The Raddest '80s Movie-Inspired Halloween Costumes

A Halloween costume needn't necessarily be topical to be a big hit. Frankly, any getup this year that doesn't reference Trump, Stranger Things, or Rob and Chyna is bound to be a breath of fresh air. Your Hiddleswift couple's costume is already outdated, so you may as well start from scratch and dig deeper into the pop culture vault for inspiration. To the '80s!

It's the decade that gave us Bill and Ted, Madonna, The Golden Girls, Marty McFly, Beetlejuice, and countless other memorable looks. It's familiar, but not obvious. It's nostalgic. It allows you to exercise your creativity while also making the most out of your older sister's stonewashed jeans. An all-around win, really.

In the buildup to Halloween, we'll be highlighting '80s films and characters that should inspire some seriously bitchin' costumes. Just be warned: You may have to spend several minutes explaining to millennials who you're supposed to be and why it's criminal that they don't get the reference. Beyond that, brace yourself for some totally tubular trick-or-treating.

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Ren & Ariel, Footloose (1984)
In the final scene of Footloose, Ren (Kevin Bacon) and Ariel (Lori Singer) liberate themselves and dance. He wears a tux, and she wears a long, flowy pink dress — the kind they don't make nowadays. Find the closest approximation, and be sure to tease out your hair.
20th Century Fox/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock
Lt. Ellen Ripley, Aliens (1986)
Ellen Ripley, who survives far more xenomorph attacks than the average human could, struts around this movie with a look that says, "Do I really have to do this again?" Yes, Ellen. The answer is yes. To embody the most badass, alien-fighting heroine ever, wear a short brown wig, get a white T-shirt really dirty, wear light jeans, and a water gun. You can also get a xenomorph stuffed animal to carry along.
Photo: Snap/Rex/Shutterstock.
Johnny & Baby, Dirty Dancing (1987)
For your sake, we hope it's not too chilly out when you and your pal step out in bicep-bearing, midriff-flashing dance apparel. If you wanted to keep nice and cozy, though, you'd have gone as the Schumachers.

Pictured: Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey
Photo: Moviestore Collection/REX/Shutterstock.
Duckie & Andie, Pretty in Pink (1986)
Consider this a viable option for you and your purely platonic BFF. Duckie calls for a few handfuls of mousse, a bolo tie, and a popped collar. Andie requires a red wig and the ugliest pink prom dress you can find. Please don't get too into character by ruining two perfectly lovely dresses to DIY your own.

Pictured: Jon Cryer (Duckie) and Molly Ringwald (Andie)
Photo: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock.
Elvira Hancock, Scarface (1983)
Hawaiian shirts and blood stains are great and all, but they don't hold a candle to Scarface's most iconic look: that of the supremely divine Elvira. All this can be yours for the price of a blond bob wig and a slinky, disco-ready dress.

Pictured: Michelle Pfeiffer as Elvira
Photo: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock.
Jareth The Goblin King, Labyrinth (1986)
Expect countless Bowie tributes this year, though it remains to be seen how many fans will go to the trouble of recreating this complicated look from Labyrinth. A chopped-up wig, mad eyebrow makeup skills, and a high-collared leather jacket paired with leggings are essential. Go ahead and toss in a baby doll in a striped onesie while you're at it.

Pictured: David Bowie and Toby Froud
Photo: Moviestore Collection/REX/Shutterstock.
Hans Gruber, Die Hard (1988)
This tribute to the late, great Alan Rickman requires only a power suit and a power beard, but go ahead and throw in a posse of long-haired Europeans if you think it'll help.

Pictured: Alan Rickman
Aunty Entity, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
We don't need another Furiosa costume. All we want is an excuse to bust out a blonde wig and lots of chainmail.

Pictured: Tina Turner as Aunty Entity
Photo: Moviestore Collection/REX/Shutterstock.
May Day, A View to a Kill (1985)
You see plenty of Bond Girls on Halloween, but few shoutouts to the most vicious of them all, Grace Jones' May Day. Zorin's henchwoman wrestled Christopher Walken in a tiny black leotard, bedded 007 (Roger Moore), and stole the show in her red hood and menacing scowl. Are you fierce enough to emulate it?

Pictured: Tanya Roberts, Roger Moore, and Grace Jones
Photo: Moviestore Collection/REX/Shutterstock.
Lisa, Weird Science (1985)
If you can handle a few "maniacs" on Halloween Night, channel Kelly Le Brock's ultimate '80s babe style. Will it be the pink lamé cocktail dress, or the skimpiest gym teacher uniform in history?

