We’ve all been there. You’re hours away from the time you agreed to go on that date or get dinner/drinks with your friends and suddenly feel an overwhelming sense of dread. You don’t want to go anymore! You changed your mind, but you don’t know how to tell them that you no longer want to hang out.

Do you have good, valid excuses? Of course not! You just want to stay home with your dog and continue marathoning Friends for the seventeenth time. And that’s okay! Do you tell your friends that you would rather hang with Chandler and Monica than with them? Do you tell them that you’re too lazy to put on pants? No, you tell them a made-up excuse that they can’t argue with. Some of us have FOMO (fear of missing out) and some of us are totally cool with missing out, but just need the perfect excuse to do so. We got you covered with the best excuses for when you simply don’t want to go out but need a ~white lie~ to get out of it.

Table of Contents

1. “I literally have nothing to wear because I need to do laundry”

You can’t go out nude, right? Stay in where pants aren’t necessary. Of course, your BFF may come back with a “borrow something of mine!” Ugh, it sucks having friends who are so generous sometimes. The perfect rebuttal is, of course, that you’re on your last pair of underwear and if you don’t do laundry tonight then you’ll be paying the price tomorrow.

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2. “Oh, sorry I’m just seeing this text, I was napping! I have a headache, so I’m just going to keep napping it off.”

Everyone loves a good nap! You can’t be mad at someone for getting in some solid napping. It sounds so much better than, “I’m going to go to sleep early,” doesn’t it?

3. “My dog is so sick and I don’t want to leave her all alone”

Dogs are like kids, but they don’t talk and are a little less work. If your dog is sick, you can’t do anything! You can’t leave a sick puppy alone. Sorry, friends. The added bonus is that a dog can’t slip up and accidentally tell your group of gal pals that you both actually spent the night re-watching Legally Blonde even though she was healthy as could be.

4. “I got drunk alone too early and now I’m too tipsy to go anywhere”

You know when you get home from work on a Friday and have a glass of wine to unwind from the week? That’s when this excuse comes in. Make it seem like it was your friend’s idea, too, by being like “I don’t want to force you to babysit my drunk ass all night — you deserve to have some fun.”

5. “I just Postmate’d food and now I have to stay and wait for it to arrive”

If there’s one thing that all friends understand it’s that food comes before everything. You’re not going to waste a delicious (and probably pricey) meal just to party with your BFFs! It’s just too precious. No food can be left behind.

6. “Uber is surcharged 3X right now and I have to pay rent next week”

First, we blamed it on the alcohol. Then, we blamed it on the Uber. Since drinking and driving is obvi a no-go and Uber can get super expensive, use their redonkulous prices to your advantage! A night out shouldn’t cost $100 in transportation alone when we all have bills to pay! This is actually a super valid excuse — whether that’s your actual reason to be snuggled up in bed with a cup of tea and all the Netflix in the world at your finger tips or not.

7. “I’m deep into a Netflix binge and I can’t turn back now”

Speaking of good ol’ Netflix (or is Hulu the new best thing now?), once you start a show it’s just cruel to expect to be ripped away from it. Netflix binge session > going out. Your friends know it’s true. Invite them over to watch the 17-year-old episode of Dawson’s Creek you’re just starting if it’ll get them off your back. If they’re trying to rage, they can always say no.

8. “My face is breaking out and I need to stay in to do a face mask”

Break outs get better, faster when you don’t wear makeup. Staying in to take care of your skin is actually a great excuse — whether you’ve got a cluster of zits or not. If you’ve got at least one pimple to excuse your absence, be sure to zoom in on it in a Snapchat to explain yourself with a little caption like, “she’s keeping me home tonight.”

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9. “It’s honestly too cold for me to leave my couch”

The winter is terrible! No one wants to go out in the arctic tundra when you can stay in with heat and blankets. Again, you can always give ’em a half-hearted invite over. They probably won’t take you up on it if it’s actually cold outside. If it’s not actually cold outside and they call you on it, just clap back with a “that’s so weird — I must be coming down with something then, because I’m shivering. Wouldn’t want to get you sick.” Again, if you make it seem like you’re looking out for them when you’re actually bailing on the plans, they’ll have a lot less to be mad about.

