26 Punny Halloween Costume Ideas From a Pun Champion

Sarah Turbin
Sarah Turbin

Feeling creatively bankrupt this Halloween? Can’t stand the idea of donning another generic witch cap, ghost sheet, or sexy pizza rat costume? You’ve come to the right place.

If you, like me, have been accused of suffering from witzelsucht, or any other such judgment leveled against your innocent penchant for puns, then let it be known: Halloween is the costumed arena where we shall have our revenge. What follows below is a list of pun-based costumes for Halloween, each of which assuredly consists of a very long walk to a very short punchline. Let the groans begin.

A woman dressed in green wearing leaves and a shirt with prime numbers on it.
Sarah Turbin

1. Dress as a Jungle goddess and cover yourself in numbers that can’t be divided. You’re Amazon Prime.

2. Dress as a many-pronged garden tool and rap all night. You’re d’rake.

3. Dress as a zombie boxer and say you’re there to kill a doppelganger. You’re a dead ringer.

4. If you’re just single and looking for love, put on a coal worker’s hat and a headlight. You can flirt by saying you’re an unaccompanied miner.

5. Dress as a bloodsucking bug and act jittery all night. You’re just a nervous tick.

A woman wearing an outlet costume with doodles on it.
Sarah Turbin

6. Create an electrical socket out of cardboard and then doodle, collage and scrapbook all over it. You’re a creative outlet.

7. Dress as a jar of Jif peanut butter and cover yourself in gold flowers. When people ask, say you’re Jif Gold-bloom.

8. Attach half of a window to your butt. Say you’re a pane in the ass.

9. Dress as a sea cow in every color of the rainbow. Introduce yourself as all of hue-manatee.

10. Put a muzzle on your face and create a podium out of cardboard. You’re a Hannibal lectern.

A woman wrapped in plastic wrap holding cards.
Sarah Turbin

11. Cover yourself in parchment or wrapping paper and draw dice and question marks all over it. Voilà! Chance the Wrapper.

12. Cover yourself in gold body paint and carry around a saxophone. You’re Goldman Sax. (Bonus points if you can actually play "Careless Whisper.")

13. Wear a sign that says Route 666. When people point out the extra 6 as a mistake, correct them by saying “No, I’m the Route of All Evil.”

14. Get together a group of 12 of your single friends and just say you’re the “bae-cursed dozen.”

15. Get a bunch of girlfriends together to dress in formalwear and fine jewelry, then add bucket hats and fishing poles. Fight all night. When people ask, say you’re the Reel Housewives (of whatever city).

A woman in pink overalls, carrying a whip, wearing a hat and a nametag that says "Anna Jones."
Sarah Turbin

16. Dress like a hipster, introduce yourself as Anna Jones and carry a whip. You’re Indie Anna Jones.

17. Don a nun costume and a silver medal. You’re Second to Nun.

18. Wear all orange, get a spray-tan, and put on a sailor’s hat. You’re a sun-kissed naval orange.

19. Dress as Elmer Fudd and get very very slightly angry at everything. You’re minimum wage.

20. Cover yourself with legal jargon and speak Italian. Tell people you’ve got laws-on-ya.

A man in a suit and top hat holding a steak.
Sarah Turbin

21. Wear a business suit and carry around a hunk of meat. You’re an important steak-holder.

22. For a group of tech junkies: Dress as wild cats and act crazy all night. You can’t help it; you’re just hyper-lynx.

23. Dress as a tube of Colgate Total and photo-bomb people’s pictures all night by standing directly in front of them. You’re the Total Eclipse.

24. Wear a Red Cross on your chest, a leather jacket and sunglasses. You’re the cool aid man.

25. Dress as a kid and cover yourself in flour. Sing peace songs all night—you’re a flour child.

A man wearing bear ears.
Sarah Turbin

26. Lazy? Just put on bear ears. Say you’re doing the bear minimum.

Sam Corbin is a writer and performer based in Brooklyn. Her puns have been featured in The New Yorker, InStyle Magazine, Bust Magazine, Gothamist, and Huffington Post. Sam is also a multi-time champion of the Punderdome, a monthly pun tournament in Brooklyn, New York. She currently works at BuzzFeed. Twitter: @ahoysamantha.

This piece originally ran in 2017.

20 Weird Clubs That Actually Exist

Mental Floss via YouTube
Mental Floss via YouTube

Groucho Marx once famously quipped that he'd never "want to belong to any club that would accept me as one of its members." Most people would probably say the same about the Martin-Baker Ejection Tie Club—a very exclusive, 63-year-old organization created specifically for individuals who have had their lives saved by an ejection seat. Currently, the club boasts more than 6000 members.

