Google has published the most popular costumes in the country, powered by its Trends tool. There’s also a costume idea generator.

I got curious about what categories populated the list, so I counted the top 98 and grouped them (highly scientifically) into 4 groups, as one does.

The categories are:

  1. Canon - what I think of as timeless Halloween and likely to have been costume options for a while now.
  2. Classic - somewhere between canon and pop culture.
  3. Animal - I hope I don’t need to explain this one.
  4. Pop Culture - see above definition.

The breakdown is, drumroll please… 🥁

  • Canon = 17
  • Classic = 10
  • Animal = 15
  • Pop Culture = 56

I’m sure there are some miscategorizations. For example, “gray wolf” is in the animal list but could be trending due to a pop culture reference. I combined “the purge” and “purge” because I know they’re the same thing but Google Trends sees them as different keywords. Etc and so on.

Then there are costumes like “witch,” which is number 1, a quintessential costume if ever there was one. But I’m sure it’s getting a boost from 14 on the list: Hocus Pocus, a clear pop culture entry.

The number 1 pop culture costume is Spider-Man, which has a legit claim to be in the classic list at this point.

Within the top 98, different segments show different concentrations. For instance:

The Top 5 includes 2 Canon, 2 Pop Culture, and 1 Animal.

The Top 10 is 4 Canon, 3 Pop Culture, 2 Animal, and 1 Classic.

11-20 = 4 Canon, 4 Pop Culture, 1 Animal and 1 Classic.

90-98 are nearly all pop culture. Mouse makes the list, but how much of that is due to Mickey Mouse?

All this to say, it’s a near even split between the “standard” Halloween costumes and the churn of the zeitgeist.