This year’s most popular (and relevant) Halloween costumes

Oct 22, 2023, 10:27 AM | Updated: 10:28 am

Kate McKinnon as Weird Barbie could be your next Halloween costume. (Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictu...

Kate McKinnon as Weird Barbie could be your next Halloween costume. (Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

(Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

CNN — It’s that time of year again, when all things spooky come out to play.

Halloween, our annual celebration of the scary, has long been a showcase for ghost costumes and vampire teeth. This year, though, the most popular costumes might look a little different.

Barbie, Spider-Man and Wednesday Addams (from “The Addams Family”) are among the most searched costumes ideas in the US this year, according to Google Trends’ Frightgeist, which analyzes the most-searched costume ideas across the country.

If you still haven’t found a costume idea, fear not. CNN has you covered with five topical, yet still popular, Halloween costume ideas guaranteed to stun.


Of course, after “Barbie” made history with a $1 billion box office run, the doll is almost guaranteed to appear at your local Halloween party or trunk-or-treat. The Mattel favorite is the most-searched Halloween costume of the year, begging the question: How can you do Barbie, without unintentionally twinning with everyone else at the event?

We have an answer. Instead of focusing on generic Barbie — think pink dress — try mixing it up. Kate McKinnon’s Weird Barbie, in her messy hair and colorful outfit, is topical yet not overplayed. There are also a myriad of Kens to choose from, including Ryan Gosling in a fringed leather vest, or Ncuti Gatwa in colorful workout gear. If you’re dedicated to Stereotypical Barbie, try pulling a look from a specific scene, like Margot Robbie’s neon pink roller skating outfit or her vintage black and white swimsuit.

For those really looking to reference a deep cut, dressing up as something around the “Barbie” movie would also be a fun subversion of expectations, like going as director Greta Gerwig at Beyoncé’s “Renaissance” tour. (“Barbie,” which was produced by Warner Bros. Pictures, shares parent company Warner Bros. Discovery with CNN.)


After the “Barbenheimer” summer takeover, we’d be remiss not to mention “Oppenheimer” (though this is one option not trending on Google’s Frightgeist).

While dressing up as the man who created the atomic bomb can be terrifying on its own — and rather simple, with just a suit jacket, tie and top hat — we would also like to offer “Barbenheimer” itself, a mashup of Barbie and Oppenheimer.

However you portray the mashup is up to you. A pink suit with a pink top hat, mayhaps? Or a classic Barbie costume paired with a brooding look and a pipe? The options are endless.


Like the “Barbie” movie, the success of “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” presents a verifiable buffet of options.

The classic superhero is the third most searched Halloween costume this year (falling from its No. 2 ranking last year), which means there are sure to be some dupes at your party. Drawing on the movie, which revisits the Spidey multiverse, might help.

Though Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy are classic characters to mimic, dressing up as Spider-Punk from the film is sure to be a hit — and you’d look incredibly cool. Dad Peter Parker is also a great, low-effort option: his most memorable scene features him in a pink bathrobe with a baby strapped to his chest, easily recreated with a baby doll. Plus, you’ll be comfy all night.

Wednesday Addams

Netflix released its series “Wednesday,” a spin-off of “The Addams Family,” last November, after Halloween had already passed, thus robbing everyone’s favorite goth of her shining moment as a top Halloween costume for 2022.

This year, Wednesday Addams is getting her due. She’s the sixth most searched Halloween costume in 2023, and while everyone else may have forgotten about her iconic twin braids and angry glare, you can easily pay homage.


Bear — any bear — rounds out the top 20 most-searched Halloween costumes. The joy of this costume is in its flexibility.

You could go as defensive mama bear 128 Grazer, the winner of this year’s Fat Bear Week contest. Or, you could try your hand as a Malayan sun bear, a small bear species that are so human-like, some thought they were simply people dressed in a bear costume. (The theory gained so much traction that a Chinese zoo had to issue a statement asserting that their bears were actually bears. No early Halloween pranks here!)

Or, you could go the pop culture route, and dress up as a character from “The Bear,” an FX show about a Chicago restaurant, which saw its second season air over the summer.

With an apron and bear ears, you could even be a bear in “The Bear.” It’s Halloween; there are no rules.

KSL 5 TV Live


The Salt Lake Chinese Choir brings people together from Provo to Ogden, but their influence reaches...

Erin Cox

First Chinese choir in Utah uses music to break cultural barriers

The Salt Lake Chinese Choir brings people together from Provo to Ogden, but their influence reaches farther than that. 

1 day ago

FILE - Beyonce appears at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on March 14, 2021. Beyoncé ...

Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press

Beyoncé’s ‘Renaissance’ is No. 1 at the box office with $21 million debut

Beyoncé's concert picture, “Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé,” opened in first place with $21 million in North American ticket sales, according to estimates from AMC Theatres Sunday.

2 days ago

A Logan musician who had a traumatic brain injury and lost the ability and drive to make music is t...

Peter Rosen

Musician returning to stage following a traumatic brain injury

A Logan musician who had a traumatic brain injury and lost the ability and drive to make music is taking the stage again, thanks, in part, to his bandmates.

7 days ago

Taylor Swift performs onstage during "Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour."
Mandatory Credit:	Buda Mendes/...

Marianne Garvey, CNN

Taylor Swift will celebrate her birthday by sending her ‘Eras Tour’ to streaming

 Are you ready for it? Taylor Swift has announced that her “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour concert film” will be available to rent or buy on streaming services.

8 days ago

The beloved Christmas production, “The Forgotten Carols” returns for its 32nd season and back o...

Carole Mikita

Michael McLean returns for 32nd season of ‘The Forgotten Carols’

The beloved Christmas production, “The Forgotten Carols” returns for its 32nd season and back on stage this year is creator, Michael McLean.

8 days ago

Wolfgang Van Halen returns to Salt Lake City on Wednesday with his band, Mammoth WVH. (Andraia Alls...

Pat Reavy, KSL.com

‘Utah is like a hometown show’: Wolfgang Van Halen has strong ties to Beehive State

And while Wolfgang Van Halen has his roots in Southern California, there's no doubt that the son of iconic guitarist Eddie Van Halen and actress Valerie Bertinelli, knows Utah.

8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

This year’s most popular (and relevant) Halloween costumes