If you think coordinating an outing with a group is hard, try coordinating a group costume for Halloween. It’s a nightmare, and not the spooky, fun Halloween kind, but we’re here to help — and boy, does 2016 have plenty to pick from.
Let’s get the creative juices flowing and your group texts feeling a little more focused. There’s a lot of inspiration for group costumes this year; 2016 has been chock full of pop culture phenomenons and weird political snafus. Really, it’s almost unfair how easy this is, which we feel like isn’t usually the case. Despite the insanity that is 2016, at least we’ll get some interesting Halloween costumes out of it.
From European political disasters to the U.S. presidential election, and from new cult television to equally cult Broadway marvels, here are 10 group Halloween costume challenges to take on with your family and friends.
(Side note: Please, please don’t go as ISIS for Halloween. No matter what that one weird friend tells you, it’s not funny.)
Republican Presidential Candidates
The scariest thing of all is how they managed to fit so many podiums on one stage. This year’s presidential race started out as way more of a disaster than it is now. If you’ll recall, there were over 20 people vying for the chance to be the Republican Nominee before good ol’ Trump took the ticket. Get your group some ill-fitting suits and pick a player. Trump’s pretty obvious, as is Jeb Bush. Put a doctor’s coat on over your suit to be Ben Carson (don’t forget to shout out random, incorrect medical facts all night). If you want to get really creative with Ted Cruz, maybe splatter yourself with a little fake blood to release your inner Zodiac Killer. This stuff writes itself, honestly.
Starring as the international political disaster of the list is Great Britain’s break from the European Union. Dress up one member as a hoity-toity English person — and feel free to take Queen Elizabeth as inspiration, which means you’ll need some corgis. Germany requires Lederhosen, someone wears a beret for France or dresses up as a mime … You get the picture. Really, you can include as many EU countries as you want (there are 27), as long as everyone involved is willing to throw insults at and start “fights” with Britain all night. (Please note: Violence is not the answer.)
Stranger Things Squad
We’ve already given you a guide to dressing like Eleven from Stranger Things, but you’re going to need your bros to back you up when taking on Demogorgons and other unknown evils on Halloween night. Invest in some plaid and some Carhartt-looking jackets, as well as a button-up rugby shirt and Dustin’s iconic hat. Bonus points if you carry around some old walkie-talkies and ride your bikes everywhere.
SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket and Disappointed Elon Musk, feat. NASA
Okay, so please don’t go exploding on Halloween night. That’s not recommended. But if you wrap someone in foil and paper and pretend to explode all night, you’ll nail this reenactment. What really makes this, though, is an Elon Musk character, which requires a black muscle tee and a crippling enthusiasm over colonizing Mars. Don’t forget to sport your best pout. To top it off, you need some NASA engineers in lab coats to stand around and look eternally frustrated.
The Cast of Hamilton
Who thought combining American history and hip-hop for a Broadway musical would result in the cultural upheaval that was Hamilton? Not us. And yet, here we are. If you and your friends can rap, more power to you — memorize some Hamilton lines and drop them at random throughout Halloween night. But clearly the most important aspects are the outfits. Hamilton characters rock brightly colored coats and ruffled neckerchiefs, as well as some seriously stylish boots. It gets a little more difficult (and pricey) for the women, especially if you want to take on the Schuyler Sisters. But feel free to modernize the looks and play around with which character you can be — break down those gender barriers.
American Horror Story, Seasons 1-6
You can rock this group costume one of two ways: Either follow the themes and promos for each season (take the photo above as inspiration) or pick an iconic character from each. We’re talking rubber man suits, black blood dripping from your eyes, Twisty the Clown masks, and all-black-everything witch outfits. There’s a lot to go off of, so really take your time and make something that’ll turn heads when you stroll into that party.
We’ve seen three of the four Defenders in action on Netflix so far Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and now Luke Cage — so we’re only missing Iron Fist, but his outfit’s pretty easy to put together. And unless you want to go full-on Daredevil and get Matt Murdock’s suit, you can always stick with a trusty suit-and-tie combo with some rosy glasses, and bruised, bloody knuckles. Wear a leather jacket and blue skinny jeans to pull off Jessica’s iconic looks (she also pulls off the bruised-and-bloody look to match Matt’s). The bottle of whiskey is optional. Finally, Luke Cage really only requires a dark hoodie and a silent-and-strong personality (as well as a willingness to jump in the line of fire to protect others).
DC TV Superhero Roundup
If you promise that you won’t go overboard and become convinced you have superpowers, we’ll grant you this superhero squad too. Here are a couple of Oliver Queen’s Arrow costumes, and don’t forget the bow and arrow. Barry Allen would love this rendition of his suit, but you can’t go wrong with the traditional Flash spandex suit. Finally, Kara Danvers is saving lives while looking fly as hell (sorry) in her supersuit in the skies of National City.
Robotic Westworld Inhabitants
You knew it was coming. Westworld premiered too close to the Halloween season for us to not include some of its characters on our list. If you don’t want to piss people off with spoilers, either, just go as a random person dressed in period-specific clothing. Wear knee-length jackets with fancy waistcoats, bullet belts, and cowboy hats. To really sell the “robot” angle, maybe reveal some of your metallic parts, freeze in place every once in a while, or stare off into space, contemplating your humanity.
Halloween may be the time of Scorpio, but with the recent change-up in the system (and the following internet freak out) we think all horoscopes will be a hot topic. As always. This one requires some creative problem-solving, though. It’s your time to shine. Make a scorpion tail out of some pool noodles, carry around a little scale all night to be Libra, go toga-style with a white sheet wrapped around yourself to emulate Virgo, and buy yourself a damn crab hat for Cancer. What makes this group costume, though, is if you can stay in a group and whisper prophecies in people’s ears all night.