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Excuse of an Index

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Here are tropes which deal with characters making all kinds of excuses or justifications for doing certain things or avoiding situations.


See also:

  • Against My Religion: Refusing to do something with the excuse that it doesn't follow the teachings of your religion.
  • Appeal to Inherent Nature: Excusing horrific actions with the reasoning that it is normal for you to do such actions.
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  • At Least I Admit It: A person who calls out another person for wrongdoing is themselves no saint, but excuses that they at least don't deny or lie about their misdeeds.
  • Bad Mood as an Excuse: A character gets into a bad mood and berates everyone.
  • Bathroom Search Excuse: Using a bathroom break as an excuse to snoop.
  • Because I Said So: Coercing someone into following orders by stressing that you gave the order and that they must do as you say.
  • Bystander Syndrome: Refusing to help someone in need in spite of being in a position to help on the basis that the person's misfortune does not affect you.
  • Can't Argue with Elves: A race believes that they are the superior species and uses this belief as an excuse to look down on so-called lesser lifeforms and insist that they are always right.
  • Classified Information: Claiming that you can't reveal information because it's a secret.
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  • Culture Justifies Anything: Using one's cultural background as an excuse to do horrible things.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: An estranged father gives an excuse for why they left their child.
  • Diplomatic Impunity: A dignitary believes that having diplomatic immunity means they can't get punished for what they do in the country they're visiting.
  • Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery: Someone uses the excuse that being disabled means they can get away with being an asshole.
  • A Dog Ate My Homework: A student who didn't bother doing their homework claims their dog ate it to avoid getting in trouble for not doing it.
  • Dog-Kicking Excuse: A character looks for a reason to Kick the Dog.
  • Don't Like? Don't Read!: Someone responds to negative feedback on their work with the rationalization that the reviewer who panned their creation shouldn't be watching works that they dislike.
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  • Embarrassing Cover Up: A cover story so embarrassing/disgusting no one wants to know any details.
  • Excuse Boomerang: A person's excuse backfires when it is used against them as an excuse for punishing them for their actions.
  • Exercise Excuse: Claiming to be exercising as an excuse for being in a strange position.
  • Fake Period Excuse: A woman gets out of a situation by lying about being on her period.
  • Fake Static: Someone avoids conversation by pretending that their communications system is failing.
  • Faking Engine Trouble: Claiming to have engine trouble to stall for time.
  • Freudian Excuse: A villain or jerk is the way they are because of something bad that happened to them in the past and they use their past suffering as an excuse for their actions.
    • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: The bad person's victims and the people intending to punish the bad person for their transgressions feel that the bad person having suffered in the past does not mean their actions are acceptable or that they should avoid punishment for their wrongdoings.
  • Gas Leak Cover-Up: Something unnatural is covered up by claiming that it's actually the result of a gas leak.
  • Give Me a Reason: Character eagerly looks for an excuse to inflict violence upon someone.
  • Going to the Store: A character claims to be going to the store as a cover-up for why they're leaving.
  • Hurricane of Excuses
  • I Am Big Boned: Someone claims that they aren't really fat and gives an excuse for why they look obese.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Someone gives the excuse that they did something reprehensible because they had no other option.
  • I Have No Idea What I'm Doing
  • I'm a Man; I Can't Help It: It's attempted to justify sexual harassment and sexual assault with the rationalization that men have little self-control when it comes to being aroused.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: A character makes an excuse to leave that is weird and obviously fake.
  • Insanity Defense: A person attempts to avoid going to jail for their crimes by giving the excuse that they are insane and therefore cannot be held accountable for what they did.
  • It's What I Do: A justification for why a character behaves the way they are.
  • I Was Just Passing Through: A character saves another character and makes an excuse for it.
  • I Was Young and Needed the Money: A character claims that they appeared in a pornographic film because they were that desperate for money at the time.
  • Invented Invalid: Lying about having to tend to a sick relative as an excuse for not showing up.
  • Jerk Justifications: A character makes an excuse for their Jerkass attitude and behavior.
  • Just Following Orders: Someone gives the excuse that they did something simply because they were given the order to do so.
  • Just Giving Orders: Someone tries to shift the blame for their actions onto the subordinates who followed their orders.
  • "Just Joking" Justification: Excusing threats and insults by claiming that you weren't sincere when you made them.
  • Life Isn't Fair: A character uses the observation that life isn't fair as an excuse to treat other people badly and to rationalize that no one has the right to complain about their misfortunes.
  • Marital Rape License: The rationalization that marriage makes it okay to rape your spouse if you want sex.
  • Moving the Goalposts: A character makes a new stipulation at the last minute in order to get out of honoring their part of a deal.
  • Not Even Bothering with an Excuse: A character doesn't even try to give an excuse for their actions and bluntly tells why they did what they did.
  • "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization: A rapist tries to rationalize that they did nothing wrong because their victim enjoyed the non-consensual sex.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: A person really wants to be the one to defeat their enemy, so they'll sabotage any attempts other people make at defeating their foe.
  • Playing Sick: Pretending to be sick as an excuse to avoid doing something or to make everyone else wait on you hand and foot.
  • Precedent Excuse: Using the observation of what another person is allowed to do or have as an excuse for why someone should be allowed to do something or have something.
  • Pretext for War: Waging war against an enemy with the excuse that they were doing something that could indicate that they are a potential threat.
  • Rationalizing the Overkill: Someone gives an excuse for why they retaliated to a slight with more extremes than the offense really deserved.
  • Relatively Flimsy Excuse: Claiming a person is related to you as an excuse in spite of it being obvious that the person can't be family.
  • Sand In My Eyes: A character who was caught crying denies that they were and gives an excuse for why they appeared to be shedding tears.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Someone believes that being elderly entitles them to be rude to everyone.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!: A character believes that having powers means they're entitled to break the law.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: An authority figure believes that being in charge means they don't have to obey the law.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Famous!: A celebrity believes that their fame means they can get away with anything.
  • Screw the Rules, It's the Apocalypse!: When the apocalypse happens, everyone starts doing whatever the hell they want with the reasoning that the world ending means that rules and laws don't matter anymore.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Character leaves because they don't want to get involved with the current situation.
  • Society Is to Blame: A person who has done wrong gives the excuse that the poor state of the world is why they've resorted to committing immoral and illicit actions.
  • Talk About That Thing: A character comes up with an excuse to go somewhere private to discuss something with someone else.
  • Wild Card Excuse: A character always uses the same excuse, regardless of whether it makes sense in the current context.
  • Would Rather Suffer
  • You Didn't Ask: A character is inquired why they didn't reveal information that would've been helpful earlier and the character rationalizes that they were not asked to do so.