The Best Halloween Candy of All Time, Super Scientifically Ranked from Trash to Tasty

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best halloween candy: assorted chocolates, candies and gums on a yellow and pink square background
Dasha Burobina for PureWow

Remember your childhood neighbor who always gave out terrible candy (or worse, boxes of raisins), so much so that by fourth grade, you didn’t even bother to stop at their house anymore and basically avoided eye contact with them from August through November? No one wants to be that person. To ensure you’re giving out the good stuff (or eating it on your own while binging your favorite Halloween movies), we’ve carefully ranked all the best Halloween candy of 2023 from worst to best. You can thank us later, friend.

65 Halloween Dessert Ideas, from Totally Spooky to Extra Sweet

The Top 5 Halloween Candies

As of 2022, the most popular Halloween candy in the U.S. was Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, according to In second place were Skittles, followed by M&M's, Starburst and—wait for it—Hot Tamales. Our list differs in four of five spots (to each their own, right?). Scroll down for our top picks.

Congratulations. You trick-or-treated at the actual devil’s house and made it out alive.

If you’re seeking saccharine-sweet flavor for seconds followed by tough-to-chew disappointment...well, look no further.

43. Dots

It’s like they’re not even trying to get our attention. We’re almost sorry we dissed that box of raisins.

These taste like toothpaste—they do, so sue us. They’d be marginally better if you didn’t actually need to brush the sugary scum from your teeth after.

Not to be rude, but we're shocked these ranked so high in's list. Too spicy.

Too sour. We prefer the '90s band, thank you very much.

Is it just us or is this the chintziest of all candy bars? Plain old nougat…it’s just meh.

38. Payday

This would be ever so slightly better if it were enrobed in chocolate. It just feels a little...anticlimactic.

Great baseball player? Yes. Great candy? Not so much. This one loses points for its TK appearance and the fact that we had to Google what it’s even made of (for the record, it's peanuts, caramel, milk chocolate-flavored nougat and chocolate).

Remind us, why did we need to ruin perfectly mediocre chocolate with surprise bits of mystery gravel?

If we’re in a dark movie theater, sure, we’ll down an entire king-size box of these. But on Halloween, our standards are suddenly much, much higher.

He’s good, but not, like, amazing.

Does anyone actually like the plasticky chewing gum that lurks in the center of these things? We didn’t think so.

It’s all fun and games until you think you’re biting into a root beer bottle cap and it turns out to be an orange one that tastes like medicine. Give us treats, not tricks!

Had we wanted to eat chalk for dessert, we would’ve done so when our kindergarten teacher wasn’t looking.

Listen, these peanut-nougat bars are just fine, if settling for fine on the most sugary holiday of the year is your thing. But turn them into Snickers dip and now we're talking.

We’d kinda sorta like these fall-ified lollipops—if they didn’t threaten to rip our teeth clean from our mouth in one go. Eat at your own risk, folks.

It’s not that Jolly Ranchers are inherently bad (minus the grape ones, those are the worst); it’s just that we could do so much better.

Like the Michael Bluth of the Halloween candy haul: Fine…but pretty boring compared to the rest of the family. (The one exception—and this is crucial—is if the neighbor is giving out full-size chocolate bars.)

We’ll admit that these sugar tablets are really only good when eaten in threes...or the entire roll shoved in your mouth at once.

25. Mounds

Coconut and dark chocolate felt sophisticated when we were 11. Now, we just wish it came in milk. (Come on, you do too.)

24. Rolos

Sure, these caramel-chocolate bites are pretty inoffensive in the grand scheme of things. But they’re certainly not *Milk Duds.*

These guys are a little fruity, a little waxy and taste like something our grandpa would keep in his pocket for “emergencies.” All things considered, we do have a soft spot for the vanilla ones.

See above. Slightly waxy, vaguely chocolaty and found in a grandparent’s jacket pocket, they’re a Halloween classic. Nothin’ wrong with that.

21. Sprees

Nonbelievers will say they’re chalky and boring, but we must disagree. Plus, have you ever had the chewy kind?

Just make sure you put your dentist on speed dial before cracking open a box. Can you say “cavities?”

We’ll never know how these flavors got to share a package with those delicious pink guys, but we suppose it could be worse. (See number 45.)

Real talk: We would prefer Almond Joys if they were made with, almonds. (If you agree, might we suggest Bounty bars?.)

This is the only kind of worm we want to see in our Halloween candy, to be quite honest. The chewy-yet-soft texture is so dreamy.

We've tasted the rainbow, and we wish they'd bring back lime instead of that cursed green apple nonsense. (Bonus points if you get a sour bag.)

Getting a mystery flavor Airhead is like winning the Halloween candy lottery. (Rumor has it that it's a combination of a few other Airheads flavors.)

14. Nerds

What the heck are Nerds? They’re tiny, crunchy bits of sugar that you can pour straight into your mouth. And that’s why we love ’em so.

Listen, we’ll trade you six green M&M’s for three red ones. We know all the colors taste the exact same...or do they?

What’s the opposite of a dud? A victory? Yeah, they should rename these. OK, maybe not, but you get the idea.

Strawberry Twizzlers are in a league of their own—especially compared to regular licorice. And that, friends, is a very good thing.

Break us off a piece of that. Or just give us a whole one, please and thank you. We don’t actually want to share our bar with anyone.

Finding one of these in your Halloween candy bag is like finding an all-marshmallow box of Lucky Charms—a diamond in the rough, if you will.

We don’t even care that it’s not “real” white chocolate, or even chocolate at all. Haters, stay back.

We would do unspeakable things to get our hands on pink Starbursts. Good thing they make bags full of just the good stuff now, so we don’t have to painstakingly pick them out ourselves anymore.

Is it the most polarizing of all the Halloween candy? Perhaps. Do we love it more than the holiday itself? Forever and ever.

If you didn’t get one of these hopelessly stuck in your molars, did Halloween really even happen? (Apologies to dentists all over the world.)

Would we coat our mouths in the sugary dust that settles at the bottom of the bag? Let’s just say the answer isn’t no.

We appreciate how hard they’re trying with five different components in one bar. And to be honest, we’ll eat anything that involves pretzels, peanut butter and caramel.

2. Twix

This crunchy cookie/gooey caramel situation is universally satisfying—the Tom Hanks of candies, if you will.

There’s simply no denying that this is the best Halloween candy of all time. Salty, sweet and color-coordinated to the holiday. Disagree? Come at us. (Oh, and the pumpkin-shaped ones are even better.)

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