It’s important to have a decent costume for the night. Not an overly thought-up costume, or one that will cause you to have trouble entering doors or skirts (hey-o!). No, you need one that takes inspiration from headlines in a clever way without looking like you spent too long on it. (When in doubt, follow this rule of thumb: The amount of time and money you enter into making a costume should equal less than 60.
10 minutes thinking of idea + $45 spent = 55. You’re good.
30 minutes thinking of idea + $40 spent = 70. You fucking try-hard.)
Lucky for you, we’re here to help. What follows is 20 different costume ideas ripped from viral news stories over the past year. By no means are these gender specific. Dressing as a woman—especially if you’re packing a few extra pounds—is nearly always a good bet. And by no means are all these costumes good ideas. Some are, in fact, wildly offensive and probably should not be used. It’s up to you to have the discretion to pick out the gems.
1. Tennessee Butt Chugger, Butt Chugger's Lawyer
Our pick for the best costume idea of Halloween 2012. Wear a Tennessee tie, blazer, and sunglasses with croakies, then tape a funnel to your ass. Pretend not to know what anyone is talking about when they point out the funnel taped to your ass. Have a friend dressed in a bowtie speak like Foghorn Leghorn and deny you have a funnel taped to your ass.
2. Tan Mom
Color your face orange. Really, really orange. Then when you go to a party and find out that 70% of the people there already had the same costume idea as you, amp the costume up another level by getting shitfaced and telling everyone, “I like to tan, fuck you!”
3. Sex Tape Hulk Hogan
Put a do-rag over your hair and wear a black shirt that says, “Bubba's.” Constantly rub your belly and say you “feel like a pig,” and you can't believe you “at that much 10 minutes ago.” When talking to girls, refer to having sex as “like being on a rollercoaster.” Slam someone's wife.
4. Clint Eastwood
Dye your hair white, make sure it’s sticking up like Dr. Emmett Brown from “Back to the Future,” and squint. Spend all evening talking to empty chairs. (This is a good idea for anyone who’s a bit socially awkward at parties.)
5. Prison Jerry Sandusky
Powder your hair white and wear a prison jumpsuit with the nametag “The Tickle Monster.” Chain yourself to your largest friend, who’s also wearing a jumpsuit. Congrats! You're his bitch for the night.
6. Topless Kate Middleton and Naked Prince Harry
A good couples idea: Both should wear as little as can be gotten away with, and put on crowns so everyone doesn't think you're just weirdos. Then, constantly photobomb people. Make sure your junk is in every picture. Because, let's face it, everyone wins with scandals like this.
7. Bane Capital
Buy a Bane mask. Pair it with your finest power suit. Repeatedly say, “I am Barack Obama’s reckoning!” Have WAY too much fun doing the voice all night. (Thanks to the brilliant Twitter account @banecapital for the idea.)
8. Brain-Damaged Ryan Lochte
Have a friend repeatedly smash your head on a concrete block until you’re in a daze. Walk around the party with eyes half-open and a gold medal around your neck. Say “JEAAAAH!” a lot. If someone asks what you're wearing, look bewildered and hesitantly describe it as “rock/hip-hop.” Later, pass out from massive blood loss.
9. Mark Zuckerberg
Wear a grey t-shirt and jeans. If you've got curly mop of hair, all the better. At the beginning of the party, show an attitude of cautious optimism. Then, around an hour into it, get really, really excited. Quickly, though, start to realize things are going horribly wrong. Panic. Leave the party alone.
10. Unimpressed McKayla
A good costume for any guys carrying that extra poundage: Wear a leotard, do the face, and act surprised and weirded out if anyone finds you attractive.
Wear a Stone Cold Steve Austin shirt under a Hawaiian shirt, along with jean shorts, an earring, and a Kangol hat. Consider growing a pony tail. Drink Steel Reserve and Bacardi, and talk about how you probably “drank a thousand beers last night, you guys.” Try to get the party moved to Chili's or Applebee's so you can “peep some rockin' babes with the big chest beefers.” Keep changing the stereo to Kid Rock and Bob Seger. Be smooth and carnal.
Wear either a white, black or bright blue suit (good luck on that one), and pair it with dark sunglasses. Then hit that dance like you were fucking born to do.
13. Potato Jesus
Find that mask. And then let us know where you found it, because it rules.
14. Replacement Refs
Buy a standard ref's outfit. Throw up your hands at inopportune times, hit people in the face with penalty flags, and call pass interference on totally acceptable beer hand-offs. Do not wear any pink, because, thank Christ, you weren't allowed anywhere near a field in October.
Oh, and don't talk to any Packer fans. They're not over it.
15. Confused Jim Lehrer
Wear a suit, stutter, and look bewildered by anyone that comes near you and starts talking. During conversations, throw your hands up and look resigned to your fate. You're not the one running for president, after all.
16. Amanda Bynes
Don a long wig, dye it pink (?), and run into people all night. Knock over drinks, slam into people walking past you, trip and fall into anyone. For that extra touch, bring cupcakes to stare at.
Wear a yellow jersey, bicycle shorts, and glasses, then tape several dozen syringes to your butt. Make sure everyone expresses disappointment in you. (And try to avoid sitting down as much as you can.)
18. Rodney King
Eh, on second thought…
19. Big Bird
Buy a costume or, better yet, just randomly tape yellow feathers on your body. Hang a sign that says “Unemployed,” and pat yourself on the back for being so clever and politically timely. If Bane Capital is at the party, sock him in the face.
20. Dartmouth Whistle-Blower Andrew Lohse
Wear a scarf and a pea coat. Make sure that collar's popped, son. Tell everyone you can't believe how much they're drinking. Maybe mention that they are all a lost generation. Be sure to make veiled references to bedding “a lot of sorority sisters” and to once having a raging coke habit that you “just wouldn't understand.” If offered a beer, read lengthy passages from “Bright Lights, Big City.”
Decide to use any of our ideas? Shoot us pictures at firstname.lastname@example.org!