The Best Halloween Candy of All Time, Super Scientifically Ranked from Trash to Tasty

editor@purewow.com (PureWow)
·8 mins read

Remember that neighbor from your childhood who gave out such terrible candy (or worse, boxes of raisins) that by fourth grade, you didn’t even bother with their house anymore and basically avoided eye contact from August through November? Don’t be that person. To ensure you’re giving out the good stuff (Psst: Check out the CDC guidelines on trick-or-treating this year) or eating it on your own while you binge a bunch of Halloween movies, we’ve carefully ranked all the best Halloween candy, from best to worst. You’re welcome.

RELATED: 50 Halloween Dessert Ideas, from Totally Spooky to Extra Sweet

45. Strawberry Hard Candies

Congratulations. You trick-or-treated at the actual devil’s house and made it out alive.

$24 at Amazon

44. Gum (Specifically Double Bubble)

If you’re looking for saccharine-sweet flavor for seconds followed by disappointment, well, look no further.

$20 at Amazon

43. Dots

It’s like they’re not even trying to get our attention. We’re almost sorry we dissed that box of raisins.

$10 at Amazon

42. Junior Mints

These taste like toothpaste. They do, so sue us. They’d be marginally better if you didn’t need to brush the sugary scum from your teeth after.

$35 at Amazon

41. Hot Tamales

Too spicy.

Buy it ($5)

RELATED: 35 Halloween Dinner Ideas for Adults

40. Lemonheads

Too sour.

$12 at Amazon

39. 3 Musketeers

Is it just us, or is this the chintziest of all the candy bars? Plain old nougat…it’s got no chutzpah!

Buy it ($3)

38. Payday

This would be ever so slightly better if it were enrobed in chocolate. It just feels a little…sad.

$19 at Amazon

37. Baby Ruth

Great baseball player? Yes. Great candy? Not so much. This one loses points for appearance and the fact that we had to Google what it’s even made of.

Buy it ($5)

36. Crunch Bar

Tell us again, why did we need to ruin perfectly mediocre chocolate with surprise bits of mystery gravel?

Buy it ($5)

35. Whoppers

If we’re in a dark movie theater, sure, we’ll down an entire king-size box of these (don’t tell anyone, though). But on Halloween, our standards are suddenly much, much higher.

$11 at Amazon

34. Mr. Goodbar

He’s good, but not, like, amazing.

$23 at Amazon

33. Blow Pops

Does anyone actually like the plasticky chewing gum that lurks in the center of these things? We didn’t think so.

$5 at Amazon

32. Bottle Caps

It’s all fun and games until you think you’re biting into a root beer bottle cap and it turns out to be an orange one that tastes like medicine. We want treats, not tricks!

$10 at Amazon

31. Sweetarts

Had we wanted to eat chalk for dessert, we would’ve done so when our kindergarten teacher wasn’t looking.

$23 at Amazon

30. Snickers

Listen, these peanut-nougat bars are just fine, if settling for fine on the most sugary holiday of the year is your thing. But turn them into Snickers dip and they’re actually worth something.

$10 at Amazon

29. Caramel Apple Pops

We’d kinda sorta like these fall-ified lollypops, if they didn’t threaten to rip our teeth clean from our mouth in one go. Eat at your own risk, folks.

Buy it ($3)

28. Jolly Ranchers

It’s not that Jolly Ranchers are inherently bad (minus the grape ones, those are the worst); it’s just that we could all do so much better.

Buy it ($9)

RELATED: Jolly Rancher Hard Candy Lollipops

27. Hershey’s Chocolate

Like the Michael Bluth of the Halloween candy haul: Fine…but pretty boring compared to the rest of the family. (The one exception—and this is crucial—is if the neighbor is giving out full-size chocolate bars).

$23 at Amazon

RELATED: 16 Terrifyingly Tasty No-Bake Halloween Treats

26. Smarties

We’ll admit that these sugar tablets are really only good when eaten in threes or the entire roll shoved in your mouth at once.

Buy it ($8)

25. Mounds

Coconut and dark chocolate felt sophisticated when we were 11. Now we just wish it came in milk. (Come on, you do too.)

Buy it ($10)

24. Rolos

Sure, these caramel-chocolate bites are pretty inoffensive in the grand scheme of things. But they’re certainly not *Milk Duds* and they have a way of squirting caramel down your chin, every single time.

Buy it ($9)

23. Tootsie Fruit Chews

These guys are a little fruity, a little waxy and taste like something our grandpa would keep in his pocket for “emergencies.” We do have a soft spot for the vanilla ones.

$15 at Amazon

22. Original Tootsie Roll

See above. Slightly waxy, vaguely chocolaty and found in a grandparent’s jacket pocket, they’re a Halloween classic, and there’s nothin’ wrong with that.

$19 at Amazon

21. Sprees

Nonbelievers will say they’re chalky and boring, but we must disagree. Plus, have you ever had the chewy kind?

