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Home » Culture and Criticism

N Candy AA II: The Final Four

Submitted by on November 18, 2010 – 3:20 PM28 Comments

Updated bracket is here. Confused? Click here. Polls close 11:59 AM ET on Monday.

Happy birthday, Keckler! I hope you get a whole pallet of Christmas Treeps on your natal day.

10 Nerds vs. 11 Smarties/SweeTarts. I don’t get it — Nerds, while inoffensive, don’t seem like championship-candy material to me, and their presence here is (and I apologize) likely the result of a flaw in the construction of the brackets. SweeTarts’ defenders, meanwhile, have noted that they’re bigger and better than Smarties and shouldn’t have to share a slot with them, but 1) it doesn’t seem to have harmed either candy’s chances, unfortunately, and 2) it still doesn’t explain how the entry beat Dum Dum pops or saltwater taffy.

No, I don’t get it. But in a strange way, I like it. The other side of the draw showcases a predictable outcome: two high-ranked, mass-appeal candies, the kind of semifinalists we’ve come to expect in the brackets. This side is, like, what the hell are they still doing here, and when you’ve done these brackets for a while, you like to see the occasional Seabiscuit performance from an 11 seed.

Not this one, though. It’s gross. Voting Nerds; not sure whether it wins; positive the victor here gets shellacked in the final.


10 Nerds vs. 11 Smarties / SweeTarts

  • Nerds (58%, 533 Votes)
  • Smarties/SweeTarts (42%, 393 Votes)

Total Voters: 926

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2 Starburst vs. 3 Reese’s Pieces. I think I’m having a sugar crash. I was really hyped up in the beginning and middle of this bracket, but now I barely have the energy to type “meh.” I’m simply not excited by this match-up. It’s too predictable in the mass appeal of both contenders. On the other hand, it shows we knew what we were doing when we ranked them. (For once. Ahem.)

At some point I called Starburst for the win. (Okay, so it was only AFTER I realized my Peeps were living on borrowed time and wouldn’t make it to the finals.) I’m not backing down from that prediction, especially since the only thing I can think to say about Reese’s Pieces at this point is that I often call them “Reese’s Peese’s” and it’s not always intentional.


2 Starburst vs. 3 Reese's Pieces

  • Starburst (53%, 502 Votes)
  • Reese's Pieces (47%, 441 Votes)

Total Voters: 943

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  • AbraCat says:

    I saw the final four, and said out loud, “Really? Ew.” I think I’ll go to the store and get myself some Reese’s Cups or something.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    OMG Nerds will you please END THIS MADNESS

  • Amanda says:

    Go Starburst! I still irrationally harbor a loathing for Reese’s Pieces after consuming too many from the middle school vending machine (yes, we had Reese’s Pieces in our vending machines — I went to school in the golden age of the technology/health-conscious crossover era) and being ill for the rest of the day.

    I know the Smartie/SweeTart debate has been raging hard here, so, am I the only one who can’t tell Smarties from SweeTarts? I made a big pile of a combination of both after ransacking the candy bowl on Halloween and was surprised anyone could tell them apart by taste or texture. Then again, I’m weird and like all flavors of Necco Wafers.

  • Rachel says:

    Nerds, the Bristol Palin of the NCandyAA. I’m calling it now, with Nerds victorious.

  • Haras says:

    Nerds are an easy pick for me in the top pair. I don’t like all of the nerd flavors, but the flavors I like, I LOVE. And I buy them more often than a 32 year old should.

    But oooh, that second match up is tough. After deliberations, I finally cast my vote for Starburst, mainly because while I fully understand that Reese’s Pieces DON’T have chocolate in them, they are a candy that I buy when I’m craving a fattier, creamier, chocolatey kind of candy. Starburst are among my favorites when you are looking for a fruity/tangy candy snack. Hope they take it all the way!

  • Another Sarah J says:

    Nerds for the win (in the poll and in life)!!

  • Lindsay says:

    This is clearly a case of the less-offensive, mediocre,(but not entirely hated) B-squad rising to the top in earlier rounds. I know I often voted *against* a candy I didn’t like, rather than voting *for* these lame-o’s :(

    That said, please please pleeeeease don’t let Reese’s win. I guess I’m backing Starburst now.

  • Wehaf says:

    I just pushed Starburst to 104 votes over Reese’s 103. Talk about close!

  • Hawkeyegirl says:

    Starburst FTW!

  • wendy says:

    Does anybody else pronounce it like “Reesee Cup” or, worse, “Reesee’s Pieces?” I don’t know if it’s a family thing or a regional thing (north Texas). I was in high school before I finally paid enough attention to realize that was not the name at all.

  • Soylent Green says:

    Wow, I can’t believe it’s taken me until now to work out that what you people in the US call Smarties are entirely different to what Smarties are in the UK and Australia. You’d think the fact that our Smarties are (crappy Nestle) chocolate would have tipped me off.

    Also, I know that we have the lollies that you guys call Smarties in Australia, but apparently I was too busy scoffing them down as a child to work out what they were called.

  • Lis says:

    @Wendy, I definitely say Reesee’s pieces and Reesee’s Cup… also Andie’s Candies always with the full name… don’t know why. Could be regional though, East Texas here, Huntsville to be exact, not there anymore but MAN do I miss the bbq… not so much the executions.

  • darkBlue says:

    I’ll just be sitting over here eating my Reese’s Pieces in defiance of them losing.

