinching her for that. Then when she turns out to have been eavesdropping the whole time, she cheerfully explains that the stone wasn't ''that'' interesting.
* In Creator/JaneAusten's ''Literature/MansfieldPark'', Tom Bertram ([[ValuesDissonance rudely]]) sits down next to the heroine, Fanny, making it clear he doesn't want to dance. Cue his mother coming over and asking him to play cards with her and his aunt. Tom, unfortunately, must decline because he was just about to dance with Fanny.
* In ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice'', it's done by Mrs. Bennett to Kitty and Elizabeth after her non-verbal hints to LeaveTheTwoLovebirdsAlone fail (due to Lizzy refusing to take the hint and Kitty being too oblivious to understand it).
* In Creator/ChristopherMoore's ''Literature/TheLustLizardOfMelancholyCove'', [[CloudCuckoolander Molly]], who's trying to get the town constable to go away so she can go [[ItMakesSenseInContext save a man-eating sea monster]], tells him she has broccoli in the dryer. Since she's the town's resident crazy lady, he doesn't find this odd.
* The protagonist of ''Please Remove Your Elbow from My Ear'', desperate to get off the phone with his crush before he makes a fool of himself, makes a fool of himself when the best excuse he can come up with is that his cat's head is on fire (he doesn't own a cat). Played with in that [[DramaticIrony she's crushing on him too]], specifically ''because'' [[GeekyTurnOn he says weird things all the time]].
* In one of the original ''Literature/WinnieThePooh'' stories, Piglet absolutely has to go and do... something... that only he can do... and that has to be done right now!
* ''Literature/HarryPotter''
** Going to the bathroom is pretty much the fail-safe excuse for Harry to go follow somebody/eavesdrop/escape a situation. His friends must be concerned about his bladder problem by now.... Finally lampshaded in the seventh book when Hermione and Ron have disappeared with the excuse of a bathroom, leaving Harry to try to figure out their real destination. [[spoiler:He eventually finds them emerging from the chamber of secrets... in the girl's bathroom.]]
** Also, in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix'', when Molly Weasley and most of her children (Bill, Fred, George, Ron and Ginny), along with Harry and Hermione, visits Arthur in the hospital, and Molly finds out Arthur was using Muggle stitches to treat his wounds, Bill and Harry (separately) each say how much they could use a cup of tea, and the others all follow, as they know this presses Molly's BerserkButton.
* Wallace in ''Literature/NoMoreDeadDogs'' never lies, so when his AbhorrentAdmirer begs him to hang out with her on the weekend, he tells her he has to rake the lawn, and thus plans to do so. Unfortunately, she takes this as an invitation, and invites the entire drama team to rake it with him. Though, that may not have been a bad thing, seeing as the job got finished in record time.
* In a ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' novel, Xander once excuses himself from a conversation like so:
-->'''Xander:''' I have to go wash my... ''[Xander remembers that he didn't own a car]'' ...house.
* In the novelization of ''Literature/RevengeOfTheSith'', after losing his lightsabers in a duel against Obi-Wan, Grievous "seemed to suddenly remember that he had an urgent appointment somewhere else. Anywhere else."
* In the first book of ''Literature/{{MARZENA}}'', near the end, Lauren is on her way to meet Marian, with Helena accompanying her as bodyguard, and then they receive some fishy text message resulting in Lauren making an even fishier excuse to ditch Helena. Justified in that Marian had secretly switched meeting places as to avoid the IJS from spying on them.
* In ''Literature/WolfHall'', Thomas Cromwell tells Ambassador Chapuys that he blew off a meeting with the French ambassador because he was busy playing bowls with his household. It seems like a joke and an assurance that Chapuys has nothing to worry about until a later scene with the French ambassador himself--and he opens with a snarky comment "not playing bowls today?"
* In "And I Darken" Kumal wants Radu to marry his sister Nazira. When the pair are together in a garden, Kumal excuses himself by noting he is going to examine an interesting shrub for a while.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', "Stiletto", when Lois Lane is operating as a superheroine.
-->'''Police Scanner:''' Attention downtown units. Silent alarm at Riverside Jewelry on 5th and Water, handle code 10-38.\\
''[Clark and Lois stands up abruptly to leave]''\\
'''Clark:''' Well, I better... go feed Shelby.\\
'''Lois:''' Uh, I should hit the gym.
** Note that this is late at night and Shelby, Clark's dog, is in Smallville, not Metropolis.
* ''Series/KeenEddie'': Various versions of this were used by Insp. Monty Pippin, as an excuse to escape the room after Eddie sasses their scary, Dracula-esque boss. It never works for him, though.
* Occurs several times in ''Series/{{Friends}}'':
** One particular example, when Ross goes to Monica and Chandler's to get a tie:
--->'''Chandler:''' That thing that I have to do to make a baby. I faked it.\\
'''Monica:''' What!? You faked it?\\
'''Ross:''' You know what? I don't need a tie. I mean, it's better, open collar. You know, it's more casual. (''he leaves'')
** The rest of the gang has to leave during an awkward moment with Monica and her (recently ex) boyfriend.
--->'''Rachel:''' Hey, have you guys seen the new hand-dryers in the bathrooms?\\
'''Ross:''' I thought that was just a rumor!
** Later on, they all return while the two are still talking:
--->'''Ross:''' Y'know, my hands are still a little damp...
** Chandler is confronted with an awkward question:
--->'''Chandler:''' Is that the door? I better answer it. ''[opens door]'' [[LampshadeHanging Oh, hi no one!]] ''[runs through door]''
** And the former {{Trope Namer|s}}. Which is a subversion because... well, that's what he really went for and brought back.
--->'''Ross:''' I need to get the helicopter sounds.
** [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by Chandler after he and Joey went to the bathroom together during a fight between Ross and Monica:
--->'''Joey:''' I hope Ross doesn't think we went in there because we were uncomfortable being out here.\\
'''Chandler:''' I really hope [[HoYay he does]].
** When Chandler has [[DiggingYourselfDeeper dug himself into a hole during a conversation with Monica]]:
--->'''Chandler:''' Dear god, this parachute is a knapsack! (''claws at his shoulders while rolling off the couch'')
** In the pilot, Joey asks Phoebe if she would help with assembling furniture at Ross' new apartment, and Phoebe averts the trope:
--->'''Phoebe:''' Oh, I wish I could, but I don't want to.
** There's also the episode in which Rachel prepares a trifle for dessert, only she ends up mixing the recipe and the result is [[ItTastesLikeFeet terrible]]. Everyone's excuses to get rid of their plates end up being a form of this:
--->'''Chandler:''' This is so good, that I'm gonna go enjoy it on the balcony... so that I can enjoy the view whilst I enjoy my dessert.\\
'''Judy:''' I gotta call my friend Mary, and tell her how good this is, from Monica's room.\\
'''Jack:''' I'll help you dial!\\
'''Monica:''' And I'm gonna go into the bathroom, so I can look at it in the mirror as I eat it.
* Desperate to escape the affections of a pair of swingers, the eponymous character of ''Series/ImAlanPartridge'' tries to leave with the excuse that "I've just remembered that my dad is... ...still dead."
* Sally says this sarcastically to Buddy in an episode of ''Series/TheDickVanDykeShow'':
-->'''Sally:''' And I have to go, uh, wash my cat.\\
'''Buddy:''' You just washed your cat last week.\\
'''Sally:''' So I'll iron him!
* ''Series/That70sShow'':
** In the episode "Pinciotti vs. Forman" has Eric set Bob on Donna so everyone will want to stay with him. When he catches up to everyone at the end, Hyde (a guy who hates the government) says he has to register for the draft, Jackie says "Me too!", Eric says he has to count his G.I. Joes, and Donna will be in the oven.
** Another one was during an awkward moment with the Forman family, when Donna, cups her ear, and yells "What's that, Dad? I'll be right there!" and runs out of the kitchen as fast as she can.
** Then there's the time Kitty realizes she and Red are at a swinger party, and is just at such a loss she flubs the line.
--->'''Kitty:''' I left the stove on the ironing... I left the iron on, on the stove, which is also on, and that just cannot be safe.
** In another episode, Bob and Midge bring separate dates to Red's birthday dinner (they were separated at the time). Over the course of the dinner, they actually start flirting with one another, culminating in them kissing, then this:
--->'''Bob:''' I, uh, left my wallet in the car. Midge?\\
'''Midge:''' Oh, I left my... [[DumbBlonde sex with Bob in the car]].
* ''Series/{{House}}'':
** House claims to be an ardent fan of [[DaytimeDramaQueen daytime soaps]] partly to use it as an excuse to stop dealing with people.
** Like the above, not quite a straight example, but another episode featured this exchange:
--->'''Foreman:''' Where are you going?\\
'''House:''' To get a $400 buttplug.\\
(''later in the conversation'')\\
'''Cameron:''' Where are you going?\\
'''House:''' The buttplug was my way of saying "None of your business." Apparently too subtle.
* This is a running gag on ''[[Series/LoisAndClark Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman]]'', as Clark used weak or outlandish excuses to justify leaving the room so he could change into his costume. Lois eventually caught on, but not before being called the stupidest woman in the universe.
* Richard Hammond resorted to this on ''Series/TopGear'' to not drive the Gumpert Apollo upside-down in a wind tunnel.
-->'''Hammond:''' I can't, I'm painting... my horse.
* ''Series/{{NCIS}}'':
** [=McGee=]: "... And I'm going to do that... after I get... a Nutter Butter..." (''eyeroll, exit'')
** From the same character: "I'm gonna go... get a haircut.":
** And again with: "Oh, look! There's... a... cat outside. I'm going to go help it."
** Another episode has Tony and Ziva trying to get out of helping [[ItMakesSenseInContext Palmer put ointment on his back]], while running away.
--->'''Tony:''' I have an important game to get to.\\
'''Ziva:''' [[BrutalHonesty I have to get the hell out of here.]]
** Another has newcomer Bishop chewing Gibbs out for [[ItMakesSenseInContext not chewing her out over an error she made.]] Tony claims, "I... have to... do something." Tim claims, "I... have to... help him with it."
