125 Of The Worst Halloween Costume Knockoffs That Are So Bad They Might Actually Be Brilliant

The beauty of dressing up for Halloween is that you can be absolutely anything you want. A ghost, a dragon, a zombie, your favorite musical artist, a crayon, existential dread personified, the list goes on and on! But one option that you might not have considered is a knock-off version of one of your favorite characters from a film, novel or TV series. Forget Stranger Things; this year you can be a character from “Unusual Events”! Or if you think Game of Thrones characters are overdone Halloween costumes, maybe you want to try being someone from “Kingdom of Battles”?

Below, we’ve gathered some of the most hilarious and creative examples of knock-off Halloween costumes that are so bad they might just give you nightmares, as well as an interview we were lucky enough to receive from Kristen Stafford, host of the Halloween Art and Travel Podcast. Be sure to upvote the costumes that impress you with their creative names and methods of skirting around legal trouble, and let us know in the comments if you would ever wear any of these silly knock-offs. Then if you’re interested in viewing even more of these, perhaps to provide inspiration for what you should wear this weekend, you can find Bored Panda’s last article on the same topic right here.

Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.

#1 My All-Time Favorite Book Character: Missing Boy

Image credits: steampotato_

When it comes to how accurate Halloween costumes need to be, I’m of the opinion that it’s totally up to the person wearing the look. If they feel like going all out and purchasing the exact same shirt that a character wears and getting a wig to have every detail, including hair color, perfect, that’s awesome. But if you’re looking for a more affordable option and your goal is to simply capture the essence of whoever you’re embodying, there is nothing wrong with being a little less accurate. It’s only one night, after all, and we can suspend our disbelief. If you have brown hair, but you’re dressed as a blonde character, I’ll let it slide.

And clearly, Halloween stores know that not everyone is concerned about being picture perfect with their costumes. If they can’t afford the licensing required to sell name brand costumes, or they want to offer a cheaper option for shoppers on a budget, what’s wrong with providing versions of our favorite characters that look like they came from a parallel universe? Personally, my favorite aspect of all of these costumes is the creative naming. Guy Fieri has become “Governor of Tasteville”, The Witcher has become “Witch Hunter Gary”, and Spiderman has become “Web Slinger Boy”. Eh, close enough!

#2 Trans Boy

Image credits: HyperDank420

To gain some insight on Halloween costumes from an expert, we reached out to Kristen Stafford, self-proclaimed Halloweenist and host of the Halloween Art and Travel Podcast. First, we asked Kristen what the importance of a great Halloween costume is. “For most of us, Halloween is the one time of year we can wear crazy clothes out in public and try out being someone or something else,” she shared. “All humans are creative in some way. You don’t need to be an artist or DIY person to express yourself. The best costumes are ones that tell a story. Learn from cosplayers – either learn about the character you are dressing up as or if it’s something you invent, create a backstory for it.”

We also asked Kristen if it’s possible to get a great costume without breaking the bank. “Great costumes run the gamut of budgets,” she told Bored Panda. “Budgets can run from zero to thousands of dollars for artisan made theater worthy looks. The most budget friendly way to dress up is to use things you already own. One of my favorite budget friendly costume ideas is a classic witch. Many women already own a black dress. Grab that and pair it with a simple low-cost black witch hat. To jazz it up, make a flower wreath of real or artificial flowers and place it around the band of the hat,” Kristen explained. “Bonus points if it smells nice (try including eucalyptus or lavender).”

#3 “Plastic Man” Halloween Mask

Image credits: tkmusic89

“A classy look is to pair dressy clothes you already have with an elegant Venetian or creepy masquerade mask,” Kristen noted. “When you purchase or make costume items, think ahead – can you use the item for another look? For example, capes are great pieces to have – go from a vampire one year to a grim reaper the next. They also keep you warm!”

We were also curious about some of the best costumes Kristen has ever seen. “Hands down, the best costumes I’ve ever seen were at Theatre Bizarre, a Halloween masquerade held annually in Detroit, MI,” she told Bored Panda. “People fly in from around the world to attend and spend months planning their best Halloween looks. The costumes that stuck out to me were astronauts wearing clear space helmets, ones that incorporate lighting, and big headdresses and hats. If you aren’t wearing a mask, be sure to have some sort of makeup on.”

