5. Mary Janes
If these retro-looking taffy candies look like they've been around since the early 1900s, that's because they have been. I don’t just mean they were created then. I mean some of them have outlasted the aging elements that long.
These ridiculously tough mixtures of peanut butter and molasses require the chewing strength of a car crusher to fully break down and digest and the taste that follows is a stale mixture of old peanut butter and warm syrup. The only reason they've been selling for this long is because millions of munchie-seeking stoners couldn’t stop laughing at them as they were hording the candy store like an extra in The Day After Tomorrow.
4. Pixy Stix
Source: The Willy Wonka Candy Company
While other powder-based candies try to distract kids from the fact that they are basically eating a makeup product with a fun toy or an edible utensil, this straw of sugar just cut out the bloated, diabetic middleman and gave kids the sugar already.
These tubes of colorful powder were nothing but pure sugar in an easy-to-eat-from dispenser that let kids scarf down piles of sugary goodness in its purest form. It not only helped deliver sugar to children’s bloodstreams faster than an insulin shot plunged into the aorta, but it also taught them a fun way to preparing and serving cocaine. When I think back to the times my friends and I rubbed these grape and apple flavored mounds of sugar on our gums, I...well, I really don’t remember much after that, except my pants were gone and my hair smelled like chicken.
3. Peanut Butter Kisses
Here’s another candy brand that attempts to latch itself to Halloween like a face hugger to the esophagus of a human host, only the face hugger’s egg-delivering stamen being shoved down your throat is a more pleasurable experience.
Not to be confused with the Hershey's Kisses chocolate treats, these black and orange-packaged bits of wadded goo might look festive, but the horror inside feels like there’s a Halloween party going on in your mouth that’s being thrown by Harry Potter dorks. They're supposed to taste like peanut butter, but they usually taste more like one and less of the other. In fact, a butter-based candy treat would be more enjoyable, even if it could make your heart stop beating just by smelling it.
2. Circus Peanuts
There are plenty of reasons to stay away from the circus: unavoidable Spandex bulges, the wafting smell of popcorn and elephant ass, and the inevitable nightmares brought on by the sight of clowns.
Here’s another reason to throw on the list. These festive-looking circus treats may seem marshmallowy, but they are actually harder than most quartz crystals. The taste resembles that of a diabetes-infused snowball crossed with the strange muskiness of a Cheeto, which can only mean that someone out there is trying to create a strain of circus peanuts in “extreme jalapeno” and “fiery hot” varieties.
1. Candy Cigarettes
Source: Wendy Idele/Workbook Stock/Getty Images
Say what you will about the political incorrectness of giving anything that resembles a smokeable prodcut to a child (what’s next? candy crack pipes?).
Call them irresponsible attempts to make smoking cool at an impressionable age or just a thoughtless attempt to give kids some fun by letting them pretend they are adults, which means a peppermint-flavored nicotine patch probably isn’t far behind.
Their taste alone is reason enough to pull them from the market. They are just stringy strands of overcooked sugar that feel like you’re gnawing on a shoelace, only not as gamey. You’re better off giving your kid an actual cigarette to eat. It might be the most irresponsible thing a parent can do, but at least they'll be getting their daily allowance of fiber.