26 Creative Halloween Costume Judging Categories

Today I wanted to give you my list of Halloween costume contest ideas. While I am sure you have seen many of these before, I am hoping that my list is big enough to meet your costume contest needs. Enjoy!

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Best Halloween Costume Judging Categories

Not all costumes are created equal. They vary in effort, creativity, and effectiveness. This is why we have Halloween costume contests. Also…they’re pretty fun as well! However, the judging categories for Halloween costume contests can become bland and stale. We all know the basic criteria for a good custom. Shouldn’t categories match the creativity of the costumes? 

Today I wanted to give you my list of Halloween costume contest categories. While I am sure you have seen many of these before, I hope my list is big enough to meet your costume contest needs. Enjoy!

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Halloween Costume Judging Categories

Halloween Costume Judging Categories

The Deepest Cut Award – This judging category is for the person with the most obscure reference for their costume. They should be pretty easy to spot as they are the ones explaining their costume to anyone who will listen. Let’s not forget Ted Mosby’s “Hanging Chad” costume on How I Met Your Mother. 

The Bloodbath Award – This award goes to the person with the bloodiest, goriest costume. While not every costume is meant to delve into horror, some people like to go all out. Keep an eye out for exposed guts, severed limbs, and anyone soaked in red food coloring. 

The Final Girl Award – There is always one woman that can outsmart the killer. Give this award to the person who would be the most likely to survive a horror movie. 

The Perfectionist Award – Someone always goes all-out on their costume. The line between cosplay and Halloween costumes gets blurred. This award goes to the person with the most accurate costume. Think of the little details! 

The Slasher Award – Every Halloween party has its assortment of Jasons, Michaels, and Freddys. Give this award to the best-dressed slasher killer in the room! 

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The Party Pooper Award – There is always someone who shows up without a costume. They will tell you they had to come from work, or have somewhere nice to be after. No excuses! Give this award to the person who is not dressed up at all. 

The Dad Joke Award – People love costumes based on lame puns. From “The Chick Magnet” to “Pumpkin Pi”, these people love incorporating jokes into their costumes. This award goes to the person with the best Dad joke embedded in their outfit. 

The Gender Bender Award – Who says Rick Grimes has to be a man? A Sailor Moon costume can be for anyone. Give this award to the person with the best gender-bending costume concept. 

The Cinephile Award – Horror movies may be popular during the Halloween season, but we have seen Halloween costumes from many other genres of film. This award goes to the person with the best costume from a movie. 

The Technophobia Award – Some costumes require a bit more technical prowess than others. These outfits involve lights, moving parts, and wiring. This award goes to the person with the most technical costume. 

The Lazy Bones Award – Effort is the name of the game when it comes to Halloween costume contests. Some people put in more effort than others. Give The Lazy Bones award to the person who put the least amount of effort into their costume. 

The Binge Watcher Award – With so much good television to watch, we are seeing an increase in costumes based around our favorite characters. This award goes to the best costume related to a television series. 

The Deterioration Award – Some costumes have more integrity than others. Inevitably, one person’s costume falls apart during the party. Give this person The Deterioration Award to let them know you appreciate the effort. 

The Creepiest Couple – Some costumes come in twos, threes, or more! Give The Creepiest Couple award to the best couple or group costume. 

The Pop Culture Award – Outside of horror, television, and film, celebrities often have their own iconic looks and styles. Give The Pop Culture Award to the best celebrity costume. 

The Pundit Award – Some folks like to get political with their costumes. This can mean they dress up as a political/historical figure. It could also mean their costume is representative of a political topic or event. Regardless, recognize this partygoer with The Pundit Award. 

The Classic Monster Award – Classics never die. We will never outlive the days of the toilet paper mummy or the bedsheets ghost. Give The Classic Monster Award to those who have the best old-school costume. 

The Comic Crusader Award – Superhero and comic book-based costumes have always been popular. This is especially true over the past few years with the rise in popularity of comic book-based movies. Give The Comic Crusader Award to the person with the best comic book-related costume. 

The Buffalo Bill Award – No lotion or basket needed. Some costumes have enough skin of their own. Give The Buffalo Bill Award to the partygoer who is showing the most skin! 

The Too Soon Award – Many people like to dress up as those who have passed. Their costumes could also reference tragic events. 

The Time Traveler Award – Some people don’t like to act their age on Halloween. Others don’t dress their age.  Young people dress up as the elderly. Older folks can be princesses, and it is all awesome! Give The Time Traveler Award to the person whose costume doesn’t match their age.

The Furry Fury Award – Humans aren’t the only ones who can get in on the fun! Give this award to the best-dressed pet or animal at the party! Bonus points if their costume matches their owners.

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Bonus: Non-Costume Related Categories

Halloween Costume Judging Categories Pets

The Pot Luck Award – Costume or not, one of the best parts of Halloween parties is the snacks. Give The Pot Luck Award to the person who brought the best food! 

The Host Award – A lot of the time, the host of the party is also the emcee for the costume contest. If this is not the case, give the host of the party a nice shout-out with The Host Award. 

The Navigator Award – Give this award to the person who traveled the furthest to get to the party. 

The Head Down Award – Not everyone is outgoing and social at Halloween parties. Give this award to the person who has spent the most time looking at their phone.

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What Are Your Favorite Halloween Costume Judging Categories?

We hope you enjoyed our list of Halloween costume-judging categories! Did we miss any of your favorite ideas? Let us know on social media!

Further Reading

Halloween Costumes – 10 Printable Costume Award Certificates

Announcing It – Halloween Costume Contest Categories

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