We’ve all heard how different Halloween is going to be this year—but if you're looking to celebrate the spirit of the season with a Zoom party, you're still going to need a top-notch costume. And whether you want your costume to be punny, spooky, or culturally relevant, we've got a few Halloween costume ideas to make this year's socially distanced holiday a memorable one.
1. A Dunder Mifflin employee
2. Technical difficulties
There’s no dressing up required for this one—just some minor acting. Simply sit still and act as if you’re frozen, or start mouthing words and pretend your audio is on the fritz.
3. D.B. Cooper
Do you resist turning the camera on during Zoom calls? Then dress up like D.B. Cooper, the mysterious plane hijacker whom the FBI never caught, and no one will recognize you anyway. All it takes is a black suit jacket, white shirt, black tie, and a pair of Ray-Bans.
Grab some office attire and set your Zoom background to a five-day forecast to look like a qualified weather expert. Alternately, you can don a parka—we’re partial to this Camel Crown for men and this Columbia rain jacket or women—and situate yourself in front of a hurricane. Spritzing yourself with a water bottle is optional.
5. Robert Kelly
Long before the age of social distancing, Robert Kelly became a WFH icon when his kids swaggered into his office during a live interview with CNN. A suit and tie can work as your attire, but the right background is necessary to make this costume work. Luckily, there are plenty of screen grabs from the viral incident online.
6. Chip On Your Shoulder
To pull off this punny costume, all you need is a sheet of yellow paper. Cut it into chip shape, fold it to get crinkles, and tape it to your shoulder. If you don't want to DIY, buy this giant chip from Etsy.
7. and 8. Carole Baskin and Joe Exotic
If you need a quick couple's costume for a virtual Halloween party, opt for the most infamous TV duo of 2020. Spirit Halloween has its own take on a Joe Exotic getup called the "Mullet Man," complete with his trademark Kentucky waterfall, garish button-down, and eyebrow ring. And over on Amazon, you can find a $14 replica of Carole Baskin's multi-colored silk tiger-print shirt and a $6 floral crown.
9. "Eye" Pad
This costume requires just a string, a pad of paper, and a pack of googly eyes. Stick the eyes to the pad, hang the pad around your neck, and bam! You have a costume.
10. Lion-ardo da Vinci
11. Where's Waldo?
The lovable—and elusive—star of the Where’s Waldo? book series can now pop up in your next Zoom meeting. You can try using a book page as a background and use this Waldo costume to complete the picture.
12. Pumpkin Pi (π)
Watching someone’s puzzled face break into a grin when they understand your punny costume is priceless. Dressing as “pumpkin pi” is decidedly cheaper. All you’ll need is some type of pumpkin headgear—like this headband from Amazon—and a piece of paper emblazoned with a nice big pi symbol (π) taped to your (preferably orange) shirt.
13. Twin Peaks's Log Lady
's beloved Log Lady offers great inspo for your Halloween look. Just put on a pair of oversized glasses, don a grandmotherly cardigan, and pick up a fireplace log at your local hardware store. Bonus points for any Zoom video backgrounds of the Great Northern Hotel.
14. Holly Golightly
Emulating the glamorous protagonist from Breakfast at Tiffany’s in her pre-party sleepwear requires two items: a white button-up shirt and this teal, gold-embroidered sleep mask that also comes with tasseled earplugs from Amazon. Feel free to swap out those tassels for your own dangling earrings; and if you happened to have a cat to hold, too? Even better.
15. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
It only takes a couple of items to pay tribute to the late, great Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—and most of the items are probably already somewhere in your house. Pull your hair back into a tight bun and let a black top take the place of a robe. You'll need a pair of glasses—real or fake—and a gavel makes a fun touch, though it's optional. What is absolutely required is a dissent collar; it's up to you how fancy you want to go.
16. Anonymous Interview Subject in a True Crime Documentary
It's a scene true crime fans know all too well: A witness or participant in a headline-making mystery agrees to be interviewed about the story, but doesn't want their face shown. The simple solution? Turn the lights way, way down and let the camera roll. No costume needed—and voice changer optional.
17. Samara from The Ring
To sell this costume, you'll need to set your Zoom background to the creepy well from The Ring (2000). Once that's taken care of, channel your inner Samara by donning a long black wig (bonus for getting it wet first). Your Zoom-mates will be terrified even if you don't end up climbing out of their monitors.