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5 Geeky Halloween Costumes No One Will Get But You

Halloween is a time when anybody can dress up in various elaborate or scanty costumes and be as ridiculous as possible. But, my friends, I implore you: Don’t be something obvious this year. Part of the fun of Halloween parties is guessing who or what everybody is. There’s no guesswork involved in slutty nurse or slutty Captain Picard. We’ve seen these all before. Wouldn’t it be more fun, and funny for yourself, to be the most obscure characters you can, thus making it as difficult as possible for people to guess? The following is a list of some costume ideas to make people scratch their head and make you laugh at how awesome and clever you are. And if they guess correctly right away, you should give them a prize, like all those marshmallow peanuts people seem to think are okay to give children.

Lindsey Wallace – HALLOWEEN (1978)
In the history of horror movies, no character has given less of a shit about the stuff going on around them than little Lindsey Wallace.  All 8 year old Lindsey wants to do on Halloween is watch horror movies, a noble goal, but that stupid Michael Myers keeps killing her dog and her babysitter and stuff. She changes houses at one point and even has to run through the streets calling for help. Through it all, though, Lindsey shows little to no concern about anything. She truly can’t be bothered. Her clothes should be easy enough to replicate, but what will really sell the costume is the vacant stare of watching too much TV.  And, occasionally, just yell out “Annie! Paul called!” to round out the character. Fun fact, Lindsey was played by Kyle Richards, who went on to become one of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. She took sitting on her ass all the way to the bank!

Stuart Ullman
Stuart Ullman – THE SHINING (1980)
Who? Exactly the point. Mr. Ullman is the character at the very beginning who hires Jack Torrance for the winter caretaker position at the Overlook Hotel. In many ways he’s the most important character in the movie, as he’s the one who sets the action in motion and reveals the backstory of the previous caretaker’s murderous escapades. He is also not anyone’s first choice for Halloween costumes, and that is why he should be yours.  The key to a good Stuart Ullman costume is specificity. Make sure you get the right early 80s combo of blue jacket, striped shirt, and red tie. Also, make sure the knot of the tie is the size of a Double Whopper. What’ll really make it stand out is the poofy combover style haircut. Just go into a barber shop and ask for the Ullman; they’ll know what you mean.

This Guy
BONUS – If you want to go as a couple, or a team-up, get one of your friends to dress up like this other guy who’s in the office during Jack’s meeting with Ullman. He’s the Silent Bob of hotel management.

Dr. Frankenstein – FRANKENSTEIN (Any number of them)
You’re probably saying, “But, Kyle, this is not an obscure costume. Frankenstein is an incredibly popular movie; everyone will know who I am.” No, they won’t. 9 out of 10 people think the name Frankenstein applies to the monster and not the scientist who created him. You might get “Mad Scientist?” or “Evil Dentist?” and things like that, but unless you walk around screaming “It’s alive! It’s aliiiive!” nobody is going to guess. In fact, if you go with the Peter Cushing version of Dr. Frankenstein from the Hammer Films series, you probably won’t even get that. I think the most you’ll get, on the outside possibility they’re savvy enough to understand things, is “Ohhh, you’re the guy who made Frankenstein,” to which you should reply, “Yes, you’re right, I’m James Whale,” and walk away.

Astronaut Landon – PLANET OF THE APES (1968)
When Charlton Heston’s Col. Taylor crash lands on a future Earth inhabited by talking apes, he does so with two colleagues, Dodge and Landon. Almost immediately the three are separated and are captured by the equestrian gorillas. Dodge has been killed and stuffed and put on display. Taylor finds Landon later a mindless servant, having been lobotomized, leading to Heston’s immortal line, “You cut up his brain, you bloody baboons!” However, don’t dress up as the beloinclothed, mind-erased Landon, but instead be the freshly crashed, dirty astronaut suited Landon. Why? Because he’s almost indistinguishable from Charlton Heston at that point and it’ll be much funnier. I can see it now. You: “I’m a guy from Planet of the Apes.” Them: “Oh, Charlton Heston’s character?” You: “No.” Then you walk away and they’re left with wonderment.

