When you were a kid, what candy from Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory did you most crave? Was it an Everlasting Gobstopper you desired? Or did you wish to swim in a river of chocolate? Maybe you couldn’t wait to get a hold of Wonka’s newest creation, a Scrumdiddlyumptious. Whatever it was, it’s tough to imagine a more perfect dreamland for a child than a magical candy factory. So to celebrate that dream, I have gone through and ranked all of the candy from the movie so we have an excuse to again experience the greatness of Willy Wonka. Oh, and also to talk about candy.
I know what you’re thinking: “You ranked all of the candy? Like, all of it? Wow. Truly, so shines a good deed in a weary world.”
Stop it. I’m no hero. I just love this movie and I’m a crazy person. So without further ado, let’s get into it.
First, some ground rules I used to determine what got included:
- Anything eaten or clearly shown made the cut.
- If a candy was never unwrapped, it needed to be somewhat obvious what it was to merit inclusion, or crazy enough it didn’t matter.
- If there wasn’t a clear, distinct shot of the candy or someone touching it, it didn’t make it in. (Without this rule Bill’s Candy Shop would have about 80 more entries alone.)
NOT RANKED (a.k.a. “I don’t know what these are.”)
Triple Cream Cup (top right), Squelchy Snorter (bottom left), Slugworth’s Sizzler (top left)
The first three candies named in the movie (and without closed captioning I thought the first one was a “Triple Cream Cuss” and the second was a “Scrunchy Snorla Camochie) are never opened or described. They could be anything, so they can’t be ranked. If I had to eat one of these I’d go with the Triple Cream Cup first, then the Sizzler, then I’d go on a hunger strike before I ate something called a “Squelchy Snorter.”
(By the way, what kind of hipster eight-year-old orders a Slugworth candy when he lives in the same town as the Wonka factory? That kid must have been the worst!)
Wrapped, Unknown Candy
Mysterious Ball Candy
Wonka says almost everything in here is “eatable,” so I’m sure the very first thing you see is a candy, but these could be anything. A giant Jawbreaker? Bubblegum balls? No idea. Enough mystery items that people ate from the factory made it in, anyway.
Light, Kickable Candy Balls
These are not the giant balls that you need to break on a rock to open. These are light enough to be bandied about, and I can’t even guess what they might be, let alone taste like. They look cool, though.
Unknown Tree Candy
I didn’t want to put this here, but are these gumballs or hard candy? Are they actually just coated chocolate? Wonka walks by and knocks them out of a tree for Mike Teavee, because even though the entire place is a candy wonderland he wants the one thing he can’t reach. When you find yourself rooting for awful things to happen to these children, don’t feel badly about it: they deserved it for being small monsters.
WORST OF THE WORST (a.k.a “These are gross and you wouldn’t feed them to a starving pig.”)
We all ate this as kids, proving that kids are stupid. Who thought this was fun? To have to eat paper with your candy. I’m mad at every adult that ever gave us these in a gift bag.
Best I can tell, this is popcorn. We will guess it’s candied (somehow) so it makes sense that it’s sold at a candy store, but who wants loose, uncovered popcorn handled by an ungloved man who also handles dirty money all day?
I love marshmallows more than most people on the planet, but, just like the popcorn, how is this appealing? Put some gloves on. Try a lid. I don’t want to eat a stale marshmallow that will give me a cold.
Oversized Rubbery-Lollipops and Licorice
Oh, yeah, sorry, this is the unfortunate side effect of this list, where some shine comes off of the candy dreamland. When they enter the factory for the first time and are told everything is edible, we believe Wonka. So even though these are clearly plastic, Violet’s father does lick one, which means we are suspending our disbelief and treating them as though they are actually candy. Do you want an oversized lollipop with the texture of rubber? No, you don’t. The ones on the right might be licorice, but who can even chew that? They look cool, and they are everywhere, but you’d lick or bite one and immediately throw it on the ground in disgust.
WELL KNOWN CLASSICS (a.k.a. “No one is turning these down, but no one is losing their mind about having it.”)
Assorted (Old People) Hard Candy
You’ve had these before. They are the tofu of the candy world.
Giant Candy Canes
Few candies are as hard to eat as is as a candy cane, so these seem less appealing. You’d have to break them up, so that would be a mess. Then you’d have to deal with large shards. They seem too thick to easily suck on them. I believe the word “novelty” is Latin for “fun for, like, ten seconds.”
(Oh, hey, see Mike Teavee’s mom in the background eating something? Remember that pink, round thing for later.)
