15 Most Popular Halloween Costumes of 2023 Predicted
Halloween is a widely celebrated holiday, and a favoured element is the chance to dress up as different characters! As children love fancy dress and sweets, it’s understandable why so many love trick-or-treating.
Over the years, we’ve seen Halloween costume trends change a lot. In the past, they primarily consisted of typical Halloween characters such as witches, skeletons, zombies, and more. Classic fancy dress options are still a go-to for many, but they’ve become much less popular.
According to search data, ‘Witch Halloween costumes’ saw 33% fewer searches than they did last year, as did devil and clown costumes. In fact, almost every ‘traditional’ Halloween costume became less popular year-on-year.
Halloween fancy dress now tends to be based on favourite characters, especially when it comes to children's fancy dress, with many inspired by trending films, TV shows, and games.
To see just how influential these pop-culture references are when it comes to Halloween costume ideas, we looked into search data for a range of costumes and characters to find which will likely be the most popular for Halloween 2023…
The Roald Dahl book, Matilda, was made into a film in 1996 and was loved by many. In 2010, the musical adaptation of the book hit theatres, and off the back of its success, cinemas released the film ‘Matilda the Musical’ in November 2023.
The recent film may be why searches for Matilda Halloween costumes saw a 21% increase compared to last year. The search volume also climbed by 467% in the past three months.
Matilda’s outfit is extremely easy to recreate, which can certainly appeal to parents for their child's Halloween costume this year. All you need is a grey school uniform (pleated skirt, blazer, and white shirt) with a burgundy and white striped tie, which she wears in the 2022 film. To include a nod to the original film, adding Matilda’s iconic red bow into the hair will ensure everybody knows exactly what the costume is!
14. The Little Mermaid
This classic Disney character has been a popular fancy dress option for a while now — Ariel’s iconic red hair, a purple shell top and, of course, her shiny green mermaid tail make for an instantly recognisable costume!
In May 2023, cinemas released the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, which earned $570 million (£470 million) at the global box office. The successful film has likely influenced this fancy dress option as there has been a 457% increase in searches for ‘The Little Mermaid Halloween costume’ since July and a 22% increase in the past year.
13. Na’Vi (Avatar)
In December 2022, the long-awaited sequel to the incredible James Cameron film Avatar finally hit cinemas. Although the original Avatar was more successful, making $2.92 billion (£2.41 billion), Avatar: The Way of Water was still a hit, earning $2.32 billion (£1.91 billion).
Although the film came out in 2022, this was after Halloween, so people haven’t had the chance to dress up as this character yet, which might explain the 20% increase in yearly searches for Avatar Halloween costumes and a 700% increase in the run-up to Halloween 2023. We imagine there will be many people dressed up as Na’Vi’s — the species from Pandora — sporting their blue-hued patterned skin.
12. Jack Skellington (The Nightmare Before Christmas)
We expect many to dress as the iconic Christmas/Halloween mashup character Jack the Skellington this year! Despite ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ being released in 1993 and having no remakes, many still consider the film a firm favourite.
As his name implies, Jack the Skellington is a Skeleton who loves Christmas, but his spooky costume is perfect for Halloween. The famous striped suit he wears also makes the character easily identifiable.
Although there hasn’t been a remake of this film, the Disney franchise appeared in a range of high street stores such as Primark and ASDA in 2023, with many Nightmare Before Christmas branded items. This retail collaboration is perhaps why the costume saw a 1380% search increase in the past three months and a 22% growth year-on-year.
11. Stitch (Lilo and Stitch)
Stitch is a beloved Disney character because of his funny and chaotic, yet cute and caring personality! Plus, his blue fur, big ears and retractable arms make him instantly recognisable. Searches for Stitch Halloween costumes saw a yearly increase of 23%, and since July, a 1025% rise.
Similarly to The Nightmare Before Christmas, the Lilo and Stitch franchise has not had a reboot, yet the character of Stitch is still a favourite nearly 20 years after the latest film in the series came out. We have seen this franchise appear in high-street stores for a while now, specifically the Stitch character, and this year is no different, with a Stitch range hitting shelves in Primark yet again.
10. Luigi (Super Mario Bros)
Luigi is the younger, more nervous brother from the popular video game franchise Super Mario, which has been around since the 1980s and has since expanded into further video games, films, TV shows and much more!
With a 967% search increase in the run-up to Halloween, we predict that many will choose to dress up as the sidekick Luigi, probably paired with a Mario costume, for this year’s trick-or-treating.
The April 2023 release of The Super Mario Bros. Movie made over $1.3 billion (£1.07 billion), making it the second high-grossing film of 2023 — it’s no wonder that Halloween outfits from this record-breaking film are in demand. This outfit is also easy to recreate as a pair of blue or denim dungarees, a green top and a green newsboy-style hat will do the trick.
9. Groot (Guardians of the Galaxy)
In the film series Guardians of the Galaxy, Groot is a tree-like being — known as a Flora colossus from Planet X. The much-loved character is known for his adorableness, loyalty and his catchphrase (and the only words he can speak) “I Am Groot.”
The most recent film from the series, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3, was released in May 2023 and clearly influenced this year's Halloween costumes, with ‘Groot Halloween costumes’ seeing year-on-year searches increase by 23%, and searches since July increase by 1500%.
Many Groot costumes are available online and tend to be full suits with brown bark-like and green moss-like patterns. You could also recreate this with face paint to truly test your artistic skills!
