How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

Ways a Kid’s Costume Can Suck


Ways a Halloween Costume Can Suck

Like so many things on this website, this doesn’t really help you in any way. But the stores are already decorating themselves in cotton cobwebs and the seasonal Halloween stores are springing up and opening their spooky doors. So, I figured… why not?

This is but a sampling of the ways a costume can suck for a kid (even if it’s actually a good costume). It isn’t just about an outfit being bad, it’s more about it going wrong for one reason or another, making Halloween a sucky experience. Again. Not really helpful, I know. You’re probably going to do whatever you would have anyways. Which is what the holidays and are all about, right? Or something.


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58 Responses to “Ways a Kid’s Costume Can Suck”

  1. Steve says:

    When in college, you learn quickly not to wear any costume with a full mask—it impedes the flow of alcohol.

  2. Tango says:

    Gonna toot my own horn and say that simple is GOOD when dealing with costumes!

    Picture 1

    Picture 2

    Picture 3

  3. Krista says:

    I’m pretty sure my boys’ costumes will fall into the identifiable sucky category. They are dying to dress like the Octonauts, but they aren’t as popular as my kids seem to think.

    • Andy says:

      Ha ha ha ha! I LOVE it! My boys will do the same thing every so often, choosing something they LOVE but is a little on the off-the-beaten-path side. πŸ˜‰ ALSO, there’s the “not very distinct” costume, like being a boy character on a show. One that doesn’t have a “look.” I have to break it to them that there’s NO WAY anyone on Earth will ever know who they are. Ha ha!

      • Krista says:

        Thankfully they’re a little too young to have their spirits totally crushed by our neighbors saying “…Uh and what are YOU supposed to be, little boy??” I’ll just shrug it off with a “Kids…Whatareyagonnado?” look.

        I know I had some memorable-to-me costumes growing up that got some puzzled looks…Pippi Longstocking comes to mind, as do my getups for dance recitals that doubled as Halloween costumes (“…Here’s your candy, sequined sailor girl”).

        • Andy says:

          I loved Pippi! Ha ha! “I am Pippi Longstocking… hope and a hay and a hope-shana…” I know a lot Guy guys want to punch me right now.


        • Nikki says:

          Yeah, I had a Wednesday Addams costume growing up. I’m naturally extremely pale but light blonde so we got the one night wash out hair dye and even had Thing (the hand) from our old Halloween decorations. So I was a little girl holding a hand and looking prett decently creepy and still everyone that night thought I was a pilgrim.
          I’ve found if they’re doing something not as popular getting a group to have different characters of the show makes it easier for others to figure out. The year I went as Cindy Lou Who (form the Grinch) I had Thing 1 & 2 and everyone knew exactly who I was!

  4. Manda says:

    Last year, I made my daughter a Rapunzel costume (Tangled-style). I went all out and really made it a medieval-style dress with the separate underrobe, overskirt, and everything. Then I made a three-foot-long braided headpiece of approximately 40,000 strands of yarn, woven with fake flowers.

    The bodice ended up too big, the braid stretched so much that by the end of the night it was dragging in the dirt a foot behind her, and we were definitely slowed down because every fellow sempstress I met wanted to talk about sewing! LOL Kiddo was three and just ate up the attention.

    But, I have to admit that it made my night when the 12yo girl next to us at the costume parade turned to her friend and said “Who do you think is the better Rapunzel- me or her?” and the poor kid couldn’t say anything out of fear of a b*&ch slap.

    Cattiness is the ultimate Jr. High compliment. LOL

    • Andy says:

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Fantastic story and, WOW! You’re a ninja! I actually did a Doctor Octopus costume for Cody one year and it was… complicated. But it turned heads. Even if just to dodge the flailing tubing of his tentacles. Ha ha ha!

  5. ally says:

    Its not easy yooh!
    That’s how to be a dady!

  6. Jess says:

    My favorite is the Child Now Refuses To Wear The Costume He’s Talked About For Weeks So He’s Trick Or Treating In His Pajamas. Sure, that scenario sucks more for the parents, ehem, because now you just look like willy-nilly, hippie, freebird parents who are less concerned about your child looking the part and more concerned about being able to steal their Reese’s peanut butter cups…

    • Andy says:

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Soooooooo there with you! I’ve had to rock out a makeshift costume for my older boys a time or two when they refused the costume THEY CHOSE. McGyvering the problem was more complicated with tham than tossing some PJs on, but I’m a packrat and still have articles from MY OWN KID COSTUMES!!!

