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.