* ''Series/{{ANT Farm}}'': Olive (who is wearing a black outfit) and Fletcher (who is dressed as a cat) both do this when they, along with Chyna, are caught by Chyna's dad.
-->'''Fletcher:''' I think I see a mouse.
-->'''Olive:''' Oh look! My cat got out!
* ''Series/StargateSG1'':
** In one episode, various characters had excuses such as kel'no'reem (Teal'c) important translation (Daniel) writing a report (Sam) and... something important (Jack).
** In season 4, episode 22 "Exodus" Col Jack O'Neill responds avoids listening to a lecture with the excuse that he needs to help Daniel Jackson wait for Teal'c.
** In the episode 200, Martin employs this to get away from Teal'c, lifting an entirely silent cell phone and beginning a conversation.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'':
** In the episode "Menage a Troi", Lwaxana Troi wants to spend time with Picard. Picard, preferring to be light years away, explains that he needs to show the [=VIP=] with him the door mechanism on the aft turbolift.
** A slight aversion in "Starship Mine". Picard was unhappy having to attend the reception of a socially annoying Commander and was looking for any reason to leave. When told that there were horses and riding trails, Picard immediately picked up on that and said he was going back to the Enterprise to get his saddle. Only the Commander believed it. The other Enterprise crew didn't, but he had actually gone to get his saddle.
* [[TheComicallySerious Worf]] pulls a preemptive one in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' when he learns that Keiko O'Brien is pregnant. Having played the DeliveryGuy during her MaternityCrisis, Bashir suggests that in seven months, he can help out with baby #2.
--> "Seven months? Unfortunately, I will be away from the station at that time. Far away. Visiting my parents. On Earth."
* ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'':
** Lords Topper and Smedley, explaining why they can't go to [[UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution Revolutionary France]] with Blackadder:
--->'''Topper:''' I've just remembered... my father's just died! I've got to be at the funeral in ten minutes! Dem sorry! Goodbye, Your Highness.\\
'''Smedley:''' Oh, dem! I'm the best man!
** Played with in the Comic Relief special "The Cavalier Years" where it's not an excuse to leave, but rather an explanation Baldrick makes up to Charles I explaining why Blackadder can't comfort him before his execution.
--->'''King Charles:''' (''speaking to his executioner, who's actually Blackadder himself'') I was so hoping my good friend Edmund Blackadder could be with me, but you see, his wife's sister's puppy fell into a strawberry patch, so naturally he couldn't be here.
* UK Comedy ''Series/TheFastShow'' created an entire recurring sketch around a variant of this. A particularly dim character would be involved in a conversation or situation that was above his head. He'd inevitably spoil the illusion that he was one of them by saying something stupid. And then immediately announce [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3OM2MA1pic "I'll get me coat."]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** A variation figures in the episode "Dopplegangland", where Willow still feels weirded out by her encounter with her vampire counterpart when Buffy asks if she'd like to meet her at the Bronze:
--->'''Willow:''' Strangely, I feel like staying at home... and doing my homework... and flossing... and dying a virgin.
** "Something Blue": Under a spell, Buffy tells Riley that she is marrying Spike. Flustered, Riley responds "It's late. And I'm very tired. So I'm just going to go far away and be... away."
** "Tabula Rasa". Willow and Tara are having an argument; Xander and Anya make themselves scarce.
--->'''Xander:''' I'm gonna go get that... phone you probably don't hear. High-pitched ring, ears like a dog.\\
'''Anya:''' I'm gonna help you with that.
** "Ted" - Buffy tries to duck out of miniature golf with her mom's new suitor. Willow backs her up but Xander will have none of it.
-->'''Buffy''': ...but, we have to do that ''thing''.
-->'''Willow''': The thing? ...oh, right, the thing!
-->'''Xander''': Hey. We can do that thing any time. I'm ''tired'' of doing that thing. We're in!
* ''Series/TheAmandaShow'' has a lot of these to end Amanda's closing monologue. Including such gems as: "I gotta go water my lobsters!" "I have to go alphabetize my sister!" and "I have to go bodyslam my grandmother."
* In an episode of the Singaporean sitcom ''Series/UnderOneRoof'', a sleazy university professor makes several advances towards Denise, who stammers "I left my iron on in my... car."
* Elaine used this excuse at least once or twice on ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}''.
* ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'':
** While Earl and Randy's Mom is talking to Randy [[TooMuchinformation about bad sex with their dad,]] Randy throws a beer bottle against the wall and goes "Oh, look, we're out of beer. I'll get some more."
** In the episode "Van Hickey", Earl ended up marrying his friend's older mom ''(long story)'' and kept making up excuses every night to escape from doing his "new husbandly duties"
--->'''Earl:''' Sorry, I just ate a big meal and my doctor says I have to wait at least three hours before swimming or... humping so... Don't wait up.\\\
'''Earl:''' There's a bunch of birds unfairly attacking a squirrel on the lawn. I have to get involved... Don't wait up.\\\
'''Earl:''' The string came out of my sweatpants, it's gonna be an all nighter.\\\
'''Earl:''' The Chinese are on the march.\\\
'''Earl:''' I'm on hold with [[OperatorFromIndia Mike from Bombay]]. He's trying to walk me through using the new toaster.\\\
'''Earl:''' Randy got out. Gotta go find him.\\\
'''Earl:''' I gotta drive three counties over to get some rubbers. I'm an odd size.
* In the ''Series/{{Jessie}}'' episode "Krumping Crunching", Emma uses this excuse when she Jessie and Luke are caught by Christina.
-->'''Emma:''' I have to watch something really educational...on the fashion channel.
** However, unlike other examples, Christina is fully aware that Emma is using this trope but simply pretends to buy it.
-->'''Christina:''' [[LampshadeHanging That was an obvious excuse just to leave the room. We all know that the fashion channel has nothing left to teach her.]]
* ''Series/{{Frasier}}'':
** It's a RunningGag that whenever Niles feels awkward enough that he has to leave the room, he'll make up some excuse about a patient he has to see, whose malady is usually tangentially related to the situation at hand.
--->'''Niles:''' Yes, and I'd love to stay but I... have my therapy group meeting, and last time I was late the, er, compulsive gamblers were betting the passive aggressives that they couldn't make the over-eaters... cry.
** Once, Martin excuses himself from Lilith's presence by saying, "Time to go... practice my signature."
* ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'':
** Dick tries to get Nina to do something for him:
--->'''Nina:''' That's the night I'm having my eyes gouged out.\\
'''Dick:''' [[SarcasmBlind Can't you reschedule it?]]
** Played for laughs in another episode, in which Tommy and his girlfriend want to talk alone and everyone makes up an excuse to leave, except for Harry, who stays on the couch:
--->'''Tommy:''' What about you?\\
'''Harry:''' I'm just delaying my exit to make it seem more natural. (''slowly gets up and leaves'')
* Played for drama on ''Series/MadMen'' when [[TheHypotenuse Henry Francis]] comes to see Betty at home in the middle of the day, and her housekeeper Carla sees them. They're just standing there talking to each other, so it should be easy to cover up the romantic undertones, but Betty's a BadLiar and completely botches her attempt. At the end of the scene she claims she left the bathtub running and heads upstairs... leaving the basket of laundry she just brought down.
* On ''Series/{{Wings}}'', Joe and Brian are competing to get Helen a better birthday gift, but neither wants to be overt about his intentions. At one point, Joe decides his current gift is inadequate and wants to leave to go buy a better gift without letting Brian know what he's up to.
-->'''Joe:''' I have to, uh... go get my foot measured.\\
'''Brian:''' Joe, this wouldn't be another of your clever fibs, would it?\\
'''Joe:''' (''long pause'') No.
* In an episode of ''Series/TheMonkees'', the four boys have fallen in love with the same girl and want to get away from the apartment to go see her. Micky suddenly declares that his aunt is ill and leaves. Mike announces he is going to the store to get dog food. When informed that they don't have a dog, he says that he'll pick up a dog too while he's out. Davy announces a desire to become a boxer and leaves immediately to start doing road work. Peter, who has believed every excuse, isn't sure what to do now that he's all alone, and decides without a hint of irony that he'll go visit the girl.
* ''Series/{{Castle}}'':
** In the season 2 opener, Ryan and Esposito excuse themselves from the room to let Castle and Beckett talk in private by saying they have to go do "[[BuffySpeak that thing with the guy]]", repeating the above conversation almost verbatim.
-->'''Ryan:''' Oh, hey, uh... don't we have that thing?\\
'''Esposito:''' ...No?\\
'''Ryan:''' Yeah, you know, that thing with that guy?\\
'''Esposito:''' ''Oh.'' Yeah. The thing with the guy.\\
'''Ryan:''' Excuse us.
** In "Nikki Heat" Beckett finds herself embroiled in a teeth-grindingly awkward conversation (from her point of view) with Natalie Rhodes, the actress portraying the character based on her, about how Rhodes needs to sleep with Castle because of the relationship Castle wrote between Beckett's character and his own AuthorAvatar. It gets to the point where Rhodes has completely deconstructed the [[EveryoneCanSeeIt relationship between Beckett and Castle]] and is begging Beckett to give Castle "permission" to sleep with her that Beckett feels the need to flee:
--->'''Beckett:''' I need to go. Over there. (''points at random and scurries off'')
** In an episode in season 8, Alexis is flirting with the suspect for information. After he gives her some, he asks her out. Her response: "I'd love to, but I'm actually getting fitted for an iron lung in the morning."
* ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'':
** When Tom Servo has something backfire on him with Mike, he tells him, "Look! A huge distracting thing!" and runs off.
** In another episode, when Crow and Servo want to get away from Mike, Crow says "We need to go... feed the cat. Well, get a cat, then... feed it."
** In yet another episode, when nervously excusing themselves from Gypsy, Crow says he has to go clean his room. Servo? "I'm gonna go clean your room too."
** In yet another episode:
--->'''Dr. Forrester:''' Frank, what are you doing?\\
'''TV's Frank:''' Getting a... piece of... water.\\
'''Dr. Forrester:''' "A piece of water"?\\
'''TV's Frank:''' I mean, a glass of cake.
** In the Invention Exchange for the "Wizards of the Lost Kingdom" episode, Jonah invents "Verbal Smoke Bombs", a list of bizarre excuses guaranteed to end any awkward conversation, including "Gotta go, I can't feel my arms!"
