One of the most gratifying cosplay subcultures is mashup cosplay. Nowhere is the inherent creativity of cosplay put to better use than when two or more characters merge to become one epic, universe blend costume. Sometimes the mashups reflect a mix of like-minded characters from different franchises, while others reflect recent fandom developments (see: Star Wars/Disney forever and ever). Still others are unholy multi-character mutants that do not and should never occur in nature. But that doesn't mean they aren't still fun to think about.
So here's a list of some of the funniest mashup cosplay the internet has to offer. Each entry on this list has found a way to mix together elements from multiple characters in witty-to-sidesplitting ways. While the construction might not be up to the standards of some of our other cosplay lists, we're focusing more on cleverness and humor than we are on craftsmanship. That's not to say you won't be wowed by some of the work on this list -- SPOILER: there's a rubber chicken bat'leth that'll have you thinking about Klingons in all sorts of new and different ways. Honestly, the real gift of this list will be the universe-blend mental fanfic that'll spring up in the imaginations of anyone brave enough to click through.
15 POPEYE THE SAILOR MOON
We'd like to lead you on a guided meditation for a moment. Close your eyes, take a deep bre -- wait, get someone to read you this entry, THEN close your eyes, take a deep breath and visualize your favorite Sailor Moon episode. As soon as you arrive in a scene where she speaks, focus really hard on her face and imagine Popeye's voice coming out of her mouth.
You're welcome! Isn't uncontrollable laughter a great way to break up the day? We hope you weren't in class or driving while you did that, but we really wanted to make sure the impact of this punny and brilliant mashup cosplay wasn't lost on anyone. If you decide to steal this idea for Halloween, we promise we won't tell.
This guy may have come close to winning Disney's Star Wars Celebration in 2016. This mash-up of Futurama's Bender and R2D2 is genius for more ways than one. First, it gives R2 a real voice to unload all the pent-up vitriol he must have been storing during all his years of faithful service. He does have rudimentary communication with Luke, but there has to be more to the sophisticated droid behind all those beeps and boops.
Conversely, Bender might find more meaning in being on an epic journey instead of tooling around the universe with Planetary Express. There's beer in the Star Wars universe, right? This regrettably anonymous cosplayer really grabbed the mashup cosplay brass ring -- his creation improves the lives of both of his subjects.
Gaston and Wolverine have a surprising amount of things in common if you take a minute to think about it. They're both victims of unrequited love, they both take masculinity to the extreme, and they both have LOTS of body hair. This is one of the most frightening mashups we've ever seen, due to the sheer level of a-hole a combination of Wolverine and Gaston would unleash on the world.
At the jump, this guy would hightail it back to the Enchanted Palace, berserker kill everyone and then take over the Fairy Tale world with his immortality and we-mean-business claws. Conversely, if Gastolverine showed up on Professor X's doorstep, we doubt Charles would've even bothered to acknowledge it. He'd have been able to sense this guy's mutant ego a mile away, and if Logan wasn't a team player before, this new version sure as heck wouldn't have been.
Gandalf meets the Black Knight in this two-man fantasy mashup cosplay. We can only imagine the conversation these two would have if they ever met. Imagine Gandalf attempting to disable the Black Knight with all his magical might, only to have the Black Knight eternally bounce back from every fight. Or maybe they would've been able to find common ground given their shared history of gatekeeping injuries.
There aren't too many who understand the rather unique plights of each of these poor guys just trying to do their damn jobs. John Cleese and Ian McKellen would most certainly be proud. Well, Sir Ian would be proud. Sir John Cleese would probably arch an eyebrow, roll his eyes and start moving in the opposite direction. And, honestly, that's why we love him.
11 GAME OF GEMS
Fans of the popular show Steven Universe will no doubt feel glee and maybe a little shame at seeing their sweet, earnest children's show mashed up with the HBO drama that stabbed a pregnant woman in the stomach. We know we did. This gorgeous Rose Quartz sitting atop the Iron Throne makes us think that maybe Lady Olenna, the vicious, but benevolent leader of House Tyrell was the inspiration for this particular mashup.
Rose Quartz is Steven Universe's mother and the noble and effective former leader of the Crystal Gems. She gave up her physical form so Steven could be born, so she's only seen in flashbacks, but she was definitely a force to be reckoned with. She might actually be more at home in Westeros than we initially thought.
10 LOKI RIVER SONG
River Song is the Doctor's most enduring love interest in the seemingly eternal Dr. Who franchise. She's human, but she was conceived on the TARDIS, so some Time Lord DNA snuck in there. Thus, she can regenerate just like her lover. On the surface her pairing with an MCU Loki might seem a bit odd, but the two make a better couple than you might think.
They were both raised by enemies of their parents -- Melody by the Silence and Loki by the Family Thor -- and they've both struggled with where to put their loyalties. River Song definitely winds up skewing more toward the altruistic than Loki has yet to, but that's kind of what makes this mashup so fun. If the twain ever did meet, maybe she'd have a reformative effect on the misanthropic god.
9 SNOW RYUK
We honestly think this Snow White/Death Note mashup might have been more well-received than Netflix's recent whitewashed adaptation. It's already far more faithful to the original manga than the film was, and this dude is literally in a bright yellow dress from an entirely different fandom/universe.
If you're unfamiliar with Death Note, Ryuk is a Shinigami, or a death god responsible for inviting humans to the shuffle off their mortal coils. Considering Snow White's relationship to death, this is kind of a creepily macabre pairing. But the key here really is the apple -- Snow White's downfall and the only thing Ryuk eats. He's constantly seen holding one, and it gives him an amusing connection to Snow White's experience with the same delicious forbidden fruit.
