Official Halloween Candy Power Ranking

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(Note: I published this last year, but, as usual, Halloween is prime #badopinionSZN. I’ve updated this slightly, but it still stands as the definitive guide to Halloween candy.)

In case you didn’t know, today is Halloween. Or Hallowe’en if you’re pretentious enough. We all know the person that loves Halloween way too much and considers it their favorite holiday, and while I’m not here to rain on their parade, saying Halloween is your favorite holiday is an incorrect opinion. However, I do enjoy Halloween, myself. Love fall, love dressing up, love carving pumpkins, love spooky stories, the whole deal. Unfortunately, I’m in the gray area when it comes to dressing up. Due to cultural stigmas, it’s considered odd for guys to really go all out from ages like 24-32 if you’re single. If you can do couples costumes or have kids, it’s all good, but, sadly, I’m single, childless, and 26. Alas. Even though I’m not even considering leaving my house, there’s one thing I’ll always be able to enjoy about Halloween: the candy.

Now that I’m older, I just buy my own bags of Halloween candy (for the Trick-or-Treaters, you see). While it’s less rewarding than going to strangers’ houses and taking candy from them and it removes the thrill of the candy roulette, I also only get things I like, which is better than forcing the seventh sleeve of Smarties down my throat. Still, I’m not so far removed from the Trick-or-Treat game that I don’t know what candy is good anymore. In fact, it may be the opposite. Since I have full control over what candy I get, I have more freedom to experiment and try new things. I know more about candy than anyone I know. As a candy expert on Halloween, it seemed only natural to share my knowledge with everyone knocking on my door looking for goodies. I knew I had to present the Official Brian’s Den Halloween Candy Power Ranking. Now, there may be many takes upcoming that some would consider “hot,” and this is the first one: I love fun size candy bars. Sometimes the ratios can suffer in the more complex bars, and we’ll get into that at an appropriate time, but the fact remains fun size candy gets the most unfair rap of all time. Eat some when you wake up, eat a few in between breakfast and lunch, eat some after lunch, eat some between lunch and dinner, and then eat a bunch for dessert. You can eat more than you usually would and it feels like you’re eating less! What’s not to like? You get good taste and a little confidence boost. Just because it’s bulking season doesn’t mean you have to eat like a slob, right? That’s what I tell myself as I’m scarfing my twentieth fun size Snickers in the last ten minutes. So that’s one thing established: fun size=fun. I wanted to keep this reasonable, so I decided to go top twenty (UPDATE: top twenty-one). That means there’s going to be some cuts. Some were agonizingly tough and I’ll think about them when I go to bed tonight. Others weren’t. Might as well start with those: Whoppers might be the worst candy of all time. Malt STINKS and malted milk balls are somehow even worse. Actually, I lied. Good & Plenty or anything licorice is the worst candy of all time, but usually people don’t give them out on Halloween (if you or your child has ever been given licorice on Halloween, please alert the correct authorities immediately). Now that licorice is on my mind, I’m just gonna say it- Twizzlers suck. I hate the texture and their flavor doesn’t make up for the dryness. Butterfingers have a pretty solid taste to them, but I don’t like scheduling a dentist appointment every time I eat a candy bar. Ditto for Milk Duds, except they taste bad, too. Sour Patch Kids, I’m sorry, but Halloween is a sweet holiday, not a sour one. If you give me anything with wax in the name I’m legally allowed to slap you in the face. If I wanted to eat chalk, I’d rather it be the sidewalk variety than Smarties/SweetTarts/Necco Wafers. I like Tootsie Rolls and flavored Tootsie Rolls, I really do, but I live just above the poverty line so I can’t include them. Straight Hershey’s and the other blocks of pure chocolate are perfectly fine, but perfectly fine doesn’t make the list. All of the things that come in the Hershey Variety Pack (Hershey Dark, Mr. Goodbar, Krackle) top out at okay. No one’s been given an Oh Henry! in 30 years, but they’re actually pretty good (be honest, you don’t know what an Oh Henry! is. But that’s why I’m writing this and you aren’t). Peanut m&m’s are one of the few casualties of fun size, since you only get like five in a bag. Crunch is fine and Buncha Crunch is an elite movie theater candy, but it’s so boring comparatively when you look at some of the heavyweights on the list. Lastly, it’s not really a Trick-or-Treat candy, but it’s so closely associated with Halloween and fall holidays that it needs a mention- I don’t care for candy corn. It’s bad and I enjoy every moment of my life that isn’t spent eating it. Anything I didn’t mention is probably just irrelevant and shouldn’t be included in any power ranking. Without further ado, let’s get into the Top 21.