* ''Series/StrangersWithCandy'': "I just remembered I left the light on in my... other life."
* ''Series/ABitOfFryAndLaurie'''s vox pops had Creator/StephenFry in drag realizing he'd left the iron on, and in non-drag saying his wife was being towed away.
* ''Series/CovertAffairs'' has Auggie left with Jai after accidentally insulting him. He makes his escape by saying "I'm going to do... anything else."
* In the ''Series/CornerGas'' episode "Oh, Baby," Wanda asks Brent if he wants to babysit her son. Brent ducks the question by saying, "Ding ding! Oh, someone's at the pumps!" and walking out of the gas station.
* ''Series/{{Victorious}}'':
** In an episode, Beck doesn't even bother coming up with an excuse: (wandering toward door) "I...have to go..." (walks out)
** Tori also claims in another episode that "I just got a text, I have to go pee."
** When Robbie asks the others if they think his blog is boring:
--->'''Beck:''' Hey look, it's that guy over there!\\
'''Cat:''' It is that guy...\\
'''Andre:''' Wait up guy!\\
'''[[DeadpanSnarker Jade]]:''' (''getting up'') There's no guy.
* ''Series/{{Community}}'':
** In the episode "Custody Law and Eastern European Diplomacy" Jeff, ever the pragmatist, dismisses himself with "Oh hey, is that a reason to leave?"
** Professor Ian Duncan does a good old edition of "have to get something in my car", and then [[ChuckCunninghamSyndrome NEVER COMES BACK]]. [[TheBusCameBack Until Season 5, that is.]]
** In "Basic Crisis Room Decorum", Jeff excuses himself by saying "Y'know, I think Britta crapped in ''my'' pants too."
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'':
** In an episode:
--->'''Ted:''' Zoey just told me about this great Frank Lloyd Wright retrospective tonight, who's in?\\
'''Lily:''' Sorry, I'm... ah, I dunno, washing my hair.\\
'''Marshall:''' Running the water.\\
'''Robin:''' Holding the towel.\\
'''Barney:''' And I'll be home, trying to get over the fact that no-one invited me to the big hairwashing party.
** When Barney discovers that Robin thinks fighting is sexy, he convinces Ted to fake having had one with some guys. When Robin shows up with tickets to a hockey game and asks if Barney wants to go with her, Marshall reveals that Ted and Barney faked the fight, resulting in Robin rescinding her offer.
--->'''Robin:''' Oh, I ''just remembered'', I can't go tonight, I've got that... uh... that uh... that uh... that uh... that uh... that uh... ''[escapes out the door]''
* ''Series/{{MASH}}'':
** Radar got himself out of a line of questions he didn't really wish to answer with a simple "Oh! I forgot!" and a quick exit.
** Played straight and then subverted in the episode "Margaret's Engagement"; everyone at the staff meeting in the mess tent know Margaret's engaged to someone else except Frank, who assumes he's getting promoted, so as soon as the meeting is over, Hawkeye says, "Why don't we all go into the den and watch TV." Except instead of leaving the mess tent, they merely move over to the other side of the room.
* On ''Series/WhatAboutBrian'', Adam uses this to get out of an embarrassing moment (it just got out that [[spoiler:Adam secretly slept with Brian's sister]]):
-->'''Adam:''' ''[looking at his phone]'' I gotta take this.\\
'''Brian:''' It didn't ring!\\
'''Adam:''' I know. ''[leaves]''
* In ''Series/RedDwarf'', Rimmer manages to come out with: "I'll be in the stern, correlating the, uh... in the stern."
* In ''Series/PieInTheSky'', episode "Passion Fruit Fool", Margaret is trying to give Henry some private time to talk to their friend Alec.
-->'''Margaret:''' I'll just go and feed the chickens.\\
'''Henry:''' You just have.\\
'''Margaret:''' Then I'll sit and I'll tell them a story!
* In one episode of ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', Sam uses this to leave Jo and Dean alone.
-->'''Sam:''' Oh yeah, um, I've gotta... uh, I've gotta go. Over there. Right now.
* In ''Series/BurnNotice'' Madeline needs to get Sam to leave the room so Fiona and Michael can have a moment alone.
-->'''Madeline:''' Would you like a bottle opener, Sam?\\
'''Sam:''' Oh no no, I've got one. Thanks, yeah, never leave home without it.\\
'''Madeline:''' Sam. You need a bottle opener. Why don't I show you where it is?\\
'''Fiona:''' (''sigh'')\\
'''Sam:''' OK. Sure. Alright Madeline, where's the bottle opener?
* Perhaps the purest example of the trope, in ''Series/GreysAnatomy'', Meredith enters the kitchen to talk to her latest suitor while Callie is cooking, leading to this response:
-->'''Callie:''' Excuse me, I have to leave the room for a short period of time for no reason whatsoever.
* In the second season of ''Series/{{Felicity}}'', Felicity is dating David, a guy that her boss, Javier, doesn't trust. When David stops by the coffee shop while Felicity and Javier are talking, Javier makes an arch excuse to walk away.
-->'''Javier:''' Ah. 'Scuse me, I have to, um, dust the scones.
* ''Series/ThirtyRock'':
** When Liz confronts Floyd with the fact that a woman answered the phone when she called him, he pretends to get a text message telling him he has a flight to catch, or he'll miss his meeting with "[[Franchise/{{Ghostbusters}} Peter Venkman]]". When Liz later catches on, she is livid, but not entirely for the reasons you'd expect.
--->'''Liz:''' That's from ''Ghostbusters''! ''[[FelonyMisdemeanor You used Ghostbusters for evil!]]''
** There's also the episode where Toofer discovers that Jack was a member of a secret Princeton society, where one of the rules is that if anyone ever yells out the name of the society, you have to immediately find an excuse to leave the room, and the writers use this fact several times.
--->'''Jack:''' I don't know who the hell told you to say that, Rossitano, but you have no idea what you're--\\
'''Frank:''' Twig and Plums.\\
'''Jack:''' I have to go to an intervention for my travel agent.
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'': "I have [[BuffySpeak captain-ey]] things to do."
* ''Series/{{Pixelface}}'': In "Two Aethelwynnes", Alexia and Clairpearker get away from Kiki from by announcing that they "Have to do some extra training...in that other room... with the thing".
* An early episode of ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' features an ''[[Film/TheExorcist Exorcist]]'' parody where two priests come to the house of a possessed girl. Upon entering and hearing [[HellIsThatNoise unearthly shrieks]] from upstairs, one of the priests (played by Creator/RichardPryor) turns to bolt. The other priest admonishes him, saying "Where is your faith, brother?" and he answers "It's in the car; I'm gonna go get it."
* In an episode of ''Series/TheSlammer'', Melvin poses as Lionel Blair in order to get back into the Slammer. When asked to tap dance, he first claims that he can't because the carpet is too brown, and then claims that he injured his wrist peeling a tangerine.
* In the ''Series/KenanAndKel'' episode "Corporate Kenan", when Kenan gets mistaken for an executive vice president, Kenan tries to get out of doing a speech at a big corporate meeting by having Kel barging in and interrupting him.
-->'''Kenan:''' Just make something up. Like I've got an emergency phone call or something.\\
'''Kel:''' Nobody will ever believe that. See, what I do is, I come in and I'll say, "Your Grandmother got eaten by lions!"\\
'''Kenan:''' (''beat'') Keep working on it.\\
'''Kel:''' (''rehearsing'') Reggie! Your daddy has been attacked by circus clowns! Yeah, that sounds pretty good.
* ''Series/{{Bones}}''; in "The Sense in the Sacrifice", after Brennan declared her absolute faith in Booth, Booth kissed her breathless in the FBI bullpen, reducing her from SpockSpeak to BuffySpeak:
-->'''Bones:''' I need to go... do... scientific things to catch a serial killer.
* In the ''Creator/PaulLynde [[ChristmasSpecial Halloween Special]]'' in 1976, the star "left my jacuzzi on fast-forward".
* In an episode of ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'', Howard, desperate to get out of a fishing date with his father-in-law, claims that he and Bernadette already have "a thing" for that day.
-->'''Bernadette:''' What thing?\\
'''Howard:''' You know... the ''thing''?\\
'''Bernadette:''' Oh! That thing! ''[beat]'' I cancelled it.
* ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'':
** In the minisode, Sherlock can't make it to John's birthday dinner because he has a "thing". Remarkable imprecision for such a precise speaker as Sherlock, but when Lestrade questions it, Sherlock explains that the more detailed and precise it is, the more it would sound like a lie.
** Much earlier, in "A Study in Pink", he vaguely comments that he's going to "get some air" in order to escape from the flat to pursue a serial killer. Nobody really buys it, but since they don't realise what he's actually doing, nobody stops him, either.
* In ''Series/{{Chuck}}'', when Chuck realizes there's an emergency in progress and has to escape from a conversation with his sister's oblivious boyfriend:
-->'''Chuck:''' Excuse me, I think I see a kid crawling into an oven over in housewares.
* On an episode of ''Series/SportsNight'', Isaac walks into Casey's office in the middle of [[ShipperOnDeck Natalie]] trying to get Casey and Dana together:
-->'''Natalie:''' Isaac. Don't you think, don't you '''know''' that Dana isn't happy with Gordon, and that Gordon is about to break up with Dana and Dana only '''thinks''' she cares?\\
'''Isaac:''' You know what? I'm gonna step out now and it'll be like I never came in. (''leaves'')
* On ''Series/FakingIt'', when [[CampGay Shane]] is talking to a guy at a gay bar because Liam is trying to pick up the guy's straight female friend:
-->'''Shane:''' So, what's your favorite movie?\\
'''[[{{Hipster}} Guy]]:''' My favorite ''films'' explore the [[TrueArtIsAngsty emotional destruction]] caused by [[PostNineElevenTerrorismMovie 9/11]].\\
'''Shane:''' [[{{Beat}} ...]] You know what, I just realized [[FreudianExcuse my parents are getting a divorce]] and I no longer believe in love, please excuse me.
