Still scrambling for a Halloween costume idea? Let pop culture be your guide and you'll be the hippest guest at the party.
Of course, if ever there was a year to go classic monster, this would be the one, thanks to the recent season premiere of AMC's megahit "The Walking Dead." Beyond its utter timeliness, a zombie costume is relatively easy to prepare: shred old clothes; drag clothes through dirt; apply blood and gore and start shuffling around. Bonus round: find a faux limb (available at pop-up costume shops) to carry around and nosh on all night.
A vampire costume also combines classic monster-dom with au courant TV thanks to uber-popular vampire shows like HBO's "True Blood." Indeed, with a simple order of a Merlotte's Bar and Grill T-shirt and green waitress apron, I've assembled the world's easiest Sookie Stackhouse costume. However, fangs, some fake blood and any goth-chic get-up worthy of a night at Fangtasia will suffice should you need to unleash your inner vamp this year.
If political costumes are your thing, there's no shortage of campaign-inspired ideas for Halloween 2012. You could simply order a mask of the U.S. president/candidate of your choice (a Google search yields many online stores offering them) or you could try something a tad more creative. Rock a Big Bird get-up as a response to GOP candidate Mitt Romney's comments on the necessity of PBS. A stunning variation on big yellow bird costumes abound online, including, of course, a sexy Big Bird costume.
Up the difficulty factor and show off your Internet meme savvy by dressing up as Romney's infamous "binder full of women." Double up on pop culture references and create a Paul Ryan as Eddie Munster costume a la "Saturday Night Live."
Got a nice suit and gray hair/gray hair color? Put them on and start shouting "Malarkey!" Every party needs Joe Biden in the house!
For the ladies, same idea but with frost-y blonde hair, plus some large couture sunglasses and a Blackberry; then start tweeting. Before you know it, you're as clever as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as portrayed on the very funny "Texts from Hillary" tumblr page.
In the punk rock and political department, look no further than your Army-Navy store for a balaclava and Target for some brightly colored leggings and presto! You're either a member of Russian punk band Pussy Riot - recently jailed for performing a song in a cathedral that criticizes Russian president Vladmir Putin - or one of their legion supporters around the world.
Along with classic party costumes like Guy in Gorilla Suit and Guy Dressed as Banana, here's another idea: Alana Thompson aka Honey Boo Boo. Get a blonde curly wig or curl your own blonde hair; grab a tiara, sash and some "go-go juice" (Mountain Dew in a sippie cup?); stick out that belly and start fidgeting incessantly. Punctuate every sentence with "you betta recognize" and "Honey Boo Boo child" and you're the instant hit of any given party.
Alternate Hit of Party ideas? Ted the filthy-mouthed bear from Seth MacFarlane's eponymous hit movie; any Angry Bird; Psy, Korean star of the "it" viral video of the moment, "Gangnam Style"; or supersonic skydiver Felix Baumgartner - think modified astronaut costume with parachute (bedsheet) dangling behind. It's also the 25th anniversary of the wildly popular Where's Waldo books. Find a striped sweater, beanie, specs, a walking stick and backback, and you're a happy childhood memory for many.
For the edgier among you, consider growing/buying a beard; then find a leather "cut" (vest), deck it out in patches and ideally roar into the party on a Harley. Behold! You're a Son of Anarchy from the FX smash series. Or for daring couples, capitalize on the popularity of the "50 Shades of Grey" book series and go out as Anastasia (start practing saying "Oh my!" every three seconds) and Christian Grey (gray tie and handcuffs in pocket necessary).
In the "mildly inappropriate" category, perhaps push the envelope as title-stripped Lance Armstong in bicycle gear. Or run around as Octomom with an armload of babydolls and plumped up lips. How about a pregnant Snooki costume? The notion of the Jersey Shore star breeding is terrifying on multiple levels. Just stock up on Aquanet and spray tan, trick out a beehive hairdo wig and tuck a pillow under a tacky shirt. Insert Jersey-isms at will.
Party guests needn't don a cheesy "ghost" costume (bedsheet thrown over head) in the last-minute rush to create a costume. The magic of the Internet provides many things: ideas, memes, how-to sites and endless stores. An ironic, edgy Halloween costume is as simple as a Google search, so get out there and find your costume-as-comment before someone else steals your great idea.