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I Got a Rock

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"I don't understand it. I went trick-or-treating and all I got was a bag full of rocks."

"An apple? Where's my candy, you son of a bitch?"
Fez, That '70s Show

In Halloween Episodes, some characters go trick-or-treating. They eagerly open their candy bags and ready themselves for the candy. The adult reaches into a bowl and grabs some ... fruit? This will typically make the children mad, usually resulting in the vandalizing of said adult's house.

Also can happen from the adult's point of view. If it is in this form, the adult will desperately try to convince the children that the item is tasty and nutritious. The adult will then be truly and sincerely shocked that their house has been targeted.

Note that the "treat" does not always have to be edible, or even a likely one, like the eponymous rock.

The Trope Namer is from the Peanuts Halloween Special, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

Compare My New Gift Is Lame, as well as Razor Apples, which are worse than unwanted, they're downright dangerous. Contrast Green Rocks, which are the kind of rock that may not be useless after all. The rock doesn't need to be yellow. If extended enough, may become a subtrope of Unwanted Gift Plot.


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  • A 2013 commercial for Verizon has a family of trick-or-treaters in Star Wars costumes getting a note on their new phones advising them to avoid a house owned by a dentist, who's giving out floss.
  • This Duck Tape commercial provides an example when it shows some kids go trick-or-treating and a woman giving them Duck Tape. This being Duck Tape, however, it's possibly unintentional, and the kids don't mind being given tape.
  • A Crest commercial featured employees entering schools and giving children "healthy candy." Once it was established that the kids did not appreciate being given healthy snacks instead of candy, the employee would break the news that the healthy candy was going to replace all Halloween candy. The reactions were filmed with each of them varying from verbal disgust to one child who even kicked the employee. The overarching message becomes clear at the end of the advertisement. Forget trying to trick kids with healthy replacements. Just let them eat the candy and have them brush their teeth.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Gabriel DropOut: When Satania, Vigne, and Raphiel trick or treat at Gabriel's place in episode 6.3, Gab just walks back inside and gives them a bag of beans.

    Card Games 
  • While there is a Munchkin card with this name, it refers to a treasure chest rather than Halloween. (Oddly, the rock can come in extremely handy to break a tie or instantly smash the Glass Jaw.)
  • Also a card name in the CCG Netrunner, where the "Rock" in question was a mass driver launch from orbit which the corp could launch at the runner. A tough card to deploy, but if you could get it off, it squashed the runner flat.

    Comic Books 
  • A Looney Tunes comic had Bugs and Daffy trick or treating. Daffy gets only charcoal and rocks. On the other hand, Bugs gets candy and money, but is annoyed he didn't get carrots.
  • The Incredible Hulk: In one issue, Professor Hulk studies his officially licensed Avengers action figure. He comments that while everybody else has some cool accessory (Captain America's shield, etc.), but "I got a rock."
  • Ned Flanders has a segment in Bart Simpson's Heebie-Jeebie Hullabaloo (a collection of Halloween stories and skits) called "Halloween Hoedown at the Flanderosa." One panel shows him dressed as a scarecrow and giving the kids who come trick-or-treating to his house "a hug and the glimmering glow of friendship"; Milhouse is noticeably confused to see Flanders putting his arms around him.
  • In Impulse #45, Max Mercury (a time-jumping hero who grew up in The Wild West) gives out homemade popcorn balls to trick-or-treaters, who react with horror at the thought they could be Razor Apples. His daughter, a dentist, tells him, "The world has changed since you were a kid in ... what was it, the 1400s?" and then gives the kids coupons for $5 off their next dental cleaning. The kids leave vowing to tell everyone that "this house sucks!"
  • The cover of the same month's Young Justice shows Robin, Superboy and Impulse trick-or-treating as their mentors (this doesn't happen in the issue). A perplexed Impulse is, in fact, holding a rock.
  • In the OEL I Luv Halloween, the first house the main characters go to gives them an apple, and after that all the houses give them Hostess Snack-like treats. They attempt to break the 'curse' by hiding a razor blade in the apple and giving it to the chief of police, who has the old lady who gave it to them arrested.