* On ''Series/LostGirl'', when Trick gets a dose of TooMuchInformation about what Bo and Lauren are up to:
-->'''Trick:''' So many glasses. Must polish.
* Inverted on ''Series/MurderSheWrote'', after a friend of Grady tried to screw him over and then made a half-hearted apology and invited Grady to his wedding. Grady's response is less a lame excuse and more a statement that he wants nothing more to do with his "friend":
-->'''Grady:''' Sorry, buddy, but I'll be busy that week.\\
'''Grady's now former friend:''' But we haven't even set the date.\\
'''Grady:''' I know.
* An amusing example in ''Series/TwoAndAHalfMen'': Chelsea wants Charlie to meet her parents, so he makes up a vague excuse about being unable to go because he has an appointment. This quickly escalates into him needing a colonoscopy. By the end of the episode, he actually goes through with it... and then Chelsea reveals that she knew he was lying all along and has invited her parents to come to his house anyway.
* This gem from ''Series/{{Selfie}}'', when Eliza decides to return Henry's coat by removing it in front of him... with very little underneath and then asking him to spend the night.
-->'''Henry:''' I have to go feed my cat.\\
'''Eliza:''' You don't have a cat.\\
''[long {{beat}}]''\\
'''Henry:''' I have to go purchase a cat and then feed it. Generously.
* On ''Series/TheMillers'', Nathan, during a particularly awkward dinner with his mother, sister and brother-in-law, gets and says:
-->'''Nathan:''' Let's see what's behind Door Number One. ''[opens door]'' [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere Why, it's an exit!]] I win! ''[leaves]''
* In ''Series/KaizokuSentaiGokaiger'', Don stammers that he has to get dinner ready to not join [[Series/JukenSentaiGekiranger Jan Kandou's Jyuken class]] with Ahim. Although flimsy, at least this is a believable example since Don is one of the Gokaigers' resident {{Team Chef}}s (along with [[HiddenDepths Joe]] and Gai).
* One episode of ''Series/HannahMontana'' has the dad being grilled for something and escaping by miming a fax machine (in 2008).
-->'''Billy Ray:''' Uh, uh, ''(covering his mouth)'' reeeeee uh-oh, I seem to be getting a fax! reeeee oh man, sounds like a big one, hope I got enough paper in there!
* ''Series/BrooklynNineNine'': Detective Rosa Diaz provides this trope's page quote when trying to avoid talking to a citizen who calls himself "Super Dan."
* On the episode of ''Series/ChappellesShow'' where Dave loses his show to Wayne Brady following a HostileShowTakeover, he calls up Big Boi from Music/{{Outkast}}, who lies to Dave about being operated on just to avoid hanging out with him. And when that doesn't work:
-->'''Big Boi:''' I'm s'posed to be hookin' up with [[Series/SoulTrain Don Cornelius]] tomorrow.\\
'''Dave:''' A-all right...\\
'''Big Boi:''' Yeah. We playin' tennis, man.\\
'''Dave:''' Um, well you know, I'm around, man. Just give me a call.\\
'''Big Boi:''' We playin' on the moon, bitch! Peace. Don't call me no more.
* In a similar vein as the ''Series/MurderSheWrote'' example above, Centauri Ambassador Londo Mollari on ''Series/BabylonFive'' once told someone "I intend to have other plans" in response to an invitation.
* In an early episode of ''Series/MelissaAndJoey'', Joe meets a web designer who bolts as soon as he tells her he's a nanny.
-->'''Ashley:''' Work emergency! My website just caught on fire!
** Subverted at the end of the episode in that her server hosting the website really did catch fire and she was genuinely interested in Joe.

* Terri Clark's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1ScBNkXaJk I've Got Better Things To Do]] is this mixed with a healthy dose of TakeThat.
-->''I could\\
Wash my car in the rain\\
Change my new guitar [[PainfulRhyme strings]]\\
Mow my yard just the same\\
As I did yesterday\\
I don't need to waste my time\\
Crying over you\\
I got better things to do''
* Rawlins Cross's [[http://rawlinscross.bandcamp.com/track/itll-have-to-wait It'll have to wait]] also a line like:
-->''The bad guys are escapin' on the eastbound freight\\
There's a fire breathin' dragon burning down the castle gate\\
Your little broken heart'll just have to wait''
* Music/LilyAllen's "Knock 'Em Out" includes "I've gotta go 'cos my house is on fire" as an excuse to give to an AbhorrentAdmirer. Also:
-->''And no, you can't have my number,\\
Because I've lost my phone.''

[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]
* This exchange between Wrestling/SamiZayn and Wrestling/TylerBreeze of Wrestling/{{WWE NXT}}:
-->'''Sami Zayn:''' If you wanna get pinned by me, we don't have to wait; we can do it ''tonight.''\\
'''Tyler Breeze:''' Oooh, you're on. But not tonight. I'm busy.\\
'''Sami Zayn:''' Oh, you're "busy"?\\
'''Tyler Breeze:''' Yeah, busy.\\
'''Sami Zayn:''' What're you "busy" with?\\
'''Tyler Breeze:''' Uh, I have to get new phone cases --\\
'''Sami Zayn:''' That's always important.\\
'''Tyler Breeze:''' I'm going to a ball, I've got a photoshoot...\\
'''Sami Zayn:''' A ''ball''?\\
'''Tyler Breeze:''' Yeah, a ball! A ''ball'', Sami!
* An interesting shoot example happened in 1993 thanks to Wrestling/TerryFunk, who walked out on being one of Wrestling/ShawnMichaels' "Knights", only leaving the note "My horse is sick. I think she's going to die. I think I better go"

[[folder:Puppet Shows]]
* In the French political satire ''Series/LesGuignolsDeLInfo'', president Jacques Chirac used to give really silly excuses to run ("My hips need a liposuction" -- yes, ''that'' silly) when he needed to put on his Super Liar (Superman's parody) suit before answering embarrassing questions. Other characters were too {{Genre Blind|ness}} to guess Super Liar's secret identity.
* ''Series/SesameStreet'': At one point, Luis had a [[SecretIdentity "secret" identity]] as [[AffectionateParody Señor Zero,]] and whenever someone said the word "zero" he would rush off to change with an excuse like "I have to go answer my television" or "I think I left the cat on."
* On an episode of ''Series/TheMuppetShow'', Gonzo tries to get out of looking after Miss Piggy's dog by claiming "Oh my god! I left an anvil in the oven!". Of course, this being [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} Gonzo]], it's entirely possible he actually ''did'' leave an anvil in the oven.
* During one episode of ''Series/GregTheBunny'':
-->'''Alison:''' I'm going to... drink.
* In ''Film/TheGreatMuppetCaper'', several Muppets walk out on Kermit when he says their plan to save Piggy might have one of them killed, with Pops saying he has a dentist appointment.
* ''Series/TheMrPotatoHeadShow'': Due to a misunderstanding, Queenie Sweet Potato felt very awkward around Mr. Potato Head, and made up random and nonsensical excuses to get away from him, including:
-->'''Queenie Sweet Potato:''' I have to go shampoo the doorbell!\\
'''Queenie Sweet Potato:''' I have to go feed the toaster!\\
'''Queenie Sweet Potato:''' I have to go iron my toenails!

* ''Radio/OurMissBrooks'': In "Heat Wave", Miss Brooks, Mr. Boynton, Walter Denton, Harriet Conklin and Stretch Snodgrass all get excused from school and find themselves at a farmer's swimming pond through a variety of lame excuses. Miss Brooks, in fact, runs off telling Mr. Conklin that she has to go to the pond to get water [[ItMakesSenseInContext to put out the fire she accidentally started in his office.]]
* In the radio adaptation of ''Literature/GoodOmens'', when Adam starts hearing the voices of the Four Horsemen in his head, Wensleydale excuses himself with "Is that the time? I have to go, Series/DoctorWho is on!"
* ''Radio/TheGoonShow'': In "The Spectre of Tintagel" we have
-->'''Bluebottle:''' I have to go, my capitan! I left the cat running in the sink!

* At least one translation of ''Theatre/{{Lysistrata}}'' has a woman claiming to be going into labor as her excuse to leave, using a bronze helmet under her clothes as her "baby". Lysistrata proceeds to point out that she wasn't pregnant the day before.
* In ''Theatre/MammaMia'', when Donna suddenly sees all three of her ex-boyfriends who could also be the father of her daughter she stammers something about cleaning out her handbag and hides. The exes aren't surprised. ("Typical Donna!")
* ''Theatre/MuchAdoAboutNothing'':
** Benedick, seeing Beatrice approaching, try to get an excuse from Don Pedro.
--->'''Benedick:''' Will your grace command me any service to the world's end? I will go on the slightest errand now to the Antipodes that you can devise to send me on.\\
(''when that doesn't work, however, he just leaves anyway'')
** Beatrice gets a successful out later in the same scene, when her conversation with Don Pedro gets awkward.
--->'''Leonato:''' Niece, will you look to those things I told you of?\\
'''Beatrice:''' I cry you mercy, uncle. By your grace's pardon. (''books it'')
* In ''Theatre/TheMusicMan'', Harold Hill shows up to talk to Marian Paroo, and her mother, hoping the two will get together, immediately bows out:
-->'''Mrs. Paroo:''' You and Marian come up and set. I -- I've got some jelly on the stove.\\
'''Marian:''' There's no jelly on the stove, Mama.\\
'''Mrs. Paroo:''' Well, I'll ''put'' some on.
* In ''Theatre/NextToNormal'', Natalie makes claims that her boyfriend Henry has "Homework", "Surgery" and "Rabies" in an attempt to prevent her father inviting him to dinner and revealing how dysfunctional the family is.
* In Creator/{{Euripides}}'s satyr play ''The Cyclops'', Odysseus sees the leader of the satyrs captured by the titular cyclops and decides to stab it in the eye with a flaming brand. He asks the satyrs for help.
-->'''First Semi-Chorus:''' Standing where I am before the door, I am too far off to thrust the fire into his eye. \\
'''Second Semi-Chorus:''' I have just gone lame.\\
'''First Semi-Chorus:''' Why, then, thou art in the same plight as I; for somehow or other I sprained my ankle, standing still.\\
'''Odysseus:''' Sprained thy ankle, standing still?\\
'''First Semi-Chorus:''' Yes, and my eyes are full of dust or ashes from somewhere or other.
