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What Was the Most Popular Halloween Costume the Year You Were Born?

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Every year there's one Halloween costume that you see wayyyy too much of. But what has actually been the most popular Halloween costume every year? The Active Times recently talked to Spirit Halloween to determine the most popular Halloween costume each year since 1983. Are you ready for a spooky walk down pop culture memory lane?

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1983 - Princess Leia

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Source: 20th Century Fox

In the late '70s and early '80s, there was no property as popular as Star Wars. And with a simple white dress and signature side buns, Princess Leia was an easy costume to pull off for lots of people. 

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1984 - Freddy Krueger

The Nightmare on Elm Street villain's look is unmistakable, with his striped sweater, fedora, scarred face, and knives for fingers. Of course he was one of the most popular Halloween costumes in 1984. 

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1985 - Hulk Hogan

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Source: Getty Images

Hulk Hogan was a certified star back in the mid-1980s. He also had a look that was unlike anyone else's. I bet a lot of dudes took the opportunity of Halloween to see if they could pull off that big, bushy mustache. 

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1986 - Care Bears

Care Bears aren't exactly spooky, but they are lovable and fun, so it's easy to see why they were such a popular Halloween costume. Who wouldn't want to go around dressed like a pastel teddy bear all night?

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1987 - Where's Waldo?

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Source: Getty Images

I'm pretty sure everyone who's ever had to come up with a last-minute Halloween costume has gone as Waldo at some point. I know I have. He may have hit his peak in popularity in 1987, but I have a feeling the Waldo costume is still going strong today.

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1988 - Elvira

The Mistress of the Dark was a fixture of horror marathons in the '80s, and it makes sense that lots of people tried to emulate her witchy look on Halloween night. There's only one real Elvira, though.

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1989 - Batman

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Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

Remember how huge Batman was in the late '80s and early '90s? Those movies were everywhere. Total classics. In fact, Michael Keaton will always be Batman in my heart.

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1990 - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Did you have a favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle? Honestly, my favorite part of that show was the cartoon pizza that they ate. It always looked soooo good. 

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1991 - The Terminator

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Source: Orion Pictures

How many dudes in 1991 put on sunglasses and went to Halloween parties just so they could leave the room and say, "I'll be back"? The answer? Too many, I'm sure.

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1992 - Catwoman

In 1992, Catwoman finally got her due. After all, a black skintight suit fits the "sexy Halloween costume" idea pretty nicely. 

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1993 - Barney

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Source: Getty Images

Barney was everywhere in 1993. I'm sure you had a friend who painted themselves purple to go trick-or-treating one Halloween night. That purple dinosaur was inescapable in the early '90s.

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1994 - Power Rangers

Everyone had a favorite Power Ranger. Mine was Trini, the Yellow Ranger, obviously.

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1995 - 'Star Trek'

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Source: NBC

If you could do the "live long and prosper" sign with your hands in the early '90s, you were pretty cool. And it would round out your Star Trek costume pretty nicely.

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1996 - Ghostface from 'Scream'

Scream was one of the biggest movies when it came out in 1996, which probably made for a terrifying Halloween that year! I would not have wanted to see all those Ghostface masks running around my neighborhood.

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1997 - Batman and Robin

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Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

The coolest thing about me is that my name is Robin so if I ever dress as Batman for Halloween, I can technically say I'm going as Batman and Robin. Yes, I've thought about this before.

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1998 - 'South Park'

South Park was huge in 1998, especially if you were a pre-teen or teenage boy. Plus, those costumes were pretty easy to pull off, and warm, since they were all coats and mittens and hats!

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1999 - 'The Matrix'

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Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

The Matrix was an instant phenomenon when it came out in 1999, and the pinnacle of cool was wearing a black jacket and those teeny tiny glasses. In fact, it's still cool.

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2000 - Austin Powers

Yeah, baby! I don't think we give Austin Powers the credit it deserves. It was so popular when 2000 rolled around. And you know what? It's still funny! Sorry not sorry!

