/ David Ng and Ben Cohen / 6 am Mon, Oct 31 2016
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  • The Candy Hierarchy for 2016: Halloween's best and worst treats

    The Candy Hierarchy for 2016: Halloween's best and worst treats

    The results of our survey are in. This year's list of the most loved and hated Halloween treats has a surprise in store!

    Click to view the below full-size; or download as a a high-quality digital poster (4MB) for detailed scrutiny; or proceed for the plain text, abstract and analysis...


    The Candy Hierarchy (2016)


    Any full-sized candy bar

    Cash, or other forms of legal tender

    Kit Kat

    Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups



    Tolberone something or other

    Lindt Truffle

    Peanut M&M’s

    Milky Way

    Nestle Crunch




    Dove Bars

    Regular M&Ms


    Hershey's Dark Chocolate

    Reese's Pieces


    York Peppermint Patties

    Three Musketeers

    Heath Bar

    100 Grand Bar

    Junior Mints



    Mr. Goodbar

    Hershey’s Milk Chocolate

    Hershey's Kisses

    Mint Juleps


    Milk Duds


    Whatchamacallit Bars

    Sweet Tarts

    Jolly Ranchers (good flavor)

    Cadbury Creme Eggs

    Smarties (American)

    Glow sticks

    Swedish Fish

    Gummy Bears straight up


    Sourpatch Kids (i.e. abominations of nature)

    Smarties (Commonwealth)

    Mint Kisses


    Licorice (not black)

    Pixy Stix

    Minibags of chips


    Mike and Ike

    Bottle Caps

    Coffee Crisp



    Kinder Happy Hippo

    Goo Goo Clusters

    Candy Corn


    Reggie Jackson Bar

    Licorice (yes black)

    Good N' Plenty

    Fuzzy Peaches

    Mary Janes

    Bonkers (the board game)

    Hard Candy


    Bonkers (the candy)

    Chick-o-Sticks (we don’t know what that is)

    Necco Wafers


    Hugs (actual physical hugs)

    Trail Mix

    Tic Tacs

    Healthy Fruit



    Sweetums (a friend to diabetes)

    Black Jacks

    Senior Mints

    Person of Interest Season 3 DVD Box Set (not including Disc 4 with hilarious outtakes)




    JoyJoy (Mit Iodine!)

    Generic Acetaminophen

    Spotted Dick

    Vials of pure high fructose corn syrup, for main-lining into your vein

    Jolly Rancher (bad flavor)


    Creepy Religious comics/Chick Tracts

    Those odd marshmallow circus peanut things

    Anonymous brown globs that come in black and orange wrappers

    Whole Wheat anything

    Dental paraphenalia

    Candy that is clearly just the stuff given out for free at restaurants

    Kale smoothie

    Gum from baseball cards

    White Bread

    Broken glow stick

    “What’s going on with Kit Kats Dave?”


    BC: What’s going on with Kit Kats Dave?

    DN: I was about to ask you the same.

    BC: Something’s going on with Kit-Kats.

    DN: But what?

    BC: That’s what I asked you.

    DN: Something weird, that’s all I know.

    BC: Because we have to start accepting a consensus result. Not counting the full-sized candy bars or hard cash—which are gimmes, we don’t even need to ask that—the year-after-year consensus has a pretty stable top 4.

    DN: Kit Kat, Peanut Butter Cups, Twix, Snickers.

    BC: Huge news there—Kit Kats put Peanut Butter cups in their place, kicking them down a notch.

    DN: I’m sure that pleases you. So we can talk your peanut butter thing now.

    BC: My Big Peanut Butter thing. I see two problems with Big PB, neither of them acceptable to me.

    DN: You haven’t shut up about this for about five years. You’re about to go into your Mint ra—


    DN: Thank you for screaming. And notice there is not one choc-mint combo in the top 20.

    BC: I wasn’t listening, what?


    BC: Doesn’t matter. I have other concerns. Like allergies.

    DN: Medical science. You’ re trying to get us legitimacy?

    BC: Yeah. We’ve come up to speed in most public eating forums on peanut allergies. But not Halloween. What gives?

    DN: I have no reply to that.

    BC: What’s the other big news this year?

    DN: Yeah, let’s pivot.

    BC: We have some good health news. People prefer “whole wheat anything” to “white bread.”

    DN: Maybe. But people would also prefer Person of Interest Season 3 Box Set to a Box of Raisins.

    BC: It’s not even their best season.

    DN: You’re preaching to the choir.

    BC: Bonkers the Board Game is preferable to Bonkers the candy.

    DN: Most Just Born brand candies are mid-tier—

    BC: Your Mike and Ikes, your Hot Tamales, your Peeps, right.

    DN: Actually, Peeps didn’t fare well, and we forgot Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews (though someone wrote it in).

    BC: And I just realized we didn’t put Hot Tamales on there.

    DN: Political results were interesting.

    BC: Do tell.

    DN: I don’t think we’re telling tales out of school to announce that people prefer Blue M&Ms to Red M&Ms by a 2-to-1 margin. Although to be fair, most folks didn’t seem to care one way or another.

    BC: I don’t think we’re telling tales out of school to say that Red folks preferred Skittles more than Blue did.

    DN: You’re really extrapolating beyond statistical validity, I fear.

    BC: I like how now you act like that’s a concern.

