17 Kids' Halloween Costumes That Shouldn't Exist

by Gemma Hartley
Sep 20, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. ET

When it comes to cute Halloween costumes for kids, sometimes simplicity is best. Sure, we're all about getting creative — when it's channeled appropriately. For instance, who knew you could make seven adorable costumes with nothing more than a bedsheet? Yup, Princess Leia, Emma Frost and a ghost (of course) can all be fashioned with a simple piece of material and a little ingenuity. 

But sometimes we go a little too far with creative endeavors and things go seriously awry. In the search for a unique costume for kids, parents can get a bit overzealous and make some decisions that are a lot questionable. A slightly spooky mummy costume? Totally cute. A child dressed up as a homeless person or roadkill? Maybe too far.

From reinforcing harmful stereotypes to being way too creepy to just plain offensive beyond words, these 17 costumes shouldn't be worn by anyone, but especially not by children.

Originally published September 2016. Updated September 2017.

1 /16: Confederate soldier

1/16 :Confederate soldier

No. Just... no.

2 /16: Parasitic twin

2/16 :Parasitic twin

Who thought this was a good idea? Why? 

3 /16: Woopie cushion

3/16 :Woopie cushion

Okay, this one's pretty funny. But if you think the fart jokes will end after Halloween night, you have another think coming, my friend.

4 /16: Shadow demon

4/16 :Shadow demon

Should things that induce nightmares in adults be marketed as costumes for kids? Either way, this outfit screams, “I’m about to get mowed down by a driver who can’t see me!” 

5 /16: Psycho teddy bear

5/16 :Psycho teddy bear

Cute and cuddly stuffed animal costume? Totally kid-friendly. Go for it. Psychotic, bloodied version of said stuffed animal? Please, no.

6/16 :Pimp

How is the pimp costume still a thing, people? And how is it still a thing for kids?

7 /16: Mexican

7/16 :Mexican

Note to parents: Racially and culturally offensive stereotypes don’t get a free pass on Halloween. Not even for kids.

8 /16: Harem girl

8/16 :Harem girl

I mean, it could technically just be a belly dancer costume, so maybe it's cool?

9 /16: Hannibal Lecter

9/16 :Hannibal Lecter

Pro parenting tip: If your kid is too young to see the horror movie their costume is inspired by, it’s probably not the best choice.

10 /16: Baby rabbi

10/16 :Baby rabbi

While this kid is legit adorable, you might want to avoid dressing up your toddler as a religious leader for shits and giggles.

11 /16: Willie of 'Duck Dynasty'

11/16 :Willie of 'Duck Dynasty'

Is Willie really the sort of role model your kid praises so much that they want to be him? If so, you may need to reevaluate your life/parenting.

12 /16: Roadkill bunny

12/16 :Roadkill bunny

Who doesn't love a kid dressed up as a cuddly bunny rabbit for Halloween? Well, maybe not so much with the guts falling out.

13/16 :Clown

I don't have a deep fear of clowns, and I'm all for my kid dressing up as one, but this is straight-up nightmare fuel. Not what I was wanting when looking for a kid's clown costume TBH.

14 /16: Homeless man

14/16 :Homeless man

Want your kid to grow up callous and without empathy? Dressing them up to mock homeless people is probably a great place to start.

15 /16: Native American

15/16 :Native American

It's probably a good idea to teach your kids that Halloween is not an excuse to go wild with cultural appropriation.

16 /16: Prisoner

16/16 :Prisoner

Unless you're planning to slap a "suffragette" sign on this costume, maybe dream a little bit bigger.