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Home » Culture and Criticism

N Candy AA II: Fruit to the Death

Submitted by on November 22, 2010 – 3:38 PM29 Comments

Updated bracket is here. Confused? Click here. Polls close on Black Friday.

10 Nerds vs. 2 Starburst.

Keckler: In discussing my original prediction of a Peeps final with the Evil Dr. Mathra and how I continue to be in disbelief they got knocked out earlier, Dr. Mathra told me that Peeps have too much sugar and “When you bite into too much sugar, your mouth tastes black.” I didn’t realize I had married Ralph Wiggum.

What can we say about these two contenders that hasn’t already been said? Nerds come in a cool box that allows you to do shots of them. Starburst is a classic candy, and you get you a lesson in gift-wrapping every time you eat one. I have lots of candy rituals, but as much as I like them, I don’t think I have one for Starburst. I just…ate them. I do remember that lime was my favorite, but you couldn’t count on it. If you were lucky, you’d get one lime in every pack. But then the lime just disappeared completely. (Popsicles, Starburst — my whole life I seem to be searching for the elusive lime.) Years later, Mars came out with new flavor packs and lime was much more plentiful in those. But the availability made it less special and it was lemon-lime, which made it stupid. I think I’m still really angry about that.

I’m voting for Nerds because I carry grudges.

Bunting: I didn’t even remember lime Starburst (“Starbursts”? how does one pluralize the ‘burst, anyway?) until you mentioned them. I liked those a lot — and strawberry Starburst is my candy madeleine, so Starburst has (“have”?) my vote. I just prefer a chewy candy to a crunchy one, and as grateful as I feel towards Nerds for finally kiboshing that striver Smarties, their Cinderella story ends here. Starburst for the unsurprising, but acceptable-to-me, win.

10 Nerds vs. 2 Starburst

  • Starburst (64%, 596 Votes)
  • Nerds (36%, 339 Votes)

Total Voters: 935

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  • Jill TX says:

    I didn’t expect to see Nerds make it that far, but it was kind of nice to have to choose between two of my favorites. Given that there have been leftover Halloween Nerds and Starburst in my office the past few weeks, and I’ve systematically demolished the former and barely touched the latter, my vote was for the crunchy little guys.

  • Meredith says:

    Nerds! Starburst are icky, and make my teeth feel strange. (I’ve unilaterally decided that Starburst *is* the plural. And the singular. Like moose.)

  • Adriana says:

    I choked on an orange Starburst when I was in kindergarten. Give me some tiny tangy crunchy candy any day.

  • Annemarie says:

    Call me too school for cool. (Thanks Pink!) Nerds rule.

  • JC says:

    Nerds all the way. Not just because I love rooting for the underdog, but because the childhood nostalgia value of Nerds is off the charts for me. Nerds carry with them the memory of my siblings and I striving to get along during summer vacation so our grandmother would reward each of us with a five-dollar bill at the candy store with instructions to spend it all. And my siblings and I later tearing around her house shrieking, fueled by a Nerds-Bottlecaps-Fun Dip-sugar buzz.

    Besides, I can’t throw Starburst a vote with these cute little faces looking at me. And thinking that they’d crunch REALLY good.

  • StephMac says:

    I forgot about lime Popsicles. That is all.

  • Maru says:

    I must be getting old because both of these candies became popular when I was an adult. My problem with Nerds is that they are just sugar, and my problem with Starsburst (pluralized like mothers-in-law) is that they are waxy. Either way, they are both nasty and didn’t deserve to outlast slo-pokes and twizzlers.

  • Bertha says:

    This is like asking me to pick between my 2 children.

  • cayenne says:


    And this is not because I hate Starburst. I love Starbursts, and their flavours are better than Nerds (Nerds’?), but I resent the elimination of lime and the limitation of blueberry creme to a special edition unseen for these last 2 years. Why do I always love the wackadoodle flavours that no-one else likes? Whyyeeeee?

    On the other hand, grape & strawberry Nerds are forever. (Of course, I also like the cherry-lemonade Nerds that I can almost never find. *facepalm*)

    @Keckle: re lime popsicles – Whole Foods has a frozen fruit bar under their 360 Organic label in a lime flavour. Highly addictive, especially in summer.

  • Sophie says:

    Boo. Boo, I say.

  • Keckler says:

    @Bunting: I am so glad you are struggling with the grammar. I wasn’t sure how to deal with it either!

    @StephMac: LIME POPSICLES! Never forget.

  • AngieFM says:

    @Keckler and @StephMac: You do know about the Edy’s Lime Popsicles, right? Delicious.

  • Mary Beth says:

    I had a Starburst ritual. First, I would sort them by color. Then I would eat the cherry first, then the orange, lemon and the strawberry last. I eat M&Ms in a similar way – I’m proud of my candy OCD!

  • Jeanne says:

    I’m abstaining from this round. I like them both alright, but would never actively seek them out. Reeses Pieces will always be the winner to me.

