Thin Mint Haters: Rise against your cookie oppressors

TIL that Thin Mints are not the most popular Girl Scout cookie. Yesterday, in Cincinnati, President Obama was booed when he mentioned that he preferred Thin Mints to all other Girl Scout cookies.

This surprised me. For several reasons. First, I didn't realized they took cookies that seriously in Cincinnati. Maybe it's time to visit Ohio. Second, as someone who has long preferred Samoas (aka Caramel deLites), I always felt as though I was in a serious minority. Like my family grudgingly ordered one box, mostly for me, out of an order that was primarily made up of Thin Mints.

And, on the one hand, this is a realistic perception. Thin Mints are the Girl Scouts' best selling cookie—accounting for 25% of all cookie sales. And yet.

And yet ... that does not tell the whole story. After all, if we Samoa and Peanut Butter Patty (Tagalongs) fans were to join forces (and we should), we would account for 32% of cookie sales. And if you look at the Girl Scouts' online poll, you find that 33% of respondents preferred Samoas—compared to 28% who preferred Thin Mints.(Not a very scientific poll, but this doesn't seem to be the sort of thing Gallup covers, so the Girl Scouts were my best shot at providing nationally relevant results here.)

So, basically, people who are only kind of okay with Thin Mints—you can feel justified. People who absolutely hate them—that's cool, too. You aren't alone. There's more of us then there are of them, we just aren't a cohesive voting block.

Washington Post on Obama's Cincinnati visit

Girl Scout cookie sales data

Results of Girl Scout cookie poll


  1. My wife is an absolute freak for Thin Mints. Myself, I jones for Samoas as a special treat. However, for an every-day cookie-fix, my go-to GS cookie is the ever-reliable Trefoil. Nice, simple, tasty shortbread.

  2. It would be heaven to be the only Samoas lover in my family — then I wouldn’t have to share.

    1.  Add it to the growing list of quick and easy Presidential criteria:
      1. Would I like to have a beer with him?  If yes, then President.
      2. Does he eat Thin Mints, which we all know are cookies enjoyed by socialists?  If yes, then no President.

  3. We stopped buying Girl Scout cookies years ago when they started making the “butter cookies” with shortening instead.  These days my concern is that most of their cookies use palm oil, which is responsible for a lot of rainforest habitat destruction which endangers orangutans.  Thin mints were good, though.

    1. I want to support such a fine and inclusive organization, but their cookies’ use of palm oil is so unnecessary and environmentally destructive. And people who clear forests for palm cultivation have done some pretty cruel things to orangutans while removing them from the area.

  4. When Dairy Queen all-too briefly offered Girl Scout cookie Blizzards my wife sent me at least three times to pick up the Thin Mint versions for her…which I willingly did, because it gave me an excuse (like I needed one) to get one for myself.

    Fortunately at the time they weren’t offering a Samoa Blizzard, and I guess they haven’t yet. If they were I’d have been going there daily.

  5. Okay, I’m going to be “that guy”: Girl Scout cookies suck. Seriously. They taste like any old store-brand cookie, and their ingredients are shit. Go ahead–read the box. I’ll wait…. Pretty disappointing, huh? Especially with so many more delicious cookie options out there with better, simpler ingredients.

    1. Don’t be that guy.  I mean, that guy who looks at cookie ingredients.  The only valid criteria for determining a good cookie is taste.  If there is something I should know about what I am eating other than how it tastes — I don’t want to know.

      1. Couldn’t disagree more. I enjoy and appreciate my food even more when I know what’s in it AND it tastes awesome. Sugar, eggs, butter? Sign me up. Yellow 5 lake, blue 2 lake, partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil, corn syrup solids? No thanks.

      2. The only valid criteria for determining a good cookie is taste.

        That might be true if HFCS and fat weren’t effectively addictive drugs.

  6. Samoas are the true king of girlscout cookies and here’s why:  They’re *only* available from the girlscouts.  For every other variety, there is a generic alternative available from any decent supermarket.  Like thin mints?  Keebler grasshoppers are the same thing.  Like tagalongs?  Walmart makes a decent copy under their “great value” brand.

    But if you like samoas (as all right-thinking Americans do), then you have to go to the girlscouts.  I’ve never seen a generic equivalent.  Nobody else has even attempted to duplicate the caramel and coconut perfection that comes in the purple box.  They *are* girlscout cookies, while everything else is just a rebranded commodity.

