Opening credits costume
October 31, 2009 4:49 AM   Subscribe

For Halloween, I want to dress up as the opening credits sequence to some TV show. But which show?

My Halloween costumes are always built last minute around some item that I've decided I am going to use. This year, I realized that I have an iPod and a portable speaker, so I can incorporate audio! Looking through my iTunes list, the songs I have that would make for the funniest costume are TV show themes. So there we go. There's my starting point.

But which show? Ideally the song will be instantly recognizable and catchy, and it will provoke a cool costume idea. I don't want to just dress up as a character from the show, but if forced I could do that and tack a caption like "Starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar" on my chest. A show with an abstract sort of opening (like Mad Men) would work well.

So far I am leaning toward either Law & Order or Murder, She Wrote. I know that a few other friends will be Twin Peaks characters...

(Other audio-based costume ideas would also be appreciated.)
posted by painquale to Media & Arts (28 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Dexter? Go round slapping mosquitoes, re-tying your shoelaces, eating things in a suggestively menacing manner etc.
posted by Iteki at 5:00 AM on October 31, 2009 [3 favorites]

Dress in black clothes decorated with stars, galaxies, Tardises and the faces of the various Doctors. Put all the versions of the theme onto your playlist and get people to guess which version goes with which incarnation.
posted by permafrost at 5:23 AM on October 31, 2009

Seconding Dexter.
posted by ellenaim at 5:23 AM on October 31, 2009

Oh, please, please, PLEASE go as Maude! Bea Arthur just died this year, and a caftan and that 70s theme would be awesome!
posted by xingcat at 5:24 AM on October 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

Dexter does have an amazing intro and would be tons of fun to play, but I know that few of my friends have seen the show, so it wouldn't work very well. And Maude is a little too esoteric, I'm afraid.

Other people at the party will be going as the Doctor and a sexy Dalek, so I don't want to step on any Doctor Who toes.
posted by painquale at 5:33 AM on October 31, 2009

Lost? Just dress all in black with a silver/grey "LOST" written on your chest, and slowly and quietly zoom up closely to people, then zoom back away.
posted by sarahsynonymous at 6:13 AM on October 31, 2009 [12 favorites]

Wear a boring suit and a big clock around your neck. When people ask if you're Flava Flav, get all huffy and say that you're Sixty Minutes.
posted by HeroZero at 6:13 AM on October 31, 2009 [8 favorites]

Lost? Just dress all in black with a silver/grey "LOST" written on your chest, and slowly and quietly zoom up closely to people, then zoom back away.

I came in here to suggest this, but with the added idea that you either cut the letter out of foam and glue them to a long base or write it out on cardboard/tackboard. Then you mount a cheap clock mounting from a hobby store on your chest somehow, and let it go.

Viola - rotating lost thing all evening.
posted by SNWidget at 6:26 AM on October 31, 2009

A simple one would be to have planets and stars on a black outfit with a small Enterprise. You could have the original and the Next Gen versions, and play both opening themes. If I recall correctly, the original series had yellow font (which you could put on your front) and Next Generation had a blue font (which you could put on your back). Then you could even spontaneously flip around when one theme began.

Cheers has a recognizable opening, and you could paste print outs of old black and white pictures of people drinking in a bar. Likewise, Seinfeld has a pretty identifiable theme, and you could make use of the brightly colored ovals and triangles they used in their opening theme. can ride the Neil Patrick Harris wave and have clippings about a boy genius that eventually graduates med school pasted to a doctor's outfit.
posted by Atreides at 6:40 AM on October 31, 2009

You could dance around in lame 80s clothing and be the opening credits to The Cosby Show.
posted by sickinthehead at 6:48 AM on October 31, 2009 [3 favorites]

Mad Men. Dress monochromatically and wearing a large skyscraper down your left side. Wear a red high heel on the right side, and hang a Ken doll in a fedora from your neck. At intervals down your front, wear black nametags with the cast/crew from the show's opening credits (bonus points for putting Matthew Weiner in your genital region).
posted by mr. remy at 6:56 AM on October 31, 2009 [3 favorites]

Sky blue shirt, attach cotton-ball clouds. Play the Simpsons theme.
posted by fings at 7:08 AM on October 31, 2009 [3 favorites]

The "Gilligan's Island" song should be recognizable.

