How to Fake Sick to Stay Home from School

Five Parts:Beginning Your Sickness the Day BeforeReinforcing Your Sickness in the MorningFaking a Specific IllnessKeeping it Going Throughout the DayFooling Your Teacher and School Nurse

Don't want to go to school today? You haven't done your homework the night before? Have gym class today? Or you're just feeling lazy? Maybe you don't want to go back to school after a short break? Here's how to fake sick so you can have the day off!

Part 1
Beginning Your Sickness the Day Before

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    Begin to show slight symptoms the night before. If you are planning on staying home the next day, tell your mom or dad that you don't feel well the night before.[1]
    • Don’t tell them too early the day before, because some illnesses tend to go away overnight like a stomach ache. Aim for starting your symptoms after 6:30 P.M. or after dinnertime.
    • If you've been ill before with a virus or bug repeat those symptoms; it will seem less like you are faking. But remember that you can't get the same bug twice! If you've been to see someone who had a cold or something replicate those symptoms so it seems as though you caught it from them.
    • Slap your cheeks. When you are starting to develop a cold or you're becoming ill, your cheeks are red. You can mimic this by slapping your cheeks repeatedly when your parents are not looking. Don’t overdo it though, you don’t actually want to hurt yourself! Or you could use face paint, but that might come off.
    • Act slightly clumsy, as this will make you look ill or tired.
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    Don't do something you want to. Your parents will believe you more if you sacrifice something you like to do as well as the thing you don't like (school).
    • Don’t finish eating half of your favorite meal at dinnertime. When your parent(s) ask what's wrong, tell them that your stomach hurts. Make sure you hide snacks in your room so you can miss a meal so they think you are sick because you're "not feeling well.”
    • If you have plans with friends, cancel going out with them.
    • Ask to be excused from family time or don’t watch your favorite TV show.
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    Start but then don’t finish your homework. This will cover the fact that you're trying to stay home from school, while giving you a reason to stay home the next day.
    • If you normally do your homework at night, get started on it, but put your head down periodically so that they see you're not feeling well and it's interfering with your work.
    • If you usually do your homework on time, continue to do it to make it look like you were intending to go to school, but halfway though, complain about feeling ill.
    • By not finishing your homework, they'll have another excuse to keep you from school.
    • This works best if you have parents who care about your grades.
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    Go to bed early. Choosing to actually go to bed early will be a red flag, especially if you usually to try to stay up later than you’re allowed.
    • Don't say anything or just say you're not feeling well and need to lie down.
    • Alternatively, try to catch your parents’ attention by just walking by them or out of the room and head straight for your bed.
    • If you feel like you really are sick, but so mild that your parents wouldn't even listen, exaggerate your symptoms. (For example, nauseated becomes I'm about to throw up) Some studies say that you feel like what you think, so that might be an awesome plan which your parents can't foil! Remember: this devious step only works if you are getting sick in reality, so don't just go for this one if you're not sick. This is a strengthener for your saying for next morning!
    • Don't brush your teeth. If your parents notice, they'll probably come into your room to remind you. At that point, they'll probably wonder what's wrong, and you can tell them that you're not feeling well.
    • Appear impatient, maybe even cranky, and eager to go to bed. Don't act too cranky, though, you want your parents’ sympathy for being sick, not punishment for being rude!
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    Wake up in the middle of the night. Wake yourself and your parents up around 1:00 A.M. and tell them you’re not feeling well.
    • If you're pretending to have stomach issues, tell them you just threw up (having left some fake vomit in the toilet).[2]
    • Force tears (if you can) to make it seem real that you’re sick. Try and make it realistic though! Think of a pet dying or something sad to make yourself cry.
    • Pull at the bottom of your eyelids until it hurts then blink hard a few times; you should get watery eyes.
    • For flu or sore throat symptoms, cough or clear your throat loudly enough for them to hear in their bedrooms. Rub your face vigorously right before they come in to look red and appropriately ill.
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    Stay up through the night. This gives you bags underneath your eyes, and you will have a legitimate reason to have a day off. Purple or gray eyeshadow works too to look like you have bags.
    • Go to bed an hour or two later than you usually fall asleep. This may make small bags underneath your eyes or make them slightly puffy.
    • Try to get at least four hours of sleep if you don’t want to be too sleep-deprived for your sick day off.