      (Okay that sounded epic at first but upon re-read it seems a little on the pathepic side.) :/

  7. Gale says:

    My kids all want to do avenger things (nice ploy to bring out an avenger’s cartoon at the same time as no-way-my-kids-are-watching-that movie), so I bet they are going to fall into suckiness number one.

    I have to say though, Star Wars costumes CAN NOT fall into that category, because every other kid with a lightsaber is a friend you can duel with, even if they are in the same costume as you. And then the next week after halloween you’re still dressing up in the costumes and playing star wars with the friends you met on Halloween down the block. Those costumes lasted for several years…we just bought a new one for the oldest and handed the others down. Our toddler was an ewock with homemade costume made out of a fuzzy pillowcase. He got “what are you” until they saw his brothers and they’re like “Oh, you’re an ewok. Cute!” He even growled like one. I’m sad that stage is over.

    • Andy says:

      Amazing. I agree a bazilion percent on the Star Wars lightsaber factor. I PERSONALLY love watching trick-or-treating duals. The Force is strong with you. πŸ˜‰

      • LizzyWednesday says:

        We considered dressing our toddler as R2, but the closest we could find to an R2 costume was a hoodie at BabyGap and I am not crafty or patient in the least, so crafting one would be a problem. (Also, we are potty-training, so that would fall into suck-factor of requiring a pit-crew to pee.)

        It’s disappointing because she positively loves R2.

  8. Dork Dad says:


    This year we’re definitely going for something between “Restraining” and “Overkill” as evidenced by the following:

    But c’mon. Optimus Prime is always cool, right? Right?

    -Dork Dad

  9. Lisa says:

    hahaha – this made me crack up. I made my daughter a Pikachu costume back in 1998 after she begged me and begged me. I had to make it from scratch with tips from friends who were good at costuming. But no adult at the time knew or understood that she was NOT a yellow cat. Hilarious. Her friends, however, thought her mom was pretty cool…

    • Andy says:

      Wow! That’s awesome for me to hear in an odd way. I think it’s an adorable costume, but it’s one of those ones where you’re running up against people’s unfamiliarity AND their inability to PROPERLY PRONOUNCE the name once stated. “Pick at you?” “Perkachoop?” “Porkchop???”


      Like I said. It’s not about the costume being good or bad, just how it can suck. πŸ˜‰

  10. SK says:

    I was seriously considering having my kids (ages 9 & 1) go as Ash and Pikachu, but this changed my mind!

    • Andy says:

      Oh wow! That would be amazing!!! Don’t let this dissuade you! There are always going to be generational gaps that have the folks handing out candy saying “Well look at you! You’re just a little sparkly boy fairy aren’t you!?!” ::awkward shuffling:: “NooOOooOOoo… I’m Edward.”

      GO FOR IT! You gotta catch ’em all!

  11. Can we also add “slutty” to the list? I have 4 year old girls dressed like hookers showing up to my door every. single. year.

  12. Hannah says:

    Our toddler will be wearing the hand-me-down Yoda costume a friend gave us. He’s too little to care if there are other Yodas running around, and we think he’ll be adorable. The end. :~)

  13. Nina says:

    My kid has who has cousins a few years older is following their suit and heavily into Starwars. For his 4th b’day he finally got a long wished for Darth Vader costume. Wears it proudly and every adult gasps in admirations. Goes out to show his 4 year old buddies. Response: “What are you? A chimpanzee? What is that???!!” Yeah. Right.

    • Andy says:

      Whoa whoa whoa! WHAT!?! Someone mistook a DARTH F##KING VADER costume for a chimpanzee????? Okay, if that’s the case, then some REALLY needs to invent an actual working lightsaber JUST SO THAT PERSON CAN BE BEHEADED!!! (of course I’m exaggerating, maybe just their arm lopped off)

  14. Natasha says:

    I intend on putting the baby in the babywrap thing and placing the yoda knitted cap (complete with ears) on her. Her brother is Luke Skywalker and her sister is Leia. And I get Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, since their dad is allergic to peanuts! Ooohhh Ya! If I have to take them out, I get a cut of the haul. DH calls his share the “Daddy Tax”.

  15. Karen says:

    Last night we did zombie night at our local theme park. Zombies got early admission and cheaper tickets – we are season pass holders.

    Kids had a blast trashing old clothes to make them look like they had been attacked. I decided to experiment on myself with the professional make up pack and colors before they got home from school (OK, picked the youngest one up as she is a car rider and did so in full make up). I felt if I had a good handle on the stuff I could get both kids dine in 15 min and be on the road before 4:30.