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21. Mounds

Mounds probably deserves to be a little higher on the list (I’m a big coconut guy. I live my life on Island Time, brah), but I wanted to put it at 21 to show the razor thin margin between Mounds and its sister candy Almond Joy. Yes, Almond Joy fans, your beloved bar didn’t make the list. I’m sorry. Ask me tomorrow and I’ll have a different answer. But really, it comes down to the fact that, even though I like almonds, I don’t like them enough to eat them all the time. Also, and this may or may not be your second hot take alert depending on your personal (probably wrong) preferences, dark chocolate is better than milk chocolate.

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20. 100 Grand

Honestly these might rank higher if they were more mainstream, but they’re a little too underground at the moment. God, this is a tough list. 100 Grand are awesome and are stuck at number 20! How am I going to rank the rest of these powerhouses?

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19. Reese’s Pieces

I have to come clean: I don’t really like Reese’s Pieces that much. Love peanut butter, but I’m not an “eat straight peanut butter” guy. Still, you have to respect the legends of the candy world.

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18. m&m’s

m&m’s are like candy comfort food. You always know what you’re going to get, and they’re always there when you need them. Very simple, a little boring, but I’m not going to be the one to mock one of the O.G.’s.

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17. Pretzel m&m’s

Pretzel m&m’s are legitimately some of the greatest candies ever invented. You get three in a fun size package. No bueno.

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16. Cauldron Skittles

They’re like Skittles, only Halloween flavored! If you take anything I like and put it in fancy different colored packaging and give it a festive name, I’m in 100% of the time. Only problem is that they’re only available in wholesale funsize packs. Give me a regular bag!

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15. Snickers

Love me some Snickers, but the ratio always seems a little off in the fun size version. There’s always too few peanuts, or too much caramel, or not enough nougat. It’s just not the true Snickers experience. And, yes, I’m sure everyone has the story about that one guy who was trying way too hard to be the cool dad who gave away full size candy bars and the Snickers you got from him were amazing, but we’re not talking about exceptions, here. We’re talking about reality.

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14. Fast Break

I honestly don’t know if they even still make these in fun size, anymore, it’s been so long since I’ve seen them. Regardless, Fast Breaks were awesome. The combo of peanut butter and nougat was a little much at times, but when you got a good Fast Break, oh man. It was good. Believe me.

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13. Snicker Peanut Butter

The candy game is definitely built on legacy and reputation, so when relative newcomers show up on the list, you know they’re big time. I remember these coming out, and I remember wondering why they didn’t try this earlier. They don’t suffer like their father bar does in fun size, mostly because the peanut butter is really overpowering. Whatever, still tastes awesome.

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12. Skittles

The Roger Clemens of candy, Skittles threw away a Hall of Fame career and a guaranteed spot in the top 5 chasing innovation. I don’t use hyperbole, so when I say the decision to change from lime to green apple was the worst decision of all time, I’m being genuine. The fact that it still ranks so high is just a testament to its otherworldly natural talent.

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11. 3 Musketeers

I feel like there’s a lot of hate floating around the Interwebs directed at 3 Musketeers, at I’m here to tell you it’s all dribble. 3 Musketeers is a prime time candy any way you slice it. Prime time name, prime time concept, prime time taste. Yeah, it’s simple, but it’s done right. It works any size, and you can eat about a billion of them and not feel full. I’m a fan of that.

511acooi5ul10. Milky Way

A veritable brother-in-arms with 3 Musketeers, Milky Way can pretty much always be found in the same bag. And they’re pretty much the same thing, only Milky Way has caramel. That’s why it’s one spot higher (a good time to review my rant on the word milk).

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9. Nerds

I’d say it kind of depends on the flavor, but all the flavors are pretty much the same. The closest thing to a true sour candy on this man’s list. The small rocks are great, but when you get a big chuck of crystalized sugar covered in artificial flavoring, well that’s a special kind of bliss, friend.

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8. Baby Ruth

Kind of a weird thing to say out loud, but I went through a pretty big Baby Ruth phase when I was a kid, so this might be nostalgia driven, but Baby Ruth’s are still great. They’re pretty much Snickers that figured out how to be good regardless of the size. They can be peanut heavy every now and then, but usually they’ve got a strong ratio. They aren’t the most widely distributed Halloween candy, so they’re kind of like found money if you have good taste. Please spare me your Sandlot jokes, I don’t want them.

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7. Starburst

I’ve got another hot take, and I think this one is probably the least popular, but I’m fine standing alone. All true visionaries were ridiculed in their time, and I imagine I’m no different. Yellow is the best flavor. That’s right, I said it. Everyone’s favorite whipping boy, yellow Starburst, just left with the Prom Queen (me). Orange is the worst by a pretty wide margin. Starburst on the whole are among the greatest of all time.