#4 Omg It’s 10 From Unusual Events

Image credits: _Ign0red

Kristen is also pretty serious about her own Halloween costumes. “I start planning my costumes months in advance,” she says. “One year I was Marie Antoinette. I purchased a period dress from a seamstress and wore a beautiful beaded choker with red beads hanging from it. It was so fun to experience wearing one of those crazy wide dresses. This year I was a poison witch. I wore a green brocade dress, with an elaborate beaded necklace, topped with a custom witch hat by artist Karen Steinkraus. The green hat features a glass poison bottle, artificial poisonous plants including calla lily and hemlock, and a real turkey skull. Oddly, I feel my most beautiful and unique when I’m in costume.”

#5 Thinking Of Going As This For Halloween

Image credits: bobwillfixit

But when it comes to the most important factor to consider when choosing a costume, Kristen says not to count out comfort. “If you don’t feel good, you won’t have fun,” she explained. “Some of the most uncomfortable costumes I’ve seen were made of cardboard. There’s so many options for costumes that look awesome and are wearable. Find a costume that allows you to still use a restroom without helpers. Ideally the costume should reflect an interest – have fun with it! Make a dream come true for an evening. Figure out if you can repurpose or incorporate something you already have on hand.”

Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.

If you’d like to embrace spooky season to the fullest extent, be sure to check out Kristen’s podcast Halloween Art and Travel right here.

#6 It’s The Putin Mask Woah

Image credits: kiritodragon

#7 I’m Sorry But That’s Just A Poorly Made Costume

Image credits: Girlonsleighs2

The history of why we wear Halloween costumes in the first place traces back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, a pagan religious festival where people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts, according to History.com. Over the years, All Saints Day, or November 1st, was combined with some of the traditions of Samhain, and the evening before, All Hallows Eve, evolved into Halloween as we know it today, celebrated by wearing costumes, carving jack-o-lanterns, trick or treating and throwing parties.

However, the original costumes that Celts wore many years ago were likely quite different than what we wear today. Their costumes often consisted of animal heads and skins, and they would attempt to tell one another’s fortunes while wearing them. When the celebration of Halloween finally found its way to North America, new traditions emerged, as various cultures and customs merged. Native Americans celebrated “play parties”, or public events to celebrate the harvest, where they would share stories of the dead, tell one another’s fortunes, dance and sing. Colonial Halloween festivals also included telling ghost stories and making mischief.   

#8 Acute Little Costume I Found At A Store In Halloween

Image credits: NvizoN

Trick-or-treating came about when Americans started dressing up and going from house to house requesting food or money. Tricks and witchcraft were also an important part of Halloween, as it was believed that young women could divine the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings or mirrors. But in the late 1800s, there was a push in the United States to move Halloween away from a focus on pranks, ghosts and witchcraft and to turn the day into a holiday about community and neighborly gathering.

Over time, trick-or-treating became less about any tricks and simply became a wholesome way for kids to gain some treats and show off their costumes. And the more frightening or grotesque aspects of Halloween became less prominent. Between the 1920s and 1950s, families began passing out candy to prevent tricks from being played on them, and the tradition has been going strong ever since. One quarter of all of the candy sold in the United States annually is sold during spooky season, and Americans spend about $6 billion on the holiday each year.  

#9 More Fake Costumes I Left In A Halloween Store

Image credits: obviousplant_

If you’re interested in being a real person for Halloween, whether they are a political figure, an actor or a famous musician, one thing I would not recommend would be getting a mask that is supposed to look like their face. You can always focus on the clothing, makeup, props and mannerisms if you don’t bear a striking resemblance to them. If a mask is actually accurate, it might be funny and might take the pressure off of the rest of your costume. But if it’s not accurate, it is likely going to be terrifying. (Although, maybe that’s what you’re going for!) Also, those masks seem incredibly uncomfortable to wear. If you’re going to be in a crowded club or party during Halloweekend, I would advise against anything that might make it hard to breathe or might make you super sweaty. Unless you live in a cold climate and are looking for a Halloween costume that will keep you extra warm, you might want to avoid the mask route.   

#10 I Found This “Girls Fantasy” Halloween Costume

Image credits: SpagyetiBoy

#11 Halloween Stores Never Disappoint

Image credits: stringuy1

#12 “Tiger King” Halloween Off-Brand Costume

Image credits: DrForester

A lousy knock-off Halloween costume may be painful to see, but there’s not anything ethically wrong with it. There are, however, certain costumes that nobody should be dressing up in ever. It should go without saying, but any costume that involves cultural appropriation, racist outfits or makeup, anything transphobic or xenophobic, or anything insensitive should be avoided. Just like with comedy, there are a million ways to make a funny joke without being offensive. There are also a million Halloween costumes that won’t offend anyone or make you look like a jerk, so it’s best to choose one of those. Jeffrey Dahmer might be a popular choice given the popularity of the recent Netflix series documenting his life, but do you really want to dress up as a serial killer who ruined countless people’s lives? People might feel tempted to make light of the Covid-19 pandemic as well, but just remember that it has also taken millions of people’s lives. If you want to dress as something scary, might I suggest a zombie or Freddy Kreuger instead?     

