Our Team Shares the WORST Halloween Candy to Get While Trick or Treating

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Passing out treats this year? According to the Hip team & readers, these are the worst ones to find in your Halloween candy bag…

Dots candy bag

Do you have strong feelings about your (least) fave Halloween candies?

There are some things you should never discuss at the dinner table, including politics, religion, and–as we learned the other day here at Hip–your views on the worst Halloween candy.

A simple question about our favorite and least favorite Halloween candies sparked an unexpected debate. We learned that some candies are universally loved, some are universally dreaded, and others exist in some type of sugary limbo between the two extremes.

bags of candy on store shelf

After much discussion between our Hip team and readers, we’ve compiled this list of the worst, least-tasty, & most disappointing Halloween candies that hopefully won’t be landing in your candy bowl this year.

By the way, check out this post to see our picks for the best Halloween candy.

Note: This list is totally not meant to be taken seriously, so don’t worry if some of your faves make their appearances. Think about the bright side–there’s more for you! 🤗

1. Candy Corn. Yep, we’re going there.

candy corn

Starting this list out strong is one of the most divisive Halloween candies of all time. But really, what is there to like?

Between the weird, waxy texture to the corn-syrup-flavored interior, it’s not exactly clear how these became such an iconic Halloween “treat” when there are so many better options. During our hot debate, my Hip teammate, Shane, led the anti-candy-corn rally based on negative childhood memories alone. But he’s definitely not the only one who can’t stand the taste.

Psssst! Full disclosure, I (and many others) actually love candy corn, which is why it’s also included in our best Halloween candy list. 😉

Even if you don’t like candy corn, my Hip teammate, Emily, recommends trying it with cashews. I hadn’t thought of that, but it sounds delicious! And it’s also a mandatory addition to our Halloween Charcuterie Board. 😁

2. Turns out I’m not the only one who hates Tootsie Rolls.

Tootsie Rolls

I know, I know, “hate” is a strong word and not one I use often.

But when it comes to Tootsie Rolls, there’s no better word to describe my distaste for them. And I’m not alone! All of my Hip teammates feel the same about the chocolate-inspired candies (I say “inspired” because they most definitely do not taste like my beloved chocolate).

Rumor has it that the fruit-flavored Tootsie Rolls are actually pretty good, but many of us are too grossed out by the original to even try them.

3. Good & Plenty black licorice candy has only one fan on the Hip team!

Good and Plenty box

Have you ever gotten black licorice or Good & Plenty candies while trick-or-treating?

If not, congratulations–it means the people in your neighborhood like you. 🤣

In the defense of anything black licorice-flavored, it has a super strong & distinct taste that you either love or hate…it’s just an unfortunate reality that no one loves it, except for my Hip teammate, Jenna. At least the poor candy has one person in its corner. 🙌

4. We all agreed that Peanut Butter Kisses are one of the worst Halloween candy options ever.

Peanut Butter Kisses

My Hip teammate Liza described Peanut Butter Kisses as “weird PB taffy chew things staring sadly up at you from the bottom of the bag, feeling bad that they’re not literally anything else.”

I also believe these are what our Hip reader, Tessa, was talking about when she wrote that “the worst Halloween candy is whatever is wrapped in that orange and black paper. I think it might be some kind of peanut butter flavored candy, but I can’t keep it in my mouth long enough to know for sure.” We totally get you, Tessa. 😉

Although Liza’s description makes me want to eat these out of pity, I just don’t think I’d be able to hack that weird texture and, quite frankly, upsetting flavor. Whoever insulted my beloved peanut butter like that has some explainin’ to do.

5. We definitely won’t be enjoying any Bit-o-Honeys or Mary Janes this year.

Bit-o-Honey candies worst Halloween candy

These candies are similar enough that if you don’t like one, you probably won’t like the other.

Honey and almond seems like such a good combo, but in the case of Bit-o-Honeys, well…it just isn’t. And Mary Jane’s peanut butter-and-molasses flavor is equally disappointing.

If you’ve never had them, they both sort of taste like sugary nothingness with a tiny hint of salt. And they get stuck in your teeth, so it’s a lose-lose situation.

6. There are people out there who don’t like Almond Joys…

Almond Joys worst Halloween candy

It pains me to put my beloved Almond Joys on the “worst candy list,” but as I mentioned earlier, I have to look on the bright side–at least there’s more for me!

While some of my Hip teammates also like Almond Joys, we were far outnumbered by the haters, and it looks like they’re pretty unpopular with the kiddos as well. These also got a big thumbs down from our readers. Maybe it’s the texture of the coconut? 🤔

7. Root Beer Barrels lose the candy battle by a long shot.

Root Beer Barrels

Root Beer is great by itself, but it seems like that flavor doesn’t translate well to candy. When I got the Root Beer Barrels while trick-or-treating as a kid, I’d end up throwing them away because no one wanted them. While they’re not particularly offensive like the Peanut Butter Kisses, they’re definitely unpleasant, which lands them on our worst candy list.

