You’ve got to dream big to put together a truly great Halloween costume. Whether you’re aiming for funny or just plain scary, you’ve got to be original and take a few risks. Naturally, these ideas don’t always pan out.

These outfits were undoubtedly met with countless blood-curdling screams, but not for the right reasons. You won’t believe how disastrously wrong these spooky get-ups turned out. After all the candy gets counted and the kids go to bed, these awful costumes will be lurking in their nightmares.

1. Is this what Cruella De Vil was planning on doing with all those Dalmatian coats? If not, this couple’s costume has to be just as evil. Though dogs don’t really understand holidays, both of these pups clearly understand that something has gone terribly wrong.

2. It’s perfectly fine to dress your baby up as an animal for Halloween, but maybe you shouldn’t pretend like you’re gonna eat that animal? On the other hand, we’re also scared of the kid going into the pot with a smile on his face.

3. This kid hails from a galaxy far, far away — one that doesn’t have a costume budget or parental supervision. His take on C-3PO is less than inspiring, but it’s likely happier than an R2D2 outfit. For that, he probably would’ve just crawled into a trash can.

4. Here’s some bad news for Pennywise: he just moved down to #4 in the scary clown rankings. Impressively, they don’t need any supernatural powers to terrorize their victims. This trio does it all with some dollar-store makeup.

5. On paper, a water cooler costume sounds like a fun and original idea. In practice, this boy looks like he’s hyperventilating inside that thing. It’s kind of ironic that he can’t drink any water while he’s wearing it.

6. Don’t show this homemade Elsa costume to Disney, or else they might be tempted to burn every copy of Frozen in existence. Just like the name of the movie suggests, his lumpy braid is enough to send shivers down your spine.

7. Old MacDonald had a farm, but these barnyard critters were clearly raised by Hades himself. Just look into their eyes and you’ll know it’s not candy they’re after. They hunger for human souls.

8. Once again, Halloween fans seem a little too eager to turn their children into food. This spaghetti and meatballs costume seemed cute in the ad, but when one family tried it themselves it ended up looking like they caught a baby in a fishing net.

9. For years, Sesame Street fans have wondered if Bert and Ernie are friends, lovers, or something in between. After seeing them come to life, however, we can probably hold off on that question for the next 100 Halloween nights, thank you.

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10. This tot also appears to be in extraordinary danger, but at least nobody is trying to eat him this time. On the bright side, he gets to go trick-or-treating without having to do any walking.

11. Odds are that this family had a few too many Duff beers before applying their makeup. This nightmare version of the Simpsons gives Marge a melting hairdo, and the five o’clock shadow around Homer’s mouth looks suspiciously like blood.


12. Scooby-Doo has solved hundreds of mysteries, but even he can’t figure out why anyone would think a giant papier-mâché head is a good idea. Good luck fitting that massive noggin inside the Mystery Machine!

13. Babar would be horrified to see these costumes. It looks like this family hunted him and his pals down and are wearing their heads as trophies. These pachyderms are a pack of nightmares!

14. Kudos to a family coming up with a costume theme that gets everybody involved. This rainbow ensemble, however, doesn’t work unless they’re all huddled around each other. Given all the back strain, the only thing waiting at the end of that rainbow is a pot of aspirin.

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15. Did you used to think that your mom had eyes in the back of her head? If she was a gigantic spider, chances are that could’ve been true! Granted, this arachnid monstrosity is still more entertaining than Spider-Man 3.

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16. It’s easy to see which members of this family actually enjoy the Coneheads. The prosthetic looks somewhat convincing on the dad, but otherwise these SNL knockoffs are definitely not ready for prime time.

17. Grocery bags are a funny costume idea, but these versions boil down to cracker boxes taped to your face. Wherever these two are headed to celebrate Halloween, we sure hope they aren’t driving there.

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18. While these are far from the most convincing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costumes in the world, these trick-or-treaters do look like they just crawled out of the sewer. Those cardboard weapons, however, aren’t stopping any bad guys.


