Pop culture’s Halloween costumes of the decade ranked

A ranked list of the top pop culture Halloweens of the decade.


(Ade Russell/ Creative Commons)

In honor of the last Halloween of the decade, here is a recap of the most popular pop culture Halloween costumes of the past 10 years ranked by their 2019 wearability. 

2010: Jersey Shore characters

Jersey Shore premiered in December of 2009, and the Halloween after its debut was flooded with wannabes. Snooki, in particular, dominated the costume market.

This is a legendary costume, and even today could be a great group idea if you could find enough people willing to spray tan. 

2019: Predicted to be Euphoria characters

This hit HBO show amazed audiences globally with its plot, soundtrack, and stunning makeup looks. There is even a Halloween episode complete with costumes that represent the characters themselves. This show offers plenty of inspiration and is so well known that even someone who spread glitter underneath their eyes would be recognizable. The complete list of makeup looks can be found here

Euphoria was a huge success, and this is definitely a relevant costume for 2019.

2016: The Joker (But actually, Harley Quinn again)

Harley Quinn tops the list again in 2016, but in the spirit of being fair, the Joker came in at number two. Jared Leto’s performance in Suicide Squad may have been downright embarrassing—but the Joker will always inspire Halloween costumes. 

This costume is more than just a clown. If a Joker costume is going to be pulled off, it should be based on any Joker other than Leto’s. Joker came out this month, so expect many variations of Joaquin Phoenix’s take on the caped crusader’s nemesis.

2017: Pennywise

This costume, along with the character, is downright terrifying. The It reboot shocked and delighted millions, and this killer clown is at the forefront.

After the clown scares of 2016, it might not be a good idea to a wear clown costume. Beware though—It Returns premiered in late September of this year, therefore expect to see this clown make a big comeback. 

2012: Katniss Everdeen

Hunger Games was one of the biggest movies of the year, and people all over the world jumped at the idea to be their favorite heroine for a day. This may be a bit outdated, but anyone looking to relive the thrill of the series can find it in this costume.

2018: Fortnite

The video game’s battle-royale style dominated the gaming world in 2018, and its influence on pop culture is undeniable. There is a huge range of Fortnite costumes, but the easiest to pull off is the “No Skin” look—very similar to a military costume.

In 2018 this was acceptable, but in 2019, there are far too many pop culture costume ideas to think this one is the best option. 

2015: Harley Quinn

This should not come as a surprise to anyone, as the Joker’s partner in crime has dominated Halloween and cosplay in the years after Suicide Squad’s release. Even in 2019, Harley’s “Daddy’s Little Monster” T-shirt can be found in most Hot Topics and Halloween stores.

This costume should stay in 2015-2016 where it belongs. However, with the impending release of Birds of Prey, anticipate this to skyrocket back into popularity this year and next. 

2014: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles got a reboot in 2014 in an action-packed movie starring Megan Fox—and there is no doubt that this sparked thousands to be the street fighters for Halloween.

This costume certainly requires dedication and requires a mask to be worn all night. It is not the top pick for parties but is acceptable in 2019. 

2013: Minions

The lovable minions introduced in Despicable Me (2010) saw a spike in costume sales as the sequel arrived in 2013. No matter the reason, children and adults alike donned the blue suspenders for Halloween in 2013. 

This costume and the franchise overall seems so overdone that it is probably best to avoid this one. 

2011: Angry Birds

The popular smartphone game took the world by storm in 2009 and gained popularity year after year. Even though the costume was very popular with children, this did not stop it from also being very common among adults.

The most popular app changes so frequently that this costume is purely outdated eight years later. Think back to games like Flappy Bird and Clash of Clans that have faded in popularity, same as Angry Birds.

Honorable Mention:

2011: Sue Sylvester

This costume is revolutionary, and Gleeks will still appreciate it even in 2019.

2010-2012: Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga

Throwing it back to the Starship era for Minaj and the meat dress for Gaga will definitely earn best costume for the night.

2014: Elsa and Anna

Frozen absolutely dominated pop culture the year it came out, and it would not be a surprise to see children and adults wearing these even now. 

2017: Stranger Things Cast

These five adorable kids are perfect for a group, and with a brand new season, and new outfits to try, look forward to see the Scoops Troop this Halloween.

Honoring the 2010’s with a pop culture costume would be a great way to spend Halloweekend. As long as the costume is not offensive, go all out and have some fun. 

Email Sophia at [email protected], or follow @TorresSophiaR on Twitter.

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