#13 But Can I Get A “Mr. Metal Suit” Mask

Image credits: fideliocrochett

#14 Super Hero Costume

Image credits: billy784

#15 Halloween Karen

Image credits: thecroakerqueen

So what should we be dressing up as for Halloween? For a previous Bored Panda article, I spoke with Miranda Enzor of Spooky Little Halloween to hear her thoughts on the topic. She told me that she doesn’t have a lot of rules when it comes to choosing a costume, but comfort is key. “That doesn’t mean taking the lazy route—it means finding ways to accomplish your look, no matter how simple or elaborate it might be, and making it comfortable to wear,” she explained. “Nothing is worse than having an uncomfortable costume you disassemble 20 mins after you put it on.” For me personally, comfort also means considering how challenging it will be to go to the bathroom while wearing the outfit…

#16 I Loved The Movie

Image credits: bruh_laurence

#17 Aqua Walker

Image credits: Warmtheawesome1234

#18 Now You, Too, Can Be The Governor Of Tasteville

Image credits: Guy Fieri’s Post-Ironic Meme Vault

If you’re having trouble deciding what to wear, Miranda shared a tip that might make things easier. “Don’t underestimate what costumes might be hiding in your closet!” she told Bored Panda. “My favorite thing to do for myself is putting together costumes from clothing I already own. It’s original, it’s more affordable, and I’m always amazed at what I can create.” And when it comes to some of the best costumes she’s ever seen, Miranda said, “I LOVE costumes that take an idea and elevate it or put a unique spin on it. I have some friends who did a group costume of the Avengers, but they made 18th-century ball gowns inspired by their favorite characters. I just saw an idea the other day on TikTok where a group of girls made ice cream witch costumes—their hats were overturned ice cream cones with different flavors of ice cream, and their costumes coordinated with the ice cream colors. So clever and fun!”

#19 Well, They’re Not Wrong

Image credits: ComradeReindeer

#20 Ah Yes, Who Wouldn’t Want To Be Aquahero For Halloween This Year. Not Even The Costume, Just The Temporary Tattoos

Image credits: Jonners_90

#21 Anybody Wanna Be A White Clam For Halloween?

Image credits: BadgercIops

Miranda also shared one of the Halloween costumes that she was most proud of with Bored Panda. “My own favorite costume was my favorite because the creation process was so satisfying,” she said. “I dressed up as Janet from the beginning of Rocky Horror Picture Show, and I had the best time pulling together all the details. If you’re not in a time crunch, it’s so much more rewarding to put together a costume yourself than to buy one.” She’s exactly right. And while the clock is certainly ticking, if you have time this week to rummage through second hand shops or dig through your friends’ closets, I’m sure you too can come up with a killer costume.

#22 When You Don’t Own The Licensing Rights

Image credits: vodray

#23 There Is A Bunch Of Stuff Like This In My Local Costume Shop

Image credits: FernardFresh

#24 Halloween Costume From My Local Discount Store

Image credits: peachibbi

If you’re anything like me, every Google search for “easy Halloween costumes” or “last-minute Halloween costumes” yields results that seem way too complicated for my skill set. I don’t want an art project; I just want a costume so I can say I participated and have fun hanging out with my friends. So as cringey as the costumes on this list may be, they can definitely come in handy in a pinch. Every costume does not need to be perfectly historically accurate or make people stop you on the street asking if you are Taylor Swift or Johnny Depp. A costume is something you wouldn’t normally wear, and I don’t think any of us dress up as “Hermany Grinder” from “Chogborts” every day. 

#25 Last-Minute Halloween Costume

Image credits: babarsuhail

#26 I Love Halloween

Image credits: NearbyAntic

#27 This Incredibly Racist Wig I Found In A Halloween Costume Shop A Few Years Back

Image credits: Hightower10000

We hope you’re enjoying these hilariously bad knock-off costumes that might be worthy of a spot in your nightmares. Keep upvoting the pics you find most ridiculous, and let us know in the comments if you would ever be one of these interesting parallel universe versions of one of your favorite characters for Halloween. Then, if you’re interested in checking out some people who went all out with their costumes, you can find a Bored Panda article with some of the best Halloween costumes right here

#28 Found A Doozy At A Local Costume Shop. One Of Many

Image credits: addrain1

#29 Do I Get My Wife The Exact Halloween Costume She Asked For Or The This Version And Deal With The Consequences?

