College represents life’s pinnacle of all things over-the-top and sensationalized. During these blessedly drunk years, you could basically get away with anything (and we were vehemently encouraged to test our limits, because #YOLO): wearing see-through leggings to Psych 101, eating nothing but graham crackers, Kraft mac ‘n cheese, and Smirnoff for a month, and oh yeah, putting together outrageous Halloween costumes that make you cringe when you think back on them. You may have always been broke in college, and you may have been scholastically commissioned to produce four essays by Monday morning, but you always, always had time to put together a costume or two for Halloween weekend. Because you did not truly live until you either outdid everyone on Halloween, or at least embarrassed yourself in the process.
I know I shamelessly used Halloween as an occasion to boast ideas I thought were clever (read: they weren’t, but whatever. Live and let die, amiright?). I threw puns and glitter and fake blood around with reckless abandon, filling my digital camera to the brim with enough ~*~Halloween Pics~*~ to overwhelm my Facebook page for days. Sadly, those days are long gone. But I still have the photographic remnants to remind me of some of those (awkward) triumphs. I knew I wasn't the only one with epic photos, so I asked friends and Bustle peeps if they, too, had some college Halloween gems to share (which they did, and some even contributed more recent photos, which were so insane and on point, I had to include them as well). Here are 21 costumes that are so cringeworthy, it's kind of awesome. We're guilty of wearing 'em, and chances are you are too.
1. Dead prom queen
3. Cat Burglar
4. Sailor Moon
5. Morton Bath Salts Girl
6. Beatrix Kiddo and Gogo
7. Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder
And then sometimes, adorable couples are adorable. Belinda Roddie and her girlfriend Arden Kilzer are Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder. Way to out-do our love, guys.
8. The Hella Movement
9. Sammi from Jersey Shore
10. The Wizard of Oz
11. Sexy Quail Man
Samantha Escobar, beauty editor at The Gloss and my former roommate in college, was the sexy side to Quail Man. Or shall we reappropriate it to Quail Lady? Hell yes. Quail Lady it most certainly is.
Because sometimes the easiest and best way to do Halloween is to dress up like a giant, human bunny. Thanks, Sarah Wright!
13. Amy Winehouse
14. Lindsay Weir
15. Contestant from Legends of the Hidden Temple
16. The Police
17. Bonnie and Clyde
Me and my fiancee as a ruthless, bank-robbing couple. (The cigarettes are totally ornamental. Don't smoke. It's bad for you.)
19. A Kite
21. A Pizza Slice
And I will leave you with my friend Jeffrey Lesan, who had the most pivotal costume of all: a pizza. Take that Internet. Take that and cherish it forever.
Images: Gina Vaynshteyn, Ariel Hall, Emma Lord, Belinda Roddie, Kat George, Kara McGrath, Hayley Saltzman, Kathryn Kattalia/Facebook; Almie Rose, Jeffrey Lesan/Instagram; Amy Bauerschlag; Samantha Escobar; Sarah Wright