  • Profreader says:

    I’m always partial to lime, and it never seems to get its due in any candy where there are a range of flavors (or else it shows up as “lemon-lime” which is not the same thing at all.)

    I’m not particularly enthused by Starburst, but I have to vote for them over Nerds. I prefer the caramel/chewy candies, and was actually surprised that nothing like that made it to the end.

    Starburst also has a strange association for me. When I was about 5, in the early 70s, I got this contraption called “Strange Change” ( which was the kind of 70s toy you could never sell now — it was basically a hot plate with a grille over it and a plastic lid — a burn waiting to happen. You put these little plastic squares in the heating unit, and the heat caused them to unfold into their original dinosaur shape. After you played with them for a while, you would soften them up in the heating unit and squish them in a little compactor section of the toy back into a colorful square shape. When Starburst came along later in the decade (they may have been around earlier, but I only remember them from the late 70s or later), their shape completely reminded me of the “Strange Change” little squares.

    Anyway, if the winner had to be a tangy/fruit candy instead of caramel, then Starburst is the classic.

  • Jan says:

    I had to go with the Nerds, despite Starburst being a fav from the old days. I remember being a pro at tearing the wrapping from the middle right round and then flicking off the end caps.

    Those days are gone, I don’t eat them now that I’m a vegetarian…gelatin in candy just sucks!

  • Jay says:

    I can never forgive the name change from Opel fruits to starburst here in the uk so nerds have it.

  • ferretrick says:

    I say that Starburst is one of those words that is singular and plural. I’m sure there’s a term for that, but I don’t know it.

  • robin says:

    Voted for Starburst because it’s chewy, but really just glad it’s not down to Reese’s, and still sad that the Peeps are done.

  • StillAnotherKate says:

    I like the lime Frozfuit because it’s about the only frozfruit that didn’t have chunks of fruit in it. (That’s just one of my very many weird food things – no pulp in my juice, no fruit in my cocktail, no chunks in my ice pops.)

    Anyhoo, I had a lime frozfruit and was walking past the liquor store on Fire Island some years back. Oddly enough, I was friends with the guys who ran the liquor store. (That last was facetious.) So the guys asked how the popsicle was tasting and I said it would be better dipped in tequila. The boys immediately cracked a bottle of Patron. Oh, you have not lived until you have tried this!!

    The boys wanted to name the concoction “Patron Pops” but I trumped them with “Patronsicles”.

    Oh, and Starburst for the win.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    All these lime Frozfruit fans! I…am not in their number:

  • K. says:

    Wait, there were lime Starbursts? I’ve never seen a lime Starburst. Lime is my favorite fake fruit (and yeah, the Edy’s and FrozFruit lime popsicles are awesome – I actually find them refreshing, like watermelon) but too often, green fruit candy = apple, which … boo. I would love to try a lime Starburst.

    Starbursts for the win. I prefer chewy to crunchy as a rule (candy, cookies, etc.), and Starbursts are a candy I actually buy. I’ve never bought a box of Nerds – they were a candy I liked fine in my Halloween haul, but beyond that, feh.

  • StillAnotherKate says:

    @Sars Try it with tequila. You’ll find it vastly improved.

  • Peach says:

    I had to go with Starburst… because not only do they come in their original fruit chewy squares, but Starburst jellybeans are like little fruit pockets of joy!!!

  • Rachel says:

    @cayenne: Blueberry creme Starburst? WHO IN THE WHAT NOW? Want! I love the fruit-punch ones and I loooooooooove when the Starburst jellybeans come out around Easter because they have a bag that is all just the red ones (cherry, watermelon, & strawberry). I have been known to buy lots and lots of bags so I can have them longtime.

    That said, Nerds are getting their tiny crunchy asses kicked and that makes me sad.

  • cayenne says:

    @Rachel – they were very, very yummy, in a Berries & Creme variant with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries & mixed berries. I so miss them . Also, isn’t there a current mix of red fruit squares? Same flavours as your jellybeans, as I recall (but have not bought because: fake watermelon = blerf, and real watermelon = anaphylaxis).

    @Sars – how about this?:

  • Profreader says:

    So I was at the deli today and went looking for Starburst — I haven’t had any in a loooong time. I got a pack of the “FavorRed” or whatever it was called — all the red flavors together. Fruit punch, yay! Watermelon — too tangy (although I don’t really mind fakey-fake watermelon flavor.) Got a nice sugar buzz. I still wish the title had gone to something caramelicious but Starburst hits that sugar-rush spot.

  • shfree says:


    Try Tootsie Fruit Rolls. Yes, you will have to throw out all of the nasty vanilla flavors, but the rest are delish and free of gelatin.

  • JB says:

    I completely agree with those that believe that in the hierarchy of green-colored fruit flavorings, lime > apple. I am the one that fishes through the candy dish at work and steals all of the lime Tootsie Rolls.

    Am I the ONLY one that likes the lemon Starburst the best?

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