    Comic Strips 
  • While the gag was codified in the It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown TV special (see Western Animation below), a Peanuts newspaper strip from November 1, 1975 has Charlie Brown mentioning to Peppermint Patty that all he got the night before was a rock. Peppermint Patty then replies that she didn't get anything (she'd waited in the pumpkin patch with Linus, only to get banished by him for offending the Great Pumpkin by asking him for a baseball glove), prompting Charlie Brown to offer her his rock.
  • FoxTrot
    • Andy has given out veggie bars and "Almond Soys", and then complains that nobody appreciates it.
    • FoxTrot also had a comic where Jason and Marcus went to each house in the neighborhood to get a sample of what they'd be giving out on Halloween so that they could avoid this. Of course, everyone gave them lame foods so that they wouldn't come back. In another, they've wised up and are instead at the supermarket, watching neighbors through binoculars and taking notes on what kind of candy they're buying.
    Marcus: Can you believe some kids trick-or-treat at random?
    • While watching the Trope Namer, Jason concocts a scheme where Charlie Brown would eat the rocks, get surgery for his intestines, and sue the pants off the people who gave him rocks - for not telling him they weren't candy.
    • In one strip, Roger tests out how to greet trick-or-treaters on Paige. Acting like stereotypical monsters doesn't get a reaction, but cheerfully explaining how they only have health snacks has his daughter screaming in horror.
  • A common Running Gag in Big Nate is that Nate's house is always egged on Halloween because his dad keeps on handing out horrible things like yogurt-covered raisins as "treats".
  • Stuart in Retail (who, for some context, only cares about holidays if there's a big sale attached) dressed up as Santa and gave out candy canes and Grumbel's Christmas sale flyers one Halloween. The kids plan to egg his house in retaliation.
  • From The Wizard of Id, the King gives out toothbrushes, causing the Wizard (who plans to create real zombies for the Halloween party) to call him a monster.
  • In For Better or for Worse, John Patterson, a dentist, gives trick or treaters toothbrushes to Michael's humiliation.

    Fan Works 
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic "Rarity's Absence", Rarity explains to Twilight that the reason she never goes out on Nightmare Night is that as a filly, she went out trick or treating one year... and got nothing but rocks.
  • In Yu Yu Hakusho Abridged, the neighborhood watch committee warns about this when trick or treating at houses with old people.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • In the Goosebumps books, this trope crops up.
    Lee: Why do people give out apples? Don't they know we only want candy?
    Tabitha: Some people are just cheap.
    • In Still More Tales to Give You Goosebumps, being centered around Halloween, of course has this.
      • One short story "Pumpkin Juice" has the protagonist go to house and sees that the boy at the front door is handing out lollipops. Because he's become monstrous from drinking the pumpkin juice, he is enraged and decides to shove the boy aside to go into the house and eat raw eggs instead.
      • Another short story "The Wish" has the protagonist getting a literal rock from a woman. The rock turns out to be what grants the titular wish.

