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39 Classic Halloween Costumes That Will Never Go Out of Style

From pirates to lifeguards, nothing beats a classic Halloween costume. It isn’t that we don’t enjoy going above and beyond for the annual holiday (i.e., dressing up like Harley Quinn—pink/blue hair included), but there’s something oddly nostalgic about chasing our kids around the house while wearing a simple witch costume and chanting, “I’m melting!”

We compiled a list of 39 classic Halloween costumes, which are accompanied by fictional references from your favorite TV shows and movies. Keep reading for all the deets.

The 70 Best Halloween Movies of All Time


Paramount/Getty Images

1. '50s Girl

Inspired by: Grease (starring John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing)

Want to bring retro vibes to your next Halloween party? Take some inspiration from Sandy Olsson's classic "Summer Nights" outfit, complete with a poodle skirt and matching accessories.

Get the look: Kidcostumes adult poodle skirt with printed scarf ($22); BengPro retro costume accessories ($14)

Buena Vista/Getty Images

2. Football Player

Inspired by: Remember the Titans (starring Denzel Washington, Will Patton, Wood Harris)

It's the perfect excuse to support your favorite football player or pay homage to the Titans. Either way, your custom uniform will be a total touchdown.

Get the look: Sports Unlimited integrated football pants ($35); Custom football jersey (from $30)

ABC/Ed Herrera

3. Firefighter

Inspired by: Station 19 (starring Jaina Lee Ortiz, Jason George, Grey Damon)

You'll turn heads in your firefighter suit, which includes overalls and a matching jacket. All we can say is, bring on the heat!

Get the look: Aeromax adult firefighter suit (from $73)

Michael Parmelee/ CBS

4. Fbi Agent

Inspired by: FBI (starring Missy Peregrym, Zeeko Zaki, Ebonee Noel)

An FBI jacket and a pair of aviator glasses are all you need to pull off this look. (One we're sure LT Maverick Mitchell would approve of.)

Get the look: Smart People Clothing FBI jacket ($37); Livhò aviator sunglasses ($15)

Getty Images

5. Lifeguard

Inspired by: Baywatch (starring David Hasselhoff, Pamela Anderson, Yasmine Bleeth)

Want to dress up with your BFFs? Consider paying tribute to the iconic lifeguards from Baywatch. CPR certification not required.

Get the look: Dixperfect one piece bathing suit (from $16); BLARIX whistle and lanyard ($10); Ever Ready first aid fanny pack ($10)

Warner Bros. Pictures

6. Boxer

Inspired by: Million Dollar Baby (starring Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman)

Channel your inner Maggie and show the world your boxing skills with this simple costume, which includes a simple green robe and a pair of boxing gloves.

Get the look: Sioro bathrobe (from $14); Sanabul punching bag gloves ($23)

Universal/Getty Images

7. Vampire

Inspired by: Dracula (starring Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners)

You'll need the full vampire costume and some fangs to transform into a creature of the night. And remember, it’s not the size of your fangs, it’s how you bite.

Get the look: Rubie's Costume Co. Transylvania vampire costume ($45); CoolJoy vampire teeth ($9)

Paramount Pictures

8. Mouse

Inspired by: Mean Girls (starring Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Seyfried, Rachel McAdams)

Karen's unforgettable mouse costume is relatively easy to copy. Just pair a silky dress with some mouse accessories and you'll be one of the plastics in no time.

Get the look: Miqieer long silky dress (from $12); Skeleteen mouse accessory set ($10)

Paramount Pictures

9. Zombie Bride

Inspired by: Mean Girls (starring Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Seyfried, Rachel McAdams)

For this Adam Samuels-approved look, pair a zombie wedding dress with a long wig. (Bonus points if you've got a zombie groom to team up with.)

Get the look: Fun World Costumes zombie bride dress (from $23); Beautyself silver grey costume wig ($19); Mehron Makeup coagulated blood ($8)

Sony Pictures

10. Undercover Officer

Inspired by: Men in Black (starring Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino)

Thankfully, you won't have to deal with extraterrestrial lifeforms, but you can certainly look the part. This look is relatively easy to put together, with just a two-piece suit, glasses and an earpiece.

Get the look: P&L 2-piece suit jacket and pants set ($99); Joopin polarized sunglasses ($11); Skeleteen secret spy earpiece headphones ($8)

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images

11. Witch

Inspired by: The Wizard of Oz (starring Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger)

Wear your favorite witch costume, don some green face paint and voila! You're the Wicked Witch of the West. But you might want to avoid buckets of water…or else.

Get the look: Forum Novelties classic witch costume (from $24); Mehron Makeup green face and body paint ($14)

MGM Studios/Courtesy of Getty Images

12. Lion

Inspired by: The Wizard of Oz (starring Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger)

Practice your best roar (oh hey, Katy Perry), and rock this lion costume to show that you're far from a coward.