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2001 - Spartan Cheerleaders

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Source: NBC

Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri's Spartan cheerleader characters were some of the most popular to ever come out of Saturday Night Live, probably because they were hilarious.

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2002 - Spider-Man

Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man in the early 2000s was a game-changer in that it made almost everyone dress up as Spider-Man for Halloween the year it came out.

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2003 - Pirates

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Source: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

If you weren't a Spider-Man kid, you were probably a Pirates of the Caribbean kid. There were probably millions of Jack Sparrows the year that first Pirates movie hit theaters. Millions.

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2004 - Spongebob Squarepants

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Spongebob was on TV for several years before he became the most popular Halloween costume. I wonder what finally put him over the edge.

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2005 - 'Star Wars'

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Source: 20th Century Fox

Now, some people were not huge fans of the Star Wars prequels, but enough people wanted to dress in robes and pajamas that year that it was still the most popular franchise from which to choose your Halloween costume.

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2006 - Barack Obama

This one is a little suspect since Barack Obama didn't get elected president until 2008, but maybe he really was that popular back in 2006. 

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2007 - Spider-Man (again)

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Source: Sony

The thing about Spider-Man is that he's in a lot of movies, and when Spider-Man 3 came out, so did that rad black Spider-Man costume. People simply couldn't wait to wear it on Halloween that year.

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2008 - The Joker

Heath Ledger breathed so much new life into the character of the Joker in The Dark Knight in 2008 that it's no surprise that was the year's most popular costume. 

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2009 - Vampires

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Source: Summit Entertainment

Twilight was the biggest thing in the world in 2009, which meant that there were a lot of brooding, teenage vampires on Halloween that year. Kind of classic, actually!

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2010 - Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga had some serious signature looks, so it's fitting that lots of people tried to emulate them on Halloween in 2010. 

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2011 - 'Jersey Shore'

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Source: Getty Images

Oh man. This is a weird one because the cast members of The Jersey Shore are real people, but so many people still decided to dress up as Snooki and Pauly D when that show was huge. What a time to be alive.

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2012 - The Avengers

One of the best group costumes of all time, The Avengers, hit its peak popularity in 2012. Some people went all out with Iron Man suits and Captain America shields and everything. 

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2013 - Twerkin' Teddy

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Source: Getty Images

It was a big moment when Miley Cyrus performed at the VMAs in 2013. Plenty of people rushed to Spirit Halloween that year to get themselves into a "Twerkin' Teddy" costume. 

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2014 - 'Frozen'

Let it go! Let it goooooo! Once Frozen hit our eyes and our ears, I wasn't sure it would ever go away. Every little kid wanted to be Anna or Elsa that year and — let's face it — for several years afterward too.

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2015 - Caitlyn Jenner

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Source: Getty Images

Caitlyn Jenner came out as trans in 2015 and was featured on the cover of Vanity Fair in a white leotard that, apparently, quickly became the most popular costume that year on Halloween.

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2016 - Donald Trump

Halloween 2016 took place mere days before the election. I wonder if the people who dressed up as Donald Trump that year actually thought he would win. 

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2017 - 'Hocus Pocus'

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Source: Buena Vista Pictures

In 2017, we decided to kick it old school and bring back the Sanderson sisters from Hocus Pocus, a Halloween classic. Not gonna lie; I'm kind of proud of us for this one. 

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2018 - Fortnite

What is Fortnite? It's a game. I think. I don't know. I think my 12-year-old cousin tried to explain it to me once. Anyway, it was the most popular costume in 2018...

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2019 - Fortnite

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Source: Getty Images

...And again in 2019. Hey, the characters look fun! I just have no idea what they are or what they do or even where they exist! 

What do you think the most popular Halloween costume of 2020 will be? Tiger King characters? Something quarantine-related? 2020 itself...the scariest thing I can imagine? 

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