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Halloween Costume Ideas for Bartenders

Halloween night is all about revelry, debauchery, and thrills. It’s the one night of the year when you can get away with throwing on a sheet with two cut-out eye holes and calling yourself a ghost or dressing up as a “sexy” ___ (fill in the blank). But for those who have the unenviable task of serving up drinks all night to drunk and sloppy witches, zombies, or Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump impersonators, Halloween can be a nightmare.

Just because you’re bartending doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the festivities. As a twist on typical Halloween costumes, we’ve come up with a list of 10 characters from film and television that are closely associated with drinking culture. You'll also find links to some of the more difficult-to-find costume elements, many of which are available at affordable low prices.

Male Characters

1. James Bond


Perhaps no other fictional character is more closely tied to a drink than 007 himself. His famous quote – “A martini. Shaken, not stirred” – is considered one of the most memorable movie lines of all time. The consummate fashion expert, Bond has historically been a trendsetter with his suave style, a penchant for expensive tastes, and clever gadgets created by Q. When all of these elements are combined, they make for an interesting and memorable costume.

Costume Needs:

  • Three-piece suit ($69.99; groupon.com)
  • Black tie
  • Dress shoes
  • Attache case ($5.28; swagbrokers.com)
  • Watch
  • Digital spy pen ($14.99; groupon.com)
  • Lighter
  • Replica pistol (be sure to keep it hidden)

Drink of Choice:

  • Vodka martini

2. The Dude from The Big Lebowski


Jeffrey Lebowski is not a bum. He likes to “just take it easy, man.” One of the ultimate laid-back characters of all time, The Dude (played by Jeff Bridges) has many hobbies, including bowling, driving around, and the occasional acid flashback. He’s rarely seen without his favorite drink in hand – a White Russian. The Dude abides.

Costume Needs:

  • Bath robe
  • Zip-up hooded sweater
  • Shorts
  • Jelly sandals ($34.95; jbeans.com)
  • Sunglasses
  • Vintage bowling ball bag ($29; etsy.com)

Drink of Choice:

  • White Russian

3. Bluto Blutarsky from Animal House


John Belushi was a notorious party animal in real life, so he didn’t have to go too far out of his comfort zone to create the character of John “Bluto” Blutarsky in National Lampoon’s Animal House. The drunken degenerate at Faber College is in his seventh year of school and holds a 0.0 GPA. He likes to start food fights, smash acoustic guitars, and do the “alligator dance.” “Toga! Toga!”

Costume Needs:

  • Black "COLLEGE" sweatshirt ($27.95; founditemclothing.com)
  • Plaid collared shirt
  • Plaid shorts
  • Sneakers
  • White socks

Drink of Choice:

  • Straight bottle of Jack Daniels

4. Raoul Duke from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas


When it comes to excess, few people pushed the limits like Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson. His semi-autobiographical character Raoul Duke (played by Johnny Depp) in the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is the epitome of excess, downing just about every drug known to man in the span of a few days. Duke is quick-witted (when he’s not wasted) and ready to find the heart of the American Dream.

Costume Needs:

Drink of Choice:

  • Chivas Regal

5. Don Draper from Mad Men


Donald Francis Draper is a hard-drinking, chain-smoking advertising agent at Sterling Cooper advertising firm in New York City, circa 1960. He expects a moral code of honesty and chivalry for his assistants, but his own moral code is far from perfect, including adultery, alcoholism, and lying. Draper (played by Jon Hamm) does have an inordinate amount of style and panache for a character who has come to epitomize the stereotype of ’60s ad men. He also makes a mean cocktail.

    Costume Needs:

    • Gray two-button suit
    • Dark tie
    • White dress shirt
    • White handkerchief
    • Oxford dress shoes

    Drink of Choice:

    • Old Fashioned

    Female Characters

    6. Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones


    The queen everyone loves to hate, Cersei Lannister (played by Lena Headey) has been the master manipulator of the Seven Kingdoms and the de facto leader of King’s Landing for much of the series of Game of Thrones. Although initially fairly sound of judgement (if you ignore the incestuous relationship with her twin brother, Jaime), Cersei has taken to the bottle in later seasons, downing more than a few glasses of wine to ease her misery. With all her troubles, it’s probably going to take more than a barrel of wine to get her through the series.

