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Posted at 12:38 PM ET, 10/29/2010

Friday List: The laziest Halloween costumes of all time

By Liz Kelly

Related: Halloween Central

Just don't. (Image courtesy FastFancyDress)

Despite our earlier suggestions, you probably don't want to be the tenth meat-dress-clad Lady Gaga to walk in the room at this year's Halloween fest. But giving up and and relying on any of the 10 tired costume ideas below could be equally frightful.

You'll thank us later when you and your vastly superior costumed friends point and laugh at a never-ending parade of witches, cats and Renaissance fair refugees.

1. A Punk: Since the rise of the Sex Pistols, "the punk" has been a go-to choice, somehow outpacing the disco dancer, Southern rock fan and classical music aficionado. But, please, this year leave the fake mohawks, colored hair spray, faux piercings and studded leather collar in the basement where they belong.

Suggestion: If you want to send a nod to punk's early-'80s heyday, dress as one of "The Young Ones." Ironic and obscure = cool. Or, ditch punk and go as someone from the fab 1986 documentary "Heavy Metal Parking Lot":

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2. A ghost: The old white sheet with eye holes may just be the most played out costume of all thanks to a few generations worth of indoctrination by "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." Also, it's a waste of a perfectly good sheet.

Suggestion: There's just no good way to do a good ghost without the aid of CGI, so move on.

3. "Scream" mask: The first "Scream" movie premiered in 1996. Meaning I've had to deal with teenagers in the now-no-longer-horrifying Scream mask knocking on my door for the past 14 Halloweens. It's time for it to retire to the Halloween Costume Hall of Fame.

Suggestion: If you want to pay tribute to a horror flick, pick a newer one, like "Baghead." And, really, all you'll need is a paper bag:

4. Sexy anything: What is it about Halloween that inspires some people (you know who you are) to wear something utterly inappropriate? Read this three times: Most people do not want to see you in a French Maid or Sexy Nurse costume. And if they do, maybe you should consider a career involving a shiny chrome pole.

Suggestion: Remember the golden rule -- It's not a costume, it's just trashy.

5. Witch: A choice so popular that Lucy Van Pelt couldn't resist donning the black pointy hat. But witches of all varieties -- from crones to the sexy variety (see above) -- are utterly played out.

Suggestion: If you want to rock an all-black ensemble, go for a Ninja.

6. Renaissance fair costumes: Repurposing your Ren fair costume for Halloween does not give you another opportunity to pretend you are a corseted medieval wench or knight (complete with chain mail). It merely reinforces what everyone already thought: that you are a dork.

Suggestion: If you really have to trot out the velvet leggings or the peasant dress, get creative. Apply a thin layer of yellow makeup to all visible skin so you can be "Jaundiced King Arthur."

7. A vampire: "Twilight," "True Blood," "Vampire Diaries." We're over bloodsuckers. They're so 2008. And don't even get us started on werewolves.

Suggestion: Zombies are the new vampires.

8. A cat: The black leotard, the ears, the pinned on tail. It's cute on a child, not on an adult. Also a no-no: "CATS"-inspired costumes.

Suggestion: Avoid turning yourself into an animal. Hey, that still leaves vegetable and mineral!

9. Rubber president masks: -- Obama, Bush, Reagan, Kennedy, Nixon... the only appropriate use for these surprisingly freakish masks is if you plan to dress as Patrick Swayze and his gang of surfing bank robbers in "Point Break":

10. Lame-o infant costumes: We know. Your little bundle of joy (and mine) is cute in pretty much anything. Go ahead and dress up your infant if you must, but avoid the cliches: bees, pumpkins.

Suggestion: Get creative. Draw beards and mustache on your wee one(s) or pop him/her in a pair of red suspenders and a red woolen hat and have them go as Cheech and/or Chong.

By Liz Kelly  | October 29, 2010; 12:38 PM ET
Categories:  Friday Lists  
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"Avoid turning yourself into an animal. "

I think that's on the Evil Overlord List, right after "Legions of Doom will have clear plexiglass faceshields on their helmets".

I still have my 1 inch wide leather tie I got at Commander Salamander in '82.

Posted by: wiredog | October 29, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

C'mon Liz - with Christine O'Donnell in the mix this year, ya gotta give a pass to the witch outfits, especially if they are rocking tea bags on the brim of the pointy hat!

Two Delaware area comedy outlets, Gannett's News Journal Delaware Online (
and Delaware Punchline ( have both O'Donnell and Coons masks (Coons is the bearded Marxist, btw).

Both make great outfits for the upcoming "C for Christine Tea Party Express Rally" on HALLOWEEN Sunday at 3 PM at Dravo Plaza on the Riverfront in Wilmington, Delaware.

Get details on Facebook

If you liked the crowd scene at the end of "V for Vendetta" this event is for you!

Posted by: gvanderlek | October 29, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Facebook link for "C for Christine Tea Party Express Rally" is

Posted by: gvanderlek | October 29, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

11. Anything your neighbor could wear to work the next day. This includes surgical scrubs, fireman uniforms, flannel shirts, police hats. Especially surgical scrubs. Laziest costume ever.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 29, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I'll be sort of dressing as #1 tomorrow night. My husband's band is playing a big punk festival in Gainesville, FL called The Fest. His bass player is a pretty unique character who regularly wears a Turbonegro hoodie. We've decided that about 20 of us will wear bald caps, chops, and black t-shirts that say "Tuboneagle" (his last name is Neagle).

During a festival that they played in St. Augustine this past spring, he hocked a loogie onto the lighting rig onstage, then stood underneath until it fell for him to catch in his mouth. Apparently it was memorable for the audience and the owner of the label...

Posted by: MzFitz | October 29, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I work in the allied health sciences division of a major university, and for several years before the financial downturn, we had a Halloween party for students, faculty and staff. One year, some of the nursing students came dressed as sexy nurses. Presumably, they were going for ironic, but the assembled deans were not amused.

Posted by: northgs | October 29, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure that the image above that's captioned "Just don't" is a fairly accurate depiction of Liz Kelly's look on the very day she met Mr. Liz.

Am I right?

Posted by: byoolin1 | October 29, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

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