T-minus one week and counting until All Hallows' Eve. And you're eyeing that old sheet and thinking how easy it'd be to cut holes for eyes and go as a ghost.
Don't do it.
We've got a few ideas that will have spooks and spirits alike kneeling in the long shadow of your costuming excellence.
Ghosts of TV Shows Past
The 80s are making a comeback. And while we haven't quite made grunge retro yet, nobody's going to take issue with you winging us back to 90s awesomeness for an evening with your bodacious garb. So, here are a few go-to costumes from TV Land that are sure to have your trick-or-treating pillowcase overflowing with goodies.
1. Heroes in a Half Shell - green shirt and pants, plastic nunchuks, cardboard cutouts front and back in the shape of a shell (or a garbage can lid), felt masks, and a killer craving for pizza and cowabunga, dude, you're a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.
2. Headed on the Killer Tofu Tour - white t-shirt, green sweater vest, khaki shorts, red sneaks, and a best friend with blue skin. What's that make you? Only the star of one of the most beloved shows of the 90s- Doug Funnie. Keep in mind this idea has epic potential if you can get friends to dress up as Doug's favorite band, the Beets, someone to paint themselves blue and be Skeeter, find a taker for Doug's love, Patty Mayonnaise, and his trusty sidekick, Porkchop.
3. Glamour and Glitter, Fashion and Fame - Jem is truly outrageous, truly truly truly outrageous. So goes the 80s ditty and so will you be if you go as the animated princess of pop. All you need is huge, teased hair, some blindingly bright tights and and a pleather jacket, and maybe some practice at playing a ripping air guitar. Keep in mind two other things: Jem's got a support group called "The Holograms," so you and your friends will just have to fight it out for who gets to be the star, and the hilarity factor is amplified tenfold if a guy decides to go as Jem. Just saying...
Play on Words
There are few better things in this world than having an unimaginative vampire stare at your costume derisively, ask with an air of indignation, "And vat are YOU supposed to be?" and then casually answering and having the whole party die of laughter and high-five you because the idea's so genius. Here's how to make that happen.
1. Chick Magnet - this one's easy but great. Get a bunch of rubber duckies or even Peeps, glue them all over an otherwise normal outfit and voila!
2. W, Md. - everyone remembers this catchphrase from George W. Bush's presidency. But not everyone has seen it so expertly embodied in a costume before. Get a lab coat, perhaps a stethoscope, and a George W. Bush mask. If you can't find one of those, just put a huge "W" name tag on your chest. Bingo. You're Dr. Bush, or WMD for short. Hint: since there are no pictures of this one on the web to speak of, you're bound to be the only one at the party wearing it.
3. Leafblower - if you're really crunched for time, go get a baseball hat and grab a leaf from outside. Attach the leaf to the bill of the hat with floss or string so that it hangs in front of your face. Then when people look at you like you have three heads, you've got an easy answer: "I'm a leafblower."
Best of the Rest
TV shows and puns are usually the best fodder for big costume hits. But they're by no means the only options. Here are some professional and constructive choices.
1. Baseball Cards - this one can require a little bit of work and might not be the best for dancing in. But, then again, Halloween's not exactly about practicality, now, is it?
2. Flight Attendants - again, this is particularly good if you can get a number of people doing it together, especially guys. The key to this costume, not pictured here, is to have a rolling black bag alongside you at all times. It not only completes the look, but there's plenty of extra room to stash candy and toilet paper.
3. Caged Animal - frankly, I don't know where you get this. But assuming you can find it, you're probably going to win best costume, which makes your investment entirely worthwhile. Wow.
Didn't find anything that tickled you pallid and spooky here?
But whatever you choose, make sure you go all out. Otherwise, your goody bag just might end up filled with Smarties and toothbrushes. And you won't have any good candy to trade when you get home.