Words & Language

Visual Pun Costumes — Your Last-Minute Halloween Hacks

It happens every year. You’re going along, enjoying the fall weather and cozy sweaters and BAM — suddenly it’s Halloween! You don’t want to be the only one showing up at your Halloween gatherings without a costume, but you just don’t have time or desire to buy a pre-made costume. We’re here to help!

These four wordplay-inspired costumes are super easy to put together with clothes you already have or could easily find at the last minute. Plus, each costume comes with plentiful opportunities for puns, portmanteaux, and other wordplay to elicit giggles (or groans) from your friends!

“Someone you can count on”

You’ll need:

  • a plain shirt (no patterns, but any style or color will do)
  • a permanent marker (if it’s a shirt you don’t mind writing on)
  • a dependable personality

This costume is as easy as 1, 2, 3! You can either write numbers on a plain shirt with colorful permanent markers (or get crafty and cut out colored paper or fabric numbers!). Your friends already know they can count on you for emotional support — why not let them literally count on you, too?


You’ll need:

  • a brown outfit
  • a book
  • an overwhelming desire to do nothing but read

This costume is for anyone who’d rather be at home reading than out on the town. Put on your brownest outfit, carry the book you’ve been reading, and enjoy the fact that you have an automatic conversation starter in your hands! Chat up your fellow partygoers about their favorite reads, and who knows — you may find a fellow bookworm.

“Party Animal”

You’ll need:

  • dog or cat ears
  • a tail
  • a party hat
  • a fun-loving personality

You’ve got to be kitten me — Halloween costumes shouldn’t be this easy! Grab some dog or cat ears (or borrow them from a friend), pop a party hat on top, and get ready to party ‘til the cows come home.


You’ll need:

  • a crown
  • a sash that you can write on
  • a willingness to get a little loose with spelling

Congratulations, you’ve been crowned the new Miss Spelled! Don your crown and sash and revel in your newfound title, spelling or misspelling whatever you please. (Bonus points if you misspell the sash, too.)

Are you incorporating wordplay into your costume this year?


Share your punny costumes with us!

The cartoons for this post were drawn by DC-based artist Katie Kelley.