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Five Up, Five Down: The Definitive Candy Bar Rankings

Which candy really raises the BAR? Nailed it.

Citing Rising Cost Of Ingredients, Hershey’s Raises Prices 8 Percent Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images

On a recent episode of Five, Up, Five Down, we ranked sugary carbonated beverages, also known as soda or pop if you’re into that sort of slang. But that’s not the only way we at Down the Drive like to deteriorate our collective health. There is also plenty of sugar to be found in the check-out lane at your local grocery story where so many of the greatest candy bars of our generation are just waiting to find a home. But there are more beyond that selection and we’re here to rank the best (and worst) of the candy bar genre.

Clayton’s Five Up

1. Oh Henry!

The best candy bar to stick in the freezer and break your teeth on on a hot summer afternoon when you haven’t showered yet and you are still marinating in the swim trunks you ran through the sprinkler in the previous afternoon.

2. Kit-Kat

I don’t know if this is a candy bar but it sure is an elegant wafer/chocolate desert.

3. Krackel

The Cadillac of the Hershey’s four pack.

4. Zagnut

I think it is coconut and it has a fine looking wrapper.

5. Nestle Crunch

A junior varsity Krackel but still a delightful candy bar.

Clayton’s Five Down

1. Snickers

Looks suspicious in an above ground pool.

2. Mr. Goodbar

If it’s more than 50 degrees outside, Mr. Goodbar forms an amorphous mass around the nut in the middle of it.

3. Payday

I would rather eat a Subway sandwich that’s been sitting in the sun all day than a Payday.

4. Middle school fundraising candy bars

Always taste like they’ve been handled a lot on the bus ride home from junior high.

5. All the European candy near the register at Trader Joe’s:

Is delicious and is conspiring to increase my buoyancy.

Johnny’s Five Up

1. Snickers:

If you look at the modularity of candy bars, you’ll notice a trend. Three Musketeers is for uncreative people who like nougat. Milky Way is for people who are caramel-woke, but not really go-getters. Snickers are packed with peanuts, nougat and caramel and then covered in government mandated chocolate. Chop them up and mix them in with your favorite protein shake to ruin your keto diet. Give them to passerby to influence votes. Horde them in the buried schoolbus below your above-ground pool for the end of days.

2. Peanut M&Ms

Unlike the surprisingly ghastly caramel M&M and the boring plain chocolate M&M, the peanut M&M demonstrates the way things ought to be done. No job left half-finished. If you bake these into chocolate chip cookies, you’re doing things right.

3. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Maybe I just like peanuts more than candy. The Elvis ones with banana in them were very good.

4. A Hershey bar

Nothing wrong with that. Grab it out of the fridge. People nowadays are all so uptight about how “American chocolate is so pedestrian.” Look at pictures of GIs sharing their candy with kiddos in the shattered ruins of Europe. Do the kids turn their noses up at a Hershey bar? No. Be grateful for what you have.

5. Nestle Crunch bar

I always thought that it looked like a Chicago Cubs-themed candy bar, which is weird, because I’m not sure that Wrigley ever capitalized on their association with the Cubs with a product.

Johnny’s Five Down

1. Zero

Exactly what it says on the outside. It’s made of chopped up weevils and covered with a thick layer of Alfredo sauce. Also, Pete Metzelaars once ate a Zero bar, and then won zero super bowls. What does that tell you?

2. Reese’s Fast Break

I don’t see how this nougaty weakling could possibly disrupt Mick Cronin’s meticulous matchup zones. UC men will be in the Sweet 16 next year, Reese’s Fast Break will be in the not-so-sweet Five Down.

3. Skybar

It thinks it’s so great because it has to tell you what flavors it is on the outside. That’s not a feature. There’s nothing futuristic about their roach-motel-glue-flavored caramel. If I was trapped on a desert island with a lifetime supply of Skybars, I would try to signal passing ships and airplanes because I miss my family.

4. Palmer peanut butter Easter coins that I used to get for Easter

They made like these little Easter coins that had peanut butter on one side and chocolate on the other they were so good... and I can’t find them anywhere, which makes me so mad I want to go throw Xavier’s Blue Blob in the Ohio. I don’t hate these. I just am angry that they’re not available. They’re probably chilling with the McRib.

5. Fancy dark chocolate candy bars that taste like sand

I will force-feed these to the Blue Blob before I throw it in the Ohio so that it’ll cramp up. I’m pretty sure it’s not supposed to have chocolate. Nico the Cat and the ghosts of all of Clayton’s cats and goats that he kept feeding that darned chili will give me a high five. R.I.P Cristobal I and II and Sebastian I and II.

Johnny’s Five Not Candy Bars that Deserve Recognition

1. Jolly Ranchers

Delicious. Perfect for biting into and choking.

2. Skittles

Great if you have a fun size only.

3. Werther’s Original/Riesen

The only European candy I allow Nico the Cat to eat.

4. The little strawberry things in Grandma candy

I crave these, so I hang out with Grandmas a lot.

5. Gummy Bears

Cover them in chocolate and then you’ve got a real candy bar.

Phil’s Five Up

1. Take Five

There are few flavors in the world better than chocolate covered pretzel. Add in peanut butter and caramel and you’re just cheating. Did you know they used to make Take Fives with marshmallow in them? They discontinued them while I worked at CVS in college and I sure wish I had just nabbed all the leftovers.

2. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup

Here’s how I eat a Reese’s: I hollow out the inside so there is a ring of chocolate and then just the peanut butter and chocolate interior. I eat the ring first and then the inside. I don’t know if its the right way to eat it, but that’s how I’ve been doing it for the last two decades. Probably longer than that.

3. 100 Grand

This is my Uncle Bobby’s favorite candy bar. As you can tell, it is my third favorite.

4. Snickers

Let me paint you a word picture. I was on a road trip with some pals in South Jersey a few years back. We had to stop for gas at one point and when we did, one of my fellow travelers went into the little convenience store attached to the station. Before he did, he asked if anyone wanted anything. “A snickers,” I said simply. Ten minutes later he walked out, got in the car and when I asked for my Snickers, he said, “I didn’t think you were serious.” I am always serious about Snickers. This fellow traveler and I are no longer on speaking terms.

5. Cookies and Cream

Also a phenomenal ice cream choice.

Phil’s Five Down

In descending order, as always.

5. PayDay

The only pay day I like is the one where I get a check.

4. Chunky

This is the only time a Chunky bar has brought any happiness to me.

3. Lindt

You either get a math lesson in the percentage of cocoa in your bar or something like orange or chili in the mix. These are not things I want.

2. Almond Joy

There is no joy to be found here. Someone needs to get on Hershey’s for false advertising.

1. Mounds

Somehow, Almond Joy’s coconut cousin is worse. If you got a Mounds and and an Almond Joy in your trick or treat bag, Halloween was ruined. I had a lot of Halloweens ruined.


Disagree with us? Let us know in the comments, on Twitter or via a FanPost. Also, if you want us to rank something specific next week, let us know.