Relationships

It’s Still Totally Acceptable to Dress Up as Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson for Halloween

Illustration of Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande looking costume-y.
Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for MTV.

Perhaps the immediate aftermath of the breakup isn’t the ideal time to raise this delicate question, but it’s already mid-October, and time is of the essence: Now that Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson, aka Grandson, are over—and so too, perhaps, is love itself—what does this mean for the Ariana/Pete Halloween costume you were planning?

Journalist Julia Alexander raised this vital question on Twitter on Monday, lamenting all the couples’ costumes that had likely been “ruined” by the sudden collapse of Grandson.

But wait a gosh-darn minute, aspiring Arianas and Petes—there’s no reason this has to ruin your costume. That’s right, ShopBetches.com, the website hawking Ariana and Pete T-shirts: Keep right on doing what you’re doing. Cosplayers of the world, you can very much still dress up as Ariana and Pete, or, indeed, any broken-up couple for Halloween, provided the relationship in question was one of cultural import. And Ariana and Pete absolutely qualify. (Not that this should be an excuse to be lazy, though—if you’re picturing a pairing where the Ari goes with basic “sexy” and the Pete just gets to wear sweats, please try harder.)

There’s plenty of precedent for this. Sonny and Cher did not end up together, you may recall; they broke up in 1975, and both went on to have other relationships. But that hasn’t stopped scores of couples from donning long black wigs and mustaches to depict the groovy pair. Though Sonny and Cher’s relationship feels particularly evocative because it represents an entire era, who’s to say the same isn’t true of the also-no-longer-together duos of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love, or Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake (especially in their full denim ensembles)? Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie aren’t attached at the hip like they used to be, but two people could still totally dress up as them if they wanted to. (It’s worth noting that dressing up as a couple who went through a tragic breakup or worse can come with baggage, of course—make sure you know what you’re getting into before you commit.)

As Sonny and Cher demonstrate, there’s something fun about adding a layer of nostalgia to your look. Hilton and Richie’s TV show The Simple Life, to use them as an example, aired from 2003 to 2007; enough time has passed since then for even that relatively recent time to have solidified into a bona fide vintage moment. It’s true that no such grace period has passed for Grandson. Here, your personal mileage may vary—you may consider dressing up as something from very recent history, but not current events, inherently less fun. So if you want to transform your Ariana-Pete costume into a zombie Ariana-and-Pete costume or a broken-up Ariana-and-Pete costume (just add some Ben & Jerry’s pints), you would be well within your rights to do so.

I think you can still get away with not-zombie-just-regular Ariana and Pete, though. In addition to our capacity to be nostalgic for times as recent as 10 years ago, our culture is now one of insta-nostalgia. In 2018, we are just about always already ready to ironically revisit what happened two weeks ago, since it feels like a lifetime ago. Ariana and Pete are not even the only already-broken-up 2018 couple one could go as for Halloween this year, not by a long shot. For a person of a certain sensibility, Ben Affleck and Lindsay Shookus could totally work as a costume, as could Lil Xan and Noah Cyrus, they of the instantly iconic face smoosh. Will they still make for funny costumes a few years down the line? Who knows, so seize your chance now.

Affleck/Shookus and Xan/Cyrus may fade, but I would argue that there’s something transcendent about Grandson that could render it a plausible costume for years to come. Did Grandson not, in its few short months of existence, touch us all? Was its cometlike streak through the sky not a completely enthralling plot-filled spectacle, a bright spot in dark times? The Washington Post already predicts that Grande and Davidson will remain an internet obsession for far longer than their engagement lasted—their relationship was too much of a pop cultural phenomenon for a silly thing like it ending to force us to move on. In other words: Hold onto those thigh-high boots. That Ariana-Pete costume may be more timeless than you think.