The Ten Worst Halloween Candies

Introduction by Mike Lytle

Typically on our Rambling Ever On Top 10 lists we aim to keep it positive. We try to see the best in people and look on the bright side. To that end, we have given the world our list of the best Sitcoms, Cereals, Bible characters, Candies, Pies, etc. This week we are flipping the script. A lot of people are going to be receiving unsafe amounts of candy this evening. Many of those people will be children who lack the requisite discernment skills necessary to separate the good candy from the bad. Never fear, Rambling Ever On is here to give you the 10 worst Halloween candies of all time. They are terrible so please stay away from them all! Of course, if you love any of these please leave a comment below.

10. Mike & Ike

I don’t think these are terrible. They are just boring. If they were a CCM group they would be Casting Crowns*. I will stop here to avoid falling asleep. (Mike Lytle)

*Editor’s Note: We apologize for the unnecessary and completely unprovoked attack on Casting Crowns. We will learn from this and strive to do better in the future.

9. Dum Dums

The name says it all.

But, seeing as this is Rambling Ever On (emphasis on the “Rambling”), we can’t leave it at that. Suckers are a time-tested and time-honored candy and there are many great sucker options out there. Blow Pops are amazing. There are even specialty suckers in hundreds of delicious flavors. The only thing Dum Dums have going for them is that they are inexpensive. It’s why they end up in so many Halloween candy hauls. Yet, their ubiquity should not be taken as a sign of popularity. A few days after Halloween, once most of the candy has been eaten, you will always find Dum Dums among the unwanted refuse at the bottom of the bag. (Phill Lytle)

8. Smarties

To be honest, I like all the candies on this list to some degree. Actually I can’t think of a candy I dislike at all. However, I do think these are on the lowest rung of the candy chain (except Twizzlers, Candy Corn, and Circus Peanuts which I love). I am writing about Smarties because of all the mediocre candies on this list, this is the one I have had the most. I actually like Smarties just fine and will gladly take one or ten if offered to me. Yet there has never been and never will be a time when I have an option of candies and think, “Wow, I really crave me some Smarties. I will shun these Snickers and M&M’s and take this here luscious roll of colored sugar pills. (Ben Plunkett)

7. Mary Jane

Just looked these up. To my knowledge, I’ve never had one. But because I’m a true team player and because the rest of our voters have adamantly and vehemently refused to write blurbs I will just say Mary Jane’s appearance is that of a light brown slug. They emit a foul and unpleasant odor. I loathe them.

Besides, a candy with a name that is also slang for marijuana can’t be a good idea for distribution among kids.

Note: At the 11th hour other voters changed their incorrigible ways and have written blurbs, therefore my great anger and wrath has been justly appeased. (Ben Plunkett) 

The description of this candy’s flavor has molasses in it. Does anything else need to be said? [Napoleon Dynamite voice]: Gross! (Gowdy Cannon)

I like Mary Jane – the candy! I’ve never had the other “Mary Jane.” I’ve smelled it at the disc golf course and sometimes in my neighborhood. It’s not a pleasant aroma, I can tell you that. Why am I talking about pot? I guess because, while I like Mary Jane – the candy! – I don’t really have a strong enough opinion to say anything else about it.

On a side note, I would like to give major props to Gowdy Cannon for his super timely pop culture reference of Napoleon Dynamite. Rambling Ever On is super duper hip and rad, just like the youths! (Phill Lytle)

This peanut butter and molasses taffy is a delectable concoction. The only reason it is on this list is because my fellow contributors have been deprived of its wonder. I apologize most sincerely for the ignorance of my Rambling Ever On brethren. (Nathan Patton)

6. Circus Peanuts

It was the great Jerry Seinfeld who opined on these peanut-shaped marshmallows that he rejected them as a child because, “We have all the doorstops we need.” Even though I do not hate them quite as much as he apparently does, I have laughed hard at that many times. I get it. For candy with sugar, they taste quite bland. When you put them up against the kings like Snickers and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, they are just dreadful. So making this list was no surprise. (Gowdy Cannon)

These were number 2 on my list. As in: the second worst candy in the world. Not sure how they ended up as number 5 on the Rambling Ever On list. Our voters embarrass me at times. (Phill Lytle)

