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I Tried Every Type Of Candy I Could Get My Hands On — And Ranked Them From Worst To Best

Tough job — but someone's gotta do it.

This Halloween will probably go down in history as the weirdest Halloween ever. Will kids trick-or-treat? Will people be wearing masks under their masks?

Regardless, we’re all looking for ways to find some sort of comfort to escape the craziness of the year, so why not reminisce with candy?


I’ve compiled the ultimate list of 100 premillennial sweets, ranked from my least fave to “brings back so many feels”! So sit back, grab your favorite sugary snack, and reminisce about the good old days.

100. Good & Plenty (1893)

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Much to my mother’s disappointment, I didn’t inherit the gene for loving black licorice. While it’s my least favorite, that doesn’t keep me from respecting the fact that this is the oldest branded candy in the US that is still in production.

99. Circus Peanuts (1800s)

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I'm all for banana-flavored candy, but for some reason, the texture and taste just never worked for me...that creepy clown on the bag doesn't help.

98. Twizzlers (1929)

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Not my "twist you can’t resist.” Although they have an assortment of interesting flavors (strawberry, orange, lemon, blue raspberry, and watermelon), the “bounce-back” consistency just never did it for me. Red Vines were my go-to.

97. Wax Lips (early 1900s)

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It's like testing out Botox without actually doing it! Fun to wear for a second, but the waxy coating that got left on your lips afterward was just...meh.

96. Tiny Size Chiclets (1962)

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Little, itty-bitty pieces of gum. They were super cute, but absolutely no one ate one or two pieces at a time. You ripped open that bag and dumped the whole thing in your mouth, period.

95. Cry Baby (1991)

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These candies were nothing in comparison with Warheads. The duration of sour only lasted 10 seconds, tops. But kudos to them for looking like tiny tears.

94. Squeeze Pop (Early 1990s)

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Squeezable-type foods were huge in the '90s. This was basically a melted-down lollipop. It was really sticky, and there was no "cool" way to eat them. They were just pretty gross.

93. Bubble Gum Cigars (1940s)

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These continue to be celebratory-type favors, but they're actually a whole lot of gum. The whole mystique of walking around with a fake cigar that slowly gets consumed into your mouth just never had much of an appeal. It's marketing at its finest.

92. Tongue Splashers (1990s)

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These were pretty cool because they came in a mini paint tin (repurposing, anyone?), but the gum staled out quickly. Unfortunately, the color also didn't last that long, which meant you had to eat an entire container in one day just so you could maintain that color until you got home from school.

91. Candy Lipstick (1950s)

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I remember getting these at Knott's Berry Farm when I was a kid. Instead of pretending that I was putting on makeup, I'd just bite off the candy and toss the plastic. Take that, patriarchy.

90. Mary Jane (1914)

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Not that kind of Mary Jane. These were cloyingly sweet and chewy and really, really stuck to your teeth. The combo of peanut butter and molasses harks back to a time when people had, you know, molasses as a kitchen staple.

89. Mega Jawbreaker (Early 1900s)

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This was the perfect gift to occupy kids. However, if you were ever gifted with one of these, you know that you gave up after a few days and ended up trying to crack it open with a paper bag and a hammer. I had no patience for this monster. I had better things to do.

88. Now and Later (1962)

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Fruity, hard, and chewy taffy. My favorite was apple — the banana was not invited to my party.

87. Red Hots (1930s)

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I was scarred as a child from accidentally eating these — they're cute little red dots, so they must be cherry-flavored, right? Even though I love spicy foods, Red Hots have always been a bit too intensely cinnamon for my poor mouth.

86. Atomic Fireball (1954)

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I tried these once and vowed to never, ever do it again. You just can't escape the heat, but your friends will laugh if you spit out the candy. So do you just swallow it? Ah, the life of a preteen.

85. Necco Wafer (1847)

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I'm partial to Necco Wafers, only because the clove flavor is unlike anything I've ever tasted. And also because I had a betta fish in college named Necco.

