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Pop CultureOctober 30, 2014

MacGruber! 10 great Halloween costume ideas from The Office

michael scott macgruber feature

With Halloween just around the corner, Alex Casey finds costume inspiration from the trusty team at Dunder Mifflin. //

“I love Halloween. You know, it’s just fun. Every year, it’s just fun. Last Halloween I came as Janet Jackson’s boob. It was topical. People got a big kick out of it. The year before that, I came as Monica Lewinsky, and I wore a stained dress. The year before that, I also came as Monica Lewinsky. And before that, I was O.J. It was pretty funny.”
Michael Scott

Unlike its UK forefather, the American version of The Office spiralled into a whopping nine seasons, bringing with it a myriad of incredible Halloween episodes. It gave the characters one chance a year to showcase themselves outside of the suits and blouses, and boy did they go all out (often with disastrous and racially tense results). Whether it’s Pam getting mistaken for Hitler or Dwight spending $129 on an absurd Sith Lord costume, the show is a great place to find Halloween dress-up inspiration. Here are some of my favourites.

10) Michael as MacGruber

One of the greatest things about Michael Scott is his passionate love for showcasing dated, and often quite bad, catchphrase-based comedy characters. This is where his excellent MacGruber costume comes in, the perfect homage to the perfectly bad SNL homage.

Do it yourself:

1 x flannel shirt
1 x cream vest
1 x blonde wig
1 x very loud voice for yelling “MACGRUBER” at anyone who passes your way

9) Kelly as Carrie Bradshaw

Kelly Kapoor is the type of person who would tell you if you were a Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte or Miranda within five seconds of meeting you. Without you asking. Therefore, it is fitting that she chose Sex in the City opening-credits era Carrie Bradshaw one Halloween. She even used stack of files to use as a laptop. Bless you Kelly, I’m just glad her character was able to withstand Michael’s incessant demands for her to dress as the girl from Bend it Like Beckham for the entire series.


Do it yourself:

1 x Blonde Wig
1 x faux laptop (or real laptop)
1 x pink fluffy outfit
1 x unbridled passion for Sex in the City

8) Kevin as Michael Moore

Kevin is the giant deadpan darling of The Office, and him dressing up as Michael Moore is one of the hands-down funniest things I have ever seen. When asked if he is making some sort of political statement, he angrily replies “the statement that I am making, Oscar, is that I kind of look like Michael Moore!” Does a good job of showcasing the popular trend of ‘dress as a person that vaguely looks like you’ with no regard for who that person actually is. I just also really like that he even found/potentially screen-printed a Roger and Me t-shirt.


Do it yourself:

1 x celeb
1 x vague likeness

7) Michael as Two-Headed Michael

I’m mostly a fan of this one because it seems like the sort of thing a child would make, and the idea of Michael sitting cross-legged painstakingly crafting his own likeness is amazingly sad and funny (I empathise strongly with this because I did something very similar last year, but I left it in the sun and it baked into what was essentially a large scone). The greatest thing about this costume is that it features in quite a serious episode, wherein Michael has to make someone redundant by the end of the day. The result of his stress is that the paper-maché head becomes a bizarre sort of confidante/alter-ego. Just like any good Halloween costume should, really.

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 2.39.57 pm

Do it yourself:

1 x newspaper
1 x flour glue
1 x bin to throw it all in when it goes horribly wrong

6) Jim as Facebook/”Book Face”

The Office heartthrob Jim has a deep loathing for dressing up, choosing every year to opt for the most simple possible costume. In the first season, he become “Three Hole-Punch Jim” by taping three black circles of paper to himself. In season five, he simply puts on a new name page and becomes a guy named Dave. Although they lack the theatricality of many of his coworkers, his costumes became some of the most anticipated of the series. My personal favourite is Book Face which, if you can read through the copyright lines, pretty much nails it.


Do it yourself:

1 x face
1 x marker (semi-permanent)
1 x bemused expression

5) Ryan as Justin Bieber

It could be argued that the shambolic character of Ryan is mirrored perfectly in his erratic costume choices throughout the Halloween episodes of the show. His obsession with trends often makes him a joke of a character – but lends itself well to very funny dress-ups. He’s been Breaking Bad‘s Jesse Pinkman (more than once), a sexed-up Edward Cullen, and Wall Street’s Gordon Gekko. I immensely enjoy that kind of person who takes it upon themselves to execute a really ‘cool’ and ‘on-trend’ Halloween costume, because it often fails miserably. Ryan fits this bill perfectly. Especially when he was Justin Bieber, throwing peace signs to the camera at every opportunity:


Do it yourself:

1 x facial microphone
1 x hoodie
1 x trucker hat
100 x peace signs

4) Dwight as The Joker

A hot favourite because it totally nails that brief slice of pop culture history when everyone went absolutely batshit insane over The Dark Knight. Do you remember the JayJays tshirts? The “why so serious?” status updates? Maybe that’s just me. I also enjoy his commitment to the character, despite pesky elevator obstacles:

Do it yourself:

1 x semi-dated superhero villain
1 x strong commitment to maintaining their relevance

3) Creed as Murderous Creed

Former rock-star turned old man Creed is one of The Office‘s greatest enigmas. He’s so old, so weird, and likes soup so much. His Halloween costumes in the past have been shoddily-assembled classics such as a Mummy and a Vampire, but season nine saw him take a very dark turn.

Do it yourself:

1 x normal outfit
1 x blood splatter (real, fake or a fun mix!)

2) Michael as Dick-in-a-Box

This costume appears in a deleted scene (I wonder why?), wherein Michael Scott hosts a group of children to his paper warehouse/scarehouse for a haunted house ride. The problem? He has a present attached to his groin, in yet another homage to some of his SNL comedy heroes. Just when things can’t get any worse, he pretends to hang himself in front of the group of screaming children. Still with the present attached to his groin. Yeah…good luck with this one.

Do it yourself:

1 x box
1 x dick
1 x hell of a legal team

1) Jim and Pam as Popeye and Olive Oil

This gets top-notch place because I am a sucker. And Pam finally coercing Jim into wearing a ridiculously bad Halloween costume made my heart soar through a million skies. He spends the whole Halloween episode doing his usual cool-but-not-too-cool-that-you-don’t-like-him schtick, despite Pam’s pleas to join her in the couples costume she lovingly assembled. The episode ends with him, and their little baby in tow, emerging dressed in a full gigantic-armed Popeye suit. That’s the way to any girl’s heart I reckon – a giant Popeye suit with freak arms. What a Halloween miracle.


Do it yourself:

1 x nope they are too perfect, don’t bother

I hope this has helped you on your assumed noble quest for Halloween costume inspiration. If I could tell you one costume to avoid, even worse than of all the terrible ones above – please never ever dress up as warehouse worker Darryl.

Watch all 9 seasons of The Office on Lightbox here!

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