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Video: Boo! Most searched Halloween costumes

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TODAY contributor
updated 10/21/2011 10:34:17 AM ET 2011-10-21T14:34:17

This year, Halloween is strictly for the birds — Angry Birds and Black Swans, to be precise.

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The pig-bombing videogame characters and the gifted (if unstable) ballerina portrayed by Natalie Portman are the fastest-rising Google searches for Halloween costumes since August, as Al Roker, Natalie Morales and Savannah Guthrie revealed on TODAY Friday.

Halloween garb captures the spirit of the times — rarely do costume choices remain popular from year to year.  For instance: Lady Gaga’s outrageous outfits made her the most searched Halloween costume on Google in 2009, but she slipped to No. 5 in 2010 and disappeared from the list all together this year. Gaga’s preeminence among pop stars seems to have been stolen by colorful singer/rapper Nicki Minaj — she of the pink wigs and studded tutus —who has the fourth most sought-after Halloween look this year.

TODAY Moms: When are kids too old to trick-or-treat?

TV shows also provide plenty of inspiration. Though NBC’s drama “The Playboy Club” lasted only a couple of episodes, the classic Playboy Bunny get-up is the third most-searched costume on Google, while the dirty dog costume from FX’s bizarre comedy “Wilfred” comes in at No. 6, and a vintage stewardess uniform (a la ABC’s “Pan Am”) ranks 10th. And while Charlie Sheen may no longer be on “Two and a Half Men,” he is still on the minds and in the hearts of many trick-or-treaters: His costume, sold in many stores with a mask, bowling shirt and fedora, ranks 11th.

Slideshow: TODAY’s Halloween spooktacular (on this page)

As always, hot movies make for hot costumes. While last year saw costumes inspired by “Avatar,” “Iron Man” and ”Alice in Wonderland” fly off store shelves, this year it’s “Smurfs”  (No. 5), “Tron: Legacy” (No. 8), and Rapunzel from “Tangled” (No. 12). And don’t forget Marvel Comics’ Captain America, checking in at No. 9 (his teammate Thor had a movie this year too, but ranks far behind.)

Story: Costume mishaps put the 'Ow!' in Halloween

Still, Angry Birds and Black Swans clearly lead the flock of Google searches — in particular, the yellow Angry Bird that speeds up in the air when fired from a slingshot in the addictive Apple app (although Roker revealed his son Nicholas is dressing as the red bird this Halloween). In fact, Angry Birds and Black Swan rank No. 1 and 2 in nearly every state, though with some variation: while Black Swan is No. 1 in the populous states of New York, Texas and California, Angry Birds are first in trick-or-treaters hearts in the heartland states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio.

Video: Boo! Most searched Halloween costumes (on this page)

But individual states carry their own flavor. In Wisconsin, where people are given to wearing cheese on their heads on Sundays, some unique, retro choices are hot for Halloween garb.  Strawberry Shortcake, whose heyday was back in the 1980s, is among the 10 most searched costume choices on Google.com, as is Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who heroic deed in saving 155 passengers in New York’s Hudson River happened back in 2009. Costumes based on the 2001 movie “Monster’s Inc.” also made Wisconsin’s list of most-searched.

Video: The best Halloween costumes of 2011 (on this page)

In New York, Amy Winehouse costumes cracked the Top 10 most-searched, and costumes based on party-hearty rappers LMFAO are listed in the Top 10 in Texas and California. And inexplicably, in Michigan, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers are making a comeback.

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Photos: Celeb costumes

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  1. Celeb costumes

    Heidi Klum, Kim Kardashian and Mariah Carey have all turned out pretty amazing costumes — and they’re just a start. Relive the funniest, spookiest moments from Halloween’s past.

    Michelle Obama First lady Michelle Obama channeled a cat for a day, handing out candy to local school children at the White House in 2009.

    Halloween Costume Ideas: Dress Like Your Favorite Star

    Heidi Klum’s Most Outrageous Halloween Costumes Ever

    Kim Kardashian's Tips for Dressing a Curvy Body (Jonathan Ernst via Landov / InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

    Brad Pitt as D.J. Lance Rock from the show "Yo Gabba Gabba," alongside a zombie Angelina Jolie, took Zahara aka "Batgirl," trick or treating in Los Angeles in 2009.

