Halloween is coming, and now that we’re into the first week of October we’re starting to see the spooky spirit take root. Suddenly ghosts, cob-webs, jack-o-lanterns, pumpkin spice, and candy corn are in way too many places. You wake up one morning in October and suddenly you’re forced into the spirit, whether you like it or not. But really, who doesn’t like Halloween? It’s the one holiday that remains exciting with each passing year. Children look forward to candy, teenagers dress as their ‘inner-selves,’ and adults take stabs at comedic expression with varying degrees of success.
Even the elderly look forward to all the butterscotch and other reject candy everyone dumps on them. It’s an ageless holiday!
But with Halloween comes some bullshit. Controversial costumes, weird gone-too-far pranks, and perhaps the most egregious: Halloween-themed candy. Now we’re not talking about candy corn. What we’re talking about is candy that is specially released in the Halloween season as a cheap cash-grab; a not-so-subtle attempt to sell you some god-awful nonsense masquerading as holiday spirit.
It’s easy to fall for Big Candy’s trap, that’s why we’re satiating your curiosity by digging through all the Halloween-themed candy we could find to warn you which treats you shouldn’t get tricked into buying. We’ve eliminated all candy that is a simple palette-swap. No orange and black Junior Mints or ghost-shaped Peeps here. Only the brands that go beyond a themed-wrapper and try something new in the name of Halloween deserve our hate.
Buckle up, we’re Power Ranking the worst Halloween-themed candy from “Best of the Worst” to “Worst of the Worst.”
Reese’s – White Peanut Butter Pumpkin
Enveloped in White Crème, the Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkin is as good as dumb Halloween-themed candy gets. We’d gladly eat this all year round, but there is a major caveat. The White Pumpkin suffers most from a design flaw – -an example of the theme getting in the way of the experience. Although the peanut butter mixes well with the crème, the pumpkin shape does no favors for this candy.
Yes, the White Pumpkins are bigger and a bit thicker than your average Reese’s peanut butter cup — meaning more candy for you! But the large size and easily meltable crème cause the candy to start to slip through your fingers the second you take your first bite and by the time you’ve finished your first White Pumpkin, your hands are a sticky mess.
Pass on this one, unless you don’t mind a mess or you want to eat your candy like Mr. Pitt. You pompous ass.
Trolli – Sour Brite Bats, Cats, and Rats
Shape does not dictate flavor when it comes to Trolli’s Sour Brite Bats, Cats, and Rats. Trolli will often try giving some new creature the sour-candy treatment but they always seem to fall short in comparison to the basic sour worm. Let’s face it people, sour candy must be worm, bear, straw or belt-shaped to really work. We don’t know why, it’s just the way its always been (and by always, I mean since I was born and candy conscious).
Aside from painting a mental picture in your head of a bunch of sh*t you’d never eat no matter how much sour powder it was dipped in, the Bats, Cats, and Rats are a very thick gummy that you’re forced to spend a lot of time eating. The sour powder dissolves fast – leaving you with a too-thick glob that causes every chew to feel like a task. One of the most enjoyable aspects of the regular Sour Brite Crawlers is your ability to mix flavors because of their small size, but all you’d get out of mixing the Bats, Cats, and Rats are more cavities.
Grab these only if you feel like pelting someone with a gummy.
Sour Patch – Zombie Kids
The Sour Patch Zombie Kids are the type of candy that causes us to suspect that Halloween-themed flavors are less about fun holiday spirit and more about dumping less desirable flavors on you that might’ve been made by mistake. There is a reason a regular bag of Sour Patch Kids doesn’t include a grape flavor, and it’s because grape sucks (so does blue raspberry, but that’s a rant for another day).
Immediately upon opening a bag of Zombie Kids, you’re greeted with an overwhelmingly chemical smell, which we guess is better than death? While Zombie Kids don’t taste terrible, you are left with an entire bag of two very boring flavors. Our major gripe here is in the name and box art. Why is Frankenstein’s monster on the box and not a zombie? Though there is much debate, Frankenstein’s monster is not, in fact, a zombie. In many ways, Frankenstein is more akin to a low-budget robot cobbled together from parts, not a reanimated corpse but an amalgamation of corpses, it even has a heartbeat!