* In ''Theatre/TheGoldenApple'', Lovey Mars, immediately after introducing Paris to Helen, produces the following excuse in order to LeaveTheTwoLovebirdsAlone. They pay no particular attention as she says with mock surprise:
-->Heavens it's so hot\\
I absolutely forgot\\
The Epworth League is due\\
To meet at half-past two\\
And I'm presiding\\
Oh dear! Oh dear!\\
I'll just have time to walk over\\
I'll leave Mister Paris here\\
You young folks must have lots to talk over.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/NoOneLivesForever''. Some of the mooks do this, such as one mook reacting to an extremely envious mook's jealousy with, "Uh... I have to stand over ''here'' now."
* In an old DOS game titled ''VideoGame/CrimeCity'', your character is able to vandalize the local church unless he runs into the local Priest, in which he case makes a clever retreat: "I have to go paint my dog!"
* ''VideoGame/TheSimpsonsHitAndRun''
** In an early mission, Ned Flanders tells Homer that he's been robbed and he's ready to call the police to look for whoever stole his belongings. This reminds Homer that he "borrowed" them a while ago, and attempts to sneak off to his car to find them by sheepishly telling him, "I have to go... shuck some corn."
** While it's not really an excuse to leave, one of the quotes Homer says when requesting a new vehicle is, "I need your help, my car is... sleeping."
* ''Franchise/TheSims'':
** If other Sims don't want to visit yours, they'll use rather incredible excuses like "I have to feed my llama" or "My psychic advisor has forbidden me to leave the house today." Strangely, if they're already ''there'' and have to ''leave'', their excuses actually make sense, like "It's getting late."
** The French version includes "I need to water my turtle" and "watch my houseplants grow." Also when they refuse to keep talking to you because one of their "needs" gauge is full, they will usually say "I'm just too tired/hungry/etc. for this," except it they need to go to the toilet. They'll say "I need to go put on some make-up" instead...
** The best, of course, is "I'm waiting for the telephone repairman." [[DoubleTake Uhh...]]
** In the sequel, if they particularly don't like your Sim, they don't even bother with a lunatic excuse. They say something like "If my wanting to come over was [[OnAScaleFromOneToTen on a scale of one to ten]] [[BrokeTheRatingScale I'd still say 'No']]."
* The Teensies in ''VideoGame/Rayman3HoodlumHavoc'' are full of these excuses. For example, "I have to go invent chocolate toothpaste."
* In ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClankUpYourArsenal'':
-->'''[=Skid McMarx=]:''' Hey uhh... dudes... I uhh..forgot to feed my goldfish.
* In ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'', the Imperial Agent's companion Doctor Lokin excuses himself because of the cold weather in order to escape an uncomfortable conversation. Reasonable enough, right? Except he was going outside... on ''[[SlippySlideyIceWorld Hoth]]''.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing''
** Quoth you, in an [[http://kol.coldfront.net/thekolwiki/index.php/Deep_Inside_Ronald,_Baby_%28Pool%29 adventure]]: "I wish I could, but my grandmother's on fire, so I'll just be going."
** When adventuring in the Haunted Bathroom during a Bad Moon run, you might [[http://kol.coldfront.net/thekolwiki/index.php/You_Look_Flushed encounter a ghost just as you're about to use the toilet]], leading your character to claim "I just remembered my grandmother's on fire and my cat has leprosy."
** Quoth you if you choose not to fight the Crimbo 2013 boss right then, "I just remembered I left a squirrel baking cupcakes at my house, and he really needs supervision."
* In the ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' franchise, many people (both the OriginalGeneration characters and the licensed featured characters) do everything in their power to avoid the infamous [[GargleBlaster health drink]] of [[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsAlpha Kusuha Mizuha]] (up to and including her ''own lover/boyfriend Bullet''). Excuses range from the mundane ("I'm going to perform maintenance on my giant robot") to the weird (Giado Beneldi's excuse was to take his lover Garnet stargazing. During the middle of the day). [[CompletelyMissingThePoint Kusuha, for some reason or another, thinks nothing of the excuses]], even if some come across as flat-out rude or insulting.
* In ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario'' some of Count Bleck's FiveBadBand leave the castle against his orders to attack the heroes. Mr. L's excuse is that 'I need to go deflavourise the [[HumongousMecha Brobot's]], uh... Flavouriser.'
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'':
** Many people will use excuses like these to get out of a raid or dungeon crawl they see as a waste of time (e.g. obviously unskilled/underleveled/both players have joined, they want to wait for another queue, there aren't enough healers...). The most common is "BRB TORNADO" (which IS somewhat believable on US servers during the spring/early summer/early fall, but which is almost always this), that actually became a meme to the point of an entire guild being named "BRB TORNADO." Others are "brb fire," "brb burglars," "brb gf going into labor," and similar incredibly urgent emergency situations.
** In at least three cases, they were real, which often led to people feeling bad about assuming they were this: one person actually ''did'' get his place wiped out by a tornado, logging on three days later from his laptop -- all he had left from the storm. Another time "brb fire" was due to a fire in a neighboring apartment which the player had to go help put out, and another time "brb cops" involved the player's roommate being suddenly arrested by a SWAT team, to the surprise of the player.
** One thread on the ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' forums was titled "Lamest excuse you've ever given for leaving a raid early." One contributor described a party member who was silent for the entire dungeon until, half way through the instance, the formerly-silent party member suddenly announced "I have to wash my steve" and left.
* In ''VideoGame/HarvestMoon DS Cute,'' one Heart Event for Carter has him desperate to get away from [[LethalChef Flora's]] cooking. He swears up, down, and sideways that he, uh... Promised to eat lunch with the player character! Didn't he? If you play along with his ruse, you gain [[RelationshipValues Love Points]] with him.
* ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'':
** Papyrus excuses himself by proclaiming "I just remembered...I have to go to the bathroom!" Which is fine, except Papyrus is a monster, and monsters don't use bathrooms because their food is made out of magic and doesn't create waste - there are no actual toilets in the entire underground. Also his excuse might have been more believable if he hadn't followed it up by leaving the house entirely. Face first. Through a window. Made even better by Undyne remarking on how strange Papyrus' behavior was...since he usually sticks the landing. Which means this is not even close to the first time he's made this kind of exit.
** Alphys later uses the exact same excuse, but it's given a darker twist in the very late game, where you are able to enter the same room she hides in. [[spoiler: It's actually the elevator to the True Lab.]]
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'' contains an especially paper-thin example in Charlotte's supports with Kaze. Their B Support features her pulling her [[TheFakeCutie usual seduction act]], and, upon being turned down, Charlotte produces the line "I have to go. I left an excuse in the oven!"
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwUc1vPCpaU These]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6HoqBHqSUs compilation]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INnzQ_88PYw videos]] of reasons people have been AFK in ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends''.
-->''Brb, cat got launch codes again.\\
Brb, pool's on fire.\\
Brb, tax collector is escaping from the basement.\\
Gtg, computer store's closing.\\
Brb, got to pee. Will be 30-40 minutes.\\
Brb, batsignal.\\
Brb, gotta take my fish for a walk.\\
Brb, woodpecker is attacking my house.\\
Brb, I have to comb my lobster.\\
[[BlatantLies Damn it, my power went out. I'll let you guys know when it comes back]]!''
* In ''VideoGame/FantasyLife'', when you confront King Erik and his court about the letter you received (on cute apple-patterned stationary), he immediately tells you that he has an important meeting about eggs, while his top scholar Hughes then begins "analyzing" that the throne room is rather hot.
* ''VideoGame/MassEffectAndromeda'': The entire team bursts out with various transparent excuses when Peebee asks for help cleaning up her room.
-->'''Drack:''' Think I left the stove on.\\
'''Liam:''' Making ice.\\
'''Cora:''' Those reports won't file themselves.\\
'''Jaal:''' It's an angaran holiday.\\
'''Vetra:''' Helping Liam make ice.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/AsagaoAcademyNormalBootsClub''
-->'''Mai:''' Well, I need to head in to class because I have a... test... I gotta talk to...
* In ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'', the first time you talk to [[ShrinkingViolet Hanako]], you end up startling her by accident, and she exclaims "Igottagodosomething!" before running off.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'':
** When Strong Bad introduces Li'l Brudder, a one-legged dog whose catch-phrase is "Don't worry; I can make it on my own," Strong Bad initially says that said picture cracks him up. However, at the end, when Strong Bad is musing on the "tough little guy" he catches himself and tells the viewers "Umm, I think I've got a... food... in the oven.... Igottago." and leaves the room. (Li'l Brudder's triumphs in the face of adversity often make everyone cry.)
** On a more meta level, having come to the conclusion that his imagination is broken, Strong Bad ends an email with "I'm gonna go... place". [[spoiler:Clicking on that phrase shows a postcard from Place.]]
* In Issue Ten of ''WebAnimation/TeenGirlSquad'', Cheerleader claims the other girls can't go to The Ugly One's birthday party because "We have... the... Olympics... tonight." Though once The Ugly One tells them it's a "boy/girl party," Cheerleader tells her the coach just called and says the Olympics are dumb, so she can come to the party after all. It then cuts to an Olympic coach being glared at by an Olympic Man, who says "I don't know what they're talking about, I swear!"
* There is a ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil1'' [[http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/64772 parody]] in which Brad, upon hearing about the killer zombie dogs, says the following: "Well, I just remembered that I left the, uh, oven on in the, uh, helicopter, and... [[GoLookAtTheDistraction LOOK! BEHIND YOU!]] [[VideoGame/MonkeyIsland A THREE-HEADED MONKEY!]]" He then proceeds to dash off, followed shortly after by the sound of a helicopter taking off. Subverted, in that Brad is trying to distract Wesker so he can flee. Wesker doesn't look away. Brad flees anyway.
* WebAnimation/BamanPiderman cuts to the chase:
-->'''Baman:''' uh, actually, we hab to go outside RIGHT NOW for some reason.
* In ''WebAnimation/RWBYChibi'' Episode 16, Sun tries to get out of Yang's [[HurricaneOfPuns open mic comedy act]] by saying "I just remembered! I'm supposed to be... uh... not here!" Ren forces him to stay.
