9 TV and Movie Characters Who Make the Perfect Halloween Costume

As Halloween approaches, potential costume options begin to float through the minds of movie and TV fanatics. With major franchises, there are always multiple options for those creative and resourceful enough to cosplay or wander around Spirit Halloween stores. star wars, Harry Potter, Marvel, DC and many more offer hundreds of recognizable and used combination options every year. There are also your standard character costumes from Napoleon Dynamite, The Addams Familyand anyone from Office, mean girlsand more.

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For those who love movies and TV but are looking for more economical or reusable costumes, dressing up as “everyday” characters is a viable option. Dressing up as a cinematic character elevates what could be a regular doctor to Dr. Meredith Grey. Whether you’re attending a theme party, throwing a party, or just dressing up for fun, these characters are entertaining and long-lasting options for this year’s Halloween costume.


Moira and Johnny Rose – ‘Schitt’s Creek’

The heads of the Rose house (hotel-hold?), Johnny (Eugene Levy), and Moira (Catherine O’Hara) have their unique styles that make them great characters to dress up individually or as a couple. For Moira, anything that looks like over-the-top couture fashion will do, especially if it’s black. Got a wig that doesn’t go with any other costume? It will work for Moira paired with showy accent jewelry and accessories. Johnny is much simpler with a basic costume jumpsuit or, if you’re a super fan of Schitt’s Creeknightdress.

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Johnny and Moira are perfect characters for TV fans, whether you’re flying solo or with a partner. If you’re going with a group or heading to a TV-themed costume party, the entire Rose family and supporting characters in Schitt’s Creek create an entertaining Halloween entourage. For inspiration, Schitt’s Creek is available on Netflix.

Dani – ‘Midsommar’ (2019)

Forget the Ghostface mask or the Freddy Krueger blades; this decade’s terrifying costume comes from Midsommar. A movie that made viewers wonder, “What did I just watch?” this modern horror film produced a unique yet simple costume idea that is truly terrifying to those who have seen the film. Head to your nearest craft store for artificial flowers (or real ones if you’re so committed) and greenery for the wreath. A simple white cotton dress will do the trick to show off the film’s protagonist, Dani (Florence Poug).

Dani’s demeanor and emotional journey throughout the film changes the second the flower crown is placed on her head. As the film’s second act transitions into the third, the disturbing and shocking factor is increased. Dressing up as Dani for your horror movie costume party will resonate with fellow moviegoers. Midsommar is available to watch with subscriptions to multiple platforms like Amazon Prime, Showtime, Hulu, and The Roku Channel, to name a few.

Lana Kane – ‘Archer’

With just three components to her everyday outfit, Archers Lana Kane is the perfect example of a character costume where you can reuse items. Voiced by Aisha Tyler, Lana is (arguably) the best agent, depending on which colleague you ask. His patience is tested hourly by Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) and the rest of the gang; Lana is an irreplaceable character.

A simple sweater dress, thick belt and black boots make this costume easy to put together. The color of the dress varies throughout certain episodes and it is sometimes accessorized with sunglasses. The costume wouldn’t be complete without a few of his famous “Yup!” Seasons of Archer are available to stream with Hulu, Sling TV and YouTube subscriptions. The series is available to watch on FXNOW with a cable subscription.

Johnny Lawrence – ‘Cobra Kai’

Whether he’s a regular at a Halloween costume party or an ’80s-themed party, Johnny Lawrence will fit the bill. Of The Karate Kid movies and Netflix Cobra KaiJohnny was played by Guillaume Zabka for many years. With his raw personality and inability to adapt seamlessly to the times, Johnny is a character that audiences have now rooted for.

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Of Cobra Kai, a Johnny Lawrence costume could be all gray with a headband and a Walkman cassette player, complete with corded headphones. If you’re creative or resourceful enough, finding an Eagle Fang Karate shirt at an Etsy or customer shirt store would be epic. Add references to the 80s as you mingle at the Halloween party or a sharp “CALM!” and you are good to go.

Vivian Ward – “Pretty Woman” (1980)

As ’80s and ’90s styles become popular again, Vivian’s intro outfit would make for an identifiable movie character costume. With the winning role julia robert his second Oscar nomination, A pretty woman is still one of the most idolized romance movies. Saving or using makeshift items from the closet at home will achieve the Vivian Ward look from the film’s opening scenes.

Whether you go with the bob wig or not, the costume calls for an oversized red blazer, white crop top (or bodysuit), blue skirt (whichever length and height you choose), and black boots. Wearing a packet of dental floss as an accessory is a nod to the character that moviegoers will recognize. A pretty woman is available to stream with subscriptions to Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Sling TV.

Doc Brown and Marty McFly – “Back to the Future” (1985)

Iconic yet easy to pair with items from home or a thrift store, Doc and Marty is an easy costume idea for couples, solos, or best friends. For Doc(Christopher Lloyd), all you need is a white jumpsuit, or you can find a plaid polo shirt, black pants, and a brown trench coat. Sticking to the jumpsuit requires an electrified hairstyle, but the trench coat option allows for a fedora hat.

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Martin (Michael J. Fox) is best known for his red vest and white sneakers. The key is to layer a plaid button-up shirt (short or long sleeve) with a denim long sleeve shirt before completing with the red waistcoat. Jeans, white sneakers and a makeshift hoverboard will complete the luck. To determine which look suits you best, the Back to the future the films are available to rent on Amazon Prime.

Jackie Peyton – ‘Nurse Jackie’

In a pinch? Grab a pair of scrubs, a stethoscope and a packet of Sour Patch Kids candy for a simple Jackie Peyton. From Showtime Nurse JackieJackie Peyton(Edie Falco) is the best nurse at All Saints Hospital in New York, except for one problem, she is addicted to painkillers due to an old injury. Throughout several of the seven seasons, Jackie tries to clean herself up and swallows Sour Patch Kids candy to help her pull herself out.

This costume is simple and easy to put together when your friends are having a character-themed costume party. Whether you have long or short hair, Jackie wore it both ways, so no wig is necessary. This costume goes best with a protective, no-frills attitude. Nurse Jackie is available for streaming rental on Amazon Prime, YouTube and Apple TV.

Salvatore Brothers – “The Vampire Diaries”

Do you have a best friend, sibling or relative you need a matching costume with? The Salvatore brothers of The Vampire Diaries make an easy last minute costume. These vampire brothers have had several looks over the eight seasons, including various costumes from the decade. A look stays the same and is easy to replicate when the last minute Halloween party pops up.

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Dark jeans, dark shoes and a leather jacket are the essentials, with a flashy ring and fangs optional. For Damon (Ian Somerhalder), a dark button-down shirt or plain white t-shirt will do. If you need a prop, grab an unbreakable bourbon glass. For Stephane (Paul Wesley), a dark henley or a hooded long-sleeved shirt looks best under the leather jacket. A Stefan-specific prop would be a weathered newspaper. For inspiration, The Vampire Diaries is available to stream on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Cassie Thomas – “Promising Young Woman” (2020)

Take a standard Halloween nurse costume and turn it into a strong movie character. Revenge has no expiration date, and Cassie (Carey Mulligan) is the grim reaper of sexual predators in Promising young woman. It’s time to repurpose last year’s nurse costume and start splitting a wig into cotton candy colors.

Cassie’s costume is more complicated; however, given the film’s success, it’s well worth the effort to attend a film-themed party. If Cassie’s final character costume is too much, any brightly colored outfit with a lollipop and braided hair will suit Cassie’s everyday look. Promising young woman is available to watch with subscriptions to HBO Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and The Roku Channel.

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