Best Halloween Candies of All Time, Ranked
You're never too old to go trick-or-treating.
But when grown adults dressed as extremely outdated dancing hot dogs reminisce about their trick-or-treat outings of yore, they're likely getting wistful for one of these 31 hall-of-fame Halloween candies, which we've ranked from great to greatest. Come along with us for treats and cavities.
Does anyone like Smarties? They taste dusty. Chewing on a pack instantly turns them into a chalky powder with faint, artificial fruit flavor. They are likely the least exciting candy to unwrap after a long night of trick-or-treating.
This are basically less delicious, lighter Laffy Taffy, but without the sense of humor or sense of identity. Will I go out of my way to eat them? Probably not. Will I willingly get these sugary sheets stuck in my teeth when I find them in my trick-or-treating pillow case? Definitely.
29. Jolly Ranchers
If you got the long, rectangular, flat Jolly Ranchers all the time, these would rank way, way higher. As it were, you usually get a couple of the cylindrical ones, and they've generally either shed part of their wrapper or had it meld to the candy, leading me to believe that people who hand out Jolly Ranchers for Halloween keep them under a heat lamp beforehand just to be evil. Not to mention there are some elite flavors of Jolly Ranchers and some rancid ones, which makes it a mixed bag candy not worthy of ranking higher.
28. Sour Patch Kids
Biting off the heads of Sour Patch Kids is really fun, but at the end of the day these remind me of Swedish Fish rolled in sugar and sour stuff. They'd be better if they were exclusively the watermelon or peach flavors.
The bananas get all the glory here, mostly because they’re the only ones that taste like what they look like. Though, honestly, I’ve never eaten a little pink heart, either, so maybe the flavor is extremely accurate.
26. Blow Pops
The best of the lollipop options is a master shape shifter. Neither the gum nor the candy is particularly good. But get impatient and chew the thing up and you’ve got some sort of beautiful chemistry that happens between the broken glass-like candy and the soft gum.
Nobody claims to love Whoppers. Yet they can’t stop once they’ve had one, probably because the weird textural transformation that happens when saliva hits the malt is the closest we can get to opening an old-school soda jerk in our mouths.
24. Milk Duds
Jockeying with Now & Laters for the candy most likely to yank out a loose tooth, Milk Duds offer a big of reprieve from binge-eating, largely because the irresistible urge to dump a whole tiny box in your mouth means you’re going to be stuck chewing for at least five minutes. My jaw hurts already.
23. Milky Way
Nobody ever requests a Milky Way, and typically these candy bars fight it out for bottom-of-the-bag dominance with 3 Musketeers (which you'll definitely not see on this list) and hateful pennies. Like Caramello on a budget, Milky Ways are perfectly serviceable, and provide the sugar blast you need. Side note: Why doesn't anyone ever hand out Caramellos?
22. Laffy Taffy
Some extremely artificial fruit flavoring, a sore jaw, and a couple of wrapper jokes that you feel embarrassed for chuckling at (and that you suspect Dave Coulier either wrote or stole)? Bring it.
Nerds are just little crunchy sugar boogers with a slight hint of fruit flavor, but they sadly don't come in flavor combo packs at Halloween. Dump random flavors in your mouth and hope for the best. If Nerds Ropes were passed out during Halloween, this would be an entirely different ranking.
Skittles would be way higher on this list if I could forget that time I put a whole bag in my mouth and cut the insides of my cheeks on all the sugar shrapnel that exploded everywhere. On the other hand, getting Skittles directly into your bloodstream is kind of amazing.
Are PayDays kind of a grandpa candy? Yeah. Are they an underrated explosion of salty peanuts nougat, and caramel? Absolutely. Maybe grandpa was onto something. Or maybe this is why he lost his teeth prematurely. Either way: underrated.
18. Haribo Gummies
There are more than two dozen variations on Haribo Gummies, but you're probably not getting Dinosaurs or Frogs or whatever. You're getting the Gold Bears. Which is cool, but there just aren't enough in a fun-sized bag to make you forget about the wonders of Twin Snakes or Happy Cola.
17. Junior Mints
A delicious reminder that your candy tastes are as outdated as last year's costume.
The Swiss Army knife of candy, Twizzlers are not only delicious in their artificial strawberry glory, are also an excellent solution to drinking in a post-plastic straw era. They're also excellent whips and work as ropes. MacGyver didn't invent these. But at one point, I'm pretty sure he used them to siphon gas and suture a wound. But not in that order.