8. We love chocolate bars… as long as they’re not 3 Musketeers.

3 Musketeers

The general consensus between both the Hip team and readers is that we’re always excited to see chocolate in our (or our kiddos’ 🤣) Halloween candy haul, unless it’s a 3 Musketeers.

This candy bar just doesn’t have much going for it. To be fair, it has to compete with fan-favorite Snickers, Kit-Kats, and Reese’s Pumpkins, which my Hip teammate, Emily, referred to as the “gold standard of candy.” So sadly, this candy bar just didn’t stand a chance against its delicious counterparts.

9. Dum Dum lollipops don’t have any fans among our Hip readers.

Dum Dums

Although I liked the Blue Raspberry Dum Dums when I was growing up, the other flavors were always left to melt in the bottom of my candy bag. 😅 They’re messy and probably way more trouble than they’re worth. We’ll definitely be saving our tastebuds for other, more crave-worthy candies this year.

10. Dots may look like they would taste good, but we all know better.

bags of Dots candies - worst Halloween candy

From the outside, you may expect a delicious gummy texture and tangy flavor from Dots. But, tragically, those expectations will be crushed once you get a taste of them.

They’re basically all sugar with no real flavor, and I’m convinced that these were made specifically to get stuck on the sides of our teeth. We can also include Jujubes and Jujyfruits on this list since they’re basically just Dots in disguise. 🧐

11. Skip the Circus Peanuts this year… please! 🤣

Circus Peanuts - worst Halloween candy

I have a confession: I’ve never actually eaten a single Circus Peanut in my whole life. But several Hip readers mentioned how awful these were, so I had to consult Google and see what the fuss was about.

I searched for “what do Circus Peanuts taste like,” and I really think this first description (courtesy of the Wall Street Journal) told me everything I need to know:

“Though several companies make them, circus peanuts contain essentially the same ingredients: corn syrup, sugar, gelatin and artificial flavor and color. All taste like bananas to one degree or another and are orange and foamy.”

“Orange, foamy corn syrup” doesn’t sound like anything I’d want to put in my mouth, so I definitely won’t be trying Circus Peanuts this year…or any other year, really.

12. You can safely nix all hard candies from your handouts this year. 

Jolly Ranchers

According to Hip readers, most hard candies are a no-go.

Whether it’s because they melt too easily (Jolly Ranchers), they’re too difficult to eat (ahem, Jawbreakers…just why?), or the flavors are a little too old-fashioned (we’re lookin’ at you, Root Beer Barrels), it’s best to breeze past these picks in the candy aisle and go straight for the good stuff.

Still need goodies for Halloween? Check out the best deals here!

About the writer:

Brandi has an Associate's Degree and 5+ years of experience writing and creating online content for local businesses.

Join The Discussion

Comments 67

  1. jat54979

    Dang, out of that list of 12, 8 of them are some of my favorite candies. 🤣

    • Holly

      Same, here! I’ve always been more than happy to take everyone else’s Dots! I love them! And 3 Musketeers? No way, those are delicious! <3!

      Almond Joy, too (though I do prefer the dark chocolate of Mounds or Bounty!)

    • animity

      Ummm, me too. Tootsie Rolls are one of the best candies ever! Dots are really good too and my husband loves, loves Almond Joys. I’ll take the 3 Musketeers as well. Who doesn’t love a DumDum? Who made this list…. The only one I agree with is the Circus Peanuts.

  2. Materof6

    So many on the list just made me laugh! There’s definitely a “universal” consensus on some of this, namely the “peanut butter kisses”…threw them out all the time as a kid!

    • Dee B.

      Peanut butter kisses and Bit o Honeys are some of my ultimate favorites.

  3. EmilyMab

    In my experience buying candy for my candy dish at work dum-dum lollipops are loved by adults and children! I’m in the small minority that actually likes candy corn, but only a handful, you can’t eat a lot of it haha.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      I like Candy Corn too! Especially the mix with the chocolate covered peanuts! YUM! 🙌💖😋

    • Tara

      My kids LOVE Dum Dums!! L.O.V.E.

  4. Beth

    Totally a matter of opinion as I like all the candy above except circus peanuts and jolly ranchers. And some of these I’ve never heard of people handing out…like circus peanuts – do they even sell them in individual packets or is someone handing out open candies…I think open candy would be the worst kind to get.