There comes a time in a married man’s life when he has to ask himself this question.

Image credits: HadManySons

#30 Found These Gems In My Local Halloween Store

Image credits: ManyTraining6

#31 Found This In My Canadian Halloween Shop

Image credits: hunty0326

#32 Frendo Blaggins

Image credits: fingolfinz

#33 Halloween Is Great

Image credits: Salemthakid

#34 This Halloween Costume Name

Image credits: NeoNewSawatari

#35 I Don’t Think This Is A Ghost Face

Image credits: CyberCodingChannel

#36 Wicked Lady Wig

Image credits: larryish

#37 Now Presenting The Sidekick Of Anime Man, A Manga Boy

Image credits: Ramonsixser

#38 The Minions Have Fallen On Hard Times

Image credits: RomanCenturion1312

#39 It’s The Costume Every Kid Wants This Halloween. The Incredible Metal Hero

Image credits: JudasPriest1992

#40 Even Has Short Legs, Amazing

Image credits: Kunundrum85

#41 “What Are You Going To Be For Halloween?”

Image credits: IceEye

#42 This Halloween’s Gonna Be The Scariest

Image credits: AJameyBoi

#43 A Stranger Things Knock-Off Halloween Costume

Image credits: RonSwansonIsMyDad

#44 This Off-Brand Jack Sparrow Mask

Image credits: Beanbag_182

#45 Totally Read This Wrong

Image credits: DefaultFrontPageSux

#46 This Children’s Maid Costume At The Thrift Store

Image credits: TGILL922

#47 Fantasy World Face Mask Is Love

Image credits: darrenfx

#48 Was Really Hoping To Find A “Stupendous Guy” Cape Or “Nighttime Flying Rodent Dude” Cowl But Alas. I’ll Settle For “Waterman”

Image credits: oddzuki

#49 Off-Brand Anchorman Costume I Found At Goodwill

Image credits: techmagic317

#50 Daddy’s Little Disaster From That Famous Movie

Image credits: strohmian_

#51 My Favorite Character From The Movie “Intense Galaxy Conflicts”

Image credits: ItsMeYourFavLily

#52 Ah, Yes, The TV Show “Kingdom Of Battles”

Image credits: beee-l

#53 Rehab Wig

Image credits: PyroNemesis

#54 Thought This “Political Mask” Was Zombama

Image credits: grindstorm

#55 I Know My Costume For Halloween

Image credits: gorgsbagofchips

#56 I Found My Halloween Costume

Image credits: Moore-Slaughter

#57 Fake Papa Smurf Costume

Image credits: PM_ME_UR_BATMAN

#58 Found This Gem While Shopping For A Halloween Costume

Image credits: Sebbe1607

#59 Bad Plumber´s Mate Costume

Image credits: reddit.com

#60 This Priest Halloween Costume With Flask Included

Image credits: halxp01

#61 Yeah. Totally A Chinchilla

Image credits: Sol_TRN

#62 I Do Love Me Some Chocolate Mmmmm

Image credits: _Generic_Human_

#63 Found At A Costume Store

Image credits: boymelbourne

#64 This Gem At A Halloween Store

Image credits: mrmindcraft55

#65 Can You Introduce Me As Mr. Smile?

Image credits: MONOII

#66 My Halloween Costume Just Arrived

Image credits: asknickolai

#67 Green Hair Clown Mask

Image credits: StrangerFeelings

#68 After Seeing The Mask

Image credits: collegemurse

#69 Treasure Huntress

Image credits: mechatour_

#70 Leisure Suit Villain Is My Favorite Movie

Image credits: leafeonfan321

#71 A Very Specific Anime Character Wig

Image credits: dagensgod

#72 Marvel Woman?

