Cosplay is an art form. The energetic fanboy or fangirl creates costumes that emulate those of their favorite characters. For cosplayers, their fandom doesn’t end when a comic, cartoon, or video game does. They are compelled to recreate the looks they love. Their fandom begs to be worn. Yet, not all cosplays are created equal; some creations are downright humiliating.
Prolific cosplayers, such as Adrianne Curry and Ginny McQueen, note that they work (or commission work) on their costumes months in advance. They choose characters they admire, then create costumes that combine elaborate details, perfect sewing capabilities, artistry, and hard work. It’s wearable art, which is why they have amassed such an impressive fan base. They stand out at conventions, but so do the following 15 cosplayers (only for a much, much different reason).
The following cosplayers threw the rules of cosplay out the window. Attention to detail? Hardly. A talent for sewing? Nope. Artistry? Try again. Hard work? Looks like it was thrown together in a day. These costumes are so hideous, people stopped to stare in disbelief. Their shoddy costumes are barely recognizable, but don’t worry I’ll tell you who they’re dressed as.
15 Construction Paper Iron Man
Dude should have known he’d end up on a worst-dressed list arriving at a convention dressed like that. I don’t even feel bad because if he wasn’t looking to get made fun of, this can only be a cry for help. I’m an optimist, so I think construction paper Iron Man is in on the joke. He wants us to post his terrible costume effort, and then rip it to shreds.
It looks like he (or maybe she) purchased a woman’s nightshirt. That’s the most effort he put into the costume. Beyond that he cut some holes in a yellow sheet of construction paper for a mask, tied other pieces around various parts of his “suit,” then added Christmas bows to his hand and chest. These are supposed to be Iron Man’s arc reactor, but he looks more like the Christmas gift no one wants in a white elephant gift exchange.
14 Worst. Cosplay. Ever. Simpson’s Comic Book Guy
I can’t take credit for the header. Reddit user nthensome came up with this clever description of a photo he took with a Jeff Albertson cosplayer. Albertson, better known as Comic Book Guy, is a character on The Simpsons. His catchphrase is “Worst [blank] ever.” He’s a recognizable character with a mostly bald head, pony tail, and a blue shirt that won’t stay over his fat belly.
Okay, so the pieces are all there but this cosplay isn’t selling Comic Book Guy. It’s actually rather disturbing. Did he cut ping-pong balls in half to make those strange eyeballs? Is that marker on his face? If so, why didn’t he use the markers to add some eyebrows and Comic Book Guy’s signature eye bags? The cosplayer's stomach is exposed, but it’s not the rotund belly of Comic Book Guy. This is probably the first time the cosplayer has ever been told this, but he’s not filling out that costume.
13 Tron Gone Horribly Wrong
My eyes are about five seconds from packing it in and quitting this b—tch. Dude has that face like he knows, he knows we can see his balls pressed against that stretchy cotton one-piece. Seriously, what is that thing? Lycra poly blend? Cotton? It’s so barely there. Be grateful for small miracles; it’s a breathable fabric. Dude isn’t sweating through it.
As far as Tron fandoms go, some of their cosplayers are very inventive. They’re known to use LED lights and electroluminescent wires to light up their suits, but not this guy. He had a sharpie and puffy paint, so he went for it. The result? The lines he’s drawn seem to be leading south to oh my, he seems to have drawn a bracket around his acorns. End of Line for this cosplayer.
12 The Only Thing He’s Captain Of Is Planet Fail
Captain Planet is a fandom… I guess. I’m too young to remember the original cartoon, but I remember the 90’s version, The New Adventures of Captain Planet. Captain Planet and the Planeteers are do-gooder environmentalists, which is awesome. The show never really resonated with me as a fandom, but to each their own. Except for this guy. He just shouldn’t have.
Where to begin with this guy? First of all, that plastic (maybe it’s duct tape?) is not very environmentally friendly. I don’t think Captain Planet would approve. The wrinkled blue shirt is very distracting. And, the speedo created from a cut up old t-shirt should be set on fire.
It doesn’t help that his blue jeans are covered in dirt. Was he gardening before putting on his ill-fitting duct tape accessories and heading to ConnectiCon? I’m betting no. This was a look haphazardly thrown together and it shows. A word of advice: if you’re planning to do Captain Planet it helps to have both an environmentally friendly costume and his signature mullet.
11 The Battle Bunny Riven That Belongs In A Stew Pot
Someone call Glenn Close because there’s a rabbit here that belongs in a boiling pot. Just kidding; I totally get this cosplayer is trying to be humorous and show off his love of League of Legends. He must know he doesn’t have the right curves to pull of Riven’s signature look. She is both sexy and badass. He is lacking many of the key elements that make her costume unique.
