From "House of the Dragon" to "Yellowjackets," here are 7 last-minute couples costume ideas

If you've got hot hot dogs, flannel or clothes so dark you can barely see them, you've got a costume

Published October 29, 2022 12:59PM (EDT)

Matt Smith and Emma D'Arcy in "House of the Dragon" (Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO)
Matt Smith and Emma D'Arcy in "House of the Dragon" (Photograph by Ollie Upton / HBO)

As a Halloween-lover, I've had various responses from my actual lovers over the years about dressing up for the holiday, ranging from the partner who superglued hundreds of leaves to a suit to the one who grudgingly put on a T-shirt that read, "This is my costume" to now, where my partner will happily wear whatever as long as I decide. 

A couples costume is a lot of pressure. Whether you're in a new relationship, trying to introduce yourself as a pair to friends, or just trying to make a night of passing out candy fun, it's hard to pick one costume, let alone two that somehow coordinate. Last year, my partner and I went as characters from "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." My Midge could have been any glamorous dame from the early '60s, really, but his Susie stole the show, complete with key necklace and plunger. This year? Taking another clue from beloved, if problematic, television, I'm going as Willow going as Joan of Arc in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." He's going as Oz as God.

We're down to the wire for Halloween decisions, and Salon's culture desk is here for you. We dig into couple costumes from recent pop culture that you and your love, you and a friend, or you and your werewolf can attempt. 


Bheem and Raju, "RRR"

Image_placeholderRRRRRR (DVV Entertainment)
You really can't go wrong with embracing the bromance between these two Indian revolutionary heroes in what's arguably the best action film of the summer. While you could go with any number of their looks – from their dapper Bollywood dance ensembles to their full rebel regalia (flying hair and motorcycles in the breeze) – the absolute winner would be their look post-jailbreak. What's better than one man riding the shoulders of another while double-fisting rifles? Nothing, that's what. Plus, you can rewatch the epic Netflix film all in the name of "research."

Eleanor and Drea, "Do Revenge"

Image_placeholderDo RevengeMaya Hawke as Eleanor and Camila Mendes as Drea in "Do Revenge" (Kim Simms/Netflix)
As soon as this loose Patricia Highsmith adaptation hit Netflix, the clothes dominated. Set at a tony private school, the high school characters wear ice-cream colored uniforms complete with capettes and little berets, an ensemble so irresistible star Sarah Michelle Gellar, who plays the Headmaster in the film, went back to high school for Halloween. The main pair, Eleanor and Drea, have a host of stunning looks, not only the uniforms but glam going-out clothes which hark back to the '90s with a modern flash all their own. But Gellar's character, with her all-white stunners elevating Mommy-core, would be a formidable costume as well. 

Evelyn and Waymond (or Joy or Deirdre), "Everything Everywhere All at Once"

Image_placeholderKe Huy Quan and Michelle Yeoh in "Everything Everywhere All at Once" (Allyson Riggs/A24)
The beauty of this action comedy is that you can choose from such a vast array of pairings throughout the multiverses depending on your gender, sexual identity or inanimate object of choice. One accessible look is classic Evelyn in a quilted vest and Waymond with a fanny pack, but you could go for the Wong Kar-wai Hong Kong cinema glam if you're feeling fancy. Wanna go Sapphic? Bust out those hot dog fingers and cats. And if you're really ambitious, any pairing of Evelyn with Joy's over-the-top ensembles (Elvis is a fave) would work. While you're at it, why not just throw an "Everything Everywhere"-themed party? Cater with everything bagels and hot dogs, and decorate with plentiful googly eyes.

Galadriel and Halbrand, "The Rings of Power"

Image_placeholderThe Lord of the Rings: The Rings of PowerCharlie Vickers (Halbrand) and Morfydd Clark (Galadriel) in "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" (Courtesy of Prime Video)

As an ensemble show, Amazon Prime's "Lord of the Rings" prequel has a quest-worth of characters to choose. Galadriel is probably the most recognizable with her long blond braid. The beauty of going as the warrior elf is that you can choose a sleek gown—or silver battle armor, if you're feeling feisty. And as Galadriel has a bevy of potential suitors, your companion can be any number of the characters, from the dashing and faithful Elendil to overlooked Elrond (nice elves always finish last). Halbrand would be a conversation-starter, as the mediocre guy reveals darker stripes (and a cool cape) in the finale. Part of a pair with a big height difference? Nori and The Stranger is another great option. Plus, if you're a Harfoot, you get to put acorns in your hair.  


Jackie and Shauna, "Yellowjackets"

Image_placeholderYellowjacketsSophie Nelisse as Teen Shauna and Ella Purnell as Teen Jackie in "Yellowjackets" (Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME)

The best, most smoldering couples are always the ones that could have been. Ignite that lost maybe love as Shauna and Jackie. This couples costume is a great idea if you have one partner who wants to get glammed up and one who'd like to do the bare minimum or be comfortable: Shauna's flannel and jeans are easy to throw together, and Jackie's soccer uniform can be styled with her signature high, ribboned ponytail. If you want to ramp up the doomed factor, or maybe it's cold out: your Jackie can be wrapped in a camping blanket. Bring a diary and be prepared to read aloud. 


Madisynn and Wongers, "She-Hulk: Attorney at Law"

Image_placeholderShe-Hulk: Attorney At LawPatty Guggenheim as Madisynn and Benedict Wong as Wong in "She-Hulk: Attorney At Law" (Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel)
Look, I guess if you want to go the obvious "She-Hulk" couples route you can slather yourself in green paint while your partner squeezes themselves into a gold latex suit and cowl (while remaining barefoot for that walk of shame home). But you know who brings the fun? That would be party girl Madisynn, whose only real accessory is a drink (the better to ramble on about how to properly spell her name). She's the perfect foil to Wong, the Master of the Mystic Arts, who walks around in comfy layers and a tiny mustache. To add performance touches, tell people not to spoil you on "The Sopranos" and maybe bust out a karaoke number or two.

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Rhaenyra and Daemon Targaryen"House of the Dragon"

Image_placeholderHouse of the DragonEmma D'Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen in "Game of Thrones" prequel "House of the Dragon" (Ollie Upton/HBO)

We've saved the worst for last. Although this pairing will likely elicit the most groans and gags, it may also be the most recognizable. If you're okay with controversy, dig out some blond wigs from the clearance bin (it looks like the show did) and throw on some velvety frocks to be the uncle-niece couple we love to hate. If you want to recreate the wedding scene, some Nordic-esque shifts and a cardboard crown is in order. For true "House of the Dragon" realness, make sure your clothes are so dark you can barely see them. Whatever you do, do not bleach your hair because some styles you cannot come back from. 



By Alison Stine

Alison Stine is a former staff writer at Salon. She is the author of the novels "Trashlands" and "Road Out of Winter," winner of the 2021 Philip K. Dick Award. A recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), she has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, and others.

MORE FROM Alison Stine

By Hanh Nguyen

Hanh Nguyen is the Senior Editor of Culture, which covers TV, movies, books, music, podcasts, art, and more. Her work has also appeared in IndieWire, and The Hollywood Reporter. She co-hosts the "Good Pop Culture Club" podcast, which examines the good pop that gets us through our days, from an Asian American perspective.

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