There are many reasons people give for cosplaying. Some fans are just aching to feel what it's like to dress as their favorite fictional character. Sometimes, they are aspiring costume designers, hoping that their work draws attention and could lead to a job in the entertainment industry. Some cosplayers just love the attention they receive from people begging to take their picture. However, the people on this list are dressing up for a whole different reason – shock value. These cosplayers think of the most outrageous, scandalous cosplays, and bring them to life just to see the reaction others will have. And that's just fine... most of the time.
The reactions to these cosplays will vary. Some folks will find them offensive. Others will find them hilarious. One thing every entry on this list has in common is that they will most likely make you question “Why?” Why would someone imagine a character from Pokemon with a chainsaw hand? Why did someone think that a character from a children’s game like Super Mario would look better in a black PVC dress? And why, oh why, would anyone think its okay to paint their skin black, even if it's to look just like their favorite anime character? Hide your kids, hide your grandparents, there are some scandalous cosplays afoot!
16 DISNEY PRINCESS BATMAN
The Internet is a funny place. With the collective minds of millions of like-minded people, there can spawn some truly weird things. Take Tumblr, for instance. A while ago, an artist on Tumblr decided that their favorite Disney Princess was none other than Bruce Wayne, aka Batman. The artist drew Batman in the most beautiful princess dress, complete with cowl. Inspired by this art, a cosplayer named Sunday Cosplay made the dream a reality.
As you can see in the image, Sunday Cosplay is wearing an outfit that would fit right in with those of Belle and Cinderella, except for one minor addition – a cowl. In this alternate reality, Batman is not only the Caped Crusader, but also a Disney Princess looking to dance with his (Clown) Prince Charming. It’s actually pretty sweet, and you have to admit, they pull it off!
15 ZOMBIFIED CAP AND SPIDEY
Marvel heroes are supposed to bring readers joy. These brightly colored, larger-than-life characters are created to inspire and entertain millions and millions of fans. Two of the biggest Marvel heroes of all time are Spider-Man and Captain America. These two characters have been the leaders of the Marvel Universe for decades in print and on the big screen. But these two cosplayers -- joined by who appears to be Poison Ivy from DC --thought Spidey and Cap would be great nightmare fuel to scar children.
You have to hand it to these cosplayers, the work put into their zombie makeup is truly impressive. Cap and Spidey look like they’d fit right in on the set of The Walking Dead, or perhaps a Marvel Zombies film that’ll never happen. However, you have to wonder how many children they terrified roaming the halls of the convention.
14 SUPERMAN + GREEN ARROW
Superman and Green Arrow are two halves of very iconic superhero romances. Green Arrow has always been linked to Black Canary, while Superman has had two major romances, with Lois Lane and, briefly, Wonder Woman. But what if the truth was, both Superman and Green Arrow had eyes for others… namely each other?
In this cosplay, we see that when the Lasso of Truth is used on both Superman and Green Arrow, sparks fly and a new romance is born! Forget Canary and Wonder Woman, these two men just want each other. This is a romance that would rock the very foundations of the DCU. Would Oliver Queen and Clark Kent become the new “it” superhero couple? Maybe this is the jolt the Arrowverse needs right about now? Is it too soon for a ‘ship name? What about Oli-ark?
13 POPEYE THE SAILOR MOON
There are just some ideas that are so weird, and so unique, that they almost work. Take what we see here, for example. This cosplayer takes two beloved cartoon icons, Popeye the Sailer Man and Sailor Moon, and creates something that once you see it, you’ll never, ever forget it. Popeye the Sailor Moon is such an infectious idea, that we dare you to not think of that name when you sing the Popeye theme song next time.
Regardless of how genius the idea is, it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. Popeye is normally seen as an ultra-macho tough guy looking to pick fights with the help of the performance enhancing drug, spinach. To see Popeye in a short skirt, knee-high boots and a big red bow, burns an image in your head that you can never unsee. Those Popeye purists shouldn’t be too alarmed, the tattoo and signature massive forearms are still intact, as is his love of pipes.
12 SOMBRA (OVERWATCH)
The first goal of many cosplayers is accuracy. As you spend hours and hours working on your costume, you want to make sure that your work is as close to the source material as possible. South Korean cosplayer Pion Kim was going for true authenticity when she cosplayed as Overwatch character Sombra. Her costume, hair and makeup were all right on point. There was just one big problem – her skin tone.