6. Peanut Butter m&m’s

Somehow, some way, I hadn’t had peanut butter m&m’s until this year. This was a mistake, because they’re amazing. They’re what Reese’s Pieces should be. m&m’s are the Kennedys of the candy world. The most powerful family, whether you like it or not.

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5. Midnight Milky Way

This might be the most controversial pick, but I’m more than willing to go out on a limb. As previously established, I prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate and I have regular Milky Way at number 9. Ipso facto, Midnight Milky Way gets a boost. It certainly helps that there are so few viable dark chocolate options on Halloween, but the flavor is still out of this world. Get it?

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4. Twix

Now we’re into rarified air. The previous 16 are sort of interchangeable for the most part. All that matters in making the list. But the top 4? They’re pretty unassailable in my mind. Twix is a behemoth. One of the greatest candies ever. I feel like I’ve probably eaten more Twix than any other chocolate candy on this list. But it’s just not quite good enough.

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3. Reese’s Cups

This is probably number one on a lot of people’s lists, and I’m okay with that. They’re just not my fave. Legendary combination of flavors, obviously, and one of the true innovators of the candy world. You can’t tell the story of candy without mentioning Reese’s pretty early on. But they’re just so rich. When I get my Halloween candy, I want to gorge myself. I want to eat and keep eating and keep eating. But after a Reese’s or two, I have to slow down a little bit. Halloween is about excess, not pausing to digest.

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2. Kit Kat

Of all the candy that’s been around forever (or at least as long as I’ve been alive), Kit Kat is easily the best. Plain and simple. It’s a perfect candy that can’t be improved in any way, taste test results from all the weird Japanese flavors notwithstanding. An added bonus of fun size Kit Kats is that, since you only get one, you avoid the awkward social booby trap that comes with eating a full size one (for those wondering, I’ve got no problem just chomping down and eating them all at once if I’m at my house, but if I’m eating a Kit Kat in public you better believe I’m breaking the pieces off individually. Don’t need to be judged while I’m eating candy).

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1. Take 5

Take 5 is the greatest candy of all time don’t @ me. When I was at the store buying some candy, the only bag I found that included Take 5s also had Whoppers and Dots. It was the most insulting thing I’ve ever seen. Take 5 should never be included with those abominations. Matter of fact, any bag that isn’t strictly Take 5 is an inferior bag. I could eat these non-stop for the rest of my life. Sure, I probably wouldn’t live very long, but I’d be happy doing it.

That’s it. The ultimate list of candy. If you disagree, you’re wrong. If I didn’t mention your favorite, maybe it’s time to take a look in the mirror and address some things. Still, most candy is still good, so I suppose I won’t look down on you too much if you prefer something else. But this Halloween, consider dressing up as someone with good taste.

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NFL Week 8 Picks

Welcome to this edition of Tales from the Brian’s Den. This week is extra spooky, and, with Halloween only a few days away, many of these will have you questioning whether or not it’s worth it to go trick or treating. You never know what horrors await you outside your door. Then again, what horrors await you inside your door? Brock Osweiler already snuck into your home and played a night game, what could be coming once the dark magic is really in the air? That’s for you to find out, if you dare. Muahahahahahahaha. Happy Halloween, mortals.

Plz press play:

Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5) vs Jacksonville Jaguars in London

You hear Big Ben clang somewhere behind you. Midnight. Standing outside on this cold, foggy London night you wonder what reason your friend could possibly have for calling you at this late hour. You already banged the ornate knocker against the heavy door once, and are tempted to do so again. The fog has started playing tricks on your mind, and you’re sure you saw something scurry behind you on the cobblestone streets. You wish he’d answer the door soon. Finally, the door inches open.

“Come in, come in,” your friend says. “I’ve got to show you something I’ve been working on.”

Your friend is a scientist, and one that’s been condemned by the community for his….unorthodox experiments. The last time he called over this urgently, you had nightmares for three weeks. The house is strangely empty as you walk through.

“Where are the servants?” you ask.

No answer. You walk passed the drawing room, where you see broken chairs, overturned candles, and multiple bumps on the ground that could be bodies…

“What’s going on?” you ask. Still no answer.

Your friend opens the door to his lab. There are deeps gashes on the wall and broken glass on the floor. He runs to a small table and picks up a vial of glowing teal liquid.

“This is it,” he exclaims. “I’ve finally perfected my serum. The Order will have no choice but to accept me.”

“What is that?”