"Dancing with the Stars" has the cool "many copies of you in the background" effect.

But..."Cheers"! You could get some of those woodcut images, and everybody'll know your name.
posted by amtho at 7:39 AM on October 31, 2009

If you hit the Halloween store and find two heads and a microphone, you be the third head. Viola, two and a half men (with you as the kid). Image here

It works if you're male or female as you're the "kid" in the picture, and just need a red bow-tie.
posted by arniec at 8:38 AM on October 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

You could be Alice in the middle of a Brady Bunch square...
posted by mynameisluka at 9:03 AM on October 31, 2009 [4 favorites]

Make a big red circle thing with a hole for your head and go as Looney Tunes! Extra credit: write "That's All Folks!" on your back.
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:15 AM on October 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

As long as you're going to be playing theme music all night, might as make it awesome:

The Price is Right: Get some x-mas lights and some gold x-mas tinsel garland and make a border on a black t-shirt. The scene inside the border should be two contestants on Contestant Row, high-fiving each other.

(Other audio-based costume ideas would also be appreciated.)

Oh, in that case, play the Price is Right theme, and fashion a Price is Right name tag with your name on it, and be a Price is Right contestant. Bonus Points: make a retro, waist-highish sign, that looks like you've bid $1. Call everyone "Bob".
posted by 23skidoo at 9:17 AM on October 31, 2009 [3 favorites]

If you can get hold of a battery-powered red police flasher, strap it to your head and play the Police Squad! theme on infinite repeat. Starring Rex Hamilton as Abraham Lincoln.
posted by usonian at 9:29 AM on October 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

friends has a pretty popular theme song.
posted by anthropomorphic at 9:31 AM on October 31, 2009

Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Everyone would sing along with you. You could bel-air people by starting a story and then switching into the theme song. You could also have tom jones in your speaker and dance the Carleton. Lots of fun.

I think all of that is creative and funny enough you could just dress like Will Smith in the opening - ridiculous clothes, a suitcase, a basketball, or a can of spraypaint. You could also do a pun (crown + a can of axe?) You could dress like the mom in the video.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 9:33 AM on October 31, 2009

Yeah I want to second the fresh prince of bell air. Just get dorky 80's clothes on and sing the opening song of fresh prince.
posted by majortom1981 at 10:19 AM on October 31, 2009

Why not the Twin Peak opening to match your friends? Good song and you can be a log with a saw blade stuck in it.
posted by artychoke at 10:47 AM on October 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

My first thought was That 70's Show. It has a very recognizable song, and the entire opening is just one shot of people dancing in a car. If you could get a red wig and a cardboard drawing of a blue car with a bunch of dancing people in it, you could be Laura Prepon in the middle, and you're all the way there.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 11:05 AM on October 31, 2009

I came in here to suggest going as the opening credits of Mad Men, but instead of being a dude falling from a building, why not just be the dude? Wear a black suit, tie, gloves, shoes, and stocking over your head, with a white suit. Carry a cigarette.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:31 AM on October 31, 2009 [2 favorites]

Erk, white shirt, rather.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:32 AM on October 31, 2009

Just a reminder, if you do go with Dexter even though you say it won't work, be aware you shouldn't dress like him as a lab tech/office worker in the credits. You need be get him with the face protection, coroner's trenchcoat, bag-of-goodies thing.
posted by floam at 12:02 PM on October 31, 2009

Oh man. So many good ideas in here. Dexter, Mad Men, Cheers, The Brady Bunch square, The Cosby Show, PIR contestant, and Fresh Prince are all really good. Jeopardy! would also work well, I think. But I only have a few hours to make the costume, and some are a little too involved. I am definitely revisting this thread next year. (So keep the ideas coming!)

Given that it was one of the first ones I considered, I've turned the Law & Order costume in my head around enough that I can't stop thinking it's hilarious. It's so, so lame. I'll just dress in black with the crime stills from the opening pinned to my body, wear the logo on my chest, and constantly play the theme. But the thing that really makes it is that I can play a looping playlist of two tracks, so whenever I enter a conversation I can skip ahead to the next track: the Law & Order DOINK DOINK.

If I can't get stills printed out or find a good version of the song in the next few hours though, I might need to call an audible.
posted by painquale at 12:45 PM on October 31, 2009 [3 favorites]

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