Hard, Orange Candy
Okay. They seem popular at this store. Might also have Vitamin C. I don’t know. I’d suck on one or two, but whatever, right?
Hard, Raspberry Candy
These look way better than the orange ones, but ultimately, how many of these would you want? Probably worth throwing in a candy dish and having one every now and then.
Hard, Assorted Flavors Candy
Don’t be beholden to the tyranny of orange and raspberry!
Oh, this is also the first time we see Charlie Bucket, the kid so poor he couldn’t afford a real last name. Look at this depressing shot. Look at it! He is so poor that even though the owner is currently letting kids ransack his store and take whatever they want, Charlie looks on longingly from the outside, like he can’t even afford “free.”
Get ready to hate candy-store owner Bill forever. When Charlie does go in later, after finding money in the street, he starts devouring his candy because this is an amazing moment for him, but Bill interrupts him so he can be paid. It was okay to throw popcorn and marshmallows willy nilly to the other children, but god-forbid this kid gets ten seconds of enjoyment without you nagging him like he’s a potential criminal.
What’s the policy at that store exactly? What are the rules? How does he make money? Please look forward to the next piece in my Willy Wonka series, “Bill’s Candy Shop and the Capriciousness of Capitalism During the 20th Century.”
You might enjoy one of these for three minutes before you realize this is stupid because your face is all sticky and you are tired of holding it. Mom was right–you didn’t really want one.
Oversized Licorice Tube
Honestly, I don’t know where to put this. It might be licorice, it might be something more like a massive Twizzler/Red Vine, but when he bites it, it seems overly chewy. Again, it’s probably real plastic, but we’re here to have fun, so we’re assuming it’s food. Middle of this category seems like an okay spot.
Okay. Cool. My jaw hurts. Give me another one anyway.
Soft, Chewable Lollipop (I think.)
Looks like something you give a three-year-old so they don’t choke, or you eat at three a.m. because you’re drunk. That’s a candy with a wide range of appeal. Anyway, this might be that super-processed marshmallow I love so much yet always regret buying. Will need to eat ten to know for sure.
Chewy Taffy (Original Airhead)
All the flavor of taffy without all of the embarrassing picking at your teeth in public. It looks pretty good, even when this twit eats it.
Chocolates With Caramel
I’m guessing at the caramel part, but it seems a reasonable assumption. This is one of the few chocolates in an entire movie about a chocolate factory. Even if these aren’t caramel, they look good. One of the best of the “classics.”
Wonka Fudge Mallow
We’ve all had these. It’s marshmallow and chocolate. It’s really good, but not magical.
Small, Coated Chocolates (Uh….M&Ms basically)
From a big, open container, so they could be stale and germ-covered. Just like grandma’s house! Don’t care, still eating them by the fistful like I never had food before. I wish there was a “super” Costco to buy a 500-pound bag of M&Ms.
Dear reader, we have to get real honest with ourselves right now. We are going to discuss two of the most memorable and iconic candies from this movie, two candies you would pay actual money to eat at this very second, two candies that you’d brag about having tried.
They just happen to be inherently gross. You are going to be mad, but hear me out.
Flavored-Wallpaper You Can Lick
Don’t google what a “snozzberry” tastes like as I just did. Let’s just continue to pretend no one knows and it’s this amazing mystery flavor. Cool. This is fun. Now all you have to do is lick a wall to taste it.
How many times would you lick this wall? Once? Never? Even if you bought it just to try it and not decorate your home with it, it’s a one-and-done thing, right? I get it, this is really fun in theory, but look at these people licking a wall at a factory. Whose tongue was just there today? Yesterday? No wonder Wonka had them sign releases before they entered.
(Look, I told you not to google “what does a snozzberry tastes like.” You ruined your childhood, not me.)
Oh, this s*** just got real, didn’t it?
Old Slugworth fears this little piece of candy will put him out of business. Why? I mean, it’s a hard candy. (“You can suck em and suck em.”) No kid will want chocolate after this weird, ungodly concoction of chemicals, artificial sweeteners, and formaldehyde hits the market? Doubtful. I mean, how often does a person even have a hard candy in the first place?
It was pointed out to me this might be like an eternal Starburst, and its texture is much softer. Okay, it’s still shaped like a jack, jagged and sharp. Where would this rest in your mouth for the rest of eternity? It would be uncomfortable and weird.
I have a theory: this wasn’t a real candy. We know Wonka set all the kids up to see who was greedy. This is visually appealing and sounds amazing if you don’t think about it, but as an actual candy you’d put in your mouth? It’s vile and bizarre. Wonka is no fool. Since it was all a ruse he described something impossible to a bunch of gullible kids (and horrible parents) so they’d be further pulled into the test.
