While Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups have, for obvious reasons, consistently been ranked the best Halloween candy, with Snickers, M&M’s, Kit Kats, Twizzlers, Mounds, Sour Sack Babies, and gummy worms usually making it into the top ten, it’s just as important to look at the opposite end of the list and consider the things you definitely should not give out at Halloween:
Basically any fruit is a bad idea but, in spite of their associations with fall, apples are the worst thing you can give trick-or-treaters unless you want apples thrown through your window. Save them for your Halloween party. If you’ve ever played Bobbing For Apples you know all this does is ruin the apples and leave everyone soaking wet. This is a feature, not a bug.
Apples With Razor Blades
In spite of it being a popular Halloween urban legend you should never give out these under any circumstances. There are no documented cases of these really being given to trick-or-treaters, and the reasons should be clear. For one thing an apple with a razor blade stuck in it is really obvious. For another razor blades are expensive. And finally if you did give these out you’d end up with apples with razor blades thrown through your window.
Maybe you think the neighbors know you well enough and trust you enough that they know you’d never harm their children so they’d be totally fine with you making a special treat that requires an incredible amount of work on your part. Even if that is true do you know what takes even more work than making caramel apples? Eating them. Congratulations, you’ve just ruined both a perfectly good apple and perfectly good caramel. On the bright side you’ve put the apple on a stick which will make it really easy to throw it through your window.
Once upon a time trick-or-treaters carried special cardboard boxes and collected money for UNICEF. Some of that money might have even made it to children in need rather than the change dish next to the rotary phone in the kitchen. Now you’re just weighing down kids’ bags with pieces of metal that, collectively, won’t be enough to purchase gift cards, which are the preferred financial medium of both kids and UNICEF.
Sure, they’re basically candy that pretends to make you stop coughing, but Halloween is just not the time to make sure the kids are getting their recommended daily requirement of menthol, and that eucalyptus could be saved for hungry koalas.
All other considerations aside these are never packaged individually so you’d have to distribute them in plastic bags, and if you’re doing that you might as well be sitting on your porch with bloodshot eyes wearing a tie-dyed shirt and ripped jeans while sitting next to a Victrola playing Tom Lehrer’s “The Old Dope Peddler”.
These are really tasty and for adults it’s fun to get your daily dose of riboflavin as a sweet treat, but they’re still not individually packaged, so if you’re handing these out you might as well be sitting on your porch under a shingle that says “Dr. Timothy Leary” and telling everyone not to feed your pet dragon.
In 1959 a dentist in California thought it would be funny to give out laxatives to trick-or-treaters. It wasn’t. It still isn’t. Among other reasons anyone who’s ever suffered the after-effects of a Halloween candy binge knows laxatives wouldn’t make any difference.
I’m sure there are dentists who think it’s funny to give out these. It’s not. You might as well give kids a packaged lecture on the economic impact of coal mining on southwest Wales in the late 19th century. Let kids have this one special night and, hey, if they’re under a certain age they’re just gonna lose all those teeth anyway.
Seriously, what is wrong with you?
When I was a kid there was a house somewhere in my neighborhood where they handed out Krispy Kreme doughnuts–the basic frosted kind. They were not wrapped. Whoever did it also handed them out quickly enough that none of us got a good look at what was being tossed into our bags. The result was a pulverized doughnut and gooey frosting all over our candy. You know who you are and you are more evil than the Silver Shamrock mask company in Halloween III.
Full-sized candy bars
This may sound like a good idea, and it’s briefly going to make your house the most popular one in the entire city. Then you’ll run out and you and your family will turn into the trapped people in Night Of The Living Dead as an army of crazed trick-or-treaters shuffles toward your house, breaking your windows with the apples they got from that house across the street, and if you’re lucky they won’t be candy apples.
Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses
If you don’t recognize the name you’ll recognize the black and orange waxy paper these come wrapped in. Technically they’re a molasses taffy with peanut butter so, congratulations whoever made these, in one package you’ve ruined molasses, taffy, and peanut butter. Fortunately no one’s really to blame for these as scientists have discovered that they spontaneously generate in Halloween bags. This is a good thing because anyone responsible for giving these out should be arrested.