How to dress like a meme for Halloween (slide show)

The organizers of the HallowMEME Costume Party school us on how to masquerade as the latest Internet sensation—plus, our top web-culture costume picks

If you want to skip a scary or sexy Halloween costume and go for something a little more timely, then you've come to the right place: We racked our brains for the best meme-themed costumes—the stuff that we laughed at, became obsessed with, and shared and reshared this year on the Internet—that are both funny and inexpensive for October 31.

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Read on for ideas on how to re-create Internet sensations in the flesh, along with tips from Lindsey Weber, one of the co-founders of Forced Meme Productions of the upcoming HallowMEME party on making an awesome viral outfit.

  • Photoshopped by Bryan Mayes


    Dress up like the shark-ridden storm from the cult flick by wrapping yourself in gauze and donning a shark hat.

  • Photograph: Jonathan Shannon

    Citi Bike

    Rep the controversial two-wheeler with a royal-blue ensemble, bike helmet and "Shiti Bike" sticker.

  • Photograph: PJ Blandori

    Line-waiter for [insert mania-inducing phenomenon of your choice here]

    Look as bedraggled as you can, wear a fake tattoo depicting the object for which you're waiting, and outfit yourself with the requisite accessories to stand in line for hours: folding chair, cards, snacks, etc. To get into character, decide whether you're waiting for a cronut, a gold iPhone 5s or a ramen burger.

  • A piece in Banksy's "Better Out than In" show

    Stencil a white shirt with "the last Banksy piece" in the above font (that's Special Elite, for the record). Expect tourists and New Yorkers to rush your way to take your photo—but beware of vandalism.

  • Photograph: Jaranda/Wikimedia Commons

    Native Brooklynite

    Impersonate a Kings County resident prior to the hip-and-hyped invasion: Clothe yourself in nonhipster attire (i.e., no skinny jeans or plaid shirts allowed), put on a Brooklyn Dodgers baseball cap and ask when everyone moved here.

  • Photograph: Rex/REX USA

    Royal Baby

    This one's easy: All you need is a crown and a diaper to rep Prince George.

Photoshopped by Bryan Mayes


Dress up like the shark-ridden storm from the cult flick by wrapping yourself in gauze and donning a shark hat.

Here are Lindsey Weber's tips on creating a recognizable, Internet-inspired meme costume:

1) Be topical.
"Even if you think some people might not 'get' your costume (really, niche is the name of the game here) it's worth thinking of something that's been in the news recently. Or just abuzz on the Internet. It'll be worth it when people quickly start coming up to you, recognizing your costume and repeating it back to you. Playing that guessing game is one of the greatest joys of HallowMEME."

2) It's okay to be thrifty.
"Another great part of HallowMEME is that it's very likely that your costume idea won't be available for purchase at a major Halloween store. This is a good thing! Those costumes are always overpriced and poorly made—not to mention that you really only get to wear them once. Your HallowMEME costume can be as cheap as you need it to be—it's all about DIY and the inspiration that ultimately counts."

3) Use social media for inspiration.
"Just check Twitter. The endless cascade of tweets is the perfect place to find inspiration for your HallowMEME costume. What are people complaining about? What pictures are they sharing? Want to be Sharknado? The Ikea Monkey? Ylvis's 'The Fox'? Just don't come without a costume and think you can get away with twerking."

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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)