Design by Mellisa Lee

This Halloween, I decided to revisit a favorite childhood costume: Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz.” When I was young, I went through a phase where I absolutely had to have my own ruby slippers. Even though every pair had to be replaced because I quickly grew too large for them, any excuse to wear them made me happy, and Halloween was no exception. So this year, I decided to make the perfect pair myself. I painted some old shoes red, added layers of red glitter and secured the shoes with spray adhesive. They turned out exactly how I wanted them to. 

The next step, naturally, was to show off the costume on TikTok. 

My “for you page” was already full of people preparing transition videos that, once completed, would jump from a “just-got-out-of-bed” look to full glam and ready to party. While my own video was pretty simple compared to these sneak peeks I was already getting, it didn’t take me as long as I expected to master the transitions and make the video look seamless. I knew that once Halloween actually rolled around, my entire feed would be full of people showing off their costumes, and boy, did they deliver. Here are a couple of my favorites:

  1. CVS receipt

This one made me laugh. Not only is it unique, but the creator did a great job executing the idea. Paired with audio from “Mean Girls” describing how most girls just wear lingerie and call it a costume, it makes the video even funnier since her costume is the exact opposite.

  1. Greek goddess

This creator showed herself getting ready with a “countdown” sound — for every number, she adds a new piece of her costume. It’s simple, it keeps you watching and she looks gorgeous.

  1. The Care and Keeping of You

Another one that made me crack up! Any girl who learned the basics of puberty from this book will immediately recognize this costume. It’s a unique idea, they nailed the look and the trending sound they paired their video with earned them over 200,000 likes. 

  1. Bob’s Burgers

Group costumes only work if everyone puts in the effort, and this group went above and beyond. While the outfits themselves are relatively simple, the videos going along with them are a cinematic experience. I have never seen “Bob’s Burgers” but am familiar enough with the characters, and watching everyone act out scenes from the show as each character was hilarious.

  1. Lizzo as Baby Yoda

Celebrities are joining in the Halloween fun, too! Lizzo is certainly no exception (this is just one of her several costumes). Her video includes several quick transitions, lip-synching and a special Halloween sound created solely for showing off a costume. 

  1. lofi hip hop radio

This costume is niche but in the best way. If you’ve ever come across the long-running YouTube livestream, then this look is instantly recognizable. The overall costume is simple, but the idea is creative and executed well. 

  1. Magic School Bus

Not only is this idea unique and creative, the video that goes along with it is for a very specific audience. Referencing a popular Vine, each character has a line to show off their costume for an overall nostalgic and hilarious look (and Liz the chameleon crawling in the background is the best part).

  1. Megamind

Maybe I’m biased because I think “Megamind” is extremely underrated, but this creator knocked it out of the park. It might be my favorite out of all the ones on this list. Using a sound from the movie, she showed us piecing together her costume. The lines she lip-synched to perfectly capture the character, and it made the final reveal so much better. 


If I could include more costumes here, I would. So many people went all out, both with the costumes themselves and their video reveals. One thing I noticed in each of these videos is the diversity, not just in their concepts but in their reach. Some videos had amassed millions of likes even though the accounts had only a few hundred followers. I have absolutely no understanding of how TikTok’s algorithm works, though I know it played an important role here. I’m sure that the various tags, transitions and sounds had something to do with each video’s popularity as well. 

The real question here is, why spend so much time and energy on what eventually becomes a 15-second video? Why not just take a picture? The answer, I think, is simple — because it’s fun. 

People aren’t picking their costumes for the sole purpose of doing a cool video. That element of self-expression isn’t changing here. Putting together a video is just another way for us to express our creativity, as well as connect with other people over shared interests (always encouraging when you pick an obscure idea and someone understands it). As with any social media app, TikTok also provides us with documentation to look back on at a later date, a kind that’s more detailed than any old picture. 

Part of the appeal of posting on TikTok is that anyone could go viral at any time. While that outcome may be easier for some to achieve than others, I don’t necessarily think that going viral is the end goal for everyone with this particular trend. People posting their costumes are understandably proud of their hard work and simply want to show it off and make people laugh. I could see the joy just by reading the comments on each video. Everyone was mostly complimenting each other, either for the unique ideas or the clear effort that went into the execution. That sense of community is one of the principal benefits of any social media trend, but especially this one. And at the very least, watching all of these videos has given me plenty of inspiration for next year’s costume.

Daily Arts Writer Hannah Carapellotti can be reached at