Diane – TWIN PEAKS (1990)
Amid all the murder, intrigue, and friggin’ weirdness of David Lynch’s landmark television show Twin Peaks, we see a steadfast hero, Agent Dale Cooper, forever sending tape recorded notes back to someone named Diane in Washington. Agent Cooper talks to Diane more than any other character and we learn a lot about him through his conversations with her. Diane has no lines and in fact never once appears on screen. Nobody knows who she is or what she looks like. Hence: perfect Halloween costume. It might be tempting to dress up like a giant tape recorder, but I urge you to refrain. Diane could look like anything or anybody. You can dress however the hell you want. Maybe she wears a purple polyester pantsuit or maybe she wears jeans and a Denver Broncos jersey. Who can really say? People can ask who you are and you can say you’re Diane from Twin Peaks and they have to believe you. They have to! Walk around all night with a pile of tiny cassette tapes saying stuff like “Jeez, this Cooper’s a whack job,” and you’ve got everything perfect.

Oh, the fun that can be had from making your friends feel stupid. Don’t feel bad about it, because they are stupid. One year, I was Shaun from Shaun of the Dead. I had the white short-sleeved button up shirt, black trousers, red tie, and I’d even made an exact replica of the Foree Electronics name tag and finished it off with red pen ink in the pockets and blood splattered all over me. I thought everyone would know immediately who I am. On the contrary, no one did. All night I kept getting, “Dead Salesman?” and “Psycho Store Clerk?” and one time I even got a “Dead Mormon?” What?


Happy Halloween everybody!

Images: Compass International, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, ABC

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  1. james says:

    I think the Grave Tales one would just always get confused for Shaun of the Dead.

  2. Jolie says:

    Oddly enough I am watching Curse of Frankenstein while reading this post…. Anyhow, the super-obscure and specific costumes I have been wanting to do for years is the “Satan’s Helpers” bikers from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. 

  3. Jennifer says:

    A few years ago, I saw a guy dressed as Cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation. He was so excited when I asked him is the shitter was full. He screamed “I told you someone would get it!” at his friends.
    I went one year as Trash from Return of the Living Dead. No one got it.

  4. Bird says:

    I went as the log lady one year so am please to see a Twin Peaks character on here. Kudos. (Maybe 1 person got who I was and loved it)

  5. Jamie says:

    I was totally Shaun of the Dead last year. People thought I came straight from work…so I guess even with the name tag, I was a lady named Shaun.

    • Kendall says:

      My husband and I did Shaun and Liz a few years back, and no one knew who we were either! We walked into this party with fake blood all over us with zombie blood-covered cudgels, and people looked at us like we were insane. 

  6. pulyapudoff says:

    I stapled sponges to my shirt and hat. Told people that I was “self-absorbed”. Most didn’t get it.

  7. Melissa says:

    Those people aren’t your friends if they didn’t call you Shaun. Bastards. You deserve better.

  8. One year I cut a bunch of holes in a sheet, and went as Charlie Brown in his ruined ghost costume. I even carried a bag of rocks. I was so sad that no one got it

    • i did this exact same thing one year – and no one got it either. I would even say, “I got a rock,” in a dejected voice and they still didn’t get it.

      • Alistair says:

        One of the funniest Charlie Brown moments ever! I’m sorry I wasn’t there to appreciate both your costumes.

  9. ADay says:

    I Love the Diane idea ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Grant says:

    That is distressing about Shaun, I figured everyone would know… 

  11. Dakota says:

    Oh, the cleverness of you!No, seriously. Brilliant.

  12. Damocles_74 says:

    It seems to me that if you follow this idea of obscure costume selection only you get, it doesnt matter what you choose as the costume will really be “pretentious hipster douchebag in halloween costume”

  13. Erin says:

    I went as Daria once and no one got it.  Was seriously disappointed in my coworkers.

  14. Mason says:

    You had me at “Silent Bob of hotel management.”

  15. Brian Jones says:

    You’VE got red on you.

  16. marlise says:

    I love you.

  17. Onkel_Jo says:

    None of these were really funny. The “The Shining” one was mildly amusing and even the Frankenstein one made sense. A bit. I personally prefer the meta costumes… like Chuck Bartowski and Morgan Grimes from “Chuck” wearing the Sandworm from Dune at their halloween ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. Landon says:

    I should dress up as #4 some time.