It wouldn’t have been hard to design the Sour Patch Kid as a zombie in the box art. So we don’t understand. Skip ’em.
Haribo – Ghostly Gummies
Making use of lots of lemon and pineapple pieces (again, reject flavors) the Haribo Ghostly Gummies are a one-flavor-per-gummi candy, making them even more boring than a basic gummi worm. While not as thick as some of the other Halloween-themed candy out there — which makes them less of a chore to eat — the Ghostly Gummies feel like a bag full of less popular flavors, their mixability being the only point in their favor.
Coming in pumpkin, bat, skeleton, and skull shapes they’re slightly more visually appealing than some of their competition but a lack of variety in flavor really set this candy back. Haribo should’ve taken this opportunity to introduce new flavors, instead of filling a bag with less desirable versions of pre-existing flavors.
Buy a bag just to tie a note reading “do better” on them and leave it on the porch of whoever decides the flavor of these candies. Or you know, just pick up a bag of Haribo bears and call it a day.
Haribo – s’WITCHes’ Brew
The gimmick of the Haribo s’WITCHes’ Brew is that every candy piece is a gamble. Will it be sour or sweet? Jesus, what fool thought I needed a guessing game. It’s almost like these are for young kids!
Since you’ll never know if the piece you’re about to eat is sour or sweet and they taste horrible together, you’re really forced to eat these one at a time to make them enjoyable, and even then it’s a 50/50 chance. The risk is just too high.
All the s’WITCHes’ Brew candy is good for is pranking a friend. Not on whether the candy they’re about to eat is sour or sweet, rather because the joy of receiving free candy will immediately evaporate upon tasting just how awful these are.
m&m’s Cookies & Screeem, White Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie
Ahh the very candy that convinced us this list worked better as a “worst” ranking rather than “best.” We’re gonna go ahead and lump all of these flavors together because they’re all god awful. At the end of the day, no matter how hard m&m tries, they need to just come to terms with the fact that the only worthwhile flavors they’ll ever make are plain and peanut, hell we’ll even give almond a pass. Of all of them, the Cookies and Screeem rises above the rest, but it’s hardly different than the regular plain-iteration.
The Pumpkin and Pecan Pie, however, are straight up disgusting. These flavors just don’t work in the m&m form. Why not fill the centers with something new like graham cracker or a brownie-like texture, something, anything to make this candy less of a shameless holiday bandwagon-jumping stunt. Also, holding the m&m name greatly inflates the price of these candies making them more expensive than anything else on this list.
Screw these. Eat peanut flavor like a normal person.
Mike and Ike – Caramel Apple
Why? Again, this is not the proper form for these flavors. You know who asked for green apple and caramel Mike and Ikes? Absolutely nobody.
If you throw a handful of Caramel Apple Mike and Ikes into your mouth, the experience is akin to melting a caramel-apple pop in the microwave and then eating the goop that is left over. Why would you want to experience these flavors in a soft and chewy form?
This candy has no redeeming qualities.
Tic Tac Count’s Combo
And we come to the most egregious of Halloween-themed candy. The most blatant cash-grab at all. Tic Tac, you have no f*cking business throwing your hat in the candy game. Even as a mint, Tic Tac is a failure.
Calling itself “Count’s Combo” makes the situation worse. Why would this “Count,” presumably a vampire, like a mix of orange and grape? As a concept, it doesn’t even attempt to make sense of itself.
Tic Tac brings absolutely nothing to the table and frankly their attempt is such a blatant cash grab that it’s infuriating. As I wrote this article, a box sat on my desk and as people passed me by, they’d stop and scoff at the mere sight of them. They only benefit we can see is that someone in the Tic Tac graphics department got to have a little more fun than usual, but we wonder if even they stopped to marvel at just how shameless their ‘mint’ overlords truly are.