    • SavingsMama

      Fan of Candy Corn here! I enjoy the texture and simplicity of them. Hip2Save, next can you come up with a list of best tasting candies for our kids with good allergies or sugar concerns? To me, those are tricky just like keto and I want to make sure everyone gets something good that we know.

      • SavingsMama

        Food allergies…lol auto correct you got me again!

      • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

        Thanks so much for the request! I have passed this along to the team!

      • Sarah

        I was coming here to say something similar! Dum Dums and anything by Tootsie, like the Dots are really great for kids with a lot of allergies. And did you see the front of the Circus Peanuts? Free of major allergens…that’s important for a lot of kids.

    • Dee B.

      There are some that are individually wrapped. I love all the candies on here.

  5. LaToya

    Ha Ha – I LOVE Almond Joys and run the barter system with trick-or-treaters.
    Here’s your candy, but if you give me your Almond Joys, I’ll give you more – they get more candy, and I get my beloved Almond Joys – win win!

    • Ginger

      Oh my gosh, this has me absolutely cracking up! I love it, LaToya!

    • Carrie O.

      Genius, LaToya!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      LOL! GREAT trading system! Enjoy your Almond Joys!

  6. cristinimartini

    So many of my favorites here 🥴

  7. Blindsublime

    Almond Joy?! This is an outrage!!! The rest of the list is on point though lol

    • Shawna

      Hahaha! Agreed!

  8. kevashell

    Agree! Especially the tootsie rolls🤢 I do love dots though.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      My daughter loves the dots too!

  9. Ginger

    I love at least 9 out of the 12 and have actually been on the hunt for circus peanuts this week….can’t find a single bag in my area. Bit o Honey and Mary Janes are way up there on my love list, too.

    • Rebecca

      I was on the hunt for circus peanuts a few months ago too 😂. I eventually found some at Dollar Tree & later saw some at Bass Pro Shop when I was there with my kids.

    • Deanna

      Bit o honey yuuuuuummm!

  10. Atank

    A Star Hip2Saver is a recognized member of our Hip2Save community hand selected by our team for demonstrating a long history of engagement with helpful & friendly comments across Hip2Save.com and our social channels. Our Star Hip2Saver badge acts as a verification for readers who know the ins and outs of all Hip2Save sets out to accomplish — assisting our community to live extraordinary lives on ordinary budgets. Readers cannot pay or provide any sort of exchange in order to earn this badge. Rather, they are invited to participate by a member of the Hip2Save team and opt to have the Star Hip2Saver badge added to their profile & comments.

    U guys nailed it!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks! 🙌


    We buy candy based on what my husband and I are not tempted to eat. 🤣

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      LOL! I like that strategy!

  12. lisa-26

    I love most of these! 😂

  13. rachyb

    I am here to defend Dots, Peanut Butter Kisses, Bit o Honey, and Mary Janes! LOVE THEM!!! They are like a flavor party for your pallet. I enjoy them much more as an adult than I did as a child. However, I am in full agreement that circus peanuts and candy corn can go fly a kite. The other options I’m indifferent to. However, when discounting Tootsie Rolls, the old school chocolate ones taste like licking the bottom of a shoe but the flavored ones are quite fantastic. A vanilla or fruit punch Tootsie Roll on a bad day can just bring a smile to my face!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Aww, Thanks for letting us know what you’ve thought of the different candies! SO interesting to hear what everyone likes best!

  14. carrie-13

    SMARTIES GROSS! How did these not make this list??

    • 5pink1blue

      Seriously! Hate smarties too. I also find nerds disgusting.

      • Dee B.

        Smarties are delicious! So are Necco Wafers, Nerds, and SweetTarts. All yummy!

  15. Heather

    As a kid in the 80s, I often got those wax bottles (or lips or fangs) filled with syrup. So gross. Those, the dots that come on paper, and most of the “candy” you listed in this are THE WORST.

    Jolly ranchers and fruit flavored tootsie rolls are good, though. Dum dums are disappointing, but acceptable.

  16. M

    A lot of these aren’t my favorite either but my son has a peanut allergy and a lot of the ones you featured are actually peanut free! So even though they aren’t my most favorite we love them and are so grateful for them in our house! When we go trick or treating if he gets dots, tootsie rolls or dum dums he could actually accept the candy. He gets so excited. Usually the poor kid has to turn away the candy at most houses because it isnt peanut free and too risky for him to eat. I will be passing out dots, tootsie and dum dums this year and I’m proud of it! 🙂 Let’s make Halloween fun for allergy kids too!

    • Kathleen

      Teal Pumpkin Project!

    • Sarah Lamb

      Agreed! Many of those are considered safe for allergy families! And of course…it’s important to have non food options as well!

