Last-minute Halloween costumes

These hot-button outfits are sure to be a holiday hit.

This year, Halloween is on a Thursday.

Which makes this Sat., Oct. 26, Halloween for Adults. When the treats come in shot glasses rather than plastic jack-o-lanterns. When the only real fears are of making an ass of oneself at the party, or of wondering why the pizza delivery guy is looking at one funny on Sunday, before remembering one still has about a pound of makeup caked on half of one’s face.

You know, Saturday night is just a few days away. And you promised, despite your better judgment and general disdain for such things, to dress up for the party this year. It’s been a busy several weeks, and now you’re finding yourself up against the wall, having to choose between grabbing a Sexy Casper The Inexplicably Horny Male Pre-Teen Ghost-Nurse costume at the pop-up Halloween store over on 66th Street, or not wearing a costume yet again, and — let’s face it — coming off like a humorless sort of fun-sucking joy vampire.

Yet again.

Listen: Getting caught without a costume at the last minute doesn’t have to be a disaster. In fact, an enterprising sort might actually snatch victory from the jaws of defeat by taking a cue from the ephemeral nature of our digital age, and doing something timely. Something ripped from the blog-headlines. Something right-freaking-now. This way, while everyone at the party pretends not to notice they’re all dressed as zombified Walking Dead versions of the characters from Mad Men, they’ll actually be talking about how clever and plugged-in you are.

Check out just a few of the possibilities:

Mexican Drug Cartel Clown Assassins. Who needs to wear that puffy, hot nylon clown outfit, when you can evince the effortless panache of those dudes who so recently mowed down a couple of Latin America’s most feared drug lords? Suit. Clown mask. Gun. Complete disregard for morality. Done.

Bryan Cranston’s Next Acting Job. All you need is a pair of tighty whities, a Walter White mask and a yardstick to stuff down the back of your shirt so it sticks out several inches above your head—because there’s no way that shit can measure up, you know?

Dr. Barack, Obamacare Butcher M.D. Presidential mask plus bloodied scrubs equal a new position at a better-funded corporation, probably. If you’re attending a particularly geeky soiree this weekend, adding “404: Healthcare Not Found” to your chest will get you extra points, but if you’re not, don’t; you’ll just spend the evening explaining what it means.

Benedict Cumberbatch’s Online Fanbase. Just get a Tumblr-blue tarp, and cut it so it drapes your front side vertically. Then festoon it with images of the prominently cheekboned actor, and text phrases like “I can’t,” “so cute DEAD,” and “bless.” This costume comes with a bonus icebreaker line when you tell folks you spent more on it than The Fifth Estate made at the box office.

Mosque Rihanna. All it takes to satirize the pop-tart’s recent ejection from a religious site in Abu Dhabi is a black sheet cut to resemble a burqa and, you know, a willingness to sort of … “rub” on religious iconography at your party of choice.

As always, there are also plenty of cop-out “costumes” for those who just don’t enjoy Halloween parties. If you decide not to go to any of the shindigs your funner friends are throwing, you can pull a no-show, and tell ’em afterward your costume was a) a furloughed government employee, b) the Wonder Woman movie, c) now-defunct online drug bazaar Silk Road, or d) the Rays at the World Series.

Read more of Scott Harrell at and follow him on twitter (if you dare) at @harrellscott.


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