8 HARLEYDEADBANE MOON
There's... a lot going on here, to say the least. The basis appears to be Deadpool , and it's topped with a sassy little Sailor Moon number. The accessories take things to a whole new level, though. The facemask by Bane is a phenomenal throwback to The Dark Knight Rises' disfigured arch-villain, and it works in gorgeous contrast with the Bat Belt slung jauntily about the waist. Then there's the Jedi lightsaber, which is the essential weapon for the mashup hero on the go.
Oh, that's right, we said hero; don't let Bane mask and the Deadpool suit fool you -- if he's holding a blue lightsaber and a Sailor Moon dress, there's no way this creature operates on the Dark Side. Though, he'd be a... force... to be reckoned with either way.
We're not sure what it is about Deadpool that makes people want to mash him up with so many damn things, but we're really, really not mad at the results. Take this fine gentleman, for instance. He's Deadpool's long-lost Klingon cousin, Dead'p'tahk. In this version of Klingon culture, Crocs are a warrior's best friend, along with their trusty rubber chicken bat'leth.
This guy might not fit in too well on an actual Klingon ship, but that's not something that would stop Deadpool. At some point the Klingons would get tired of trying to kill him and probably just assign him quarters and just try to steer clear of him. Maybe that'll be the plot of Star Trek: Discovery's second season... Probably not, but that won't stop us from dreaming dreams of ultimate universe blends.
6 TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TROOPER
Man oh man oh man ohmanohman, what we wouldn't give for a Star Wars/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon special. Think how effective the Storm Troopers would be if the turtles trained them to do something besides aim guns poorly. Although, we feel like the turtles would switch allegiances once they got wind of just how evil the Empire was (and how much more fun Han Solo would be than General Tarkin).
Our favorite thing about this cosplay is the shiny green shell backpack that is the perfect blend of form and function. It's attractive, offers useful storage and it's an excellent reminder that through the magic of cosplay, all things are possible. This really, really makes us yearn for a Yoda/Splinter mashup to complete the look.
5 STORM LIGHTYEAR
Cosplayer Hendo Art has been a frequent feature on CBR's cosplay lists, and for good reason. Her creations are always top-notch and exquisitely detailed. This hilarious mashup merges two of space's most popular warriors -- a Star Wars Storm Trooper and Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear. It's kind of apropos considering both characters are far less skilled than they'd have people believe.
Buzz spends most of the first movie totally unaware that he's a toy and failing at living up to his own expectations. Storm Troopers are the first line of defense for an evil Empire, but most of them seem to have the aim of a blind donkey. If Disney's acquisition of the Star Wars franchise gives us nothing but this kind of perfection from here on out, we'll consider it worth it.
4 YONDU POPPINS
If we'd been in the same room with this cosplayer instead of staring at his photo, we'd have followed him slow-clapping until he told us to stop (usually five to ten minutes). He's ingeniously mashed-up Yondu from Guardians of the Galaxy with Mary Poppins. They're both capital childcare workers, and while they don't share exactly the same leadership style, they have the important stuff in common.
They both keep their charges alive without worrying about winning any popularity contests, and are two parental figures that understand it's better to be a parent (or boss) first and a friend second. We have no intel about how Jane and Michael turned out, but we know Yondu raised one helluva Star-Lord. If only Mary Poppins could've shot arrows with her head, well, she wouldn't have needed to bribe Jane and Michael with a spoonful of sugar, that's for sure.
3 LEIA AND THE BEAST
This Disney/Star Wars mashup is pitch-freaking-perfect. Belle and Leia blend to make one helluva fancy Lady Jedi, and Chewbacca looks dapper AF in his royal blue jacket, standing steadfast at Leia's side. The rose in her hand is an especially nice touch -- a beautiful nod to the enchantment that kicked off Belle and the Beast's love story.
Our only real problem with this otherwise perfect couple cosplay is that it kind of necessitates the viewer ship Leia and Chewbacca a little. If that's your thing, we're certainly not judging, but the pairing just has a lot of potential problems. If Chewbacca doesn't morph into a prince at some point, he and Leia are going to face the difficulties of inter-species romance. That, plus the stress of the rebellion, would be a lot for a new relationship to handle right out the gate.
2 TARDIMUS PRIME
Ooooh, what oh what would the TARDIS say if it could talk? The possibilities are endless and we're so, so glad this genius came up with a combination that inspires our imaginations like this. The TARDIS isn't like the more typical vehicles Transformers choose when... transforming, but we can't understand why they wouldn't want to take advantage of a phone booth capable of inter-dimensional AND time travel.
That said, we're not sure we totally trust anyone but the Doctor to operate the TARDIS. What if Tardimus Prime had the bright idea to go back in time to the Shia LaBeouf movies and resurrect that terrible storyline. Or, even worse, go back to the time of Arthur... oh wait. Um, never mind. The world is perhaps not ready for TP.
1 EVERY JOHNNY DEPP CHARACTER
This unknown cosplayer isn't gently leaning into mashup -- he's diving in head-first. The photo is simply titled every Johnny Depp character cosplay, and the attempt is impressive. Not every character's represented -- Depp's long and storied career would make it next to impossible to cosplay every single role he's ever played (especially the "normal" ones like Gilbert Grape or George Jung). But there's at least seven that we count on first glance. Edward Scissorhands is repped on the left hand and the Mad Hatter on both stockinged feet. Tonto's got a talisman on the belt and a crow on the head.
But the clear favorite of the cosplayer is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' Raoul Duke. He's got his sunglasses, his camera and the thinly-veiled Hunter S. Thompson parody's trademark cigarette holder. This multi-mashup is clearly on drugs and we wouldn't have it any other way.
Have you seen any other weird cosplay mashups? Let us know your favorites in the comments!