The unspoken rule of Halloweekend 2023 was the more esoteric, the better.
Thousands rushed to X/Twitter and TikTok to post their costumes to strangers on the internet who would get it humor AKA the hyper-online who pride themselves in niche pop culture knowledge. With phones and the ability to show (and post) a reference photo, no one is ever just dressed up as a ghost or a witch anymore, and costumes that require six layers of context to understand reign supreme online.
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In a desire to flex individuality and to reach audiences that care about these sorts of costumes, two posting trends on X/Twitter and TikTok emerged, displaying the full range of in-feed creativity.
“I hate gay Halloween parties because…”
Ahead of Halloweekend, one X/Twitter user wrote, “hate going to gay halloween parties like what do you mean you’re lady gaga at the 2:53 mark of the judas music video.” The tweet garnered 35,000 likes and quickly became the premiere format for sharing your hyper-specific costume. By Sunday, costumes and their reference photos captioned with, “I hate gay Halloween parties…” flooded the timeline.
Everything from memes like Jennifer Lawerence saying “What do you mean” on Hot Ones to pop culture moments like Renee Rapp’s Sweetgreen campaign, to seemingly random moments on beloved television shows — like Tom Sandavol in drag on Vanderpump Rules — was represented. If people talked about it online, chances are someone from the internet dressed up as it. A costume doesn’t even have to be that buzzworthy: One X/Twitter user dressed up as a West Elm coaster and received over 6,800 likes.
The Halloween Skit
While on X/Twitter the reference photo dominates, over on TikTok it’s all about performing your costume to the corresponding audio. TikTok users level up from a photo to a full-on skit. Two Parisian bed bugs clinked wine glasses to the Nicki Minaj audio “Are you happy to be in Paris,” Principal Mullins and Spider acted out their scene from School of Rock, and talent show-era Timothée Chalamet performed a portion of his routine.
Once you might have posted your costume to your followers on Instagram, but now it’s easier than ever to reach strangers on X/Twitter and TikTok with the possibility of going viral — and isn’t that spooky!