The Flavorwire Guide to Pop Cultural Costumes for Halloween 2016


Halloween! It’s that most wonderful time of year, when there is absolutely no pressure at all on you to think of a costume that is funny, inexpensive and demonstrates how clued-in you are to pop culture. Happily, we’re here to help — in what’s become a yearly tradition, here are 10 costumes for 2016 that reflect the year’s pop cultural landscape and also won’t break the bank. Hurrah!

Chuck Tingle

Flavorwire hero and general shining light of beauty in a morass of awfulness Chuck Tingle has been in fine form all year — remember his masterful trolling of the alt-right types who got him nominated for a Hugo Award, and his collaboration with Zoë Quinn? — and he deserves to be immortalized in a Halloween costume. Find the biggest, gayest party possible, and dress as follows…

Taekwondo robe thingy: $22.99, Rainbow triceratops: $2.40, Small sign that reads “LOVE IS REAL”: model’s own


2016: the year in which our neighbors across the Atlantic didn’t so much shoot themselves in the foot as take a howitzer to it. The ramifications of the vote to leave the European Union will be felt for generations, but in the short term, it at least means you’ve got a Halloween costume to demonstrate how clued into global politics you are.

Boris Johnson wig: $6.15, Amazon Small plastic Union Jack: $1.98, United-State-Flag.Com Exit sign: $16,

The Alt-Right

Amongst the ghastlier aspects of 2016: the gamergate demographic going mainstream, aided by a speech from Hillary Clinton, and by her opponent, the most nightmarish presidential candidate in living memory. This costume is hard to pull off without offending everyone — I mean, a Klansman’s robe would be perfect, but for the love of god please don’t do that — but this is a decent approximation of the year’s most obnoxious political phenomenon.

Fedora: $18, JC Penney Fake Milo Yiannopoulos Versace sunglasses: $39.50, Make America Great Again flag: $10.99, eBay

Zombie Antonin Scalia

With every terrible thing that’s happened in 2016, it’s sometimes easy to forget that if nothing else, it was the year that America’s most unpleasant Supreme Court judge left us for good. Some might call this costume insensitive, but honestly, that means they’re triggered, which shows that politically correct sensibilities have a point, right?

Ill-fitting suit: $99, Target Black robe: $20.99, Pillow: $6, Kohls Zombie make-up: As extravagant as you like; there are plenty of tutorials like this one to inspire you

Ken Bone

Remember when the internet went crazy after the last Presidential debate because a man in a funny sweater asked a question? So do we, god help us. If you want to enter the Bone Zone (oh dear lord) this Halloween, we will not judge you.

A red cable knit sweater that is so funny, omg: $39.99, JC Penney Mustache: $12.88, City Costume Wigs Square-rimmed glasses: $33.48, 15 minutes of internet fame: Priceless

A Dumpster Fire

The year’s most used and abused expression, so much so that Gawker banned it from its sites. It’s become so ubiquitous because it describes pretty much everything about 2016, from the Presidential election to the state of Twitter to the general experience of being alive. You could of course just set a dumpster on fire, but failing that…

Waste management costume: Improvise with something like this, $55.62, Wild Orchid Quilts Fire extinguisher: $5.29, Walmart Air of abiding despair: Literally everywhere

A Galaxy Note 7

And speaking of things that are on fire, what better to prove you’re up to date on the state of tech and the world than dressing up as 2016’s most famously explosive phone?

Flame retardant suit: $53.75, Burner phone (ha): $2, Verizon Samsung logo: Make your own!

(Or you could do what this guy did!)

Peter Thiel

The man who killed Gawker, donated a lot of money to Donald Trump, and absolutely cares about people’s privacy. What a guy.

Casually expensive suit: Model’s own, hopefully IV containing the blood of small children: $7.95, Copy of Atlas Shrugged: $15.63, Amazon Hulk Hogan doll to manipulate as your will dictates: $20, Amazon

Dat Boi

If you must.

Green body paint: $5.92, Amazon Unicycle: $53.99,

Don’t Talk to Me or My Son Ever Again

This is great because you just need a miniature version of yourself. Find a small doll and dress it up in the same clothes you’re wearing. If anyone asks you what your costume is, act horrified and then say, sternly, “Don’t talk to me or my son ever again.” If they don’t get it, they’re not spending enough time on the internet, which means their life is much, much better than yours.