    1.  I don’t eat cookies anymore, but I recall the Keebler Fudge Shoppe Coconut Dreams being pretty close to Somoas. 

  7. I’m forever jonesing for the original Gils Scout mint cookies made by the  Johnston Cookie Company in MIlwaukee in the 1960’s.  A chocolate wafer topped by a 1/8″ thick layer of white mint fondant frosting (think Oreo filling, but mint) then all coated with rich chocolate. (insert Homer Simpson drool/growl sounds) “mint….chocolate…cookie…HUHuhhhhhhh….

    1. I believe that’s what I remember from my childhood, though I wasn’t around (much) in the 60’s. How long were these made this way? Is the decline of the Thin Mint related to the change in recipe?

  8. My girls always sold more Caramel DeLites than anything else.  But if you asked folks around here about Samoas, they would not know what you’re talking about. Thin Mints are the same in every area, so of course they will out-poll the others. Me, I crave Thin Mints!

  9. Is it just a coincidence that the Thin Mint is no longer the favorite Girl Scout cookie just as, for the first time in the US, we have become a nation that is majority non-white? Is it any surprise that the Samoa is now more popular (even though it changed its named to hide its heritage)? Are Tagalongs actually named for the native tongue of the Philippines? Was Obama trying to pander to the largely white audience by saying he liked Thin Mints?

    Race politics and cookies; why can’t the Girl Scouts make a Black and White cookie that everyone can love?

    1. Cookie-pandering has been a thing in politics ever since Reagan had all of Carter’s leftover gingersnaps thrown away, declaring not even a hungry person would eat one.

      1. And remember when Barbara Bush said of the people eating Fig Newtons in the Superdome “so many of them were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them”? 

        Every administration has their cookie kerfuffle I suppose. Which makes me wonder; why isn’t there a cookie called a Kerfuffle. I bet it would be delicious.

  10. I spent so many years of my childhood hawking these damn cookies to earn money for my troop. So. Many. Years.

     Samoas were the best, IMO. Other brands (like Nabisco) make pretty good duplicates, but Samoas always had more coconut.

  11. There could be other correlations at play here. Opponents of Thin Mints might be the kind of people who are more likely to boo at a President. Thin Mints are the most elitist* of Girl Scout cookies, so conservatives would naturally disdain them, and would be glad to have another reason to boo at Barry.

    * Levels of eliteness are determined by whatever currently serves the purposes of conservatives. See also the hubbub when John Kerry ordered green tea at a diner, after which conservatives discovered that green tea was even then widely available at their beloved Wal-marts.

  12. My favorite GS cookies always make me do my Oliver Twist impression:
    Please, sir, may I have Samoas?

  13. The problem with Thin Mints is they make all the other Girl Scout cookies in the cabinet taste like mint.  One box of Thin Mints can ruin four or five boxes of trad shortbread.  That’s just evil.

    But I’m sure it gives the mint-eaters something to laugh about, with that mint-stuff all smeared around their mouths.

  14. ive stopped buying girl scout cookies because every time some one is selling them to me, its a mom? where are the girlscouts? 

    ive decided that im not going to buy cookies from the scouts until they are cookies that are made by scouts and sold to me by scouts

    1. Agree.

      It really bothers me when people bring the form to work and just leave it in the break room. 

      That’s just cheating, IMO.

      1. this past year ive seen the girl scout set up outside the grocery store selling cookies, but there were no scouts anywhere, it was just moms,,, what is this? the momscouts?

        1. Well, you know, if you let the girls go door-to-door and take some agency with their cookie sales then A) they won’t win the sale competition and B) they’ll probably get abducted by perverts. 

          *FYI: I did all my own cookie sales door-to-door. I won my cookie sale competitions on a regular basis. I was never abducted by perverts. (Although, I may have cheated somewhat, because, for several years, I was selling cookies at the same time I was going around billing the newspaper subscribers on my paper route.) 

          1.  Girls in my neighborhood go door-to-door — sometimes with a parent who stays on the sidewalk while the girl(s) go up to the house, sometimes in pairs with no adults, and occasionally even alone.

    2. I really don’t want them made by scouts.  I mean, have you been in other people’s houses.  Sometimes its not pretty.  Plus, with homemade stuff, you really never know.  If it looks good, it might be good, it might also be bad.  I’d rather get my Samoas from a factory — because I know they’ll be good.

    3. They usually do it at the supermarket here, but it’s always children running the sale.  When I worked at the hospital, on the other hand, it was a non-stop barrage of co-workers selling candy bars and shit for their children’s schools.