  • Sarah says:

    NERDS! Their boxes are very complicated and fun to play with, with the added threat/danger/thrill of messing it up so badly in the process of opening it that Nerds fly everywhere; there are two flavors that have to be dispensed individually, so there is a lot of agency to how you eat them; and the flavor is objectively wunderbar (I speak specifically of the red/green combo packs. Heart.). Plus, adjunct to Nerds? The Nerds Rope. Disgusting? Amazing? Why not both? I’m so happy they’re still here!

  • Mary Beth says:

    Go, Starburst, go! As far as I’m concerned, ET should have taken the world’s supply of Reese’s Pieces back to his home planet.

  • Lauren says:

    @Soylent Green, in Canada we call them Rockets. Might be the same elsewhere in the Commonwealth?

  • JB says:

    “Nerds, the Bristol Palin of the NCandyAA” made me just about do a spit take.

    And I have IRRATIONAL HATRED of people who call them Reesie’s. Or even worse, Reesie’s Piecies. Starburst FTW.

  • JennyB says:

    I’ll just be over here in my little corner keeping my fingers crossed that Reese’s Pieces somehow pulls this out.

    I mean, Starburst are fine, but they’re no Skittles. Nerds have the sentimental factor, but they’re not a go-to candy for me. And I only know Canadian Smarties, and I can’t seem to remember that that’s not what we’re voting for here.

    So Reese’s Pieces it is. Or, you know, not.

  • JC says:

    Still pulling for my underdog Nerds. Nothing against Smarties/SweeTarts, really, but I have both Nerds and SweeTarts in my candy jar at work (or at least, I HAD Nerds). SweeTarts are fine, but they’re more of a “make do with” candy for me than Nerds, which I sometimes crave, and which I’m always, ALWAYS tempted to buy when I see them in stores.

    Pulling for Starburst in the other match-up. Honestly, this pairing doesn’t really excite me because both of these candies are delish, and neither one’s presence at this late stage is a major surprise. Starburst has some variety in their flavors, and that’s pretty much all it needs to elevate it above Reese’s, in my book.

  • Another Sarah J says:

    all i have to add to Nerds in the movie theater size box for a $1 at the Dollar Store. [LOVE]

  • Cora says:

    @Amanda: word on the Necco wafers! Chalky chocolate! Linty licorice!! @Wendy, I grew up calling them Reesee’s pieces too, and I’m from western Pennsylvania — which has no accent or weird terminology except our cheerleaders scream “Geh, team, geh,” and everyone refers to “you-all” as “yinz”.

  • K. says:

    “This is clearly a case of the less-offensive, mediocre,(but not entirely hated) B-squad rising to the top in earlier rounds. I know I often voted *against* a candy I didn’t like, rather than voting *for* these lame-o’s :(“

    Agreed. When I saw Nerds vs. Smarties/Sweetarts I said aloud “What?” Because … really? Final Four? Smarties? The only candy here I feel strongly about is Starbursts, and even those give me the “But Final Four, though?” feeling. Like, I definitely want them to win, but only as compared to the three other mediocre candies here. (To be fair, I can’t eat Reece’s Pieces due to allergy.) Starbursts are the only candy here that I would go out and intentionally buy, but they’re definitely not my favorite.

  • Krista says:

    “The Nerds Rope. Disgusting? Amazing? Why not both?”

    I totally agree. It looks so pretty and shiny. The Nerds are delicious, but the rope gunk is gross.

    I agree that Starburst is no Skittles, but they are easier to dole out and I would be very happy to see them win.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I have had no dog in this hunt from the start, and so have been enjoying it as a spectator sport. BUT…

    @Rachel: I am sooo co-opting “XXX, the Bristol Palin of XXX” from now on. NFL playoffs? Bring it. March Madness? Check.

    Re: “Reesees Piecies”… wasn’t that how they pronounced it in the movie? Granted, it’s been a long time (looong time) since I’ve seen it. But I seem to recall one of the neighborhood kids referencing the candy in that manner. Doesn’t bother me enough to research it, however.

    Happy Final Four, Everyone!

  • Chanticleer says:

    I just… I just don’t understand. Don’t you guys LIKE peanut butter? Four hundred of you seriously like synthetic “juicy” “fruit” flavors more than peanut butter?

    Okay, those with allergies get a pass, but the rest of you need to examine your lives.

  • cayenne says:

    I’m shocked at the lack of peanut butter love here, considering that the winner of the Chocolate bracket was…Reese Cups.

    Much as I love any & all of these (with the exception of Smarties, since I’m an ew-Smarties-my-vote’s-for-SweeTarts person), I’m unshocked at the mass nature of all of them and the elimination of the regional & niche variants. I’m crap with stats, but isn’t this something like deviation to the centre?

  • Jenak says:

    In middle school, I spilled a bottle of perfume (“If you like Poison, you’ll love Toxic!”) in my faded denim patchwork hobo purse, and then accidentally ate some Nerds from a box that had been in the purse when the perfume spilled and were therefore perfume-coated and horrifyingly disgusting. One might expect that incident to have soured me on Nerds for life, but I STILL regularly purchase and eat them – they’re just so much fun to play with, and I guess I like that in a candy :)

  • Kimretta says:

    Wow. As a lover of oft-maligned fruity candy, I’m shocked to see that we might get fruit v fruit in the finals! Starburst vs Nerds FTW.

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