Still, if this was real you’d want one so, so badly, then when you had it you’d never remember why you wanted it to begin with. Kind of like that rowing machine you stored in your closet.
IT FEELS GOOD TO BE DANGEROUS (a.k.a. “You should definitely not eat these, but you definitely would.”)
It’s meant to be given to your enemies, and it blows up in your mouth shortly after eating it. At the risk of some danger to your teeth, it actually seems kind of fun and exciting and yes I’m allowed to vote why do you ask?
We know this is actually good because Mike verbally reacts to tasting it. Seems like it’s easy to chew, indicating it’s a chocolate candy.
You might not think you want your candy to taste like tomato soup or roast beef, but imagine how amazing this sensation would be? The taste of a real meal all from a tiny piece of gum? It would be unparalleled.
Honestly, I don’t even think I’d mind the blowing up like a blueberry part (assuming the effects would wear off without any long term danger). YOLO.
THE WEIRD AND MYSTERIOUS (a.k.a. “I don’t really know what these are exactly, but I don’t care I must have them now.”)
Strange Balls of Candy
We have two items here that are totally unexplained but look good enough to eat blindly.
The first is that strand of candy balls around Veruca’s neck. They show up a lot, but it’s not clear if anyone actually eats one. So why are they here? They are individually wrapped and seem ubiquitous enough that they must be worth having.
The second is whatever that red thing is her father is picking at. He seems to be enjoying it. I’ll be massively disappointed if it’s just marzipan, but it looks chewy and soft and delicious and a character actually eats and enjoys it, which goes a long way.
Edible Chocolate Leaf
You think those are just leaves, then Wonka takes one off and eats it with ease. I think it’s a soft, pliable chocolate. It’s green, so it could be any number of green flavors. Who knows? Who cares! Wonka makes this stuff and he chose this as one of the few things he noshed on. Send me a case of them right now.
Small Chewy Ball
Poor Augustus gets fat-shamed a lot in this movie, but this poor kid has obviously been taught terrible habits by his parents, including a father that literally eats microphones. I don’t want to pile on him,
…..That being said, I put a lot of weight….stock…..uh, I give his opinion the deference it deserves, and this is where he plops down….sorry, sits down to eat in this fantasy-come-true-utopia of his. What are these? He didn’t seem to have to pick it apart, and he bites it without trouble, so it’s not hard-coated. Is it chocolate? Something gummy? I don’t have any idea, but that wouldn’t stop me from eating it.
Oversized Chewy Ball
This was the thing I was talking about earlier. They decorate many of the trees in the factory. When she bites this her eyes light up. Just like the thing Augustus eats, she doesn’t need to peel it away, and it seems easy enough to bite. I don’t think this is just a bigger version of that… it’s got all of the mystery and appeal, but it’s bigger, so it goes higher.
MUST HAVES (a.k.a. “You’d definitely want these all, but for various reasons.”)
Before we begin, we are now in the range where some movie candies became real products you could buy, hence you can find out what’s “in them.” That’s not fair to all of the other candies in the movie though, so we’re only using what we can learn from the film.
You suck on them and you can spit in seven different colors. Candy should be enjoyable, right? Hard candy took a beating in this column, but this would be pretty fun.
These are so weird and so strange, that even though they might be gross, you’d have to try one if you walked into a candy store and saw them flying off the shelves. They are clearly so well made too. Maybe my pro-gelatin bias is showing, but at least we have a good idea what these are, and they are obviously the product of a skilled candy maker.
Wonka’s newest is only seen unwrapped in two very brief moments. One is at the nut factory when they are being opened by the thousands (you can kind of make it out in the next photo too), and the other is here when Charlie eats it like someone is going to take it from him. He can quickly eat two pieces, so we know they can be broken up and don’t contain anything sticky. Two huge plusses in my book. This might not be anything special, but you can’t come away from this movie not wanting one of these.
I know, you’re even madder about my Everlasting Gobstopper stance now. This is essentially just a Hershey’s bar, but you know what, that’s a classic candy because it is perfect. Chocolate doesn’t need to be fancy, it just needs to be chocolate, and not ranking this as one of the movie’s best would be like saying we’re too good for perfection. No one is turning down a Hershey bar except for a dog. Even then the dog would consider the pros and cons for a bit.