Get the look: Funny Party Hats lion ears and tail set ($27); Elope fingerless costume paws ($10)

MGM Studios/Archive Photos/Getty Images

13. Scarecrow

Inspired by: The Wizard of Oz (starring Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger)

Scarecrow hat? Check. Straw outfit? Check. Now, if we only had a brain cornfield…

Get the look: Rubie's Store adult scarecrow costume (from $42)

MGM Studios/Courtesy of Getty Images

14. Tin Man

Inspired by: The Wizard of Oz (starring Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger)

Lucky for you, this Tin Man costume already has a heart. You can even take it to the next level by using silver face paint to blend in with the costume.

Get the look: Rubie's Store adult tin man costume (from $49)

BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images

15. Clown

Inspired by: It (starring Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Martell, Finn Wolfhard)

Need a seriously terrifying costume that'll get under people's skin? Look no further than Pennywise.

Get the look: Rubie's deluxe Pennywise costume (from $49); Binggle Pennywise mask ($28)

Beacon Pictures

16. Cheerleader

Inspired by: Bring It On (starring Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Jesse Bradford)

There must be some Torros in the atmosphere! Bring It On fans will revel in this eye-catching cheerleading outfit.

Get the look: Bring it On Cheerleader uniform (from $43); Lunea-Wo canvas sneakers ($15)

Searchlight Pictures

17. Ballerina

Inspired by: Black Swan (starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel)

We'd like to think we're not the only ones who dreamed about starring in The Nutcracker. Blossom into a Black Swan with a satin corset, a matching tutu and sparkly crown.

Get the look: Kranchungel embroidered corset ($18); v28 tutu skirt ($13); Floral Fall crown ($13); Stelle ballet tights ($7)

Buena Vista Pictures

18. School Girl

Inspired by: The Princess Diaries (starring Julie Andrews, Anne Hathaway, Hector Elizondo)

Here's your excuse to break out your Lisa Frank merch. Just dust off your plaid skirt and pair it with a matching shirt and bowtie to complete the look.

Get the look: French Toast pleated skirt ($15); Beninos simple shirt ($20); Patiky criss-cross bowtie ($9)

MGM Pictures

19. Bunny Rabbit

Inspired by: Legally Blonde (starring Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair)

With Mindy Kaling's Legally Blonde 3 on the horizon, it's the perfect time to channel our favorite Harvard grad, Elle Woods.

Get the look: Lingeriecats bunny girl outfit ($33); Jacobson Hat Company bunny ears headband with fluffy tail ($13); Capezio soft transition tight ($17)

Walt Disney Pictures

20. Pirate

Inspired by: Pirates of the Caribbean (starring Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Xavier Alexander)

You can't go wrong with the legendary pirate of the Caribbean, Jack Sparrow. All you'll need to achieve the look are a costume set and pirate hat.

Get the look: Smiffy's high seas pirate costume ($51); Jacobson Hat Company pirate hat with braids (from $28)

ABC/Christopher Willard

21. Doctor

Inspired by: Grey’s Anatomy (starring Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, James Pickens Jr.)

This doctor costume is pretty easy to put together, and just might trick someone into thinking you went to medical school.

Get the look: Paramed scrubs set uniform (from $13); Paramed classic dual head stethoscope kit ($24)

20th Century Fox

22. Ringmaster

Inspired by: The Greatest Showman (starring Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron)

Prepare to put on the greatest show by dressing up as the infamous P.T. Barnum. A simple circus outfit and stuffed lion will transport you to the exciting world of clowns, acrobats and trapeze artists.

Get the look: Fun shack circus costume outfit ($40); Betheaces Aurora World plush lion ($19)

Everett Collection/Getty Images

23. Hippie

Inspired by: That ’70s Show (starring Topher Grace, Laura Prepon, Mila Kunis)

Need an affordable, last-minute option? Consider going for the hippie aesthetic from That '70s Show. What you'll need is a tie-dye shirt, a suede fringe vest and retro glasses.

Get the look: Joe's USA tie-dye T-shirt (from $17); Kulywon fringe vest (from $10); SunnyPro Store retro round sunglasses ($14)

20th Century Fox

24. Nun

Inspired by: The Sound of Music (starring Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker)

We imagine that Deloris Van Cartier would also approve of this ensemble. And the best part? You can get the full costume for just $30.

Get the look: Fun Shack nun outfit ($30)

JOHN P. JOHNSON/HBO

25. Cowboy

Inspired by: Westworld (starring Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Ed Harris)

We may not have too many details on season five of the sci-fi series, but in the meantime, we could pay homage to the characters by dressing like them for Halloween. A classic cowboy hat and shirt with a holster belt ought to do the trick.