  15. Chocolate is good to eat. Mint is good to eat.
    That said, mint tastes AWFUL combined with almost anything else. Ever try drinking OJ right after brushing your teeth?
    Thin Mints confuse the heck out of me. Those flavors do not belong together.

    1. Mint is to toothpaste as cherry is to cough syrup.  Chocolate-orange is a better combination.

      1. I don’t get the chocolate & orange thing. It’s not inedibly bad to me but it isn’t particularly pleasant. Mint & chocolate definitely works.

    2. I’m a notorious alcoholic. One time, I was sitting at the bar, when the bartender offered me a “free drink.” It was a Fuzzy Navel, except that he’d accidentally substituted Creme de Menthe for Amaretto.

      Physical addiction has it’s limits.

      Re. GS Cookies: I’m a sucker for Pb&C, so all things considered, I’ll take a Tagalong. But, AFAIK, Krogers still sells bulk melting chocolate and natural peanut butter, so there are for more disgusting ways to be self-indulgent.

  16. Don’t be a hater. 2 boxes of Samoas, 2 boxes of Thin Mints. Can’t we all just get along?

  17. I’m right there with you, Maggie!  Samoas all the way!  Have you ever tried the Keebler attempt at those cookies?  I bought a package when Girl Scout cookies were out of season, but it was a sad facsimile…

  18. Pedantry Alert!
    “There’s more of us then there are of them”
    I see this increasingly, and it drives me nuts, sorry.
    It should be “There’s more of us THAN there are of them”.
    Rant over.
    Carry on.

  19. I’d say Samoas are the (way) better cookie, but Thin Mints are the (way) better value proposition. They are pretty good, and you get so much more for the money that they are what I buy more of.

  20. There’s a brand “Back to Nature” Fudge mint cookie that’s just like the thin mints—well a bit better. They also make a Classic Creme that’s like Oreos were before they cheeped out on the formula and ruined the filling and the cookie.

  21. Ohhhhh yeah.   This was damned good.    Lucky for me the wife *hates* coconut, so I had this one all to myself.

  22. I get a bit jealous whenever I hear Americans passionately discuss girl scout cookies…  Here in Canada, it’s either chemical-tasting chocolate-chocolate cream or cheap, powdery vanilla-vanilla cream.

    1.  Fuck all that. Are you telling me that in Canada you don’t haave choice between HobNobs and other “digestive biscuits,”versus the whole Oreo/Nilla Wafer continuum? I’ve been to Canada and I’ve seen the whole spectrum of post-colonial mass-produced baked treats.

      1. I’m talking about girl scout cookies specifically. Americans seem to have a rather special relationship with those, which we don’t get here. 

    1. Excellent recipe.  And it shows WHY Samoas are the best: shortbread cookie topped by caramel and toasted coconut, drizzled with chocolate….what’s not to love?

      And now I’m thinking that the recipe would be that much easier and quicker to make if one didn’t bother with the rings but instead made them as regular round cookies.

  23. I have lived in Massachusetts for a long time and have been eating Caramel Delights.  Last year, I bought some Samoas from a young cousin in VA thinking they were the same cookie.  Turns out that the Samoas are a far superior cookie to the Caramel Delights we get here.   Better chocolate, better caramel, better cookie base.   My wife says the Trefoils from VA are better than the Shortbreads we get here as well.   Still, I will buy whichever ones are available because I like supporting an open minded organization like the Girl Scouts.

  24. I completely understand having a preference but I never understood the hate for the ones you don’t like. I can eat and enjoy any style girl scout cookie, but of course I do have a definite preference.

    Samoas are king, definitely. Next is Tagalongs. Probably thin mints next. They’re definitely good, but pretty boring compared to Samoas and Tagalongs. From there, I like the recently introduced lemon-flavored ones which the internet says are called Lemonades. The rest I would eat but wouldn’t buy, including the ultra-boring Trefoil/Shortbread ones.

    I don’t think I’ve ever purchased girl scout cookies myself, actually, but an ex-girlfriend I was with for many years had girl scouts running deep in the family and I got more than my fill each year. I was the only person who liked Samoas – their whole family doesn’t like coconut for some reason – so they got some for me each time (they must have bought a hundred boxes or so each year).

    If I buy things like cookies for myself I get fat, fast. However at this point I haven’t had them in a few years so I might have to pick some up next time I see them.

  25. Do-si-Dos rock.

    I was on jury duty once with someone who made Thin Mint clones out of Ritz crackers. Looked weird, tasted the same. I haven’t been able to take them seriously since.

Comments are closed.