[[quoteright:320:[[Anime/LuckyStar http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Lucky_Star_cosplay.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:320:Too bad this isn't a MassiveMultiplayerCrossover.]]

Cosplay is a {{Portmanteau}} of the words "costume play". It refers to the fan hobby of making costumes of a concept or person and wearing them at fan gatherings, though is commonly associated with fictional characters from mediums such as anime, TV, movies, comics, video games, etc. At anime conventions cosplay is one of the most popular events.

And to some people, it is SeriousBusiness. Don't even think about trying to get them to wear the OfficialCosplayGear. They will often wear a SexyWhateverOutfit though.

If it's a character getting cosplayers in the same universe, the actual character might get told YourCostumeNeedsWork. This can even happen to celebrities in RealLife.

See also CosplayFanArt, CosplayOtakuGirl (characters in works being cosplayers), WholeCostumeReference, {{LARP}}, FanConvention.
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* In episode 16 of ''LightNovel/BodaciousSpacePirates'', pirate captain Marika has members of the Girl's Yacht Club help out on her ship, the Bentenmaru, while the regular crew is stuck in quarantine due to a virus they got in an earlier episode. When they raid a ship, the girls all show up in various cosplay costumes. Marika chuckles nervously throughout the entire "raid", but the guests on the ship don't seem to mind the costumes overall.
* The female protagonist in the manga, He~nshin!! - Sonata Birdie Rush, is forced by contract to wear cosplay outfits as a promotional gimick while she's competing in golf tournaments.
* ''CosplayComplex'' is all about this.
* As in the picture, ''Anime/LuckyStar'' has this at both a convention and the [[LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya Haruhi Theme Cafe]].
** [[KeroroGunso How]] [[FireEmblem many]] [[Manga/FullmetalAlchemist can]] [[LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya you]] [[Manga/OnePiece recognize?]]
** [[Manga/FullmetalAlchemist Ed and Roy]] cosplayers show up at one point.
* Miyashita Masashi from ''[[OniichanToIssho Onii-chan to Issho]]'' (official English title: ''[[OniichanToIssho Me & My Brothers]]'') occasionally [[{{cosplay}} cosplays]] as high school girls, and is in general a WholesomeCrossdresser. As a romance novelist, he does this in order to be more one with the female mind and thus use this as an incentive to write better stories.
* In ''{{Genshiken}}'' this is Ohno's hobby, while Tanaka's is costume designer for {{Cosplay}}. She often wears his creations for the club and to conventions. In ''Genshiken 2'' [[spoiler: they finally officially start dating, thus creating the dream {{Otaku}} couple]].
* In ''{{Genesis of Aquarion}}'' there is an episode called "Cosplay for the Soul" where Fudou has all the Element Users dress and act as each other to great (and hilarious) effect.
* ''[[Anime/{{Persona 4}} Persona 4: The Animation]]'' has Nanako doing a cosplay so convincing that she fools some kids into thinking she's the real Loveline (an in-universe, fictional, magical girl detective).
* In ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'', the SchoolFestival arc includes a cosplay contest, and Chisame is a CosplayOtakuGirl.
* During the school festival episode of YuGiOhZexal, there was a period where everyone was in costume (of a Duel Monster, of course). For example, Rei was dressed as Dandylion.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comics ]]

* [[{{Transmetropolitan}} Spider Jerusalem]] at one point raids a religious convention while cosplaying as Jesus.
* [[Franchise/{{Superman}} Clark Kent and Lois Lane]] once attended a costume party dressed as Franchise/{{Batman}} and Robin [[http://i41.tinypic.com/10sdxj4.jpg respectively.]] [[http://i43.tinypic.com/20at7k9.jpg Clark was in mortal fear that Bruce would find out.]]
-->'''Clark''': If he finds out about this, he'll kill me.
-->'''Lois''': Oh don't be silly. He can't kill you, you're Superman.
-->'''Clark''': Oh ''he'' can kill me! If anyone can kill me, ''he'' can! And the man has absolutely no sense of humor!
* In one ''{{Series/Angel}}: After The Fall'' arc ("Boys and Their Toys"), Angel and Spike go to a FanConvention, Sci-Fi Fest San Diego, where people start turning into the characters they're cosplaying as.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Fan Fiction ]]