You see, Sombra is a Mexican character, and thus has brown skin. Kim, in most of her other appearances and pictures clearly has a lighter skin tone. However, when she did a photoshoot as Sombra, Kim’s skin tone is much darker than usual. The resulting pictures sparked a firestorm of controversy, with people both offended by Kim and others defending the cosplayer. Kim defended herself by saying that she wasn’t aware that brown face was offensive.
Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are known for combing over the 17 films in the series looking for clues about what’s to come. For a certain group of fans, they found hints at something that many people probably overlooked. They found a love affair. These MCU fans have seen the flirtation and seen the smoldering looks, and they have decided that the true power couple of the MCU is Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes, aka “Stucky.”
At the Philadelphia Comic-Con, back in 2016, two fans dressed as Captain America and The Winter Soldier, respectively, were given the opportunity to have a photo with Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan. These two fans decided it would be best to take this opportunity to show the characters kissing in front of the actors that play them. The look on the face of Stan says it all.
The costume worn by Batgirl in the 1966 Batman TV series is iconic. The purple and yellow is instantly recognizable for those familiar with the campy superhero television show. But last we checked, actress Yvonne Craig definitely didn’t resemble this unknown Batgirl cosplayer.
The iconic purple and yellow are definitely still intact, with the cosplayer going the extra step of adding some additional glam to the costume. One thing is for sure with this cosplay, the person under the hood has a level of self-esteem that everyone should be envious of. This is a snug, eccentric costume that demands the wearer show it off with the utmost confidence. While there might have been parents trying to hide their children’s eyes as this person walked by, we think this might be one of the best Batgirl costumes we’ve ever seen.
9 ASH (KETCHUM) VS. EVIL DEAD
According to Pokémon lore, Ash Ketchum is a young boy who aspires to be the greatest Pokémon trainer around. In the anime, and most other appearances, Ash is a great role model and someone kids could imagine being buddies with. What he isn’t, however, is a grown man with a chainsaw for a hand, hellbent on destroying the undead by any means necessary. But that didn’t stop this cosplayer from combining his love of Pokémon with a love of Evil Dead.
Sure, both characters share a common name, but other than that, there’s really no reason anyone would think to combine Ash Williams and Ash Ketchum into one mashup. This opens up all sorts of questions. In a future Pokémon story, do the undead return to life and only Ash Ketchum can send them back to Hell? Or, perhaps, Ash is sick of capturing the little monsters to train them, and has instead decided to murder them? One thing is for sure, Pikachu is still adorable covered in blood and with a chainsaw.
8 EVIL BIRDO
Have you ever played Super Mario and wondered what the game would be like if the characters ditched their wholesome looks and went a bit more… edgy? What if Mario and company decided that what was missing from the Mushroom Kingdom was black PVC clothing? Well, if you thought of this, you’re probably the unknown cosplayer in the black PVC Birdo costume.
Birdo is a minor character from the Mario universe that is best known for shooting eggs out of her large snout/mouth. We’re pretty sure she’s never been one to wear black maid outfits with collars. However, there’s never been a game devoted to her personal life, so who knows? Maybe, when Birdo isn’t dealing with Mario and Luigi, she’s got a whole different lifestyle, filled with lots and lots of rubber clothing. Pretty sure Nintendo isn’t going to rush into production of that game.
7 HYDRA CAP
If you’re a fan of Marvel Comics, you’re probably aware that the recent Captain America story line had the legendary hero swear allegiance to his bitter enemy, Hydra. This reveal was incredibly controversial for Marvel, with fans offended that the most American of heroes, who punched Hitler on a cover, would now join forces with Marvel’s sorta/kinda Nazi force.
This story line seemed to inspire this cosplayer, who decided to don the scandalous Hydra Cap costume. While there was a large contingent of fans that shunned Marvel for this decision, it’s clear that there were plenty of fans of this story. Fan or no, you have to hand it to this cosplayer, who did a fantastic job not only on the costume, but specifically the redesigned shield.
6 IRON (TAPE) MAN
Creating an amazing costume is tough. The amount of craftsmanship and labor that goes into the elaborate cosplays that CBR highlights is astonishing. But you know, sometimes people just aren’t as skilled as the best cosplayers out there, but their passion remains the same. Sometimes, these people do their honest best to become their favorite heroes, and for that -- skill or no -- we salute them!
