Here Are All the Terrible Meme Halloween Costumes No One Should Buy

Here are some outfits that are great ways to say, "Hey, remember this popular internet joke? Me too!"

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Oct 28 2015, 4:50pm

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Welcome to Netiquette 101, in which we'll be using cyber-case studies to teach you basic but valuable cyber-lessons in how to be a better cyber-citizen. Today, we talk Halloween costumes, memes, and meme Halloween costumes.

These days, everyone is a real big fan of the world wide web. Wherever you are, you can find people "logging on" to the information superhighway by way of their desktops, laptops, tablets, or even their phones. These "netheads" love nothing more than to share internet-based humor with their Snapchat followers, reblog their favorite pieces of Sonic the Hedgehog fan art on Tumblr, or even nosedive into Social Justice Twitter to defend their use of the term "feMANist" rather than "male feminist." So it stands to reason that plenty of people source their Halloween costumes from the web. Heck, you might even call it "Hallowmeme," which, for better or worse, is a thing.

Related: How Scared of Teens Should I Be on Halloween?

Different people celebrate Halloween differently, of course—some costumes are scary, some are pun-based, some are basically just excuses to get nearly naked in public. And some seem to say, "Hey, remember this thing that people were talking about a while back? Haha me too." In the viral churn of the internet, there's always a new cultural reference point to base jokes around: Benghazi, #DeflateGate, DJ Khaled mispronouncing the word "jewelry," Netflix and chill, Left Shark, Pizza Rat, and nearly everything that Drake does. And once these jokes get around enough, they lose their original context and just exist in relation to other memes.

If all memes exist on a continuum populated only by other memes, then how can we know which ones are actually worth remembering? Fortunately, the great cultural arbiters of our time—novelty Halloween costume manufacturers—have taken it upon themselves to let us know which memes were important and which memes were fucking bullshit by turning the best ones into costumes and letting the bad memes die. Unfortunately, all of these costumes are either offensive, surprisingly expensive, or just uncreative bludgeonings of one-note "jokes" that were pretty boring to begin with. Some are all three! Let's take a look at some of the costumes you can buy and wear if you are a shitty person:

Sexy Pizza Rat

Who sells this? This company Yandy, which is famous for taking time out of its busy schedule of manufacturing lingerie to make "sexy" Halloween costumes like this one.


Tell me about this meme! So, this one time a rat took a slice of pizza down a couple stairs of a New York subway station, and somebody filmed it and put it on the internet. It was sort of underwhelming to actually watch, but the phrase "Pizza Rat" is really evocative.


Why does this costume suck? You know how Magic Mike was a mumblecore movie that happened to be about a depressed male stripper, and then Magic Mike XXL was basically a Muppet musical about dudes who took their clothes off? Well, that's how I feel about Pizza Rat and its needlessly sexy sequel. Also, no one should wear clothing that features arrows pointing to their genitals.

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Left Shark

Who sells this? Amazon, and probably lots of other people.
Tell me about this meme! Man, talk about a #TBT! The noble Left Shark first surfaced during Katy Perry's Super Bowl Halftime performance, when one of her backup dancers had no idea what was going on, man. Haha.
Why does this costume suck? This falls into the category of "worst type of Halloween Costume," which is any costume that makes your body way bigger than it actually is. Even if you're willing to get drunk enough to square the fact that dressed as a goddamn meme with your conscience, you have still significantly added to your body mass. Throughout the entire night you will get sweaty, keep bumping into people, and get frustrated while trying to pee, because these costumes never have zippers.

The Asshole Dentist Who Killed Cecil the Lion

Who sells this? There are a few variations of this idea—shouts to Yandy for just calling a regular lion costume a "Cecil the Lion" costume—but Costumeish's version, featuring a blood-splattered dentist's outfit and a severed lion head, takes the cake.
Tell me about this meme! This July, an American dentist named Walter Palmer killed a lion on a big game hunting trip to Zimbabwe. Everyone was very upset with him, and everyone pretended they cared about lions for a while. Though Palmer was never charged with a crime for his action, he was slapped with a rugged form of "internet street justice"—i.e., people trolled the shit out of his Yelp page.
Why does this costume suck? For one, this costume is $140, which is awfully expensive for what amounts to a quick, extremely evil joke. You might as well write "I'm an asshole" on a white T-shirt in Sharpie and then spend your $140 on drugs.

