Because you’re reading this article, I’m going to assume that you like trivia. Maybe you love it, even, and consider yourself a seasoned trivia whiz. There is no doubt that trivia is amazing in all its forms: pub quizzes, board games, mobile apps… But you must admit that just answering trivia questions can get old quite fast.
People continue to come up with different ways to spice up the trivia experience. There is the competition element that motivates you to think harder and answer faster. The group element makes trivia a bonding activity, as you team up with friends and strangers to win the game. Themes add an interactive edge, inviting players to submerge themselves in a certain fantasy world completely. If it wasn’t for themes, trivia nights would get boring rather quickly.
Whether you’re running a trivia night, attending one, or merely organizing it, you’ve got to think of costumes! Costumes are a great asset that is often overlooked. It can take your trivia night from good to great in a matter of minutes. With our costume ideas guide, it’s a question of how much you’re willing to invest in your costume. Before you answer that question, remember that some can easily be made at home, while others can be rented for a limited time. Check out our amazing costume ideas for your next trivia night!
Harry Potter is probably one of the most popular trivia themes of today. If you’re not a fan of Harry Potter, don’t skip this paragraph just yet! You can take any popular movie franchise and turn it into the theme for your next trivia night. Think Lord of the Rings or Star Wars for example. You can let the theme direct the whole night, down to the questions and decorations, or simply treat it as an opportunity to dress up outside of Halloween. Whether you’re the only one dressing up or you’re asking all the attendees to come in a costume, here are some ideas.
That’s an obvious one, I know. It’s not less exciting though! Wouldn’t you like to be in the skin of the boy who lived for one afternoon? The best part about this costume is, you don’t have to invest lots of money or time in it. Wear some regular muggle clothes, draw a scar on your forehead, and make a makeshift wand with materials you find in your garden.
This one is a lot more difficult, as it will require a wig for your head and your chin. You can likely find a Dumbledore costume at your local party store or costume rental place. This costume works especially well if you are running the trivia night. Dumbledore was the principal of Hogwarts and you are the principal of the trivia night, in a way.
Who would be most likely to win any trivia night? That’s right, Hermione! Channel your inner wisdom by dressing up as the smartest student in Hogwarts. If it doesn’t make you more clever, it will at least fit the theme and make other players a little bit scared of you. It’s also not a difficult costume to create at home. It is certainly easier than dressing up like Lord Voldemort!
Just like Harry Potter is one of the most iconic film franchises in history, Friends is one of the most iconic TV shows of our time. If you grew up in the ’90s, there is a high chance that you grew up watching Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, Chandler, Monica, and Joey navigate the struggles of life in New York City. Friends is an excellent theme and it’s filled with great costume ideas. None of them are too difficult to recreate and you won’t look crazy on your way to the venue!
Obviously, we’re doing Rachel first. You can select any main character and copy their signature style. Rachel Green is a style icon of this generation. Vogue UK even published an online article about dressing like Rachel. Finding close copies of her outfits won’t be hard, but the devil is in the details. One sure way to look like Rachel is to get your hair just right. Find a look you like and copy it from hair to toe!
Monica is a relatively easy one to dress up as. She has a clear signature style. Start with a pair of well-fitted light-wash mom jeans. Add a white shirt or tight tank top and a pair of sneakers. Don’t forget the hair! Monica’s voluminous hairdo is a real staple from the ’90s.
Here is a Tip: Pick an Episode
It might be difficult to get your Ross or Rachel look just right. Instead of trying to find one outfit that your favorite character wore all throughout the show, find one specific outfit you’d like to recreate. For instance, remember when Ross and Rachel drew on each other’s faces? Perhaps, you can recreate one of the Thanksgiving football game outfits. Finally, you can never go wrong with a classic fit from the opening scenes with the fountain!
The Office is another TV show that has a strong fandom that spreads across all continents. Much like Friends, The Office is full of interesting costume ideas and inside jokes that you can bring to the trivia night. Like with any theme, for it to work, you’ve got to make sure that people will get it. If you’re entertaining a crowd who’s never seen a single episode of The Office, maybe you should find a costume that everyone will understand. And, if your crowd consists entirely of fans of the show, here are some ideas!