I’m not saying men can’t cosplay as female video game characters. When it’s done right, it’s so cool. This costume is embarrassing however, mostly, because the heels are all wrong, that weird belt thing clinging to his bulge is awkward, and he’s sporting a rather long fu manchu. This costume almost seems like he’s making fun of cosplayers, such as the legendary Riven cosplay as seen below.
She’s Riven done right. From the top down, her accessories and colors match the brutal bunny’s perfectly. She even has the unique carrot-colored sword. The carrot is more appropriately placed in her holster, unlike the failed cosplayer who’s carrot is in a different sort of holster.
10 This Wolverine Is Bananas
So, this guy had a Con coming up and an old banana costume gathering dust. He could have refashioned the banana, deconstructed it and used the fabric to create the yellow parts of the costume. But, that would have taken too long, and looking like a banana shaped Wolverine is just as good? Right?
No, not even close. This man is waddling around, and the look on his face screams, “Why isn’t anyone asking me to stand in their pictures?” He’s legitimately confused. He thought he would show up, and people would say, “Wow. You put a lot of detail into a banana Wolverine. Props.” Except he got zero props and a lot of WTF faces because he looks terribly uncomfortable and out of place. (He'd much better fit in at a mental institution.)
Also, why are Wolverine’s helmet wings so big? It couldn’t have been that much trouble to just staple them a little higher on the banana suit…For all that’s wrong with this costume, the dude did get something right. I mean that speedo, c'mon? It’s like staring right into the crotch of Hugh Jackman. Not!
9 Ninja Turtles That Should Crawl Back Into The Sewer
Dudes, nice effort, but you shouldn’t have left the house. There’s some things that are okay here. You clearly could wrap colored fabrics around your limbs and faces. Good job. Good job. You could not, however, paint your faces. Nor could you cut believable circles in your Green Man suit. But, hey you’ve got two fighting sticks. As far as I know, only Donatello used a staff. Leonardo preferred swords, but hey do you I guess?
To be fair, April O’Neil is equally off putting. She is missing April’s signature one-piece yellow suit. A shirt tucked into pants could work, but the white belt throws it off. She also didn’t bother probably coiffing her hair in that traditional late eighties girl-Friday style April O’Neil so enigmatically sported in the halcyon episodes of TMNT. This is a really embarrassing failed group cosplay.
8 They’re Not Bad, They’re Just Drawn That Way
What we have here is the Animaniacs’ Hello Nurse and Who Framed Roger Rabbit’s Jessica Rabbit. We’ll start with Hello Nurse, and I’m just going to get this out of the way: Goodbye nurse! Girl go with that cosplay. Seriously, you can't just grab a Halloween nurse uniform and some Animaniacs stuffed characters and call yourself Hello Nurse. The real nurse wore an all-white bodycon dress with sleeves almost to the elbow. It's the details that make these things good.
Jessica Rabbit is almost worse than Hello Nurse. Starting from the top, she didn’t bother to style her wig. But, the dress and gloves are okay, and she’s got the curves to fill them out… So far so good. Then you arrive at her camouflage Chuck Taylors and start wonder just what was she thinking? Maybe she can’t stand in red stilettos; neither can I, but I’m not trying to cosplay as Roger Rabbit’s main squeeze. At the very least, she could have slipped into some red flats. She didn’t bother and for that reason and others, her costume is a major fail.
7 The Infuriatingly Adorable Hello Kitty Vader
Sometimes when fandoms are combined, the result is something new and cool. It serves as a sort of visual crossover fan fiction. In this case, we have a Sith Lord combined with famous Japanese bobtail cat, Hello Kitty. Hello Kitty’s creators describe her as five apples tall and the weight of three whole apples. Darth Vader’s creators describe him as a disciple of the dark side whose master plan involves the genocide of the Jedi Order.
No, these things are not at all like the other. Vader is to Hello Kitty as an actual house cat is to an ancient Mongol warrior. There’s no comfortable blending of the two characters, and yet this cosplayer thought to do just that. Points for the attention to detail. Overall, costume has detail and there’s the humor element, but most people wouldn’t risk the humiliation to step out in such a monstrosity of a Vader costume.
6 Lindsay Lohan: Earth’s Lil Monster
Harley Quinn is a popular cosplay right now. Since Suicide Squad came out, the number of female cosplayers went up significantly. Who knew former actress and current alcoholic, Lindsay Lohan would join their ranks?
Unfortunately for Lindsay, she dropped the ball and her cosplay is bad even for a Halloween costume. Her fishnets are pulled up higher than her shorts. (They’re not supposed to cover her belly button.) Her face is a mess and missing Quinn’s signature porcelain skin. Lindsay could have laid off the bronzer, in favor of some powder which would have lightened her skin and improved this look immensely.