19. Beware, Home Improvement fans! This Wilson costume seems clever at first, but the minute she lowers that cardboard fence, nobody at her party will have any idea who she is. Her arms will be exhausted before the night is over.


Sometimes, though, people really nail their costumes — and simply so. If there’s a trail of smoke, you can bet these two characters are at the other end of it, puffing away. The “treat” for these guys may not be entirely legal!

2. Sonny and Cher: In the ’60s and ’70s, Sonny Bono and his wife Cher lit up the music stage with classic hits. This couple is about to light up the streets with these spot-on costumes

3. Pennywise: Fans of horror movies were stoked when they learned Stephen King’s It was getting a remake, and that led to a slew of spooky clowns. Here we have a frightening female version of the terrifying antagonist.

4. Chucky: This is the most adorable way to make a dog look like a killer doll! The costume shouts, “Stay away or I’ll gut you!” but the face says, “I just want some love.”

5. Hocus Pocus: Everyone’s favorite Disney movie about witches has come to life thanks to these three women. They really went all out with the detail, especially with that wild ponytail on the left!

6. Bert and Ernie: The energy of Sesame Street just wouldn’t be complete without these two roommates and their rubber ducky. These girls pulled off an awesome version of the best friends.

7. Cosmo and Wanda: If you watched The Fairly OddParents, then you know all too well who this pair of magical godparents are. It’d be great to have some fairies around come Halloween!

8. Woody and Jessie: The classic story of friendship between these cattle-wrangling cowboys from Toy Story stuck in the hearts of audiences everywhere. Andy would be so proud these two did justice to his toys.

9. Mario and Luigi: It’s everyone’s favorite Italian plumbers on their way to save Princess Peach. All these two need is someone with a sweet Bowser costume to complete the trio.

10. Pirate: Johnny Depp made these costumes extremely popular when he played Captain Jack Sparrow on the silver screen. If you love swashbuckling and singing sea shanties, it’s a pirate’s life for you!

11. Unicorn: The only thing more magical than David Blaine would be these mystical creatures, and the costume’s not all that hard to recreate! Just strap a fancy horn to your forehead and put on some dazzlingly sparkly makeup.

12. Power Rangers: Zordon would be so proud of this group’s eagerness to take out the evil Rita and save the world yet again. It looks like they’re all asking for candy in sync, too.

13. Eleven: People who don’t know a thing about Stranger Things would think the name Eleven was weird, but anyone who’s seen the show knows this costume is a dead ringer for the character.

14. Harley Quinn: After the movie Suicide Squad hit theaters, it was obvious the following Halloween would have tons of the film’s characters roaming the night. Harley Quinn was by far the most popular costume.

15. UPS Driver: Now, what in the world could this adorable little guy be delivering? Maybe it’s a box of kibble, or maybe it’s a new toy he saw at the store and shipped to himself!

16. Mal: Fantasy buffs can spot this character from a distance. It’s Mal from Disney’s The Descendants. In Spanish, the word “mal” means “bad,” but this costume kicks major butt.

17. Fortnite characters: It was the online game that completely captured the attention of gamers worldwide. But now we know Fortnite wasn’t just an online craze — it was a Halloween craze as well.

18. Phineas and Ferb: It looks like Candace finally busted one of her brothers, as Ferb seems nowhere to be found. Phineas, on the other hand, looks like he’s still trying to give his sister the slip. Will she ever catch them?

19. Spider-Man: You can’t have a list of Halloween costumes without the web-slinging superhero Peter Parker. He’s seriously buff, ready to fend off criminals at a moment’s notice.

20. Chucky and Bride of Chucky: Look out! It’s everyone’s favorite nightmare doll and the woman of his dreams. These are exactly the kind of toys you don’t want to get your kids for Christmas.

Humans in costume are great, but dogs in costume are better. Dogs are man’s best friend, and for celebrity chef Guy Fieri his preferred breed comes covered in mustard. These pets and their parents briefly turned New York City into a bonafide version of Flavor Town.