Get the look: Wrangler Riggs long sleeve shirt (from $28); Western Express cowboy hat (from $28); Cowboy gun belt ($20)

JOHN P. JOHNSON/HBO

26. Robot

Inspired by: Westworld (starring Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Ed Harris)

Another great option is to dress up as one of the robots from the show. (Bonus points for stellar robot dance moves.)

Get the look: Morphsuits creepy monster costume ($44)

GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images

27. Alien

Inspired by: E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (starring Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote)

Venture into outer space by paying tribute to the infamous alien from E.T. Just pair your alien mask with a cozy gray blanket and you'll be ready to board your spaceship.

Get the look: Ghoulish Masks Area 51 mask ($46); Utopia blanket ($22)

Walt Disney Studios

28. Astronaut

Inspired by: Toy Story (featuring the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles)

Who can say no to an inflatable Buzz Lightyear jumpsuit? Get ready to go to infinity and beyond.

Get the look: Disguise inflatable costume ($70)

Fox Searchlight Pictures

29. Runner

Inspired by: Juno (starring Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner)

TBH, you may already have these pieces in your closet. You just need running shorts, a polo shirt, a headband and tube socks.

Get the look: Soffe running shorts ($13); Aeropostale polo shirt ($12); Suddora yellow sweat band ($8); Pareberry tube socks ($10)

Fox Searchlight Pictures

30. Nerd

Inspired by: Napoleon Dynamite (starring Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez, Jon Gries)

Napoleon's "Vote for Pedro" T-shirt and aviator glasses are pretty easy to replicate. Just add a curly brown wig and you're all set!

Get the look: South Horizon Vote for Pedro shirt ($19); WebDeals aviator eyeglasses ($8); Alluara afro wig ($25)

Columbia Pictures/Getty Images

31. Exterminator

Inspired by: Ghostbusters (starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver)

This could double as your Halloween costume and a uniform for your next major ghost-busting job. Either way, this classic jumpsuit (which comes with an inflatable backpack) is sure to be a hit.

Get the look: Rubie's Store costume with inflatable backpack ($48)

DONALDSON COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES

32. Nanny

Inspired by: Mary Poppins (starring Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson)

Make it a jolly holiday with a Victorian nanny costume inspired by everyone's favorite nanny. (Gravity-defying umbrella not included.)

Get the look: Smiffys nanny costume (from $44); Elope Mary Poppins hat ($25)

Buena Vista Pictures

33. Devil

Inspired by: Hocus Pocus (starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Doug Jones)

From mini-dresses and pitchforks to red bodysuits and capes, there are plenty of ways to dress as the devil. If you're looking for an affordable option, try a red long gown with a flame-cut skirt.

Get the look: FunWorld Gothic Devil Costume (from $22)

Buena Vista Pictures

34. Mummy

Inspired by: Hocus Pocus (starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Doug Jones)

Consider this look a cross between Edward Scissorhands and The Walking Dead. (Bonus points for sewed lips.)

Get the look: Wishu Long frock coat (from $30); Psycho wig ($18)

Courtesy of Netflix

35. Sailor

Inspired by: Stranger Things (starring Joe Keery, Maya Hawke, Millie Bobby Brown)

Devoted Stranger Things fans will instantly recognize this look from Steve and Robin's ice cream gig. Scoops Ahoy!

Get the look: Fun Shack sailor costume ($33); Fun Party Hats white sailor hat ($20)

ABC/Craig Sjodin

36. Cat

Inspired by: The Bachelorette (starring Katie Thurston, Connor Brennan)

Connor Brennan (AKA Connor B.) may not have won Katie Thurston’s heart, but he sure is memorable. Partly thanks to his cat costume.

Get the look: Fun Costumes adult black cat (from $50)

Murray Close/Lionsgate

37. Huntress

Inspired by: Hunger Games (starring Jennifer Lawrence)

If you’re going as a teen heroine, then you might as well pick the fiery Katniss Everdeen. Even if you're not as skilled with a bow and arrow, no one will mess with the girl on fire.

Get the look: InCharacter huntress costume ($30); Morris bow and arrow ($18)

Noam Galai/Getty Images

38. Ghost

Inspired by: Scream (starring Neve Campbell, Matthew Lillard, Skeet Ulrich)

Pay homage to the Scream franchise by dressing up as Ghostface, aka one of the greatest villains ever. The costume set comes with a hooded robe, a belt and the Scream ghost mask.

Get the look: Fun World ghost face costume ($30)

Walt Disney Studios

39. Genie

Inspired by: Aladdin (starring Will Smith)

Wonderful, magnificent, glorious, punctual! Grant everyone's wish by transforming into the magical genie from Aladdin.

Get the look: Mehron face and body paint ($8); Joerica gold jewelry ($18); CandyHusky gypsy pants ($25)