Top 10 Trick-or-Treat Fails

Everyone knows that Halloween is the most exhilarating time of year. Staying out late, dressing up in fun costumes and the ultimate excitement: free candy!

But a dark shadow is cast over these golden memories…every year, without fail, there are a few houses that just don’t GET IT. Somehow people are still handing out disappointing, bland, or downright gross “treats.”

Top 10 Trick-or-Treat Fails

10. Good & Plenty

Let’s just get this obvious one out of the way. Who likes black licorice? Nobody. Especially not kids. It tastes like gasoline, barf, trash and moldy sugar all melted together. Good & Plenty should be called “Bad & Too Much” because any amount of black licorice is too much to handle.

(Photo: Wikipedia)

9. Dots

Weird texture, weird taste, vaguely medicinal. Where’s the appeal? Tropical Dots were marginally better, but still fall in the category of “vast childhood disappointment.”


8. Mounds

Wait, wait, wait. Let’s get one thing straight. Coconut is fantastic. Chocolate is a no-brainer, especially on Halloween. So why have we included Mounds on this list of shame? Because why on earth would you dole out Mounds when Almond Joys are on the table? Almond versus no almond? Almonds are delicious! Don’t deny any child this simple pleasure.


7. Payday

Payday suffers the same affliction as Mounds. Peanuts, fine. Caramel, fine. But when there are myriad candy bars out there that have peanuts and caramel covered in chocolate, why would you neglect that?! You are not a real candy bar!!!


6. Tootsie Rolls


Let’s just be honest. These are the little turds of the candy world. You may not hate Tootsie Rolls, but do some soul-searching. Do you love them? Are you excited to see someone carelessly toss a handful of these into your trick-or-treat bag? Hell no.

5. Smarties

Don’t be misled by the name of this candy, you are not smart for giving these out on Halloween. Smarties are a poor choice; these washed-out  little discs have indiscernible flavors and a dissatisfying, crumbly texture. They’re like a candy necklace without the string, which is horrible because you don’t even get the fulfillment of eating candy off your own body.


4. Lemonheads

If you love the taste of lemon Pine-Sol, boy have we found the candy for you. Something is just off with Lemonheads. The vaguely creepy packaging, the grainy way they disintegrate in your mouth… somehow you end up feeling tricked, like you’re not eating candy at all, just a weird breath cleanser.


3. Bottle Caps

Who the hell even came up with these? Why would we want a chalky disc that tastes vaguely like old soda? And what soda are these caps representing? Have you ever drank a soda that was the color of pee? No way!


2. Peanut Butter Taffy

We love taffy. We love peanut butter. Why don’t we love these peanut butter taffies, then? Because they are dried out, weird peanut butter. And we don’t love candy that looks like it’s an antique that has been sitting in some dusty old candy bowl since the 1920s…Where did they come from? We don’t trust it. We don’t trust it at all.

(Photo: melster)

1. Generic Hard Lollipops

The insult of all insults: receiving one of those lollipops that look like they came from the doctor’s office. There are many shameful varieties of this “treat.”  They might be sugar-free or they might have those little looped sticks so you can’t choke on them. Basically, if you give a child a generic, cellophane-wrapped sucker, you are saying “Hello little kid, I hate real candy and I hate happiness and I hate Halloween.” Don’t be that person.


Still looking for a costume? A cocktail? A cake? We got it all at Endless Halloween.

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  • John October 27, 2011  

    Fail! Paydays are the best!

  • bobolink October 27, 2011  

    smarties are really good substitutes for those gross glucose tabs for treating a low blood sugar for a type 1 diabetic. otherwise yuck.

  • BS October 27, 2011  

    I think you got this list right on the money – except for Paydays – I love those!

  • AKM October 27, 2011  

    Weird. I love almost all the candies on this list. (ESPECIALLY Good & Plentys, my favorite of all-time. I kid you not.) And how do you figure that Payday is not a real candy bar? “Candy,” by definition, does NOT have to equal “chocolate.” Not all of us even like chocolate, and many of us are allergic. Therefore, Paydays rock!

  • Christina October 27, 2011  

    We buy the peanut butter taffy from the dollar store to give to surly teenagers who don’t wear costumes. If you dress up you get the good stuff, no matter the age. If you wear a dumb T-Shirt and hold up a pillow case and expect me to give you one of my Heath Bars you deserve disgusting taffy.

  • Miss K October 27, 2011  

    I love it! And I love the idea of having a two-tiered system based on who deserves good candy. And you all need to chill about defending Payday. Gimme a Baby Ruth any day. “Many of us” are allergic to chocolate? Really?

