Creating costumes for children's characters is a delicate science -- a small miscalculation can turn them from something adorable to a terrifying nightmare that will haunt anyone who sees it for the rest of their existence, in this or other planes. If you doubt our word, well, we have no choice but to unleash a few of those accidental horrors to demonstrate how cosplay can go wrong on all conceivable levels. Just remember: you brought this on yourself. 

Nuremberg Mario

 

We regret to inform you that Super Mario has been found guilty of war crimes in Nuremberg, Germany, and executed on the spot. Or at least that's how this looks: 

Then again, that Mario costume is already kind of unnerving before you even factor in the gun – if you ran into this guy in an alley while having access to a deadly weapon, there's no jury that would convict you for the inevitable result. Still, we're not sure if recreating a famous Vietnam War photo but with a smiling German journalist and a giant-headed, tiny-handed Italian plumber is the best way to promote a toy fair. We suppose we should be grateful that he even has hands, unlike the infamous "Koala Mario" statue below, which qualifies as one of the deadliest things you can encounter in Australia despite not being able to move: 

That aborted Animorphs transformation was created as part of a fundraiser on behalf of an Australian wildlife hospital. Now, all we can think of is some Aussie taxidermist coming across Mario's post-execution corpse and turning it into that, for reasons only known by themself and whatever pagan deity they worship. Speaking of animals, here's one who was merely dead inside

That Yoshi yearns for a Game Over screen with no continues. All those years of canonical physical abuse from Mario have taken their toll on him. Incidentally, it's because of his treatment of Yoshi that we know with 100% certainty that Mario is now in Hell -- the entrance to which probably looks like this: 

That giant bouncy Mario castle is located, based on the people who have posted photos, somewhere in Europe. If you're having trouble finding it, simply follow the sustained scream.

Great Depression Popeye

 

You know how some police departments used to take real fancy black-and-white portraits of criminals in the 1930s? Here's a violent miscreant whose face became as hideously deformed as his soul after years of hardcore substance abuse: 

Spinach: not even once.  

But wait, no, that's actually some early Popeye cosplay by someone who took the "pop eye" thing more seriously than any comic or cartoon ever did. It's impressive that this looks more nightmare-inducing than any of those "realistic Popeye" drawings that are meant to induce nightmares. Okay, let's look at something more cheerful now. How about a happy clown? 

Stranger Danger Ronald McDonald

 

Did you know Ronald McDonald has been around since 1963? And did you know he originally looked like a homeless person who fell asleep inside a trash container filled with McDonald's refuse and super glue?  

Oh, but Ronald's '60s look isn't the creepiest part here. In the ad, Ronald starts chatting up a random kid who tells him, "Mom told me never to talk to strangers." Ronald says that doesn't apply to him because he's Ronald F@#%ing McDonald, and to prove that he is, he materializes three hamburgers out of a box mysteriously suspended around his groin area and gives them to the boy. 

Bob Bybee

Screenshot from early Ronald McDonald ad.

Bob Bybee

Screenshot from early Ronald McDonald ad.

Bob Bybee

"And I haven't even Super Sized it yet!" 

"I know you're not supposed to accept gifts from strangers, either ..." Ronald says, fully aware that the impressionable child is already under his spell. "But you're no stranger; you really ARE Ronald McDonald!" the kid exclaims, and the two run off hand in hand, sending the message to any other children watching this that all of the safety rules their parents have desperately tried to drill into their heads don't count when it comes to people dressed like deranged clowns.  

But part of the ad that will remain with us the longest are the 10 full seconds of silence at the end as Ronald and the boy stumble around a McDonald's parking lot like they're having trouble handling their bath salts. This is shot and choreographed exactly like David Lynch would do it. On the subject of McDonald's parking spaces where people have been traumatized for life, here's this:

The Boll Weevil Ronald McDonald statue is located in Enterprise, Alabama, and has a somewhat logical explanation: the city idolizes boll weevil bugs because the ruthless pests obliterated their cotton crops in the 1910s and forced the local farmers to start planting peanuts, eventually turning Enterprise into the peanut capital of America. Now they have a boll weevil statue in the middle of main street and another one somewhere even more important: outside the local McD's. 

At least children will definitely know to stay away from him now. 

The Psychotic Simpsons

 

The following costumes won first place at a carnival in the town of Barry in Wales in 1995, but please note that we can't 100% certify that these are costumes and not the result of centuries of aggressive inbreeding: 

We'd be very surprised if there's one person in that photo who hasn't tasted human flesh. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what makes this one so haunting. Is it the eyes? They're not faithful to Simpsons proportions; they should be bigger and closer toge-- 

Agh, no, we take it back! We take it back! Go back to the smaller eyes, please. 

Dear lord, there's so many of these. It's like The Simpsons just aren't meant to exist in actual flesh. Their very shapes are an affront to nature. Better move on before we anger the universe itself. 

"Sonic" (Allegedly)

 

The people behind the first Sonic the Hedgehog movie got a lot of flak for their original character design choices, but let's appreciate the fact that at least they didn't put a vagina between the character's giant, lifeless eyes. Why are we bringing that up? No reason. 

This is from an official Sega UK magazine where a bunch of soccer players got to meet Sonic ... or some sort of strange rat creature from the void between dimensions passing itself off as Sonic, anyway. Or maybe this is the real Sonic after being hit on the face by a soccer ball with such strength that he became permanently deformed? Photographic evidence suggests that this might actually be the case: 

And on the subject of rat creatures ... 

The (Mercifully) Abandoned Original Disney Body Suits

 

Disney Land opened in 1955, but Walt Disney had been hiring people to dress up as his characters long before he had money for stuff like "roller coasters" or "making sure said characters don't make children scream until they pass out." 

To be fair, the kids don't look particularly traumatized, probably because they had no frame of reference. They thought this is just how it is -- everything is endless horror and suffering, and even the things that are supposed to entertain you look like they might snap their jaws open and swallow you at any moment.

This one's from when Disney Land had just opened, which we've talked about before, but we neglected to mention the best/worst part: Donald. And the beings trying to sneak into Disney by passing themselves off as his family.

Ah, yes: Huey, Dewey, Louie, Phooey, Aleister, C'raangt'n, Grhh the Unforgotten, and (unpronounceable). That quacking your hear in your head now is normal. Give in to it. Pleasant dreams, everyone! 

Follow Maxwell Yezpitelok's heroic effort to read and comment on every '90s Superman comic at Superman86to99.tumblr.com. 

Top image: Martin Lindell, Old Barry in Pictures/Facebook 

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