He downs the concoction and throws the vial to the ground, shattering it. He clutches his stomach in agony and his skin starts to churn. Concerned, you take a step forward, hoping to help in some way. When your friend rises, you’re frozen to the spot. He’s transformed. Blake Bortles now stands before you. The scream never leaves your throat.

Pick: Jags

Seattle Seahawks at Detroit Lions (-3.5)

I still remember the time the 2010 Ford Focus went crazy and started killing people left and right. Most people don’t believe it. After all, a car going on a killing spree is pretty hard to believe. I can’t say I know how it happened, but I just know it did. The papers blamed it on gang violence. Please. I saw that car. I saw the murderous intent in its headlights. No one was driving it, either. I saw it pin a woman against a brick wall and keep ramming her until she was broken in half. Then it ran over another man’s head. That car was evil, and it wasn’t until Aaron Rodgers’ Hail Mary against the Lions that its spirit was finally broken. That car was Detroit to the end.

Pick: Lions

Washington Redskins (-1) at New York Giants

*The insensitive and offensive story regarding Native American culture has been removed*

Pick: Redskins

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (-10)

Vance Joseph woke up in a cold sweat. Panting, he checked the clock. 3:17 am.

“Same dream, honey?” his wife asked, awoken by his screaming.

“Yeah,” he said. Same dream every night. It didn’t help that the media couldn’t stop talking about it. The Kansas City Slasher was on the lose, and he’s coming for you! Vance thought it was all a little overblown, but couldn’t help be a little worried. Rumor had it the Slasher loved claiming defensive minded football coaches as his victims.

“I need a glass of water,” Vance said, getting up. His wife said something, but he couldn’t make it out. He was still replaying the dream- the Slasher standing over his bed holding a knife.

He grabbed a glass and turned on the sink. He always thought his kitchen was a little too big, but he wouldn’t dare tell his wife. She loved hosting parties. He put his glass down and splashed some water on his face, hoping he could still get a few hours of sleep before going into the office. Suddenly, he heard movement behind him. Spinning around, he was face to face with another man.

“Hey, coach,” an absurdly gravelly voice said.

“Pat?” Vance asked, subtilely searching for a weapon with his hand. “You alright? Need me to call Andy?”

“Looking for this?” he asked, holding a large kitchen knife.

“Pat, listen, you don’t have-”

“I heard you thought you could stop us. That you thought you could stop Showtime.”

“I never said that, and you know it.”

“I wonder who they’ll replace you with,” Pat said. “Think Elway will step in? I think I’d like that.”

“Pat, wait,” Vance said as Pat inched closer. “Pat! Pat!”

Pick: Chiefs

Baltimore Ravens (-2) at Carolina Panthers

October 24, 1924

Our Amazon journey trudges on. I’m starting to think this quest to find the lost city of Passinterferencia is for naught. Still, our leader Flacco insists we keep going. He’s completely obsessed, and I worry he’ll sacrifice our entire party to satisfy his curiosity. I’m regretting leaving home.

October 25, 1924

Flacco has begun claiming he once lived in Passinterferencia. That his friend Lombardi is still there. He thinks this will be taken as proof enough that it exists. I take it proof he’s gone mad. I’m trying to take control of this expedition before all is lost.

October 27, 1924

After convincing the party to turn back, I fear I may have gotten us lost. Our guide, a native we picked up from a nearby village, is manic with fear. Apparently we’re approaching the cursed den of some ancient beast. I worry I may be the only one of us left to have kept his head.

October 28, 1924

Everyone is dead. Both my legs are gone, and I know I don’t have much time left before that creature comes to finish me off. The very gates of hell opened and spit out a massive, black, cat-like demon who started massacring our party. After every kill, it would taunt the remaining men by dabbing on us or miming ripping a shirt open as if to reveal a superhero outfit. Our guide was the only one spared, and he cursed me as he left, traumatized. This trip was a disaster. I doubt any soul will ever read this, but if you do- RUN AWAY!

Pick: Panthers

Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (-8)

The Brown bloodline never stood a chance. That’s what Baker kept hearing growing up. As the last of the noble family, Baker was warned again and again to stay away from Pittsburgh. That everyone in his family was ripped apart by the metal monster that only has a taste for Browns. Well, Baker wanted to put that to the test. He packed his bag, remembering to grab his six-shooter, and hopped on I-76. He was going to kill this creature and avenge his family. Well, that’s what he said, anyway. I haven’t heard from him in three weeks.

Pick: Steelers

New York Jets at Chicago Bears (-7.5)

I’m sure none of you will believe me. You’ll just say I’m crazy. But I know what was written in that book, and I know what happened when I read those cursed words aloud.

