Halloween 2020: The Best Pop Culture Costumes

2020 has been a helluva year, and it’s about that time to reflect on the horrors that were by honoring them with our Halloween costumes. All Hallows Eve may not be what we had hoped for when the year began, but the silver lining is that it does still fall on a Saturday!

Whether you decide to dress up or not, stay safe this Halloween, so we can be sure that the most frightening ghoul of 2020, our ol’ buddy Coronavirus, doesn’t haunt us further.

1. Carole Baskin

A flower crown for the queen of big cats.

Early on in Quarantine (which feels like eons ago), the world was captivated by the magic of Netflix’s original show, Tiger King. From the wild stories about big cats (pun intended) to the bizarre owners of these quasi-zoos — all were transfixed by Joe Exotic and his arch-nemesis, Carole Baskin. Our costume list begins with Carole herself, the alleged husband-killer in all her glory. Carole quickly became Joe Exotic’s #1 arch-nemesis (and possible murder suspect). Who could forget her vivacious, colorful 1970s oversized kaftan shirts paired with her standout flower crown? Absolutely no one. This Oklahoma-based zookeeper/operator is still gaining popularity as she has returned to our small screens for a second time on ABC’s Season 29 Dancing With The Stars (DWTS). Although she is certainly an isolating TV personality: like her or hate her, we can’t seem to escape her. Both haters and admirers alike are sure to rock some Carole Baskin noteworthy looks this Halloween.

Adult Costume:


2. Black Panther

On August 28, 2020, we lost Chadwick Boseman, aka Black Panther

We lost a Hollywood legend recently: Chadwick Boseman. He will live on in our memory forever. Moreover, he will certainly make a lasting impression this Halloween as children and adults alike are sure to choose this costume favorite, as they should! Although high-quality Black Panther aka T’Challa costumes are on the pricier end, paying homage to Boseman as an actor and the groundbreaking character itself is well worth the cost. 

To help out, here are a few places to snag up the most memorable costume: the tight-fit black suit from the 2018 Black Panther film. 

Adult Costume:

Kids Costume:


3. Baby Yoda

Baby Yoda, who’s true name is actually “The Child”

The tail end of last year saw the rise of another classic cutie from Disney. When Baby Yoda first debuted on Disney+ thanks to The Mandalorian, he immediately melted all of our hearts. This tea-sipping, force-using character is sure to be a super popular choice for babies everywhere this year.

A child in a Baby Yoda costume

Kids Costume:


4. Moira Rose in Schitt’s Creek

Her outfits are always on point.

Schitt’s Creek (Netflix) cleaned up at this year’s Emmy’s, winning every comedy category, taking home seven awards in total. Catherine O’Hara as the lovable Moira Rose kicked off the festivities by winning Outstanding Lead Actress in a comedy series. The Canadian comedy was considered a hidden gem until recently ascending into its place as a cultural phenomenon.

Adult Costume:


5. Tiger King

Joe Exotic was all the rage as Quarantine first hit the U.S.

This one is certainly no surprise. There is plenty of material to work with. His blue-sequinned cheetah print shirt is certainly one of our favorites, but Joe Exotic (aka “Tiger King”) served up many memorable looks throughout his shocking, wildly entertaining Netflix Original documentary series. No matter which momentous Tiger King costume you choose, one thing is for sure: rocking a Joe Exotic horseshoe mustache is an absolute must. The mullet, too, shall not be overlooked. If you are going to imitate this real-life legend, you have to go all-out, or don’t you dare even attempt this Halloween costume at all. Lucky for you, Amazon has been selling a variety of Tiger King/Joe Exotic kit options for quite some time, all of which include the mullet and stache, paired with some other noteworthy accessories such as a chunky necklace and hoop earrings. Pick and choose your favorite ridiculous option below.

Joe Exotic Costume Accessories:

Joe Exotic Costume Options:

  • Amazon.com
    • Choose from three different Tiger King/Joe Exotic looks, including his blue sequence shirt, his tasseled leather jacket, or the classic gold & black patterned shirt
    • Price: Varies $37.99 – $69.99


6. Kobe Bryant

The world lost Kobe ‘Bean’ Bryant at the young age of 41

This passing probably hit the world the hardest this year. In January 2020 we lost a megastar and his angel daughter: Gianna. He isn’t a fictional character. He was a walking-talking living-legend. Beyond basketball, Kobe Bryant made an impact on millions of lives with his relentless, never-to-be-defeated attitude, inspiring intelligence, and of course his unparalleled athleticism. This icon isn’t low on our list because he isn’t top-of-mind, but because a large portion of the world is still suffering from his loss. It may be too soon for some. However, if you want to pay respect to this Lakers legend, here are some places you can order his jersey to properly honor his memory:

  • Lower Merion (High School Jersey)
  • Lakers (NBA Jersey)

7. Nurse Ratched

Just the right amount of creepy for October.

