Participants provided examples of explanations given as excuses, or withheld in favor of a false excuse, both for failing to keep a social contract and for rejecting a social invitation. Results show that the likelihood of an explanation being given in social-contract situations was best predicted by intentionality and controllability; while in social-rejection situations, the most important factor was to avoid personal reasons (related to the recipient). Excuse-givers were even willing to blame themselves to do this. These results are discussed in terms of the need to extend attributional categories beyond traditional self-serving functions to include social goals. such as the recipient saving face, to provide an adequate account of how excuse-making varies across different types of social predicaments.