I don’t need to tell you that Halloween is, hands down, the best holiday of the entire year. It’s the celebration devoted to junk food and playing pranks on people, after all. Plus, it’s the first holiday in a long string of important holidays, so you know you have a full season of yummy treats and opportunities to “accidentally” run into your hometown ex when you’re visiting your parents. The literal only problem with Halloween is figuring out what to wear. If you’re not a die-hard lover of dressing up like yours truly, landing on a costume can, admittedly, be a struggle.
But before you just waltz into your nearest Spirit Halloween and buy an overpriced package costume that for some reason smells like fish sticks, it’s important we talk about the costumes you shouldn’t wear. I don’t mean the basic Halloween costumes that require zero effort or the offensive costumes that’ll get you fired (but maybe don’t wear those either?). I’m talking about the super popular Halloween costumes that every single person you know will also dress up as. I mean, is there anything worse than showing up to a party, only to see that eight other people are dressed up as the same thing you are, except their costumes look better? The answer is no. There’s nothing worse. It’s like social suicide.
So in order to save you time, money, and grave embarrassment, here are the 10 most popular Halloween costumes of 2022 that you shouldn’t, under any circumstances, wear. And because we’re super nice, we’ve included some alternative options in place of all the basic ass ideas that’ll be flooding social media this year. Bookmark this and thank us later.
The Sanderson Sisters
Hocus Pocus characters have been Halloween staples since 1993, and while dressing up as the most infamous sister witches isn’t exactly creative, when done right, it usually had a nice wow factor. As long as you had two willing friends, a decent budget for legit costumes, and time to sort out who would begrudgingly be Mary, you’d impress. That was, of course, before the sequel came out a mere month ahead of Halloween 2022. Now more than ever, trios of witches yielding Swiffers and DustBusters will be running amok all over. Avoid being just another Sanderson and skip your spellbinding performance of Jay Hawkins’ haunting tune this year. Trust me, if you thought being Mary was bad, being the least impressive Mary at the party is even worse.
A Better Costume Option: Literally any other Disney witch works from Ursula to Maleficent.
Pam and Tommy
Just when you thought Carter Baizen couldn’t get any hotter, the actor who played him (Sebastian Stan) took on the form of Mötley Crüe’s Thomas Lee. Sure, it’s a different look, but last I checked abs are still abs. Even though this is a fun couple’s costume that gives you an excuse to dress up like Pamela Anderson, it’s 100% a no-go this year. If you’d done this look last year? Fine. But now, after the Pam & Tommy series? It’s a hard no. Give it at least a year before you draw a bunch of tattoos all over your significant other’s poor, unsuspecting bod.
A Better Costume Option: John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Someone will undoubtedly make a show about this musical pair someday, so get ahead of the trend by throwing on some wire-rimmed glasses and peace-signing the hell out of every photo.
Rhaenyra from House of the Dragon
It still, truthfully, feels too early to dress up as a Game of Thrones character, let alone one from House of the Dragon. Don’t you remember in 2018 when every single person in the world went as John Snow and Daenerys? Nothing like a lil incest cosplay to get America in the Halloween spirit! Seriously, though, let’s not repeat history with Rhaenyra. While it might seem easy since you can dust off your old Daeny wig, consider the fact that parties everywhere will be saturated with the new (or technically, old) hot girl Targaryen. Unless you’re the absolute *best* one out there, there’s no point in joining the dragons this year.
A Better Costume Option: You wanna feel a little mythical and sexy? Medusa gives you the chance to throw on a sexy outfit and bond with reptiles just like Rhaenyra, but you won’t bump into seven others on your way to the bathroom.
The Stranger Things Kids
Technically no longer kids, the Stranger Things ~young adults~ continue to be costume staples for people who don’t understand that Halloween is meant to be the time when you stand out. Since season 4 just came out in May, you can bet your Demogorgons there will be ample Elevens wreaking havoc on your Instagram algorithm this year. No hate on the show, but if you’re aiming for a costume that every other group doesn’t also gravitate toward, move far away from this not-so-upside-down choice.
A Better Costume Option: From Clue characters to the Scooby-Doo crew to the Archie “kids,” there are plenty of other group costume options out there that’ll get you more than a few pity likes and a conversation about D&D.