84. Rock Candy (1800s)

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I could never get used to sucking on these because there was way too much texture for my little kid mouth. For a child, it was also quite frustrating to discover that each color was not a different flavor. But if you like coffee or tea, these are great for sweetening up both! Did you know that the creation of rock candy dates back to the ninth century? It was only in the 1800s that they started mass-producing it.

83. Bit O' Honey (1924)

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If you love extra-hard taffy, this is your sweet. These little nuggets of honey-flavored taffy are meant to be enjoyed...for a very long time. You'll just keep sucking on that thing until you get tired of it.

82. Sugar Daddy (1925)

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Sugar Daddy was essentially a cross between a lollipop and caramel. Somehow, I would always end up breaking the stick off, though.

81. Laffy Taffy (1970s)

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This is another one of those sweets that you simply cannot dig out of your teeth, and another strike against banana-flavored treats. If you were lucky enough not to tear the wrapper (or if the taffy didn't stick to it), you could read a little joke printed on the inside.

80. Pixy Stix (1952)

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These paper straws were filled with sweet-and-sour powder — you had to pace yourself. Too many and you definitely felt that head rush. Your only main dilemma was if you chewed off the end and the powder got wet.

79. Big League Chew Bubble Gum (1980)

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Just in time for the World Series — who wouldn't want to be tough and macho like their favorite baseball star? I remember first opening up a bag and thinking it looked like beef jerky. Not a good first impression.

78. Topps Juice Bubble Gum (1980s) — Discontinued

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The late '80s and early '90s were about weird little containers that held various candies, powders, and gums. These were no exception — I mean, pouring tiny tidbits of gum out of a mini juice carton? At least they tried to stick with the juice theme.

77. Astro Pops (1963)

Astro Pops

Astro Pops had potential — you can't beat the perfect trio of cherry, passionfruit, and pineapple. But you were supposed to peel off the wrapper as if it was a banana. More often than not, the wrapper was somehow melted up inside the actual candy, and even if you found the seam, you still couldn't unwrap it properly.

76. Smarties (1949)

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Smarties are probably the most prominent item in those bulk candy bags you purchase for Halloween. They're usually the last thing to get eaten, too. While they weren't my favorite, I liked to try and stack them into tiny towers.

75. Nerds Rope (Mid-1990s)

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The beauty of Nerds blanketing a 10-inch piece of cherry-flavored gummy candy…what’s not to love? Maybe the fact that the Nerds started falling off as soon as you opened the packaging. That was a bummer.

74. Jolly Rancher (1949)

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Sometimes you just want to bite down on a hard candy and have it break because you're tired of the flavor and want something different. This isn't possible with Jolly Ranchers. For this reason, Jolly Ranchers were also the last things at the bottom of my Halloween bag.

73. Blow Pop (1969)

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Once you cracked through to the gum, you chewed it for a while and didn’t know where to spit it out once it lost its flavor. You couldn't use the wrapper because you didn't save it (it was impossible to save anyway). But you absolutely knew you couldn't swallow the gum because gum sits in your stomach for seven years, right?

72. Tootsie Roll (1931)

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I actually like Tootsie Rolls. They're a classic, soft, nice little pick-me-up in the afternoon. It's the image of the cat litter cake, complete with Tootsie Roll turds, that my sister had when we were kids that still haunts my mind.

71. Boston Baked Beans (1924)

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The first time I enjoyed these candy-coated confections was at Disneyland. I was a child and I remember it being a pretty warm day. The result? Red fingers.

70. Push Pop (1986)

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The main issue here was pushing the actual candy back into its holding chamber. The next issue was getting it back out, since the candy would dry and attach itself to the plastic.

69. Bubble Jug (Late 1980s)

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I honestly had no idea this was even still in existence. It's an experience that should be contemplated: powdered gum that you pour into your mouth. Yup. Powdered gum. In a gasoline jug.

68. Pop Rocks (1956)

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A fun and tasty treat experience, especially if consumed with soda. Just remember not to dump the whole bag in your mouth (you'll thank me later).

