When you and your significant other are looking to impress on Halloween but lack the budget to buy those expensive replica costumes, it's time for some DIY magic. By using clothes you (or your friends) likely already have and perhaps making a trip to your local thrift store or flea market, you can piece together a number of iconic duos. Never underestimate the power of some creative makeup applications and simple craft supplies. The outfits for these 20 recognizable pairings can come together on a limited budget with a little ingenuity.
In the Adult Swim series "Rick & Morty," Rick Sanchez is a mad scientist who drags his grandson, Morty, along on perilous intergalactic adventures. They're also an easy costume. For Morty, you'll need a pair of jeans and a yellow T-shirt, and possibly an eyepatch if you want to be Evil Morty. For Rick, you'll need khaki slacks, a blue T-shirt, and a white lab coat (generally priced on Amazon at $15 to $20). Rick wigs are available on Amazon for around $20, or you could use pastel blue or grey hair chalk and gel to create his spiky look. For added effect, use a pale blue or gray eyeliner to color in your brows, which, you should draw into a bushy unibrow.
Bob and Linda Belcher from "Bob's Burgers" are an adorable TV couple, and they make a cute costume too. All you need for Bob is jeans, a white T-shirt, an apron, and a fake mustache. For Linda, you'll need jeans, a red long-sleeved shirt, a white cocktail apron, and a pair of red-rimmed glasses. These cat-eye frames are only $10 on Amazon.
These classic "Scooby Doo" characters are instantly recognizable and have never gone out of style. You should also be able to find everything you need for them at your local thrift store, if you don't already own suitable items. For Shaggy, it's a pair of khaki pants, a green T-shirt, and messy hair. For Velma, pair a red skirt (pleated, preferably) with an orange sweater and an old pair of glasses or frames. Orange knee socks can be trickier to find, but Amazon has multiple options, including this bright pair for $7.
The easiest "Grease" look to replicate is Danny and Sandy's final "greaser" style. All it takes is a slick all-black ensemble, and attention to the hair. Danny can be as simple as black jeans and a black T-shirt with slicked back hair or a wig. Sandy requires black skinny jeans or leggings with a black top, heels, and lots of curls. Get this look with a curling iron and bobby pins, or a cheap wig.
When this prudish small-town couple first arrive at Dr. Frank N. Furter's castle in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," they soon wind up out of their wet clothes and in their conservative white underwear. It's a simple look to pull off because, well, they aren't wearing much. For Brad, you'll just need a pair of tighty-whities and glasses. For Janet, a white bra and white slip skirt. Feeling exposed? Throw on a bathrobe overtop.
The Phantom becomes obsessed with opera ingenue Christine Daaé at the Paris Opera. Though they don't end up together -- the Phantom really isn't that nice -- they are an iconic horror movie pairing. Become them with a frilly white dress for Christine, and a suit and mask for the Phantom. Multiple versions of the white half-mask are available on Amazon for less than $10. If you're feeling fancy, splurge on a black cape and top hat. Then you can go as a magician next year.
It doesn't get much simpler than "The Purge." Wear whatever clothes you like -- though we'd recommend a nice dress or suit -- and a Purge mask. There are multiple variations from all three movies on Amazon for less than $12. Or, you can recreate some of the masks and looks simply using makeup. Carry a fake weapon for added effect, and maybe play the Purge siren a lot on your phone.
The rom-com about an aspiring musician and aspiring actress who fall in love with Los Angeles can be easily replicated using your own closet or a trip to the thrift store. Ryan Gosling's character, Sebastian, wears dark slacks, a white button-up and a black skinny tie in his most iconic look, while Emma Stone's Mia wears a cute, yellow dress. Rosegal offers a replica dress for $16.80, though any yellow skater dress will get the point across. Their two-toned dance shoes may be hard to come by, but dress shoes and black flats or heels should do the trick.
These two intrepid FBI agents from "The X-Files" made a comeback when they returned to television for a whole new set of paranormal investigations. Explore the spookiest of cases together with your best monochrome suits and clip-on FBI badges. A wig or dye can create Scully's red locks, if you don't happen to be a redhead yourself.
