17 Costume Ideas for Your Zoom Halloween Party

Spirit Halloween/Amazon
Spirit Halloween/Amazon

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

NBC

Practice your best deadpans, grab a Dundie, and set your Zoom background to the interview room from The Office. Bonus points if you can find a way to prank your unsuspecting officemates.

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

Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

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.

4. Meteorologist

Columbia/Amazon

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

Spirit Halloween

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

Decora/Amazon

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

Kangaroo/Amazon

Do you love both big cats and the artist behind the Mona Lisa? Combine them in this clever costume. Simply pick up a furry head piece and a long gray beard and you're all set!

11. Where's Waldo?

Where's Waldo/Amazon

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)

Farochy/Amazon

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

Twin Peaks

'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

Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

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

Photo by Luis Quintero from Pexels

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.

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Take Advantage of Amazon's Early Black Friday Deals on Tech, Kitchen Appliances, and More

Amazon
Amazon

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Even though Black Friday is still a few days away, Amazon is offering early deals on kitchen appliances, tech, video games, and plenty more. We will keep updating this page as sales come in, but for now, here are the best Amazon Black Friday sales to check out.

Kitchen

Instant Pot/Amazon

- Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-115 Quart Electric Pressure Cooker; $90 (save $40) 

- Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Sauteuse 3.5 Quarts; $180 (save $120)

- KitchenAid KSMSFTA Sifter with Scale Attachment; $95 (save $75) 

- Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker; $60 (save $20)

- Cuisinart Bread Maker; $88 (save $97)

- Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker; $139 (save $60)

- Aicook Juicer Machine; $35 (save $15)

- JoyJolt Double Wall Insulated Espresso Mugs - Set of Two; $14 (save $10) 

- Longzon Silicone Stretch Lids - Set of 14; $13 (save $14)

HadinEEon Milk Frother; $37 (save $33)

Home Appliances

Roomba/Amazon

- iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum with Wi-Fi Connectivity; $179 (save $101)

- Fairywill Electric Toothbrush with Four Brush Heads; $19 (save $9)

- ASAKUKI 500ml Premium Essential Oil Diffuser; $22 (save $4)

- Facebook Portal Smart Video Calling 10 inch Touch Screen Display with Alexa; $129 (save $50)

- Bissell air320 Smart Air Purifier with HEPA and Carbon Filters; $280 (save $50)

Oscillating Quiet Cooling Fan Tower; $59 (save $31) 

TaoTronics PTC 1500W Fast Quiet Heating Ceramic Tower; $55 (save $10)

Vitamix 068051 FoodCycler 2 Liter Capacity; $300 (save $100)

AmazonBasics 8-Sheet Home Office Shredder; $33 (save $7)

Ring Video Doorbell; $70 (save $30) 

Video games

Sony

- Marvel's Spider-Man: Game of The Year Edition for PlayStation 4; $20 (save $20)

- Marvel's Avengers; $27 (save $33)

- Minecraft Dungeons Hero Edition for Nintendo Switch; $20 (save $10)

- The Last of Us Part II for PlayStation 4; $30 (save $30)

- LEGO Harry Potter: Collection; $15 (save $15)

- Ghost of Tsushima; $40 (save $20)

BioShock: The Collection; $20 (save $30)

The Sims 4; $20 (save $20)

God of War for PlayStation 4; $10 (save $10)

Days Gone for PlayStation 4; $20 (save $6)

Luigi's Mansion 3 for Nintendo Switch; $40 (save $20)

Computers and tablets

Microsoft/Amazon

- Apple MacBook Air 13 inches with 256 GB; $899 (save $100)

- New Apple MacBook Pro 16 inches with 512 GB; $2149 (save $250) 

- Samsung Chromebook 4 Chrome OS 11.6 inches with 32 GB; $210 (save $20) 

- Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 with 13.5 inch Touch-Screen; $1200 (save $400)

- Lenovo ThinkPad T490 Laptop; $889 (save $111)

- Amazon Fire HD 10 Tablet (64GB); $120 (save $70)

- Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition Tablet (32 GB); $130 (save $70)

- Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8 inches with 32 GB; $100 (save $50)

Apple iPad Mini (64 GB); $379 (save $20)

