It’s the one day a week you work up the resolve to actually check your mailbox, and as if the pile of utility bills, donation solicitations from your alma mater, and other junk couldn’t get any worse, you have a letter from the District Court telling you to report for jury duty. On Halloween, no less. If only the government knew you, they’d know you are not the kind of person who should be asked to take on this responsibility, so instead you’re just going to have to prove it to them by dressing up for the occasion.
That red and white striped sweater and beanie in your closet may have been helpful in years past when you needed a last-minute costume, but it’s going to be useless for getting out of jury duty. You’ll just look like any other millennial liberal arts school graduate with a day job and the capacity to fulfill their civic responsibilities.
24. Bob Ross
Bob Ross is always a solid costume thanks to the requisite wig, but if you show up to the courthouse as Bob, not only will you have to serve your duty, they might also ask you to make courtroom sketches. Better roll up the sleeves to that button-down shirt and have fun deliberating over whether or not to convict someone for their happy little insurance fraud accidents.
23. Pig in a Blanket
If you own a neutral-colored blanket and the $9.99 it takes to buy a fuzzy pink pig nose and matching ears on Amazon, you’ve got yourself a costume. Once you get to the courthouse parking lot, strap those things on and wrap yourself up as tight as you can in the blanket. There’s no guarantee this will help get you excused from the jury, but if you must serve, at least you’ll be all warm and cozy.
22. Disney Princess
No matter what princess you dress up as, you’ve got options. As Snow White you could claim to have food poisoning, as Aurora you could cite narcolepsy, et cetera—get creative with it. But if that doesn’t work, you’ll just have to say you’ve got a child’s birthday party to appear at and hope the judge shows some compassion.
How effective this costume will be depends on your state of residence. If you’re in the Midwest or parts of the South, chances are dressing as Dorothy won’t help you much. Unless of course you start clicking your heels together and chanting, “I want to go home! I want to go home!!” That should do the trick.
20. GI Joe
While active duty soldiers may have to serve jury duty, general officers, commanders, and trainees are automatically exempt, so pull on those combat boots, strut yourself into the courthouse, and look in command. Hopefully they won’t bother asking you for verification, but if they do and you actually have to serve, at least you can go get a 10% discount somewhere when it’s over.
This “easy” costume is nothing short of a logistical nightmare in a courthouse. They’ll make you take the sheet off to walk through security, then you’ll have to take it off again to have your picture taken at the reception desk. But if you insist on dressing as a ghost, you’ll just have to really commit and say you’re the victim of the murder committed by whoever is being tried that day—which is a dark thing to say and this is civil court, but do you want to get out of jury duty or not?
Dressing as Stereotypical Barbie could be helpful since men in power would question your ability to manage your lady emotions and jury a fair trial, but if you dress as Civic Barbie and say your favorite accessory is bias, the chances of your duty being waived are decent.
17. Carmen Sandiego
Carmen Sandiego founded the Villain’s International League of Evil, which “seeks to commit incredible thefts and/or cause chaos in other ways,” and is not a job one can be expected to just take a day off from to be on some dumb jury. Besides, you have to be a United States citizen to serve jury duty, and with that classy red get-up, no one will know where in the world you’re from.
As the saying goes, “no shirt, no shoes, no service,” so how can they possibly expect you to serve when you’re shirtless, finned, and shimmering in the glow of the overhead lighting? You’re too much of a distraction to solve a crime. See, you knew getting into an eBay bidding war for that tail wasn’t a waste of time and money after all.