Part 2
Reinforcing Your Sickness in the Morning

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    Wake up before your parents and quietly make fake vomit. Put it in the toilet and pretend to throw up. If this doesn't wake them up, go get them and tell them what just "happened".
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    Be reluctant to get dressed. Don’t volunteer to get yourself ready for school. Instead, act like it is a difficult task for you to perform.
    • Slowly dress, but not too slowly. Skip a button on your shirt, don't comb your hair properly, and don't tie your shoe laces properly (or even at all).
    • Have droopy eyes. Think of something sad and let your eyes water and droop. You can also rub them to give that slightly bloodshot look.[3]
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    Fake bags under your eyes. Even if you got enough sleep the night before and don’t have natural bags under your eyes, there’s an easy way to fake it.
    • Take yours or your mom's light lavender or blueish eyeshadow.
    • Mix in some water to make the color fade into a more natural tint.
    • Rub it in well, but still make it noticeable.
    • You could also take some vaseline and rub it under your eyes.
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    Pick at your breakfast. A lack of appetite is especially symptomatic of not feeling well. Your parents will be especially concerned if you love breakfast, or if they made your favorite breakfast treat.
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    Protest if they suggest you stay home. When your parents decide to let you stay home, don't just shrug and agree.[4]
    • Protest their decision (but only if you didn't have to convince them first). This reinforces the fact that you really are sick.
    • Say, "But Mom, I'm going to have so much work to make up!" or "But I have a math test today!" If your parents know you don't care about tests, say "But I have band practice, or art class" or something they know you enjoy.
    • Do not overdo it. Don't randomly state that you want to do a test if they know you don't care. This can backfire, unless you're careful.
    • And don't beg excessively to stay home, or your parents might know you are faking it.

