11 Hacks to Help Escape Your In-Laws’ House on Thanksgiving

(Because there’s only so much disapproval and judgment you can take over the holiday.)

Senior Mother-in-Law Interferring With Couple on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving can be a lot to handle when you think about all the cooking, the traveling, the planning, and so on. Add all of that to the fact that you’re stuck at your in-laws’ house and you’re bound to get dangerously close to your breaking point.

That can all be avoided with some perfectly timed intermissions — you know, a few breaks to help ease that Turkey Day tension. But sometimes it’s hard to come up with the perfect way to sell your great escape. Not anymore, though. Here are a few excuses developed by NASA’s top scientists that were researched, designed, and tested for maximum success.

“I Need Some Fresh Air”

Young woman enjoying a fresh air on the mountain

This is a pretty simple one, really. No big lie to sell here. Just grab your mittens and head out back for a bit. Of course, this only really buys you like 5-10 minutes, but sometimes that’s enough to give you exactly what you need.

“Ope, Looks Like We Need More Cranberry Sauce. I’ll Get It.”

young man resting in a car outdoors

This is perhaps the best option for a couple of reasons. First, the only place with cranberries open on Thanksgiving Day is probably in another county, so this one could give you some freedom alone in your car for a while. Second, it makes you sound helpful, so that’s good.

“I’m Going to Go Meet Up with a High School Friend”

Instant Film Montage of high school friends

Thanksgiving is a great time to meet up with old friends you haven’t seen in a while. Only thing is, you didn’t go to high school around here, your wife did. So good luck getting this one by the in-laws.

“I’m Gonna Go Score a Few Early Black Friday Deals”

mobile smartphones in store

Heck, with all these stores starting their big Black Friday deals, you gotta start earlier than ever if you want that hot new (insert Apple product here) for a low, low price. Just tell your mother-in-law you want to get her something really nice this year and need to go check out the hot deals real quick. This could buy you a good hour or two of time, so use it wisely.

“I Just Gotta Go Put Some Air in the Tires”

You’re leaving in a couple of days, but you just can’t wait for a break, huh? Why don’t you just tell your father-in-law how important auto safety is to you, head off to the nearest gas station, and add a few PSI to those tires. He’ll appreciate it, for sure.

“I’m Gonna Go Catch a Movie”

Young man watching a superhero movie at the cinema

This one’s both good and bad. It’ll be great to finally see the new Avengers movie, but you aren’t going to win over the fam when you tell them they’re not invited. Use this one only under dire circumstances.

“Honey, Let’s Go for a Walk.”

Couple walking in autumn park

So you’ve spent the whole day in your in-laws' home where the thermostat is set to “Arizona in the summer.” It’s no wonder the tension is running so high. And now that the gravy is basically coming out of your sweat glands, it’s the perfect time to head outside for a walk. The cool air will do you some good.

“Anyone Up for a Game of Football?”

American football with my uncle

Tired of your nephews jumping all over you on the couch? Invite them all out to the backyard. Just remember, it’s touch, not tackle.

“Hey, Anybody Want to Do a 5K?

arge group of runners for a 5k

No holiday has more fun runs than Thanksgiving. After all, what a great way to justify those four helpings of corn casserole you just housed. It’s the perfect intermission in what feels like a neverending weekend.

“Looks Like We Got an Earlier Flight”

Young couple arriving at the airport

Why just take a break when you can completely leave? Get the airline to bump you up to the red-eye and you can be home in hours. Ahhhh, perfect.

“Oh No, It’s the Office Calling. There’s an Emergency.”

man receiving call using smartphone from office - surprised face

Most offices are closed on Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be some sort of sales emergency that “demands your immediate attention.” Just practice this: “I understand, Jim. I can be there in half an hour.”

Now, Who’s Ready for Some Turkey?

With help from a few of these escape excuses, your little trip to the in-laws is bound to fly by without any major disasters. Give your favorite line or two some practice and fire away when the time is right. But please, no thanks necessary.

Good luck. And if you’ve got a better escape excuse for Thanksgiving, share it with us and let someone else enjoy the same freedom from the in-laws that you did.

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