Halloween just passed, and most of the people here thought it’d be fun to commemorate the occasion by dressing up as a Na’vi or a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Some view this as frivolous, but hey, it beats fighting the Nazis, which is what people our age would be stuck doing if it were 1943. Those are so not our generation’s problems. Instead, we have the much more important issues of debating whether or not a Sarah Palin costume is still appropriate in 2010 (it’s not now, but give it two years and it will be again), or, God forbid, Napoleon Dynamite or Juno.
Given the grave importance of these issues, I’ve compiled a handy list of what was big with costumes in this, the year 2010.
“True Blood,” “Twilight” and others have made vampires popular again, but rest assured, they are still terrible—or, if you’re really into punnery, they suck (ha). Dressing as The Count says one thing to anyone you may encounter: “I’m pale and unimaginative. Ah, ah, ah, ah.”
The MTV documentary series “Jersey Shore” accurately depicts all those stupid Italians who have funny hair and yell a lot. And they have stupid nicknames for each other too. What a bunch of idiots they are! Also, the Snooki one is short, so if you want to mock short people—and let’s be honest, they’re kind of bringing it on themselves—she presents an easy way to do that too.
You should probably stay away from this. It will only serve as an uncomfortable reminder that people regularly and remorselessly indulged their basest prejudices back then. Fortunately, such stereotyping is no longer socially acceptable in America. As such, it’s safer to stick with the guido costumes.
Year in, year out, the skanky rabbit (e.g. underwear and rabbit ears) makes an appearance. Instead, I would suggest a few other less clichéd options: skanky chef, skanky violinist, skanky optometrist, skanky lampshade, skanky farmer, skanky skunk, skanky judge, skanky hobo, skanky Helen Keller, skanky scuba diver, skanky Eskimo, skanky Hurricane Katrina, skanky candy bar (something about the wrapper…), skanky bald eagle.
People always love dressing up as these, but there’s a fine line between nostalgic and forgotten. Explaining that you’re a representative of “The Oregon Trail,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Power Rangers” or “Captain Planet” may be easy, but if you come dressed as a VR Trooper, that might be a little too obscure.
When in doubt, stick to Disney characters, except Mickey Mouse, who is creepy, and Donald Duck, who doesn’t wear pants. He may be an anti-Semitic popsicle, but that Walt Disney left behind a company that can churn out loveable characters like it’s going out of style, except Lilo and Stitch. Nobody likes Lilo or Stitch for some reason.
Presidential masks are good, but you know what’s better? Vice presidential masks. Why not show up to the party as Spiro Agnew, Dan Quayle or Hubert Horatio Humphrey? And let’s be honest, if you’re taking costume advice from a column in a college newspaper, you probably don’t have the stuff to handle the pressure that comes with being the number one guy anyway.
It’s a well-known fact that the only couples that dress together on Halloween are the ones who are destined to fail. You’ve seen them. They come as salt and pepper or peanut butter and jelly. Cumulus cloud and nimbus cloud, H2 and O. Bonnie and Clyde, Thelma and Louise. Sadist and masochist, happy girlfriend and whipped boyfriend.
If you find yourself unwittingly dragged into one of these costume traps—ooh, bonus idea: one of Lindsay Lohan’s characters from “The Parent Trap” and the other one of Lindsay Lohan’s characters from “The Parent Trap”!—then you may as well dress up as Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley (or Michael Jackson and Brooke Shields, or Michael Jackson and basically anyone other than Bubbles the Chimp) because odds are your relationship isn’t built to last.
If your costume is so complex that you have an explanatory essay pinned to your chest, then it’s probably too confusing. Just put on a fucking lizard suit like the rest of us and get on with your life, you self-indulgent prick.
Have a costume to vent about? Let Jordan know at [email protected]