Recreate a Costume From the Show
There were so many great Halloween (and not only) costumes on the show that you shouldn’t limit yourself to just recreating the characters. You can recreate your favorite costume instead! Some of the most iconic are, of course, Gabe as Lady Gaga, Michael with another head made of papier-mâché, and Jim as bookface. The last one is especially easy to execute.
Prison Mike is Michael Scott’s character used to scare and entertain his employees. Did it work? No. Is it an iconic gag from the show? Absolutely. All you need is a regular suit and a purple bandana. Don’t forget to get in character and talk like Prison Mike for the whole duration of the game! If Prison Mike is not really up your alley, explore other characters played by Michael Scott. Michael Scarn, Santa Bond, or Date Mike will do just as well!
Jim Halpert showed us how easy and inexpensive it is to recreate Dwight’s look. All you really need is his mustard shirt, a pair of glasses, and a watch. Use some product in your hair and yell “Michael!” every time you get the chance. With the right shade of mustard, everyone will know exactly who your character is.
Disney movies are loved by many kids and adults alike. Regardless of your age and the age of your audience, you can get a lot of appreciation from the crowd if you come dressed like a character from Disney. There is an abundance of characters and movies to choose from and you will almost always be recognized for who you’re trying to portray. If you like Disney—even better! You’ll have an easier time choosing your favorite character. The problem with Disney costumes is that they are hard to recreate at home, so you might have to opt for a rental.
Belle is a beautiful princess that is known for her blue dress and brown hair from Beauty and the Beast. If you don’t have the hair, no worries! All you really need is a blue dress. The costume will come complete with a white apron and a white undershirt. Wear a pair of simple heels or ballerina flats. To finish the look, clip your hair back with a blue bow. You can buy a complete Belle look online or create it at home with the clothes you already have.
Tinker Bell is another popular costume from Disney’s Peter Pan. To recreate it, you will need a green dress. Visualize Tinker Bell to find the right shade of green. The lighter—the better. Tie your hair up and put some green around your head. The wings will be a finishing touch. Luckily, you can find wings in almost any costume or party store these days. They are quite inexpensive and very cute. Bonus points if you can pass them on to your kids!
Woody from Toy Story is a popular costume for men, though slightly more difficult to recreate. For this costume, you will need a pair of brown cowboy boots, jeans, a mustard yellow shirt, and a cow print vest. Don’t forget about the cowboy hat! With today’s trends, it should be pretty easy to find the vest. You probably already have a pair of jeans in your closet. If you want to go all out, add a red scarf around your neck.
Music is a great theme if you don’t want to get too specific. In fact, you can get as specific as you want with it, and create a sub theme like ’90s music or 2000s hits. At the same time, when the theme is quite vague, everyone can be included and no one has to feel like they have no idea what’s going on. And, you’ll have a lot more to choose from!
If you’ve chosen a specific era to represent, you can dress up as your favorite musician from that era. Think Britney Spears for the 2000s, Madonna for the 1990s, Elton John for the 1980s, and so on. The trick is to pick a musician that has a unique style. Even today, Ariana Grande has her signature ponytail and Miley Cyrus has some iconic looks that anyone will recognize, while other artists are more low-key. It doesn’t mean they are not as talented, they are just more difficult to recreate.
This might be the easiest costume of all time, but no less fun. Instead of trying to come up with a person to recreate, just bring an instrument. You can be a rockstar with a guitar and a pair of shades. You can be a singer with a microphone and glittery makeup. It really doesn’t take much to pretend like you’re a famous musical artist. It gets even easier when you’re handed a microphone and put on stage in front of a crowd of people. You’re a natural!
This theme is as broad as music. Cinema can apply to anything and be as inclusive or exclusive as you want it to be. You can get specific and pick a movie that you’d like to get inspired by. Pulp Fiction is a cult classic that people will recognize even if they’ve never seen it. You can also get less specific and dress as a moviegoer, cinema worker, or a bag of popcorn. The possibilities are endless and it all depends on your imagination. Here are some ideas we found and liked.