* In ''Fanfic/KyonBigDamnHero'', SOS Brigade and some guests (Nonoko, Kuyou, Sasaki, and Kyouko) make a [[MemeticMutation Big Damn Cosplay]] parade of ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' characters.
* In ''Fanfic/TheKeyToASuccessfulInterview'' [[AttractiveBentGender Girl]] [[RanmaHalf Ranma]] dresses up in a [[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion Plugsuit]], [[FanService supposedly for plot reasons]]. [[RuleThirtyFour There has got to be some fan art of it somewhere out there.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* In one ''FreaksAndGeeks'' episode, three of the guys dress up for a science fiction convention.
* In season five of ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' Sam and Dean meet people cosplaying as ''them''.[[note]]There's a series of novels InUniverse called ''Supernatural'' that is written by a prophet who writes the books based on what he sees in his visions.[[/note]] They're understandably creeped out by it.
** And that's before they find out that the Sam and Dean cosplayers they interacted with throughout the episode [[IncestSubtext are a couple.]]
* One person who desired too much to be like ''ElChapulinColorado'' dressed like him.
* The guys on ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'' like to dress up as superheroes.
** In one episode they ''all'' dress like The Flash for Penny's Halloween episode.
** They go as the JusticeLeague team for the comic book store's New Year's Eve costume party, with Penny as Wonder Woman and Penny's then-boyfriend Zack as Superman.
*** They win the costume contest because of the three JL teams, theirs was the only one to have a female Wonder Woman.
** The episode "The Barkersfield expedition" opens with Sheldon steaming his [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Data]] cosplay and Leonard having to borrow make up from his girlfriend for his. The A plot of the episode actually revolves around the guys getting stranded in the desert after pulling over on the way to [=ComicCon=] to do a full cosplay photo shoot. Leonard was dressed as Captain Picard, Raj as Worf and Howard as a Borg. They looked awesome.
** In one episode, the girls decide to go to Disney land and they buy DisneyPrincess line-up with costume, make-up, hairdo... The only problem was that they all wanted to be Cinderella. Bernadette claimed it was her idea and that she was a driver, so she won. Penny was Aurora and Amy Snow White. Howard and Leonard [[FetishFuel really fancied their girlfriends]] in their outfits.
* In the ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' episode "[[HalloweenEpisode All Halliwell's Eve]]" Phoebe cosplayed as [[Creator/ElviraMistressOfTheDark Elvira]] and Piper cosplayed as [[TheWizardOfOz Glinda]]. They didn't get to keep the costumes for long however as they were sent back in time to 18th century Virginia.
* ''Series/{{Castle}}'': Castle, his daughter Alexis and Beckett have histories as cosplayers. Castle has dressed as EdgarAllanPoe, [[Series/{{Firefly}} Space Cowboy]] and a {{Steampunk}} soldier on the show. Alexis dressed as a scantily-clad alien assassin at a sci-fi convention (much to Castle's chagrin). Beckett once dressed as a character from a short-lived ''Franchise/StarTrek'' {{Expy}} called "Nebula 9" and also dressed in that costume again for Castle (adding a [[MoodKiller rubber fright mask]] to freak him out). Also during their teens, both Castle and Beckett dressed as [[{{KISS}} Gene Simmons]] for Halloween.
** The Space Cowboy outfit was, more specifically, a cosplay of Mal, the main character of Joss Whedon's short-lived TV show "Firefly". [[ActorAllusion Captain Mal was played in the show by none other than Nathan Fillion; the actor who plays Castle]], presumably a clever nod to one of Fillion's more famous acting role.
* {{SyFy}}'s RealityShow ''Heroes of Cosplay'' obviously.
* ''Series/OnlyFoolsAndHorses'': As well as the famous "Franchise/{{Batman}} and Robin" scene in "Heroes and Villains, outside the show there are a number of grown men who have acquired Robin Reliants and been Del Boy for various purposes, usually charity-related.
* In one of the few aversions of ChangedMyJumper in ''Series/DoctorWho'', the Fourth Doctor decides to wear his Sherlock Holmes fancy dress costume while in Victorian London.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Music ]]

