The jack-o-lanterns are carved, the cobwebs and plastic spiders have been hung, and the candy is ready to give out (if you don’t get to it first). All that's left to do is pick out the perfect Halloween costume. Sure, you could go with something like a witch (yawn) or a monster (blah). Or you could impress your fellow Halloween revelers with a creative costume inspired by TV's biggest characters and personalities.
Whether you're going solo, looking for a costume for a couple, or need an idea for you and a group of friends, we'll give you all the right tricks to turn 15 costumes into TV-inspired treats.
Mork, Mork and Mindy
What you'll need: A simple tribute to the passing of comedy legend Robin Williams is as easy as a pair of rainbow suspenders. For those of a certain age, you probably already have a child-sized version stashed away in your closet. They may be a little tougher to find in an adult size now, but any reputable thrift store should carry them. If you can't find a thrift store nearby, just buy a roll of rainbow-printed duct tape for a quick and easy DIY project.
Extra-credit accessories: Fluffy, feathered '70s hair. You can also carry around your son and tell everyone it's your dad.
Go-to catchphrase: "Nanu nanu!"
Smelly Mellie, Scandal
What you'll need: It's basically just pajamas. Seriously, this is one of the coziest, easiest costumes out there.
Extra-credit accessories: Some fried chicken, potato chips — anything you can messily munch on all night.
Go-to catchphrase: Ramble on, Southern drawl in full force, about being a dutiful wife to Fitz; loudly complain about Olivia Pope; and be unapologetic about your appearance, your snacks, and your new grace-sitting habit.
The Red Viper, Game of Thrones
What you'll need: Start out with a majestic yellow robe, a mustache and chinstrap beard, and a sexy Dorne accent. But this is Halloween after all, so we're going for Oberyn Martell after his fight with the Mountain… complete with crushed skull. Drizzle a bunch of ketchup or spaghetti sauce over your head and black out your eyes with special contact lenses, then add some fake brains (you can whip some up with cottage cheese and red food coloring) dripping out of your ears.
Extra-credit accessories: A spear dipped in manticore venom; a sister you're way too close with; a cavalier, devil-may-care attitude.
Go-to catchphrase: "Anybody got an aspirin?"
Sara (with no "h" 'cause "h"s are ew!), The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
What you'll need: A purple smocked dress with bright pink tights; a long, heart necklace; a blond wig and magenta headband; braces, bright pink lip gloss and nail polish; a pink bedazzled iPhone case; some superfancy dance moves (scrumping!).
Extra-credit accessories: A pink polka-dotted basket full of photos of random celebrities and things. Or just your stepdad, Gary.
Go-to catchphrase: "Ew!" (Do you even have to ask?)
Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser, Outlander
What you'll need: The couples costume of the season is Claire and her Highlands hunk, Jamie Fraser. For modern-day Claire, all you'll need is a dirty white dress and some twigs for your hair, but if you'd rather travel back in time, a lady-in-waiting dress like this will do. As for your date: a costume kilt, some fake scars, and .02 percent body fat.
Extra-credit accessories: A second date willing to dress like Frank Randall.
Go-to catchphrase: "Sing me a song of a lass that is gone…"
Carrie Mathison, Homeland
What you'll need: A sensible corporate outfit, a cross-body bag, and a headscarf. Pills and white wine are also a must.
Extra-credit accessories: Bring along a baby doll, and dangle it dangerously by one leg. Carrie is hardly mom of the year, so don't worry if you "accidentally" leave the kid behind.
Go-to catchphrase: Just moan about losing Brody and swear. A lot. Then wash more pills down with wine.
What you'll need: A lightning bolt on your chest turns any red shirt and pants into a Flash costume. Two more tiny lightning bolts on a red swimcap make the cowl. Do not go the spandex route. It looks hokey, it looks dated, and no matter what your personal trainer says, you cannot pull it off.
Extra-credit accessories: Attach some pipe cleaners sticking straight out behind you to act as speed lines; you'll look like you're in constant motion all night long.
Go-to catchphrase: "Lightning gave me abs?"
