The WORST Halloween Candy, and the Best Too

Over 30,000 customers surveyed
Data compiled and combined from outside sources as well
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Updated Rankings for 2019

Sept 20, 2019 By Ben George

These are the WORST Halloween candies, updated for 2019. Emphasis on WORST is important because people, frankly, get pretty heated about this. With Halloween just around the corner, the strong opinions come out full force. It's been written about and voted on, but never to this level. Here are THE worst Halloween candies. ...and the best ones too.

The Definitive Ranking of Worst and Best Halloween Candies


Worst Halloween Candy Today Show

Ellie Kemper: “Tastes like medicine” …ouch

With so many lists out there, it’s tough to compete. So we take some age-old advice. Since we can’t beat ’em, we’re going to join ’em. And by join ’em, we mean we’re taking 12 lists of best and worst candies published on reputable websites, add in our own customer survey data (over 30,000 surveyed!) and mash them all together into the ultimate list.

Here’s how we did it. First, we looked at the following lists of best and worst Halloween candies.

Best and Worst Lists
Business Insider
Worst Best
Huffington Post HelloGiggles
FoxNews The Week
Houston Press Thrillist
PlayBuzz Mental Floss
Bon Apetit 24/7 Wall Street

Next, we surveyed over 30,000 of our own customers. Then, we put the best and worst candies into a spreadsheet. In Column A we had a number value. We weighted each list, so a candy that got listed as the worst gets 10 points, while one that ranks 10th worst gets one point. Same idea goes for the best list. We then tallied up the points and created our list.


Without further ado:

The 10 Worst Halloween Candies

Worst Halloween Candy Top Ten

10. Bit-O-Honey

Honey is great. Chewy candies can be great. But there’s just something unappealing about this chewy mess. Bit-O-Honey was ranked #11 last year and moved into the number ten spot this year, replacing Mary Janes. Perhaps this confirms that some flavors just don’t mix well with chewy candies. Mary Janes are still in limbo, by they way. Maybe their absence is part of the reason for dropping to #11 this year? Bad memories aren’t as recent?

9. Good & Plenty

Since Good & Plenty are pretty much licorice, we see the reason why people don’t like them. I never minded getting a box here and a box there on a Halloween excursion. But they were never my favorites — which meant I ate them first, which is kid logic for ya.

8. Licorice

Note that this does not include Twizzlers, and if you read the lists you’ll see they allude to, if not outright say, black licorice. Around the office the reaction was pretty much the same. Australian licorice, if you can get your hands on it, is great. The style we see at Halloween? Not so much.

7. Smarties

Your kids will get plenty of these on Halloween. It’s inevitable. At first they’re not so bad. But the human tongue can take only so many vaguely sweet, chalky hard candy.

6. Tootsie Rolls

Your kids will also get a lot of these. They’re the easy way out for people who don’t want to spend money handing out candy to kids. You can throw a handful into each kid’s bag and it won’t set you back much. But kids tend not to like them. Note that this is a combination of regular Tootsie Rolls and flavored Tootsie Rolls (which are flat out disgusting). We combined a few items on the lists to make them a bit easier.

5. Necco Wafers

They’re like Smarties, but bigger, not as sweet, and more chalky. So yeah. These took the top spot on one list, and I’m surprised they weren’t on every list. When I started this project, I was sure that they’d be the hands down worst candy. But then again, they have been off the market for a while since the Great Necco Wafer Panic. So maybe people aren’t as likely to kick a candy when it’s down.

4. Wax Coke Bottles

The novelty of these is great. The first time you get one. When you’re five years old. Then the realization sets in: you’re biting through wax to get not even a mouthful of sugar water. By age eight you toss them in the trash without even bothering.

3. Peanut Butter Kisses

Jumping all the way to #3 from the #5 spot, these are neither Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, nor Hershey’s Kisses. I’ve seen them referred to as Mary Janes, which makes enough sense. You know these because they have a plain orange or black wrapper. My advice is to leave them in that wrapper and move onto the next candy.

2. Circus Peanuts, last year’s #1

I’d completely forgotten about these! Or, more accurately, I’d blocked them out. There is no way to describe the vileness that is Circus Peanuts. How could there possibly be a worse Halloween Candy?

I have to believe that they weren’t rated as the  #1 worst on everyone’s list because they, too, blocked these inedible monstrosities from their memories.

1. Candy Corn, the New Worst Halloween Candy in 2019

Candy corn slid up into the #1 spot this year. Knocking circus peanuts off the throne. Which is really saying something. Man. Hang in there, candy corn.

I’m actually shocked. Look, if you don’t like candy corn, you can just give it to me. Yes, it’s just sugar. Isn’t that the point? Candy corn is nothing special. There are absolutely better candies out there. But if you can’t enjoy stuffing handfuls of candy corn into your pie hole, well, I don’t even know what to tell you. But clearly, I’m well in the minority.

