What seems to set 2021's costumes apart from the badness of 2019 and 2020’s offerings is how little their makers gave a crap about them. What you’ll see here are some of the laziest-designed, least imaginative, cheapest-looking outfits you can overpay for, and there are so many available that we had to limit our list to solely nerd entertainment-inspired costumes (and I mean “inspired” incredibly loosely). I don’t know if low sales during the pandemic wiped out the companies’ creativity for this year’s offerings but ex-staffer Beth Elderkin, who normally puts this list together (Beth, we miss you!), really left me with the Halloween dregs.
As always, we’re not condemning sexy costumes here—you should wear whatever feels good, whenever you want!—we’re condemning very, very bad costume creations. Expose as much flesh as you want at your pandemic-safe Halloween parties this year! Just wear something better than these nightmares.