  17. Peaches

    I love Circus Peanuts if they are fresh. Good luck finding them though. My Dad’s favorite candy was Mary Jane’s so thanks for mentioning them which made me think of him.

  18. Peaches

    I used to buy the popcorn balls and a couple bags of marked down Halloween candy after the big day and used the booty as packing for Christmas gifts that I had to mail.

  19. Denise

    This cracks me up – two of my absolutely favorite candies are DOTS and Good and Plenty! I used to steal those from my kids! I would gladly take any of those off of any kids hands LOL!! Happy Thursday everyone!

    • Dee B.

      I like those, too, and Crows. Anything licorice.

  20. Emily

    Peanut Butter Kisses and Bit O Honey are the two worst candies at Halloween. I always gave the bit o honeys to my little brother because he is the only person I know who likes them.

  21. Sandy:)

    Thank you to the families that pass our Dots, Dum Dums, Tootsie Rolls, Smarties, and other allergy friendly “bad” candy. As a family with peanut and tree nut allergies, we are very grateful for you!!

    • Tara

      I love Dots! No allergies here, but we do Teal Pumpkin goodies and I eat all the Dots 😅

  22. dawnh49ers

    This list is hilarious!! ☺️ 9 of these candies are my absolute hands down go-to favorites!! As I read down the list, I was gasping and saying, “Oh no!” Thanks for the giggles, Hip2Save! 💗

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Sure glad we could make you laugh, dawnh49ers!

  23. Shawna

    I just have one question! Why are Almond joys, jolly ranchers and 3 musketeers on the list but Laffy Taffy didn’t make the list? Hahaha! To each their own. I agree with all the rest 🙂

    • Tara

      100% agree. If my kids only got laffy Taffy I wouldn’t eat a single calorie of candy all Halloween!!!!

  24. Jodi P

    I used to hate Amond Joy, until I was in college and was at a very nice Halloween party (we were all in our 20’s)….there were tons of Almond Joy left in the candy bowl, because the trick-or-treaters didn’t take them, and I was hungry……and very high, LOL Since then I’ve loved them.

  25. Paula

    Every deployment my son goes on he asks for Dots in his goodie boxes!

    • Susan

      I was waiting for a defense of Dots. Last year we included that in the mix and they all got snatched up quickly. We bought an extra bag for this year!!

      • Tara

        Totally! Kids love them and so do I!! Dots are yum!

  26. Kat

    Oh my goodness, i LOVE all those candies. Must be my age. 🤦‍♀️

  27. JenB

    Wait, what about Peppermint Patties? I love mint but they are too strong!

    I hear people don’t like butterscotch anymore either, but I love Werther’s Originals.

  28. Josie

    This post makes me so sad. I love all of these candies. There’s already so much negativity in the world…I have a lot of depression and anxiety. Some of these candies brighten my days.

  29. Jaime

    A few years ago one of my neighbors was only handing out those awful candy cigarettes that I used to see back in the 80s. So inappropriate (and not tasty either)! I was shocked they even sell them anymore!

  30. browniesmomma

    I seen on TV that they melted down candy corn and used it for popcorn balls. They said it’s just like melted sugar syrup and they looked cool being orange. 👍My gr daughter loves tootsie rolls. She is allergic to all nuts 😥 so those and suckers are a good option for her. I used to love almond joys years ago, but now they are just sickening sweet 😜. I went and bought mini bags of fruit snacks for kiddies this year. Figured that would be a safer option.

  31. Ana

    I love dots and tootsie rolls lol, I usually give out chips instead of candy I buy several huge variety boxes, pretzels and plain chips at Costco this way I try to accommodate allergies. I let the kiddos pick what they want or can have. Most kids do love getting chips and enjoy picking out their favorites.

  32. Tracey

    YES, YES, YES! These are all pretty bad; the Jolly Ranchers are ok, but are a cavity waiting to happen. When my kids were little, we’d save the hard candies (some I stored in the freezer) that they didn’t like and use them on our Gingerbread houses. I made sure they had some designated candy the could eat while we decorated and that they didn’t eat any of the old stuff (although if they didn’t like it in their Halloween bags, they didn’t like it at Christmas either.) Too bad no one gave out Necco Wafers; those would definitely not get eaten but would be perfect for the Gingerbread houses!

  33. Tricia

    My favorite is good and plenty and my sons favorite is dots.

  34. Nikki

    Candy corn mixed with salted peanuts or any nuts is fantastic! It also looks very festive in a fun apothecary style jar.

  35. Alikia29

    What?! I love more than half of those and will eat all of them. 🤣

  36. Janet

    My 5 year old grandson wanted some of my Good and Plenty. I told him “you might not like it”. He LOVED it! And so does his brother. Must be genetic.

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