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2. You can’t lose with a classic. This showy Maltese played to his strengths when it came to choosing his costume, opting to recreate the pedigreed pup whose mug appears on his breakfast every morning. 


3. The annual parade provides the perfect opportunity for certain stage moms and dads to grow their furry friend’s brand. Louie’s costume incorporated killer prop work, listing his social media info on his comically enormous lottery check.

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4. Hundreds of disguised canines strut their stuff in the parade each year, and that number just keeps growing. The incredibly creative costumes combined with irresistible cuteness have cemented the parade as a beloved tradition, sometimes drawing high profile attendees like the Pope.

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5. No matter who or what you are, you’re welcome at the Halloween Dog Parade. So if you ever attend, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for all kinds of animal lovers — including dinosaurs.

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6. The most serious contenders are looking to catch the judge’s eye in the sea of costumed dogs. Some competitors prefer to make over-the-top creations with lots of components. Others, like Disco Queen, focus on perfecting the finer details of their ensemble.


7. If your doggo is of the purse-riding sort, there are costumes for that, too. Jenny crafted a lobster suit for her lazy bones pup and then fashioned a boiling pot to carry her around in. All they needed was butter… which probably melted in her coat pocket.


8. You’d be lion if you didn’t think Hank’s get-up wasn’t totally adorable. His parents, John and Melissa, took a gamble fitting him into such a powerfully feline costume on this day of spooky dog fashion.


9. They say the best way for a man to attract a date is with a cute baby or dog. Add in the prospective mingling factor to this standout festival of wholesomeness and, chances are, some of these attendees found their puppy loves. 

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10. Not everyone takes home the top dog prize, and that’s okay. Some paw-ticipants walk away teary eyed when they should remember every dog in costume has something special — their unicorn quality. Celebrating that spirit is what the parade is all about.


11. Group costumes are a popular way to get everybody in the family involved in the fun. This dog dad had a simple concept that flawlessly came together, making his two curly haired floofs into something they look an awful lot like already: loofahs.

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12. All the Halloweenies must prepare to wag their tails down the red carpet and face the scrutiny of Bone Rivers, the ruthless Retriever fashion critic. From the heavy pant, it’s obvious Bone was drooling over this red fitted sweater set look.

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13. The dogless are welcome too, of course. Spectators are encouraged to snap pictures of their favorite costumes and cheer on the participants as they make their way down the parade route. Just don’t be surprised if the pups get distracted by all the attention.

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14. What’s more New York than a nice slice of pup-peroni? It never hurts to appeal to the judge’s soft spot for Big Apple-themed outfits. This matching duo stepped out in costumes worthy of a chef’s kiss. Special shout out to the sausage leash.

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15. It’s a major challenge for the annual competitors to find fresh, original ideas that haven’t been blabbed about on Pinterest boards. The creative stakes are high. No one else showed up as a can of Real Whip whipped cream, which pleased this team.


16. Ding dong! Sweet angel delivery! This spunky peanut turned the age-old trope of “dog hates the delivery man” on its head by becoming one with the canine’s worst enemy. Let’s be honest: no one would get mad if he broke whatever was in the package.


17. Something tells us this pink flower is a princess every day of the year, not just on Halloween. She and her human arrived at the parade early; they were so excited, they couldn’t wait any longer.


18. For some contenders, working topical aspects into their costume is a must to get noticed. Oscar, a special needs dog, made clever use of his wheels while reminding humans of their civic duty to vote.


19. After trying to shove a handful of dollar bills at this vendor for 15 minutes, one attendee realized they’d been duped by good costuming. Sorry, this rotten candy isn’t for sale… unless you have a giant steak hidden in your wallet.


20. The Force is strong, but this corgi’s puppy-dog-eye powers are way stronger. He went as Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, and mom rocked the braid buns for her look as Princess Leia. 

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21. It takes more than a trip to the Target pet aisle to snatch a trophy at the parade. The parents of social-media star Long Boy Lincoln put in hours of painstaking work on his Mad Hatter costume and float.

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