David Ng and Ben Cohen performed acts of science (realistic ones) in order to determine, once and for all, a true and empirical understanding of which Halloween candies induce the most joy and despair. With more than 40,000 of your votes duly recorded, the results below are indisputably unassailable.



The world renowned "Candy Hierarchy" now enters a new phase of systematics to scientifically measure and classify Halloween Candy by assessing "joy induction." From 2006 to 2013, Cohen and Ng were the PIs ranking candies as an ongoing longitudinal study — one that reassessed itself through the use of the traditional technologies (teeth, jaws, moxy) and robust scientific peer review (folks bitching via comments). This year, however, with the help of multiple undergraduate and graduate assistants, including one heartbroken cousin from Duluth (really, Kaitlyn was wrong for him from the start), the research team was able to collect pre-survey JC (candy joy) and DC (candy despair) data (see Cohen and Ng, 2014). This included the use of "multivariate quantitative techniques" for a more scientifically rigorous analysis (which must be fancy because of the eleven-freakin'-syllables thing). This hierarchy therefore presents the newly calculated 2014 rankings, based on a total of 43767 data points obtained from 1286 individuals collected in a randomized fashion. Mostly. Specific notes of interest are five fold: (1) underpinning the whole study is the proposal of a new physical law of the universe, loosely defined as the "Net Feelies Axiom," as measured by a JOY minus DESPAIR mathematical expression; (2) the more rigorous 2014 data set obviously agrees with trends seen with previous rankings, with only the most minor of differences (i.e. we were right all along); (3) both candy corn and licorice exhibit high JC and DC numbers reflecting their significance in previous and present oral history data (people arguing); (4) that Mary Janes, having data that exhibits equivalent JC and DC values and therefore inhabiting the newly described "Petersen Inflex," is likely a sign of some sort, if not spooky overall; and (5) Whoppers still blow.


This here is real data folks. Suck it.


BC: The data came in sooner than we thought. It shows some interesting stuff.

DN: You know data is plural, right? You used it as singular?


DN: Because we already went over this. It's plural. The data show. Not the data shows.

BC: I said "stuff" too. Are you grammar-checking word by word here?

DN: Just singular/plural disagreements.

BC: So. Yes. What the fuck do the data show, then?

DN: Weren't you supposed to start this off?


DN: Because I thought we had that planned too. It's just, I'm feeling like we pre-gamed this and you're ignoring the plan.



BC: The data show that we've been right every year since 2006. Mostly anyway.

DN: Did somebody doubt that?

BC: Sometimes, yeah. Sometimes I think skeptics see that we change the hierarchy every year as a sign that we were wrong the year before.

DN: I can see that. I can see them thinking that.

BC: But we're not. We're right. And we're especially right this year.

DN: And the data show this?

BC: The data do. The data do.


BC: There's a lot to take in with this hierarchy.

DN: A lot of disagreement across the oceans, I found. We're still sensitive to the USA and Canada border, being on both sides of it, but we got a lot of North America and the world here.

BC: Hey, interesting fact, Dave: Bonkers is the only candy that is also a board game.

DN: Interesting fact right back at you, Ben. Bottle caps are the only candy that is also a technology to keep contents in bottles.


DN: So…

BC: So…

DN: So what do you think about the chocolate incursion higher up the stratigraphy?

BC: I saw that. But I do not like regular M&M's outpacing Rolos, or Caramellos.

DN: Is it ignorance? Do people just not know?

BC: That's my thought. Rolos and Caramellos both have caramel.

DN: Ergo, they are superior.

BC: And it's right there in the title. Caramellos. It's not like people wouldn't know.

DN: Is it a literacy thing? These are clearly superior candies, especially if you're on a Halloween hunt.

BC: These are top tier, Dave.

DN: Apparently.


DN: Should we hash out the peanut butter ascendancy?

BC: I'm glad you brought that up. I'm having a hard time arguing against it. In our household, I don't have the evidence to put caramel or mint above peanut butter. But I so want to.

DN: That's the big fight, isn't it?—

BC: It's all about chocolate companionship: chocolate and mint, chocolate and caramel, chocolate and peanut butter.

DN: We could start some more work into that next year, maybe isolate the companion species.

BC: Yes definitely.

DN: Also, this survey answer made me laugh: "Candy corn is like eating emulsified shame" A great quote from codinghorror (2014).

BC: Ha! That's a good one. How about, "Where is Butterfinger? Why isn't there Butterfinger on here, Dad?"

DN: I didn't see that one.

BC: It was more spoken than written, let's say.