  • Jess October 27, 2011  

    Agree with everything you said except I would substitute Huck Finn candies for the Mounds.

  • AKM October 27, 2011  

    Miss K., there’s no reason to be snotty. How about “some of us”? Do you like that better? JEEZ.

  • Chris October 27, 2011  

    Love it, but you missed the most obvious one Em. CANDY CORN! WTF. It’s not candy, no one wants corn for Halloween, and you can’t feed it to your livestock. Complete fail. Not to mention every kernel of it was made in 1946 and the company secretly just goes around to all the waste bins to collect everything people threw away, dusts it off, and repackages to be recycled next year.

  • Emily October 27, 2011  

    Wowowowow! Trick-or-treat backlash! I knew this list would turn out to be quite the controversy.

    You crazy Payday lovers, you are entitled to my share of Paydays for the rest of your lives, God knows I don’t want them. I stand by my decision that they aren’t real candy. They’re some weird nut confection congealed together with cheap, salty caramel. By all means, enjoy!

    @Christina… LOVE IT. Perfect system.
    @Chris – Usually you and I agree in perfect culinary harmony, but in this case you are WRONG WRONG WRONG, candy corn is a seasonal delight!

  • erica October 27, 2011  

    i love half the stuff on this list. i want to give this blogger a hug, they seem unhappy.

  • Kelsey October 27, 2011  

    Bottlecaps are the worst! I always got the rootbeer flavor, which was terrible.

  • stephani October 27, 2011  

    I think this list sucks, All of those candies minus smarties and bottle caps are my VERY favorite. I liked all of these for halloween and still do! boo

  • gansie October 27, 2011  

    @ Christina. Fucking brilliant.

  • Melissa October 27, 2011  

    OMG, emily! i laughed so hard at the good and plenty description. “bad and too much”. loved this one!

  • Layla October 28, 2011  

    Brilliant. Although Paydays aren’t my fav, I would probably substitute the fruit flavored Tootsie Rolls for them. WTF?! Because the chocolate ones weren’t bad enough, so they had to make some that are fruit flavored? Those are the candies my 3 year-old won’t even eat, so I have to throw them out first, since they seem to breed at the bottom of my kids’ candy basket.

  • John October 28, 2011  

    Ok, where can I e-mail you my address for your Paydays? I am not one of the many/some/few/other figure of people with chocolate allergies, and if you put a Payday on a table next to a Baby Ruth, I’m going home with Ruth nine times out of ten; it isn’t that the Payday is the pinnacle of candy achievement-merely that things like Smarties and licorice Good and Plenty are actively awful, and I’m sure there are plenty of other sweets that meet that description better than Paydays. (I’m looking at you, mostly-vegetable oil Palmer chocolates)

  • Alex October 28, 2011  

    @stephani I agree!!! These are all my favorite candies, except boring old lollipops.

    And ESPECIALLY Mounds. Mounds are dark chocolate, which makes up for the almond. Though this dichotomy has always dismayed me. Why can’t I have an almond AND dark chocolate? WHY?!?

  • Emily October 28, 2011  

    @ John – Please send your address, social security number, and credit card information to It will be “Payday” for both of us. On a serious note, I do completely agree with you when it comes to that revolting Palmer “chocolate”.

    @Alex Apparently they tried this but I think it was a flop! Almond Joy continues to reign supreme in the coconut candybar world.

  • Lisa Shapiro October 28, 2011  

    You had me until you said Lemonheads … I love them. I agree 100% about everything else!!

  • Andrew October 28, 2011  

    I agree 100% with these. Definitely those shitty PB taffies. What are those things.

  • Tran Nguyen October 28, 2011  

    You hand out Mounds because you’re saving all the Almond Joys for yourself! DUH! 🙂

  • So, so true, every single one of the so called “candies” on this list is absolutely horrible! Ewww! Thank God for snack sized REAL chocolate bars (nope, no payday for me). And those peanut butter taffies… UGH!

  • Lauda October 11, 2012  
  • Terrie October 16, 2012  

    I love Good and Plentys. I love black licorice. It is to this day my favorite movie candy. And Smarties, they are the best. I would TRY to trade out my other candy for Smarties on Halloween night….no luck! I love Payday bars. Not everyone has to have chocolate all the time. I can’t have caffeine in the evening, so if I want a candy bar, and I’m in the checkout lane, I will quite often reach for a Payday. This list is a FAIL!

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