Part 3
Faking a Specific Illness

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    Fake having a rash. An allergic reaction or another kind of contagious rash will definitely keep you home.
    • First, scratch your chest lots until it's bright red.
    • Try to keep a circular pattern to make it look more realistic.
    • Finally try to mingle the "rash" with something else like a runny nose or a headache.
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    Fake having a fever. If you do a good job at seeming sick, your parents will probably want to take your temperature. Be ready, though, to to act quick and fake having a fever.[5]
    • Ask to go to the bathroom before they take your temperature.
    • Make sure you have a cup with you. Fill it with warm water to drink and rinse through your mouth, especially under your tongue. This will raise the temperature of your mouth.
    • Be sure to flush the toilet before you turn on the sink, just so your parents don't get too suspicious!
    • Note: this only works if they check it under your tongue, obviously. If the thermometer is one that goes in your ear, try to get it before your temperature's taken and hold it to something warm, like a radiator or a light bulb.
    • If your parents are the kind that just feel your forehead, frequently rub it rapidly when they're not looking, or take a blow dryer and heat your face and say your forehead feels warm.[6]
    • Put warm water in your armpits, forehead, and cheeks. It makes you warm and looks like you have been sweating.
    • You’re aiming for a temperature that is above 99 degrees (37 Celsius) but lower than 103 degrees (39.4 Celsius). If it's below 99 degrees than it doesn't count as a fever, if it's 103 degrees you'll likely be taken to the doctor's right away.[7]
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    Fake a migraine. It's very easy to fake a migraine because there's no way of knowing if you're telling the truth or not. By just faking the symptoms, your parents will believe you.[8]
    • Light and most sounds should bother you. Pretend you're annoyed by them.
    • Say that only one specific area of your head hurts, for example over your right eyebrow. This is essential if you want to fake a migraine.
    • Touch your forehead every now and then and frown when doing so.
    • Say that you feel dizzy and can't see very well. While walking slowly, suddenly stop, close your eyes and "regain balance" by holding onto something or someone.
    • Ask your parents if they could lower their voice a little.
    • If it's the day before the day you want to skip school, go take a nap and turn off all the lights, or if you're just chilling at home, turn off the lights closest to you and lie down on the nearest couch or chair.
    • Ask for medicine such as ibuprofen, but don't actually take it.
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    Fake having diarrhea. This can work great especially after having breakfast.
    • Run suddenly to the bathroom.
    • Spend some time in the bathroom, flush the toilet, and spray a ton of air freshener to cover up the smell that isn't really there.
    • You can also try your hand at making fake diarrhea.
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    Fake having pink eye. Pink eye is super-common and also super-contagious! You'll definitely be staying at home if anyone suspects that you have pink eye.
    • Get red lipstick( most likely in your mom's purse) and some vaseline and rub them along the lips of one eye.
    • Be sure to only do this for one eye though, since pink eye does not usually infect both.[9]
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    Fake having a stomachache, nausea, or cramps. Other than your word, the only other real symptom for these are vomiting, which you can also fake pretty easily.
    • After eating a meal, start complaining that you feel sick.
    • If your parents aren’t looking, stick your finger down your throat (but not too far), and you will start retching but not vomiting. When you feel as though you might actually throw up, quickly remove your fingers. Use this technique sparingly, though, you don't want to hurt yourself.
    • Have fake vomit ready to complete the effect. Get oatmeal and water, run to the bathroom, put the oatmeal and water in your mouth, then spit it in the toilet and show your parents.
    • You can also fake a vomiting incident by pouring fake vomit on your floor (or on your bed if you want it to be more believable). In the morning say that you don't remember it and act apologetic to whoever has to clean it up. Be careful with making people clean it up, because if they look at it too closely they're might realize that it's not actually vomit.
    • If you've started having your period, tell your parents you have cramps or it's that time of the month. Your dad probably won't want to even talk about it, and your mom will understand. Neither of them will be able to disprove it.
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    Fake having a cold or the flu. There are many cold and flu that are easy to mimic. These are also highly contagious conditions, so your parents will probably not want to send you to school and infect your classmates.[10]
    • Blow your nose in a bunch of tissues and throw them on the floor or on your nightstand/on your bed. Then your parents will think you have a runny nose and they will not let you go to school if you have that much of a cold.
    • Breathe only through your mouth, as if your nose is stuffed.
    • If you're not in the same room as they, and they ask you something, hold your nose slightly when you talk.
    • Wear many layers of clothing. This makes it look as though you have the chills and are freezing.
    • Sneeze loudly, then sniffle in front of your parents. Do this also when they're not in the same room but can overhear you from wherever they are.
    • Stretch your lips to make them look chapped and twist your nose to make it red.
    • Mention that your “bones hurt” or that you have lots of aches and pains all over.
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    Fake having a sore throat. Be careful not to make it seem like you have strep throat, though, as this can land in you the doctor’s office.
    • When walking around keep your mouth open and your throat to become dry.
    • Avoid eating and drinking.
    • Suck on red colored cough drops to make your throat look red.
    • Grimace when you swallow. Speak in a deep, croaky tone and constantly take sips of water.
    • Say that you feel a bit scratchy in your throat, or that it feels like you’re swallowing glass.

Part 4
Keeping it Going Throughout the Day

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    Manage your parents’ expectations. Chances are your parents will check on you during your day home to either make sure you’re not faking, or to see if you’re feeling better.
    • If your parents are at home with you, then just pretend to sleep and be sure to act accordingly when they check in on you.
    • If your parents are at work, call to check-in with them. This will make you seem responsible, and not seem like you're having fun.
    • If they call to check on you from work, wait for the phone to ring three or three and a half times before you answer, and sound as tired as you can.
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    Show signs of improvement. If you do stay home, pretend to sleep a lot and gradually start "getting better".
    • Around mid-day, remove one or two of your symptoms.
    • If you don't show any signs of improvement towards the end of the day, your parents might want to take you to the doctor, who will see that there's no illness to be found.
    • If you think your parents will take you to the doctor, try to phase out the sickness or just admit it.
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    Keep a low profile. You're supposed to be home sick in bed, remember?!
    • Don't leave or get caught outside of the house. If a neighbor or friend of your parents sees you, they might tell.
    • Be sure to put away any games before your parents come home. If they see you've been having fun, they'll suspect that you were faking the whole time.
    • Clear out your internet history so that they won't know you were playing on the internet during the day.
    • Don't forget to especially clear this search from your history.
    • Do not save bookmarks or download items on your computer; parents will notice that you did these things during your “sick day.” Delete this page from your browser history, so your parents won't see it and question you.

