Not Even Bothering with an Excuse
Someone in the show has a problem or asks a group of his friends for a favor. However, helping him out would result in something awkward or uncomfortable, so everyone makes an excuse to get out of it. This trope is not about the excuses made by the friends; we have other tropes
for that. This trope is about the one person who says, "I just don't want to help." There are many reasons for them to do this, maybe their friends took all the good excuses. Most of the time, however, it's because they want to be brutally honest
, or they're a jerk; more likely the latter.
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Live Action TV
- On NCIS, Jimmy comes into the office with an allergic reaction to henna on his back and asks for help to apply ointment. Tony's and Ziva's responses?
Tony: I have to go to lunch.
Ziva: I need to get the hell out of here.
- In the pilot episode of Friends, Joey asks Phoebe whether she wants to come help them put together Ross' new furniture. She replies
"Oh, I wish I could, but I don't want to."
- In Just Shoot Me!, Dennis excuses himself from listening to one of Nina's stories with:
"Oh, I just remembered: You're boring, and my legs work."
- On Scrubs, Dr. Kelso pulled this one in response to Carla trying to organize a group photo:
"Blah, blah, blah, I'm not going."
- Frequently happens in House, by the title character mostly, but also by others.
- On Buffy the Vampire Slayer Spike didn't help fight the monster of the week once because he was "paralyzed with not caring very much".
- In Victorious:
Beck: Wow, I gotta go to, um...*Walks out*
- More commonly Beck (and the rest of the cast) come up with some sad excuse for an excuse, and Jade just tells the person off.
Andre: Oh hey, it's that... guy.
Tori: Wait up... guy!
Jade: There is no guy.
- In the Press Gang episode "A Night In," Lynda is handing out "yellow slips" which mean that the recipient has to work on Saturday evening. Cue a round of excuses... and, when the round gets to Kenny, a wry look and the question, "Can you tell me which excuses haven't been used yet?"
- One episode of The Big Bang Theory has Sheldon anxious at the prospect of giving a speech at an awards banquet. His friends offer to help him work through his anxiety in different ways. Leonard offers to do a therapy session with him, Raj says he will teach Sheldon some Indian meditation techniques, and Penny agrees to take him to buy a new suit for the occasion. Sheldon asks what contribution Howard will make, and Howard replies, "My contribution is to pretend I give a damn about your piddly-ass problems. And that's 24 hours a day, buddy." Sheldon appreciates his honesty.
- Sheldon does this a lot to his friends, saying things like "I don't want to do that because it doesn't sound like fun." And when he walks away from a conversation, he freely admits that he's leaving because the topics of conversation don't interest him.
- In one episode of How I Met Your Mother Robin is into Barney because she thinks he and Ted were in a fight. She asks him out, but then when she finds out he wasn't, she tries to think of a reason she can't go out with him.
Robin: (backing out of the room) Oh, I just remembered, I've got that uh... that uh... that... uh... (closes the door)
- Also when Robin is wondering if her friends have watched her early morning news show, Barney repeatedly says that he hasn't seen it, while Lily, Marshall and Ted are trying to convince her that they watch it.
- On Corner Gas, when asked to help out at a senior's home, Emma and Karen weasel for a few seconds, then grudgingly accept. Oscar just gives a flat, "No." Then he turns to the other two: "See how easy it is?"
- Jerome does this once on House of Anubis, when everyone is leaving the sit-down strike, and Victor threatens to expel them. At least the other students had genuine reasons why they didn't want to stay.
Mick: Thing is...it's this sports scholarship. I need a good...reference from the school...
Mara: And there's a class on Sea-cows I really want to take. Sorry, Patricia.
Alfie: Yeah, my parental units would kill me if I got expelled from yet another school.
Jerome: I'm out too. It was a dumb idea anyways.