67. Cow Tales (1895)

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Cow Tales are good to share — they tear easily, and they taste pretty good. The outside can sometimes feel a bit rubbery, but the cream-filled center makes you forget about it.

66. Sour Punch (1990s)

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Green apple was the best, but these weren't my favorites (probably because I got burned out on them). Once you got past the sour part, the straws were sweet and you could actually drink with them.

65. ZotZ (1968)

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They were like Warheads' annoying little cousin. Still super sour, but only for a little bit, and definitely not as mouth-puckering.

64. Idaho Spud (1918)

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I have no idea how I came across these as a kid, since they weren't common in grocery stores. If a Hostess Snowball and a Ding Ding had a candy love child, the Idaho Spud would be the offspring...minus the cake part.

63. Marpoles Marshmallow Twists (1950s)

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Light and airy but not too sweet, these are just a marshmallow in twist form. For some reason, I was always determined to try to separate the strands from one another. This was never accomplished.

62. Dina-Sour Eggs (Early 1980s) — Discontinued

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You don't see packaging like this nowadays — neon on black! These were tiny oval jawbreakers that were actually impossible to break open, which meant you could bike to your friend's house a block or two over and the candy would still be the exact same size.

61. Butterfinger BB's (1990s) — Discontinued

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These were so beloved that when they were discontinued, people put up petitions to bring them back. They're good — I mean, it's Butterfinger — but they're not that good...

60. Ouch! Bubble Gum (Late 1980s, Early 1990s) — Discontinued

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You have to give it up to these companies for creating some of the weirdest ways to package gum ever! I remember collecting these tins for real adhesive bandages and school supplies ('cause, you need to keep those notes you write to your friends somewhere).

59. Candy Necklaces (1958)

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Candy jewelry is still a big hit today, and for good reason. You don't have to hold on to it, and you can chew on it whenever you need a quick sugar buzz. It is a bit embarrassing when you chew on one of these in class and the elastic breaks.

58. Bubblicious (1977)

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Back in the early '90s, there was Team Bubblicious and Team Hubba Bubba. It's still up for debate as to which one made the superior bubble.

This was also ultimately the gum responsible for many unnecessary haircuts.

57. Hubba Bubba (1979)

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Hubba Bubba one-ups Bubblicious because of its duo-flavor category. The bubbles may be smaller, but the flavor is way bigger.

56. Whoppers (1939)

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While I'll eat these now, I never liked them when I was growing up. Maybe it was the phrase "malted milk balls," but I think it was more so a textural thing.

55. Airheads (1985)

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Have you ever made an Airhead sandwich? When Airheads came out, I discovered that smashing two different flavors together turned out pretty tasty. The consistency was like an easy-to-pull taffy — I was always into the mystery flavor. I still have no clue what that flavor was, tbh.

54. Jelly Cups (1990s)

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The only place I recall ever enjoying these little jello shots was at gymnastics practice. Sometimes they had little fruit pieces in them, sometimes they didn't. But a few girls could devour an entire jar of 48 jellies within an hour. I was not one of those girls.

53. Candy Cigarettes (Late 1800s)

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Starting kids off young... But seriously, I remember buying these from the ice cream man. We neighborhood kids thought we were so cool blowing powdered sugar at everyone as if we were smoking, and then proceeding to pop the whole thing in our mouths. The taste wasn't anything to write home about, but the memories it gave me are priceless.

52. Marshmallow Yum Yum Cones (1936)

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These were the coolest — actual mini ice cream cones filled with marshmallows. They were kind of like a riff on a s'more. The texture combination of crunchy and fluffy was heaven.

51. Wonder Ball (Mid-1990s)

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If you were a trinket collector (like me), this was a dream come true. The chocolate was good, but back when these first came out, they had toys inside them. Not candy. They had little figurines inside them. Like a chocolate Poké Ball.