"The Dress"

Who sells this? Yet another Yandy Special.
Tell me about this meme! Memes have inherently short life cycles: They appear seemingly out of thin air, enjoy a meteoric rise to ubiquity, and then get overused until we all find a new one to run into the ground. The craziest thing about The Dress was it had a half-life of about ten minutes—compare interest in it over time on Google Trends to that of the consistently popular Grumpy Cat. Anyways, nobody could figure out if the dress was blue and black or white and gold, and it set the internet on FIRE for about 24 hours. Basically, any site that covered it at all broke traffic records; the BuzzFeed post that started it all had 16 million hits in six hours.
Why does this costume suck? OK, first off, I still think the dress was gold and white. Second, what kind of person is out here referencing a dead-ass meme like this? On the other hand, what kind of person is out here using their Halloween costume to reference any meme at all?

Grumpy Cat

Who sells this? Amazon. You can find, like, anything on Amazon.
Tell me about this meme! Honestly, Grumpy Cat is one of those memes that seems like it's always been around. That's like asking me to tell you about the sky. Anyways, I just googled Grumpy Cat and it turns out she became a thing in 2012.
Why does this costume suck? Grumpy Cat is the least terrible costume on this list. If you insist on dressing as a meme this Halloween, buy this Grumpy Cat costume.

Deflategate

Who sells this? Costumeish.
Tell me about this meme! Deflategate is one of those thing I don't really understand because by the time I saw a post about it, everyone was making really elaborate inside jokes incorporating it or using it as a non sequitur. I think Tom Brady underinflated a football, or something.
Why does this costume suck? Come on, dude, this is just a giant football costume that they labeled "Deflategate."

Caitlyn Jenner

Who sells this? Surprise! No one.
Tell me about this meme! Caitlyn Jenner's Vanity Fair cover will probably go down as one of 2015's iconic images.
Why does this costume suck? Because humanity can be terrible sometimes, retailers started selling costumes spoofing the photo. But because humanity can also sometimes redeem itself, many, many people were like, "This is pretty much the definition of transphobia" and the offensive costumes have largely been removed from the internet. If you catch someone wearing this, it means they bought their Halloween costume very early, they went to one of the few retailers still selling the costumes, or they spent an ungodly amount of money buying one off eBay.

Sexy Donald Trump

Who sells this? Are you supposed to read "Yandy" in the same voice Austin Powers used to say the word "randy?" Or maybe are you supposed to read it in the voice Aziz Ansari used for his character "RAAAAAAAANDY?" Anyways, you can find this on Yandy.
Tell me about this meme! You know what Donald Trump's deal is.
Why does this costume suck? One time in college I was at a Halloween party and made out with a girl who was dressed as "Sexy Reagan." The next day, I found out she was a member of the College Republicans, and then spent the rest of my hangover hating myself. Anyways, I don't drink anymore, and Sexy Trump (technically "Donna T. Rumpshaker") is like Sexy Reagan, but worse.

A Hashtag

Who sells this? Amazon, again returning to save the day.
Tell me about this meme! This isn't a meme as much as it is a really fucking dumb costume. It feels important to point out that its packaging features words like "#forum," "#awesomecostume," and "#fun" on it.
Why does this costume suck? This is one of those lame-ass costumes that's too overtly stupid to wear, but whose conceptual stupidity is so niche that very few people would "get it" if you wore it "ironically."

Benghazi Footie Pajamas

Who sells this? Some genius on Cafepress.
Tell me about this meme! Well, the short version is that four Americans, including ambassador Chris Stevens, died in a September 11, 2012, attack on the embassy in Libya. Since then there have been multiple investigations into this disaster uncovered mistakes but no nefarious wrongdoing on the part of American officials—but some Republicans believe there was some sort of plot cooked up by Hillary Clinton to let US citizens die. The BENGHAZI acrostic has become a Twitter mainstay that can be appreciated as just an absurd, context-free joke.
Is this actually a Halloween costume based on a meme, or is someone actually trying to sell Benghazi footie pajamas? I don't really care, to be honest with you.

Follow Drew on Twitter.

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