Elvis won’t be leaving the building this year, because people dressed like him will be found at every damn social outing you attend. Granted, Austin Butler as The King is one of those things that I like to think about when I’m home alone in bed. But! That doesn’t mean dressing like the “Jailhouse Rock” singer is the move. At least, not this year. Save the pink suit and greased hair for another time ya hound dog, because there are going to be far too many other impersonators this Halloween.
A Better Costume Option: If you didn’t hop on the Freddie Mercury trend a few years back, enough time has passed that it’s a fair option now. See also: Michael Jackson, Elton John, or even Harry Styles.
Aww! Dressing like an infamous (and very real) serial killer who murdered at least 17 people! Cute! Except not really, because TBH, dressing like the literal monsters who walk among us feels a) kinda f*cked up and b) like a gross nod of approval to potential killers who want to go down in the history books. Strange flex, ya know? Regardless of the creepy factor, there’s also that fact that, yup, a million other people will dress as Jeff this year thanks to Netflix. Maybe just skip this one forever? Besides, he’s not nearly as cute as Bundy was.
A Better Costume Option: How about we go with a fictional murderer instead? Will that work? Joe Goldberg from You can scratch that desire to dress like a mass murderer, but since he’s fake, it’s far less disturbing for all involved.
A Top Gun Character
I get it. The thought of throwing on a leather jacket and some aviators and calling it a costume is tempting. But first—and I do mean this seriously—that’s not what Halloween is about. Halloween is about pleasure. It’s about attention. It’s about being more than just some washed-up Tom Cruise character. While some people will, obviously, get your costume, they won’t be amazed by it. No one has ever been amazed by a Top Gun costume. This is a lame choice any year, but going this route five months after the (apparently) long-awaited sequel came out? You’re better than that. Be better than that.
A Better Costume Option: If you can’t shake the leather jacket thing, go the Grease route and dress as the T-Birds or Pink Ladies. At least this way you’ll look a little more original, plus you’ll honor the great Olivia Newton-John while you’re at it.
Ah yes, the strangest couple/potential PR stunt of 2021/2022. Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson still don’t feel like a real thing that happened in pop culture history. If there were ever two people less matched, it would be the chill comedian and the, well, Kardashian. Even though this pairing has a lot going for it (see: your bf can get high and wear sunglasses while you max out your credit card on an heirloom evening gown), there’s a very real chance this will be the most popular couple’s costume of 2022. As tempted as you are, leave this pair in the past which is where Pete probably wishes his “Kim” branding was right about now.
A Better Costume Option: If this whole coupling was a stunt, dress like the OG duo who thrived on notoriety: Bonnie and Clyde. Wanna go even further back? Adam and Eve are cute too, especially with some artfully placed leaves…
Emily from Emily in Paris
Even though Emily in Paris is one of the most popular shows on Netflix, don’t you just feel a little…not smart for watching it? Granted, it makes a great hate-watch, but as far as quality TV goes, this ain’t it. Beyond just being a mediocre series, though, dressing up as Emily (you know, the one in Paris) is a perpetually uninspiring costume. Like what? You’ll wear whatever you normally wear but add a beret? If this is your idea of a good Halloween costume, please, stay home. Don’t go out. You don’t deserve spooky season with such a poor choice of judgment.
A Better Costume Option: Just cut to the chase and go as Carrie Bradshaw. It’s who Emily wants to be anyway, and at least this way you can get your SJP fill without succumbing to a Sarah Sanderson look.
Let’s be real: The only way an Anna Delvey “costume” can work is if you perfect her strange-meets-annoying accent. And even then, you have to be talking 100% of the time for anyone to understand who TF you’re supposed to be. I’m sure many people will try (and fail) to pull an Anna off, but consider this your warning that when you enter the party and every single person asks why you didn’t dress up, you’ll wish you took my advice. No matter how many times you insist you’re wearing an actual costume, no one will believe you. To quote the legend herself: “I would rather go to jail forever than come off like some wannabe. Some amateur.”
A Better Costume Option: If you’re thinking of doing an Anna Delvey costume, you likely don’t want to dress up at all. Halloween is on a Monday anyway, so go on. Cancel your plans, order a pizza, and start thinking of a better costume idea for next year. You know, one that doesn’t make you look poor.
Featured image courtesy of Getty Images/In-line images courtesy Of Netflix, Giphy (9)