Cosplaying is awesome if done right and, with a lot of work and experience comes a great reward: being recognized and congratulated by those around you, winning contests and even opening new doors for future careers in modelling, for instance, or for playing in movies! But while all of these are the great parts of conventions, here’s why cosplay conventions get a bad reputation. It’s what no cosplayer wants to experience: creepy people following them, being too familiar or close to them or just being terrible human beings. Cosplayers gathered on Reddit and told their horrifying experiences along the years, and wow, some people are just too much!
20. Nerding About the Characters
One night, reddit user trex_in_spats went to a midnight showing of the Harry Potter movie and she dressed as a Slytherin student with a shirt and a house scarf: “I was standing with some friends and some girl came up to me and said I was everything that was wrong in this world. I asked what she was talking about and she yelled, ‘Anyone who truly like Slytherin is a bane on humanity!’ I just stared as her friends took her away.”
Blackcrane recalls his time as Zuko cosplay when he met a rather creepy Aang cosplayer that was into X-rated fan fiction and needed to make everyone read his fanfic: “Proceeded to tell me how long he’s been working on the fic and how he was planning out the rest of the story to have ‘books’ like the show itself. […] I politely excused myself and left but this guy found me on FB later on and sends me NSFW Avatar fanart every now and then. UGH.”
sleepykyo cosplayed as a Sylveon and added a sign counting how many times it was caught by Pokémon masters. A middle aged man dressed as Ash asked to get some photos with her and became a bit too familiar: “It took him a few minutes for him to realize that I was (at that time) a high school student and very uncomfortable, but he still kept going? […] I never have cosplayed another Pokémon because of that incident.”
PowerWordCoffee went to her first con and got dressed up. She saw a great Doctor Who cosplay and asked for a hug and a photo: “He was really enthusiastic about it and we had a pic ready to go until I heard a gruff ‘Hurry up other people want a hug too.’” Remember, cosplayers are not hired to take photos or give free hugs unless they want to!
Onycophagist recalls her rather unpleasant time at a convention when she cosplayed Black Cat from Spider-Man. Her costume was so tight that she couldn’t wear underwear because it would show the lines: “A guy come up behind me and unzip my suit, which wouldn’t have been so bad if the zipper didn’t go all the way down to the bottom of my [backside].”
ThatChoirGuy was going to a convention and took some cake pieces in an open plastic box to give them to his friends. He met an old lady in the tram that asked him about the funny people around that were also going to the convention. Then, she started looking through her bag! “[She] pulled out a small plastic spoon, and helped herself with my cake while listening to me. I was too confused to say anything and let her finish. I even jumped out of the tram a station earlier because I was worried about more cake being eaten.”
Aivenier was only 13 when he cosplayed Naruto. A Sasuke cosplayer asked for a photo, which was actually a video: “A Sasuke cosplayer who was 14 ‘made out’ with me – which was basically biting my mouth. It went semi-viral on YouTube to the point where I was offered money. I had forgotten about the video until that email, and then decimated my whole YouTube account when I was 15-16.”
Jembrly had an accident during a convention when some random girl decide to glomp him: “Some girl ran up behind me at top speed and jumped on my back (and I’m tall, not short like Ed), bashed me into a table, and brought me to my knees. It was horribly embarrassing… and painful.”
You know when you’re too old for cons when you can’t keep up with the trends. A fun moment was when Redditer Annepackrat’s husband though Harry Potter cosplayers were dressed as other characters: “We passed by a group of Harry Potter cosplayers wearing striped scarves and my husband turned to me and said, “It’s good to know kids still like Doctor Who.”
Yeramora’s costume was quite spiky and sharp, considering he was the Skull Kid. His 3D printed mask was very spikey, so you can imagine how people hugging him felt… “When some weeb hugged me without asking for it they usually got stabbed by the mask, laughed in an uncomfortable way, and ended the hug as soon as possible.”
Yes, a Redditer was actually approached by a man dressed as a character from Steven Universe, telling the cosplayer that was dressed as Rose Quartz: “Rose, My Waifu.” “He asked for a pic and I said okay and then he asked to pose with me kissing his cheek and I said no. He got upset and said that I had to because he loved Rose blah blah blah and I didn’t know how to disengage. Funnily enough a Pearl cosplayer intervened and told him to beat it.”
USSRguy was not a cosplayer, but he made sure to keep the place secure, stop fights or similar incidents. One day, he saw a man in his late 20s make a scene: “I witnessed a grown man break down and cry because his mom wouldn’t buy him this $700 action figure. He had to have been 26 at the least and he was on the floor rolling around. His mom tried to get him out of there quick.”
Cosplayers can choose some revealing costumes, so when trexasaurusrex chose to dress as Cammy from Street Fighter, she didn’t expect a woman to approach her and shame her choice of clothing: “I’d cosplayed Cammy from Street Fighter earlier in the day and changed into street clothes later. This lady came up to me when I was clearly in the middle of a conversation with a group of friends and the first words out of her mouth were ‘There! Don’t you feel better?’ I was confused, and asked her what she was talking about. ‘Oh, you know… that thing you had on before. You know you don’t have to do that to yourself.”
It’s sad to hear someone stop doing what they like because of others ruining their first experience. When Thebiginfinity cosplayed as a Love Live character, dressed in a school uniform, but with a very short skirt, she went through some awkward moments: “Literally five minutes after showing up to the convention, I turned around on the escalator and caught the dude behind me trying to look up my skirt.”
Reddit user icantfindaneevee was stalked by a guy that had his phone angled at her feet, and she wasn’t the only one that went through that: “I got security to talk to him and turns out he was taking pics of other girls’ feet too.”
This one is cute! StrawberryYogurt0 was approached by a middle aged lady who told her she looked kawaii. The way she told her was a bit spooky, though: “Would’ve been fine if that were it, but she came, grabbed my arm, spoke quietly, and stared into my soul as she did it.”
Ecchi-fairy was wearing an armor from Skyrim, called Savior’s Hide, which is the ‘werewolf’ armor from Skyrim. It showed a wolf face on the cuirass, but a fanboy that asked her for a photo did not agree: “I replied that it was Savior’s Hide, the ‘werewolf’ armor from Skyrim. As I said so I pointed to the wolf face that makes up the cuirass. He wasn’t satisfied with this answer and replied: ‘Oh yeah. A dragon head. Your armor totally looks like a dragon head.’” She explained it was a quest about werewolf, but he insisted it was a dragon head.
A woman dressed as Silk Spectre II showed up using a cane after she had an accident, which mean a fanboy was able to follow her around and she couldn’t escape until she rested at a rather empty table: “Well, somehow I manage to lose him and I end up asking this beefy old dude if he minds that I take the unoccupied chair at his table since my hips and legs are acting up. Half an hour later we’re chatting and having a good old time when my Romeo shows up. Romeo looks at me. Romeo looks at beefy old guy. Beefy old guy looks at me and I guess I must look scared or creeped out or something because beefy old guy just stands up and leans real close to Romeo’s face and says “can I help you with something?” The awesome part was she thanked the beefy guy and walked away, but above the table, a huge banner wrote: Lou Ferrigno. Yep, she was saved by the Hulk!
Finally, every cosplayer asks the attendees at the convention to be respectful and realize “cosplay is not consent,” and every social rule in the real world applies to such an event! Cosplay conventions can be entertaining and safe, as long as we all remember to act like decent human beings!