In the film, Quinn’s t-shirt touches her shorts, she sports a badass studded belt, and her shirt gradually becomes hole-ridden and dirty as the film races toward its conclusion. In Lindsay’s world, this is recreated by tearing the shirt’s collar, dripping some fake blood on it, and adding a strange belt. Come on, Lindsay, you mean to tell me you don’t own a studded belt? FAIL.
5 These Dudes Dressed As Disney Princesses
These costumes are nightmare-inducing. And each of these guys seems to be sporting a look of total seriousness, but this must have been a joke… Right? Except, Aurora (aka Sleeping Beauty) up front is giving some serious shoulder, and Pocahontas to his right is giving the camera do-me eyes. And, they did take the time to bring along props, and their costumes (probably store bought) are the real deal…
Maybe these guys just really love their Disney films, which would be adorable if it wasn’t so hideous. However, if you’re going to show up to a convention in costume, buying store-bought is the lazy way. Next time, these gals should try ordering a tailor-made costume or testing their sewing skills and DIYing like the pros do. Also, I should point out my headline is misleading. Not every single one of these cosplayers is dressed as a Disney princess. Alice isn’t a princess, and neither is Tinkerbell from hell.
4 R2-P2 (The P Stands For Poser)
I’ve got zero problems with sexy cosplays when and if it makes sense. Kitana from Mortal Kombat is a sexy costume, as is Wonder Woman, Lara Croft, Slave Leia, and so many more less obvious choices. If sexy is what you’re going for, whatever, do your thing, but try to have a brain about it. Sexy R2-D2 is a total poser move.
I’m not into exclusivity. As a woman, I know it’s hard to justify your love for things traditionally thought to be for dudes. It’s easy to be labeled a poser if you say you like to play video games, and then get scoffed at because you’ve only tried Destiny or you don’t play many shooters. That being said, being nerdy is in right now and some people are just scene to be seen.
If you show up to a convention in an R2-D2 bathing suit, I’m going to question your authenticity. I’d be impressed if I saw this suit on the beach, but anywhere else and you’re just using it as an excuse to garner attention at an event. Cosplay is most impressive when it’s used to showcase a delightful fandom and artistic integrity.
3 Taco Belle And The Feast
This is a prime example of failed mashups. Beauty and The Beast doesn’t belong with tacos, unless it’s a toy in a kid’s meal. Of course, this is meant to be funny, but I think it fails at that too. Who knows what possessed popular cosplayer, Olivia Mears,’ to dress as the world’s most delicious shelled food, but it’s only humiliating for her. It’s hilarious to us.
She doesn’t seem to care. She looks pretty content. Maybe it’s because she has both roses and nacho cheese?
I’m guessing she’s thinking about tacos. That’s the exact look I get when I’m thinking about tacos, so she’s probably thinking about tacos too. Anyway, if this cosplay wins at anything, it’s selling the idea of tacos and also stupidity, but mostly it’s got me thinking I want tacos. It’s still stupid, but tacos aren’t stupid, so I give it a half-star because the dress is pretty enough and it gave me the idea to make some tacos.
2 Sonic The Ice Cream Cone
Who can say what compelled these gentlemen to design and don headgear that bears a slight resemblance to Sonic the Hedgehog. The whole thing is terribly weird. Clearly, they were going for the look of popsicle Sonic with the bubble gum eyeballs, but why? Remember these treats, the kind you got from the ice cream truck during summer as a child…
Because they’re cosplaying popsicles, they win but only from the neck up. Everything below the neck makes me uncomfortable. Although this costume passes for a popsicle (it’s pretty spot on), it’s really confusing. How does the man inside see? Why didn’t the man wear popsicle stick colored clothing on the bottom? Why does he love Sonic ice cream so much? Of all the things you could waste your time doing, building a popsicle head is one I don’t recommend.
1 Fat Girl Errr Bat Girl Cosplay
Oh boy, this is so bad. Why can’t I look away? Just look at all that hair. At least the wig is the right color. I don’t remember bat girl ever sporting a bedazzled mask or a full beard though. The cape seems lost in his chest hair, which there is entirely too much of. Somehow, he’s missing an entire shoulder of hair, but it reappears at the elbow like a misleading case of alopecia. He’s not ancient, but here’s hoping he goes bald before the next con.
I have so many questions about this cosplay. How do I sort out where the hair has stopped and the garland begins? How is he filling out the bra cups on this costume so well? He’s either got some very round low hanging fruit, or he’s stuffed it with actual fruit. My guess is cantaloupe. Why purple sequins? Is that a dress or knickerbockers? I think it’s knickerbockers, and although Batgirl was invented back in the day, she certainly was never drawn in this fiasco of a getup. Give it up dude, you’re embarrassing yourself.
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