Giant Gummy Bears
I think you can buy these, but who cares. If you went to a party as a kid and they had one you would have freaked out. If you go to a party as an adult and they have one you will freak out. It might be a big novelty, but you can manage this one. You can cut it up and share it, then store it and save it. It will get eaten. Plus gummy bears are great. Great candy + bigger portions = awesome. That’s not an opinion, people. You can’t argue with math.
Giant Wonka Bar
Unless you’ve been skimming this article you already understand why I have this here. Look at this. If you don’t want this you’re dead inside. You must love split pea soup.
(QUICK) BONUS CATEGORY – LIQUIDS (a.k.a. “These aren’t candy but I want to talk about one of them.”)
Okay, it’s hard to list a liquid as a candy, especially when the three in this film are just soda. So before we get to the top five, we’ll rank them on their own because it includes an item that would have been number one if it qualified.
Personal Wonka Concoction
Candy Shop Soda
Small chance this is lemonade, but I think it’s just some sweet orange fountain soda-thing. Probably refreshing on a hot day.
Fizzy Lifting Drink
Uh, this gives you the ability to fly.
Like a bird.
You can just fly.
If this were a candy it would be number one on this list, as is it is one of the most desirable products in movie history. This list could just have been “The Magical Drink That Lets You Fly” and that would have been fine.
Seriously, stop for a second and consider what this really entails. You drink this and you can fly. Think about that. Just don’t drink it in an enclosed space with a giant fan at the top.
THE GREATEST CANDY IN THE MOVIE (a.k.a. “I don’t want to think about what I’d do to actually have these.”)
This is a weird list to make, because some candies exist and we know what they taste like. Some we have no idea what they are, period, some could actually be made, and some would require some impossible scenario to even try them.
So here we are at the top five, and if you’ve come this far you’ve been mad at something I ranked, grossed out by something I said looked good (it was the gelatin frogs, I know, I don’t care), or confused by something I said.
Good. This is Willy Wonka, it should be strange and weird and not make total sense. Just know that for these final candies we’re throwing out anything that might be a problem for you and simply judging them by this standard: what are the things I would most want to have if I could magically be transported there?
Giant, Cream-Filled Mushrooms
She tries this, then she digs in like it’s the greatest thing she’s ever tasted. And that’s without even trying the more solid part, which is definitely candy too. On its own you might think, “It’s just a sweet cream, like a pastry.” But trust me, when you watch this scene this stands out as one of the most alluring items there. It’s not rubbery or bizarre, it just looks so damn good.
(I think Mrs. Teavee did the best job of enjoying this part of the factory.)
Ball of Jam
Same as before. It’s messy and absurd, but it just looks good. What is the ball made out of? Who cares. That looks like the greatest jelly/jam/whatever of all-time. Few people in the movie enjoy eating anything as much as Veruca enjoys this; it just makes her so happy. And she was a spoiled, bad egg, so you know it had to be good.
Edible Tea Cup (Filled With Liquid)
- Wonka chooses it and savors it.
- It’s got some delicious liquid in it.
- You can then eat it.
- It’s got a crunch (you can hear it when he bites it), but it’s also pliable, so it has a wonderful texture.
Nothing captures the spirit of pure imagination quite like this little delight, because at first you just think it’s a sweet drink he’s enjoying, but then he eats the cup, showing that this really is a place of wonder. It’s simple but effective.
And it just looks really, really, really good. If this list were about me I might have it number one, but it’s not, it’s about you, so it can’t go ahead of the top two.
River of Chocolate (Churned by Chocolate Waterfall)
This is not a fondue pot. This is a river of chocolate you could swim in and enjoy. You could sit under the waterfall with your mouth open and have chocolate cascade over you. This is a child’s dream. We’re ignoring the reality of the scene (colored water) and just embracing the magic of wonder. It’s thin enough to both drink and wade through. (I’m working on some fan-fic about two Oompa Loompas in love that work in the room where they thicken it up to become solid chocolate.)
Why do you think Augustus went to after this like a thirsty man lost in the desert? It’s a freaking river of chocolate! This is what fills the oceans of heaven.
Golden Chocolate Eggs
A massive, quality-controlled, chocolate egg from a magical beast that just happens to be covered in gold. It’s almost impossible to beat a delicious candy that would also make you rich. You couldn’t pass this up over anything else in the movie.
So there it is. “You did it, I knew you would, I just knew you would!” We shared some laughs, we shared some tears, you said some things you can’t take back. I’m sorry I put you through this, because I know lists are inherently divisive, but any reason to wade through this wonderful fantasy of a movie is a good one, and I had some good inspiration for wanting to do just that.
Come with me
And you’ll be
In a world of
Take a look
And you’ll see
Into your imagination
Images: Paramount Pictures