** In season 2 he tries this again to get away from having to deal with both Yang AND her father cracking terrible jokes, but can't even come up with anything sputtering for a few seconds before decided to just jump out the window. Meanwhile Ren says he has to go iron clothes, ALL of them, while Neptune says he has to go swim, even though he's deathly afraid of water which he claims he suddenly conquered all his fears.
* This is how ''WebAnimation/HowItShouldHaveEnded'' feels Padme should have reacted to Anakin's speech about killing.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In [[http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0551.html an episode]] of ''Webcomic/DarthsAndDroids'', [[ManipulativeBastard Anakin]] doesn't want to go with Mace Windu to arrest Chancellor Palpatine, so he quotes [[IHaveToWashMyHair another trope]] as his excuse. [[TooDumbToLive Windu buys it]].
-->'''Anakin:''' Sorry, I... need to wash my hair.\\
'''Mace Windu:''' Hmm, okay. [[BaldBlackLeaderGuy I guess hair-people have special needs]].
* ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'': [[http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/archive_page.php?comicID=247 Annie knows her friends want to be alone and gives a transparent explanation for her departure.]]
* ''Webcomic/OzyAndMillie''
** In an early strip, Millie is practicing dealing with the press as a politician. She panics at the first question; one of her excuses is "I had to wash my styrofoam!"
** Later, it is implied that she tried to create a diversion with "Aaaah, Mom, the duck is on fire!"
* [[http://www.out-at-home.com/archives/303 I left my... house... running.]] from ''Webcomic/OutAtHome''.
* ''Webcomic/{{Lackadaisy}}'':
** [[http://www.lackadaisycats.com/comic.php?comicid=86/ I think I left my hat in the car. I should go... be with my hat... in the car.]]
** Mordechai brushes off a girl trying to ask him to dance (and another girl berating him for brushing the first one off) by suddenly taking up botany, [[http://lackadaisy.foxprints.com/exhibit.php?exhibitid=446 studying a ficus tree]]. Inverted in that he's trying to get ''them ''to leave.
--->'''Mordechai:''' It's an excellent ficus. ''[looks back, girls are still there]'' I wish I were this ficus.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'':
** A pair of lantern archons resorts to this kind of excuse when the Monster in the Darkness [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0194.html begs them to hit him with their beams of light]], and they interpret it as some kind of fetish.
--->'''Lantern Archon #1:''' Um, yeah, so, we have to go take care of this... thing.\\
'''Lantern Archon #2:''' Yeah, hu, this thing we were supposed to take care of. Over there. Away from here.
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0740.html Elan and Haley go back to their room to give their pet orangutan a bath]]. This is interpreted as an IsThatWhatTheyreCallingItNow for bonus points.
** And then, having realized how this pretense is getting interpreted and that it's [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0789.html still considered an acceptable excuse:]]
--->'''Elan:''' Uh, Dad? Haley and I need to go...uh...[[SubvertedTrope have sex]].\\
'''Tarquin:''' Well, you'll miss the big fight, but you do what you need to do.\\
'''Haley:''' Come on, V. And bring the cat, just in case.\\
'''Tarquin:''' ... [[DullSurprise Huh]].
* ''Webcomic/AntiHeroes'' (a comic inspired by ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'') has the not-even-trying version with [[http://antiheroescomic.com/comic/38 "I have to... go over here, now."]]
* ''Webcomic/WapsiSquare'': [[http://wapsisquare.com/comic/fair-enough/ A whole string of these before she announces she just does have to go.]]
* An extremely unsubtle example in [[http://www.missmab.com/Comics/Vol_1156.php a strip]] of ''Webcomic/DanAndMabsFurryAdventures''. Not only does Wildy stare at her wrist while not wearing a watch, she claims to be in a hurry because "It's leaving o'clock!"
* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'':
** A flustered Tedd needs "to go check on... the thing... that's upstairs."
** [[spoiler:Susan]] [[DeadpanSnarker of all people]]. "I'm sorry, I have a thing on Friday at a place where I'll be preoccupied with some stuff that will unfortunately make it impossible for me to, uh... '''Bye!'''"
* In [[http://www.thewotch.com/?comic=mall-curiosities-2 a comic]] of ''Webcomic/TheWotch'', the heroes are at the mall, and Jason is present [[GenderBender as Sonja]]. Katie and Wolfie walk by Sonja and do a DoubleTake upon realizing who she really is, and Katie gets into an argument with him/her over how abnormal this is. A minute later, [[BadLiar Robin]] approaches with drinks, and Katie turns to him and demands, "Robin! ''You'' don't turn into a girl frequently for kicks, ''do'' you?" Robin immediately finds pressing business elsewhere: "Oh, gosh, I, uh, forgot straws! I'll just be off to get them..." [[DontExplainTheJoke The drinks already had straws in them.]]
* ''Webcomic/KeychainOfCreation'': [[http://keychain.patternspider.net/archive/koc0180.html "My, look at the time! I need to go find my Keys."]] Oddly, he really does...
* From ''Webcomic/{{Blip}}'': [[http://rakugakiwall.com/blip/archive/923 We... need to go... wash our... cat.]]
* ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' had Elf [[ScareEmStraight motivating]] a [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2008-03-23 recruit clumsily trying to hit on her]] to remember he needs to walk away into undefined direction right now. In the same chapter they got a [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2008-03-30 repair bot]] suddenly remembering odds and ends that needs to be polished [[TheDreaded at the sight]] of [[TeenGenius Para Ventura]]. For bonus points, it [[SpeakOfTheDevil brought this on itself]].
* ''Webcomic/QuestionableContent'':
** "[[http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=2545 I gotta ... go. Do a thing. Away. From here.]]"
** "[[http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=2588 I just remembered, I have a chicken in the coffee roaster! Gotta go make sure it's not overdone!]]"
** "[[http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3134 I just remembered I have to give my boyfriend his butt medicine every two hours or his butt will explode...]]"
* In ''Webcomic/TheSuburbanJungle'' Leonard says "[[http://suburbanjungleclassic.com/?p=1326 I think I left an inventory report burning in the oven]]" in order to give Mikey and Wally some time to talk things out alone.
* [[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname The Girl]] and Speedy from ''Webcomic/AGirlAndHerFed'' can both [[SpiderSense tell that something's up]] while the group is out at a restaurant, so she makes an excuse to go check things out.
-->'''Girl:''' We're gonna... go to the restroom and check on our drinks.\\
'''Mako:''' Great! Get me a [[{{Squick}} for god's sake, separate your sentences]]. [[DeadpanSnarker With a twist of lime]].
* In ''Webcomic/{{Orbit}}'', Hyra's frantically tries to come up with an excuse when Nix tries to get him and Charon to hang around [[GoMadFromTheRevelation Pluto]] more. Charon fails to catch on quick enough to back him up.
-->'''Hyrda:''' We have that thing to go to, ''right Charon?''\\
'''Charon:''' What? No. We're completely free, dude.
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'': Professor Diaz and Doctor Mittelmind, two of the mad scientists imprisoned in Castle Heterodyne, [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20091026 when faced with the prospect of using the elevator they just constructed in a hurry]], start spouting the most outrageous excuses. Parodied when Professor Mezzasalma, the third of the group, then says "you two disgust me", but then instead of calling them out on their obvious nonsense, tells Agatha that "they took all the good excuses, and crying is undignified.".

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog'' gives us the classic line, "Oh, goodness, look at my wrist. I've gotta go!" from the titular IneffectualSympatheticVillain. [[DontExplainTheJoke Because he's not wearing a watch...]]
* ''Film/TheGamers'': "[[GoLookAtTheDistraction Look at that quaint and rustic architecture. I should go investigate.]]" The speaker is a paladin {{GMPC}}, and the protagonists need to utilize the JackBauerInterrogationTechnique.
* WebVideo/JesuOtaku has a review where WebVideo/BennettTheSage manages to get him to watch ''Eiken'', much to his distress. By the time it's over, however, he says it wasn't ''that'' torturous... at which point Bennett pulls out ''Anime/GarzeysWing''. His response? "Sorry, Sage, I can't hear you. I'm going through a tunnel... in the bathroom."
* WebVideo/ToddInTheShadows and WebVideo/PawDugan were able to worm their way out of helping WebVideo/PushingUpRoses review ''33 and 1/3 Revolutions per Monkee'' by claiming to be "on fire" and "drowning", respectively. After Roses invites the two of them to return for more [=LPs=] after ''Putt Putt Goes to the Moon'', Todd attempts to escape with "I have to... go... mow the carpet."
* ''[[WebVideo/LukeMochrieAndTheInners Film Conscience]]'':
** In the ''Film/SeasonOfTheWitch'' episode, Ringo tries to avoid having to comment on the writing of the film by saying this:
--->'''Ringo:''' I need to go... uh... put out a fire... in the bathroom.
** Speaking of, when confronted with the possibility of watching ''Film/TheLastAirbender'', Kinley claims she left her water running, which you'd think would be IHaveToWashMyHair, and then she adds "in Canada", putting it in this trope (this was taking place at an American convention).
* When WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick showed up on WebVideo/ToddInTheShadows' doorstep trying to get him to review ''Crossroads'' with her, he tries to get out of it by saying, "Yeah, I gotta go wash the dog... the fish... so...", but he gets dragged into it anyway.
* In ''WebVideo/EnterTheDojo'', Stephen tries to get out of date with Fiona by saying he needs to drain his fish tank or his catfish will cough up another hairball. She doesn't buy it for a second, though.
* Mentioned in [[http://www.cracked.com/article_19442_8-simple-questions-you-wont-believe-science-cant-answer.html this]] ''Website/{{Cracked}}'' article.
--> Well, odds are they'll either nervously tell you that they have cookies in the oven and run out on you, or if they're honest, they'll give you a pretty big shrug.
* WebVideo/JennaMarbles does this in [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rH4Mi-yhuE4 this video]]:
--> "Sorry I'm running late, I had to go... wash... my... cat" I'm the worst liar ever.
