10 best, worst and totally failed Halloween costumes

Published: October 30, 2011

Often it’s not just the costume theme you choose for Halloween that determines the good, bad or ugly - what it comes down to is execution.

Halloween can be absolutely amazing when everyone gets into the festive mood and makes the effort to dress up. From mouth watering candy to delicious pumpkin pie, the treats, no doubt, are delicious, and the tricks can get pretty imaginative for those so inclined. I for one, prefer to scare and horrify (trick) rather than be bribed by sweets (unless pumpkin pie’s on offer) but hey, that’s just me.

However, what really gets people psyched about Halloween is the dressing up. Over the years some costumes have become established as Halloween classics (like pirates, Superman, Spiderman, Darth Vader, etc.) while others have become more imaginative and often way more elaborate. Yet, as you’ll find below, often it’s not just the costume theme you choose that determines the good, bad or ugly, it comes down to execution.

The following is a list of costumes and costume ideas that I have come across over the years. While some are fantastic, many are awful. Trick or Treat?

Obama Costumes

Obama’s got one of those faces that just stand out in a crowd, especially when he’s displaying his pearly whites from ear to ear. As if the Obama mask with his trademark smile (and ears) wasn’t enough, don’t forget to check out the Zombie version which strangely bears resemblance to Bill Crosby. It’s called the Zombama and it is pretty intense. Oh, and lets not forget the T-shirt versions for all the lazy people out there. 

Marvel superheroes gone wrong

When someone says “Batman”, “Superman”, “Wonder Woman” and the like, fantastic images of awesomeness, cool gadgets and epic costumes come to mind at once.

Until, of course, you’ve seen the one odd immensely overweight person wearing a spandex Superman or Batman suit. The wonder swiftly turns in to horror and at that point all you can think of saying is:

“No no, please God no, don’t ruin Wonder Woman for me.”

Alas, it is too late. Once you have seen a hefty bum bulging out of a Wonder Woman costume, it’s all over.

Sesame Street

For those of us that grew up with Sesame Street in our lives, it’s just weird to see a life size, angrier-than-usual looking Bert.

The politically incorrect, terrorism-related costumes

Now, we’re a pretty resilient people given the fact that our country has literally been running dhakka-start (push) uphill (or hurtling down into an abyss – whichever you prefer) for the better part of 60 years. However, suicide bombers and Osama bin Laden  costumes just ain’t right. Not cool.

Parents scarring their kids for life

Parents are often known, especially this side of the world, for dressing their kids up in what they consider to be “such a cute outfit.” Everything from dressing children up in identical fluorescent colours well into their teens to hideous hair cuts is a social norm in Pakistan and this is just on any ordinary day.

But come Halloween and some parents just let the creative juices spill all over the place. Maybe its their only chance for payback-in-advance for the upcoming teenage, rebellious years. In any case, baby Halloween costumes are a lot of fun. Did you see the lobster-in-a-bucket costume? Amazing!

Star Wars

This legendary series of galactic proportions needs no introduction. From menacing Lord Vader to the quirky robots C3PO and R2D2 and of course the gorgeous Princess Leia, characters from Star Wars have long been favourites as far as sharp Halloween dressers go. However, people don’t always get them right…they can go really really wrong.

I once saw a young man with a hefty amount of chest hair dressed as Princess Leia, the gold bikini and all. Suffice to say it was truly revolting.

The Simpsons

I think the Simpsons are amazing, and clearly so does most of the TV-viewing world, considering they’ve been around for over 20 years (yes, if you disagree, your opinion is irrelevant).

Yet somehow, when a family tries to go as Marge, Homer, Bart and Lisa, it just doesn’t work. It s scary, yes, they have that down, but the more-than-jaundiced yellow doesn’t work so well on real people.

The Booth

There have been a lot of great costumes centered around the theme of a booth. One such costume was the genius idea of a ‘Kissing Booth’ costume which featured a man in a cardboard box with one side cut-out to resemble a booth. The top of course read “Kisses for free.” Talk about being creative!

However, you haven’t seen creative till you hear this. Last Halloween, my friend decided to go as a Urinal. In retrospect, it wasn’t the best idea, as parties can be dark, and this particular costume in question could confuse a lot of people who urgently need to use the bathroom. Absurdity at its best, I tell you.

The ‘I’m-too-lazy-to-actually-get-a-costume-but-I’ll-get-a-cool-T-shirt-instead’ costume

These have actually come a long way and don’t have to be the simple, lame “This T-shirt is my Costume” T-shirts any more. In fact, if you wear a boring one after looking at the many creative and funny ones out there, I’m sorry, I will have to give you zero points.  

Graphically disturbing but otherwise awesome category

Extreme facial distortions, maiming wounds and bizarre, unique make-up go into this category. For the heck of it, guys dressed as French maids and scantily clad nurses also fall in this category for simply being disturbing.

So there you have it – that’s my top 10. Let’s hear yours now.

Salim Hosein

Salim Hosein

A political commentator in a doctor's body.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • http://zealforwriting.blogspot.com Sarah B. Haider

    Voice of the masses:
    “You talked about Halloween, a Kafir occasion! That’s downright blasphemous!!”
    “Have you forgotten about the floods, energy crisis and terrorism in Pakistan that you wrote this?” ET please publish some sane articles.
    “What’s the point of this article?”

