Stand out at a Halloween party with these unique-but-not-crazy costumes, most of which are incredibly easy to put together!
Honestly, who could ever run out of Halloween costume suggestions? I spend hours scrolling through the internet to find costume ideas and nothing sticks. Because what if I don’t have a lot of time or money but I also don’t want to be dressed up like half the people at the party? Plenty of Halloween costume suggestions are simple, clever, and witty. The obscure Halloween costume ideas below are not-so common, although some of them will require very commonplace elements like uniforms, superhero garb, and the like. They rely heavily on pop culture references, but perfect for someone who’s not into crazy extravagant costumes, so hopefully something in here sticks for you.
These costumes are mostly simple, but the challenge is: not a lot of people will know who you’re dressed as. But personally, I love when costumes are obscure and have to be explained. I love when costumes walk the line between genius and lame, or between Halloween and cosplay. It’s not just a conversation starter, but a unique costume says a lot about a person and their interests. And this year, amongst the crowd of Barbies and Kens, Maddies and Rues, Bridgertons and Wednesdays, it would be fun to live your main character moment as you tell people who or what you’re referencing. Whether you’re coming with your squad or alone, whether you want to dress up as nostalgic characters or meme references, these costumes will illicit laughter and conversation.
MABEL FROM ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING
The lauded Hulu series Only Murders in the Building, recently renewed for a fourth season, features Selena Gomez as the sarcastic young artist Mabel—who’s always dressed to the nines. Colorful fluffy jackets, knits, plaids, boots, beanies, a headset and you’re good to go! If you want to go the extra mile, maybe throw some fake blood onto your outfit.
CHARACTERS FROM THE ESNYR MULTIVERSE
Imagine pulling up to the party with your friends in what seems like innocuous casual clothing, but then coming together to reference the TikTok star’s relatable skits. From Andrei with the handkerchief or Ashley and Bogart, there’s plenty of options to choose from.
Channel your inner artsy, edgy, deadpan cynic and dress as Daria’s best friend from the animated sitcom Daria with a red blazer, v-neck top, shorts, tights, red lipstick, boots, and a sneer.
CHARACTERS FROM KAPPA MIKEY
No one ever remembers this show or the ones similar to it like My Life As A Teenage Robot, but those of us that do will know how ridiculous it is and how worthy it is of a Halloween reference. Whether you want to do Mikey’s superhero costume or Lily’s simple schoolgirl-inspired everyday look, you get the chance to put a twist on classic superhero costumes by referencing the characters of LilyMu.
OLIVE FROM EASY A
While a little more common, this costume allows you to pay tribute to an OG rom-com simply by attaching an A to a black corset and strutting around confident in your skin while singing along to Pocketful of Sunshine.
VALENTINA FROM DARNA
A classic Filipino villain, Valentina takes more effort and commitment as a costume, but worth it to champion a local character. You could even match with a friend who could go as Darna herself!
The Trese series, based on the Filipino comics of the same name, broke boundaries in Filipino storytelling and animation. Channel your inner no-nonsense hero as you dress as Alexandra Trese, the serious detective-healer-warrior or Babaylan-Mandirigma that protects the city from supernatural threats.
CODENAME: KIDS NEXT DOOR
This costume is best paired with a barkada that’s willing to pull fun poses with you in photos. As five friends, pull out colorful, casual fits and assign yourselves Numbuhs 1 to 5 for an epic, nostalgic evening of espionage and missions.
MANDY FROM TOTALLY SPIES
In honor of the new Totally Spies season coming in 2024, dress up as our favorite nasally, wealthy, mean girl by going for clothing and makeup in shades of purple.
LUNA/SKY FROM SENIOR HIGH
The fresh new teen drama-thriller making waves on social media Senior High features the death of Luna (Andrea Brillantes), a driven young girl, and her sister Sky (also Brillantes) trying to find out the truth behind what happened. Dress up as Luna with a classic schoolgirl uniform, streaks in your hair, glasses, and a sunny disposition, or as Sky with darker makeup and a serious look on your face.
GRACE FROM READY OR NOT
Serve final girl realness with a bloodied and torn white wedding dress and a weapon as you embody the smart, resourceful Grace (Samara Weaving) from 2019 horror-comedy Ready or Not.
CADENCE AND JAZZ FROM LYRIC AND BEAT
At the risk of looking like a member of a show choir from Glee, take the chance and convince your friend to dress up with you as talented best friends Cadence (Darren Espanto) and Jazz (AC Bonifacio). Whether you choose their school uniforms, performance outfits, or rehearsal gear, be prepared to be asked what you’re dressed up as and to bust a move to prove you are who you say you are.
PORTIA FROM THE WHITE LOTUS
Now, I don’t know why Portia’s outfits in hit show The White Lotus got so much heat when Gen Z actually does dress like her, but you could totally channel Portia at a party. Just pick the loudest pieces of clothing, layer them over each other, and be a hot mess, and you’re golden.
MARIS RACAL AND HER MICROBANGS
A white tube top with hoops isn’t enough to embody the chaos of Maris Racal’s hair situation. Commit to the bit by bringing a laptop, some real tears, and a tiny set of jagged bangs to bring some laughs to the party.
DAISY JONES & THE SIX
Prime Video/Lacey Terrell
70s outfits? Basic. 70s outfits specifically referencing miniseries Daisy Jones & The Six? Better. Bring some drama, mics and instruments, wild hair, plenty of denim, flowy crocheted tops, and some friends and you’re ready to rock the stage.
While not a character, a photocard toploader has become a staple in the pop culture scene and is a clever Halloween costume. No high-level arts & crafts skills needed—just some illustration board and decorative materials to make a “frame” you could hold or attach to yourself as you pose and smile like you’re a K-Pop idol in a photocard.