Pictured: Anthony Michael Hall, Kelly Le Brock, and Ilan Mitchell-Smith
Photo: Moviestore Collection/REX/Shutterstock.
Alexandra, Jane & Sukie, The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
What better time to be a witch? Deck out your squad in eveningwear, cherry stems, and the wig of their choices, with or without the devilish Jack Nicholson understudy.

Pictured: Cher, Susan Sarandon, and Michelle Pfeiffer with Jack Nicholson
Photo: Moviestore Collection/REX/Shutterstock.
Pris, Blade Runner (1982)
Dying to replicate a replicant? Break out the black eye shadow and your old tights for this sci-fi tribute. You're also going to need to GHD the hell out of a blonde wig.

Pictured: Daryl Hannah as Pris
Photo: Moviestore Collection/REX/Shutterstock.
Tess & Cyn, Working Girl (1988)
Big hair, don't care. After you've burned a hole in the ozone layer with your hairspray consumption, throw on some shoulder-sweeping earrings, piles of eye shadow, shoulder pads, and white sneakers paired with pantyhose. Now, will it be "trick or treat," or "coffee, tea, me?" this Halloween?

Pictured: Melanie Griffith (Tess) and Joan Cusack (Cynthia)
Photo: Moviestore Collection/REX/Shutterstock.
Buttercup, The Princess Bride (1987)
Before she was Claire Underwood, Robin Wright was the ultimate damsel in distress as the red-frocked Buttercup. A long scarlet dress paired with blonde, waist-skimming locks is all you need, though a dashing date with a blonde 'stache and a sword would certainly come in handy.

Pictured: Robin Wright (Buttercup) and Cary Elwes (Westley)
Photo: Moviestore Collection/REX/Shutterstock.
The Childlike Empress & Atreyu, The NeverEnding Story (1984)
Don't act like you haven't been dying to do this for 30+ years. The key to the Empress' look is a copper eye, floaty gown, and a pearl choker dangling over your forehead. Atreyu is simple: brown duds, long wig, exposed chest.

Pictured: Tami Stronach (The Childlike Empress) and Noah Hathaway (Atreyu)
Photo: Moviestore Collection/REX/Shutterstock.
Freddy Krueger, A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
eBay is rife with costumes honoring the biggest villain of the '80s. Toss in an Indiana Jones fedora and a striped sweater and prepare to make little trick-or-treaters wet the bed for weeks to come.

Pictured: Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger
Photo: Moviestore Collection/REX/Shutterstock.
The Greasers, The Outsiders (1983)
Perk up your pixie with some gel, bust out your worn denim, and adopt a mad-at-the-world snarl. Whoever plays Emilio Estevez's Mickey Mouse-loving Two-Bit is guaranteed the most fun.

Pictured: Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, C. Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze, and Tom Cruise
Photo: Moviestore Collection/REX/Shutterstock.
Bill & Ted, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)
Wyld Stallyns 4 life. You could settle for rocking a vest with a sweatshirt draped around your waist, but recruiting pals to tag along as Abraham Lincoln, Socrates, and Joan of Arc is some serious next-level shit. Think about it.

Pictured: Alex Winter, Dan Shor, Keanu Reeves, and Tony Steedman
Photo: Moviestore Collection/REX/Shutterstock.
Lydia, Beetlejuice (1988)
Beetlejuice may be a perennial favorite, but you don't see many people representing Lydia Deetz on Halloween. Channel the goth gal with spiky, Helena Bonham Carter-esque hair, intense makeup, and either an all-black ensemble or a red tulle evening gown. Dancing to Harry Belafonte is mandatory.

Pictured: Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder
Photo: Touchstone Pictures/Photofest.
Sara Anderson, Adventures In Babysitting (1987)
Chris Hemsworth was probably being potty-trained in Australia when Sara Anderson (played by Maia Brewton) unleashed her Thor fandom on the world. The feisty grade-schooler risks life and limb for her silver helmet on the mean streets of Chicago. Just add a sweater, a red windbreaker, and a green backpack — with or without a rolled-up Playboy tucked inside.

