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Fake Period Excuse

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Fran Fine: What gives? You've had your period four times this month.
Maggie Sheffield: So?
Fran: So, women don't get their period every week. If they did, all the men in the world would be institutionalized.
The Nanny, "The Gym Teacher"

Having to deal with bleeding and cramps every month can suck. But for all the other days, it can be a handy excuse if one has to sneak out of work or keep folks from searching your stuff.

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Bringing up one's own period in fiction usually results in men not wanting to hear any more quickly, due to the assumption that All Periods Are PMS.


Examples:

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     Advertising 
  • In an ad for a period-products delivery service called "Hello Flo," a young girl is hoping her first period would come, because she's the only one in her social circle who hasn't gotten it yet. She then gets the idea to fake it: she puts some red nail polish on a pad, and leaves it where her mother is sure to find it. Her mother does, and proceeds to throw her a "First Moon Party," to which everyone (even Grandpa!) is invited. The girl is so embarrassed, she confesses that she faked it, and the mother replies that she knows. The girl then asks if her mother is going to ground her for lying, and the mother replies, "Why do you think I threw you that First Moon party?" (Implying that she felt the embarrassment was punishment enough.)

    Anime & Manga 
  • At one point in Horimiya, Ishikawa claims that Miyamura is having his period to explain why he can't go to the baths with everyone else (the real reason is because they'd find out about his tattoos). The other guys don't even question this despite it being a Blatant Lie. Miyamura would later reuse this excuse to get out of having to take part in a mandatory pool class.

    Fanfiction 
  • Indirect example in The Second Try. Misato claims that Asuka is having her period to explain why her Sync Ratio had dropped.
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    Live Action Film 
  • In Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, a diner, faced with the appalling prospect of having Mr. Creosote at the next table, uses the excuse of suddenly realizing she's having a really heavy period and consequently not wishing to bleed all over the carpet, as her excuse to get the hell out of the place quickly.
  • In The Amazing Spider-Man, Peter Parker crashes into Gwen's room while heavily wounded. To keep her father Officer Stacy from finding him, she calls off all requests to come down for dinner, then starts to apologize for her outburst by blaming it on period cramps. Immediately her dad doesn't want to hear any more.
  • In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Queenie smuggles Newt, Tina, and Jacob out of the MACUSA headquarters by claiming she's feeling unwell and taking the rest of the day off. When her supervisor asks what she's carrying in Newt's suitcase, her response is "lady things." She even invites him to take a closer look, but he declines and sends her on her way.

    Literature 
  • The Bible: Older Than Feudalism. In the Biblical book of Genesis, Rachel steals her father's idols just before she and her husband's caravan leave. When her father catches up to Jacob and accuses him of stealing, Jacob lets him search his entire property, saying (not knowing who did it) that anyone who stole the idols will be put to death. Rachel keeps her father from finding them by sitting on top of the saddle where she hid them, while claiming she's on her period and thereby making anything she touches unclean. As a result, he never finds them.
  • The first October Daye book has Toby begging off work by implying her period is troubling her to her manager at her mortal job.
  • A variant in Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.. Nancy pretends to get her first period to try to impress her friends. This backfires when it actually does happen later and Margaret witnesses Nancy panic.
  • In an Ellery Queen novel, a woman leaves work early by claiming a "a particularly feminine problem, connected to the phases of the moon".
  • Adolin complains about women doing this in Oathbringer. Apparently one of his ex-girlfriends once managed to supposedly be on her period four different times in the same month.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agent Carter: In the first episode, Peggy overhears her fellow agents planning a secret infiltration of a nightclub hiding stolen weapons. Not invited along due to being a woman, she asks to go home early due to "female matters", and promptly gets the time off to plan her own investigation.
  • The Nanny: "The Gym Teacher" had Maggie faking her period as an excuse to get out of gym class.
  • Red Dwarf: In "Balance of Power", when Rimmer's impersonation of Kristine Kochanski unravels, he tries to explain that he's "having a woman's period".
  • Amanita does this to buy time in Sense8 when the FBI storm her mother's house looking for Nomi. Amanita ducks into the bathroom, grabs a fresh tampon and covers it with red cough syrup. The FBI agent who forces open the bathroom door is promptly squicked out by her throwing the "bloody" tampon at him.
  • Hunter. Rick Hunter has been ordered to work with a partner to inhibit his Cowboy Cop tendencies, and works out a deal with Dee Dee to pretend they're partners while they're actually working alone. When Da Chief demands to know where his partner is, Hunter comes up with this excuse, saying the department wouldn't want to get involved in a sexual discrimination lawsuit over it. Da Chief is not impressed.

     Theatre 
  • Be More Chill: Right before "Michael in the Bathroom", Michael is sitting alone in the bathroom after Jeremy betrays him and someone knocks on the door, demanding to use the bathroom. Michael yells back that he is on his period so he doens't have to leave. Somehow, the other person believes him.

    Video Games 
  • One optional puzzle in the text adventure "Stone Cell" is for the player character, a teenage girl, to hide a medallion from a female searcher. The solution: Hide it in her underpants, and stain them with blood so the searcher mistakes the bulge for a menstrual pad.
  • If you try to take Isabela to the Qunari compound in Dragon Age II, she'll leave your active party - possibly with "female problems" as an excuse.
  • In Life Is Strange: Before the Storm, Chloe uses this excuse on the security guard Skip in order to get into the Boy’s Dormitories. Whether it works or not depends on how well she argues.
    Chloe: En fuego utero, Skip! En fuego utero!
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    Western Animation 
  • Bob's Burgers: In "Moody Foodie", Tina mentions that one of her classmates actively tried to get her period to get a do-over on a test.
  • In the Trollhunters episode "Airheads", Claire was able to get out of class to help Tobes with a gravity curse by telling the teacher that she was having "girl problems".
  • South Park:
    • In "Summer Sucks", the Mayor's aides tell a media crowd that she can't address them in person because she's sick. The journalists don't buy it, so an aide blurts out that she's having her period. The press immediately falls silent.
    • In "Are You There God? It's Me, Jesus", Cartman and Kenny have their first "periods" (an infection causing anal bleeding) and form their own club. Kyle doesn't want to be left out so he pretends he's had his too.

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