    Halloween Costume Ideas: Dress Like Your Favorite Star

    Heidi Klum’s Most Outrageous Halloween Costumes Ever

    Kim Kardashian's Tips for Dressing a Curvy Body (Ramey Photo / InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Tyra Banks

    Tyra Banks dressed as a sultry Kim Kardashian during a holiday-themed episode in 2009.

    Halloween Costume Ideas: Dress Like Your Favorite Star

    Heidi Klum’s Most Outrageous Halloween Costumes Ever

    Kim Kardashian's Tips for Dressing a Curvy Body (Warner Bros. / InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Ellen DeGeneres

    During a 2009 episode of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," the comedic host dressed as "O, The Oprah Magazine." DeGeneres then actually graced the magazine cover in November 2009.

    Halloween Costume Ideas: Dress Like Your Favorite Star

    Heidi Klum’s Most Outrageous Halloween Costumes Ever

    Kim Kardashian's Tips for Dressing a Curvy Body (Mike Rozman via Warner Bros. / InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Heidi Klum and Jessica Alba

    Heidi Klum dressed as a scary crow with Jessica Alba as Dora the Explorer at Klum's 10th annual Halloween party in Los Angeles in 2009.

    Halloween Costume Ideas: Dress Like Your Favorite Star

    Heidi Klum’s Most Outrageous Halloween Costumes Ever

    Kim Kardashian's Tips for Dressing a Curvy Body (Alexandra Wyman via WireImage / InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Blake Lively and Martha Stewart

    Blake Lively dressed as Cleopatra while Martha Stewart posed as Medusa during a 2008 taping of Martha's show.

    Halloween Costume Ideas: Dress Like Your Favorite Star

    Heidi Klum’s Most Outrageous Halloween Costumes Ever

    Kim Kardashian's Tips for Dressing a Curvy Body (AP / InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Lauren Conrad

    Lauren Conrad donned some feathers while in full-on flapper garb at the 2008 Pur Jeans Halloween party in West Hollywood, California.

    Halloween Costume Ideas: Dress Like Your Favorite Star

    Heidi Klum’s Most Outrageous Halloween Costumes Ever

    Kim Kardashian's Tips for Dressing a Curvy Body (Mark Sullivan via WireImage / InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Ashley Greene and Kellan Lutz

    Twilight's Ashley Greene went as a peacock and Kellan Lutz as Robin for Halloween 2009.

    Halloween Costume Ideas: Dress Like Your Favorite Star

    Heidi Klum’s Most Outrageous Halloween Costumes Ever

    Kim Kardashian's Tips for Dressing a Curvy Body (Denise Truscello via WireImage / InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Gwen Stefani

    In 2009, rocker Gwen Stefani dressed as Jessie from "Toy Story" to take her little ones trick-or-treating.

    Halloween Costume Ideas: Dress Like Your Favorite Star

    Heidi Klum’s Most Outrageous Halloween Costumes Ever

    Kim Kardashian's Tips for Dressing a Curvy Body (INFphoto / InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Kate Beckinsale

    Dressed as a lusty Little Red Riding Hood, Kate Beckinsale hit the streets of Santa Monica in 2008 to trick-or-treat with husband Len Wiseman, dressed as a spooky pirate skeleton, and daughter Lily, who pulled out all the stops as Marie Antoinette.



    Halloween Costume Ideas: Dress Like Your Favorite Star

    Heidi Klum’s Most Outrageous Halloween Costumes Ever

    Kim Kardashian's Tips for Dressing a Curvy Body (InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon

    Proving that they're a match made in midnight snack heaven, Mariah Carey and husband Nick Cannon hosted a 2008 Halloween bash at New York City's Marquee nightclub dressed as a classic couple — milk and cookies!

    Halloween Costume Ideas: Dress Like Your Favorite Star

    Heidi Klum’s Most Outrageous Halloween Costumes Ever

    Kim Kardashian's Tips for Dressing a Curvy Body (InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Katy Perry

    Katy Perry combined celebrations for the spooky holiday and her 24th birthday when she hosted a party in 2008 at L.A.'s Siren Studios. "I had a cake that was a cadaver and its guts were everywhere," said Perry, who dressed as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. "And I arrived in a hearse!"