Part 5
Fooling Your Teacher and School Nurse

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    Get permission to go the nurse. Depending on your school, you’ll have to get permission from your teacher to go to the nurse’s office. Nurses can be tough and are usually good at spotting fakers because they see them basically every day. It can be easier to fool them, though, if you plan to make two visits at different points in the day.[11]
    • Wait about an hour to two hours after the school day starts, then ask your teacher if you can go to the bathroom.
    • After taking a little longer than usual, go back to class and tell her/him you threw up and need to go to the nurse.
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    Ask the nurse if you can just "lay down." Start with simple requests like these rather than bluntly stating "I want to go home."
    • When you first get to the nurse, tell them that you don’t feel well, that you are dizzy, or feel like you want to sleep.
    • Ask if you can rest a little while before going back to class. This makes it seem like you don't necessarily want to go home, and are trying to make it through the school day rather than faking it.[12]
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    Pretend to fall asleep. This will lend realism to your story and make it seem like you really don't feel well.
    • Don't overdo it with fake snoring, though, just keep it simply by covering your face with the pillow or a rag.
    • This will also make it seem like you're sensitive to light (migraine symptom), and seem like you are indeed trying to sleep it off.
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    Rig any medical tests. The nurse might want to run a few medical tests on you to confirm your story.
    • If your nurse wants to take your blood pressure, hold your breath while he/she is taking it. This helps to lower your blood pressure and make it seem like you are, indeed, ill.[13]
    • Tell your nurse that you threw up; they most likely won't question that.
    • Your nurse will also most like want to take your temperature. Be prepared for an oral thermometer by rinsing your mouth with hot water right before you go see them, or by running around a little so that you can raise your body temperature and appear to be feverish.
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    Make a second visit to the nurse. If your nurse sends you back to class, don't worry! This just means that you'll be paying a second visit which gets you out of class and this time will get you sent home for good.
    • Tell the nurse that you're tried but are still not feeling well and that you are "too sick to concentrate." These are golden words.
    • Say that you're starting to feel some of the above symptoms for the flu, nausea, etc.
    • Keep it simple. Don't overdo it by over-exaggerating symptoms or listing too many. Just say that you feel "bad," "have a headache," and "can't concentrate in class because it hurts."
    • It will be tempting to ask her to call your parents, but don't do it!. This will be a red flag for her that you're trying to go home rather than really feeling sick.[14]