    DN: Speaking more scientifically, people who chose the “Yahoo! Finance” headlines at the bottom preferred cash too. That makes sense.

    BC: Plus, BoingBoing readers are overwhelmingly scientifically curious (choice of “Science” in the last question, n=983 out of 1232). That’s hopeful.

    DN: Yeah, you don’t get that scientific anchoring in those off-brand polls, like the Influenster one I saw last week. Besides, I think they invalidate their own survey since Candy Corn was highest rated with their metrics.

    BC: Speaking of scientific legitimacy, I can’t believe we haven’t talked about the results that are already shocking the world.

    DN: You’re talking about the Friday/Sunday question, I assume.

    BC: Of course, Dave, yes, I’m talking about the Friday/Sunday question. Last year we had a near perfect 67:33 ratio of a Friday-to-Sunday preference.

    DN: But something happened, because this year we had a sea change, to 65:35 Fri:Sun.

    BC: I don’t even know what’s real anymore. We’ve continued that survey at Various Breads and Butters for a year now, with lock-tight 2:1 results.

    The Platinum Ratio, as people call it now.

    DN: It could be bad data. Or campaign fatigue.

    BC: Would explain why people are definitely poll-weary, that’s something.

    DN: Good point. We only had about a fourth the respondents as last year, at close to 1300. It’s the political season. People are done with it.

    BC: They’re done with apple questions too.

    DN: Yeah, I’m still struggling to figure out what that East-West apple-eating question is.

    BC: Most people are. It just shows that you eat apples from side to side, not bottom to top (core and all).

    DN: Why is that even a question?

    BC: There’s some freak in my hometown that does it that freak way, and then some guy in Northern Virginia. Outliers.

    DN: Tell them to eat apples 10,000 times, they’ll learn.

    BC: Donny P said “I hope they print my manifesto about the correct way to eat an apple,” but nimelennar knew the sticking point “I doubt they will. The apple lobby is dominated by in-ciders.” This entire line of reasoning has been redacted.

    BC: Any other insights to offer.

    DN: Not really, but how about lots of graphs.

    BC: And more footnotes?

    DN: Yes, footnotes galore.

    BC: I can’t go on like this.

    DN: Well? Shall we go?

    BC: What?

    DN: Shall we go?

    BC: Yes, let's go.

    They do not move. Cos of the candy? Sugar crash.


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

    2. Beschizza Bars, they call them (Beschizza, 2010)

    3. Look: Kit Kats. They’re up a spot. The Kit-Kat v. Peanut Butter Cup battle is the Yale v Harvard of candy. Or Kanye v. Taylor. Or Bojack Horseman v Mr. Peanutbutter.

    4. Two years in a row, we remembered to include Butterfinger (2015)

    5. People keep forgetting, but these may be rolled to a friend.

    6. Not to be confused with soap.

    7. Yes, God's Candy

    8. Like Peeps (lower on the tier), CCE’s are this weird seasonal dissonance as an Easter not Halloween candy. 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. We now accept that these and chalk are one and the same (Gadgetgirl, 2010). Also known as Rockets in Canada and the UK. Though rockets are known as bookmarks in the US. And bookmarks are known as Drop Love licorice in The Netherlands, a popular sugar-free laxative.

    10. This does not refer to herring.

    11. So this is interesting. Folks who like reading ESPN seem to have a problem with mint kisses (Nf of -16, compared to Nf of +83 for Science readers). This trend doesn’t seem to happen with any other mint related candies, and so we are left to assume that folks that enjoy ESPN have a problem with kisses.

    12. Given the political season, it kind makes sense that Vicodin moved up a few spots in the rankings,

    13. In 2014, Joy and Despair mostly cancelled each other out. Hence the great “Licorice Root Beer Debate of 2014.” This year and last, however, we split it between black and non-black licorice. You all can fight this out. Note the NSFE, or Not Suitable for Europeans label (jhbadger, popobawa4u, chgoliz, SpunkyTWS, Donald_Petersen, Ambiguity, bobsyeruncle666, SuprWittySmitty, SteampunkBanana, SARSaparilla, SmashMartian, daneel 2014)

    14. Or did we mean bags of minichips? This may be a typo. We had copyediting outsourced.

    15. This is from EU pressure, known in diplomatic circles as the “Hornby Concession" (see his many footnotes from the 2012 version). Also cf. Mister44, 2016 [https://bbs.boingboing.net/t/tell-us-about-your-halloween-candy-preferences-and-other-things-besides/88024/5].

    16. Yeah, this candy corn thing. There was that one weird poll from Influenster that claimed candy corn was the top choice in all U.S. states. As dutiful readers know, Candy Corn remained unclassified in 2006, was tentatively placed in the Upper Chewy/Upper Devonian in 2007, fell away in 2008, regained its footing in 2009, found a spot somewhere in the middle in 2010, and has wavered just below the Petersen Influx ever since in the Marcellus Wallace Cusp. We’re waiting for D. Petersen to tell us how it sits near the Petersen Influx. We’re waiting. Tick tock.

    17. Thanks, Obama.

    18. No comment. Not even to Access Hollywood.

    19. But not erasers (N. Johnson, 1977).

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

    21. These things keep coming up. Stop it.

    22. You’re welcome, America.

    23. Whoppers still blow. QED.

    24. Look at you, Helvetica, holding strong against Times New Roman as a top-tier font. We’ll hand those out next year with the Kit Kats.


    / /