Ken Bone Creeping up on Creepy Clowns

2016’s most popular Halloween costumes according to social data

In some ways, planning for and discussing potential Halloween costumes has become more exciting than dressing up itself.  Should I go for a Halloween classic, like a superhero or vampire? Maybe I should dip into the seemingly bottomless well of trendy pop culture costumes? Or how about an of-the-moment political costume? And then, of course, there’s the always popular (but often more difficult) couples costumes.
But as much fun as it is, picking the perfect Halloween costume can also be a source of stress. What if you pick a costume that no one understands? Or, horror of horrors, go with a costume that everyone else has opted for? There’s nothing worse than showing up to a party and seeing your Halloween twin already there.
But luckily there’s an antidote to both of these pesky problems — social media! By analyzing the Halloween-themed conversations on social, we can learn what costumes people are planning to wear and what trends you should expect on that frightful night.
We used Crimson Hexagon to analyze nearly half a million Halloween costume-related posts on social in October and came up with the most discussed costumes in a variety of categories.
Here’s what we found.

Topical Front Runners

There are several 2016-specific costumes that dominated the social conversation.

Creepy clowns are everywhere

You may have heard the news — creepy clowns are poking their heads out in unexpected places. Even if you haven’t heard the news, it seems like everyone else has: clown was the most talked about halloween costume by a huge margin.

Ken Bone isn’t going away

But those creepy clowns appear to be losing ground to Ken Bone, surprise star of the second presidential debate and all around instameme. The conversation around Ken Bone costumes has been growing quickly since his emergence on the national stage, and don’t be surprised if you see several red sweater-clad gentlemen (and ladies!) cropping up in your neighborhood.


What about Harley Quinn?

Speaking of ladies, there is a substantial conversation about dressing up as Harley Quinn from The Suicide Squad. This isn’t surprising (we’ve already covered Harley Quinn’s rise to relevance) but the volume of the conversation was compelling.

Honorable Mentions

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Police Officer
  3. Harambe

Just the Two of Us

One enduring Halloween trend is the popularity of couples costumes. Who wouldn’t want to dress up with their significant other? The social conversation surrounding couples costumes had a clear winner too and, unsurprisingly, capitalized on a trending political conversation: Nasty Woman & Bad Hombre.

Honorable Mentions

  1. Baby & the Corner (Dirty Dancing)
  2. Blue & Steve (Blues Clues)
  3. Harambe & a Kid (every meme ever)

Trends in the Conversation

Everyone loves a list, but it’s not all about the top costumes. We also wanted to see how the 2016 Halloween conversation unfolded, so we tracked it through October and lined up the spikes with the corresponding real-world events that caused them. Pretty scary stuff!
Whether this data helps you decide which costume to wear (or what not to wear), one thing is clear: there are going to be a lot of creepy clowns and red sweaters around. Trick or treat!

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