    Live-Action TV 
  • That '70s Show:
    • Kitty decides to give out raisins. Eggs are promptly thrown at the windows.
      Kitty: Raisins are nature's candy!
      Red: And eggs are nature's hand grenade.
    • From that same episode:
      Fez: An apple? Where's my candy, you son of a bitch?!
  • Saturday Night Live:
    • In a sketch from the 1970s, the extraterrestrial Coneheads give out beer and "fried chicken embryos" (eggs). None of the children retaliate, but the Coneheads do get an angry visit from neighborhood parents, who are mollified when the aliens give their explanatory Catchphrase, "We are from France." They apologize about the beer but continue dispensing the fried eggs when assured that's okay.
    • Wayne's World did a Top Five list of worst Halloween candy.
    1. Mung (they didn't actually know what it was)
    2. Hurl (they did know what that was)
    3. Candy apples (especially when that house has cats that shed on the apples)
    4. Pop Rocks (the old Urban Legend)
    5. Pennies (self-evident)
  • In a Beverly Hills, 90210 episode, Cindy Walsh gave out raisins, calling them "nature's candy".
  • In an episode of Married... with Children, the Bundys' yuppie neighbors (you know the ones) give out potatoes on Halloween.
  • Subverted in Lizzie McGuire where Lizzie's parents give out regular candy for Halloween. Later, when the kids have all gone home and they've given out everything, a teen to whom they've already given candy turns up at their door and rudely demands more. Lacking any more candy, the trope is played straight and they give him the chicken pot pie they were about to have for dinner. The teen throws it back at them.
  • The Halloween episode of Good Eats, which is about making various kinds of candy, uses this as the impetus; Alton's nephew Elton has been given health-food candies by his mother for his school's Halloween event, and Alton offers to replace it.
  • On his Character Blog, Lassiter of Psych says to note down the people who do this and he will arrest them.
  • When Roseanne was shown her horrible future by The Ghost of Halloween Yet to Come, she was giving kids fun-sized tubes of toothpaste.
  • On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Scoobies are drafted by Principal Snyder into taking groups of kids Trick or Treating on Halloween. The first house they visit gives out toothbrushes. (And Xander coaches his assigned group of kids on avoiding "rocks" and extorting the best/most candy.)
  • When KISS was on MADtv (1995), they did a bit where they went trick-or-treating and Peter Criss got a rock... but he loves rock!
  • In Do Over, Joel's parents gave people energy bars.
  • In an episode of Millennium (1996) a depressed man gives young Frank Black a cigarette.
  • In an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, Frank runs out of candy, but starts giving out what he thinks are chocolate coins to keep the neighborhood kids from egging the house. Angry parents soon start to arrive to find out why their kids are being given condoms.
  • WWE ECW: Guess what the Boogeyman gives out on Halloween?
  • Spoofed by Svengoolie in a classic sketch where the horror host went trick-or-treating but all someone gave him was a paper cutout of a Middle Eastern country. That's right: He got Iraq.
  • In a Halloween episode of NCIS, Tony and Ziva question the neighbor of a murdered marine who was known to hate the man's practical jokes and Halloween in general. Two trick or treaters show up and the man, lacking any candy, gives them energy drinks instead. The kids look less than satisfied and Tony chastises him to "Be prepared next year."
  • iCarly: Unable to buy Halloween candy because of being preoccupied with an extra large pumpkin, Spencer gives out random items to children that come by the apartment, including a carton of eggs, jumper cables, and re-sealable soup packets. Naturally, it comes back in the end to bite him.
  • One Jimmy Kimmel Live! skit had Gordon Ramsay list the 5 worst Halloween treats. For bonus points, it said it was "Paid for by children with toilet paper and eggs."
    1. Smarties. "The perfect combination of aspirin and tums."
    2. Circus Peanuts. "Do you know what these are? Clown <bleep>!"
    3. Candy Corn. "It's not candy, it's not corn, it's earwax formed in the shape of a rotten tooth!"
    4. Apples. "Do I look like a <bleep> teacher, mate?"
    5. Pennies. "In 2016 you're still giving out <bleep> pennies?!"
  • Played with in a Halloween episode of Monk. Adrian's agoraphobic brother Ambrose, the kind of person you would expect crappy treats from on Halloween, actually orders dozens of full-sized, brand-name candy bars for the trick-or-treaters. The "rock" comes in the form of the contract he forces each kid to sign promising that in exchange for the candy, they won't vandalize his house.
  • In an episode of How I Met Your Mother, Lily inherits (or rather, is given) her grandparents' house in Long Island. When Marshall proposes that they sell it (and they're expecting a baby), she tries to use the neighborhood kids as a means to get him to reconsider. Problem is: her "baby-brain" causes her to hand out a mug, a stapler and a bottle of wine instead of treats from the candy bowl on the table nearby. The kids egg the house.

