It's almost Halloween, and you don't want to simply wear a t-shirt, alienate your friends, or buy a craptacularly slutty store-bought costume that will drop $30 come All Saints' Day. Good for you! The only problem is that daylight's burning, and you can't waste the last 72 hours of Halloween shenanigans on elaborate pageantry.
Fortunately, io9 is here for you. Here are 12 unconventional, low-budget costumes you can slap together (give or take a quick trip to the costume store or Salvation Army). Also, here are last year's last-minute suggestions (and 2008's) so that you're flush with ideas.
Alf in POG Form
From the classic Simpsons episode in which Bart sells his soul to Milhouse for $5 and the ne plus ultra example of inane character licensing. To become an Alf POG, all you need is a paper plate, some string, a printer, and a willingness to explain your costume over and over again.
The Corinthian from Sandman
This mouth-eyed nightmare from Neil Gaiman's comic series will require you to draw miniature mouths on your eyelids and pop on sunglasses and a white suit jacket.
Artie, The Strongest Man In The World from The Adventures of Pete and Pete
Everyone loves this surrealist superhero from Nickelodeon's long-defunct children's program. Red slacks, a striped sweater, chunky glasses, and a willingness to mumble uncontrollably are a must. Lift up your own house and battle the Atlantic Ocean for bonus veracity.
Did your Thanos costume not come to fruition? Too lazy to paint your body and a surfboard completely silver? If you want a cosmic Marvel Halloween costume with zero effort, try the Gardener. He's like Galactus, but he loves horticulture! You need a bathrobe, a staff, and a Soul Gem drawn on your forehead. For a similarly stupid and hirsute Marvel costume, see Wundarr the Aquarian.
Ninja Turtle Noses
If you have a tolerance for memery, this Tumblr du jour could be your fix. If your friends are similarly stuck, get anywhere from 3-6 of them together (Slash, Metalhead, and Venus De Milo, natch) and have a nose-painting party.
Orson Welles' War of the Worlds broadcast
You can go about this any number of ways. You can either be a concerned citizen (carry around a stereo system that's blasting the broadcast and method act some serious hysterics) or Orson Welles himself (memorize the broadcast this afternoon, watch The Critic for impersonation tips). If you're really pressed for time, read the broadcast as Paul Masson-era Orson Welles. You won't have to memorize anything.
Cindel from The Ewok Adventure
I'm pretty sure Meredith went as Cindel for Halloween one year, but there's just as likely a chance I'm making this up. Anyway, curly wig, headband, puffy vest, plus a healthy dosage of 1980s nostalgia, and you're good to go.
One of the first female superheroes, Ma Hunkel was the original Red Tornado. Her costume was fantastically simple and slapdash: longjohns and a cooking pot on her dome.
And on the Marvel side of the aisle we have Forbush Man, a joke superhero with the power to make anybody live out their own personal Hell. He was most recently used to great effect in Warren Ellis' Nextwave. Same deal as Ma Hunkel, more or less: pot and raggedy pajamas.
A soldier from Terra Nova
Just paint a Nerf gun jet black! Sad trombone!
Someone addicted to The Stuff
In Larry Cohen's 1985 B-movie, corrupt FDA officials approve a sentient mind-controlling goo known as The Stuff for public consumption. Print out a Stuff label, slap it on a tub of yogurt, and drool a lot. You'll be the belle of the ball!
(The more talented of you will be able to whip up the scary Garrett Morris head from the beginning of this article.)
One of the more abstract Green Lanterns
If you don't feel like dressing up in emerald Spanx, try one of the non-corporeal Green Lanterns like Dkrtzy RRR or Leezle Pon. Or if you're feeling sinister, try the sentient Sinestro Corps virus Despotellis. I have no clue how you'll depict them, so use your noggin.