The Memes Will Be Out
for Halloween

Turning the year’s most popular memes into IRL costumes

Meme Halloween costume ideas 2021

Look, it’s been a rough couple of years. Last year, Halloween was all but canceled due to COVID. But even this *gestures wildly at everything around us* wasn't enough to stop people from dressing up.

“Last year was a huge Halloween and caught all of us by surprise,” one of America's top costume-makers told The Guardian. “Clearly, everyone was looking for a mental escape from the overwhelming circumstances of the year.”

It sounds like this year could be even bigger as more and more people want to get out and celebrate. And the internet has provided plenty of inspiration for dressing up in 2021. As Vice puts it: “Bless the meme lords, the TikTok sound remixers, and anyone else whose cleverness has saved our last two brain cells from rolling off a cliff this year.”

Ticking off the list is like reliving all the viral moments we laughed at over and over. Bernie at the inauguration? Kim at the Met Gala? Those will be big. That cat filter lawyer from Zoom? Yep, he's here too. So are Anakin and Padme from the meadow scene you know and love from Twitter.

Other pop culture reference include streaming sensations like Bridgerton and, of course, Squid Game. Staying referential is a smart tactic—especially if you, too, are an aging millennial looking for an easy way to remind the kids that you're #hip and #online without how do you do-ing (which, come to think of it, isn't a bad costume idea).

Of course, there are some you should steer clear of ... Gizmodo has pulled together the worst costumes for 2021. “You shouldn't be caught dead in these,” they say. “You shouldn't be found alive in them, either.”

Smart Way to Start Your Day

The Daily Valet. is your cheat sheet to what's happening, what's cool and what's making headlines. It's your secret to being the most interesting man in the room.


Every fall, around 1,400 Spirit Halloween locations pop up in the United States and Canada.

Spooky Binge

American Halloween spending
American Halloween spending

According to the National Retail Federation, spending was down a bit in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Americans still spent over $8 billion on Halloween—or an average of $92 per person.