    Video Games 
  • In City of Heroes, the Halloween event includes a Mini-Game in which you can "trick or treat" for Halloween-themed items or temporary abilities. One of these is a rock (ranged weapon, minor damage).
    • It's common in-game for a teammate to announce "I got a rock" and for the rest of the team to congratulate that player.
    • The description of the power was actually "You got a rock."
  • In the early days of World of Warcraft, Blizzard used to occasionally release audio plays featuring a band of gnome adventurers who are frequently mistaken for children. During the Halloween episode, everyone they met on their adventure thought they were trick-or-treaters and gave them treats. It was a running gag that the same one every time would get a rock as a gift, causing another to ask if it's one of the many types of ore or gems in the game. "No, just a rock."
    • In the actual Halloween events, players can get handfuls of candy from buckets on each inn. You get candy, including the kind you can trade for vanity pets, or trinkets that count towards achievements, yes, but also can get temporary Forced Transformation, Tooth Picks (which do nothing but give you a ten-second buff that makes your mouth shine) or penny bags, which are bags that only have one slot (when the most basic bags have four) and sell for one measly copper.
  • The name of this trope is a cheat code in Geneforge. It gives you one rock. No use has ever been found for this.
  • Early on in Costume Quest, when the siblings Wren and Reynold go trick-or-treating, the adult in the very first house they visit is so repulsed by their costumes that all they give them is some old marzipan they dug up from their couch.
  • World of Tanks does this for both Halloween and Christmas by running special ops. For Halloween, it's called Trick or Treat and for Christmas it's Naughty or Nice. In both events, getting the Treat/Nice reward gives you something useful like a consumable item, while the Trick/Naughty reward is something like a single coin, 1 XP, or (for Christmas) a lump of coal (which does absolutely nothing).
  • During Halloween season in Terraria enemies drop goodie bags. Although you may not get a rock, you will, however, get rotten eggs 1/4 of the time.
  • During DC Universe Online's Halloween event, you used to be able to loot granola bars and toothbrushes as Shop Fodder.
  • In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, in addition to reeling in boots, cans and tires while fishing, it's also possible to catch a single stone, which can be used for Item Crafting, but still relatively useless on its own.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner:
    • The interactive Halloween cartoon The House That Gave Sucky Treats is a game where you hand out candy, and some of the treats are traditional "unpopular" treats or otherwise unsuitable.
      • When Strong Mad and The Cheat show up, a pile of rocks shows up as one of the treat choices (the others being actual Pop Rocks and sketchy-looking "rock candy"). Give it to them, and Strong Mad will just eat the rocks like normal candy, and wash them down with cola. Then The Cheat's head a splodes.
      • You can give Marzipan (who is a vegan) a steak, which causes her to complain, "Is this a joke? It's not funny" (while Strong Bad slips several of them into her treat pail), or some rice cakes, to which she says, more delightedly, "I like to eat these without water."
      • You can give Mary Jane (a sort of cheap honey-flavored taffy) to Pom-Pom and the Poopsmith, prompting the Poopsmith to hold up a sign reading "Give us something good instead."
      • You can give Strong Sad a can of Campbell's soup (he's dressed as Andy Warhol), Necco wafers ("These remind me of when I used to eat the colored chalk when I was in school. I was sick for a year and nearly died...") or some baking chocolate ("I used to eat this stuff when there was no chocolate in the house. And now, it's my only friend...")
      • Strong Bad will complain about any of the treats you can give him: a fun-size Butterfinger ("What's 'fun' about less candy?"), a marshmallow bunny ("All you've got is old freakin' Easter candy?! This thing's rock hard!"), or an apple ("What are you, a dentist? Or a hippie? Or some kind of hippie dentist?").
      • Finally, you can give Homestar change, at which point he sarcastically thanks you for "adding a step to my Halloween process".
      • In an Easter Egg, you can give Homsar shaving cream or a wrench. However, Homsar reacts favorably when given them.
    • At one point in another Halloween cartoon, 3 Times Halloween Funjob, Bubs and Coach Z arrive at this very same house (Bubs says, "Oh, I remember this house from a couple of years ago."), and again, you hand out candies, which once again may or may not be unsuitable treats. In the case of Bubs and Coach Z, one of the treats you can give them is a "Delicious" bag, which a treat dating back to the Old-Timey era. This causes Coach Z to exclaim, "What is that? One of them old school candies?" and then does an old-school rap.
      • Or you can forgo giving any treats to Bubs and Coach Z, or give them Bubs' own pumpkin-shaped treat pail, and instead get a visit from Stinkoman. Here, you can give him a Zagnut bar ("I can't eat those, 'cause I'm in training. Don't you have any of the other kinds of bars? You know... energy bars... or power bars... or training bars?"), a prawn ("I love prawns! Simple as that!") or a jar labelled "AKIRA", which causes Stinkoman's right arm to turn into a bunch of tentacles, after which he says, "That tickles."
    • Brainkrieg's song "Decomposing Pumpkins" is about throwing the titular pumpkins at the kid whose parents give lame candy on Halloween. It has two sequences saying things like "An apple is not candy! (You get egged! You get egged! You get egged!)"
  • The Gag Dub "It's the Great Dolemite, Charlie Brown" has African-American Charlie Brown receive baked potatoes when he and his friends trick-or-treat in the white neighborhood.
  • Hella Weenie, the second episode of Radiskull & Devil Doll. A neighbour who looks like a cross between Ned Flanders and "Weird Al" Yankovic has a bowl with supersized chocolate bars. When a kid comes to his house, the man reaches into the bowl and pulls out a hidden tangerine, to the kid's disappointment.
  • The Neurotically Yours Chibisode - aptly named Charlie Browned - has Chibi Foamy and Germaine not only get the eponymous rock, but also an apple. And gluten-free soy milk. And freeze-dried seaweed snacks. And a baggie of various caliber bullets.
    • Inverted with Chibi Foamy in the episode, as he loves rocks due to their many uses - such as breaking windows, smashing in someone's skull, and as a "pet".