15. Baby Ruth
Basically PayDays, but covered in chocolate and paired with the crushing disappointment you feel when the kids don't understand your incessant Goonies references. But hey, keep trying. Nerd.
If they were embedded in a cookie or something, they might be ranked first, but M&Ms are still pretty great on their own. Especially if they're the peanut kind. Or the peanut butter kind. Or the pretzel kind, the brownie kind, the crispy or almond kind... actually, why don't they make a little bag with all the different flavors inside? That would put it in contention for the top five. Take heed, Mars.
13. Flavored Tootsie Rolls
Go ahead and call this a garbage take, preferably while pelting me with these, the absolute most underrated treat in the bag. These things seem to only exist during Halloween or in your grandma's candy dish but, damn it, they offer the chance to do some great alchemy. Pop a vanilla and an orange in your mouth? Creamsicle. A lemon and a lime? Sprite candy. Eat them all at once? You're a crazy person. We should hang out.
The Heath bar makes you feel like a little British schoolboy with its toffee butteriness, and will make you look like one when your teeth eventually fall out from all the toffee you have lodged in your molars for weeks on end. It's a small price to pay for a brittle little piece of perfection.
Another in the pantheon of candy-based chemistry, Starbursts come in so many flavors, the permutations among flavor combinations are almost endless. Until you get a little pack with two lemons in it—a cruel twist of fate that happens all too often. Pink Starbursts are the best, but at least the other flavors aren't too far off.
10. Hershey's Bars
The American classic is the best melt-in-your-mouth, no-frills candy in the bag. Toss in some almonds and you've got a beast. Toss in Cookies 'n' Creme and you'll wonder what the hell you're even eating. Save these for the eventual campfire s'mores you'll be having this fall and winter.
9. Reese's Pieces
They have the same shape and same coating as M&M's, and the peanut butter is somehow just better than M&M's version. You no longer have to wonder what it would be like if they stuffed these in a Peanut Butter Cup, but that shouldn't stop you from making a DIY version.
8. Nestle Crunch
Finally something healthy. Rice puffs are healthy, right? Especially when they're covered with Nestlé's deliciously melty milk chocolate. If you let one sit in your mouth unchewed for long enough, it dissolves into a poor man's Cocoa Krispies. This is a good thing.
7. Mr. Goodbar
The snack so delicious that simply calling it Goodbar seemed like a sign of disrespect, Mr. is the king of the Hershey's variety pack—a simple, peanutty bit of awesome that puts Krackel to shame.
6. 100 Grand
Some kind soul decided to make a candy bar that tastes like a more caramel-laden cousin to Little Debbie's unsung Star Crunch, and what did we do? We forgot about it. Relegated it to a bar more associated with buying overpriced candy during a Boy Scouts fundraising drive than the outstanding snack it truly is. 100 Grand deserved better.
It's like somebody took a bunch of peanut butter, transformed it into the world's thinnest toffee, and layered it underneath a blanket of chocolate. And when you bite it, the little flakes pop off and melt on your tongue like butter produced by a chocolate cow.
It's the closest your Halloween bag's gonna come to having a sandwich inside, and let's be honest: milk chocolate and sugary wafers are way better than a tiny tuna on rye, especially after they've been sitting in a pillowcase for a few hours. Plus, the two-by-two snack-size KitKat acts as an adorable accessory for your Hacksaw Jim Duggan costume.
It's easily the heartiest of all candy bars: nougat, caramel, nuts, and chocolate represent pretty much every food group. And this is one that's hard to eat in a single bite, even when you're going bite-size. It's worth the effort nevertheless, and makes for a solid accessory for your Pissed-Off Betty White costume.
The cookie crunch. The deliciously hard caramel. The ultra-silky chocolate. There are a lot of things to love about Twix (three, actually), but this thing's even better in fun-size form. The ratios between the three main components are simply perfect, striking a balance that makes the intense sugar rush completely worth it.
1. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
Are you devouring the mini, with its jagged chocolate edges? The medium-cup, in all its one-biteable glory? Or the pumpkin, which serves as a vessel to get as much sugary peanut butter in your mouth as possible? It's your lucky day: there's no way to go wrong eating a Reese's.