Image credits: AngelArakiel

#73 My Favorite Cartoon Character Is Comic Man

Image credits: BersatMG

#74 The Mask Of Thief

Image credits: another_malik

#75 Why Did They Make The Sven Costume So Scary? (I Wish I Could Send The Video Too)

Image credits: Girlonsleighs2

#76 Walmart Is Selling Generic Hocus Pocus Costumes Under “Goofy Salem Sister”

Image credits: DisneyDan

#77 Barry Trotter. Smashing Halloween

Image credits: sraeside

#78 I Feel Like Halloween Costumes Are Cheating, But This One Felt Especially Egregious

Image credits: Crazymanongames

#79 I Love Cheap Costume Stores

Image credits: WildZubat93

#80 Everyone Wants To Be Batman’s Most Notorious Archrival For Halloween This Year

Image credits: Wrestles4Food

#81 Found At A Halloween Shop

Image credits: ZealCrown

#82 Saw This Bad Boy In The Halloween Section Of Value Village

Image credits: Buphphalo_Bill

#83 Spirit Halloween Has Knock-Off Costumes Of Everything Nowadays

Image credits: PetyrCarcetti

#84 Billionaire Mask

Image credits: Moviepants1835

#85 Costume Included

Image credits: that_guy_on_reddit32

#86 Why Does This Exist?

Image credits: KazookiTV

#87 I Found This In Goodwill Next To The Official Wig

Image credits: LinksOfSirs

#88 Happy Halloween

Image credits: bgrimes22

#89 Blue Princess Wig

Image credits: ElmerWhiteGlue

#90 Yes, A Horror Clown

Image credits: Beppi16

#91 Ah Yes. My Favorite Character In Vampire. Easily Beating Dragula

Image credits: TwistedPancak3

#92 Okay But Does Arnold Palmer Have A Knock-Off Halloween Costume

Image credits: drewskiism

#93 I Saw Goodwill Trying To Sell Some Rip-Off Costumes

Image credits: GoodwillIntl

#94 Ah Yes, Dorky Teen Is A Great Halloween Costume

Image credits: TheRetroFanaticYT

#95 Heh, This Gives Me Nightmares. Found It In Wall Mart Looking For A Pennywise Costume. Found Something Scarier. Never Gonna Sleep Again

Image credits: annoyingchild23

#96 Found This At The Seasonal Halloween Store

Image credits: Zombiefighter4

#97 Since It Is Halloween Time

Image credits: mhlind

#98 My Favorite Halloween Costumes

Image credits: FireFeenie

#99 Cool Fortnite Costumes

Image credits: XxTentacle420xX

#100 Found This In My Halloween Stuff

Image credits: forsakenpasta

#101 “What Are You Going As For Halloween?” “Dude I’m Right Here”

Image credits: mousemooo

#102 This Halloween Costume From My Local Discount Store

Image credits: peachibbi

#103 The Halloween Store I Went To Sold Both Legit And A Knock-Off Dustin Hats

Image credits: Weepingkoopa

#104 I Love This Knock-Off Rick Grimes Costume

Image credits: theirepicloves

#105 Wonder Woman Is An Avenger Now

Image credits: JerielGamer

#106 Personally, I Prefer The Hockey Mask & Machete Man

Image credits: _lethargy_

#107 Never Thought I’d See An Off-Brand Costume Shop In Real Life, But Yesterday It Happened

Image credits: indifferenttoyourcharm

#108 A Bubblegum Villain

Image credits: FirmConsideration608

#109 I Went To Goodwill And Saw This

Image credits: Jorymo

#110 I Found This At A Goodwill

Image credits: rsmr_s

#111 I Saw This In Amsterdam

Image credits: anaqunha

#112 Remember The Characters From That Pixar Movie “Inside Out”?

Image credits: reddit.com

#113 The New Version Of Chucky – The Evil Puppet

Image credits: somesortofdevil

#114 Ah Yes, Clone Soldier Was My Favorite Character In Star World

Image credits: dydhf

#115 Everybody’s Favorite Character, “Yellow Doll”

Image credits: prezdabeast

#116 This Made Me Laugh Harder Than I Should Have

Image credits: epic_bud

#117 Stripey Man

Image credits: iiswegpanda

#118 I’ve Finally Found My Halloween Costume – Force Fighter

Image credits: pipapscallywap

#119 Found This At Halloween Express

Image credits: ElijahFish

#120 Nice One Spirit Halloween

Image credits: bergeriley

#121 My Kid Can’t Wait To Be Superspiderbatman For Halloween

Image credits: sunny_in_phila

#122 Ah Yes, My Favorite Series, Space Wars

Image credits: garrettH4

#123 I Know What I’m Dressing Up For Halloween

Image credits: marko94632

#124 Phonefad Ears. I Spotted It In The Goodwill Halloween Section

Image credits: Thorax_O_Tool

#125 Well, Clarice, Have The Farmyard Animals Stopped Screaming?

Image credits: lindanimated

Source: boredpanda.com

No votes yet.
Please wait...