  • Bug shows us the worst houses to visit during Halloween. These houses give out, in turn, a newborn, a detonator, and a pencil; take your pick.
  • Inverted in Housepets!, since chocolate is toxic to cats and dogs alike:
    Marvin as pirate: I got a marble!
    Grape as devil: I got a piece of flint!
    Sasha as witch: I got a bone!
    Peanut with a blanket over him: I got a chocolate...
  • A Basic Instructions strip has Scott tell the trick-or-treaters to go to hell, and they inform him that if he doesn't give them candy, they will egg his house. He responds "If you have eggs, you don't need candy". Later he decides that the best way to scare children is to act in a more subtle manner, and he starts pouring Mr. Pibb directly into a child's candy bucket.
    Kid: Uh, that's enough, Mister.
    Scott: Nonsense! There's no such thing as enough Mr. Pibb!
    Kid: Really, sir...
    Kid: NO SIR!
  • In one Batman and Sons comic, Batman fights The Scarecrow on Halloween, and the two are mistaken for trick-or-treaters by an old woman. They decide to play along.
    Scarecrow: (genuinely pleased) Ooh, I got a chocolate bar with almonds.
    Batman: (genuinely indignant) I got a rock!

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd shows an old video of himself trick-or-treating as Dick Tracy, and mentions that he got a rock at the time (so he was not going to dress up like that for the review). Since the video is a real childhood home movie of James Rolfe, this is also in Truth in Television.
    • In the episode "Halloween" he attempts to shoo two trick-or-treaters that appear at his door by defecating in one of their bags and trying to tell him it's chocolate followed by giving the other one a copy of Halloween and an Atari 2600 when they tell him they don't know what Atari is.
  • The original line was parodied in an early I'm A Marvel... And I'm A DC episode. Spider-Man gets three supervillains to fight; Superman gets a rock.
  • Half in the Bag. Mr. Plinkett leaves nuts as Halloween candy - nuts as in nuts and bolts. At some point, he eats them all himself.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Trope Namer, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, all of the other kids get candy in their respective treat bags. Charlie Brown never gets anything but a rocknote . If this were to happen in real life, the homeowner would run the risk of having the rock returned... through a window.
    • Parodied in Family Guy when Cleveland, Joe and Quagmire compare their tax refunds.
      Cleveland: I got a big tax refund. Uncle Sam sent me $500.
      Joe: I got $600!
      Quagmire: I got $850!
      Charlie Brown: I got a rock.
    • Bad Gods presents the remix.
    • Robot Chicken had a skit where the Peanuts gang got various countries for a Geography assignment. What did Charlie Brown get? "I got Iraq."
    • And parodied in the NSFW Gag Dub It's the Great Dolemite, Charlie Brown!: "I got another mothafuckin' POTATO!!"
  • In The Fairly OddParents!, Timmy's mom and dad give Chester and AJ advice for not having good costumes. Surprisingly, the children do nothing to the Turners' residence. When they go to the principal, she covers them in reflective tape without giving them anything and threatens to have them held back a grade if they TP her house. However, Chester says he's already being held back and goes ahead with it.
  • Billy gets a rock in his trick-or-treat bag in an episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. He eats it, too.
    • In the Poorly-Disguised Pilot Underfist, Billy complains about getting pennies... because of how awful they taste.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In one of the Halloween specials, Marge tries to serve fruit to the children. They boo her. When she reminds them "Fruit is nature's candy!", they boo her even more.
    • In another Treehouse of Horror opening Bart complains that Flanders gave them toothpaste, in which Lisa complains about it being ''mini'' toothpaste and another when Bart empties his trick or treat bag (while dressed as Charlie Brown).
