We’ll admit it — Halloween is our favorite time of the year — even more than Christmas. We all get one night to dress up as someone or something completely different from our ordinary selves and feel smarter, sexier, stronger, or more interesting than we do in our daily lives. And if you regularly binge-watch Netflix, Hulu, or any other streaming or TV service like us, then you probably already have an idea of who you’d like to morph into for Halloween 2021.
To help you narrow down your look for this year’s festivities, we’ve compiled a list of the best pop culture Halloween costumes, from people and characters that we’ve grown to love to some notable throwbacks that offer a dose of heartfelt nostalgia. We made sure to include plenty of hilariously relevant costumes from recent events and popular TV shows as well as some timeless pop culture comebacks that everyone loves. Whether you go new or old-school, these costumes are sure to help you pull off your most magical Halloween yet.
To ensure that you have the time of your life this Halloween, you may also want to check out:
1. Squid Game Halloween Costume
MOST TOPICAL COSTUME
Inspired by one of Netflix’s most-watched series of 2021, this Squid Game costume is also one of the year’s most popular Halloween costume ideas. You can channel the show in many different ways. Wear the red jumpsuit set to become an enforcer. Dress as a Squid Game player in a green sweatsuit with your player number on the front. Morph into the role of the game’s leader. The choice is yours.
With all the drama regarding Britney Spears’ conservatorship this year, it’s only fitting to pay homage to the queen of pop with a costume dedicated to her. If you’re brave enough, recreate her old “Oops I Did It Again” red stretch vinyl catsuit with this unisex piece that both men and women can rock. We suggest pairing it with a sign hung around your beck that reads “#FreeBritney,” or buying this hat that gets the same message across.
3. Jeff Bezos The Astronaut
Enthralled by Jeff Bezos’ recent trip into space? Look no further than this getup as an epic Halloween costume to celebrate the moment. Dress as the Amazon and Blue Origin founder by wearing a spacesuit paired with a cowboy hat for a look that’s out of this world.
4. The Hot Dog Guy from I Think You Should Leave
Go full-on pop culture as the character that spawned into one of the most ubiquitous memes of recent times: the hot dog guy from Netflix’s I Think You Should Leave. This look is super easy to recreate with a one-piece hot dog costume from Rasta Imposta.
5. Wandavision Scarlet Witch and Vision Halloween Costume
As one of the most popular Disney+ shows of the year, Wandavision is sure to be a popular costume this Halloween. Slip into Vision’s costume, which comes with a bodysuit and cape (mask sold separately) while Wanda’s comes with a headband, suit, and cape.
6. Joe Exotic, Tiger King
Now that the pandemic is winding down and most people are vaccinated, Tiger King can finally get the Halloween it deserves. It’s tough to choose between all the riveting characters of Tiger King, but Joe Exotic, aka the “gay, gun-toting cowboy,” as he sums it up, is #1 when it comes to memorable outfits. Throw on your finest jeans and a leather belt, and pair it with this patterned shirt, a bleach-blond mullet wig, and a fake mustache to recreate the look.
7. The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda Halloween Costume
Hit the streets this Halloween dressed as the Mandalorian and baby Yoda. The Mandalorian costume comes with a top, pants, vest, cloak, gloves, belts, and PU armor pieces. (His helmet, however, is sold separately). Baby Yoda’s officially licensed onesie is a great companion, offering an adorable hood with baby Yoda’s face and ears.
8. Coming to America
The wardrobe in the 2021 sequel to Coming To America was just as epic as the one in the first movie and we’re here to help you recreate the iconic attire. The pop culture Halloween costume possibilities are endless since pretty much every character is dressed impeccably in the lavish traditions of Zamunda. But for a couple’s costume, we recommend either the sharply dressed Akeem and Semmi, or the breathtaking couple, Lisa and Akeem. Add to the party by allowing friends to join in as Randy Watson Jaffe Joffer, or Prince Akeem as a McDowell’s worker. Either way, make sure you have plenty of jewels on hand.
