spirit halloween costume meme

These Toronto-centric fake Spirit Halloween costumes are perfection

Unless you've been living at the top of a mountain across the world in a cave without WiFi, you're likely familiar with the Spirit Halloween costume meme — whether you know it or not.

Outrageous costumes displayed in Spirit's characteristic plastic baggies with Spirit branding are everywhere right now, but most of them (the truly hilarious ones at least) are fake.

The ubiquitous seasonal chain, known for taking over large vacant retail units every October, has made perfectly clear that it does not, in fact, sell a "gay guy" costume or anything else that has clearly been Photoshopped into existence.

"This is not an officially licensed costume from our company. Photoshopping our packages seems to be trending at the moment," wrote the New Jersey-based costume juggernaut — America's largest and a big player behind the closure of some local costume shops.

Spirit is right in that edited costume packages are trending right now, but it's of note that this meme actually originated back in 2019 with a fake Guy Fieri costume. 

Never before have so many people been caught up in the joy as now, however, especially with blank generator images widely and freely available.

The people of Toronto have not been shy in participating, as evidenced by the fun local examples below.

These are the memes of 2022 Halloweeeeen:

You can never go wrong with jokes about Toronto's constantly-delayed Eglinton LRT and the disruptive construction activities surrounding it.

Newly-reelected Toronto Mayor John Tory is always good fodder for gags aimed at municipal issues.

As are other political figures visible from the Torontoverse, such as Conservative Party of Canada leader Pierre Poilievre (or PP.)

... and sweeping political issues impacting Torontonians and those beyond the city's borders, like winter's infamous trucker protest...

... and critical Ontario budget cuts, wage freezes and dangerously misallocated funds.

The impossibility of buying real estate for the millennial generation — and their boomer parents' innability to understand why — proves great costume (er... fake costume) inspiration.

Some local brands are jumping on the trend, too. It's a tactic I generally loathe, but the Toronto Zoo did a pretty cute job.

Fans of local sports got the fake Spirit Halloween costume treatment, as did local cyclists.

Alas, even though new versions of the Spirit costumes keep appearing on Reddit, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, the meme is actually dead.

The Spirit Halloween fake costume meme passed away on Wednesday of this week around 7 p.m. when the seasonal giant itself got in on the trend, posting a totally meta version that — while cute — proved fatal to the legitimacy and cool factor of the whole shebang.

Rest in pieces, baby.

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