50. Warheads (1975)

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The first time I had one of these, I spit it out. Then my older sister challenged me to see who could last the longest. These little pieces of candy are extremely sour for almost a minute — I think we counted 50 seconds — but they finish off sweet.

49. Sixlets (1960s)

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You don't really see these in their true six-pack form anymore — they're usually loose in candy bins and pearlescent colored, or used as wedding cake decorations. But the simplicity of popping open the bag with your teeth and eating all six at once is what being a kid is all about. It's the little things.

48. Hubba Bubba Bubble Tape (1980s)

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Here we are again with the off-the-wall packaging! Somehow, we always tried to see how much of this gum we could actually fit into our 13-year-old mouths. It literally became "6 feet of bubble tape for you…not them!"

47. Whatchamacalllit (1978)

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In my family, there were food items that were reserved specifically for camping trips. This crispy, chocolaty, gooey candy bar was one of those foods.

46. Life Savers (1912)

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The original fruit flavors were what it was all about. But once you've had butter rum Life Savers, your life will change forever.

45. Razzles (1966)

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The first time I had these as a kid, I didn't read the packaging (I think that's standard for most kids, though). Imagine my surprise when the candy I was chewing suddenly morphed into a piece of gum. It's a pretty unique experience.

44. Dum-Dums (1924)

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Dum-Dums should win the award for most flavors. I don't think I ever had a Dum-Dum I didn't like — pineapple was the best. But a pizza-flavored Dum-Dum? That's jumping the shark.

43. Abba-Zaba (1922)

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I remember trying to tear off a piece of an Abba-Zaba with my teeth as a kid. That peanut butter and taffy confection just kept stretching. I couldn't bite through it. My sister thought it was hilarious, and it was. Hilarious and delicious.

42. Bug Hunk (1950s)

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These were also a bit tricky to chew, but as a kid, I found a workaround. You simply put it in the freezer and, once it's frozen, drop it on the kitchen floor! Big Hunk is now in tiny pieces. Please remember that if you've opened your Big Hunk and put it in the freezer, you need to put it in a ziplock bag before you drop it on the floor, or else you're going to have a big mess to clean up.

41. Candy Powder-Filled Plastic Fruits (1980s)

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The candy with no name. Knott's Berry Farm was also the only place I ever got these. Once you finished the sweet powder inside, you would fill the fruit with water to clean it, drink that sweet concoction, and then string the plastic fruits on a necklace to wear around for no reason in particular.

40. Everlasting Gobstopper (1976)

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After about a minute or so of sucking on these guys, you would intermittently pull the candy out of your mouth to see what color it was. Or you would just chomp down and crack it open so you could check out the color layering inside.

39. Starburst (1960)

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These were always fun to share with friends. People seem to get excited when they see Starburst. But for some reason, after sharing my pack, I would always end up with one single color. Why is that?

38. Red Vines (1950s)

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The ultimate treat. You can eat them as is, use them as a straw, or pretend they're weapons and fight with them. I miss being a kid.

37. Nik L Nip (1922)

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Unlike their other wax counterpart (wax lips), I loved Nik L Nips. You bite off the top and suck the sweet, sugary juice out until the bottle is colorless. In your package of four, you would undoubtedly get that one Nik L Nip that would somehow spring a leak from the side, forcing you to suck the juice from there instead. You'd be, like, a Nik L Nip vampire or something.

36. Nerds (1983)

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One of my more common doodles in the corners of my school notes was Nerds. I mean, they're adorable and easy to draw. And they're easy to snack on and share with your bestie during class. The fact that the box allowed you three different flavor options was nice packaging engineering.

35. Bazooka Bubble Gum (1978)

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The only time I ever had Bazooka was when I went camping. My sister and I would hike a mile from our campsite to the convenience store and buy snacks, and Bazooka was one of the things we would always bring back (and Choco Tacos). It's a firmer textured gum, which isn't for everyone, but it held its flavor for the hike back. The Bazooka Joe comic strip on the wrapper was what made it that much better.

