Costumes of shrimp on the Barbie, the Clovers, and Guy Fieri.

Don’t Miss the Best of TikTok’s 2023 Halloween Costumes

Every year I am blown away by the creativity of people in the month of October. This is coming from someone that’s constantly looking at art and stunning cosplays all year long. That being said, it feels like people upped the ante for Halloween 2023.

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Here are some of the best costumes shared over the last few weeks, minus the pros—that includes people from Hollywood who have the budget to pay for film-ready looks. Also, cosplayers who kill it year round. This is a celebration of normies turning up!

The category is: Possibly Objectionable Objects

We know there will be a bunch of Barbies for the foreseeable future—and I love that for us. I truly do. However, those that take it a step further and add some puns deserve all the praise.

This wasn’t even the only great shrimp-themed costume this year. One of Tash Miles’ costumes took inspiration from one of my favorite Scorsese movies, Shark Tale.

While we’re down in the ocean, it’s probably a good time to talk about how it can be very dangerous. Even with the best equipment and up-to-code measures taken, you could find yourself sleeping with the fishes (and Horace, the shrimp). Stockton Rush (former OceanGate CEO) didn’t care and now has become a part of the Hubris Hall of Fame. This person captured a building decorated as an imagined final boss of OceanGate


At first I was like COOL and then I was like, oh no. ?

♬ Oh my god what is that – vezeliteapparel

Even if you do decide to play reckless because you’re caught up in the moment. It’s always good to have a safe bac-up plan. A Plan B, if you will.

And finally, a menu of one of the most talked about discourses of October 2023 (that was likely a rage bait skit): The Cheesecake Factory.

Famous people (and characters) remixed

Political costumes are a touch choice because there’s a lot to balance. Will it be recognizable and yet unique (not a straight-forward president)? Does it capture their spirit? This person decided to achieve all of this with the most famous liar at Capital Hill, George Santos.

Pun-lovers keep winning because here’s Erika Fermina combining two very popular Halloween costumes—Guy Fieri and fairies—in a unique way.

Another fun spin on a popular costume is what Untitled Queen’s friend Lucy Balls decided to share. Many have replicated the famous red carpet look of Björk in a swan dress at the 2001 Academy Awards. However, instead of wearing the swan dress, Balls decided to be a swan wearing a dress made of Björk wearing a swan dress.


My bestie Lucy Balls winning Halloween. She made her costume: a swan wearing Bjork wearing a swan. #drag #brooklyn

♬ original sound – Untitled Queen

If Charlie from it’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia saw that and didn’t immediately start freaking out (which is totally understandable), he’d probably whip out his conspiracy board to break down the costume bit by bit, unraveling each feather and the secret it holds. (Please note, she also dressed as Nic Cage stealing the Declaration of Independence only to wear it as an outfit.)

One of my favorite costumes from a movie I’ve never seen but really want to is Rumplemilkskin’s take on Porco Rosso.

Context often makes costumes even better. Trained in tap and dance, LA Clippers dancer Taylor Tarantino didn’t learn hip hop until she was much older. So, for Halloween she paid homage to (in)famous hip hop dance instructor Dena.


Hip Hop Dena taught me everything I know!

♬ original sound – JJ Niemann

And finally, one of the best solo costumes is Dorian dressed as Doug Dimmadome from Fairly Odd Parents. I’ve seen great Doug costumes before by cosplayers, but there’s something so wholesome about this person’s excitement over it coming together in the end and bringing smiles to other people’s faces.


Two groups of people thought I was Erykah Badu from behind. Which is a fair assessment. I fucking love the city. Someone thought I was chalk? #halloween #philadelphia

♬ La belle vie – Sacha Distel

Best group costumes

A surefire way to take a costume up to the next level is by dressing up in coordination with another person. It works on the red carpet and it works for Halloween. Here are some of the best group costumes starting with people who took inspiration from popular movies like School of Rock, Cinderella (1997), The Incredibles, Indiana Jones, Bring It On, and—the sole “X” (Twitter) entry—Silence of the Lambs.


Principal Mullins and Spider take Halloween 2023… #halloween #schoolofrock

♬ original sound – Themobilelibrarian

While these costumes above take some effort and money to pull together, not every group fit does. For example, fans of The Bear have it pretty easy, especially if they’ve worked in food service before. All that’s needed is some black dress pants, a white shirt, blue apron, a small dish towel, and slip-proof black shoes. Then, be ready to say, “Yes Chef!”


How many Carmys does it take to spawn a Syd???? #HANDS #TheBear #Carmy #halloween

♬ original sound – Cherry Pop

There were quite a few delicious food couples and groups that paired nicely with a chef. One of the best was this duo’s chef slicing off al pastor from a trompo.

Less than savory historical figures and moments also killed it this year. Take for example, this John Wilkes Booth x Abraham Lincoln and Tonya Harding x Nancy Kerrigan.


(FAKE GUN) Name a better duo ill wait


we were proud of this costume @Riley’s World #tonyaharding #nancykerrigan

♬ Benjamins Deli – JRitt

Joyceyjodie may make costumes and cosplay regularly, but doesn’t have a big enough follow to discount her from this list. (Something you can change!) Here she is with a partner, dressing up as two protagonists from one of the most fun (and frustrating) co-op games of the last few years, It Takes Two.

My favorite “you had to be there” costumes reference highly specific news stories (like bed bugs in Paris) or unexpected crossovers (like Demon Slayer boys with Disney princesses)—also, moments turned into memes that people still find new ways of riffing on. Yes, like Tucker Carlson’s obsession with the sex appeal of M&Ms.

(featured image: Screencaps from @mmmark.lee, @yofavoritestepmom, and @astylepixie on TikTok)

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Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.