Dustin, Eddie, and Mike laugh in the Hawkins High cafeteria in Stranger Things season 4

Good Group Costumes to Wear This Halloween

Halloween costumes can be difficult to put together, and that struggle is multiplied when coordinating outfits as a group. It can be hard to find an idea that everyone is both on board with and has the means to do, so here are a few ideas varying in complexity and interest for your squad to consider this year.

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Cartoon Squad

Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Linda Cardellini, Matthew Lillard in Scooby-Do (2002)
(Warner Bros.)

Most cartoons have a main cast of 4-6 characters, like Scooby-Doo, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The Simpsons. However, if your group is bigger, a lot of these shows have plenty of fun supporting characters to add to the mix (especially if it’s one that takes place in a town full of wacky folks or focuses on a team of heroes fighting various villains).

And then there’s The Smurfs, which features 100 of the titular blue beings – each with a different dominant personality trait—plus the evil Gargamel and his cat, Azrael.



Another one that, at first glance, seems to work best for smaller groups but is really unlimited. Yes, there are a few different canon iterations of the team to choose from (the originals, the all-female squad of the 2016 film, and the Ghostbusters: Afterlife crew) but you can also form your own gang of ghost hunters not based on any specific characters and have as many people as you want on your team!

Barbies and/or Kens

the girls of barbie
(Warner Bros.)

This one is sure to be popular in 2023, given how the Barbie movie made such a big splash at the box office this year. In order to stand out from the crowd, get creative with your costume choices. Remember, Barbies (and Kens!) can look like anyone and be themed around just about anything, and there have been lots of Barbie movies prior to Greta Gerwig’s; maybe you saw some of the animated ones during your childhood!

So if you want to be Stereotypical Barbie, Doctor Barbie, or Weird Barbie, absolutely go for it, but you can also take inspiration from Barbie dolls not featured in the movie, or even create your own!

Superhero Teams

Iron Man, Hulk. Captain America, Hawkeye, Thor and Black Widow all looking down at Loki in the first Avenger movie
(Marvel Studios)

Comic book characters have been popular Halloween costumes for decades, but they’re popular for a reason; they’re fun, recognizable, and make for great group costumes! You can stick with the classic Avengers, Justice League, or X-Men, but if you want to go outside the box, there are lots of less common options.

If you have a squad of ladies this Halloween, DC’s Bombshells or Marvel’s A-Force could be a fun way to go. This Halloween also coincides with the new season of Loki on Disney+, and Loki variants (either ones from the show, comics, or your own original ideas) work for any type of group. And if you want to stick to the classics but change things up a little bit, Marvel Zombies is a great theme to add a creepy twist to your band of Avengers, and might be a fun way to reuse an old costume!

Video Game Characters

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

With The Super Mario Bros. Movie being one of the biggest hits of the year, The Last of Us streaming series killing it on Max, and the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie is poised to be a breakout hit, video game adaptations are all the rage right now, and as a result these characters may now be more recognizable to those who aren’t big gamers.

But that doesn’t mean you only have to stick to what’s popular in the mainstream at the moment! If you and your crew all love a particular game, you can dress up as characters from that, or if you’re all gamers but can’t decide on a single series, that works too! Franchises like Super Smash Bros. bring together characters from a lot of Nintendo games, or you can choose a company or console to dress as different characters.

Stranger Things Characters

Dustin, Eddie, and Mike laugh in the Hawkins High cafeteria in Stranger Things season 4

If you’re looking for a costume you can wear multiple times, this might be the theme for you; you’ll probably be able to wear a lot of the pieces as regular clothes! Choose a season and coordinate outfits (maybe you can all dress up for the Snow Ball in Season 2, or get matching Hellfire Club shirts to pay tribute to Season 4).

Food Mascots

The cast of McDonaldland characters in 1986.
image: The cast of McDonaldland characters in 1986.

Brand mascots have become iconic characters akin to the likes of Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny, and many of the best ones are for food companies. With Grimace and the Hamburglar both having big comebacks this year, dressing up as the McDonald’s characters could make for a fun Halloween theme or each person can pick a mascot from a different fast food place (Wendy, Colonel Sanders, the Burger King, etc.)

Alternatively, cereal brands also have lots of fun mascots. There’s Snap, Crackle, and Pop from Rice Krispies, Tony the Tiger from Frosted Flakes, Lucky from Lucky Charms, Sugar Bear from Sugar Crisp, and Toucan Sam from Froot Loops. And if you really want to get super Halloween-y, don’t forget about the “monster cereals” from General Mills: Franken Berry, Count Chocula, Boo Berry, Frute Brute, Yummy Mummy, and Carmella Creeper!


group of Pokemon cosplayers

With literally hundreds of these cute creatures showing up in the nearly 30 years this franchise has been going on, there are plenty of choices to choose from. And it’s a good choice if you don’t want to make or buy an entire costume; you can do that, of course, but you can just as easily grab a few accessories representing your Pokemon of choice and wear “regular” clothing that is the same color(s) as your character.

The Pokemon franchise also features human characters, most notably the Pokemon trainers! This is another costume option that allows the wearer to use everyday clothes; unless you’re trying to emulate a specific character from the franchise, you can just grab pants, a t-shirt, a vest, a backpack, and a baseball cap! (And perhaps make or buy a plushie or Pokemon to enhance the ensemble!)

Pixar Characters

Emotions from the Pixar film 'Inside Out' (left to right: Anger, Disgust, Fear, Joy, and Sadness)

Pixar may be a studio, but it’s also a brand in and of itself, so dressing as characters from its different movies allows for variety while still being part of a cohesive theme. You could choose one movie and have everyone dress as characters from it, like Inside Out, The Incredibles, or the Toy Story franchise, but with so many franchises and movies under the Pixar umbrella, there are probably more than enough to choose from if everyone wants to represent a different one.

Director Tribute

Three men including a bellboy stand at the front desk of a hotel, in front of an all red background with mailboxes and room keys in "the Grand Budapest Hotel."
(Fox Searchlight Pictures)

This theme also allows each member of your group to sort of do their own thing with their costume while still tying them all together. Everyone bases their costume on a different movie by the same director (or, alternatively, a different character played by the same actor). You could go with Steven Spielberg and have E.T., a T-Rex, a shark, Tinker Bell, and Indiana Jones amongst you! Or a Greta Gerwig tribute with Barbies, 19th-century women, and the titular Lady Bird!

For something a bit more uniform, Wes Anderson has a signature aesthetic across most of his movies, so you could have a Grand Budapest Hotel employee, a Belafonte crew member, and the alien from Asteroid City while all clearly being part of the same group.

(featured image; Netflix)

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Image of Julia Delbel
Julia Delbel
Julia Delbel (she/her) is a contributing writer at The Mary Sue and has been doing freelance entertainment coverage for five years. She loves diving into film, television, and theater, especially Marvel, DC Disney, and animated content, particularly taking a hard look at their character development, storyline weaving, and place in the pop culture pantheon.