1. Harambe

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The most unexpected meme of 2016 has also quickly become the most overbeaten dead horse joke of the year (well, dead ape joke) - the dead ape Harambe, shot after a child fell into his enclosure in the Cincinnati Zoo. The meme was always slightly ghoulish in nature - it was about a dead ape who was killed in an utterly depressing scenario. And I guess that's why it took off - it was sad, but not like 9/11-levels of sad where anyone had any vested interest in the sad event to be offended about. People could be "offensive" without anyone actually being offended. But it spread so far and so fast that it reached overplayed meme status within a week.

Naturally, on the internet, a meme being overplayed has never stopped anyone from running it into the ground even further, and you can expect lots of crappy people from the internet with zero actual sense of humor to be dressed as Harambe and awkwardly making conversation with people cringing at their stupid costume about an ape who died.

What They'll Be Doing:

  • Saying "No not King Kong, I'm dressed as Harambe. Remember Harambe?"

  • Taking off their ape costume because they'll be getting really sweaty real fast

  • Trying to make eye contact with everyone else who are desperately avoiding making eye contact with someone who doesn't realize they should never bring memes into real life

 

2. Donald Trump

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With the presidential election reaching its fever pitch by the end of October (since election day is early November), you can expect A LOT of people to be dressed as Republican nominee Donald Trump. For one, he's an instantly recognizable and relatively outlandish character who's not too difficult to dress up as - all you need is a suit (which you probably already have), a simple blonde wig (which - by its nature - doesn't even need to fit well), and maybe some spray tan and a "Make America Great Again" hat. That's it. And you can feel like you're a topical funny in-tune-with-politics person and say things like "Yuuuge" and "I make the best deals" all night long.

Here's the problem - WAY too many people will be dressed up as Trump this year. Like, an absurd amount of people. Trump isn't too popular amongst the younger crowds (relatively-speaking) and many people view him as a scary figure in politics, so people will think they're being clever dressing up as Trump (and saying obvious dumb "The scariest costume possible - President Trump!" type stuff). All of this wouldn't be too bad if EVERYONE didn't think they did a funny/good Trump impression - when the reality is that Trump is such a ridiculous and over-the-top character in real life that NO ONE can do as good an impersonation of Trump as Trump can.

Face it, your Trump costume is overdone and pretty lame.

What They'll Be Doing:

  • Ending sentences with "Sad!"

  • Making fun of the physically-handicapped, but like ironically

  • Accidentally finding out the girl they're into is a Trump supporter and having to convince her that they're dressed up as Trump because they like him

 

3. Hillary Clinton

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The other major candidate in the presidential election going on now (in case you haven't heard of it) is Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton, who's just as despised by Republicans as Trump is to Democrats - but is a much less....let's say "colorful" character than Trump. She's simply not as entertaining to dress up as or parody, so most of the people going as Hillary will probably be doing it for aspirational reasons (as in they like and respect her). And it's a pretty simple costume too - a blonde wig, a pantsuit, and (in some cases) a boyfriend dressed up as Bill Clinton and "ironically" acting super lecherous (as a joke).

That being said, there will be so many people dressed as Hillary - for one, it's a costume that's timely and relevant, and (mostly) it's a nicer alternative to the depressing state of Halloween costumes for women, which are almost universally skimpy and not ideal for mid-Autumn weather. A nice pantsuit will be comfortable, warm, AND will give you away as an insufferable politics junkie who can't wait to share their opinions with anyone dumb enough to engage you in conversation.

No one wants to hear anyone's political opinions on Facebook, let alone reality on the night of the year where everyone will be at their drunkest.

What They'll Be Doing:

  • Smiling

  • Explaining why people have to vote for Hillary to people who are probably already gonna do that

  • Breaking up with their boyfriend who was getting a little TOO into their Bill Clinton costume



4. 11 from Stranger Things

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YES. YES WE'VE ALL WATCHED STRANGER THINGS. It's good and well-done and (miraculously) a Netflix show that doesn't have a dragged out plot and slow pacing. But in the short time where it exploded into pop culture, it only really existed as an underseen cult hit for like a day or two, then shifted into a wildly popular mainstream show overnight. The problem is that so many people still think it's an underrated cult show - it's not, it's very popular, everyone's seen it. And it's recent enough that lots of people will still have it in mind for Halloween.

And the most recognizable character to dress as is definitely El (or 11, or "the girl I thought was a boy at first"), in her dress + jacket + buzzcut form. And it's honestly a fine costume - or would be, if EVERYONE didn't they THEY were the only unique ones who watched the show and remember it. If you're in a crowd of people whose main connection to television is Netflix (which is a LOT of people nowadays), you can guarantee you'll be seeing El costumes out the wazoo - it's a show that basically NO ONE dislikes and everyone agrees is pretty good (you might have nudity-sensitive parents who aren't into Game of Thrones perhaps, but pretty much everyone can get into the nostalgia-rich Stranger Things).

Plus you can add some fake blood for the nosebleed look and make yourself really stand out...well, except EVERYONE will be doing that, so nevermind.

What They'll Be Doing:

  • Eating Eggos (which is honestly the best reason to wear this costume - you can just chomp down on waffles in the middle of a party and no one will bat an eye)

  • Pretending to have telepathy

  • Telling people they HAVE to watch Stranger Things (it's The Wire for a whole new generation of people who incessantly feel the need to recommend TV shows)



5. Harley Quinn

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Harley Quinn is a character that was DESTINED for Halloween costume glory - she's a popular comic book character, she's got a distinct and universally-understood personality, she pairs well with the Joker (and lord knows dudes everyone ran Joker costumes into the ground in 2008), and she has unique and recognizable look that ALSO happens to now be extremely skimpy and sexy thanks to her recent Suicide Squad incarnation(her old unitard look seems mostly forgotten).

