15 last-minute reality TV Halloween costumes that require virtually no effort

Because I’m a curmudgeon, I don’t actively celebrate Halloween, unless you consider celebrating to be hiding in my house with the lights off so the greedy children won’t beg me for candy, interrupting my entire evening. Oh, I kid: I just eat all the candy myself and sit in my dark house and self-loath all night.

Anyway, if you’re a procrastinator and need an actual costume for today or tonight, here are some simple things you can throw together with things in your house, kind of like I threw together this post:

  1. A Survivor hidden immunity idol. Wear the brightest, gaudiest clothes you have and every time you see someone, yell, “I’m over here!” Bonus: Have a friend follow you around and film you, and have another friend stand nearby looking for you but never finding you, even though your friend filming you is, you know, filming you.
  2. Big Brother houseguest post-challenge. Spray yourself with something white and foamy, such as shaving cream. Act dumb and say grammatically incorrect things such as, “I don’t take it personal that the challenge ejaculated on me.”
  3. The X Factor. Put on every single piece of clothing you can find, and also put on other things from around your house, such as pillowcases or toilet paper rolls, and see if just piling as much shit as you possibly can onto yourself gives you a hit costume.
  4. Owner of a rental pet you want Cee Lo Green to use for season three of The Voice. Put a sticker on your pet that says “$350 an hour” and ask people, “Do you think Cee Lo will rent my precious [insert type of animal here] instead of that dumb parrot?”
  5. Successful Shark Tank contestant. Cut a hole in a towel, put it over your head, and try to sell it to someone for millions of dollars. Bonus: You can actually get an investment from the sharks this way.
  6. Brooke Burke, Dancing with the Stars co-host. Ask people irrelevant and/or obvious questions all night.
  7. Deadliest Catch captain. Perfect for smokers. Chain smoke and swear at people as you fight off the urge to pass out.
  8. So You Think You Can Dance contestant being judged. This works best if you have a ridiculously hot body. Put on pajama pants that are too small for you and, if you’re female, a sports bra. If you’re not naturally sweaty naturally, spritz yourself with water. Then stand around panting as you smile and nod at people.
  9. Hell’s Kitchen risotto. Just wreck yourself in every way possible–horrible make-up, bad fake tanner, random clothes–and tell people, “I’m ruined, of course.”
  10. Object of value from Hoarders hoard. Step into a trash bag and waddle around and tell people, “I wonder if the hoarder will notice I’m gone and throw a fit or if I’m just going to be thrown into the back of a 1-800-GOT-JUNK truck.”
  11. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo fan. Drink a lot of Go-Go Juice (Mountain Dew + Red Bull) and zip around saying, “I’m Honey Boo Boo, child!” in an obnoxious accent. That you don’t look like Honey Boo Boo will make this even funnier.
  12. Face Off model not selected for the spotlight challenge. Just wear your regular clothes and say things such as, “Oh, I am so glad I didn’t have to get shit glued to my face and stand around for hours while people judge me.”
  13. The Survivor web site circa 2000. Put a red X on your shirt with tape, and you’ll be recalling the time years ago when CBS cared about its web site visitors and actively screwed with our minds.
  14. Real Housewife of your city. Say nasty things about people at the Halloween party you pretend are your friends but are not really people you hang out with in real life.
  15. Real World cast member. Get drunk, then punch and fuck every person you see.

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Frankie on Big Brother

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Shark Tank

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.