A recent addition to the pop culture lexicon is Ratched, on Netflix. Nurse Mildred Ratched (played by the chameleon-esque Sarah Paulson) works at a psychiatric hospital in 1947. The dark drama arrived just in time for the spookiness of October, and her fashion choices are their own kind of wonderful.

See how to recreate every outfit


8. Alexander Hamilton

Lin Manuel Miranda’s Broadway production, Alexander Hamilton, won 11 Tony awards, including Best Musical

If you haven’t seen the play, you’ve heard the musical notes, as this Lin-Manuel Miranda Broadway production has been a long-running pop-culture favorite since its original stage debut in September 2015. This year, however, Hamilton fans hit a new peak when the live taping became available for streaming on Disney+ in July 2020, giving the production an all-new life and audience. Those who previously did not have access to the hit musical were able to feast their eyes and ears on the sweet notes of Lin-Manual Miranda, Daveed Diggs, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Anthony Ramos, Jonathan Gross, and many, many more. It didn’t hurt that we all were stuck home in quarantine. With viewership through the roof, there’s a good chance audiences will be playing dress up as Alexander Hamilton this Halloween once again.

Adult Costume:


9. Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters will be back March 2021

Once again, we find Ghostbusters top-of-mind, as they were expected to release yet another remake of the 1984 classic. Although Sony chose to push the release date from July 2020 to March 2021, this costume remains a fan favorite for this year. The 2020/2021 film features an all-star cast: Bill Murray, Paul Rudd, and Finn Wolfhard of Stranger Things, helping this costume’s popularity soar across multiple generations. So, WHO YA GONNA CALL? Probably Party City, and these other places you can purchase this go-to costume from. If it doesn’t come with a backpack, patch, gloves, and ghost gun—you aren’t doing it right.

Adult Costume:

Kids’ Costume:


10. Harley Quinn

Margot Robbie shines in Harley’s solo film debut Birds of Prey

Originally known for being a comic book character (DC Comics), this now-household name gained popularity when the character made its big-screen debut in Suicide Squad in 2016, played by Margot Robbie. This year, Harley Quinn made another appearance on the big screen (and small screens in our quaint homes) in her OWN feature this time: Birds of Prey. Harley Quinn was once again center stage, following her explosive breakup with the Joker. This time, her look was a bit different.

Adult Costume:


11. Shakira and Jennifer Lopez

Shakira and Jennifer Lopez headlined the halftime show of the 2020 Super Bowl

This year has felt so long it’s easy to forget that the Super Bowl featured the mega combination of two Latinx superstars: Shakira and J-Lo. The pair dominated the stage and made the Pepsi halftime show electric once again.



12. Indecisive Pilot Pete Costume (The Bachelor)

Indecisive Pilot Pete is forever engraved in the memories of Bachelor fanatics for his flip-floppy ways. After sending home Kelly Flanagan he was dumped by Madi Prewett, which he followed up by becoming engaged to Hannah Ann Sluss. Pete lived up to his moniker by breaking up with her, reconnecting with Madi, breaking up with Madi, and rediscovering Kelly. Gather a bouquet of roses for this costume — you’re gonna need them all!

Adult Costume:


13. WAP Green & Purple

The now-infamous Purple & Green outfits

August greeted us with a bang when Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion debuted the earworm “WAP.” Their outfits in the popular and wildly controversial music video were eye-catching and unforgettable, to say the very least. The shocking video includes major stars such as Cardi B herself, featured musical artist Megan Thee Stallion, as well as cameos from Kylie Jenner, Normani (formerly of Fifth Harmony), Mulatto (season one winner of Jermaine Dupree’s “Rap Game”), Sukihana, Rubi Rose, and Rosalia. Every single one of these costumes is on the table this year as this music video certainly made a lasting impression on pop culture in 2020, and presumably beyond. Beware: to rock these adult-only costumes you need MAJOR confidence and a positive body image.  Although online stores haven’t offered many options up as of yet, we’re sure people will be getting creative this Halloween in order to recreate these iconic looks.

Get inspired: Every Outfit From the WAP Music Video.

About Michael Bruer

Michael Bruer is a Los Angeles native, and serves as the Social Content Creator at JohnHart Real Estate. Michael received his Bachelor's Degree in English from Saint Mary's College, and has spent the last 10 years honing his skills in Copywriting, Social Media Management, and SEO best practices. He is an avid fan of basketball, soccer, and college football, and even performed on an improv team for a couple of years!

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