5. Twizzlers

Twizzlers have their fans. Personally, I think those people are completely insane, but I have to acknowledge their existence. Twizzlers have almost no flavor and the flavor they do have is not something I want to taste. They give bland a bad name. The only good use I have ever found for a Twizzler is as a makeshift weapon to fight my enemies. And since I have no enemies, as far as I am aware, they are completely useless to me. (After writing this I probably have incurred the wrath of a few wayward souls who now consider me their enemy. Twizzlers might come in handy after all!) (Phill Lytle)

The wrapper for Twizzlers claims it is strawberry flavored candy. But let’s get real for a moment: Twizzlers taste like wax. I have personally never done so, but I suspect you could achieve a similar taste and texture by chomping down on a candle stick. It does’t help that Twizzlers are long, thin, and cylindrical like a candle. If you enjoy plucking candles from birthday cake and consuming them rather than eating something sweet and enjoyable like say… cake… then by all means go find some Twizzlers. Better yet you can take all of mine. (Mark Sass)

4. Jawbreakers/Gobstoppers

Early on in the process of making this list, I told the other Rambling Ever On staffers, “I’d rather eat vegetables for Halloween than jawbreakers”. And I meant it. The joy of candy is biting into something and allowing the sugary taste explosion to flood your mouth and soul. Getting to chew it for a few seconds just adds to the goodness. Only the novelties of most suckers–holding the candy on a stick as you slowly anticipate getting to the good part in the middle– is excepted. Jawbreakers and Gobstoppers accomplish none of this. They actually hurt to eat. Whoever had this idea was a doofus, yet a genius to market and successfully sell it. (Gowdy Cannon)

3. Candy Corn

On September 24th, 2018 I tweeted (to very little fanfare) – The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that peanuts and candy corn taste like Payday candy bars. Don’t believe the lie.

On Halloween of last year I felt that message was so important that I retweeted myself to even less fanfare.

Despite the lack of interest from the twitter community at large I stand by every word of this tweet and subsequent retweet. Candy Corn is so awful that it ruins whatever you are mixing it with. (Mike Lytle)

These are about as bad as it gets. They are awful. The consistency of hardened ear wax. The flavor of too sweet candle wax. The aesthetic beauty of a giant kernel of corn. Candy Corn is terrible no matter what criteria you use. And please don’t tell me how good they are if you eat them with peanuts and how they taste just like a Payday. They don’t taste like a Payday. Payday tastes like a Payday so if you want a Payday get a flippin’ Payday instead of this Frankensteinian abomination. (Phill Lytle)

It grieves me deeply that my friends Mike and Phill have so deeply blinded themselves to the truth in this matter, the truth that is out there. Let not their ill-spoken words fill your mind and bosom with dismay concerning this time-honored delicacy. I adjure you, hasten from the dark, murky waters of their discontent…their war-mongering. (Ben Plunkett)

2. Red Hots

I definitely don’t hate these, but I consider them at the bottom of the bottom tier Halloween candy. These taste okay. And I love spicy hot foods (although in my quickly advancing age it is sitting less well on my stomach). However, I don’t at all care for my candy to be spicy warm. That in combination with its innate mere okayness puts it at the distinct bottom for me. Plus, I’m kind of allergic to cinnamon candy and it makes my tongue about as hard as a pound of tanned leather for about a week. So I ask you, nay, plead with you, don’t send me these on Halloween  (Ben Plunkett).

There is nothing wrong with cinnamon candy. Red Hots, however, are the wrong texture. Cinnamon candy should be hard rather than chewy. The ultimate cinnamon candy is the Atomic Fireball, which is also the only acceptable form of jawbreaker. (Nathan Patton) 

Red Hots deserve better than this. The only reason they made it this high (low?) on our list is because most of our voters have the palates of small, feeble children. I don’t know how many times one of them whined or cried, “Red Hots hurt my tongue!” or “Red Hots make my tummy ache!” or “I am not man enough to enjoy Red Hots. Curse my sensitive and gentle nature!” It was really quite pathetic. (Phill Lytle) 

1. Licorice

The only truly scary aspect of Halloween is the possibility of receiving licorice as a “treat”. It is an abomination. (Nathan Patton)

Yea, verily, even the lord of abominations. (Ben Plunkett)

Licorice exists only for the cruel of heart to give away as a “trick” rather than a “treat” on Halloween. It’s a vile substance that was concocted in some unholy manner. Don’t be cruel to children; don’t hand out licorice on Halloween (or ever for the matter). If you do then you will have wrought shame upon you and your house… as well as toilet paper and eggs (which are an appropriate response from the neighborhood children). (Mark Sass)

I’m with you fellas. Licorice is vile. In any shape, size, or distribution system. Good and Plenty? More like Bad and Scarcity. (Fine, that was lame.)