I had been tracking the ancient tome for years. There was only one surviving copy, and the legends about it were as old as time itself. I only wanted it for the rarity. I was going to sell it again for massive profit. But when I took the book from the haggard old woman, my curiosity got the best of me. I had to read Monsters of the Midwaye Moste Evile.

I knew I had to try one of the spells. I had to see if the summonings worked. I gathered the required ingredients, drew the magic circle, lit the candles, and said the incantations. I figured nothing would happen. I’m sure the press said nothing happened. But I saw those spirits appear. I saw the murderous look in their eyes. I heard what they said.

“We’re hear to kill promising young QBs,” they kept repeating. Next thing I knew, they were gone. And Sam Darnold was dead. And no one suspected me in the slightest.

Pick: Bears

Tampa Bay Bucs at Cincinnati Bengals (-4.5)

Jameis couldn’t believe it. Pirate zombies. What a preposterous outbreak. While being quarterback of the Buccaneers gave him a small modicum of protection, he was still hiding. They had already killed a few of his teammates. Gripping the shotgun he had lifted purchased from Publix, he looked out the window. Nothing was stopping the slow, ambling march of the walking eye-patched corpses.

He heard glass break in another room. Panicking, he ran over. He was suddenly face to face with patient zero of the outbreak. The Captain, they were calling him. He had a huge beard, a tricorn hat, a baggy white shirt, and a crimson frock coat. An undead parrot was perched on his shoulder.

“He went to Harvard!” it squawked.

Jameis fired. Half the zombie’s body disintegrated, but it kept walking towards him.

“Ye can’t kill me, Jameis,” it said sadly. “Ye can never kill me.”

Jameis turned and ran as the Captain’s body regenerated.

Pick: Bucs

Indianapolis Colts (-3) at Oakland Raiders

“Step right up, my man,” the mysterious peddler said. “Take a gander at my wares. You won’t find rarer.”

The shop had popped up overnight about a week ago, and soon everyone in town was raving about it. Rare curiosities that happened to be exactly what everyone needed, all for no charge! One woman got a future Hall of Fame defensive end, one old man got the overhyped receiver he’d been craving. You had to check it out for yourself. No harm in looking, after all.

The store didn’t even have a name, but the owner certainly had a distinctive look. Barrel chested with a blond bowl cut, the man shook your hand vigorously as soon as you opened the door.

“Take a look at this one, man,” he said, holding up a mascara-eyed quarterback. “I like to call this guy the Sheriff, because he’s always in command out there.”

You pass. You need many things, but a QB who is hated in his own locker room isn’t one of them.

“No? Alright, how about this little guy,” it’s a safety that was drafted in the first round who hasn’t really done anything in the league. “I’ll tell you what, man, this guy here’s a real grinder.”

You pass again. You think it’s about time to leave this shop, because you’re starting to get an uneasy feeling. Something about this place seems off.

“Alright, man, I think I know exactly what you need,” he rummaged behind the counter and pulled out a bucket of Hooters’ wings and Coronas. “This right here, man. This is perfect for all your football watching needs.”

Without hesitating, you reach out and grab the bucket. You feel a shock, and the shopkeeper gets a devilish look in his eye.

“It’s yours, man. Free of charge.”

“Really?” you ask. “All of this for free?”

“Well, it doesn’t cost money,” he said with a laugh before ushering you out the door. “I’ll see you soon, man.”

You don’t know what he meant by that, but who cares? You got exactly what you needed.

Pick: Raiders

San Francisco 49ers (-1) at Arizona Cardinals

Just seeing this matchup was by far the scariest thing I’ve ever read.

Green Bay Packers at Los Angeles Rams (-9)

The meeting is in 15 minutes. Your lunch with your producer friend ran long, and all that time you had put aside to get from Nobu to the San Fernando Valley was dried up. Luckily, you just purchased one of the new self-driving smart cars everyone was raving about.

“Welcome, brah,” it would say every time the engine started. “You are currently 200 feet from In-N-Out. Would you like to swing through for a couple Double-Doubles?”

“No thanks, Tanner,” you said. “I’m in a hurry and need to get to my meeting with Rodrigo.”

“I gotchu, brah. Would you like to take the 412 up to Santa Monica or the 317 towards Culver City?”

“Just get me there ASAP, Tanner.”

“Right on.”

You zone out. These new cars are really amazing. They detect everything around them, and are undoubtedly better at driving than you ever were. Sure, it cost two years’ salary to buy, but it was worth it, especially if you were seen getting out of one.

This meeting is huge, you think. The script you’ve been developing could change your career forever. All those B-horror movies could finally lead to the big, prestigious films you’ve been dying to make. Rodrigo could make it all happen, but he hates tardiness.

