10 Literary Puns You Can Dress Up As For Halloween

by Charlotte Ahlin

Halloween. The one day a year we have set aside to tolerate puns. The punny Halloween costume is a great way to save you time and effort, and to make all of your friends groan at your superior wit (they're groaning with you not at you). But what if you want a costume that shows off your love of all things punny and your love of all things literary? Get ready to roll your eyes, because here are several literary puns you can dress up as for Halloween.

Yes. You read that right. Literary pun Halloween costumes. Because pun-based Halloween costumes weren't nerdy enough on their own. This is the point at which we, as a society, should maybe ask ourselves, "Has pun costume technology gone too far?" I say no. I say it hasn't gone far enough. I say, let's embrace the rising tide of wordplay costumes as the ultimate medium for self expression. Plus, most of these costumes can be thrown together at the last minute. All you need is the inspiration, maybe a novelty makeup kit, and a literary sense of humor.

So this Halloween, why not make your English professor proud? Check out all the easy, punny ways you can pay homage to your favorite work of literature:

1. The Old Man and the "C"

Get it? Get it? This one works as a couple's costume or a solo ensemble: you can dress up as an old man and convince your long-suffering significant other to don a shirt with a big "C" on it. Or you can rock the age makeup and carry around a big ol' "C" on paper or carved out of foam. Either way, you will most certainly have the punniest Hemingway costume of the night.

"C" T-Shirt, $20, Amazon; Age Makeup, $15, Amazon

2. Fifty Shades of Grey

Here's another one you can easily buy or DIY. Gather up a bunch of gray paint chips from your local hardware store, or order free paint chips online. Tape them all over your ordinary clothes, or follow DIY instructions on how to make a paint chip skirt. Or, y'know, just buy a Fifty Shades of Grey pun shirt and get on with your life.

Fifty Shades of Grey Pun Shirt, $21, Amazon

3. Edgar Allan Ho

For a goofy take on a literary great, you can dress up as Edgar Allan Ho. Yup. A mustache, a raven, and some fishnets, and you're ready to hit the town as a sexy, tortured poet.

Mustache, $5, Amazon; A Raven, $9, Amazon; Fishnets, $5, Amazon

4. Lorde of the Rings

Lord(e) of the Rings. Perfect for any nerdy music fan who wants to spend the whole night explaining their costume! Go for Lorde's signature hat, black dress, dark lipstick, and add few rings, or just wear the One Ring to rule them all.

Lorde's Signature Hat, $5, Amazon; Black Dress, $13, Amazon; Dark Lipstick, $2, Amazon; One Ring To Rule Them All, $7, Amazon

5. Catniss Everdeen

Want to recycle an old Katniss costume from a few years ago? Throw on a cat-ear headband. Boom. You're Catniss Everdeen. You can go the extra step and give yourself some makeup whiskers, or DIY the Katniss look if you're feeling especially crafty.

Katniss Costume, $33, Amazon; Cat-Ear Headband, $15, Amazon

6. Hairy Potter

A hairy wig, an apron, and a clay pot can instantly transform you into a very hairy potter (get it?). For even more authenticity, try smearing your apron with some wet clay.

Hairy Wig, $8, Amazon; Apron, $5 Amazon; Clay Pot, $10, Amazon

7. American Horror Story

Yes, I know that American Horror Story is a TV show and not a book. But this costume puts a literary twist on the title: don an American flag shirt, and accessorize with as much patriotic paraphernalia as you can, then carry around a frightening novel. You're now an all-American horror story.

American Flag Shirt, $10, Amazon; Frightening Novel, $13, Amazon

8. Diction-Fairy

For an adorable, groan-worthy pun, you could go as a Diction-Fairy. This one can be as simple or as crafty and DIY as you like: you can either cut out the pages of a hardcover dictionary to use as fairy wings, or carry around your dictionary while wearing a pair of pre-made fairy wings. And then you can spend the whole night defining words and correcting people's diction.

Dictionary, $7, ; AmazonFairy Wings, $6, Amazon

9. The Catcher in the Rye

Sure, you could buy a red hunting cap and go as Holden Caulfield. Or you could wear a catcher's mitt and surround yourself with stalks of rye. Or, assuming you don't have stalks of rye in your local grocery store, just carry around a loaf of rye bread. It's such a pretentious costume that Holden would definitely approve.

Catcher's Mitt, $25, Amazon; Rye Bread, $7, Etsy

10. The Great Catsby

And finally, the one you've all been waiting for: The Great Catsby. Combine Halloween's two greatest obsessions (cats and anything remotely related to the '20s) in one glorious pun. You can go low-key with a cat-ear head band and a Great Gatsby t-shirt, or go all out in classic Gatsby style with a flapper dress or suit, cat ears, and some whiskers drawn on in eyeliner.

Cat-Ear Head Band, $4 Amazon; Great Gatsby T-Shirt, $28, Amazon; Flapper Dress, $39, Wholsesale Halloween Costumes

Images: Giphy (10), Polyvore (9)