Everyone loves Halloween. We all get to dress up in silly costumes and when strangers come to our door, we don’t mind at all. In fact, we give them candy and maybe chat a little about their costume choice.
The internet’s making Halloween even better because now people can share creative costume ideas that others might never think of. Folks are gathering inspiration from everywhere: food, YouTube, artists, real and fictional characters, common expressions, gift tags, Fifty Shades of Grey—you name it.
Here are 15 (mostly inexpensive and easy-to-make) hilarious Halloween costume ideas that are low-key brilliant.
15 One-night stand
We all know the expression “one-night stand.” It's the old school and more specific version of "hooking up," which has probably been replaced by "Netflix and Chill" at this point. Whenever people use either term, it generally means that they got together and spent the night with someone who they never plan to see again and/or have no intention of pursuing a long-term relationship with.
Well, this guy’s costume’s a literal translation. He cut a hole in a box and in the center of a cheap tablecloth, attached an empty pill bottle, empty cup or book (think of stuff you’d normally keep beside your bed) and probably bought a thrift store lamp with a lampshade to fit his head and voilà! Creative, easy, cheap and inventive costume you can make using everyday items.
14 Salsa picante guy
This guy scored one amazing sombrero from somewhere. You’d think if you managed to hunt up an awesome hat like that you’d hang on to it for future costume-making because it’s perfect if you happen to want to dress up as the Tapatio Salsa Picante Hot Sauce Guy for Halloween. Some people dress up as Aunt Jemima, others as the Quaker Oats guy, but this guy was probably digging into some burritos and spicing them up with Mexican hot sauce when the illustration of the guy on his hot sauce bottle gave him this Halloween costume ideas. We’re in awe of people who can get idea from little things.
It’s fairly easy to replicate with the right props: sombrero, fake mustache, yellow blazer, red scarf and a salsa picante banner affixed to the jacket.
13 YouTube "OMG! Awesome Party Guy Vid!"
This costume looks pretty inexpensive to make. You’d need to find a solid white piece of Bristol board taller than yourself (maybe you could securely tape or glue two boards together to get correct height). Then, there’s work involved with printing the text neatly onto the board a la YouTube style, but it really just takes a few different colored markers to imitate the webpage’s colors and a steady hand to print out the words (if doing by hand). You could also print up all the text on a computer and glue it on. Then, you’ve got to semi-attach it to your body (maybe somehow using a belt—remember to make the costume easy to remove for washroom visits). The last detail is to make a window for your face.
12 God's gift to women
We’ve all heard that expression “God’s gift to women.” Maybe we’ve even said it ourselves. Maybe we even know some conceited guy and we’ve said it about them. “He thinks he’s so great. He thinks he’s got it all. He thinks he’s God’s gift to women” *eye roll*. Of course, this is just another way of saying someone is totally full of themselves and we really think they’re actually a massive tool.
Well, this guy took that expression, wrapped up a box big enough to fit his body inside with decorative wrapping paper, made a gift tag reading: “To: Women/From: God,” put a bow on it and here you are, ladies and gents, here’s: “God’s Gift To Women,” ready to be unwrapped like a birthday present.
11 Google Maps
Here’s another costume that’s inexpensive, looks easy to make and is fun, inventive and on trend. We consult Google Maps pretty much daily whenever we go anywhere to tell us how to get from point A to point B. It gives directions via car, public transit or on foot. It provides estimates of how long any trip will take in phases and total time. If you’re taking public transit, it estimates how long it will take to walk from the final stop to the actual destination and gives time estimates for all points in between.
It looks like all it takes to make this costume is some red Bristol board, a computer with printer (for street names, bus symbols and lettering) and some sticky yellow tape to crisscross over a plain shirt.
10 E.T. and Elliot on bike
Anyone who’s seen the movie E.T. the Extraterrestrial will remember the scene where Elliot, wearing his classic red hoodie and E.T., riding in a milk crate out front of Elliot’s bike, lifts off into the sky. If you don’t remember this scene and have never seen the movie, you only have to look at any poster for the film and there’s the image of Elliot and E.T riding a bicycle in the sky. That scene is probably still the movie’s most iconic moment.
This guy who’s made the costume doesn’t have a bike, but he’s wearing the red hoodie, he’s found some old handlebars, a milk crate, and what looks like a cut-out E.T. stuffed in a towel. Finding discarded handle bars and making the face of E.T. would be the trickiest parts.
9 Artist Bob Ross
According to artist Bob Ross’s Wikipedia page, his signature permed afro was not natural and was introduced as a cost-cutting measure because there was a time when Bob couldn’t afford regular haircuts. Bob was mostly known for hosting the PBS program The Joy of Painting, where he appeared as a cheery, good-natured host teaching painting using step-by-step techniques.
It’s not hard to imitate Bob—you just need to find the right wig, beard and mustache. His palette’s also easy to do. The one pictured above is just a cardboard cut-out featuring different colors of dried paints. This is a couple’s costume in the picture as Bob’s “easel” here is a person whose face is cut out through the canvas to make it look like they’re part of the portrait.