You can decide where this cosplayer falls with his shockingly bad Iron Man costume. With a mixture of red fabric, yellow construction paper and lots and lots of tape, they decided that all you need to make an Iron Man cosplay is about $4 and 15 minutes. There are offensive cosplays that tackle sensitive subjects or are just inappropriate. However, with this cosplay, the offensive nature comes from the general lack of effort, but more heart than you could shake a repulsor ray at!
5 SEXY TYRION
Tyrion, from Game of Thrones, is known for many things. He’s a brilliant tactician and advisor. He’s an accomplished lover. He’s also a well-known functioning alcoholic. But what he’s definitely not known for is his cleavage or his “imp cup.” Apparently, this unknown cosplayer was hoping to change all that with her Tyrion cosplay.
Right off the bat, if you ever wondered what actor Peter Dinklage would look like taller and with breasts, here you go! This ultra-realistic mask is truly unsettling just on its own. Combined with the low-cut top and the (p)imp cup, this cosplay is the type of thing that will change how you watch Game of Thrones. The final season won’t be complete unless Tyrion holds a chalice and says, “imping ain’t easy.”
4 CURVY WONDER WOMAN
Last year (2017) was a great year for Wonder Woman. The character’s first film was a rousing success, both financially and critically. This helped an already great character become a worldwide icon in a way never thought possible. But the film, and its popularity, opened Wonder Woman up to some harsh criticism from people who thought the film just portrayed her in a bit of a sexual light, instead of as a true Amazonian warrior.
Well, hide those people’s eyes because Leanne Crow sure does turn the dial up to 11 with her Wonder Woman outfit. Let’s just say that authenticity is sort of thrown out the window with this costume. The red and blue is still there, as is the unmistakable tiara, but other than that, it’s hard to look past the obvious intent of this picture. It’s clear what the goal of this picture is, and it’s far more scandalous than Gal Gadot could ever be.
3 POWER BOY AND SUPERBOY
The over-sexualization of females in superhero comics has been hotly debated for decades, with characters like Power Girl and Supergirl being front and center in that argument. The question that comes from these discussions is always the same, “What if artists portrayed men in the same way as the women?” To answer that question, two cosplayers decided to dress as superheroes that always seem to be sexualized, Power Girl (Test Subject B Cosplay) and Supergirl (Brozerker Cosplay).
Now, gender-swapped, it’s clear that these outfits really aren’t that appropriate for any human to wear. While the iconic “boob window” of Power Girl’s costume is hardly as scandalous without the cleavage, the lack of pants for both these heroes is just clearly egregious. An argument can be made for the opposite, as well. Maybe the lack of pants is as freeing as Power Boy makes it look. Superman and Batman should take note.
There are scandalous cosplays, and then there are SCANDALOUS cosplays. At Dragon Con 2016, a couple decided to dress as something truly shocking. Dragon Con is a convention known for its amazing fans and impressive cosplay, but no one was expecting this. The couple decided that it would be okay to dress as the World Trade Center buildings, depicting the tragic events of 9/11. Not ashamed, they posed for pictures with big grins, completely content with the controversy.
With fake fire, and Barbie doll bodies falling, these two were definitely hoping to grab some attention, and they did. People at the convention were not impressed with these two costumes and made their feelings known. In fact, the two trolls made headlines, with Dragon Con organizers releasing a statement calling the costumes “offensive, distasteful, and completely inappropriate.”
1 MR. POPO
Mr. Popo is a character from the uber-popular anime and manga, Dragon Ball Z. He is the attendant to the Guardian of Earth, and is said to be over 1,000 years old. However, while the character has been part of the Dragon Ball Z world since its inception, he’s also been a controversial figure due to his appearance. Many people look at Popo’s face and red lips and immediately think of the derogatory practice of black face. In fact, in some airings of the show, Mr. Popo’s skin tone is changed to bright blue to avoid the scandal.
Unfortunately, this unknown cosplayer truly went for the original Mr. Popo look for his costume. The red vest, white turban and white pants are all part of the character’s costume, but the cosplayer might have gone a little too far with painting his entire body black. The Mr. Popo cosplay has made the rounds on the Internet as an example of what NOT to do when you cosplay.