8. Indiana Jones
This character has always been a go-to costume for many, however, search data shows that dressing up as the archaeologist and adventurer is on the up this year, with a 271% search increase since July, plus a growth of 27% year-on-year. The June 2023 release of the latest instalment in the franchise, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, likely caused this rise.
A huge bonus to this costume is that it’s so easy to put together — all you need is a brown fedora hat, brown leather jacket, shirt, khaki trousers, brown leather boots, brown satchel bag and a lasso as an accessory. While many of these outfit components are affordable, they may even already be part of a wardrobe.
Another favourite children's fancy dress option all year round, not just for Halloween, is the incredible Spider-Man! This Halloween is no different, with the June 2023 animated film Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse bringing in more fans.
Arguably the most loved character from the Marvel franchise, Spider-Man is known for his iconic blue and red suit, matching mask, and wrist web shooters that allow him to swing between buildings. Despite the superhero being a popular costume for years, we found that searches for Spider-Man Halloween costumes increased by 26% year on year and 515% in the past three months.
6. Mario (Super Mario Bros)
Of course, we can’t have Luigi on the list without Mario! As mentioned above when discussing his sidekick, Mario costumes are expected to be on the up this year after the Super Mario Bros. Movie’s huge success.
We found that ‘Mario Halloween Costume’ searches increased by 60% yearly and 662% since July, suggesting it will be a popular costume this spooky season. As well as the hit movie, there is also a new Super Mario Bros game which came out in perfect time for Halloween (20th October 2023) this could also be an influence for Mario costumes this spooky-season.
Similarly to Luigi, it’s a fairly easy costume to recreate. The outfit features the same items as Luigi’s with blue or denim dungarees, a newsboy-style hat and a shirt, but instead of green items, they should be red. You get bonus points for an M initial on the hat and a thick, black moustache.
5. Star-Lord (Guardians of the Galaxy)
Another Guardians of the Galaxy character is the human-alien hybrid Star-Lord, AKA Peter Quill, known for his quick wit, charisma, and leadership skills. Famously played by Chris Pratt in the films, Star-Lord’s most recognisable outfit is perfect for Halloween, which includes a red duster jacket, mask, and helmet with retractable, mechanical visors.
As mentioned earlier, the latest film in the franchise will likely influence this year's Halloween costumes. As well as searches for Groot costumes being on the up, Star-Lord costumes have also increased. According to Google search data, ‘Star-Lord Halloween Costumes’ had a 57% year-on-year increase and a 450% increase in the run-up to Halloween.
4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The fictional team of turtles, made up of Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael, have been popular since the first comic book was released in 1984. Today, they remain beloved characters and a go-to fancy dress option.
The fandom increased further with the latest film in the franchise, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem. Since the release in July 2023, searches for TMNT Halloween costumes increased by 1157% — there were also 83% more searches year-on-year.
The costume for these characters famously consists of a green turtle suit, but each character has their own coloured eye mask and knee and elbow pads. Leonardo’s colour is blue, Donatello’s is purple, Michelangelo’s is orange, and Raphael's is red. They also each have weapons to fight bad guys, which include katana swords, bo staffs, nunchaku and a pair of sai.
The most successful film of 2023, which also appeared to have the biggest marketing budget, was of course going to influence some Halloween costumes this year!
Barbie has been an iconic character since the 1960s, and with her prominent pink fashion and wide range of styles and personalities, the possibilities for Barbie Halloween costumes are endless!
From Cowgirl Barbie as seen in the 2023 film, to the original Barbie wearing a legendary black and white striped swimsuit, and Weird Barbie, which pays homage to the dolls that got drawn on and their hair cut by children —there’s truly a Barbie costume for everybody.
Searches for ‘Barbie Halloween costume’ increased by 123% year on year and 311% since July, showing just how influential the film has been.
2. Wednesday Addams (Wednesday/The Addams Family)
The daughter of the fictional Addams family, Wednesday, gained new fans in the past year, thanks to the Netflix series starring Jenna Ortega. Following the release of Wednesday in November 2022, it quickly became one of the biggest shows of that year and was unsurprisingly renewed for a second season.
Wednesday’s gothic style, long dark plaited hair, and pale skin make a perfect Halloween character costume. The Addams Family characters have been go-to options during the spooky season for years, and the latest show has certainly propelled this. Searches for ‘Wednesday Addams Halloween Costume’ increased by 184% in the past year and 1285% since July.
1. Ken (Barbie)
With the year-on-year search increase totalling 1323%, we expect the character of Ken from the Barbie franchise to be the most popular Halloween costume for 2023!
Although Ken first appeared in 1961, he didn’t stand out as much as Barbie. It was Barbie’s world, and he was just living it. So, Ken wasn’t previously a go-to fancy dress option until the highly-anticipated 2023 Barbie film, which gave us a much deeper understanding of Ken, resulting in a new-found devoted fanbase.
The film featured many iconic Ken outfits that you can replicate, such as his denim cut-off vest or white fur coat with two pairs of sunglasses and three watches. Of course, the brightly coloured roller skating ensemble is another winning option!
We’re glad Ken is finally getting the recognition he deserves. He is ‘Kenough’.
The search data research shows just how influential pop culture can be in many aspects, including Halloween! We’re excited to see some of the above costumes this year and are interested to see if any other characters make a surprise appearance! We hope the above list gives you some inspiration for your childrens (or your own) Halloween looks this year.