Photo via flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons.
Joe Petro
Joe Petro
Oct 30, 2014 · 10 min read

Your one stop shop for clever Halloween costume ideas.

Update: Here’s a list of 50 Mashup Halloween Costumes for 2015.

Halloween was built on the mashup — the concept of taking two things and mashing them together into a single, more sensational something. Take vampires for example. They’re a mashup of people and bats. Or werewolves, which are a mashup of people and wolves. And don’t forget mummies, a mashup of people and toilet paper.

In film, there’s A Nightmare Before Christmas, which mashes up the most wonderful time of the year with the most spooky, scary time of the year. In the world of literature, Mary Shelley detailed the most epic mashup of all time in her Gothic novel Frankenstein. And no list of Halloween mashups would be complete without, perhaps the most famous Halloween mash of all time, Bobby “Boris” Picket’s number one hit single, “Monster Mash”.

Clearly, Halloween was built on this idea of mashing things up, so what better way is there to celebrate than with a mashup costume? There isn’t one. Here are my mashup Halloween costume suggestions for 2014.

Ariana Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte

Right now, there’s nothing hotter than a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte… that is, unless you’re counting international pop sensation, Ariana Grande! For this costume, dress up like a big ol’ cuppa joe, which is to say, a grande-sized cup from Starbucks — that detail is critical. Then, instead of topping your head with whipped cream, tie your hair so that you have a huge ponytail spraying out of the top of your head. If done correctly, it should look like something a video game character might be able to use as a weapon. Speak in a breathy voice all night and mash every word of every sentence together (like a subway conductor) so that people never understand what you’re saying (like a Starbucks barista). For the finishing touch, spell “Ariana” incorrectly on the cup. Your costume will be so good your friends will have one more problem witoutcha.

Ziggy Azalea

For this costume, gussy yourself up to look like hip hop icon Iggy Azalea, but that’s not all. Once you’re finally looking fancy, slap a lightning bolt across your eye like Ziggy Stardust, thus completing the look and bridging the gap between these musical universes. See, before there was “fancy” there was a little something called “glamour” — and, actually, Fergie covered that. But before “glamour,” there was simply “glam”… and that was all Bowie. So this Halloween, don’t be like all the other Iggies Azalea. Don’t be homogenous, be a rebel, rebel. Get androgynous.

Dawn, of the Planet of the Apes

There’s no monkeying around with this mashup idea. All you need is an ape suit and a name tag on your chest that reads “Hello my name is Dawn.” People will go bananas for this costume!

Groot Beer

It is a scientific certainty that the most popular character from the year’s most popular action movie will also be the most popular Halloween costume of that year. And this year is the year of Groot. If you’re wondering what exactly a “groot” is right now, all you need to know is that you will see a lot of people dressed like trees this year and when you ask one of them what he or she is being for Halloween, he or she will reply by saying, “I am Groooooot,” and you should laugh because it’s a funny joke. To stand out from this forest of Groots, here’s a costume that mashes up everyone’s favorite sentient, tree-like superhero with everyone’s favorite carbonated, sugary soft drink. Wear a Groot mask and dress like a giant can of soda, but not just any can of soda… dress up as can of Barq’s Olde Time Groot Beer. This will really make your costume pop!

Taylor Sniffed

It’s 2014, Taylor Swift has a new album out, and as far as I’m concerned, the best dance video of all time is “Weapon of Choice” by Fatboy Slim. Two other dance videos are Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” and “Name of the Game” by The Crystal Method. Now — finally! — there is a costume that brings them both together. Start by dressing in the chic vintage style of future rock legend, Taylor Swift. Then all you have to do is turn your entire face into a gigantic, prosthetic shnozzola. If done correctly, it should look something like this. And when all the haters who are gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate tell you that this mashup makes no sense, simply point to your giant nose-face and say, “Yes, but it does make scents!” Then they’ll probably say “very funny,” and roll their eyes, at which point you’ll just shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it off, though not before adding, “Stank you, smelly much. I guess I just have a nose for this sort of thing.”

Cape Codzilla

Throw your finest Vineyard Vines apparel overtop your best Godzilla costume, like you’re heading up to the Cape for the summer. Godzilla doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to waterfront properties, but that all changes with this casual costume. You’ll have a whale of a time!

