I love sugar. It’s my friend. If I could survive and be properly nourished by ice cream, brownies, and chocolate milk, I would be. But alas, sugar is bad for you. Or something.
Yet despite that known fact that copious amounts of sugar are not great for humans, we’re about to reach the biggest candy day of the year. Halloween is next Monday, which means that children — and adults — everywhere are about to begin a sugar filled binge that last until approximately Nicolas Cage’s birthday.
While I’m an adult who has the fortunate position where I can go to the store and purchase my own candy freely at Halloween, I was not so lucky as a kid. I didn’t go trick or treating for the first time until I was 12, meaning I only got two years to experience the joy of ignoring the “don’t take candy from strangers” rule for one night a year. On top of that, the people in my hometown weren’t very good at giving out quality candy.
That’s why I’m making this list. There are a lot of lists on the internet telling you that one candy is better than another. And while some of those thoughts are good, others promote terrible candies that I found myself giving to any family member who would take them.
Instead of doing a lengthy list of individually ranked candies, I’ve divided candies into groups. Each of these candy groups has a target audience. If you’re passing out candy, know what group you want to belong to and purchase candy accordingly.
The “I’m Buying Candy I Like, But Don’t Want Any of It Around to Tempt Me” Candies
Examples: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers, Milky Way, 3 Musketeers, Take 5
If you’re buying from this group, you’re probably picking an occasional treat out of the bag throughout the night to eat if for yourself. That said, when you tell the neighborhood kids that they can have two if they want, they’ll actually take two.
Tiny Candies In Tiny Packaging
Examples: M&Ms (all kinds), Skittles, Bottle Caps, Pez, Nerds
Similar to the previous category, these candies will be quickly picked up by whatever grubby little hands are showing up at your door. Just one word of caution if you’ve got leftovers. You’ll be finding trash from any of these candies in various corners of your house for months after Halloween. If you’re okay with that, go for it.
You’re Buying For Your Kid Who Doesn’t Like Normal Candy
Examples: Dots, Good and Plenty, Fireballs, Warheads, Charleston Chew
Read: All the candies I hoped to get every Halloween. With the exception of Warheads, I know most of these candies are hated, But I didn’t want anything out of the top two groups as a kid. While I’ll eat most of them now, there’s still a soft spot in my stomach for a box or two of Dots at Halloween. Plus, they’re easy to come by. No one else wants them.
The Store Was Out Of Everything Else
Examples: Spree, York Peppermint Patties, Twizzlers/Red Vines, Pop Rocks, Fun Dip
You might be a bit hesitant to purchase these candies when you walk into Walmart at 4pm on Halloween and see a desolate candy aisle with only these options left. The thing is, you’re not doing too bad for yourself. No one else bought these things. Every kids likes each of the items on the list enough to have one of them in a year. You could have done worse.
You Think You Know What Kids Like, But You Really Don’t
Examples: Jolly Rancher, Starburst, literally anything with a Tootsie Roll in it, Airheads, Sixlets
Look. I get it. Jolly Ranchers are classics. Starburst has great marketing. The Tootsie Pop was huge at the same time Sonny and Cher were. Same goes for Airheads for that six month span when Hanson mattered. If your trick or treaters are adults, you’ve got a decent collection of candies. For kids and their pickier palates, avoid these candies. Also, if you’re buying Sixlets, don’t. Just spend the extra dollar and get a similar sized bag of M&Ms.
You Want To Buy Candy People Say They Like But Actually Don’t
Examples: Nestle Crunch, Twix, Pixy Stix, Smarties (American version), SweetTarts
Walk up to nearly anyone and ask them if they like any of the five candies stated above. They’ll say yes to at least three out of the five, if not all five. Then give them one. That candy will sit on their kitchen counter for six months, then get thrown out during the bi-yearly purging of the fridge.
You Got Lost On the Way Out of the Store and Just Grabbed the First Thing You Saw
Examples: Any gum, Cow Tales, Circus Peanuts, Candy Cigarettes, Mallo Cups
Why are you doing your Halloween candy shopping in a rural Ohio gas station at 2am in 2004? Leave me those Mallo Cups and get out of here.
You’re A Dentist, A Lawyer, or Allergic To Everything
Sure. Remind me that I’m going to have astronomical dental bills all throughout my twenties because I saw the dentist one time between birth and age 20. See if I care.
You’re My Mom
Examples: There are none. Halloween is the Devil’s holiday and an abomination unto the Lord.
You’re An Asshole
Example: Zero Bars