      Bart: Good grief! This candy's terrible. Circus peanuts, raisins, nicotine gum, a library card.
  • King of the Hill subverted this when Hank had a flashback to trick-or-treating as a kid. One house gave out king sized chocolate bars, but was vandalized anyway, because the kids only got one bar. Total. Also, it was his own house.
  • On American Dragon: Jake Long, the title character's Annoying Younger Sibling Haley went trick-or-treating dressed first as a princess, and then as a dragon princess, and then as a dancing fire juggling dragon princess but all she got were apples. Meanwhile, Grandpa, who was with her, kept getting lots of candy and complimented on his wise old man costume. Eventually, Haley received candy when she changed her costume to a wise old man.
  • On an episode of Beavis and Butt-Head, Mr. Van Dreesan offered the trick-or-treaters a choice between organic nut clusters and a bumper sticker that said "My other car's a bike." Beavis and Butt-Head took the stickers.
  • In the South Park episode "Pinkeye," Stan is carrying a taser as part of his Halloween kit:
    Kyle: What's that?
    Stan: For shocking people who try to give us granola treats, or something.
    Cartman: Yeah, granola pisses me off.
  • In a Baby Looney Tunes episode, the babies go trick or treating and they all get candy, except for Daffy. Strangely, Daffy keeps getting sucky treats like toothbrushes and combs from the same people who gave his friends candy. But then, it's Daffy.
  • Inverted in The Venture Bros. Halloween special; Sgt. Vatred gives out jumbo-sized candy bars...but only if the trick-or-treaters can make it to the front door. The Venture compound's security system is left on, making it a literal Death Course.
  • On Family Guy, Adam West gives out Cornish game hens.
  • When Cow and Chicken wear business suits for Halloween, the guy at the first house accuses them of not wearing a costume and refuses to give them anything. The guy at the next house (a mansion) thinks they're ordinary adults and gives them his business cards, saying that he likes their style and to give him a call.
    Chicken: I don't need no job. I need candy!
  • The Gravity Falls episode "Summerween" has a joke about unpopular "loser candy" such as Mr. Adequatebar, Gummi Chairs, and Homework: The Candy. It also turns out that the Summerween Trickster is a sentient amalgam of all those rejected candies.
  • Bob's Burgers: The kids' first trick-or-treat outing without Bob in "Full Bars" has them getting truly lame treats from the local merchants — fortune cookies, number tags from the deli 'so they can be first in line', packets of taco sauce - so they head for the greener pastures of Kingshead Island, where all the rich families live.
  • One Scooby-Doo cartoon had Shaggy go trick or treat. The homeowner said "I'll take the treats" and threw Shaggy into the street.
    Shaggy: Like, where's your Halloween spirit!?
  • A song from Milo Murphy's Law's Halloween episode:
    We should avoid that house, I hear they're giving fresh fruit
    But right next door they got full-size candy bars!
  • Double Subversion in the Justice League Action episode "Trick or Threat!", where a few kids dressed as the Justice League compare their Halloween goodies. One kid dressed as John Constantine outright says "I got a rock....candy stick!", pulling out a lollipop which he proceeds to suck in imitation of the adult Constantine. Then another kid dressed as Dr. Fate complains that another house gave them toothbrushes, and a kid dressed like Batman says that while he's glad to see adults thinking about kids' dental hygiene, he's still going to egg the place.
  • In the Halloween Episode of The Addams Family (1992), the Addams' neighbors, the Normanmiers, give the trick-or-treaters spoonfuls of potato salad.
  • Work It Out Wombats!: In "Summerweenie Halloweenie," the wombats go trick-or-treating on "Summerween." The kids do get some food, but they also get stickers and desk supplies while trick-or-treating. Justified in that no one in the Treeborhood really has that much candy, and the wombats are still happy for what they received.