BC: Hey, did you see that 75% of respondents won't even be trick or treating themselves? We should've somehow separated the voting between these two camps (going and not going).

DN: Let's do that next year—

BC: We should've set the experiment up that way.

DN: Let's blame it on basic research funding cuts. Or Kaitlyn.

BC: She really broke his heart.

DN: What can you do? The heart knows what it knows.

BC: I don't think anyone's still listening to us.


1. In which NF = |JC – DC| denotes the difference between the empirical measurement of joy versus despair. Hence the term: Net Feelies.

2. Because like, score! (Bcsizemo, 2010)

3. Not sure if this should be included. Systematics are still on going – denomination appears to be key.

4. Similar to the comparable Commonwealth version of "Smarties." (Devo, Legionabstract, gadgetgirl et al, 2011)

5. These may be rolled to a friend.

6. Although has also been classified as packing material (Cunning, 2010)

7. a.k.a. God's Candy

8. Appropriate ranking may depend entirely on date of purchase versus date of opening. Experts in this field often refer to this dichotomy as "fresh CCE" versus "stale CCE," or FCCE versus SCCE (Beschizza, 2011). Note that its interior has also been described as "pustulent." (Petersen, 2010)

9. Like that fish you've seen on television. You know – the one that looks like it can breathe air and stuff.

10. By some accounts, these and chalk are actually one and the same (Gadgetgirl, 2010). Also known as Rockets in Canada.

11. Always a contentious subject with a rich history of controversy. Briefly:
Candy Corn, as of 2006, remained unclassified, but as of 2007 had been tentatively placed in the Upper Chewy/Upper Devonian. 2008: no sighting. This year, we have elected to place in the special category henceforth called the Marcellus Wallace Cusp or for those in the corporatized know, the Ironic Fructose Sediment. What this means exactly has yet to be determined. Only the heart knows.

12. Sometimes spousal influence forces these placements as with, ahem, this primarily southern delicacy.

13. Oh smack, can you even imagine if you got Fritos?

14. This is from EU pressure, known in diplomatic circles as the "Hornby Concession" (see his many footnotes from the 2012 version).

15. Also a hot mess of debate. Not to be confused with hot messes involving actual persons named "Mary Jane." (Girard, franko, lexicat, Easton, Petersen, Halloween_Jack, 2012). See also its special place at the Petersen Inflex. As well as answering a question posed by Miramon (2013)

16. Especially when you eat them properly. To quote Anonymous, 2010: "The trick to realizing how brilliant and delicious Now 'n Laters are is a two step process. The first step is to carefully read the name of the candy. "Now 'n Later." What does it mean, you ask? Well, it implies that the candy will be different "now" (when you put it in your mouth) and at some point "later" in time. A small leap of logic takes us to the second step: be patient. You need to suck on it for a while until it softens. If you skip this step, the Now 'n Later will be an inedible, rock-like colorful brick quite worthy of the low end of the hierarchy. But if you are patient in your candy-eating process, oh the rewards you will reap!"

17. The discontinued candy, not the equally rankable discontinued board game.

18. Research has further defined this relationship. Currently, it has been suggested that Blackwing Pencils > Hugs > Creepy Hugs > Pencils. (Lobster, Prufrock451, and Warreno, 2010)

19. See how the high Joy and Despair mostly cancel each other out. Hence the great "Licorice Root Beer Debate of 2014." Note the NSFE, or not suitable for Europeans label(jhbadger, popobawa4u, chgoliz, SpunkyTWS, Donald_Petersen, Ambiguity, bobsyeruncle666, SuprWittySmitty, SteampunkBanana, SARSaparilla, SmashMartian, daneel 2014)

20. Unless it's something caramel, pronounced "caramel."

21. Placed solely to acknowledge, make fun of, and possibly undermine British opinions. Google it, but be careful (2012).

22. Yes, we really meant fruit that is healthy, clean-cut upstanding fruit that takes time from its gym membership and all the demands that come with it to contribute a positive message of citizenship and camaraderie to the community. This isn't a typo of healthy for healthful. (see U.M.H. 2011)

23. In a word, surreal… Plus the ones with grandpas with eyepatches always make everything better. Pretty sure, this is reproducible. (Gyrofrog, petertrepan, Koerth-Baker, Olsen 2012)

24. Whoppers blow. QED.

25. Yet some would be just as well to be left off. Bit-o-Honey, for example, might be called a lower tier member, but why bother? It says to your trick-or-treaters, "Here, I don't care, just take this." The lesson of Bit-o-Honey is: you lose. Doorstep offers of lectures in civics, too. You're making a social statement–"I hate you and everything you represent"– when you give these out.