Halloween seems to follow a similar trajectory for a lot of people: it’s a blast when you’re a kid, immature and embarrassing in middle school, and by the time you hit your twenties, it’s suddenly fun again. Showing off an elaborate or clever costume is one of the best parts of an adult Halloween party.
Unfortunately, the holiday can sneak up and leave you stranded and uninspired when it comes time for costume planning.
Assuming that you’re going to skip boring store-bought costumes and use a little creativity, here are a few ideas for easy and easily identifiable stoner Halloween costumes that will bring back the rush of dressing up on the weirdest night of the year.
Ever served in the Girl Scouts? Or know someone who did? You can mine that childhood innocence for a great weed-inspired costume. Dig up an old Girl Scout sash, the more badges, the better; if you can’t find one at home, a lot of vintage clothing stores sell them. Toss that on over a preppy button-down, pair it with brown pants or a plaid skirt and top off the entire look with a beret. For maximum effect (and added popularity), carry around an empty box of Thin Mints that instead of cookies holds a few joints of Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies.
Buddy costumes are a surefire conversation starter at any Halloween party. Luckily, James Franco and Seth Rogen’s stoner characters from Pineapple Express lend themselves to some easily constructed costumes. For Rogen’s character Dale, all you need is a rumpled brown suit with a blue shirt, no tie required. Franco’s dealer character Saul just needs some
Plaid pajama pants, clogs or Birkenstocks, and a gray t-shirt layered over a long-sleeved white thermal.
If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on some, you and your costume partner should both carry around some Pineapple Express for full authenticity.
The vivid, descriptive names of different strains easily lend themselves to punny costumes. White Widow, a strong sativa named for its thick coating of trichomes, can also be a dramatic, effective Halloween ensemble. To look like you’re on your way back from a husband’s premature funeral, opt for a long, old-fashioned white dress (vintage stores or thrift shops could come in handy for these) and a wide-brimmed white hat with a veil. Add some smeared mascara or eyeliner to make it look like you’ve been crying, and to set yourself apart from Cady Heron’s “ex-wife” getup.
Captain Zig Zag
It’s always tough for a guy with a beard to commit to a costume that doesn’t require shaving. French rolling paper company Zig Zag offers a solution in the form of their iconic mascot. Dubbed “Captain Zig Zag” in 1960s advertisements, the figure depicted on every packet of Zig Zag papers is actually a zouave, a French North African soldier; legend has it that one such zouave had his pipe destroyed in battle and resorted to rolling his cigarettes with the paper from his gunpowder cache.
To look like Captain Zig Zag, grow your beard out as much as possible, and then brush it into a tapered shape.
If your mustache is long enough, twist up the ends with some wax. The most difficult part of this costume is probably tracking down an oversized orange beanie to mimic the zouave’s cap.
Shaggy and Scooby
Shaggy and Scooby are another, even more recognizable cannabis buddy costume. Although Scooby Doo’s original creators balked at the idea that their most popular characters were supposed to represent stoner stereotypes, it’s hard to look past Shaggy and Scooby’s mellow vibes and affinity for snacks. Shaggy is easy to imitate, with some baggy brown pants, a green V-neck tee, and some natural (or drawn-on) chin stubble. For a low-fi Scooby, wear head-to-toe brown clothing, along with some floppy ears attached to a headband, and an improvised blue dog collar. Cannabis chocolates re-labeled as Scooby Snacks can make a great accessory.
If you’re a dude who doesn’t mind walking around half-naked all night, Olympic champion and erstwhile smoker Michael Phelps makes a solid (and very easy) costume. Start the night in a windbreaker and sweats to effect Phelps’ warmup gear. As things progress, you can strip down to a speedo — preferably, a red, white, and blue one. Add some plastic gold medals, fanned out to imitate Phelps’ (and Mark Spitz’s before him) famous Sports Illustrated cover.
A bong would be the most authentic smoking accessory, given the swimmer’s unfortunate 2009 scandal.
If you’re partial to puns, you could also carry around a few joints of Acapulco Gold.
Anyone from Super Troopers
If buddy costumes are fun, entire group costumes from one of the most enduring stoner movies of the 21st century must be a blast. Round up a bunch of friends (mustaches are a plus, but not required) and get everyone in something approximating state trooper uniforms: khakis and khaki shirts, dark-colored ties, aviators, and wide-brimmed hats should do the trick. For a prop, carry around a liter cola.
You can spend the rest of the night meowing at people and muttering “littering and… littering and…”
You might piss everyone off, but in the right crowd, you might be the hit of the party.
Maybe you left your costume until the last minute this year and want to be clever while putting in as little work as possible. If that’s the case, go with a time-tested pun. Grab a plain light-colored t-shirt and write “Go Ceiling!” on it in black magic marker. Use some face paint to scribble those same words on one or both of your cheeks. Even better — if you have a pair of pom poms or a giant foam finger lying around, use those as your crowning accessories. Give people a chance to figure it out before telling them you’re a “ceiling fan!” Prepare for groans.