Scottish Independence Referen-Dumb & Dumber

Dress like Harry Dunne and Lloyd Christmas from Dumb & Dumber, except instead of wearing their signature periwinkle and creamsicle tuxes, wear periwinkle and creamsicle kilts. Now, let’s be serious, kilts aren’t cheap… but this purchase is worth the price. A costume like this lets everybody know that you’re rich, good looking, and have a rapist’s wit! But is it too clever? In literally any other year, maybe… but not right now. Scotland held their Independence Referendum just last month and Dumb & Dumber To hits theaters next month. This mashup couldn’t be timelier! This is your big chance, man! All you have to do is show a little class, a little sophistication… and you’re in like a dirty shirt. A girl might actually talk to you, man.

Thorde

For this costume, start with the armor, cape, and Mjolnir of Thor — God of Thunder, Prince of Asgard, and celebrity spokesperson for Thoreal. Then, instead of Thor’s bouncy, blonde locks, put on a dark, wavy wig, some eyeliner, and purple lipstick à la teenage musical phenom and all-around great gal, Lorde. By mashing her up with a member of the Asgardian royal family, this costume finally gives Lorde the closure she’s been looking for — she can finally be royal. And it’s not even that big of a stretch of the imagination. Thor and Lorde have plenty in common: great hair, striking facial features, a frustrating desire to better connect with the people of Earth…

Alex Sway-bek

“I’ll take RAP-CCUSATIONS for $2000, Alex.” “Though MTV News host Sway ain’t got the answers, this host always does.” “Who is Canadian-American treasure, Alex Trebek?” “Correct!” For this costume, wear a conservative suit, a conservative grey mustache, and a conservative knit hat to hold your dreadlocks. This mashup will make you the number one most impactful costume artist of your generation — William Shakespeare in the flesh, Walt Disney, Nike, Google!

Jack Black Widow

Wear black body suit and on top of that, throw on a shirt that says “Loser” or, uh, I don’t know, “Talk to the Hand” or something like that, man, or a hat, a big old hat… Either way, this is a great costume for flaunting not only your nerd cred, but also your body — whether your built like ScarJo or Jables. And don’t be afraid to get physical. From martial arts to power slides, Jack Black Widow is a physical force to be reckoned with and would be a tremendous ally to the Avengers. Plus, in the fight to save humanity, they say the best offense is a tenacious defense.

Rih-Anna & Elsa

Dress like Rihanna, but carry around a doll of Elsa, star of Disney’s Frozen. Just make sure that you hold on to that doll tightly. If you let it go nobody will get your great costume!

Richard Sherman & Peabody

Wear the jersey of Richard Sherman — Seattle Seahawk, Super Bowl champion, and self-proclaimed “best corner in the game.” Then, perch a Mr. Peabody plushy on your shoulder. You’ll make history with this smart mashup!

Rust Kohl’s

Dress like everyone’s favorite nihilistic Louisiana State Homicide Unit true detective, Rust Cohle. You’ll need ratty long hair in a pony tail, a handlebar mustache, tattoos, and that Big Hug Mug you’ve had your eye on but have been to embarrassed to buy for the last year. Then throw on a Kohl’s name tag that says “Rust” and spend the night contemplating the secret truths of the Universe and making cryptic claims about retail. “If the only thing keeping a person shopping is some expectation of great savings, then brother, that person is in the Kohl’s Loyalty Rewards Program.” Someone once told me that “Halloween costumes are a flat circle. Every costume we’ve done or will do, we’re gonna do over and over and over again.” But not this one. Nobody has ever been or will be Rust Kohl’s… except for you, that is.

Best Buy-Senberg

It’s your standard Walter White-Heisenberg costume — glasses, goatee, porkpie hat, and khaki pants. But then throw on one of those blue polos that Best Buy employees have to wear. You’ll go from “the one who knocks” to “the one who stocks… inventory, on the overnight shift, for the second straight week, because Dennis can’t seem to get his shift schedule right ever, damnit!”