10. “It’s honestly way too hot out to leave my AC”

Ah, the exact reverse. Same rules apply. The summer is so terrible! No one wants to go out and sweat in crowded hot, sweaty bars when you can stay in sprawled on your bed naked with your sweet, sweet AC blasting.

11. “I’m really sore from going to the gym yesterday/last week/last month, so count me out”

Trust me, if you’re usually not the ~active~ type, then this excuse can work in your favor several times in a row. Going out usually includes standing or dancing and movement in general. How could you possibly do anything when you just soOo sore from hitting the gym? Is this punishment for trying to be healthy? Either way, you definitely can’t go out. It’ll be no fun for anyone else if you don’t want to leave the barstool even when Rihanna‘s “Wild Thoughts” starts playing.

12. “I totally forgot about (random family member) coming to town and I have to clean my apartment”

Family surprises are always a great excuse. Everyone knows family obligations trump friends and everyone knows your apartment looks like a tornado came storming through your living room unless you have a concrete reason why it must be clean. No one will blame you for needing to spend a solid 6-8 hours making sure your living space is Mom-approved.

13. “My cramps are killing me and I don’t think I can possibly move from this very spot”

We’re all ladies here, right? Cramps are an excuse to never leave your house again if you don’t want to. Anyone who has experienced cramps will accept this without question. Plus, if your friends think you’re on your period, then they couldn’t possibly blame you for not wanting to venture too far from your warm bed, the microwavable pizza in the freezer and your hot water bottle. If you’re lying though and you and your friends already know you’re all synced up — you might want to avoid this excuse.

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14. “I have to work on a new blog post. My 15 readers have been waiting 2 weeks and I’d hate to disappoint them”

You’re a busy lady with a lot of fans who are counting on you. Your friends won’t be able to question your hustle and commitment to your ~brand~. Don’t have a blog that they know about? Either say you write about ~personal~ things on there which is why you don’t share the URL with anyone you know IRL ooooorrrr say you’re editing an Instagram that you want to get over 150 likes with. Your friends should find your commitment endearing. If they don’t, get more supportive friends.

15. “I already left the house once today and my doctor says I should limit my activity”

Doctors orders are to be taken seriously. If your doc says to not go outside, then you can’t possibly go. Leaving the house once is enough. Be sure to look up some symptoms on WebMD for when they inevitably ask what condition could possibly have you on house arrest by the doc.

16. “My stomach hurts sooo bad and I don’t want to risk vomiting before I even start drinking”

Stomach problems are scary because you may vomit or even poop your pants. No one, not even your BFFs, like to deal with either of those things so there should be no follow-up questions when tossing this exuse out in the open.

17. “Oh no! I just threw up all over my apartment. I can’t do anything now!”

I mean, if you’re legit barfing then your friends can’t really say $h*! about you flaking out. Even if you’re not legit barfing, you’ve just gotta convince your friends.

18. “Just saw this really sad YouTube video and honestly I’m way too depressed to even think about leaving my apartment”

There is an endless variety of YT vids that will eff you up on every occasion. You can’t really control what weird corner of the web you may end up in. First, you’re watching a makeup tutorial for the night ahead and then all of a sudden, you’re watching a cat trying to revive its dead cat-friend. It’s terrible. Yet, you can’t look away. No one would want to go out after that. If your friends aren’t psychopaths then they have got to understand that.

19. “I accidentally saw the news and now I will for sure be no fun tonight”

Speaking of depressing… considering everything going on in the world, there’s no bigger boner kill (metaphorically, of course… and probably non-metaphorically, too) than accidentally getting sucked into watching a news segment about basically anything: climate change, politics, social issues… it’s all bad. Even mentioning the news might make your friends want to stay in tonight, too.

20. “…I just really don’t feel like going out. Maybe next weekend?”

Or, you know, you can just tell the truth that you don’t want to go out, but what’s the fun in that?

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