$6 at Amazon

20. Sugar Babies

Just make sure you put your dentist on speed dial before cracking open a box. Can you say “cavities?”

$25 at Amazon

RELATED: 60 Creative Halloween Costumes That Will Help You Win Fright Night

19. Starburst (Reds, Yellows and Oranges)

We’ll never know how these flavors got to share a package with those delicious pink guys, but we suppose it could be worse. (See no. 45.)

Buy it ($9)

18. Almond Joy

Real talk: We would prefer Almond Joys if they were made with milk chocolate and, well, zero almonds. (But alas, Bounty bars aren’t sold in the United States.)

Buy it ($10)

RELATED: 50 Halloween Dessert Ideas, from Totally Spooky to Extra Sweet

17. Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers

This is the only kind of worm we want to see in our Halloween candy, to be quite honest.

$5 at Amazon

16. Skittles

We’ve tasted the rainbow, and we wish it would bring back lime instead of that cursèd green apple nonsense. (Bonus points if you get a sour bag.)

Buy it ($12)

15. Air Heads

Getting a mystery flavor Air Head is like winning the Halloween candy lottery. (FYI, we still don’t know what flavor it is.)

Buy it ($10)

14. Nerds

What the heck Nerds? They’re tiny, crunchy bits of sugar that you can pour straight into your mouth, is what. And that’s why we love ’em so.

$10 at Amazon

13. M&M’s

Listen, we’ll trade you six green M&M’s for three red ones. We know all the colors taste the exact same. Or do they?

Buy it ($13)

12. Milk Duds

What’s the opposite of a dud? A victory? Yeah, they should rename these to that…or maybe not, but you get the idea.

$23 at Amazon

11. Twizzlers

Strawberry Twizzlers are in a whole other class from regular licorice. And that, friends, is a very, very good thing.

$10 at Amazon

10. Kit Kat

Break us off a piece of that. Or just, like, give us a whole one. We don’t actually want to share with anybody.

Buy it ($10)

RELATED: Kit Kat Bar Ice-Cream Cake

9. Reese’s Fast Break

Finding one of these in your Halloween candy bag is like finding an all-marshmallow box of Lucky Charms—a diamond in the rough, if you will.

$25 at Amazon

8. Hershey’s Cookies and Cream

We don’t even care that it’s not “real white chocolate” or even chocolate at all. Haters, stay back.

$23 at Amazon

7. Starburst (Pinks)

We would do unspeakable things to get our hands on pink Starbursts and pink Starbursts only. Good thing they make bags full of just the good stuff, so we don’t have to.

$10 at Amazon

6. Candy Corn

Is it the most polarizing of all the Halloween candy? Perhaps. Do we love it more than the holiday itself? Forever and ever.

Buy it ($5)

RELATED: Candy Corn Surprise Cake

5. Butterfinger

If you didn’t get one of these hopelessly stuck in your molars, did Halloween really even happen? (Apologies to dentists all over the world.)

Buy it ($10)

4. Sour Patch Kids

Would we coat our lives in the sugary dust that settles at the bottom of the bag? Let’s just say the answer isn’t no.

$11 at Amazon

3. Take 5

We appreciate how hard they’re trying with five different flavors in one bar. And to be honest, we’ll eat anything that involves pretzels.

$27 at Amazon

2. Twix

This crunchy cookie/gooey caramel situation is universally satisfying—the Tom Hanks of candies, if you will.

$15 at Amazon

RELATED: The 52 Best Celebrity Halloween Costumes

1. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Salty, sweet and color-coordinated to the holiday. Disagree? Come at us. (Oh, and the pumpkin-shaped ones are even better.) There’s simply no denying that this is the best Halloween candy of all time.

Buy it ($9)

RELATED: 36 Halloween Snacks That’ll Get Any Grown-Up in the Spirit

6 Ways to Enjoy All That Candy This Halloween

  1. If you’re opting out of trick-or-treating or not giving out candy this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can still get in on the spooky fun with “ghosting,” a kid-approved and socially-distanced way to hand out candy to neighbors and friends. Find out more here.

  2. You couldn’t possibly host a zoom costume party without copious amounts of candy to snack on, could you? Or why not invite your friends for a socially-distant outdoor movie screening, and give each group their own pumpkin bucket of individually-wrapped snacks?

  3. Carve a pumpkin, or host a pumpkin-carving gathering in your backyard. (Masks required and six feet apart, of course.) Here, everything you’ll need for the best Jack-O’-Lantern ever.

  4. If you’re celebrating Halloween with kids, set up your home as a miniature neighborhood and have them go “door to door” while you hand out candy from each room. Here are even more ways to safely celebrate Halloween that are kid-approved.

  5. Craft a six-foot-long candy slide out of PVC piping so those Reese’s Cups can play their own came of Chutes and Ladders before they land in someone’s candy bin.

  6. Eat all the candy yourself. (Kidding. Kind of.)

Plus, 8 Halloween Recipes to Put You in a Spooky Mood

RELATED: 26 Halloween Cocktails That Are Scary Delicious

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