Halloween always approaches too quickly, and every single time you somehow find yourself hopelessly costumeless, opting for a witch hat, cat ears, or devil horns from the box of clichés in your closet. You can do better! Halloween 2016 is full of potential, but a list of wearable puns and “sexy [insert here]” costumes won’t help you fulfill this potential. Instead, we can guide you in the right direction—AWAY from these 12 costumes you really should not wear this Halloween. You can thank us later.
1. Ken Bone Costume
This national phenomenon who appeared in the audience of the presidential debate this October, renowned for Guess-Who-like appearance, will surely make an appearance at many Halloween festivities. His trendsetting red sweater and white tie combination accompanied by the thick-framed glasses and mustache is unparalleled. Sadly, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to pull off this professional, suave appearance. Leave the Ken Bone look to Ken Bone. He is Ken Bone, after all.
2. Netflix and Chill
The moment has passed. “Netflix and Chill”, whether worn as a couple or alone, has come and gone. Although the costume was an ideal play on Fall’s biggest buzz-phrase, that was Fall 2015. A year ago. It’s certainly tempting to go back to a simple, entertaining costume that works, but you can raise the bar. Try something current or even a twist on an old costume—take it upon yourself to come up with the new “Netflix and Chill.”
3. Ron Swanson and Breakfast
Our beloved Parks and Recreation character accompanied by his one and only love, breakfast, makes for quite the costume. There’s a couple of problems though. Regrettably, the show has ended, and Ron Swanson has sadly slipped away from height of comedy. It’s time to find a more up-to-date costume, and one that isn’t simply a middle-aged man. Also, would Ron Swanson really come to a Halloween party? Let’s be realistic.
4. Sexy John Oliver
John Oliver himself was speechless at the creation of such an idea. Meaning, he probably agrees that dressing up as sexy versions of middle-aged men should really come to an end (don’t we all). The millions that watch the John Oliver Show, probably yourself included, find it hilarious. It may sound harsh, but this won’t be the case with your sexy John Oliver costume.
5. Chillary Clinton, Grillary Clinton, or any Clinton pun
Hold the presidential campaign costumes. The die-hard Sanders supporters will make snarky comments and any hiding Trump supporters might suddenly jump out to scare you. It’s too risky a move, and to reiterate, the country needs a one-night break from the chaos of the presidential election. Plus, whatever pun or spin you intend to put on the name Hillary, no matter how funny, it probably won’t be worth the angry political rants you’ve just provoked. Controversial Halloween costumes are seldom worth it.
6. Pokémon-Go Trainer
One of the biggest gaming trends to hit this year—an opportunity for a great clever costume? No, probably not. It will certainly be trending, but that’s all the more reason to avoid it. For a truly great Halloween costume you need pure originality, and unfortunately the Pokémon-Go trainer simply won’t cut it. It’s already over-hyped.
Too soon, too serious. Whatever seemingly genius play on this important European event you have thought up for Halloween, you should probably save it. Britain and the EU are still reeling from this decision, and your Union Jack stamped with “Exit” won’t exactly hype up the Halloween party spirit. Especially if there are any Brits present.
8. Snapchat filter or Snapchat Icon
We all know the Snapchat filter that makes you look like a cartoon dog, the one that transforms you into a fairy with a flower headband, or the one that makes you look and talk like a cute little deer. Unfortunately, you can’t wear these costumes all simultaneously (well, perhaps if you have enough friends), but even if you could, you would probably have to explain it every time. Theoretically, it works. In practice, probably not. As for the Snapchat ghost icon, it’s really just a ghost costume—the kind that 3 year olds wear. Unless you can manage to find someone willing to carry around a yellow board behind you the whole night, find a different costume.
9. Trump Troll
#ManyPeopleSay that Trump’s face makes some of the best memes. Still, any costume involving Trump, a pun on Trump’s name or campaign, or pretending to be a Trump meme would be highly inadvisable. Firstly, political costumes tend to instigate needless arguments that don’t lead where you would like them to—especially on the night of Halloween. Secondly, you might encounter 5+ identical twins at whichever party or bar you end up heading to. It’s not exactly news that his face has been plastered across every single form of media for the past eight months. Although a troll version of Trump may incite a few meager laughs, everybody could use a break.
10. Cecil the Lion
Some people have already made the careless mistake of dressing up as Cecil the Lion. Yes, the protected, 13-year-old lion in Zimbabwe that was illegally and atrociously killed by an American dentist. It should be quite obvious that dressing up as a hunted lion is crossing a line, but there are always those that unmindfully ignore these lines altogether. A lion costume itself is not so bad, so why the need to label it with an insensitive reference?
You’ve already been advised to steer away from the politically themed Halloween costumes, this one included. The Obama-Care-Bear, although a fairly good wordplay, would require quite an extensive amount of effort. If you plan on going outside, or even inside for that matter, you will either be suffocating in heat (as with any kind of bear costume) or constrained by the severely limited movement that a bear suit affords. Getting on the subway in an Obama-care-bear suit would not only provoke glares and remarks but also prove extremely difficult and uncomfortable. Better to keep this costume idea purely theoretical.
Have you heard about the superbug? An extremely powerful form of bacteria that cannot be killed by antibiotics? No? Well, don’t dress up as one. First of all, people will either think you’re just a superhero or giant insect. You will then have to go into an elaborate description of the scientific background when asked. No one needs that at a Halloween party. Secondly, it’s actually a serious growing threat, and although your costume might spread some awareness, it will also make light of a critical medical issue, which is never recommendable.
As Halloween approaches and you narrow your costume choices, keep this list in mind. And remember: sometimes it’s the what you decide not to wear that that’s more important.