* Even dictionary.com [[http://www.dictionary.com/e/s/dictionary-coms-excuses-leaving-bad-conversations/#verbal-escape-hatch gets into the act]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Chickening-out version: the ''WesternAnimation/HorribleHistories'' animated program features a smart-mouth jerk attempting to get out of Grecian-style wrestling by claiming to have sprained his ''oesophagus''.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Dogstar}}'': The children make-up excuses to avoid Gran's [[LethalChef terrible cooking]] in the "Titanium Chef" episode but Glenn can't quite come up with anything.
-->'''Glenn''': I can't think of an excuse but I have to go too.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'':
** Parodied in the SuperheroEpisode, where the three are in front of the mayor, who needs their superhero identities:
--->'''Leela:''' Oh, I completely forgot -- I left my apartment on fire!\\
'''Bender:''' As for me, I'm late for my L.S.A.T.'s.\\
'''Fry:''' And I can't take life anymore! ''[smashes out through the window, [[ThereWasADoor and promptly smashes back in through another]]]''
** In another episode, an AlternateUniverse version of Leela explains she rejected Fry (now her husband)'s advances until she only had the worst excuses left involving things like ghosts or "sweaty boot rash". This causes the regular Fry to remark "So that's why you said you had to meet that ghost!"
** In "Attack of the Killer App":
--->'''Leela:''' Uh, excuse me, I have to... someplace.
** In the old-timey cartoon part of "Reincarnation":
--->'''Fry:''' I'll be right back; I have to go check this comet for anarchists!
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'', "Overdue": Ron, likely remembering Kim wouldn't fall for the FakeStatic brushes her off with:
-->'''Ron:''' Oh no, Dad's locked in the garage, better get him out before he runs out of... clothes!
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** When [[Series/MacGyver Richard Dean Anderson]] is being held prisoner by Patty and Selma and is forced to watch their boring slide show.
--->'''Richard:''' This coupon for the Olive Garden expires at midnight!\\
'''Patty/Selma:''' You're not holding a coupon!\\
'''Richard:''' ... [=MacGyver=] away!
** And, in "The Last Temptation of Krust", after Krusty asks how terrible his performance went:
--->'''Marge:''' I think I have to get dinner ready.\\
'''Lisa:''' Me too.\\
'''Homer:''' I also have to go... (''peeks back in'') Boo!
** In "Homer the Great", Homer needs a reason to excuse himself and spy on Lenny and Carl, something he'd promised not to do.
--->'''Homer:''' I'm going... outside... to... [[SubvertedTrope stalk... ''Lenny and Carl'']]... [[{{Catchphrase}} D'oh!]]
** In "Homer the Vigilante", after the Springfield cat burglar reveals where his loot's hidden:
--->'''Homer:''' Well... I guess I'll be going to my home now and... sleep.\\
'''Chief Wiggum:''' Me too... I will also go home. For... sleep.
** In "The Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie Show", when Homer asks his family what they thought of his debut show:
--->'''Lisa:''' ... Mom, can we go to bed early tonight?\\
'''Marge:''' Yes we can. ''[runs upstairs with the rest of the family]''
** When Bart is trying to ask Jessica Lovejoy out:
--->'''Jessica:''' I have to... go over there now.
** In "Bart of Darkness" when Bart tries to get Milhouse to sign his cast:
--->'''Milhouse:''' I think I left my glasses in your pool.\\
'''Bart:''' ''[pointing out that Milhouse's glasses are on his face]'' They're right there!\\
'''Milhouse:''' No, they're not. (''runs off'')
** When Homer tried to get out of paying a hospital bill after an accident with his leg, he shouts something about a bear and tries to run away despite his injured leg. Of course, there actually ''was'' a bear.
** In "Poppa's Got a Brand New Badge", Homer [[Film/HighNoon goes to the church to rally the townspeople to help him]] face off against Fat Tony.
--->'''Dr. Hibbert:''' Well, I'd...I'd love to help you, Homer. But... I have darn too much to live for. I just discovered Thai food.\\
'''Comic Book Guy:''' I'd help you, but I've yet to kiss a human girl.\\
'''Sea Captain:''' And I've got a [=TiVo=] full of unwatched ''Series/DharmaAndGreg''s.\\
'''Barney:''' Sorry, Homer. I'm a coward now, like all recovering alcoholics.
** In the ''[[Film/MrAndMrsSmith2005 Mr. & Mrs. Simpson]]'' segment from "Treehouse of Horror XVIII", Homer and Marge make up excuses to each other for their assassination assignments; Homer is going to "midnight monkey madness" at the zoo, while Marge is going to turn over wheelbarrows in case it rains.
--->'''Marge:''' How was your "midnight monkey madness"?\\
'''Homer:''' Great, great, I turned over so many wheelbarrows. Wait, that was your thing.
* From ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'':
-->'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' I have to, um...um... go get my hair cut!\\
'''Sandy:''' [=SpongeBob=] doesn't have hair! Or... ''[[GettingCrapPastTheRadar does he?]]''
* In the Canadian show ''WesternAnimation/BeingIan'', Mr Kelley is stuck in traffic with his sons while trying to deliver a piano to a client. He yells out the window of his car:
-->'''Mr. Kelley:''' Come on, get out of the way! I've got a pregnant... goat, that I need to get to... the airport! (''to Ian's brother'') Quick, make a sound like a pregnant goat!
* In a WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes cartoon, ''You Were Never Duckier'', Daffy Duck impersonates a chicken in order to score a $5,000 cash prize at a poultry show, only to run afowl of Henery Hawk and his (huge) father. His reaction:
-->'''Daffy:''' Well, I gotta go. I think my judge is burning, fudge... My fudge is burning, judge... I mean, my mother wants me. I got to crochet a cake. Uh, uh, goodbye!
* WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom's excuses tend to be this. It's a wonder no-one's found him out yet because of his dog-ironing.
* Todd from ''WesternAnimation/TheReplacements'' once used "I left a pie in the washing machine."
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'', Ulrich apparently had to go "polish my flip flops".
* In the "Baloney and Kids" short in ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'', one of the kids' excuses to leave was that she had to iron her bed. However, given how goodie-two shoes both kids were, including said girl saying she wishes she could marry school, it's entirely likely that this was true.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy''.
** This trope became a RunningGag in the episode "[[Franchise/HarryPotter Nigel Planter]] and the Order of the Peanuts". Whenever Nigel starts playing with [[MythologyGag a puppet]] and singing, everyone present makes an excuse to leave.
--->'''Grim:''' I, uh... I have to meet somebody.\\
'''Billy:''' I left the iron on.\\
'''Mandy:''' [[RuleOfThree You're]] [[BrutalHonesty weird.]]
** [[DemBones Grim]] also gave the "wash my hair" excuse to Billy once. He immediately saw through it - because Grim washed his hair last week.
* Carl on ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfJimmyNeutronBoyGenius'' says "My shoe's untied... OVER THERE!"
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'':
** Peter Griffin once backed out of a phone call with his wife by playing a recording of his wife telling him to take out the trash.
** And again by claiming he is at work. Which she doesn't believe, since she can see him standing in the kitchen. So he steps behind the refrigerator and claims that ''now'' he is at work.
** Lois does this too after Peter gets plastic surgery making him a buff physically fit man, to the point she isn't even able to make a complete sentence.
** The time when Lois found out that Peter had just brutally beaten up Chris' bully.
--->'''Peter:''' Well, I best be getting to work.\\
'''Brian:''' It's nighttime.\\
'''Peter:''' Boy, you said it. (''runs out the house and up a tree'')
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** In the episode "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E6BoastBusters Boast Busters]]", Twilight is afraid of being labeled a braggart, and so balks at using her magical skills to one-up a boastful unicorn. She finally beats a hasty retreat by claiming, "I think I hear my laundry calling."
** Possibly played with, also in "Boast Busters", when Spike makes a somewhat panicked exit after declaring that Twilight is the most magical unicorn in Ponyville while standing beside his crush Rarity who is also a unicorn, not giving an even remotely reasonable explanation but exclaiming: "Oh, um...*cough* Hey, Rarity...I...MUSTACHE!" immediately before darting off screen.
** In "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E8LookBeforeYouSleep Look Before You Sleep]]", both Rarity and Applejack try to get out of Twilight's slumber party (or rather, spending time with each other) by suddenly remembering pressing engagements. Rarity's is plausible but vague, but Applejack's is simply, "I'm powerful late for... somethin'."
** In "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E25PartyOfOne Party of One]]", Rainbow Dash actually draws a wristwatch on her foreleg in order to have an excuse to say "Oh, look at the time!" and get out of explaining to Pinkie why she and Fluttershy can't attend her next party. She and Fluttershy then claim to be late to house -- sorry, ''cave''sitting for a vacationing bear named Harry (who loves to play seashells and collect volleyball). This being Pinkie Pie, she finds this excuse to be the most plausible excuse any of her friends have come up with, compared to: Twilight studying for the princess -- which is her favorite spare time activity; Applejack picking apples -- which, as the head of an apple orchard, is something she does almost every day; and Rarity washing her hair (although Rarity did stick her head directly into the trash can to make the excuse more believable, because Pinkie told her her hair looked clean).[[note]]Later in the series, Harry the bear turns out to actually exist, but there's still no indication any of the rest is even remotely plausible.[[/note]]
** In "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E9SweetAndElite Sweet and Elite]]", Rarity has a series of them whilst trying to make excuses so she can switch between a fancy garden party and Twilight Sparkle's birthday party. Whilst initially she goes with sensible ones like "I need the little filly's room", she runs out of scenarios quickly and finally winds up just saying "I have to... to go to [[BuffySpeak the-to the thing with the... stuff, you know...]]"
** In "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E26TwilightsKingdomPart2 Twilight's Kingdom - Part 2]]", Twilight, who is trying to control her new powers gained from the other three princesses, says "Gotta go... somewhere... else." to avoid talking to Spike.
** In "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS6E12FlutterBrutter Flutter Brutter]]", Rainbow Dash excuses herself from a meeting with Fluttershy's obnoxious brother, Zephyr Breeze, by saying, "I just remembered I promised to help Pinkie Pie... sprinkle... something."
* ''WesternAnimation/ClassOf3000'':
** In one episode Sunny ditches Kim so he can change into a superhero (don't ask) with the excuse "I gotta go... can some peaches."