  • If you have makeup, use pale foundation and rub a bit of black eyeshadow under your eyes. Pink can make you look sore too.
  • If your parents put their hand on your arm and ask you how it feels say it feels cold NOT warm.
  • A very, very last-ditch effort, mostly for older would-be fakers: do you drink a lot of caffeine every day? If you really, really want to fake, then don't drink anything caffeinated the day before you fake or the morning of. If you're very dependent on caffeine, this can result in a nauseating headache. The upside: you may be legitimately incapacitated, and thus have a very good excuse to skip. The downside is that you may be legitimately incapacitated. Thus, this doesn't work if you plan to do anything with your time off, but is nigh-foolproof if you merely want to get out of a class or test.
  • Read about how parents catch kids who are faking, so you know how to combat their techniques. Keep in mind that the article contains links to this one, so parents can find out how their children fake![15]
  • Don't beg excessively to stay home, or your parents might know you are faking it.
  • If your parents don't fall for any of this, call them while you're in school. You can be more convincing if you actually go to school and then later claim you can't get through the day (ideal if you just want to get out of taking a test, for instance).
  • If faking a cold, say you need to use Vick's Vaporub to help. The smell naturally evokes the idea of being ill and you will seem more credible. Rubbing on your nose can make it run so you genuinely look sick.
  • If your parents do figure it out make sure you have a good sob story ready, for example stressed at school, problem with people. They will be less angry if they know you are having problems.
  • Do not tell anyone about you faking your illness as they could go tell your parents or their parents will tell yours if they tell theirs.
  • Know your parents. If your parents are both doctors, for example, they will obviously be a challenge to fool.
  • Burp in front of your parents and then say that it tastes a little like rotten eggs, which is a sign of the stomach bug.
  • If you have refused to go home in the past when you get sent home teachers will also believe you.
  • Drink hot tea, put a cold rag on your head and suck on cough drops. You can also say your ears are plugged.
  • Don't fake sick a lot, do it at most once every 3 months or your parents might suspect something fishy.
  • When you have a fever, you tend to feel cold and shaky. Wrap yourself in a blanket and look cold to add extra effect.
  • Don't overdo it - keep a low profile. For instance, faking a serious infection could lead to your parents taking you to the doctor, which could lead to you getting found out (or having to take medicine you don't need). A simple stomach bug will do the trick.
  • Makeup will always help you. Add some vaseline and pale green eyeshadow together, rub them below your nose. This will make it look like you are going to vomit.
  • Wait until a parent, friend, or sibling is ill and mimic their symptoms. This will make it seem like you "caught" it from them.
  • Blow dry the top of your forehead, or wet a wash rag with warm water and put it on your forehead to make it feel feverish.
  • Don't tell your teacher or nurse you don't feel good right before a test.
  • When using fake vomit be careful when it comes to your parents cleaning it up. If they look too closely they might see that it does not look or smell like vomit.
  • Blow your nose, cough, and look dizzy a lot. If you're a girl then when you get out of the shower blow dry your hair, when you're almost done point it toward your fore head and cheeks and then ask your parents if you feel warm. This will make it more realistic.
  • Don't tell everyone or they might snitch.
  • Use makeup to fake a pinkish-brown eye. You can use a light or dark pink with a tint of brown shade and put it all the way around your eye. avoid blinking your eyes for a while, so that your eyes become red. Make sure it doesn't come off during the day if it does then you parents or siblings could find out you faked it.
  • Speak softly and breathe through your mouth. This would suggest a sore throat and blocked nose.
  • Try to make your head warm by rinsing your head with hot water (as hot as you can handle) and then dry your hair with a warm hair dryer.


  • Don't fake your sickness for more than 3 days. Your parents might take you to the doctor and you could be found out.
  • Do not, under any circumstances, take real medicine or make yourself throw up. There is no safe medicine. They all have side effects, and even over the counter (OTC) medicine can harm you if you are not actually sick Spit out any medication that may be given to you.. Self-induced vomiting is also dangerous. It can lead to stomach, esophagus, and dental damage.
  • Faking sick too often can lead to parents not trusting you. Then when you really need the day off, they won't believe you. Even if you fake once and get caught, you will lose your credibility, and your parents won't trust you anymore, even if you are sick (think of the little boy who cried wolf).
  • Do not fake the same illness multiple times, and don't fake too close together. Your parents will be on to you in no time.
  • Don't all of a sudden get better; this is highly suspicious. Gradually explain your symptoms healing 2 at a time.
  • Viruses typically only last 24 hours or so. Do not fake a stomach virus for longer than this time period.
  • Don't miss a whole week of school. It will ruin the fun of getting a day off if you get greedy and go for more, only to end up really behind in school and needing to make up a lot of work. The nicest days to do this on are a Friday (since you have Saturday and Sunday to have fun) or Monday. However, this will raise suspicion.
  • If your parents offer you some painkillers or medicine, don't take it - even if they are watching. Say you're fine without it, because it can make you sick if you take medicine when you’re not actually sick. You could pretend to do take the medicine, and if you do end up taking the medication, make sure to spit it out. A good thing to remember is that Tums and Cough drops can be taken if you aren't really sick, but still don't take more than 10 in a single day.
  • If you're skipping to avoid something, it will only pop up later. Take deep breaths, mentally prepare yourself, and remember that it will be over when the school bell rings. Get it over with and put whatever you're nervous about behind you by stepping up to it and going to school anyway.

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Categories: Feigning Illness | Skipping School