9. Jack Skellington, The Nightmare Before Christmas
The skeleton-who-stole-Christmas is a classic Halloween costume that never gets old: Jack’s bony bod would be difficult to achieve under normal circumstances (thankfully), but this costume set will give you that sought-after gaunt appearance, striped suit and all.
Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice — call on this “bio-exorcist” for a spooky Halloween. The super-sleazy ghost from the ’80s classic is distinguished by a uniquely repulsive appearance: matted hair and rotting flesh ensconced in a striped suit and tie. Try this costume set for everything you need to become this centuries-old corpse. Going with a date? Have them dress as his love interest, Lydia Deetz.
11. Flo + Jamie Progressive Insurance Halloween Costume
Looking for a fun and easy pop culture costume? Try this look brought to you by everyone’s favorite insurance spokespeople, Flo and Jamie. With this set, you’ll get aprons and two buttons, and name tags.
12. Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner Halloween Costume
Hit the party as Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner’s pregnancy announcement this Halloween. Scott’s look is simple, slip on a Cactus Jack hoodie and cargo pants while a preggo Kylie’s look includes a crop top, midi skirt, and faux belly bump. Add in a fake pregnancy test and the look is complete.
13. Assane Diop, Lupin
Is there anyone cooler or more charming on TV right now than Assane Diop in the French Netflix series Lupin? Meet the ultimate costume that still lets you flex your fashion chops without looking like a little kid playing dress-up. This stylish dresser has a look that’s classy but not too complicated to accomplish. All you need is a driver’s cap, a couple of handfuls of costume jewelry to show off the latest heist, and of course, a well-constructed wool jacket that steals the show all on its own.
14. Playboy Bunny and Bachelor Halloween Costume
This recognizable pop culture outfit is sure to turn heads wherever you go on Halloween night. Go as the ultimate lover boy in this red satin robe costume with black trim that comes with a pipe accessory to authenticate the look. Going out as a couple? Have your significant other pair it with Playboy’s first official licensed Bunny Halloween costume.
15. Johnny Lawrence, Cobra Kai
The Karate Kid is a bit of an outdated pop culture reference when it comes to martial arts costumes, so opt for this Cobra Kai piece instead, popularized by the hit Netflix series. You can always purchase a black karate costume and sew on a Cobra Kai patch for a DIY costume that you can also wear to your local karate class. You’ll feel like a badass when you put on this costume and practice your kicks, remembering the mantra, “strike first, strike hard, no mercy.”
16. The Duke and Duchess of Hastings, Bridgerton
For a look that’s a bit more debonaire than Top Gun, the Duke of Hastings is a classic Bridgerton look that can easily be paired with a range of other characters on the show. It’s dashing, just the right amount of old-fashioned, and involves some breeches, a well-tailored jacket like this one, which you can easily find on Amazon. Have your significant other dress as Daphne Bridgerton in a dress that ensures she’s the belle of the ball. Are you ready to be the cause of all scandal in aristocratic-era London? Making history has never looked so good.
17. Maverick, Top Gun
Since the long-awaited sequel to Top Gun was announced, people have been on the edge of their seats waiting to see what Top Gun: Maverick has in store for us. It sounds like a balanced blend of nostalgia and a solid continuation of the story, with many of the original characters in it. While the release of Top Gun 2 was delayed due to COVID-19, we waited 34 years and can wait a little longer. Until then, we’ll just have to celebrate by rocking his look with this flight suit and some aviator sunglasses.
18. Bachelor Halloween Costume
Take home the rose with this DIY “The Bachelor” costume. The look is simple to pull off, only needing a suit and evening gown. Add in a rose or two to really sell the look.
19. Roy Halston, Halston
Halston was an iconic American fashion designer who became internationally famous in the 1970s and was known for clean and minimal designs. He was revived with the Netflix series named after him. He brought a new sense of class to the disco-drenched ’70s, and you can too, with the help of a black turtleneck and a fancy pocket-square blazer. Just slick your hair back with hair gel, finishing the look off with those famous black aviators — the ones worn in the show were designed by Tom Ford. Add a Halstonette for a foolproof couples costume.