** In another episode, the kids use excuses to get out of a bothersome chore. Tamika claims she hears her mother calling her, and runs out. Eddie then claims that he also hears Tamika's mother calling him, and even briefly imitates her, explaining that "that's the only voice I can do."
* ''WesternAnimation/TheWeekenders'' has Lor write a will in case she doesn't survive surgery on her knee. When Tish finds out Lor hasn't left anything to her, she hastily excuses herself, half-sobbing, "Oh no, I just remembered I promised my mother I would paint the lawn."
* ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'':
** When Steve gets [[FaceFullOfAlienWingWong impregnated by Roger]], Roger tries to leave the scene by saying "I think I left a sweater in the sink."
** To get out of having sex with a drunk girl, Snot shouts out "I need to take a diarrhea."
** In "Bully for Steve", Stan tries to avoid getting punished by Francine when she's about to see a video of him bullying Steve by saying he's "having an affair with [[BrickJoke a homosexual giant]]". When Francine sees the video, Stan says he need to go to a "xylophone lesson" and tiptoes out of the scene.
* ''WesternAnimation/MegasXLR'': Jamie's date in "Dude, Where's My Head?" attempts to excuse herself from imminent crushing at the hands of Warmaster Gorath's evil takeoff of Megas:
-->"I need to go... wash my hair... or something."
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/ExtremeGhostbusters'', the team decide to leave work early because they all feel bad but don't want to admit it. When asked why she leaves, Kylie says her cat needs a bath.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'' sketch "Mumm-ra is Mrs. Mumbletipeg", Mumm-ra [[Film/MrsDoubtfire pretends to be a nanny]] to infiltrate the WesternAnimation/{{ThunderCats|1985}}' lair. He sees Cheetara licking herself and can't come up with anything.
-->'''Mumm-ra:''' Oh! Wow! Um... Mrs. Mumbletipeg needs to go masturbate. I mean um... uh... see... uh... Mrs. Mum... What I meant was, Mrs. Mumbletipeg... Fuck it, I'm gonna go masturbate.
* ''WesternAnimation/CampLazlo'': Raj says "Well, I'm off to get some chutney" when he sneaks off to his secret hot spring.
* ''WesternAnimation/SymBionicTitan'': Newton constantly has to "go to the bathroom." With his brother and sister. It would be worse if his girlfriend knew he was really a robot.
* In ''WesternAnimation/UglyAmericans'', Callie desperately tries to find a reason to explain what her sister Lilith would be taking over for her without revealing that she was originally supposed to be betrothed to Twayne.
* On ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'', when Beezy needs to get out of being in Lucius' marching band, he says that it's for [[BadLiar "a really good reason I can't think of right now"]].
* ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck''. The following excuse is even more bizarre when you realize Darkwing Duck is a HalfDressedCartoonAnimal:
-->'''Darkwing:''' Oh darn. Forgot to wear my lucky socks. Be right back.
* Korra in ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' has already proven to be horrible when it comes to excuses. Her explanation for leaving in episode 7 takes the cake, though;
-->'''Korra:''' I'm supposed to air sit, I mean baby-bend, I--I mean, babysit the airbending kids!
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLifeAndTimesOfJuniperLee'': Juniper constantly needs to come up with excuses so he can solve magical emergencies. One of them was about forgetting her gym outfit. The problem with that excuse was that there were no gym classes the day she made it up. She then said there might be a pop quiz about kickball. [[RuleOfFunny Jody bought this and decided to prepare herself]].
* This exchange from the ''WesternAnimation/MrBogus'' episode "[[Recap/MrBogusS2E8BogusToTheRescue Bogus to the Rescue]]", in response to Bogus being warned by Brattus about Baddus and his meteor goons:
-->'''Bogus:''' Uh, uh, Bogus can't go! [[{{Big Eater}} Got lots of foodies to eat!]] (''yawns'') [[{{Sleepy Head}} Bogus beauty sleep]], uh... uh... [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking gotta wash hair!]]\\
'''Brattus:''' ''[[[SubvertedTrope not fooled]]]'' [[LampshadeHanging What hair?]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'' once had Angelica try to swipe some cookies from the kitchen by telling the babies, "I'm gonna check on the babies." It took them about ten seconds to realize that Angelica didn't need to leave the room to check on them.
* In ''WesternAnimation/IronManArmoredAdventures'', Happy Hogan seems to exist partly to lampshade superhero double-identity tropes like this:
** Especially in the first season, Tony is constantly ducking out of class and other events to go to the bathroom, to the point where Happy starts commenting occasionally on his apparent digestive troubles.
** In the episode "Titanium Vs. Iron", Pepper is forced to blow off her date with Happy to help IM.
--->'''Pepper:''' Sorry, Happy. My dad's pet, uh... lemur is stuck in a tree.\\
'''Happy:''' Aw man, not again!
* In the ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' episode "Question Authority", after Captain Atom and Superman vanquish an opponent, Lois Lane shows up wanting to interview Superman -- one on one.
-->'''Captain Atom:''' I'm pretty sure there's something I have to do someplace.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold'', in order to avoid hearing one of Grandpa's war stories, Ernie gave the plausible excuse that he left his underwear in the dryer. Oscar then followed up by claiming that he also left his underwear in Ernie's dryer... interpret that how you will.
* ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'':
** Parodied in "Dreamscaperers", as when Grunkle Stan tries to think of a way out of an awkward date with Lazy Susan, all he can think of is yelling "[[TropeName Non-specific excuse]]!" and running away.
** In "Soos and the Real Girl", when Soos realizes virtual-girl [[StalkerWithACrush GIFfany]] has somehow followed him on his date with Melody, he excuses himself with "I have to go to the bathroom for a long time... [[ThatCameOutWrong Not in a weird way!]]"
* In the premiere of ''WesternAnimation/{{Littlest Pet Shop|2012}}'', Blythe gets out of talking to [[AlphaBitch the Biskit twins]] by telling them "I... have to go do ''anything'' else" and beating a hasty retreat.
* Taken to a ludicrous extreme in "King Mario of Cramalot," an episode of ''Series/TheSuperMarioBrosSuperShow''. The gang is trying to sneak into King Koopa's castle, prompting this exchange:
-->'''Mario:''' ''[to Luigi]'' You'll have to swim across the moat and lower the drawbridge.\\
'''Luigi:''' ME? But... but I can't! I'm, uh... I'm gonna have a baby! ''[walks away and squats]''\\
''[cut to the entire group looking at Luigi with disdain]''
* Subverted on an episode of ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy.'' Kevin dares Eddy to go investigate a supposedly haunted house:
-->'''Eddy:''' Uh... maybe some other time. Right now I have to... go... change the newspaper under Ed's bed!\\
'''Ed:''' Changed it this morning, Eddy!\\
''[Double D looks incredulous]''
* ''WesternAnimation/SonicBoom'':
** The episode ''Buster'' has this.
--->'''Eggman:''' ''[after his anti-firefighter bot is destroyed]'' I... erm... left the oven on. ''[runs away]''
** The episode "Let's Play Musical Friends" combines this with HurricaneOfExcuses:
--->'''Orbot:''' Who's up for charades? ''[holds up three fingers and makes a chopping motion with his arm]''\\
'''Sonic:''' Oh, that reminds me. I gotta chop my arm off. ''[leaves]''\\
'''Amy:''' Sonic, you forgot your axe! ''[runs after him]''\\
'''Sticks:''' I need to go build traps for when you ultimately betray us all. ''[leaves as well]''\\
'''Knuckles:''' Sorry, guys, [[LampshadeHanging I've gotta go think of an excuse not to hang out with you guys.]] ''[also leaves]''\\
'''Tails:''' ''[is left alone with Orbot and Cubot, and can't think of an excuse to leave]'' [[OhCrap Uh oh...]]
** Not even ten seconds (and one scene change) later...
--->'''Tails:''' Oh! ...Look at the time! I gotta go do something... somewhere else!
** This shows up again in the episode "Tails' Crush"
--->'''Tails''': ''[while trying to be manly to impress Zooey, he's given a "Hello Doggy" pencil by Dave]'' Ooh! A "Hello Doggy" pencil to go with my notebook! ''[realizes what he just said, resumes his manly voice]'' Uh... I think I left my band saw running. ''[runs off]''
** The episode "Fuzzy Puppy Buddies" has this as well. Amy is trying to keep it a secret from her friends that she's running off to [[GoKartingWithBowser play the eponymous board game with Dr. Eggman]]. So, when Sonic asks Amy to go to the beach, she replies with this:
--->'''Amy:''' Uh, no-- I gotta... water my cat. Yeah, I'm gonna go with that. See ya! ''[dashes off]''\\
'''Sticks:''' That's the third she's ditched us this week!\\
'''Knuckles:''' Yeah, I'm worried. [[ComicallyMissingThePoint I think she's over-watering that cat.]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* It turns out that if you ask to cut in line for the photocopier and give the reason "[[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment because I need to make some copies]]", [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automaticity#Use_to_influence most people will actually comply.]]
* The classic sexual euphemisms "gathering nuts in May" and "[[Music/SteeleyeSpan looking for cuckoo nests]]" are both examples of this; nut-bearing plants don't bear fruit that early, and cuckoos don't build their own nests.
* The Chief Purser on the ocean liner ''Ile de France'' had planned ahead by installing a telephone in his office that wasn't connected to anything. Whenever he wanted to get away from a tiresome or troublesome passenger without being rude, he would step on a hidden button beneath his desk, causing the fake phone to ring. He would then answer it, pretend to listen, then reply: "Yes Captain, right away!" and hastily excuse himself.
* A bunch of Republicans actually pulled this stunt to get out of having to do anything with UsefulNotes/DonaldTrump, including one claim of "watching dumpster fires". Similarly, Americans gave [[http://distractify.com/humor/2017/01/17/trump-inauguration-excuses hilarious responses]] when Trump put out a Facebook invite to his inauguration.
* Creator/OscarWilde is said to have turned down an invitation because it conflicted with "a subsequent engagement" (i.e. he didn't have anything currently scheduled for that time, but he intended to be doing ''something, anything'' else).