* Music/LindseyStirling has done arrangements of themes from ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' and ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'', and the videos for them include her dressing as a variety of characters. She makes her own costumes.
* Pianist Sonya Belousova has done a series of YouTube videos called Cosplay: Piano where she plays popular movie and TV themes while dressed as a character from the franchise.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Professional Wrestling ]]

* Whenever the Characters/WWEDivas have a costume contest, you can expect a few cosplays. Examples include:
** Wrestling/TrishStratus as [[http://i903.photobucket.com/albums/ac237/Divinesilence/trish.jpg Wonder Woman]].
** Wrestling/MickieJames as [[http://www.rawwrestlingdivas.com/pictures/mickie-james-lara-croft-tomb-raider.jpg Lara Croft]]. And [[http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/c0.0.278.278/p403x403/431692_359201320837574_365188005_n.jpg Elektra]].
** [[Wrestling/{{LayCool}} Layla]] as [[http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-m4YtIvrDXrQ/UIhB90FnHSI/AAAAAAAADlA/WPM0M-uVZDI/s1600/001+(3).jpg Princess Leia]].
** Candice Michelle as [[http://wrestlingcostume.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/candice_michelle_marlyn.jpg Marilyn Monroe]].
** Wrestling/JillianHall as [[http://sp7.fotolog.com/photo/39/61/100/jose_any/1226507488537_f.jpg Batgirl]].
** [[Wrestling/BellaTwins The Bella Twins]] as [[http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images_root/slides/photos/001/485/138/Bella-Twins-In-Batman-Robins-Costume_display_image.jpg?1319709346 Batman & Robin]] and [[http://www.wwe.com/f/styles/photo_large/public/photo/image/2011/11/BELLA_10312011jg_0023b.jpg Mario & Luigi]].
** Wrestling/{{Melina}} as [[http://i1026.photobucket.com/albums/y329/TheSaints123/Melina_001.jpg Spiderwoman]].
** Wrestling/AJLee as [[http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OgHHcqfPJls/UT0_25K7D9I/AAAAAAAAHZQ/qDa_izXZ4c0/s1600/Halloween.jpg Ninja Turtle Raphael]] and [[http://media.officialplaystationmagazine.co.uk/files/2011/11/aj3edit-295x400.jpg Mortal Kombat's Kitana]].
** [[Wrestling/{{LayCool}} Michelle McCool]] as [[https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5217/5529264249_b009d1f1f7_z.jpg Lady Gaga]].
* Trish Stratus and Mickie James's famous feud eventually had the two of them cosplaying as each other. It started with Mickie dressing as Trish for Halloween. After she won the title she began to appear as Trish with her music and wearing her gear. And then Trish did the reverse. Boy were people confused.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Litchi Faye-Ling of ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' has a cosplay fetish that comes out when she's had too much sake, and whatever cute girl in arm's reach is usually subjected to it. So far, [[spoiler:Bullet, ]]Noel and Tsubaki were victimized - Noel was coerced with playtime with Lao Jiu, while Tsubaki was a bit more cooperative... but just a bit. [[spoiler:Bullet, however, was dragged into Litchi's clinic/cosplay parlor by Tsubaki herself.]] According to Arcade commentary, however, Makoto could be next...
** Litchi herself is a pretty popular subject to be cosplayed as in real life.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* In ''Webcomic/CinemaBums'', Mindy seems to have access to a range of costumes, which she'll put on at the drop of a hat, [[http://www.cinemabums.com/?p=346 usually celebrating an upcoming release]].
* ''{{Fans}}'' naturally gets into this on occasion. Notably Will has been known to dress as a Klingon.
* One of the early ''HijinksEnsue'' strips involves Josh's ([[RealLifeWritesThePlot real-life]]) cosplay as [[VideoGame/GodOfWar Kratos]] netting him Internet notoriety. His response is to create the most awesome costume ever created (this, sadly, did not also happen in real life).
* AndrewHussie of Webcomic/{{Homestuck}} fame likes to appear in the comic cosplaying one of his characters, usually one who's important at the time. In the story there's:
** Jade, who cosplays as [[ComicBook/IronMan Iron Lass]].
** John, who unknowingly cosplays as Vriska.
** Jake, who unknowingly cosplays as Lord English.
** Vriska, who cosplays as [[GenerationXerox Mindfang]].
** Terezi, who cosplays as [[GenerationXerox Redglare]].
** and[[spoiler: Calliope, who cosplays as a troll version of [[ShowWithinAShow Calmasis]]]].
* ''Webcomic/MenageA3'' and its {{spinoff}} ''Webcomic/SandraOnTheRocks'' get into some cosplay-related complications during a {{crossover}} arc. First off, Sandra, the star of the latter comic, is [[http://www.sandraontherocks.com/strips-sotr/some_kind_of_space_princess called on to model as in-universe videogame character "Carmen Chamelia".]] Finding herself suddenly a geek idol, she uses Gary from the other comic as a consultant on geek culture, and [[http://www.ma3comic.com/strips-ma3/cosplaying_helped_too he explains cosplay to her.]] Coincidentally, her [[BadBoss nemesis-supervisor]] Tatiana chooses that evening to get Sandra into a white BDSM {{dominatrix}} costume -- which [[http://www.ma3comic.com/strips-ma3/did_you_just_call_me_dumb Gary perceives]] as a perfect [[Comicbook/{{X-Men}} Emma Frost]] cosplay outfit.
* [[http://noblackplume.blogspot.com/2011/09/no-black-plume-25.html Played for laughs]] in "NoBlackPlume".
* ''Webcomic/UnintentionallyPretentious'':
** [[http://www.unintentionallypretentious.com/index.asp?c=94 Mia and Luthor]] as [[TheSimpsons Marge and Homer]].
** [[http://www.unintentionallypretentious.com/index.asp?c=96 Sydney]] dressed as [[RanmaOneHalf Akane Tendo]].
** [[http://www.unintentionallypretentious.com/index.asp?c=84 The cast]] as [[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender Aang, Katara, and Toph]] for [[FanConvention I-Con]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* The ClosingCredits Sequence of Daria features the characters in various alternate costumes. Most of the time, the costumes are generic an inspecific, like a cheerleader or a business woman, but occasionally they make specific references like Brittany dressed as Film/EdwardScissorhands.
* When the cast of ''{{Futurama}}'' goes to Comic Con 3010, they take part in the costume contest, with some of the contestants dressed as characters from the very show they're on. Lrr tries to invade Earth during the contest, but is dismissed as [[YourCostumeNeedsWork just another guy in a costume]]. The winner, by the way, is Bender, who dresses as "every nerd's fantasy", Leela.
* In the ''PhineasAndFerb'' episode "Nerds of a Feather", the boys go to a convention where almost everyone is dressed up as characters from either [[SpaceOpera "Space Adventure"]] or [[HighFantasy "Stumbleberry Finkbat"]]. And [[PeripheryDemographic Candace]] goes dressed as [[WidgetSeries Ducky Momo]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', when the Gaang sees the "The Ember Island Players", Zuko gets told his costume needs work, and that his scar is on the wrong side.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' in the final match of the pro-bending season you can see two groups of cosplayers in the stands; one dressed as the Wolf-Bats, one dressed as our heroes, the Fire Ferrets.
* On ''MikeLuAndOg'', Mike will sometimes dress as her favorite superhero Action Guy. Heck, one time she ''lipsynched an audio tape in the costume.''
* When WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons go to [=BiMonSciFiCon=] Bart learns that you get $3 off admission if you're dressed as a superhero, so he cobbles together a costume.
-->Cashier: Who are you supposed to by?
-->Bart: ''gravelly voice'' [[{{Batman}} I'm Bartman.]]
-->Cashier: Never heard of him. Full price.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' - when The Monarch goes on a double date, in his Monarch outfit, his date asks if he's into cosplay - he angrily corrects her that it's 'cos-business'.
* In one episode of FamilyGuy, Peter and his friends dress up as the A-Team for some sort of convention. They win the costume contest (beating out another group dressed as the A-Team without an actual black guy to play Mr. T) and decide to become a real life A-Team.

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