You realize the car has stopped, and you look at the clock. Still three minutes to go, you’re in the clear! But when you look out the window, all you see are cars.

“Tanner, where are we?” you ask in a full panic.

“Sorry, brah, I might have miscalculated a bit. We’re on the 405 right now. Think we’re gonna be stuck here a while.”

The 405. In rush hour. On the one day you needed to be somewhere.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” you scream. But it’s lost under the sound of thousands of horns.

Pick: Rams

New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings (Pick)

The snow was unbearable. Drew could handle the cold and the wind, but walking through the snow was the worst part.

He had managed to survive alone for two weeks after his hiking party was attacked by strange purple monsters. His friends Alvin, Mark, and Michael were slaughtered instantly, and his mentor Sean had died from his wounds soon after. Drew was wondering why he thought a bunch of Southern boys would enjoy a getaway to the frozen fields of Minnesota, but it was too late for regrets, now.

Staying warm was all he was concerned about, but he knew he was being followed, too. The same creatures that attacked the first time had finally found him.

Good, he thought. A fight would keep him warm, and if he died, at least he’d go down swinging. He had been sharpening sticks at night, but was unsure if they would penetrate the thick hides of the beasts. Guess he’d find out soon.

The snap of a branch told him they were upon him. They were vaguely humanoid, but bigger, faster, stronger. They had razor sharp claws and teeth, and had yellow manes. They circled around Drew.

“Alright, let’s do this,” Drew said. “This is for my friends!”

He threw one of the sticks at the nearest monster. He missed. The fight didn’t last long.

Pick: Vikings

New England Patriots (-14) at Buffalo Bills

The little town of Buffalo was quiet this morning. Young Josh went outside, looking for some other kids to play with, only to find the streets deserted.

“Where is everyone?” he asked his mother. She didn’t answer, only wept into a tissue.

“What’s wrong, mommy?” Still no answer.

“I’m sorry, son,” his father said, kneeling down and embracing him. “Tom Brady’s here. And he demands sacrifice.”

His father punched him in the gut, both knocking the wind out of him and knocking him unconscious. He put him into the back seat of his car and drove off towards the stadium, where the malevolent being awaited his yearly tribute.

Pick: Patriots

Official Halloween Candy Power Ranking

halloween-candy

In case you didn’t know, today is Halloween. Or Hallowe’en if you’re weird, but I supposed being weird is encouraged this time of year. We all know the person that loves Halloween way too much and considers it their favorite holiday, and while I’m not here to rain on their parade, saying Halloween is your favorite holiday is an incorrect opinion. However, I do enjoy Halloween, myself. Love fall, love dressing up, love carving pumpkins, the whole deal. Unfortunately, I’m getting into the gray area when it comes to dressing up. Due to cultural stigmas, it’s pretty much considered weird for guys to dress up from ages like 26-32 if you’re single. If you can do couples costumes or have kids, it’s all good, but, sadly, I’m single, childless, and 25, so you better believe I’m pulling out all the stops this year. Even though I’m not even considering leaving my house, I’ll still get dressed up so I can live life to the fullest. But one thing I’ll always be able to enjoy is the candy.