    Costume Needs:

    • Long red velvet medieval-style dress ($21.99; walmart.com)
    • Gold belt
    • Gold necklace
    • Curly blonde wig ($9; wish.com)
    • Wine goblet

    Drink of Choice:

    • Wine

    7. Meredith Palmer from The Office


    Meredith Palmer is the slightly mysterious, sexually-inappropriate, alcoholic, divorced, single mother who worked as the supplier relations representative at Dunder Mifflin Paper Company in Scranton, PA. She’s prone to on-the-job injuries, including lighting her hair on fire or being run over by vehicles. More than anything, Meredith (played by Kate Flannery) loves her booze and routinely shows up hung over to work on The Office.

    Costume Needs:

    • Jumper dress ($24.95; zumiez.com)
    • Vest
    • Turtleneck
    • Patterned button-up shirt
    • Red wig (cut to mid-length) ($7.87; rosewholesale.com)
    • Red lipstick
    • Coffee mug

    Drink of Choice:

    • Red Stripe beer and hand sanitizer

    8. Leslie Knope from Parks & Recreation


    An avid lover of waffles, gender equality, and Nancy Pelosi, Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler) is the cheerful and ambitious Deputy Director of the Pawnee City Department of Parks & Recreation. Leslie rises through the ranks during the course of the show, and the series finale implies that she eventually becomes President of the United States. Despite her professionalism and dedication to public service, Leslie still knows how to have a good time at local bars like the Snakehole Lounge and the Bulge.

    Costume Needs:

    • Grey suit jacket
    • Grey dress pants
    • Patterned collared shirt
    • "Knope 2012" election button ($4; etsy.com)
    • Plate of waffles

    Drink of Choice:

    • Margaritas and shots of flaming tequila

    9. Lucille Bluth from Arrested Development


    The matriarch of the dysfunctional Bluth family, Lucille Bluth is the conniving character from Arrested Development who goes out of her way to make sure her opulent lifestyle of plastic surgery and spa treatments never ends. Manipulative and amoral, Bluth (played by Jessica Walter) goes out of her way to play her children against each other for her own benefit. She also never turns down a drink if it’s presented to her.

    Costume Needs:

    • Brown bob wig ($8.87; trendsgal.com)
    • Fancy blazer
    • Long skirt
    • Elegant satin shirt
    • Pearl necklace
    • Brooch ($2.80; rosewholesale.com)
    • Gold bracelets
    • Rings
    • Sunglasses
    • Martini glass

    Drink of Choice:

    • Just about anything

    10. Marion Ravenwood from Raiders of the Lost Ark


    Marion Ravenwood knows how to hold her liquor. The proprietor of The Raven tavern in Nepal routinely challenges unsuspecting customers to drinking contests for money without them knowing her legendary tolerance for alcohol. Marion (played by Karen Allen) is also one of the few people who can capture Indiana Jones’ heart. She comes along with him on his archaeological adventures in Raiders of the Lost Ark, ending up in a snake pit in Cairo, a Nazi U-boat in the Aegean Sea, and tied to a pole as the Ark of the Covenant is opened, melting everyone who directly stared at it.

    Costume Needs:

    • White linen collared shirt
    • Brown wool pants
    • Green and black scarf
    • Gold medallion ($3.05; partybell.com)

    Drink of Choice:

    • Shots of rye whiskey

    While you'd normally find them drinking their fill at the closest tavern, saloon, or nightclub, all of these characters from the silver screen and the boob tube would probably also be excellent bartenders. No matter who you choose to dress up as this Halloween, wearing a costume is sure to keep guests entertained and also earn you better tips.

    Posted in: Holidays | Bars & Breweries | By Nora Fulmer
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