34. Look! Bar (1950)

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Even if you didn't like dark chocolate, you still wouldn't refuse a piece of a Look! bar. Although it did get pretty messy when the chocolate separated from the nougat. But it was worth it.

33. Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme (1994)

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If you haven't had one of these, do it and do it now. If you have had one, try it as a s'more. You're welcome.

32. Skittles (1979)

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My favorite way to eat Skittles was to separate them by color and then eat them in rainbow order. I don't know why I did this. I was a weird kid.

31. Kit Kat (1930s)

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On their own, wafer cookies are good. But covering them in chocolate elevates them to a whole different level. If I got a Kit Kat, I would break it in half and then break it into four pieces — that way, I could share the Kit Kat love with more than just two friends.

30. Reese's Pieces (1978)

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M&M's and Reese's were duking it out over the best portable, bite-size candies. Then Reese's leveled up with their catchy 1990s jingle.

29. PayDay (1932)

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PayDay bars were great because they weren't messy. You also didn't feel as guilty for eating an entire bar, since they're mainly peanuts. It was like a protein bar before protein bars existed.

28. Sour Patch Kids (1985)

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Fun fact: These sweet-and-sour gummies were invented in the late 1970s and were called "Mars Men." They were renamed in 1985. Too many of these at once and you can burn your mouth, so watch out.😅

27. Giant Sweet Tarts (1970s)

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Another one of those candies that were easier to eat if broken — just slap the bag on a hard surface and voilà! Pieces for everybody! BTW, lemonade was the best.

26. Goobers (1968)

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Whenever I would go over to my aunt and uncle's house as a kid, there would be five or six different crystal jars filled with sweets on the coffee table. That jar filled with Goobers was noticeably depleted once we left, and I was also substantially sugared.

25. Amazin' Fruit (1992) — Discontinued

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All I remember about these gummy bears is that there was a series of commercials with gummy bears in a conga line holding giant fruit. I also remember that they were delicious — completely unlike any other gummy candy I've had.

24. Raisinets (1927)

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Chocolate-covered raisins. How can you not like that? You get your chocolate fix, but you also get fruit in your system...sweetened dried fruit. It's the perfect combination, IMHO.

23. Sno-Caps (1920s)

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These are another underrated candy that you generally only find in movie theaters or in the baking section at grocery stores. But they're just so good. As a child, I remember separating the crunchy white candies from the actual chocolate and trying to see if I could taste the difference. Maybe it was my inner chef coming out.

22. Skor (1981)

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Chocolate and toffee! You can still find these at mini-marts and smaller grocery stores, but not so much in bigger chains. That's a shame because I've never met a person who didn't like a Skor bar. I mean, it's just milk chocolate and toffee. What's not to like?

21. York Peppermint Patties (1946)

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The name always reminded me of Peanuts. The combination of dark chocolate and peppermint also reminds me of Christmas.

20. Junior Mints (1949)

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Junior Mints are kind of like York Peppermint Patties' younger sibling: dark chocolate exterior with a creamy, minty interior. Eating them in a movie theater (or your bedroom watching your favorite cartoon) only intensifies the flavor. Just looking at this photo makes me want to sit on the couch and binge-watch Aaahh!!! Real Monsters.

19. Twix (1979)

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As much as I wanted to hoard the deliciousness that is Twix, the whole "Two for me, none for you!" slogan was never something I could abide by. Sharing is caring, kids.

18. P-Nuttles (1946)

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Perfect for the road! Toffee-coated peanuts are divine. There's something about the double crunch and the sweet-and-salty flavor play that just brings you back to watching sports.

17. Rocky Road (1950s)

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These are HEAVENLY! Each package contains two bars, which was perfect for sharing with a friend. I mean, who wouldn't want a piece of decadent chocolate blanketing fluffy marshmallows and buttery cashews? They also come in dark chocolate, which is even better.

