Halloween Costumes: The Do’s, the Don’ts and the Please-God-No’s of 2020

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An array of ill-advised sexy 'Tiger King' costumes. (www.starline.la)

You might be wondering what to do for Halloween this year. We all are. Because when you’re living in a dystopian movie, a sci-fi series and a political satire all at once, it’s hard to get excited about a day where things are supposed to get even scarier.

Real fear has been so ever-present this year, that the only way to have fun with Halloween is to steer clear of the mountain of things that remind us it’s 2020. Let's start then, with the costumes you should avoid at all costs if you care even a little about your fellow humans.

The Don’ts

The Presidential Candidates

Latex masks in the likeness of Joe Biden and Donald Trump.
Biden and Trump Halloween masks, courtesy of The Costumer and ShopAtFlips respectively. (The Costumer/ShopAtFlips.com)

Since 1980, the presidential candidate whose likeness sold the most Halloween masks has won the election. (I am not making this up.) With stakes so high, no one wants to spend Halloween roaming the streets counting the Bidens versus the Trumps. Don’t make us do math on Halloween, people.

Sexy Murder Hornets

A woman wearing a sexy murder hornet costume.
Yes. It's a sexy murder hornet. (Yandy.com)

You know what no one thinks when they hear about massive, bee-decapitating creatures that keep outwitting the scientists that are trying to track them? “Sexy!” Not even Paris Hilton could muster a “That’s hot” for this one...


Coronavirus Anything


You already know what’s wrong with this one, so don’t even think about it, buster.

Sexy Bat


What did I just say about coronavirus anything?

A Zoom Meeting

Yes, it’s easy. You just draw a bunch of faces in rectangles on a piece of cardboard and strap it to your face. But, unless you want people yelling “No, you go,” and “You’re muted,” all night, it’s best avoided. Especially since you may be attending a virtual party this year—Zoom within Zoom might just open a vortex to hell. It is 2020 after all.

Tiger King Anything 


This whole thing jumped the shark when Carole Baskin joined Dancing With the Stars. No one—literally no one—needs more Tiger King. Especially not “sexy” Tiger King.

Sexy Hand Sanitizer

$69.95?! Really?!


Anyone Who Just Died

You think you’re paying homage to RBG, or Kobe Bryant, or Chadwick Boseman. But what you’re actually doing is making sure everyone who lays eyes on you wants to immediately burst into tears. It’s too soon. Stop it!

Sexy USPS Person

The last thing the good and noble people of USPS need right now is this tomfoolery. This is even worse than that time the Season 1 cast of Project Runway had a crack at redesigning their uniforms...

Now you might be wondering what that leaves you with. The answer is: literally anything else. Classic monsters, old movies, cartoon characters, any non-bat-related animal, dinosaurs, Pokémon, Yoda (baby or old—doesn't matter), sci-fi characters, musicians (as long as they share your skin tone, white people). This is not difficult!

But if you must insist on a costume that has something to do with 2020, there are still some options at your disposal.

The Do’s

Empty Toilet Paper Roll

What happened in the spring is evidence that America is, at all times, about five minutes away from running out of toilet paper. Remind your friends and neighbors to never again panic buy with this fetching costume!

Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces

If you’re like most of America, you’ve probably spent more time doing jigsaw puzzles this year than every other year of your life combined. Honor that most wholesome of shelter in place stress-easers by dressing up as one, thereby symbolizing how much we all, after 2020, feel 85.

Mike Pence’s Fly

Thinking about the presidential election might not be funny right now, but that fly that hung out on Mike Pence’s head during the VP debate still is!

A Bucket and a Mop

This is how to pay homage to Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” without having to engage in arguments with uncomfortable old men. And if you have the right kind of dog? Well, there’s always this...

A Dollhouse

A woman wearing a house costume.
Ohhappyday.com has full instructions on how to turn yourself into a house. (OhHappyDay.com)

If you’ve been watching The Haunting of Bly Mansion on Netflix, the glowing ghost diorama in Flora’s bedroom is probably still on your mind. Why not dress up as it? If people don’t recognize it as a Bly Mansion thing, no problem! They’ll assume it’s the tooth-lined one from Sharp Objects, or one of Hereditary’s monuments to familial hell! Because all dollhouses are terrifying now! (If you can’t find one to buy, OhHappyDay will walk you through how to make one.)

A Blue Moon

This Halloween night, a blue moon is set to rise and, according to AccuWeather, we won’t get another one on Oct. 31 until 2039. Honor the extra-eerie sky with a costume like the one above. Or, if you’re one of the people who thought it’d be funny to dress up like Corona beer when coronavirus first hit, here's a beer-related costume option that won't make the rest of the world despise you.


If you’re one of 2020’s newfound bakers, this one’s for you. You can go as a slice, like the one above (D.I.Y. instructions are on OhYayStudio.com). Or, if you’re feeling extra weird, you could go as sourdough starter. Because I’m fairly sure that just means wrapping yourself in bubble wrap and rolling around in beige paint. And who doesn’t want to do that right now?

Finally, if you’re looking to leave 2020 out of it altogether, and are just looking for a Happy Little Halloween costume that will ease the stress of the rest of the year, feel free to fall back on Bob Ross, as all of these wise people did.

Wholesome Bob Ross and a Happy Tree:

Maude Apatow in Euphoria Bob Ross:

Zombie Bob Ross:

Gender Flipped Bob Ross:

Truly, all Bob Ross is better than no Bob Ross:


Stay safe out there.