Halloween is coming! In case you’re someone who doesn’t have the time or money—or patience—to head out to the costume shop and figure out what alter ego you’re going to take on during this weekend of cover-band gigs and green-Jell-o-studded parties, Sound of the City is here for you. The world of the music video is rife with personalities who, while they might not have been doing the lipsyncing, were key to their associated clips, whether for reasons of ambience, plot-driving, or just showing the world what sort of cool people were able to hang out with rock stars during their particular era. After the jump, 12 costumes that have just enough pop-cultural semi-importance for you to justify wearing at least a few “regular clothes” while you’re snacking on candy corn and mini Snickers.
12. Female guitarist in knee-length skirt (“Addicted To Love,” Robert Palmer)
Show your commitment to modesty by being one of the video vixens with a skirt that could not be called “mini” by any stretch.
11. Female tourist who can’t stop slapping her baby (“California Girls,” David Lee Roth)
Sunglasses, lipstick, a loaf of bread in a blanket—you’re golden.
10. Guy who steals Alicia Silverstone’s bag, as played by Josh Holloway (“Cryin’,” Aerosmith)
Extra points if you can call someone “Freckles” during the course of the evening.
9. Electronics shop employee (“Money For Nothing,” Dire Straits)
Overalls, striped shirt, work hat—surely you have at least two of those items in your closet already? The computer-animation blockiness can be mimicked with makeup. Failing that, go as the guy whose dream inspires the video and bring along a stuffed dog.
8. Girl in the back of cab (“Don’t Let Him Waste Your Time,” Jarvis Cocker)
The first-person-shooter nature of this video means that all you really need to wear is exasperation! Well, shoes that match the ones in the video’s opening shot might help.
7. Schoolmates who make fun of the Fresh Prince’s clothes (“Parents Just Don’t Understand,” DJ Jazzy Jeff And The Fresh Prince)
Just be warned: Someone will probably answer your costume explanation with a dramatic recitation of the theme from The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air.
6. Dude who totally bites it (“Scrape,” Unsane)
Perfect for those of you who, like me, are already klutzes.
5. Poorly dressed New Yorker who drives Randy Newman out of town (“I Love LA,” Randy Newman)
You don’t have to dress like a “monkey,” which is how the prolific singer-songwriter dubs New York City’s overriding fashion choice in the intro, but you can pretty much use this costume idea as an excuse to wear anything.
4. Incredulous Occupy Wall Street attendee standing behind Kanye West
Not exactly a music video, but you’d be up-to-the-minute reference-wise.
3. Innocently breakfasting family member (“Tik Tok,” Ke$ha)
Just add syrup.
2. Partygoer (“Girls Just Want To Have Fun,” Cyndi Lauper)
At least seven of the outfits worn by women in this video are available at Forever 21 right now.
1. Riki Rachtman (“November Rain,” Guns N’ Roses)
Bonus: If you run into one of the scores of Kurt Cobain impersonators who will no doubt be out celebrating the ’90s revival, you can attempt an awkward interview!