Here’s a better example: You are eating Jelly Beans. They are delicious. You see that darkly colored one – it might be Chocolate Pudding. Or Wild Berry. Or even Grape Jelly. You pop it in your mouth and bite down. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! It’s licorice flavor! You have now ruined your Jelly Bean eating time. There is no recovering from that awful licorice flavor invading your taste buds. They have all become contaminated with the stench of licorice. It’s the worst. Ever. The End. (Phill Lytle)


That’s the list – the ten worst Halloween candies. Disagree? Let us know in the comments.

Phill Lytle
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Phill Lytle

Phill Lytle loves Jesus, his wife, his kids, his family, his friends, his church, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, 80s rock, the Tennessee Titans, Brandon Sanderson books, Whiteheart, Band of Brothers, Thai food, the Nashville Predators, music, books, movies, TV, writing, pizza, vacation...

12 thoughts on “The Ten Worst Halloween Candies

  • October 31, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    I agree with many of your choices, with the exception of Red Hots being rated as worse than Candy Corn. I will agree that licorice is worse, but Candy Corn better than Red Hots, and Twizzlers. I do enjoy Twizzlers, maybe because it brings out my inner child, and I still bite off both ends and use it as a straw. I’m with Phil, Red Hots indeed deserve much better than this. Candy Corn, though, is an abomination. I would rather someone crack open a can of Del Monte and start pouring spoonfuls of actual corn into my trick or treat bag than load me up with Candy Corn.

    • October 31, 2019 at 4:28 pm

      I’m a big fan of candy corn but got admit that last line is hilariously awesome. Well said, Harris.

    • November 1, 2019 at 9:03 am

      I’m still a bit stunned that Red Hots ended up as number 2. There are so many worse candies out there.

      I’m going to buy some Red Hots today out of spite!

  • November 1, 2019 at 9:49 am

    -Red Hots at #2? Lightweights abound.

    -If you were given any licorice for Halloween, your neighborhood is awful and your property value is plummeting, it’s time for a change.

    -Napoleon Dynamite is timeless.

    That’s all.

    • November 1, 2019 at 11:25 am

      Ha! I do believe ND is timeless for people like us. Sadly, about 4-5 years ago I was teaching 4th to 6th graders at the VBS in Chicago. Maybe 30-40 kids. I was dressed as ND. I asked them if they knew who I was. Only Joel Reed’s son Ethan knew, because Joel is like us. I was stunned that in 10 years it had faded so much, or at least wasn’t known by a new generation. I used to wear that costume once every VBS and it killed.

      • March 5, 2024 at 2:57 pm

        “Vote for Pedro.”

  • November 3, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    Licorice is awesome and circus peanuts are sewage.

  • April 8, 2023 at 11:33 pm

    I love everything on this list but circus peanuts. You people lambasted licorice. I will have you know that your opinion on licorice is wrong, sorry. Candy Corn is delicious, and red hots are like, my favorite candy. I ate so many red hots at one point that I burnt the taste buds off my tongue and temporally stained my teeth orange. Smarties make you smarter, duh, and dum dum’s are not that bad. Honestly, it depends on the flavor. Snickers. Are. Disgusting. They should be at the top of this list. Also, twizzlers are licorice. They should have taken up one spot rather than two and snickers should’ve been put on this list. Rambling Ever On IS super duper rad, and hip. Totally tubular and bodacious. And far out. EVen if you do have bad taste in candy.

    • April 9, 2023 at 8:07 am

      I love Red Hots, too.

      Licorice is terrible.

      Rambling Ever On is rad. Thanks!

  • March 5, 2024 at 2:54 pm

    You forgot Laffy Taffy. I also think Snickers are super overrated and need a spot on this list.

    • March 5, 2024 at 3:09 pm

      We will tolerate ZERO Snickers slander on this website.


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