20. Harry Styles
Harry Styles has worn hundreds of memorable, androgynous looks that make him a modern-day Mick Jagger, but his androgynous look at the 2019 Net Gala takes the cake (followed closely by his iconic Vogue cover and his look from the 2021 Grammys). He wore a sheer lace blouse with black pants and matching nail polish. While Styles’ looks often come courtesy of elite fashion houses like Gucci, you can recreate some of his top looks for cheap by buying a similar lace blouse.
21. Black Panther and Dora Milaje Halloween Costume
One of Marvel’s top films, Black Panther will undoubtedly still be in the mix for Halloween 2021, especially after the tragic loss of its lead star Chadwick Boseman. Provided in this costume set are a muscle-padded jumpsuit, hooded mask, gloves, and boot covers. Pair the look with a Dora Milaje costume, which includes a tunic with attached gauntlets, pants with boot tops, and a belt.
22. Jay-Z and Beyoncé
While it may take a bit of creativity, dressing as Jay-Z and Beyoncé this Halloween is not as hard as you think. Recreate their iconic “Apeshit” video look by pairing a blue double-breasted suit with a gold chain, while Queen Bey rocks a pink suit, red ribbon belt, statement necklace, and dark honey blonde wig. Add a Mona Lisa replica poster to the look to take amazing pics all night long.
23. The Joker
Joaquin Phoenix makes a mean Joker in the most recent reboot, but Halloween’s an opportunity to top him. Purchase the quintessential Joker costume — dark red pants, orange vest, green shirt, and red suit jacket — and the rest is all about the attitude you bring to the role. Don’t forget the creepy face makeup, either. The more smeared the lipstick, the better.
24. Hopper, Stranger Things
This beer-drinking, chain-smoking sheriff is in town: Step into Hopper’s uniform for a day to become the most unlikely hero in Hawkins. Don’t forget his iconic cigarette, but before you light up the real thing, try one of these faux cigarettes, which create the illusion of burning without the smoke.
25. Jon Snow, Game of Thrones
Even though Game of Thrones has officially come to an end, you don’t have to leave Winterfell behind just yet: Take your place as Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, and watch heads turn. This outfit comes with a cape and waistcoat. All you have to do is add black pants and a sword and you’re all set.
26. Woody, Toy Story
Come to life this Halloween as Pixar’s most lovable toy. Woody’s getup is most notable for its yellow button-up shirt and cow-print vest, so start with this Woody accessory set and yellow costume shirt. Pair it with some blue jeans, a leather belt, and add a pair of boots to complete the ensemble.
27. Archie Andrews, Riverdale
For a super-easy yet put-together costume this Halloween, consider dressing up as Archie Andrews, smalltown Riverdale’s star football player turned vigilante crime fighter. Pair a t-shirt and blue jeans with this replica of his signature letterman jacket and a pair of sneakers to complete this understated jock look. Top the look off with a red wig.
28. Jughead Jones, Riverdale
Jughead Jones, Riverdale’s resident tortured writer, is best known for his signature slouchy beanie and fur-trimmed denim jacket. But when Jug’s not writing, he’s leading the Southside Serpents, so consider channeling his bad-boy side by sporting his leather Serpent’s jacket.
29. Pennywise, It
If you’re looking for the best scary Halloween costumes, then you can’t beat Pennywise. This creepy clown is sure to terrify even the bravest of souls this Halloween, then dressing up as Pennywise is (obviously) your best option. The maniacal clown tormenting small-town Derry sports some big red hair, lots of ruffles, and a perpetual grin, all of which you can achieve with this spooky costume kit.
30. Rick, Rick And Morty
An alcoholic scientist who can travel through different dimensions? We’ve got you covered: You’ll need a lab coat and some disheveled, pale blue hair, so try this deluxe costume kit. Just don’t forget to be a jerk to your grandson and sport an empty booze-like bottle to complete the look.
More from SPY
Best of SPY