"Costumes & Courage" is the first episode in Season 2 of Austin & Ally and 20th episode overall. It first aired on October 7, 2012 to 4.016 million viewers.
Austin's new record label owner, Jimmy Starr, invites him to perform at the Starr Records Halloween Party, where he will perform a duet with Taylor Swift to Ally's newest song. However, when Dez and Trish's ghost-hunting mission goes awry, the musician is unable to perform and Ally steps in to save the day.
The episode starts out with Ally approaching Dez and Austin. She asks if Dez has finished carving Austin's face. He finishes and shows them both, to which Ally replies that it looks amazing, but Austin tells him that his hair is parted on the opposite side. Dez ends up smashing the pumpkin on the floor and
walking off. Trish enters, telling them that she has gotten a job at a Halloween Store. Jimmy Starr enters and invites Austin, Ally, Trish and Dez to a Halloween party he's hosting. He says that there will be a lot of stars at the party, and he has just gotten an RSVP from Taylor Swift. Dez says he can give her a carving of her face that he did on a pumpkin, but smashes it like the other when informed that she has straightened her hair. Jimmy asks if they can write a new song for Austin to preform at the party. When seeing the party is at Brownstone Mansion, Dez tells them that he has heard the place was haunted. Jimmy says that ghosts haunt the mansion, and mysterious red slime oozes from the walls. Austin asks if Trish was working
tomorrow so he can get a cool costume. Trish tells him that even though she planned to be fired later that day, she was willing to keep it so he can get a discount. Ally and Austin try to write a song for the party, and Austin scares Ally by sneaking up on her while wearing a mask. They brainstorm a list of what scares them for inspiration. Ally finds a chorus for the song when she tells Austin what he said when they went to the water park and she was going to go down the slide. He told her "no matter how scared she was, just push ahead and don't look down." At the Halloween store, Trish's manager tells her to put costumes in different areas ofthe store, to which Trish says that she will do, but once she goes away, Trish throws them all in the Bargain Bin. A customer asks Trish if she can help him find a Charles Lindbergh costume, which Trish has no idea who he's talking about, and instead gives him a pilot costume. Dez approaches Trish with a ghost hunting kit. Even though Trish claims it doesn't work, Dez refuses to believe her. Austin complains to Trish, coming out of the dressing room as a piece of cake, that he wanted to be a caveman, not a cake-man. Trish says that Austin can't go as a caveman because she's going as a cave-woman. Austin asks for a ninja costume, but instead, Trish gives him a gladiator costume. Austin agrees, and tried to show off his muscles, but can't because of his costume. Ally approaches the counter dressed as a mid-20th Century nurse and insists she's supposed to be Florence Nightingale, and when she tries to tell Trish who she was, she persuades her to talk to the boy trying to dress like Charles Lindbergh. Ally tries to gain enough confidence to talk to the boy, and is delighted when he recognizes her as Florence Nightingale. Unfortunately, her attempt at witty banter turns out to be disastrous. Trish notices Ally's failure to hook up with him, and she laments over her inability to be more confident when it comes to picking up boys. Trish reminds her that since this is Halloween, she can be whoever or whatever she wants. At this point she decides that she's going to the party as a female super-heroine named Galexis Nova. When Ally says she is supposed to meet someone in the food court, poorly disguising who it might be, Austin and Dez become suspicious. In the food court, Austin and Dez use Dez's ghost-hunting equipment to spy on Ally and Jimmy, and find that the song Ally wrote for Austin was played for Taylor Swift, who liked it so much he decided to give it to her instead, thus infuriating Austin.
Later at Sonic Boom, Dez convinces Austin to write his feelings on a cell-phone in what he assumes will be a "pretend text message," which calls Ally and Jimmy 'evil, gutless rats.' Dez takes the phone and pushes what he thinks is a "don't send" button, which turns out to be a send button. Ally and Trish walk in demanding answers about their text, and when they reveal that they found out about Jimmy's
plans for his song, she explains that it was intended to be a duet between him and Taylor. Unfortunately, they now have to try to retrieve the text message from Jimmy Star. Trish decides that the best way to do so is to flood his phone with junk text messages, so that it will delay any attempts to read Austin's message.At the party, each member of Team Austin desperately tried to find Jimmy, as they're doing so, they find that like Dez, Nelson also went to the party as Austin. Ally stumbles upon Ethan, the boy she met in the Halloween store who wanted a Charles Lindbergh costume. Realizing he didn't recognize her from the store she introduces herself as the character she's disguised as, as Ethan does the same. When he asks for her phone number, she gets so excited about it that she leaves the balcony forgetting to exchange numbers with him. Austin finally stumbles upon Jimmy who's disguised as Albert Einstein reveals that the country singer is going to be singing a duet with him, and Ally asks him to borrow his phone so she can pretend to send a text to her father, upon which she deletes the message, as well as some others. After this plot succeeds, Jimmy reveals Miss Swift's presence at the party, who much to the surprise of Team Austin is also wearing a Galexis Nova costume. Meanwhile Dez still insists on trying to seek out ghosts in the house, and Trish tags along in order to watch him humiliate himself. In the room that was believed to be the most haunted Trish tries to tell Dez that there are no ghosts, only to find some scary moaning noises coming from the chimney, the walls appearing to bleed and smoke or fog bellowing from the fireplace. Terrified, Dez grabs a pumpkin, the only item he can use as a weapon, and flings it at somebody he assumes to be a ghost, who instead turns out to be a girl in a Galexis Nova costume and knocks her unconscious. Trish and Dez mistake this girl for Ally, and they try to help her recover, only to find the real Ally entering the room from behind them, which makes them realize that Dez actually knocked out Taylor Swift. Overhearing Jimmy announce that Austin will be performing with Taylor, the three other members of Team Austin struggle to figure out how to avoid letting him sing without his partner. Ally realizes that their identical costumes are the solution, and decides she's going to pretend to be the country star. Ally arrives on stage to a round of applause, which she finds quite enjoyable. Before they sing, Ally secretly reveals herself to Austin just after he gives her credit for the song, telling him only that Taylor got hurt. Austin gives her some last second advice, which she accepts easily, even pretending to be a bit flirtatious with him on stage. The popstar and the songwriter both give a five-star performance of the song "Don't Look Down," especially when she hits a high note towards the end of the song, which they both end with an somewhat on-stage hug. After the show Trish and Dez congratulate her, and Deztries to suggest that she perform with Austin more often, but Ally declines reminding him that the only reason she was able to perform was because she wasn't performing as herself. Austin makes her realize that she was able to do so with or without her mask, giving her a momentary sense of confidence. Another party attendee walks by and still assumes Ally is Taylor Swift, much to the surprise of Trish. Consequently, Ally is surprised to find that other members of the party also genuinely believe Dez is Austin, who milks this error for all it's worth by signing autographs for Austin's fans.