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.
45. Strawberry Hard Candies
Congratulations. You trick-or-treated at the actual devil’s house and made it out alive.
44. Gum (Specifically Double Bubble)
If you’re looking for saccharine-sweet flavor for seconds followed by disappointment, well, look no further.
It’s like they’re not even trying to get our attention. We’re almost sorry we dissed that box of raisins.
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.
41. Hot Tamales
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!
This would be ever so slightly better if it were enrobed in chocolate. It just feels a little…sad.
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.
36. Crunch Bar
Tell us again, why did we need to ruin perfectly mediocre chocolate with surprise bits of mystery gravel?
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.
34. Mr. Goodbar
He’s good, but not, like, amazing.
33. Blow Pops
Does anyone actually like the plasticky chewing gum that lurks in the center of these things? We didn’t think so.
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!
Had we wanted to eat chalk for dessert, we would’ve done so when our kindergarten teacher wasn’t looking.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Coconut and dark chocolate felt sophisticated when we were 11. Now we just wish it came in milk. (Come on, you do too.)
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.
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.
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.
Nonbelievers will say they’re chalky and boring, but we must disagree. Plus, have you ever had the chewy kind?
20. Sugar Babies
Just make sure you put your dentist on speed dial before cracking open a box. Can you say “cavities?”
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.)
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.)
17. Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers
This is the only kind of worm we want to see in our Halloween candy, to be quite honest.
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.)
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.)
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.
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?
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.
Strawberry Twizzlers are in a whole other class from regular licorice. And that, friends, is a very, very good thing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
This crunchy cookie/gooey caramel situation is universally satisfying—the Tom Hanks of candies, if you will.
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.
6 Ways to Enjoy All That Candy This Halloween
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Eat all the candy yourself. (Kidding. Kind of.)
Plus, 8 Halloween Recipes to Put You in a Spooky Mood
PureWow may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from PureWow's editorial and sales departments.