Best and Worst Halloween Candy Countdown Debuts with No. 21

It wasn't all that long ago that Gut Check was donning our finest Disney princess Star Wars character drag outfit and joining the swarms of greedy American children on the hallowed Halloween quest for candy. So we remember well the post-trick-or-treat ritual of sorting the bounty into two piles, i.e., Good Stuff and Crap.

Then we'd head back out and t.p. all the houses where we'd been handed lame candy. We considered the act to be a hint to the clueless to maybe bust out the Snickers next year instead of those execrable homemade popcorn balls. A community service, if you will.

Now we're on the other side of the door, trick-or-treatily speaking, and we're also working from a position of strength when it comes to stamping out Halloween-candy imbecility.

Want to avoid having your happy home t.p.'ed this year? Check back each weekday between now and the Big Day as we count down the 21 Best Halloween Treats and the 21 Worst Halloween Treats...

Best Halloween Candy Countdown, No. 21: Nerds Earlier this year RFT visited the annual Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago and discovered that -- surprise! -- candy manufacturers are increasingly marketing their treats as "healthy." To paraphrase the story's author, RFT staff writer Aimee Levitt:

What ever happened to good-old-fashioned, tooth-rotting candy?

Well, some of it's still around. Like Nerds -- who among us would be disappointed to find a box or three of Nerds in our trick-or-treat pillowcase? There's no quibbling with tiny nuggets of crunchy, slightly tartened-up sugar that are, in turn, glazed with more sugar. In some respects, if you look beyond the variety of colors/pseudo flavors available, a Nerd in kinda resembles the very thing it destroys: the tooth. Talk about form following function!

Nerds aren't perfect -- they are, for one thing, far from ideal movie-theater fare, owing to their loud crunch and high spillage potential -- but doled out in single-mouthful boxes, they're a solid, down-the-middle trick-or-treat pick. They may not be anyone's true favorite, but they sure aren't gonna piss off the marauding hordes.

Click through to reveal No. 21 on the Worst Halloween Candy list...

Worst Halloween Candy Countdown, No. 21: DOTS

Wikimedia Commons

On first glance DOTS don't seem like a bad idea. They've been around since World War II. They're chewy. They're fruity. Like Gummi bears, right?


From the chalky exterior to the too-gooey interior to the lame-ass "fruit" flavors, DOTS blow. Even worse, they're that special sort of awful candy that somehow fades from memory, fooling you year after year into thinking: Hey, I don't recall exactly how these things tasted, but look at all the pretty colors! Nothing this retro could really be that bad!

And so you pop one or two in your mouth, and guess what? They really are that bad!

To add insult to injury, DOTS now come in five varieties -- Original, Tropical, Sour, Yogurt and Crows (black licorice) -- not to mention holiday editions for Christmas, Easter, the Fourth of July and, yes, Halloween, which boasts three options for your trick-or-treaters' misery: Ghost DOTS, Bat DOTS and Candy Corn DOTS.

If a friend offers you a box of DOTS, politely turn them down, and then defriend that person pronto. And if you're the least bit tempted to go against the grain this Halloween, for God's sake, do not do so with DOTS. There are plenty of retro/outré options out there, we promise.

Check out the rest of our Best and Worst Halloween Candy Countdown.

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