Now that I’m older, I just buy my own bags of Halloween candy (for the Trick-or-Treaters, you see). While it’s less rewarding than going to strangers’ houses and taking candy from them and it removes the thrill of the candy roulette, I also only get things I like, which is better than forcing the seventh sleeve of Smarties down my throat. Still, I’m not so far removed from the Trick-or-Treat game that I don’t know what candy is good anymore. In fact, it may be the opposite. Since I have full control over what candy I get, I have more freedom to experiment and try new things. I know more about candy than anyone I know. As a candy expert on Halloween, it seemed only natural to share my knowledge with everyone knocking on my door looking for goodies. I knew I had to present the Official Brian’s Den Halloween Candy Power Ranking. Now, there may be many takes upcoming that some would consider “hot,” and this is the first one: I love fun size candy bars. Sometimes the ratios can suffer in the more complex bars, and we’ll get into that at an appropriate time, but the fact remains fun size candy gets the most unfair rap of all time. Eat some when you wake up, eat a few in between breakfast and lunch, eat some after lunch, eat some between lunch and dinner, and then eat a bunch for dessert. You can eat more than you usually would and it feels like you’re eating less! What’s not to like? You get good taste and a little confidence boost. Just because it’s bulking season doesn’t mean you have to eat like a slob, right? That’s what I tell myself as I’m scarfing my 20th fun size Snickers in the last ten minutes. So that’s one thing established: fun size=fun. I wanted to keep this reasonable, so I decided to go top twenty. That means there’s going to be some cuts. Some were agonizingly tough and I’ll think about them when I go to bed tonight. Others weren’t. Might as well start with those: Whoppers might be the worst candy of all time. Malt STINKS and malted milk balls are somehow even worse. Actually, I lied. Good & Plenty or anything licorice is the worst candy of all time, but usually people don’t give them out on Halloween (if you or your child has ever been given licorice on Halloween, please alert the correct authorities immediately). Now that licorice is on my mind, I’m just gonna say it- Twizzlers suck. I hate the texture and their flavor doesn’t make up for the dryness. Butterfingers have a pretty solid taste to them, but I don’t like scheduling a dentist appointment every time I eat a candy bar. Ditto for Milk Duds, except they taste bad, too. Sour Patch Kids, I’m sorry, but Halloween is a sweet holiday, not a sour one. If you give me anything with wax in the name I’m legally allowed to slap you in the face. If I wanted to eat chalk, I’d rather it be the sidewalk variety than Smarties/SweetTarts/Necco Wafers. I like Tootsie Rolls and flavored Tootsie Rolls, I really do, but I live just above the poverty line so I can’t include them. Straight Hershey’s and the other blocks of pure chocolate are perfectly fine, but perfectly fine doesn’t make the list. All of the things that come in the Hershey Variety Pack (Hershey Dark, Mr. Goodbar, Krackle) top out at okay. No one’s been given an Oh Henry! in 30 years, but they’re actually pretty good (be honest, you don’t know what an Oh Henry! is. But that’s why I’m writing this and you aren’t). Peanut m&m’s are one of the few casualties of fun size, since you only get like five in a bag. Crunch is fine and Buncha Crunch is an elite movie theater candy, but it’s so boring comparatively when you look at some of the heavyweights on the list. Lastly, it’s not really a Trick-or-Treat candy, but it’s so closely associated with Halloween and fall holidays that it needs a mention- candy corn suxxxx. It’s very bad and I enjoy every moment of my life that isn’t spent eating it. Anything I didn’t mention is probably just irrelevant and shouldn’t be included in any power ranking. Without further ado, let’s get into the Top 20.

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20. Mounds

Mounds probably deserves to be a little higher on the list (I’m a big coconut guy. I live my life on Island Time, brah), but I wanted to put it at 20 to show the razor thin margin between Mounds and its sister candy Almond Joy. Yes, Almond Joy fans, your beloved bar didn’t make the list. I’m sorry. Ask me tomorrow and I’ll have a different answer. But really, it comes down to the fact that, even though I like almonds, I don’t like them enough to eat them all the time. Also, and this may or may not be your second hot take alert depending on your personal (probably wrong) preferences, dark chocolate is better than milk chocolate.

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19. 100 Grand

Honestly these might rank higher if they were more mainstream, but they’re a little too underground at the moment. God, this is a tough list. 100 Grand are awesome and are stuck at number 19! How am I going to rank the rest of these powerhouses?

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18. Reese’s Pieces

I have to come clean: I don’t really like Reese’s Pieces that much. Love peanut butter, but I’m not an “eat straight peanut butter” guy. Still, you have to respect the legends of the candy world.

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17. Cauldron Skittles

They’re like Skittles, only Halloween flavored! If you take anything I like and put it in fancy different colored packaging and give it a festive name, I’m in 100% of the time.

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16. m&m’s

m&m’s are like candy comfort food. You always know what you’re going to get, and they’re always there when you need them. Very simple, a little boring, but I’m not going to be the one to mock one of the O.G.’s.

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15. Pretzel m&m’s

Pretzel m&m’s are legitimately some of the greatest candies ever invented. You get three in a fun size package. No bueno.

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14. Snickers

Love me some Snickers, but the ratio always seems a little off in the fun size version. There’s always too few peanuts, or too much caramel, or not enough nougat. It’s just not the true Snickers experience. And, yes, I’m sure everyone has the story about that one guy who was trying way too hard to be the cool dad who gave away full size candy bars and the Snickers you got from him were amazing, but we’re not talking about exceptions, here. We’re talking about reality.

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13. Fast Break

I honestly don’t know if they even still make these in fun size, anymore, it’s been so long since I’ve seen them. Regardless, Fast Breaks were awesome. The combo of peanut butter and nougat was a little much at times, but when you got a good Fast Break, oh man. It was good. Believe me.

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12. Snicker Peanut Butter

The candy game is definitely built on legacy and reputation, so when relative newcomers show up on the list, you know they’re big time. I remember these coming out, and I remember wondering why they didn’t try this earlier. They don’t suffer like their father bar does in fun size, mostly because the peanut butter is really overpowering. Whatever, still tastes awesome.