16. Mr. Bones Puzzle Candy (1977) — Discontinued

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These were to die for! They tasted kind of like Smarties but were tougher, like Sweet Tarts. Not only did you get a candy and a cool little coffin container for your mini erasers, but you also got to play with your candy. The one hitch was that Mr. Bones wasn't always complete — sometimes he'd have two heads and no legs. But imperfection is beautiful.

15. Melody Pops (1975)

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Candy that you can actually make music with. Sort of. Whenever someone gave you one of these, your parents were thrilled.

14. Garbage Can-dy (1970s) — Discontinued? / Via

Yet another cool little container filled with candy. Inside these mini trash cans were tiny pieces of hard, sweet, and slightly tart candy trash in the shape of shoes, fish, soup cans, bones, and bottles. Kind of a gross idea, but cool nonetheless. And once you were done with the candy, Barbie now had a trash can.

13. Hot Tamales (1950s)

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Finally! A spicy candy that's not spicy! I love Hot Tamales because they're chewy, have just the right amount of cinnamon, and make your breath smell great.

12. Jujyfruits (1920)

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These are kind of like Dots but not as chewy, so they make for great ~quiet snacking~. Their taste is a bit milder than other similar candies, and there's that forbidden black licorice one that you need to watch out for.

11. Pez (1948)

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Pez dispensers are pretty outlandish, and I think that's why I love them so much. You have tiny, soap-shaped bars of hard candy that you load into a dispenser (which usually has the head of some famous person or cartoon character). Then you push the head back and the candy pops out of the neck...who thinks this stuff up? It's genius, it's tasty, it's weird.

10. Fun Dip (1950)

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Let's face it: There was only one flavor you liked, and that was cherry...but you really just wanted the dipstick.

9. Mike and Ike (1940)

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Instant happiness in a little fruit-flavored sugar pod! Whenever I see a box of these, I'm brought back to 2012, when Mike and Ike broke up because of creative differences.

8. Runts (1982)

Amazon / Via Head (1962)

Back to the banana flavoring again, but this time it works. When it comes to Runts, there are two types of people in this world: Team Banana and everyone else.

7. Bottle Caps (1972)

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You don't see these too much in stores anymore, but they're still there. Whenever I'd pour out a handful of these little, slightly fizzy-tasting discs, I'd pick out my least favorites and eat those first, saving the best for last: root beer.

6. Dots (1945)

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I consider Dots the perfect theater food — when you pour them out, they pour quietly. When you chew them, they don't crunch or make noise. And they're tasty.

5. Candy Buttons (1977)

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There's something fascinating about neon-colored sugar dots. If you've ever had the pleasure of enjoying these, you know that you would inevitably end up eating some of that paper.

4. Jelly Belly (1976)

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One of the best parts of Jelly Belly candies was trying out Jelly Belly recipes or creating your own. One way to do this was to just take four or five random beans and see how those tasted together. My favorites were (and still are) tutti-frutti and popcorn. But not together. That's a horrible combination.

3. Candy Blox (1990s)

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These candies are blatantly asking you to play with your food, and that's why I love them so much! They're reminiscent of Sweet Tarts, and each color is a different flavor. More than once, I've caught myself building little structures. They're just a fun candy that sparks creativity and takes you right back to being a kid.

2. Swedish Fish (1950s)

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Swedish Fish have always been one of my favorites. They just make me happy, and I'm not quite sure why. Maybe it's because they remind me of my grandma — she was a very proud Swede.

1. Haribo Cola Gummy Bottles (1922)

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My ultimate nostalgic candy. Every time I open a bag of Haribo Happy-Cola gummy bottles, I’m transported back to being 5 years old, wandering around with my big sister and my parents at Epcot Center in Walt Disney World. This little bag brings me a sense of comfort and happiness. At the end of the day, each of us has our own creature comforts that make us feel like everything is going to be okay, and this is most definitely one of mine.

So there you have it! Love it or hate it, you know we all have one thing in common: Sugary treats make us happy!

What's your favorite candy? Anything on this list you'd rank differently? Anything I missed? Let us know in the comments below!