A Definitive Ranking of The 25 Most Popular Halloween Candies

published Oct 13, 2016
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(Image credit: Janel Laban)

I don’t know about all of you, but the highlight of my Halloween was always the moment we got back from trick-or-treating: My friends and I would dump our pillowcases out on my living room floor and start to wheel and deal with our candies. Trading just like we were on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange.

You see, not all treats are created equal. There’s an economy of candy, and you need to know what the goodies in your treat bag are worth before you enter into a high-stakes game of trick-or-treat trading.

So I put together a list of 25 sweets you’re the most likely to encounter on Halloween night (based mostly on anecdotal evidence) and the order in which you should trade for them:

(Image credit: Bulk Candy Store)

25. Dots

Are these even candy? Gumdrops are exclusively for decorating gingerbread houses. Good luck trading these away.

(Image credit: Fair use/Wikipedia)

24. Bit-O-Honey

I know some people who say they like Bit-O-Honey, but those people have to be lying, right?

(Image credit: Evan Amos/Wikipedia)

23. Tootsie Rolls

Tootsie Rolls are filler candy, like baby’s breath in a bouquet. They’re so tiny, and I always had about a thousand different ones in my pillowcase on Halloween. I think people just buy them because they’re cheap and a bag of Tootsie Rolls goes further than a bag of almost anything else.

(Image credit: Tiger Images)

22. Candy Corn

So, I love candy corn, and all it’s other-shaped variations. But I understand it’s a controversial choice, so I put it on the list at #22. When there’s a bowl of loose candy corn on the coffee table, the trade value clearly plummets off the board.

(Image credit: Life Savers)

21. Life Savers

Full disclosure: I wasn’t even going to put Life Savers on the list, but they’re the number one Halloween candy in California.

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20. Butterfinger

Butterfingers are like the Nature Valley granola bars of Halloween candy. They’re delicious, but way too messy. Verdict: #20.

(Image credit: Hershey’s)

19. Almond Joy/Mounds

These two share a spot, because they’re practically the same candy. (You have to sing the jingle as soon as you see them in your pile and every time you negotiate a trade.)

(Image credit: Evan Amos/Wikipedia)

18. Junior Mints

When I think about Junior Mints, it’s more as a movie candy than a Halloween candy, but they’re still quite delightful.

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17. Skittles

When they make the green ones lime again, Skittles moves up to #10.

(Image credit: Evan Amos/Wikipedia)

16. SweeTarts

You either like SweeTarts better than Smarties, or vice versa. I’m one of the latter.

(Image credit: Smarties Candy Company)

15. Smarties

See above. Team Smarties for life.

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14. Laffy Taffy

These wouldn’t crack the top 20, but the banana ones carry the Laffy Taffy ranking all the way to #14 for me.

(Image credit: Evan Amos/Wikipedia)

13. Nestlé Crunch

Another classic that you’d probably never buy in the grocery checkout, but is really fun to indulge in on Halloween.

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12. 3 Musketeers

A Milky Way without caramel.

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11. Milky Way

A Snickers without peanuts.

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10. Kit Kat

There are two sections in a typical trick-or-treat-sized Kit Kat, and four sections in a full-sized one. This might make you believe that a full-sized Kit Kat is worth as much as two fun-sized ones, but that’s incorrect. It’s worth three of them. “Greater than the sum of its parts,” and all.

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9. Snickers

Snickers are my favorite chocolate bar. But they’re here at #9 because they’re so abundant on Halloween. When you’re considering trade value, they can’t carry a top-five spot. Sorry.

(Image credit: Nestle)

8. Nerds

It doesn’t matter the variety. They all have the same flavor: Addicting.

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7. Whoppers

Delicious little malt balls. There’s usually a weird dud one in every pack, don’t let that ruin your taste for Whoppers.

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6. Reese’s

I know I’m going to get some hate for putting Reese’s this low on the list at #6, but I have to consider that the pumpkin-shaped Reese’s kinda suck compared to the classic peanut butter cups. It’s something about the ratio of chocolate to peanut butter.

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5. M&Ms

M&Ms have their own hierarchy: Peanut Butter > Peanut > Milk Chocolate. The peanut butter ones are for sure the best, but also the most rare. This changes completely if you have food allergies. Actually, the whole list is probably null.

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4. Twizzlers

Twizzlers have a hierarchy, too: Pull ‘n’ Peel > Strawberry Twists > Cherry Twists > Twizzler Bites > Rainbow Twists > literally anything else > Nibs.

(Image credit: Hershey’s)

3. Hershey’s Kisses

A classic. Don’t @ me. These trade at a rate of 5 to 1.

(Image credit: Mars for Twix/Wikipedia)

2. Twix

Undoubtedly the greatest chocolate bar you’ll see on Halloween. You can try to argue that your Twix counts as two candies instead of one, but most of those fun-size ones only have one Twix inside. (It’s like a Caveat Emptor thing, to me, if the person you’re trading with doesn’t know that already.)

(Image credit: Evan Amos/Wikipedia)

1. Sour Patch Kids

If you’re lucky enough to score a tiny bag of Sour Patch Kids, keep them in your pile at all costs and treat them like sugar- and citric-acid-coated gold.

I’m sure I’ve made some friends and enemies with this list, so let’s hear it: What did I get right, and what did I get absolutely wrong?