The 10 Best Halloween Candies

Now we get to the fun part. You can probably guess most of the candies on this list. They’re popular for a reason. But in case you wanted to know how your tastes stack up, here is the weighted list of the best Halloween candies of all time.

10. Hershey Bar

We’re again combining candies here, because there just isn’t that much difference between the original Hershey Bar and the Cookies ‘n’ Cream version. Or maybe there is for your palate. In any case, Hershey bars barely missed the worst list, yet got a few mentions on the best, including two mentions in the 24/7 Wall Street list. Which, since it was based on sales, is pretty good reason to include Hershey Bar on the best list, in our eyes.

9. Skittles

If you’re not eating the entire fun size bag in one mouthful, you’re doing it wrong. None of us here ever minded getting Skittles in our Halloween bags. They’re tasty enough. But they’re nothing special, and if you eat too many your mouth starts to feel all lumpy.

8. Sour Patch Kids

We’re shocked these didn’t rank higher, given their chewiness and sweetness. But after high marks on both the BuzzFeed and Business Insider lists, Sour Patch Kids made zero additional appearances. It’s probably because they’re not that common treats. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen many of the mini bags in grocery stores.

7. Butterfinger

The classic Butterfinger appeared on a number of lists, usually in the second half of the top 10. We’re not going to argue. It’s a personal favorite of mine, but it’s easy to see why it would turn off some candy fans. Still, you’re not going to complain when one gets dropped in your bag, are you?

6. Nerds

I was kinda surprised to see this on the list. The Nerds boxes you get on Halloween are typically tiny. As with Skittles, they’re pointless unless you down the whole thing in one mouthful. But maybe there’s something to that.

5. M&Ms

One list had pretzel M&Ms, which is oddly specific. They weren’t around when I trick-or-treated (it was plain and peanut back then), so I don’t even know that people hand out the fun sized bags of them. In any case, M&Ms are great. You know our opinions about them.

4. Kit Kat

On the surface the Kit Kat is pretty plain. It’s just chocolate and wafer. Yet it works so so well. And it works very well on Halloween, since you’re getting essential half of a full-sized bar. That’s way more than you can say for most of the fun sized versions of our favorite Halloween candies.

3. Twix

If I’m getting a full-sized candy bar on Halloween, make it a Twix, please. There’s just something about them that makes them irresistible. On Halloween you can count on three versions: the aforementioned full-sized version, the one-stick half-sized version, and the fun sized version. We hope you and your kids don’t get the fun-sized version, given the alternatives.

2. Snickers

There is no surprise here. I always preferred Milky Way, but people prefer more heartiness in a candy bar, apparently. Again, it would be so easy for people to go out of their ways and get full-sized versions. They’re not that big. But the fun-sized version is so small, so sad.

1. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

This was the blowout of the century. Of the seven lists we ranked, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups ranked #1 on six of them, and ranked #3 on the other. And that list had six candies that didn’t appear on any of the other six lists, so yeah, this was just a candy massacre. Do we have to extol the virtues of the Peanut Butter Cup? My siblings and I used to separate them out and hide them, lest they get stolen. Many a tear was shed when someone picked a poor hiding spot.

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  1. S.Carras says

    Wow! I’m impressed! Circus Peanuts are probably the worst (and NOT “pea-nutty” but BANANA flavored!). Neccos? I think them more dubious than obnoxious, but they were weird…Smarties aren’t even the same thing (at least Neccos have interesting flavors like cinnamon and clover)-Smarties are just typical “sweet tart” type candies but otherwise same as described. But very breakable as already noted elsewhere.) LOVE me a KitKat or M&M or Hersheys.I also love the violet smell/staste of a Chowards (BOY, THERE’s a brand no one seems to bring up). I also love Swedish Fish.

    • S.Carras says

      UPDATE: I retried the Circus Peanuts this month and I am hooked now…also got back on Tootsie Rolls (MINI rolls, mind you) and some others…..LOVE Neccos, Candy Corn.,..

    • SCarras says

      Update oN Circus peanuts: I retried and am a clown for them (get it? circus) (though Spangler has a certain different style, I love those but in my opinion Melster (of the biggest by far rivals) are best).

      Still won’t retry dots or Nik L Nip. You can just suck it . Get it?

  2. NW says

    Sign me up for any of the dark chocolate versions: Reese’s Dark Chocolate Cups, Milky Way Midnight, Mounds, Hershey’s Special Dark, Snicker’s Dark…I’d put those over anything. Sour Skittles would probably be my top non-chocolate thing.

  3. Elic says

    Gee, so many of these I can’t eat. Butterfingers, M&Ms, Skittles, candy corn, they all have corn starch or some other form of corn protein (Butterfingers have confectioners corn flakes.) I didn’t even know they still sold wax soda bottles…

  4. Garrett Hawkins says

    One important candy that should be included for the 10 worst is Now and Laters. It tries so hard to be Laffy Taffy, but fails so miserably.

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