Special Report

The Most Popular Halloween Costumes for 2023

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Many of our Halloween traditions were inspired by the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, marking the completion of crop harvesting for the year and the beginning of the dark days of winter – an observance held principally on Nov. 1, but beginning the night before, Oct. 31.

Masks or costumes may have been part of the earliest celebrations, dating back to the ninth century, perhaps worn in an effort to evade the spirits of the dead, or in imitative tribute to them – though the first documented mention of dressing up for the holiday comes from Scotland in 1585. The practice grew throughout the Celtic world and eventually spread across the globe. (Here are some cool and creepy Halloween traditions from around the world.)

In more recent times, the costumes donned by children – and sometimes adults – often represented professions (cowboy, fireman, astronaut) or perceived cultural identities (Indian chief, hula girl, geisha – appropriations that are now rightly deemed offensive).

But popular culture has also long had a great influence on what people style themselves to be for Halloween. In 1958, Zorro (per the hit Disney TV show of the era) was big; in 1972, it was Don Corleone; E.T. ruled 1982; Captain Jack Sparrow took over in 2003….

And in 2023? To find out, 24/7 Tempo reviewed a study done by Bonus Insider, an international betting bonus review site. The site developed a ranking of the five most popular male and female costumes by researching TikTok hashtags and Google search interest for pop-culture-figure outfits, then combined the results to arrive at an overall popularity score

It will probably come as no surprise that Barbie rules the female category, with a 48.65% score – but it probably is surprising that Ken bested her, at 51.40%.

On the other hand, this marks Barbie’s second appearance at the top, as she was also the most popular Halloween costume subject in 1966, while this is Ken’s first dress-up triumph.

The lowest ranked figure of the group? Indicted former U.S. president Donald Trump, who came in at 5.76%.

Trending Female Halloween 2023 Looks on TikTok

Rank Character Share of Google searches Share of TikTok searches Overall popularity
1 Barbie 34.28% 34.53% 48.65%
2 Wednesday Addams 0.57% 12.23% 23.26%
3 Doja Cat Demon 1.23% 21.58% 11.08%
4 The Little Mermaid 1.14% 17.27% 9.25%
5 M3GAN 62.77% 14.39% 7.76%

Trending Male Halloween 2023 Looks on TikTok

Rank Character Share of Google searches Share of TikTok searches Overall popularity
1 Ken 67.87% 34.92% 51.40%
2 Oppenheimer 12.35% 23.81% 18.09%
3 Mandalorian 13.10% 21.43% 17.26%
4 Super Mario 4.65% 10.32% 7.48%
5 Donald Trump 2.00% 9.52% 5.76%

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