- Apple iMac 27 inches with 256 GB; $1649 (save $150)

- Vankyo MatrixPad S2 Tablet; $120 (save $10)

Tech, gadgets, and TVs

Apple/Amazon

- Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS; $179 (save $20) 

- SAMSUNG 75-inch Class Crystal 4K Smart TV; $998 (save $200)

- Apple AirPods Pro; $169 (save $50)

- Nixplay 2K Smart Digital Picture Frame 9.7 Inch Silver; $238 (save $92)

- All-New Amazon Echo Dot with Clock and Alexa (4th Gen); $39 (save $21)

- MACTREM LED Ring Light 6" with Tripod Stand; $16 (save $3)

- Anker Soundcore Upgraded Bluetooth Speaker; $22 (save $8)

- Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote; $28 (save $12)

Canon EOS M50 Mirrorless Camera with EF-M 15-45mm Lens; $549 (save $100)

DR. J Professional HI-04 Mini Projector; $93 (save $37)

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7 Overlooked Thanksgiving Rituals, According to Sociologists

Even what the dog eats takes on a special significance on Thanksgiving.
Even what the dog eats takes on a special significance on Thanksgiving.
JasonOndreicka/iStock

The carving of the turkey, the saying of the grace, the watching of the football. If a Martian anthropology student asked us to name some cultural rites of Thanksgiving, those would be the first few to come to mind. But students of anthropology know that a society is not always the best judge of its own customs.

The first major sociological study of Thanksgiving appeared in the Journal of Consumer Research in 1991. The authors, Melanie Wallendorf and Eric J. Arnould, conducted in-depth interviews with people about their experiences of the holiday. They also had 100 students take detailed field notes on their Thanksgiving celebrations, supplemented by photographs. The data analysis revealed some common events in the field notes that people rarely remarked on in the interviews. Here are some common Thanksgiving rituals you might not realize qualify as such.

1. Giving Job Advice

Teenagers are given a ritual status shift to the adult part of the family, not only through the move from the kids' table to the grownup table, but also through the career counseling spontaneously offered by aunts, uncles, and anyone else with wisdom to share.

2. Forgetting an Ingredient

Oh no! Someone forgot to put the evaporated milk in the pumpkin pie! As the authors of the Thanksgiving study state, "since there is no written liturgy to insure exact replication each year, sometimes things are forgotten." In the ritual pattern, the forgetting is followed by lamentation, reassurance, acceptance, and the restoration of comfortable stability. It reinforces the themes of abundance (we've got plenty even if not everything works out) and family togetherness (we can overcome obstacles).

3. Telling Disaster Stories of Thanksgivings Past

One day she'll laugh about this.cookelma/iStock

Remember that time we fried a turkey and burned the house down? Another way to reinforce the theme of family togetherness is to retell the stories of things that have gone wrong at Thanksgiving and then laugh about them. This ritual can turn ugly, however, if not everyone has gotten to the point where they find the disaster stories funny.

4. The Reappropriation of Store-Bought Items

Transfer a store-bought pie crust to a bigger pan, filling out the extra space with pieces of another store-bought pie crust, and it's not quite so pre-manufactured anymore. Put pineapple chunks in the Jello, and it becomes something done "our way." The theme of the importance of the "homemade" emerges in the ritual of slightly changing the convenience foods to make them less convenient.

5. The Pet’s Meal

The pet is fed special food while everyone looks on and takes photos. This ritual enacts the theme of inclusion also involved in the inviting of those with "nowhere else to go."

6. Putting Away the Leftovers

These leftovers will make delicious soup.smartstock/iStock

In some cultures, feasts are followed by a ritual destruction of the surplus. At Thanksgiving, the Puritan value of frugality is embodied in the wrapping and packing up of all the leftovers. Even in households in which cooking from scratch is rare, the turkey carcass may be saved for soup. No such concern for waste is exhibited toward the packaging, which does not come from "a labor of love" and is simply thrown away.

7. Taking a Walk

After the eating and the groaning and the belly patting, someone will suggest a walk and a group will form to take a stroll. Sometimes the walkers will simply do laps around the house, but they often head out into the world to get some air. There is usually no destination involved, just a desire to move and feel the satisfied quietness of abundance—and to make some room for dessert.