That's just one of the weird and wonderful clubs you'll learn about in our latest edition of The List Show. Join Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy as she hunts down the world's most unusual clubs (Extreme Ironing Bureau anyone?). You can watch the full video below.

For more episodes like this one, be sure to subscribe here!

An Explosive History of the T-Shirt Cannon

Tom Szczerbowski, Getty Images
Tom Szczerbowski, Getty Images

As the mascot for the San Antonio Spurs from 1983 to 2004, Tim Derk—also known as the Coyote—was constantly looking for ways to make the live game experience better for fans. In addition to dancing, antagonizing players, and engaging with attendees, Derk did what many mascots do to raise morale: He gave the crowd free stuff.

Shirts, hats, and other apparel were tossed out on a regular basis, though the gifts were limited to the ability of a mascot’s throwing arm. Which meant that fans seated in the upper bleachers didn’t get much of anything, except maybe a nosebleed.

Derk and the other mascots used huge rubber bands to propel shirts to those people seated higher up in the stands, but even those had limited range. Then, in the 1990s, Derk and his peers decided to become apparel arms dealers. They designed and fabricated a massive, 90-pound cast-iron pipe 4 feet in length that used the pneumatic principle to blast T-shirts into the air and into the arms of fans.

Once Derk strapped it on for an appearance during a game as “Rambote,” sports would never be the same again.

The T-shirt cannon can be traced back to Britain during World War II, when sailors on commercial freighter ships were left vulnerable after their anti-aircraft weapons had been rerouted to warships. Desperate to protect themselves from enemy attack, the sailors adopted a weapon developed by the Department of Miscellaneous Weapons Development. Dubbed a Holman Projector, it could shoot projectiles out of a tube using steam from the ship’s boiler.

Rugby mascot Captain Hurricane (L) stands near former Hurricanes player Norm Hewitt (R) as he fires a T-shirt cannon at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand in May 2018
Hagen Hopkins, Getty Images

Sailors usually lobbed grenades in this manner, but when they weren’t under direct threat—which was most of the time—they loaded the gun with less-lethal ammunition, like potatoes. When Winston Churchill observed a demonstration and someone forgot the grenades, operators used beer bottles instead.

Without a wartime steam boiler, people still felt a need to launch projectiles. Contemporary “spud launchers” use compressed gas, usually carbon dioxide, that is delivered into an air tank. When the trigger is pulled, the gas is released all at once, and the energy shoots whatever’s in the barrel. That can be a potato, a paintball pellet, or a rolled-up T-shirt.

Derk was intrigued by the concept of the spud launcher and adopted it for clothing. When he began brandishing his T-shirt cannon, other mascots quickly followed suit. Kenn Solomon, also known as Rocky the Mountain Lion—a mascot cheering on the Denver Nuggets—had a friend build him one after seeing Derk’s. Solomon also got involved in selling them commercially. Pretty soon, the device was in heavy use across the NBA, MLB, NFL, and NHL organizations, growing smaller and lighter with each passing year. Once 90 pounds, the cannons now weigh as little as two pounds.

This T-shirt arms race grew to include multi-barrel guns like Big Bella, a 600-pound behemoth which debuted in 2012 at a Philadelphia 76ers game and could fire 100 shirts every 60 seconds. Not to be outdone, the Milwaukee Bucks introduced a triple-barreled gun powerful enough to propel vests and jackets. The Army’s football team built a tiny T-shirt tank.

Rumble, the mascot for the Oklahoma City Thunder, fires a T-shirt cannon at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in May 2016
J Pat Carter, Getty Images

Despite having a relatively innocuous payload, these guns have not always brought joy to attendees. In 2018, a mascot named Chip at the University of Colorado-Boulder suffered an injury when a T-shirt cannon malfunctioned, shooting him in the groin. (The video, of course, went viral.) That same year, a fan named Jennifer Harughty claimed that Orbit, the mascot for the Houston Astros, shot her with a T-shirt and shattered her finger, necessitating surgery. In 2019, Alex Swanson was at Citi Field for a New York Mets game and alleged that a shirt struck him in the eye and knocked him unconscious. Both sued the respective teams.

Derk surely had no idea there would be the occasional mishap, nor could he have predicted someone might misappropriate the gun for other purposes. In 2019, a woman named Kerri Jo Hickman was arrested after being caught while trying to deliver contraband—cell phones, chargers, ear buds, and drugs—by shooting it over the fence of North Folk Correction Center in Sayre, Oklahoma, with a T-shirt cannon.

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