Let me get this out of the way: I have no real stake in Halloween. In fact, my favorite October 31 pastime is staying up late with The Last Drive-in.
Even still, I still get some twisted pleasure out of the bafflingly large spread of bootleg and "sexy" Halloween costumes that show up online in droves in the lead-up to Halloween.
There's a truly insurmountable spread of wild costumes that could never be cataloged in their entirety.
It doesn't help that a lot of the lingerie websites that sell this stuff borrow each other's imagery, presumably because they all drop ship the goods from identical low-cost sources (though I'm genuinely happy that these sites are spreading the hilarity of Sexy Female Austin Powers, or "Yeah Baby" as it's called).
In fact, you can really divide these costumes into two categories: Sexy or Bootleg.
For instance, you've got Sexy Squid Game, Sexy Mario ("Plumber Brother"), Sexy Buzz Lightyear (noticing a trend?), Bootleg Top Gun guy, Bootleg Harley Quinn, Sexy Male Harley Quinn, and many, many more.
A lot of these costumes are basically just lingerie (looking at you, Sexy Nerd), which is fine and all, but the ones that are juuuust off of their copyrighted inspirations are the best.
Some get insanely close: Bootleg SpongeBob actually has the face of Nickelodeon's trademark character printed atop the hood, apparently.
But that's the thing. These bootleg Halloween costumes are designed to be similar enough to land in search results without spurring lawsuits. The creative limitation yields some pretty ingenious results.
Whoever had the idea of putting fake roses on Fake Belle's dress? Kudos.
These design restrictions make for some equally inspired original ideas. Why anyone would want to dress as Fake News is beyond me but the algorithm demands it, I guess.
Also, for what it's worth, though the "sexy" costumes are wholly unnecessary and often ill-conceived — especially any of the awful infantile designs — I am, in general, okay with them.
I mean, if there's any night in the year to be walking around in a provocative costume, Halloween is the time to do it.
Just to be clear: I'm not condoning imitations or questionably-made costumes that get tossed out after a single wear, so don't consider this a co-sign.
Really, I just enjoy taking a scroll through the selection of weird, unnecessary costumes that crop up every year.
This is just entertainment from a distance. After all, I'm not going anywhere this Halloween — and that's just how I like it!