Somehow, it’s already October, which means it’s time to start preparing for the best holiday of the year: Halloween.
This year has been a whirlwind, but the endless stream of unpredictable situations has made for some one-of-a-kind costume ideas. From COVID-19 to the insanity of the upcoming presidential election, there’s so much content to satirize there’s no reason you should have to dress up as an angel or a hippie for the third Halloween in a row. After all, what good was suffering for an entire year if we can’t have a little comedy at the end?
I’ve compiled a list of costumes based on some of the most memorable parts of my 2020 experience, so read on if you have yet to find an outfit to wow everyone at your socially distanced get-together or if you just want to catch up on some of the year’s biggest moments because you’ve already blocked them all from your memory.
- The ghost of Wallace Loh
If you’re planning to spend Halloween with friends from the University of Maryland, I suggest this costume to (somewhat) respectfully mourn the ghost of presidents past. First, purchase some white face paint and go to town making yourself look as ghastly as possible. Don a tattered suit, complete with a Maryland flag bow tie and a turtle pin on the lapel. Finally, exit and reenter the event sporadically, shouting things like, “Don’t worry, I’m not gone yet!” to make everyone question whether you’re ever actually going to leave — this is the best way to mimic Loh’s extended farewell to the university.
- “Professor who can’t figure out how to use Zoom” and “teaching assistant who has to do everything for them”
A new take on “professor who can’t figure out how to use ELMS” and “teaching assistant who has to do everything for them,” this is a great opportunity to release the frustration that Zoom classes have caused us all. For the professor costume, pull out the least revealing, thickest sweater and button-down combo you have and purchase a cheap pair of wire-rimmed glasses (those cataracts only get worse by the day). Spend all night making nonsensical comments and telling long, rambling stories to no one in particular while your partner anxiously scrambles with a DIY cardboard laptop, trying to put your students into breakout rooms.
For the TA costume, it doesn’t really matter what you wear as long as it’s semi-school appropriate (it’s Halloween, I know dressing modestly isn’t the goal). I recommend a disheveled, just-rolled-out-of-bed look to capture the essence of Zoom classes, where you can show up without pants on and no one will ever know.
- Convict Joe Exotic
Looking back on the early days of lockdown, my biggest memory is binge-watching all of Tiger King in one day. Instead of a simple Joe Exotic costume (way too predictable), use this opportunity to revamp the typical orange jumpsuit prisoner costume that at least one of your friends has in the depths of their closet with a Tiger King-flair. Style your hair into a mullet, clip on some fake earrings and draw the gaudiest tattoos you can think of all over yourself. Complete the costume by ranting to anyone who will listen about how Carole Baskin screwed you over, only stopping to take hits from your prop meth pipe. If you have extra money to spend, you can carry around a sad-looking stuffed tiger in a cage, but this isn’t necessary since Exotic had all his animals taken from him anyway (this is all your fault, Carole!).
- OK Boomer Girl Remember the primary elections? It seems like eons ago, but one specific recollection I have from that debacle is watching and rewatching this TikTok until the catchy song clip was stuck in my head for weeks. With only a cropped Bernie Sanders T-shirt and black skater skirt, you can easily recreate Neekolul’s iconic look. Cake a few layers of blush onto your cheeks and nose, part your hair into swoopy side bangs for added effect and memorize the dance from the video so that if anyone questions what you’re dressed as, you can just turn on the song and immediately refresh their memory.
- QAnon anti-masker
2020 has seen the rise of some outlandish political groups, but none have been more iconic in my eyes than QAnon. With protests throughout the country focused on the belief that only President Trump can save us from a global child sex trafficking ring run by the “deep state” and top Democratic officials, it’s hard not to want to publicly make fun of this movement, and Halloween is the perfect excuse.
To achieve the look, start by making a large cardboard sign that says something like “save the children, jail the Clintons” or “Hillary 4 prison.” Wear a T-shirt that includes an anti-mask political statement, such as “don’t tread on me” or “take off your face diaper,” and scream about your constitutional rights every time someone asks where your mask is. Don’t forget to constantly bring up the elite pedophile ring in casual conversation and threaten your friends that if they don’t vote for Trump in November, the world as we know it is going to come to an end.
- Superspreader Trump
Speaking of Trump, arguably the biggest piece of news recently is his COVID-19 diagnosis, which he is obviously handling super well. Though some may say it’s too soon to make fun of this situation, I think that as long as he’s out of the hospital and walking around mask-free, it’s fair game. First, stuff a few pillows underneath an ill-fitting suit to mimic a body type that can only result from four years of daily Big Mac consumption. Next, cover any exposed skin in pale orange makeup, focusing on looking as sickly as possible while still conveying his signature “tan.” Wrap a small plastic tube around your face to mimic an oxygen mask, but pull it off every so often to shout statements like “see, the China virus can’t hurt us!” In addition, keep Trump’s Twitter page open on your phone all night, pretending to type nonsensical fake news statements in all caps every five minutes.2020 has had its ups and downs (mostly downs), but the memes that have come out of our suffering are incomparable. While this short list is by no means the only examples I can come up with, it’s a good jumping-off point, especially since Halloween is less than a month away. This year was far from boring, so there’s no reason your costume should be anything less than extraordinary.