    Liquid latex sounds a lot more fun than it is.

    3D gel does not warm with just hot water to a consistancy you can use so you HAVE to nuke it. 10 sec is MORE than enough. It is still hot as he77 after…

    Fake skin putty sounds more fun than it is.

    Fake skin putty warms and slips if it is humid out and you begin to sweat. It will slide into your eye and worse when you wear glasses.

    Liquid latex does not come off easily and will remove a layer or two of skin. Exfoliation done for the next month!

    OH! that way cool face paints that you can do those awesome effects with! Yeah, get used to the look… Your spouse will be up until 12:30am trying to help you look halfway normal again.

    Skin glue – just because your youngest tells you it is not itching under the professional prosthetics you bought, does not mean it is not doing something to her skin. Worse than the year she went as Alice Cooper, wore black grease paint, fair skinned blonde, would not wash off and at school the next day, looked like she had gone a round with Mike Tyson.

    When your son tells you he was able to get it off his face, do not let him go to bed before you check. In the almost 14 yr old mind, the face is an oval that does not extend to his ears and he will have smeared the grease paint down his chest.

    Learned a few other things too!

    We love dressing up and doing these things but… Sometimes mom just needs to think things though a tad more. Just because it SOUNDS fun to use and play with does not mean it IS.

    Dad bailed this year… Glad he did because I would have gummed up his beard and we would still be trying to peel it out.

  16. Aaron Rosen says:

    Last year my wife and I came up with a costume that made trick or treating easier for the kids, and also caught everyones attention. At the time, our children were 12 and 3. The twelve year old always complained about the walking, and the 3 year old couldn’t keep up even if he wanted to, so we came up with the idea to make the big kid a hospital patient, and the little one an alien that would pop up out of his stomach. I used an old shopping cart to make the hospital bed, and the big kid was able to sit inside of it. I made body frame on top, so it still looked like he was lying on top of the bed. The little guy sat in his lap and jumped through a hole in the framed stomach. My wife and I were doctors pushing the bed around. We even had a fake IV to add to the effect.

  17. beki says:

    My son loves Thomas the Tank engine, last year decided I would be one of the cool mom’s who actually make their kids costumes.. bad idea.. it scared the living daylights out of him! Ended up going and buying one for 12 bucks that didn’t give him nightmares!

  18. Artor says:

    I follow all those rules, except the last. There is no such thing as overkill. I’ve never inflicted a store-bought costume on my kids, an I had the fortune to never wear one myself. Last year, I made my boy a deep-sea murloc costume, with flippers & glowing eyes. It was hard to get around in, but little kids screamed, and I heard kids blocks away going on about the awesome fish-monster they saw.

    • Andy says:

      That is friggin rad! I agree on the last one, I loved all my and my kids’ overkill costumes, but I had to have it in there just to feature it. πŸ˜‰

  19. Kristina says:

    One to add to the list. Let kids pick their own costume (within reason) don’t be the parent with the whiney kid all night that didn’t want to be a ninja/transformer/army man. It ruins the holiday for them, you and everyone around.

  20. Aaron says:

    stand out from the *herd
    I mean really.

  21. HokieCharles says:

    I once worked at a mall with an ice skating rink and they gave lessons. For Halloween, the kids’ class all dressed in costumes and skated in them! (You think *walking* is hard in a costume? Think again.) The most adorable outfit was a small child dressed as an old-fashioned, wood-burning pot-bellied stove. His head came out of one of the holes on the stove top and the chimney pipe went up the back of the outfit. How the parent(s) constructed it, I have no idea, but it was amazing and they were smart enough to end the bottom of the stove above his knees so he could skate and walk without problems. In high school, I was a member of the Thespian Society and as part of our initiation we were assigned characters that we had to portray all day during school for one day. I got “Fairy Tale Frog”, which was fairly easy unless you factor in trying to walk up stairs in swim flippers that are just a bit too long for the stair tread. (Pale green footie pajamas with black circles sewn on and laboratory goggles completed the outfit.) I’ll never forget another initiate’s costume, however. She had been assigned “Robot” as her character and did a great job with cardboard boxes, but failed to account for needing to sit down! Poor girl had to stand up the entire day and was relegated to the back of every one of her classes. My best/worst costume was dressing as a genie with balloon pants, a short vest, no shirt, and very light-weight shoes (yes, the toes were curled). The community party we went to received a bomb threat and we were forced to stand outside in the near-freezing wind in Washington, DC. I nearly froze!

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