Coola boola: Halloween costumes for lovers, haters and Tipp zombies

From twerking, to baking, to 50 shades of grey paint, here are some topical costume ideas for trick-or-treating

Were we to channel our forebears, Halloween would be a time of papier mache, cardboard boxes and black plastic.

Still, it seems that pop culture has become the mother of invention, and top marks almost always go to those who riff on current characters from TV, music, movies and that great annex of inspiration: the internet.

A few years back, Lady Gaga's meat dress was a popular choice; earlier still, Madonna's Jean Paul Gaultier cone bra was a shoo-in. This year? Twerking, space travel and Heisenberg will surely share space with the usual suspects: goblins, ghouls – and sexy cats.

It's unlikely that you'll make it further than two blocks this Halloween without seeing some young woman – or enterprising man – wearing a flesh-toned patent bikini (try American Apparel) and carrying a large foam finger. That Cyrus will be much imitated should not, crucially, be taken as a mode of flattery: without causing much damage to record sales, the artist christened as Destiny Hope Cyrus has become an object of derision for many.
Checklist: pigtail buns, tongue out at all times, foam finger, inappropriate twerking (against people and objects)
Catchphrase: "Sinéad who? Sorry, I'm busy on SNL."

Retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield became everyone's favourite Canadian this year when, during Expedition 35 – a mission to the International Space Station – he chronicled his days and nights aboard the ISS with photographs, philosophical observations and updates on Twitter and Facebook. His book, An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, is now available to preorder, and you can join his 506,000 fans on Facebook at the touch of a mouse.
Checklist: space suit, stack of photographs of Earth (taken from space) to hand out during lulls in party fun, Canadian flag, moustache (handily allowing you to get the jump on Movember).
Catchphrase: "You should see what this place looks like from the ISS."

Granted, this is less of a person than a concept – but anyone can see just how caught up we have been in the thrills and spills of the reality TV show that pits amateur bakers against one another in a flurry of flour, baking soda and lemon cream icing. If you're not afraid of getting your hands – and, well, other parts – dirty, you could always cover a bodysuit in real icing, hundreds and thousands and pieces of Maltesers. If you'd rather steer away from the inevitable mess, best stay at home.
Checklist: Icing, sprinkles, cupcake cases, a spatula in each pocket.
Catchphrase: "It's intense in the tent today."

Halloween should, after all, be scary – and who scarier than the always menacing gangster who's en route to becoming gang leader in the fourth series of RTÉ's crime drama Love/Hate? From his humble beginnings, Fran has – like Breaking Bad's Walt – shown the terrifying, transformative power of organised crime. Even the once frightening Nidge is showing signs of fear when faced with Fran's smiling visage.
Checklist: blacked-out tooth, greasy hair, zip-up jacket, toy dog.
Catchphrase: With menace – "Coolaboola."

It truly is the book that will never get out of the headlines, with recent revelations that Queer as Folk alumnus Charlie Hunnam has quit as Christian Grey in the film version of the book, due to be released next year. The predictable among us might opt for whips, chains and patent leather – but wouldn't it be cleverer (and allow you some Halloween smugness) to cover yourself in 50 Dulux index cards, all on the grey spectrum?
Checklist: shade cards (simplicity is key).
Catchphrase: "My inner goddess is screaming."

Irish actor Kerry Condon made a fleeting appearance in the season four premiere of AMC's zombie drama, The Walking Dead, as Clara, an Irish honeymooner who found herself stranded in the airport when the plague began to spread.

The combination of Condon's frighteningly filthy clothing and her strong Tipperary accent make her Walking Dead character an ideal Halloween costume for those looking for frights.
Checklist: filthy hair, filthy skin, filthy dress, filthy man's blazer.
Catchphrase: "We've had to do such . . . such terrible things."

Just because Breaking Bad is done and dusted doesn't mean that we're quite done with it – Walt and his reluctant sidekick Jesse will surely be high up on a lot of people's Halloween costume lists. It won't be enough, especially given the guaranteed volume of Walts out there, to dress the part – anyone hoping to truly pull off the role of the science teacher turned methamphetamine cook will need to maintain a menacing visage throughout. And don't forget the designer facial hair.
Checklist: pork pie hat, designer goatee, permanent frown, dark brown suit
Catchphrase: "A guy opens his door and gets shot . . . I am the one who knocks."