In analyzing search behavior over the last six years, it's apparent that we have a fascination with the recently deceased. Michael Jackson placing top-of-list is most likely due to his unfortunate passing this year (Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, and Anna Nicole Smith both claimed top spots after their deaths).
Beyond our death fascination, the majority of top costume searches are driven by the big screen, with Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland dominating with searches for "Queen of Hearts," "Mad Hatter" and "Alice" placing just outside the top 10 at number 11. If costume searches are any indication of movie popularity, Alice in Wonderland should be a blockbuster given that the movie won't be released until March 2010.
In more generic searches, "funny" costumes take top position this year as we search for some comic relief. We are also becoming more cost-conscious, as "homemade costumes" rank higher this year. Also, plan on seeing more couples with matching costumes, with the top couples search—you may have guessed it already— "Jon and Kate Gosselin."
What I find most interesting about our 2009 list is what's absent. Vampires, a perennial favorite didn't break the top 100 this year. Also missing, but likely to show up in next week's list, is my idea for Halloween 2009: dressing up as a giant weather balloon capable of carrying a 6-year-old child. Something tells me I won't be alone.