Cult Classic Character
One way to make sure everyone will know who you are is to dress like a character from a cult classic movie. The more obvious, the better. Think Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Joker, Pulp Fiction, or Kill Bill. Unless you live under a rock and don’t have a TV, you can recognize the main characters from the aforementioned movies without ever watching them before. This shows just how impactful the film industry really is. If the theme of the trivia night is film—even better!
Another option that doesn’t require you to pick a genre or specify anything about the trivia night is dressing up as a cinema or film worker. You can be the high school student behind the counter giving people popcorn or selling movie tickets. If you want to kick it up a notch, be a film director! Bring a classic director’s chair that has “director” written on the back, carry your copy of the “script” (which can actually be trivia questions), and maybe throw in a pair of glasses to finish the look. Get inspired by your favorite film director!
Holiday-themed parties are the best! If your trivia night is taking place around Christmas time, you should definitely make it into a Christmas party. You don’t need to go all out with the decorations, but you can certainly dress up as a Christmas character. If you’re going to do that, don’t forget to come bearing gifts, like Santa! That brings us to the first costume…
Santa Claus is a classic, but it’s a bit too on the nose for my taste. Dressing like Santa can quickly take the event from a trivia night to a kids’ party. However, Mrs. Claus is not as common and overdone! Not much is known about Mrs. Claus, so you can spin the character any way you want. Regarding the costume, you don’t have to go all out; it’s not an actual Christmas party after all. Wear some tasteful red and white, and add a pair of glasses if you’d like.
It’s hard to maneuver the world of Christmas costumes without ending up looking like a classic Christmas character. If you want to avoid that, then the solution is obvious. Wear an ugly Christmas sweater! There is a large number of benefits to such a costume. For starters, it is probably the cheapest. You might already have a Christmas sweater in your closet. If not, you can ask your grandma to knit you one. If that’s not an option, go to any clothing store and buy one for no more than $10. Bam, you’ve got your costume!
If you like dressing up, there is a real chance that Halloween is your favorite holiday. Even though it’s not considered a real holiday, people in the world of trivia take it pretty seriously. Halloween gives you the right to dress up as pretty much anyone or anything. You can be as tame or crazy as you want with no judgment. Therefore, if your trivia night is happening around Halloween, you can choose any costume in the world and it won’t look weird. Here are some classic Halloween costumes for inspiration.
You don’t have to go far with this one. Since the beginning of time, the costume of a ghost was the lazy parent’s go-to. Now, if you’ve grown up to be a lazy adult who doesn’t really want to spend a whole lot of time and money looking for the perfect Halloween costume, this is the one for you. All you need is a white bedsheet and a pair of scissors. You can say goodbye to this bedsheet forever, but your costume will be unforgettable. There is something so intriguing about such a simple costume that requires minimal effort.
Here is a Tip: Do Your Makeup
If the clothing aspect of the costume doesn’t really bother you, you can focus on your makeup instead. Wear a monochrome black outfit, and use white and black paint to give yourself the features of a skeleton. You can also make yourself look like the Joker, a clown, or a creepy doll. There is nothing makeup can’t do! If you were thinking of making your job easier and buying a mask instead, don’t. Even though wearing a scary mask is the easiest solution, you won’t be able to wear it all throughout the game. The players won’t be able to hear you through a layer of rubber or plastic, and your face will get sweaty pretty soon. Wearing makeup or face paint is a more durable solution.
Now you have some costume ideas to choose from! Remember to treat every day like Halloween and live out your wildest dreams. Whether you’re the host of a trivia game or an attendee, you can make the game a lot more fun by coming in costume. Make sure the costume you’ve chosen is fitting to the theme of the event. Don’t have enough time to put together a full costume? Throw on a trivia-themed shirt and call it a day!
Share your favorite costume ideas with us! Have you ever been to a themed trivia night? What did you wear? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments!
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