Pictured: Maia Brewton (center) with Anthony Rapp, Elisabeth Shue, and Keith Coogan
Photo: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock.
Prince Akeem & Semmi, Coming To America (1988)
As with all things, Beyoncé beat you to the punch. Last year she and Jay Z dressed as Prince Akeem and rejected wife-to-be Imani Izzi (Vanessa Bell Calloway) for Halloween. Follow suit by donning giant furs layered with Mr. T-style jewelry, or DIY your own McDowell's uniforms. And to state the obvious, but this is not an opportunity to sport dark face makeup, okay?

Pictured: Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall
Photo: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock.
The Sheltons & The Ratliffs, Big Business (1988)
Ideally, you'd have two sets of twins taking on the role of Sadie and Rose Shelton and Rose and Sadie Ratliff (played by Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin). The person who gets to play ballbuster Sadie Shelton is guaranteed the most fun, provided she doubles down on the polka dots and power suits.

Pictured: Lily Tomlin and Bette Midler as Rose and Sadie Shelton AND Sadie and Rose Ratliff
Photo: Snap Stills/REX/Shutterstock.
Roberta & Susan, Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)
So many Madonna-inspired costumes, so little time. Grab your bestie, lace gloves, a bustier, and a teasing comb for this homage to the rare Madge movie that doesn't suck. Bonus points for sourcing a blazer with a pyramid motif on the back.

Pictured: Rosanna Arquette and Madonna
Photo: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock.
Mama Fratelli, The Goonies (1985)
Chances are, you have the makings of Mama Fratelli's signature look in your closet: black beret, black dress, and a string of pearls. A permanent scowl and toy revolver completes the villainous costume, though having a friend tag along as Sloth would really take it up a notch.

Pictured: Anne Ramsey
Photo: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock.
Ferris Bueller, Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
A white T-shirt, a printed sweater vest, and jeans will earn you plenty of Gummi Bears during this year's trick-or-treating session. A hockey jersey-wearing Cameron surrogate wouldn't go amiss, either.

Pictured: Matthew Broderick as Ferris
Photo: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock.
Phyllis Nefler & The Wilderness Girls, Troop Beverly Hills (1989)
Break out the khaki (and the Cartier) if you want to pay tribute to the most stylish campers of all time. Grab some Evian, yellow-and-white rucksacks, and chic forest-green scarves if you want to earn your badge in accessorizing.

Pictured: Shelley Long with Carla Gugino, Jenny Lewis, and Ami Foster
Photo: Snap Stills/REX/Shutterstock.
Veronica & The Heathers, Heathers (1988)
Subject your squad to some sartorial color-coding: One gets red, another yellow, another green, and another (i.e., the coolest) blue and black. Add scrunchies, croquet mallets, and bags of Corn Nuts as you see fit.

Pictured: Winona Ryder and Kim Walker
Photo: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock.
Princess Vespa, Spaceballs (1987)
This bratty intergalactic princess starts out with Princess Leia-style buns and an off-the-shoulder wedding dress. If you can procure a gold robot maid, though, that costume prize is yours.

Pictured: Daphne Zuniga as Princess Vespa
Photo: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock.
The Tri-Lambs, Revenge Of The Nerds (1984)
Pay tribute to the geeky Greeks with some glasses and a snazzy cardigan, or don a pink Omega Mu and dare someone to crack a tasteless joke.

Pictured: The Lambda Lambda Lambda crew
Photo: 20th Century Fox/Shutterstock.
Hollywood Montrose, Mannequin (1987)
With all due respect to Kim Cattrall's Emmy, window dresser Hollywood (Meshach Taylor) had a far superior wardrobe and outlook on life. Track down the most bitchin' frames you can find, throw on some bright colors, and maybe drag a boring white dude and his mannequin girlfriend around.

Pictured: Andrew McCarthy and Meshach Taylor
Photo: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock.
Madison, Splash (1984)
Beat Channing Tatum, who'll soon be remaking this '80s classic, to the punch with your own homage to the OG mermaid out of water. Outfit essentials: a long blond wig, body tape, a mermaid tail, and an "I Heart NY" T-shirt.

Pictured: Daryl Hannah
Photo: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock.
Neal Page & Del Griffith, Planes, Trains And Automobiles (1987)
Boycott the sexy Halloween costume trend entirely with this quirky '80s tribute. A gray wig, fedora, gray wool coat, and suit transforms one pal into Steve Martin's uptight Neal, while a giant blue parka, fake 'stache, cap, earmuffs, and collection of shower-curtain rings smacks of John Candy's Del. Just to be safe, book an Uber to the party.

Pictured: Steve Martin as Neal and John Candy as Del
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