It's that time of year again, the time to pick your absolute favorite pop culture references and characters and don their garb for what some might argue is the best holiday tradition of all time: Halloween! Searching for that costume inspiration is often times a bit trying, so we wanted to ease your burden and present you with a list of 20 of the most iconic black female characters from TV for your costume-choosing pleasure.
This is for the girl that wants to show her inner Barbie-level perfection. Eve is amazing, has a million jobs and knows everything about inner beauty and how to be a star.
Moesha Mitchell: "Moesha"
"Mo" to the "e" to the -- how could anyone not want to be Moesha even for a day? Homegirl was rad and down to earth, and her braid game was always on point!
Jodie Landon: "Daria"
OK, sure, Daria was well aware of the hypocrisy of the world, but Jodie Landon had to seriously bear the burden of it every day. And she was never afraid to call people out when they stepped out of line. If there was anyone that was the true ~queen~ of high school, it's Jodie.
Penny Proud: "The Proud Family"
She's Penny Proud -- she's cute and she's loud and she's got. it. going. on! Bonus points if you can round up a gang of your peeps to be Dijonay and the rest of the crew.
The most colorblind casting of any movie ever, and the soundtrack was to die for. I know you all sang "Impossible" at the top of your lungs every time, too. Don't lie! This movie was magical, and Brandy as Cinderella was so gorgeous, and she was still rocking her signature braids.
Lana Kane: "Archer"
Lana Kane: the most efficient person at her place of employment. She's one of the toughest chicks on TV and she fights crime in a sweater dress. When has your fave ever?
Lisa Turtle: "Saved By the Bell"
This is the '90s "Material Girl" costume for black girls anywhere. Lisa Turtle was ~the~ fashion icon of Bayside High. She blew all them chicks out the water with the looks she was putting down, and if you fancy yourself a fashionista a la Lisa, then why hide that come Halloween? Revel in it, girl!
Susie Carmichael: "Rugrats"
Susie's the most practical toddler on the block. She's the defender of babies everywhere and wasn't afraid to put resident mean girl Angelica in her place. Maybe Susie is the original social justice warrior. Maybe she's just a really amazing toddler. Either way, why wouldn't you immortalize her forever in costume form?
Cookie Lyon: "Empire"
If you've even glimpsed at TV at all this year, you know who Cookie Lyon is. She's fierce, strong, determined and ready to protect her family and get what's hers. If you see yourself as a determined, loyal soul in any sense, maybe Cookie is the costume you need to don this year. I mean, it's not like you have an empire you might lose by doing this.
Lt. Nyota Uhura: "Star Trek"
First of all, Uhura was one of the first characters of African descent to be featured in a non-menial role in any American series, and she was proud of it! She boasted about her African heritage and proudly decorated her room aboard the enterprise to reflect that. Uhura was an integral part of the Enterprise crew, and rose through the ranks at every turn. Basically, Uhura was a total pioneer and a math whiz who could one-up you in a second. Why wouldn't you want to be her?
Olivia Pope: "Scandal"
You know that feeling you get when the world's falling apart and you're the only one who can save it?
Um, yeah -- that's Olivia's life every waking second. If you want to know what it feels like to walk in the sun and to wear the white hat like the noble knight that you are, Olivia Pope is the way to go.
Whitley Gilbert: "A Different World"
Rich girl, southern Belle and reformed snob. Whitley Gilbert is probably the most fun character to be at a party if you ever want to toss out a few snide one-liners. Plus, her maxi skirt game is untouchable.
Raven Baxter: "That's So Raven"
Start practicing your "far-away, gaze-into-the-future" stare because this costume is most definitely a keeper. Not to mention Raven Baxter loves costumes herself, so you could always be Raven Baxter dressed up as "Liz Anya" and have a costume within a costume moment.
"Papi, tell him who I be."
Kendra Young: "Buffy The Vampire Slayer"
Is "gothic vampire hunter with a vaguely Caribbean accent" your thing? If so, then Kendra Young is the baddie you've been waiting for! Kendra was so determined to be good at the whole slayer job that she tended to be on the more serious side. But you would be, too, if you had to spend your formative teen years risking your life every night and forgoing any semblance of a social life.
Zoe Alleyne Washburne: "Firefly"
Everyone needs someone who can keep cool under pressure, and thank God the Serenity crew had Zoe. If there's any character costume that says "hey I could snap you like a twig" but also "I'm super chill and down-to-earth," then this is it.
Braeden: "Teen Wolf"
Mercenary supreme Braeden belongs to no man and is all about getting her money. In a world of werewolves and chimeras, she's a good soldier to have on your side -- you know, provided you pay well enough.
Numbuh 5: "Codename: Kids Next Door"
Witty, cool, street smart and super chill are the only ways to describe Numbuh 5. So, yeah, Numbuh 1 was the leader of "KND," but seriously, who would you follow into battle: Numbuh 1 or Numbuh 5? Because my bet is that when the chips are down, Numbuh 5 is who you'd rather have on your side.
Orange Blossom: "Strawberry Shortcake"
Orange Blossom is a successful business owner and independent woman who is living her best life. Of course she's costume-worthy!
Maxine Gibson: "Batman Beyond"
Homegirl is a certified genius and could hack you into oblivion! Seriously though, have you ever created an algorithm to determine who Batman was? Didn't think so. It's time to emulate her, properly, as one ought to. Also, her pink pixie is mad cute!
Keesha Franklin: "The Magic School Bus"
Keesha Franklin was the most level-headed elementary school kid there ever was. She wasn't fazed by this "magic school bus" mumbo jumbo. Homegirl wanted facts, and you know she was 100 percent done with Carlos' and Ralphie's jokes. Shout out to the hardest-repping skeptic in the game.