  19. David says:

    You got red on you.

  20. Maria Foss says:

    Okay… believe it or not, but I actually DID dress up as Diane for Genericon (a small con held at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Instute).  Yes, I wore 90’s era clothes (the old stuff at the back of my closet), earphones (for dictaphone transcription of Cooper’s tapes) and an ID tag that read “Diane”. And no surprise… nobody got it.  The next year I dressed up as the “Log Lady”!

  21. Ron Reader says:

    Every year I dress up as the same thing….Sweaty. Slutty Mailman…..

  22. M says:

    My husband went as Indiana Jones one year, so I dressed as the girl from his class who wrote “I love You” on her eyelids. Everyone would ask who I was and all I had to do was close my eyes and they instantly knew. 

  23. T says:

    Kind of a weak list. The only one I thought was clever was Diane from Twin Peaks. 

  24. Stanz says:

    So your article is about pretentious d-bags dressing up as really random even none existing characters for Halloween, and then treating the people who have no idea who these characters are like they are complete idiots?!?! Chris Hardwick I know you don’t really give a shit but seriously this “Nerdy News Site” is going downhill fast. What used to be an actually somewhat reputable site has turned into a just another Clickbait Whore. Your reporters do not Report Objectively, they just go along with popular opinion or the opinion that at least pisses the less vocal group off. Your reviews which should be opinion pieces have no opinions whatsoever, or you have articles written by people who clearly think they are better then everyone else (I.E. the guy who wrote this.)… Listen, I know your doing your show @midnight and probably don’t have much time to look over the articles before they are posted, maybe you should Hire an editor or something. It’s just that this site is a good idea but if it keeps going the way it’s going your going to lose a good portion of your audience and I don’t want to see that happen as I’ve seen too many Nerd Mags rise and Fall. Thank You For Your Time 

    • KevieC says:


    • Derp2.0 says:

      If you really want your criticism noticed you should post it to the quement section at the bottom of each page. I highly doubt that Mr. Hardwick reads every comment on every article.  

      • Stanz says:

        Thank You, I had never noticed there was a Quement section. That would definitely get noticed better through that.

  25. Ever since the first Dr. Who episode featuring the Silence, I’ve been wanting to just draw hashmarks on my arms on Halloween and keep adding more all day. I haven’t because I didn’t think anyone in the office would get it and I didn’t want to have to explain myself a thousand times. If you _want_ a costume no one will get, make it better by not cosplaying Amy or Rory. If nothing else, this will help you figure out who the true Whovians in the room are.

  26. Gotta carry a cricket bat when you dress as Shaun. (I would have gotten it.)

  27. My teenage son was Shawn of the Dead right after the movie came out.  ONE guy got it.

  28. megmarylong says:

    Love this!!! Especially the Diane one.

  29. joy says:

    You could make the argument that Frankenstein is the name of both the scientist and the monster…

    • irishghost says:

      Frankenstein is not the name of the monster. He is simply referred to as “the creature” in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.  Which is why the correct name when addressing him would be: “Frankenstein’s Monster” or “the Creature”. Again, Frankenstein is only meant to refer to Victor, not the monster– people who’ve made movies on Frankenstein have mostly gotten that wrong. Just sayin’.

      • elementalcobalt says:

        That isn’t true. In the original Frankenstein, there is a throwaway comment about the monster taking on the name of his creator. It is subtle and abstract, but it can be read that way. I think it’s enough to stop this whole argument. Frakenstein is actually intelligent in the book and this is what comes out. 
        “At length the thought of you crossed my mind. I learned from your papers that you were my father, my creator; and to whom could I apply with more fitness than to him who had given me life?” 
        So yeah, Frankenstein is the monster’s name too. He sees himself as the son of his father, he takes his fathers family name. Not really surprising here. 

  30. adam says:

    if you can’t make any content worth reading maybe pump the brakes a bit… this was worthless, and not even ironically entertaining.

    • Lisa says:

      Wow lacking in a sense of humor suddenly makes you an expert. Sorry you weren’t ironically entertained but stuff you didn’t get but no one cares.