8 Che Guevara shirt
Che Guevara’s visage has been printed on T-shirts and adopted by hipsters throughout the world. Many people wearing Che Guevara’s shirts might not even know who he is or what he did, but they know his face, his beret and the bad*ss rebellious look on his face.
This looks like a red shirt fitted over cardboard (to hold it stiff). Either a beret can be worn separately on the head or it can be printed on the T-shirt, along with Che’s flowing “Alexander the Great”-inspired stylish late-'60s locks. Cut a hole in the center of the cardboard and the shirt to fit your face through and make up your face to look serious and intense like Che, complete with five o’clock shadow mustache and slightly bristly beard.
7 Freudian slip
This one is super easy to make and you can pick up any cheap slip at a department store to do the job. It takes some moxie, maybe, to appear at a party wearing lingerie but people show up as Playboy bunnies, hot maids and whatnot all the time. If anything, this woman’s overdressed. Besides, our grandmother accidentally showed up in church once wearing only a slip because she forgot to put her dress on—whoops! So, see? It can happen to anyone.
All this costume needs is a slip that fits and the words can either be printed directly onto the fabric (probably with some kind of permanent marker and a steady hand) or we’ve seen this same costume done with a dark-colored slip and computer-printouts of “Freudian” phrases pinned to it.
6 Lactose intolerance
This guy’s inventive in expressing lactose intolerance as a protestor. It’s an easy costume to make. Maybe he got the T-shirt made specially or scored it in a thrift shop and it gave him the idea, somehow, of dressing up for Halloween as “lactose intolerance.” Look at his signs: who knew that God hated milk or that the choice is between Jesus and cheeses? Why can’t we have both? Perhaps God has gone vegan.
To be on trend for 2017, you could dress up as “gluten intolerance” and spew hate for wheat flour and pasta. Make signs featuring crossed out loaves of bread or baguettes; glue some rice pasta fusilli to an old t-shirt and make protest signs that say “wheat flour is the devil” and “choose Jesus not gluten.”
5 "I've fallen and I can't get up!"
If you’ve watched after 2 a..m., or even just caught a promo for Life Alert alarm system on some infomercial channel, then you know how the story goes. The ad’s announcer shouts all his words in case the old people watching at home are deaf. The ad shows an old woman taking a tumble on shag carpet and she sprawls out dramatically and says “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” Life Alert alarm system with its handy toll-free number to order appears onscreen to the rescue.
This couple’s costume is easy to make. The guy’s wearing a giant replica of the Life Alert button and his partner is dressed up as an older lady in a house-dress, wearing glasses, slippers, pearly accessories and she carries a cane.
4 "The Price Is Right" contestants
“The Price Is Right” is an American game show institution, first debuting in 1956 and airing until 1965, and then returning to the air in 1972, with longtime host Bob Barker. Comedian/television personality Drew Carey now hosts the show, where contestants are shown various items and the challenge is to try and determine to the closest dollar amount the product’s actual retail price.
There are always four contestants guessing prices on the next prize up for bids on the show, so this costume ensemble is especially great if you’re a foursome. These look super easy to make with inexpensive and readily available materials. Just some stiff paper board (like cardboard or Bristol board), colored construction paper, black marker, scissors and glue to make the name tags and bidding boards with.
3 Missing kid on milk carton
This milk carton designed to fit a human head with a face cut-out might take some origami-type skill working with stiff paper to make at home. It was probably specially made professionally because the printout underneath the wearer’s face says he’s been missing since “Saturday night” and was last seen at “Bob’s Tavern.” Sounds like a missing adult, at least, since information about a missing kid would be extra depressing! It’s also possible that this gag mask was ready-made from a costume shop. If you show up in this, there’s a pretty strong chance no one else will be wearing the same costume and once you’ve figured out the milk carton part of the it, the rest is easy because there’s really nothing else to it.
2 Walt Disney's cryogenically preserved head
It’s long been an urban legend that Walt Disney’s head was cryogenically frozen so that he could be thawed out sometime in the future when technology allows to potentially somehow be brought back to life. The logistics of re-animating Walt aren’t even worth thinking about, however, because Disney’s body was cremated after his death on December 15, 1966.
This costume is pretty awesome-looking and not too difficult to pull off. This guy’s done it well. He used a Styrofoam cooler (sold at hardware/houseware stores) and carved holes to fit his head and so people can see the interior. He’s used cotton to mimic ice which looks suitably frosty and also seems to have installed an eerie blue light for a creepy dead effect and made his face up to resemble Walt.
1 "Partly cloudy with a chance of rain."
While this costume is kind of sloppily done here and not recommended for extravagant costume parties (think Heidi Klum’s Halloween parties), it’s a funny idea, cute and easy to do for a low-key shindig. All it takes are blue hospital scrubs festooned with cotton clouds and a cloud hat which could all easily be made at home.
The guy in the above picture’s name is Jimmy, and he was quoted by collegehumor.com as saying: "When people would ask what I was, I would spray them in the face with water and yell, 'Partly Cloudy with a chance of rain!"
If you do recreate this costume and wear it out, we’d recommend being careful about who you spray in the face because you don’t want to mess with anyone’s Halloween makeup!