    As for my take on the blog, I am intrinsically a readaholic, and this was a good read for a change.Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/#!/Pugnate Noman Ansari

    I love Halloween. I normally do elaborate costumes, like my Clark Kent:


    I have also been Darth Maul etc.

    But my most successful costume, was my most simple, and possibly most retarded one. I took a small book, taped it around my forehead, and went as “facebook”.

    Yes, very funny.

    As for this article, I don’t know dude… it is Halloween. If someone overweight dude wears a superhero outfit, it is cool. They aren’t on TV, they are just having fun.

    Have fun with them, instead of judging them. It isn’t a movie. :)

    When someone says “Batman”, “Superman”, “Wonder Woman” and the like, fantastic images of awesomeness, cool gadgets and epic costumes come to mind at once.

    I don’t mean to be a super geek, but all the heroes you mentioned are DC, yet your heading says ‘Marvel superheroes gone wrong’.

    How dare you insult geeks everywhere? :) Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/#!/Pugnate Noman Ansari

    I once saw a young man with a hefty
    amount of chest hair dressed as
    Princess Leia, the gold bikini and
    all. Suffice to say it was truly

    HAHA! That’s hilarious and all kinds of awesome. I think you should develop a sense of humor. You seem quite unpleasant. Recommend

  • Ms Marium

    I’m glad tht u didn’t mentioned burqa as Taslima Nasreen did ..Recommend

  • Shahzaib

    So we fat people are not supposed to have Halloween? Wtf?Recommend

  • Mudassar

    Idea stolen from recent article on cracked.comRecommend

  • Parvez

    The blog was like a picture without a frame. The first three or four comments act as the frame that brings the picture to life. Enjoyed reading this.Recommend

  • Rehan

    Great article! Funny read, good on you mate
    @noman, stop being such a haterRecommend

  • Dr. Amyn Malik

    Where’s the party man? :P

    As for the article, a good read! Just be ready to be grilled by the idiots here who like to bring religion into every blog possible. And yes, there are some more morons out there who want to just talk about our suffering and will ask you what’s the point of this article as they ask about every other article there is! Recommend

  • http://BocaRaton Sidra Ahmed

    Do people really celebrate Halloween in Pakistan?? I just visited Pakistan five years back; it seems like I totally missed this new development. I can’t really imagine kids going trick or treating there. I would love to see Halloween there (or we could make our own sort of dress-up thing without the “pagan” association)–it’s a fun way to get people together.Recommend

  • Saad

    I just don’t get why halloween is becoming such a big deal! Nevertheless your article was a fun read.Recommend

  • Rohail

    Please tell me you wrote “MARVEL” comic super heroes describe Batman, Super man etc. deliberately just to piss us comic fans off.

    FYI Batman, Superman and Wonder woman are from DC Comics.

    Oh and ET, please do something about the content that gets published on your blog. This “10 best/worst …” fad is really growing pointless.Recommend

  • malik

    Well i wont bring religion into it but im still against halloween and everyone sane from any religion or country would be.
    I live in norway and mostly people ethnic norwegians sane ones dislike it here as well.

    1) mostly thinks of it as a self created occasion by companies who want people to buy things. 10 years ago it was not celebrated by norwegians either now every shop earns on it.

    2)Secondly many think it to be an attack of american culture on norwegian values and culture.

    I think the feeling is mutual and it does not have to do only with religion.Recommend

  • http://bachpankedin.com rabbia Jameel

    Hello!. Everyone looking for Pakistani kids fancy dresses, kids designer brands and their outlets information, kids fashion updates, must check this out http://www.facebook.com/pages/bachpankedincom/281059771917336 and like us there!Recommend

  • Asif

    Shame on you all – what grounds you have to celebrate this, culturally, religiously and socially???

    Do you guys have any slightest sense of where you are going with these imported festivals such as valentine day, halloween, dewali and others … you want to lose your originality and nothing else. You want to imitate yourself to become like ‘others’ that you can never be.

    What you are and will be ‘people without any sense of direction’ like mosquitos who start moving in the wind direction. You idiots are called as ‘westernised’ in the west and cannot understand the irony that comes with it. Your blind following shows that how shallow and culturally weak you are.

    Be original for God’s sake and celebrate what’s yours. Recommend

  • Sachai

    @Asif: Umm…you do realize that your Eid and Ramadan you celebrate is an imported festival too, right? Your ancestors were converted Hindus like nearly every person on the subcontinent…they lost their “originality” when they just adopted the religion of an invading group and began to imitate them. Maybe you should have told them to be “original for God’s sake” and celebrate their Hindu heritage instead. It’s so funny Pakistanis want to deny this…when even the symbols of “pakistani-ness”, like Allama Iqbal and Jinnah had Hindu parents. So yes, I agree with you that valentine’s day and all these commercial holidays are kind of lame but saying we are losing our originality doing so is dumb when we have already done that…by being Hindu blood yet having the religion of Arabs….both Indians and Arabs reject us, hence most Pakistanis try to deny their Hindu heritage despite it being glaringly obvious in their DNA and names (ex. Rajput, Arain, Khokhar, etc).Recommend