All of the clones, Orphan Black
What you'll need: Sure, anybody can dress up as one of the clones played by Tatiana Maslany on BBC America's sci-fi favorite. But why not go the extra mile and be all of them at once? Put together Sarah's hoodie and leather jacket, Cosima's eyeglasses and lab coat, Alison's pearl necklace, Rachel's bright red lipstick, and Helena's crazy mane of blond hair. And throw in Tony's weird soul-patch thing, too, to round out the ensemble. Now you just have to decide which accent to use…
Extra-credit accessories: An extra-large bottle of white wine, for Alison; a tasty snack of sardines and mustard, for Helena; a haughty air of superiority, for Rachel.
Go-to catchphrase: "How the hell do I not have an Emmy nomination yet?"
Billy Eichner, Billy on the Street
What you'll need: Jeans, T-shirt, hoodie, and sneakers.
Extra-credit accessories: A microphone with an incredibly long cord and a few dollar bills to throw at people when they answer your "For a Dollar" trivia questions to your liking.
Go-to catchphrase: Just yell into your microphone about how much you love Meryl Streep and how awful Burger King is.
Twisty the Clown, AHS: Freak Show
What you'll need: What does it take to be the scariest clown ever? Start with a jumpsuit — the dirtier the better — embellished with pompoms down the front. Next you’ll have to cover your face with smeared white make-up, and accent it with red blood splatters and heavy black eyeliner for a truly crazed look. But Twisty’s trademark is definitely his oversized mouth. You can either draw on a menacing mouth and exaggerated choppers, or make a mask of the character’s fake lower jaw and ear to ear grin. Top off the freaky look with a skull cap that sprouts three tufts of red and green hair.
Extra-credit accessories: Twisty carries a really grungy bag of tricks. But if you want to go all out, a busload of caged hostages might do the trick.
Go-to catchphrase: This killer clown is mute (at least so far), so all you have to do is stare creepily at people.
Present-day Rust Cohle, True Detective
What you'll need: Hey, let's be real—there are plenty of dudes walking around Texas looking like this guy all year round. But if that's not your natural look, get yourself a bushy mustache and a long brown wig you can pull into a scraggly ponytail, along with a vintage gray button-down shirt you can wear over a white undershirt. You'll also need some temporary tattoos for your arms, a pack of Camels, and cans of Lone Star beer that you can carve up into creepy figurines after you empty them.
Extra-credit accessories: A Big Hug coffee mug; a folder full of graphic crime-scene photos; a nihilistic sense of dread and hopelessness.
Go-to catchphrase: "All right, all right, all right … time is a flat circle, man."
Teresa Giudice, The Real Housewives of New Jersey
What you'll need: A bedazzled prison jumpsuit; an extra-dark spray tan; and a long, feathered jet-black wig pulled down right above your eyebrows.
Extra-credit accessories: False eyelashes, a bottle of peach Fabellini sparkling wine, an autographed copy of Skinny Italian, and a family portrait featuring Juicy Joe and Teresa's four daughters: Gia, Gabriella, Milania, and Audriana.
Go-to catchphrase: "You never know how strong you are until it's the only choice you have."
Oswald Cobblepot aka The Penguin, Gotham
What you'll need: We'll let Gotham's Penguin, Robin Lord Taylor, break it down for you:
Extra-credit accessories: A classic black umbrella for dramatic flair.
Go-to catchphrase: It's less about what you say than it is about how you say it … punctuating everything with a maniacal laugh will get you bonus points.
Guilty Remnant, The Leftovers
What you'll need: Anything white. White pants. A white shirt. A white hoodie. White shoes. White everything. This is seriously the easiest costume of the season, but it really only works if you have a group of chain smoking, cult-minded friends doing the same theme.
Extra credit accessories: A notepad and a Sharpie, for communication purposes. Oh, and a carton of cigs.
Go-to catchphrase: There isn’t one. You must vow to be silent if you’re going for the full GR effect, but you should definitely hold up a sign that says "We Are Living Reminders," one of the group's favorite mantras.
The dead Mother, How I Met Your Mother
What you'll need: Though it took HIMYM nine seasons to serve up the Mother, it needed only one episode to kill her — and your transformation into Ted's undead soulmate can be just as speedy. All you'll need is a hospital gown, a yellow umbrella, a zombie makeup kit, and a winsome smile.
Extra-credit accessories: A bass guitar, a train ticket to Farhampton.
Go-to catchphrase: "Kids, did I tell you about the time the producers killed me?"