    Halloween Costume Ideas: Dress Like Your Favorite Star

    Heidi Klum’s Most Outrageous Halloween Costumes Ever

    Kim Kardashian's Tips for Dressing a Curvy Body (InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Roberto Cavalli and Eve

    Roberto Cavalli fooled more than a few guests when he dressed as rival designer Karl Lagerfeld at his annual Halloween bash in 2007. While Eve's ensemble was a little more subtle, she definitely got devilish when she hit the stage to perform for the crowd.

    Halloween Costume Ideas: Dress Like Your Favorite Star

    Heidi Klum’s Most Outrageous Halloween Costumes Ever

    Kim Kardashian's Tips for Dressing a Curvy Body (InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Lance Bass and Kim Kardashian

    Lance Bass and Kim Kardashian teamed up — though it's not quite clear how their costumes sync up — when they celebrated Halloween 2008 at L.A.'s Stone Rose bar.

    Halloween Costume Ideas: Dress Like Your Favorite Star

    Heidi Klum’s Most Outrageous Halloween Costumes Ever

    Kim Kardashian's Tips for Dressing a Curvy Body (InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Liv Tyler, Milo and Royston Langdon

    Milo Langdon flexed his Spider-Man muscles while in search of candy on the streets of New York City in 2007 with mom Liv Tyler and dad Royston Langdon.

    Halloween Costume Ideas: Dress Like Your Favorite Star

    Heidi Klum’s Most Outrageous Halloween Costumes Ever

    Kim Kardashian's Tips for Dressing a Curvy Body (InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Scarlett Johansson

    Scarlett Johansson looked a little worse for wear between the eyes — thanks to a faux bullet hole on her forehead-when she was spotted leaving a spooky N.Y.C. bash at Bungalow 8 in 2005.

    Halloween Costume Ideas: Dress Like Your Favorite Star

    Heidi Klum’s Most Outrageous Halloween Costumes Ever

    Kim Kardashian's Tips for Dressing a Curvy Body (InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Christina Aguilera and Jordan Bratman

    In 2006, Halloween aficionados Christina Aguilera and husband Jordan Bratman hit the Ghoulin Rouge party in New York City, dressed as a corpse bride and her ghastly groom.

    Halloween Costume Ideas: Dress Like Your Favorite Star

    Heidi Klum’s Most Outrageous Halloween Costumes Ever

    Kim Kardashian's Tips for Dressing a Curvy Body (InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Heidi Klum

    At her annual bash in 2008, Heidi Klum lived up to her reputation as the queen of Halloween with a Hindu goddess costume. Klum's husband Seal was Heidi's sinister sidekick.

    Halloween Costume Ideas: Dress Like Your Favorite Star

    Heidi Klum’s Most Outrageous Halloween Costumes Ever

    Kim Kardashian's Tips for Dressing a Curvy Body (InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Gwyneth Paltrow and Apple

    On the streets of New York City in 2006, a masquerading Gwyneth Paltrow might have blended in with the crowd in her bunny mask if not for the recognizable face of her adorable daughter Apple, who opted to trick-or-treat as Alice in Wonderland.

    Halloween Costume Ideas: Dress Like Your Favorite Star

    Heidi Klum’s Most Outrageous Halloween Costumes Ever

    Kim Kardashian's Tips for Dressing a Curvy Body (InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Anne Hathaway

    Forget the sexy maid getup, Anne Hathaway was born to play the queen (of the Nile). The always-glamorous actress kept her costume classy at Heidi Klum's 2004 Halloween Party, held at New York City night spot Marquee.

    Halloween Costume Ideas: Dress Like Your Favorite Star

    Heidi Klum’s Most Outrageous Halloween Costumes Ever

    Kim Kardashian's Tips for Dressing a Curvy Body (InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Josh Hartnett and Gemma Ward

    Josh Hartnett played it cool as folk legend Bob Dylan while model Gemma Ward unleashed her inner golden goddess at the Imperia vodka Halloween party at New York City's Rose Bar in 2007.

    Halloween Costume Ideas: Dress Like Your Favorite Star

    Heidi Klum’s Most Outrageous Halloween Costumes Ever

    Kim Kardashian's Tips for Dressing a Curvy Body (InStyle.com) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image:
    Jonathan Ernst via Landov / InStyle.com
    Above: Slideshow (23) Celeb costumes
  2. TODAY hosts, along with Tina Fey and Will Ferrell display their costumes at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York
    Jonathan D. Woods / TODAYShow.com
    Slideshow (22) TODAY’s Halloween spooktacular

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