Aw, candy, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. No, I’m not referring to John Candy, Candy Crush, or a girl named Candy. I’m talking about sweets, the confections, desserts, and snacks that help make life worth living. And like most foods, candy has had its place in the spotlight in many, many movies. Thus, before I raid my secret stash, it’s time to count down my favorite uses of candy in movies (No cookies, cakes, pies, or baked goods allowed, for that is another list and shall be told another time.)
- Die Hard
Only true fans of the famous actioner would probably remember this tiny but laughable scene. Right before the SWAT team invades the Nakatomi building, one of the baddies named Uli takes his position at a food counter and can’t resist the free candy bars on display. It’s a Crunch bar so I don’t blame him. It’s funny that the actor Al Leong also proved his sweet tooth the next year as the Twinkie-eating Genghis Khan in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
This movie has no shortage of food, but among the many of types of candy on display is the monkey Steve’s obsession with gummy bears. When giant gummies attack the flying car like buzz droids, Steve goes psycho on them.
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Did anyone know what Turkish Delight was before this book/movie? It looks like some kind of rugalach, but no, it’s “a family of confections based on a gel of starch and sugar,” according to Wikipedia. I’m still not sure what it tastes like, but it’s obviously addictive enough to make Edmund betray his brother and sisters to an evil witch. Enchanted or not, I’ve got to try some of that stuff!
Apparently large South American cryptid birds are partial to chocolate. Russell’s chocolate bars serve to attract the giant colorful bird he names Kevin and even play a role in the vertiginous climax.
In a scene that made you rethink what exactly a Baby Ruth looks like, a swimming pool is quickly cleared when people see an unidentified candy bar floating around and leap to the worst possible conclusion. Bill Murray, you slob you.
I haven’t seen most of the movies with candy in the title, like Hard Candy, Candyman, Like Water for Chocolate, or Looking for Mr. Goodbar, but Chocolat’s place on this list should be self-explanatory. While I have some issues with the film itself, it’s a true love letter to the seductive power of chocolate.
- E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
A classic example of product placement, Elliott lures E.T. out with a trail of Reese’s Pieces. If I visited a strange planet with treats like that, I’d be happy too. Mars, Inc., no doubt regretted their decision to not allow M&M’s to be used instead.
- Grave of the Fireflies
On a much more sober note, the Sakuma Drops in Grave of the Fireflies serve as a slowly depleted vestige of Seita and Setsuko’s life before the war. Eventually, the fruit drop tin takes on far sadder and more bitter contents. Commemorative tins like the one in the film are now collector’s items.
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Two words: toot sweets. This underrated childhood classic features an entire musical numbers dedicated to Dick Van Dyke’s newly invented confection. Let’s not forget also the Child Catcher, who lures children with promises of lollipops.
- Wreck-It Ralph
In the world of the Sugar Rush racing game, ruled by King Candy, there’s all manner of sweets as part of the landscape and the population (Laffy Taffy, Sour Bill). Many elements seem suspiciously similar to the Candy Kingdom in the cartoon series Adventure Time, but both are a sweet tooth’s dream.
- Forrest Gump
“Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get.” Enough said.
- Willy Wonka/Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Was there ever any doubt? The late Gene Wilder brought Willy Wonka to life, and his incredible edibles did justice to Roald Dahl’s candy-centric book. From the Wonka bar that holds the Golden Ticket to the Everlasting Gobstoppers and the entirely edible Chocolate Room, it’s enough to make any candy lover drool. For all its missteps (ahem, Johnny Depp), the remake does get the candy side of the story right. As Charlie Bucket says, “Candy doesn’t have to have a point. That’s why it’s candy.”
Runners-Up (though I’m sure I’ve missed some so feel free to mention others):
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Lex Luthor’s weird Jolly Rancher scene
Bedtime Stories – A lame Adam Sandler movie made memorable by raining gumballs.
The Breakfast Club – What goes well with white bread, butter, and Cap’n Crunch? Pixy Stix!
Empire of the Sun – “Would you like a Hershey bar?”
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – “Gummi bear? It’s been in my pocket; they’re real warm and soft.”
The Garden of Words – Beer and chocolate for breakfast? Someone’s depressed.
The Goonies – Still need to see this movie, but I know there’s a scene with a Baby Ruth.
Hop – Why did this movie ruin jelly beans?!
The Hunt for Red October – I’ve heard that the jelly beans being eaten were a reference to President Reagan’s love for the candy.
The Iron Giant – Hogarth tricks Agent Mansley with a laxative chocolate bar.
Little Shop of Horrors – In Bill Murray’s hilarious cameo, he gleefully cheers for a candy bar during his dental appointment.
Pokémon: Jirachi Wish Maker – Jirachi can be annoying when it says “Candy!” over and over.
This Is the End – Everyone claims the world’s last Milky Way bar.
Tootsie – Dustin Hoffman tries to regift the chocolate-covered cherries he received as “Dorothy.”
Two Brothers – Guy Pearce comforts one of the tiger cubs with lemon drops.
For the record, here’s a list of my personal favorite candies, and those of my VC. What are your favorites?
My Favorites My VC’s Favorites
12. Mr. Goodbar 12. Jelly beans
11. Kit Kat 11. Nestle Crunch
10. York peppermint patty 10. Snickers
9. Hershey bar (preferably Dark) 9. Chocolate-covered potato chips
8. Truffles 8. Mounds
7. Nestle Crunch / Buncha Crunch 7. York peppermint patty
6. Cherry cordials 6. Bridge mix
5. Chocolate-covered potato chips 5. Reese’s peanut butter cups
4. Twix 4. Cherry cordials
3. Reese’s peanut butter cups 3. Truffles
2. Chocolate-Covered macadamia nuts 2. Sno-Caps
1. M&M’s (Peanut or Pretzel) 1. M&M’s (regular or dark)
You can probably tell I love chocolate, and to conclude, here’s the reason why I enjoy screaming the word “Chocolate!” every now and then.