And that's the problem - it's TOO perfect of a costume, so EVERYONE will be dressing as her. It'll be an arms race amongst women this Halloween on college campuses everywhere to see who can be the sexiest, most spot-on Harley Quinn. And none of this is even considering Harley Quinn's rise to prominence came with a pretty crappy movie (although Margot Robbie as Harley is one of the few bright points of that film).

One thing to be thankful for is that (hopefully) there will be WAY less people dressed as her abusive boyfriend The Joker after Jared Leto's less-than-inspiring performance (and the amount of UNBELIEVABLY shitty Leto-Joker costumes out there).

What They'll Be Doing:

  • Playing around with a baseball bat

  • Calling everyone "Mistah J" and "Puddin'"

  • Regretting the costume instantly once they see the level of dudes creepily leering at their butt the entire night



6. Deadpool

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Speaking of wildly popular comic book characters that recently had their big pop culture breakthrough thanks to films: DEADPOOL. Deadpool has long been insanely popular amongst comics fans and in lots of circles online, but Ryan Reynolds' excellent performance as the Merc with a Mouth broke through on nearly every level. And now the character who was becoming overplayed online has achieved real broad popularity amongst folks who probably don't even realize he was a comic character to begin with. And he's perfect for Halloween costumes - he's snarky and goofy, he's got a full body suit so you can cover up your awful physique, and he makes non-sequitur remarks all the time so you can finally have an excuse to let your "wacky random" sense of humor go full throttle!

Except that anyone who's been to a convention in the past 5 years can attest, Deadpool costumes become overplayed in the blink of an eye. Again, it's a little too on-the-nose perfect, so EVERYONE dresses as him. And with the seriously amazing-performing Deadpool movie, he's having his pop culture moment in the sun, so you can expect an absolute FLOOD of Deadpool costumes. And they'll all be doing the same lame schtick and look a little bit off - because really, unless you have the writing team of Deadpool for your jokes and Ryan Reynolds' physique, you prrrrobably aren't pulling off a very good Deadpool.

People who dress up as Deadpool typically do so with the belief that they're going to be the funniest, wackiest person in the room when they do so. The problem with multiple people dressing as Deadpool means MULTIPLE people will be trying to out-wacky one another, and everyone comes across as looking terrible.

What They'll Be Doing:

  • Saying "Chimichangas!" like that counts as a joke in and of itself somehow

  • Repeating lines from the movie word-for-word

  • Getting lost in a sea of other dudes dressed as Deadpool



7. Kylo Ren

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Darth Vader used to be one of the go-to "I spent way too much on this bulky uncomfortable costume so I have to wear it" costumes - because he was one of the most broadly recognizable characters in entertainment history (and you could carry around a plastic red lightsaber, which was pretty cool). But now we have a new generation of Star Wars characters and new bad guy who wears a mask, but thankfully has an overall simpler, less uncomfortable costume - Kylo Ren.

And in case you weren't aware, going as a 'dark broody' character who's also totally shredded is the closest equivalent of "sexy skimpy outfit" for dudes, particularly because you don't have to actually show off any of your body with Kylo Ren (but dude, Adam Driver IS totally shredded). Add that with the fact that he's the most interesting character from one of the biggest films of all-time, and you'll definitely be seeing WAY too many pasty dudes walking around with plastic versions of Kylo Ren's crossguard lightsaber (which is honestly pretty cool).

What They'll Be Doing:

  • Taking off their mask almost instantly

  • Screaming "TRAITOR!" a lot

  • Getting stuck listening to someone's overlong fan theory for like 15 minutes




8. Ken Bone

Shitty Costumes You'll See At Every Party This Halloween

Do you wanna enter THE BONE ZONE? You can at HalloweenCostumes.com.

In a brief respite from the non-stop cringe-inducing horror of the 2nd Presidential Debate of 2016, Ken Bone came into our lives - a kindly, somewhat nerdy dude in a bright-red cardigan who had a very reasonable question about energy. But - more importantly - his name was KEN BONE, and he looked exactly like Del Griffith from Planes, Trains, & Automobiles:

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...and for about 24 hours, it was a very funny reference to make. Everyone gathering around and praising this weird random dude just because he had a funny name and was a welcome distraction from the constant distress everyone felt over the upcoming election. And - due to his somewhat non-descript appearance beyond a mustache and a cardigan - you can bet TONS of people will be trotting out this already-overdone meme as a Halloween costume. After all, it's simple (mustache, glasses, cardigan) and it works for body-types that typically don't get a lot of fun Halloween costume options. That doesn't change the fact this was a real flash-in-the-pan meme, but at least you'll have 30 random dudes at every party drunkenly screaming "WELCOME TO THE BONE ZONE!"

What They'll Be Doing:

  • Hanging out with girls dressed up as Chewbacca Mom

  • Making 'Ken Bone' jokes ("Can you bone? Because I...KEN BONE!")

  • Fondly remembering their 'Binders Full of Women' costume from 2012



9. Some Insanely Lazy Joke

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Examples:

  • An iPhone 7...Because I Also Don't Have A Headphone Jack!

  • A Pokemon GO Trainer (Hey Remember Pokemon GO?)

  • Hillary Clinton's Emails...Because I Also Deleted My Costume!

  • The Year 2016...Because It's Been the Scariest Year Ever!

Don't do this. Don't make a lame overdone joke as the entirety of your costume. Just go as something you like and think would be fun - don't try to make a big joke or do something you KNOW everyone else will be doing. Find a costume that speaks to you on a personal level and do that.

...or don't, because Halloween is all about getting so wasted you won't give a shit anyhow.