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11. Skittles

The Roger Clemens of candy, Skittles threw away a Hall of Fame career and a guaranteed spot in the top 5 chasing innovation. I don’t use hyperbole, so when I say the decision to change from lime to green apple was the worst decision of all time, I’m being genuine. The fact that it still ranks so high is just a testament to its otherworldly natural talent.

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10. 3 Musketeers

I feel like there’s a lot of hate floating around the Interwebs directed at 3 Musketeers, at I’m here to tell you it’s all dribble. 3 Musketeers is a prime time candy any way you slice it. Prime time name, prime time concept, prime time taste. Yeah, it’s simple, but it’s done right. It works any size, and you can eat about a billion of them and not feel full. I’m a fan of that.

511acooi5ul9. Milky Way

A veritable brother-in-arms with 3 Musketeers, Milky Way can pretty much always be found in the same bag. And they’re pretty much the same thing, only Milky Way has caramel. That’s why it’s one spot higher (a good time to review my rant on the word milk).

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8. Nerds

I’d say it kind of depends on the flavor, but all the flavors are pretty much the same. The closest thing to a true sour candy on the list. The small rock are great, but when you get a big chuck of crystalized sugar covered in artificial flavoring, well that’s a special kind of bliss, friend.

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7. Baby Ruth

Kind of a weird thing to say out loud, but I went through a pretty big Baby Ruth phase when I was a kid, so this might be nostalgia driven, but Baby Ruth’s are still great. They’re pretty much Snickers that figured out how to be good regardless of the size. They can be peanut heavy every now and then, but usually they’ve got a strong ratio. They aren’t the most widely distributed Halloween candy, so they’re kind of like found money if you have good taste. Please spare me your Sandlot jokes, I don’t want them.

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6. Starburst

I’ve got another hot take, and I think this one is probably the least popular, but I’m fine standing alone. All true visionaries were ridiculed in their time, and I imagine I’m no different. Yellow is the best flavor. That’s right, I said it. Everyone’s favorite whipping boy, yellow Starburst, just left with the Prom Queen (me). Orange is the worst by a pretty wide margin. Starburst on the whole are among the greatest of all time.

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5. Midnight Milky Way

This might be the most controversial pick, but I’m more than willing to go out on a limb. As previously established, I prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate and I have regular Milky Way at number 9. Ipso facto, Midnight Milky Way gets a boost. It certainly helps that there are so few viable dark chocolate options on Halloween, but the flavor is still out of this world. Get it?

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4. Twix

Now we’re into rarified air. The previous 16 are sort of interchangeable for the most part. All that matters in making the list. But the top 4? They’re pretty unassailable in my mind. Twix is a behemoth. One of the greatest candies ever. I feel like I’ve probably eaten more Twix than any other chocolate candy on this list. But it’s just not quite good enough.

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3. Reese’s Cups

This is probably number one on a lot of people’s lists, and I’m okay with that. They’re just not my fave. Legendary combination of flavors, obviously, and one of the true innovators of the candy world. You can’t tell the story of candy without mentioning Reese’s pretty early on. But they’re just so rich. When I get my Halloween candy, I want to gorge myself. I want to eat and keep eating and keep eating. But after a Reese’s or two, I have to slow down a little bit. Halloween is about excess, not pausing to digest.

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2. Kit Kat

Of all the candy that’s been around forever (or at least as long as I’ve been alive), Kit Kat is easily the best. Plain and simple. It’s a perfect candy that can’t be improved in any way, taste test results from all the weird Japanese flavors notwithstanding. An added bonus of fun size Kit Kats is that, since you only get one, you avoid the awkward social booby trap that comes with eating a full size one (for those wondering, I’ve got no problem just chomping down and eating them all at once if I’m at my house, but if I’m eating a Kit Kat in public you better believe I’m breaking the pieces off individually. Don’t need to be judged while I’m eating candy).

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1. Take 5

Take 5 is the greatest candy of all time don’t @ me. When I was at the store buying some candy, the only bag I found that included Take 5s also had Whoppers and Dots. It was the most insulting thing I’ve ever seen. Take 5 should never be included with those abominations. Matter of fact, any bag that isn’t strictly Take 5 is an inferior bag. I could eat these non-stop for the rest of my life. Sure, I probably wouldn’t live very long, but I’d be happy doing it.

That’s it. The ultimate list of candy. If you disagree, you’re wrong. If I didn’t mention your favorite, maybe it’s time to take a look in the mirror and address some things. Still, most candy is still good, so I suppose I won’t look down on you too much if you prefer something else. But this Halloween, consider dressing up as someone with good taste.

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