Man of Steel deGrasse Tyson

Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a planet! It’s… Pluto! Which, thanks to Neil deGrasse Tyson, we now know isn’t a planet at all, but rather a lowly dwarf planet only masquerading as the real thing. This is the exact kind of astrological fraud that the people of this planet need protection from! And who better for the job than Man of Steel deGrasse Tyson. For this mashup, dress like a mild-mannered astrophysicist with the American Museum of Natural History in New York City whom also serves as the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium. To complete the look, wear a Superman shirt, a bright blue one, that bursts forth from behind your cosmic tie and vest like the Earth rising over the Moon. And by the way, I can’t wait to see the new exhibit on Krypton.

Bojack Norseman

Wear the top half of a two-person horse costume along with a sweater, blazer, and viking helmet. Couple that with a rude ‘tude, a big appetite and a bad drinking habit and you’ll be ready to go. Between Bojack Horseman’s self-loathing and all that viking oathing, you’ll surely be a hit this Halloween. And I’m not horsin’ around!

Shia LeHoof

Wear the bottom half of a two-person horse costume, then throw a brown paper bag over your head that says “I Am Not Centaur Anymore”. [The costumes and ideas expressed in this article are solely those of the original author and were definitely not plagiarized from an article published in Esquire in 2009.]

Turn Notice

It’s no secret that spies are cool. So obviously, a Halloween costume that mashes up two different types of spies is going to be even cooler. For starters, dress in a trendy beige suit like the guy from USA’s Burn Notice — or, in other words, how all modern, professional spies dress. For the finishing touch, you’ll need a powdered wig and a musket, just like they use on AMC’s historical spy drama, Turn. The only downside is that your identity won’t be much of a secret with such an obvious costume!

Séyoncé

Dress like Beyoncé in a fortune teller hat, but instead of graining on the wood of a surfbort, start gazing into the depths of the crystal ball on the séance table that you’ve rigged to your hips. “I feel the presence of the the Ghost of Costumes Past. She says… she says, ‘you have a great mashup costume!’”

Jeter Venkman

This classic costume combines everyone’s favorite Ghostbuster with everyone’s favorite New York Yankee. For starters, you’ll need a Ghostbuster uniform with Peter Venkman’s name tag on the front. Then stitch a number two on the back, throw on a Yankees cap, and you’ll be ready to play ball—and not a moment too soon! Now that Jeter’s retired, things are getting scary for Yankees fans. “What will we do without him?” some wonder. “Who will save New York?” At this point, they just can’t accept the fact that this city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions… Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats, living together! Mass hysteria! Don’t forget your proton pack!

Doctor Who-tie and the Blowfish

Dress up like your favorite incarnation of The Doctor, then throw on a backwards snapback and a Cracked Rear View 1995 tour shirt underneath your blazer. Make sure to carry a sonic screwdriver and an acoustic guitar, using them to help you sing the opening lines to “I Only Wanna Be With You” throughout the night and nothing else: “You and me, we come from different worlds…” Allons-y? More like, cand-y please!

Ryan Gosling-box

Dress like Ryan Gosling in Drive, but here’s the catch: instead of a scorpion on the back of your cool new jacket, put the Slingbox logo. Forget “on demand”… with this costume you’ll be in demand!


If you already have your costume picked out, it’s still not too late. Here’s quick and dirty trick for easy mashup costumes: just add a hat! Take these ideas for example…

Leslie Pope
Leslie Knope wearing a pope hat!

Cowboy George
Boy George wearing a Stetson!

I Dream Of Beanie
Jeannie in a beanie!

Paul Visor
Paul Reiser in a visor!

Fedora the Explorer
Dora the Explorer wearing a fedora!

Graduation Cap-tain Phillips
Captain Phillips in a graduation cap!


Well, that’s all of my mashup Halloween costume suggestions for 2014. But remember, these aren’t all the mashup costume ideas out there, they’re just the best ones. If you weren’t inspired by any of them, check out my just-as-excellent-though-less-topical mashup costume suggestions from 2012 and 2013. Or even better, come up with your own, you lazy bum! And have a Happy Halloween!

Photo via flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons.

Joe Petro

Written by

Joe Petro

Numerous humorous diversions. Tweets @joe_petro. More at www.joepetro.net.

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