This '90s kids game show is an easy look to replicate with just khaki shorts, elbow and kneepads, and your favorite team's T-shirts. They're available on Amazon starting at just $10 a piece. Which team will you represent? Well, as Olmec would say, the choice is yours and yours alone.
Hit your next Halloween party as Bojack Horseman and his friend, Todd. For Bojack, wear jeans, a blue sweater, and a gray blazer with red sneakers, if you have them. Top it off with a horse mask, available on Amazon for $8 to $12. For Todd, it's jeans, a white T-shirt, a gray hoodie, and a yellow knit cap.
An easy "Stranger Things" costume is Joyce Byers and the wall she uses to communicate with her son in the Upside Down. For Joyce, wear jeans, a red-and-white striped top, and a green army jacket. When hitting up the thrift store for those items, you may also want to pick up an old landline phone to carry around. The wall can be replicated by drawing or painting the letters of the alphabet onto a T-shirt. Then, wrap a string of old Christmas lights around your body.
Zombies have been a favorite TV and film monster for decades, and they're also an easy costume to pull off. Wreck some old clothes you don't care about with scissors and fake blood, then paint on some zombie makeup. Get your sweetheart to come along and you two can shuffle into any party in seasonally appropriate style. Change it up by having one of you play a survivor in a zombie apocalypse. Same wrecked clothes, only ditch the makeup and equip yourself with some kind of prop weapon instead.
Dreamworks' "Trolls" is a cute movie about two trolls on a journey to rescue their friends from the troll-eating Bergens. You can make these costumes in a DIY fashion with wigs and a little thrifting. For Poppy, get a blue dress and heels. For Branch, pair brown shorts, a blue long-sleeved shirt, and a green vest covered with leaves found at any craft store. Top off both looks with a Trolls wig, available at Target for $10 to $20. You can use makeup, if desired, to add a pink or blue hue to your skin.
Mia Wallace and Vincent Vega have one of the best dance scenes in film history in "Pulp Fiction," and you can copy their iconic looks on the cheap. Mia gets black slacks and a loose, white button-up. If you don't happen to currently boast a short, dark bob, a wig is available on Amazon for $13. Pair with bright, red lipstick. For Vincent, break out black slacks, a white button-up, and a black blazer, worn open with a bolo tie. Several variations are available via Amazon for $8 to $12. If you haven't grown out your hair or dyed it black, you can get an appropriate wig and either wear it free or in a loose ponytail. You should still have money left over for a $5 milkshake.
Georgie meets his demise when he chases a paper boat to a sewer drain where It surreptitiously waits. Georgie is a super-simple costume. Just pair a yellow rain jacket with a red balloon on a string and carry around a paper boat folded out of a spare piece of paper. The It costume can be done with a little creativity. Paint your face with makeup, making sure to include It's red grin. Then, wear a white button-up and white pants. Glue on red puff balls, found at your local craft store, and add DIY ruffles using crepe paper. You can use orange hair chalk and gel for the hair, or purchase and style a cheap orange wig.
This one requires some creativity and artistic talent, but looks great when pulled off well. Wear only black, gray or white dresses or suits for this one, then use theater makeup in the same shades to cover all exposed skin. Use darker colors around your eyes and lips to bring out your features. If applied thickly enough and with care, you should look like you just stepped out of a 1920s film.
With "Baywatch" back in the spotlight thanks to the recent film starring Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron, you can live out your '90s dreams. Costumes are as simple as a red, one-piece swimsuit, or red swim trunks and a red windbreaker. Add any spare life preservers you might have from summer camping trips for max effect.
"The Addams Family" brother-sister duo are fun and easy costumes to make. Numerous versions of a black dress with a white Peter Pan collar are available online, many as cheap as $25. Plus, they're cute enough that they can be worn out of season, too. Pair with black tights and shoes, then braid your hair and add goth makeup to transform into the brooding Addams girl. For Pugsley, wear black shorts, a black-and-white striped top (also good for future Hamburglar costumes), black socks, and black shoes.
This couple comes out of Netflix's Marvel Universe. Become bulletproof Luke Cage by pairing jeans or dark-colored pants with a gray hoodie, full of holes you can cut yourself. For Claire Temple, don a pair of blue scrubs and a name badge you can print out yourself. She may have since quit her job at the hospital, but hey, a few continuity errors are fine on Halloween.