    Real Life 
  • Dentists:
    • Good or nice dentists will give out toothbrushes, to the disappointment of the kids.
      • Alternatively, they may hand out sugarless gum, which is (generally) better from the kids' point of view.
    • Mean dentists will give out the best candy, eagerly rubbing their hands together at the idea of torturing the kids in the dentist's chair soon getting a couple thousand bucks from the kid's insurance provider for services rendered.
    • The best dentists will open their door in full dentist garb, a scary smile, and give regular candy to those who haven't fled in terror yet.
      • Complete with functioning power drill.
  • In 2013, a woman in North Dakota allegedly gave children she considered "moderately obese" a letter instead of candy, though there was suspicion that it was a gag created by a radio show.
  • A pediatrician who was offering money to the kids at her door, and asking that they give their loot to her. The newspaper however did not report if her trees/shrubbery got TPed or not, but it does seem likely she did.
    • Some doctors/dentists found a friendlier way to get all that candy away from the kids: they host a "candy buyback" on the day after Halloween. The kids choose which of their sweet loot to trade in for money or prizes, and keep the stuff they REALLY want (often only a fraction of the original haul).
  • Apples and popcorn balls are commonly subject to this trope because unless the giver is a trusted friend, most parents will make their children throw them away.
    • However, in the last couple decades, packaged, wrapped popcorn balls have become more common, making them less subject to this. Prepackaged apple-slices, too, but for most kids those will fall firmly under the auspice of this trope.
  • Toys have become a more popularly stocked item in recent years, ranging from the meh (stuff that is pretty much the cheaper sort of party favors) to genuinely cool— mini cans of Play-Doh, anyone?
  • Some people give away comic books, and reportedly kids have usually reacted really well to this change of pace.
    • In particularly religious households, especially in America, Halloween is seen as a pagan holiday; and they will distribute religious comics instead of candy. Several Chick Tracts are specifically intended to be handed out to trick-or-treaters, usually (rather ironically) the ones arguing that Halloween is an evil pagan holiday. In the tracts themselves (see "Stinky" for example), some characters are positively portrayed giving out tracts as treats. Somewhat averted when the children in the tracts appear quite excited to receive them, and in real life, to his credit, Chick does recommend including a bag of candy along with the tracts.
    "And here's a nice treat for you... little comic books!"
  • In recent years, savory snacks have been showing up on store shelves, particularly chips and pretzels. They seem to go over well.
    • Same with non-edible treats like novelty toys, pencils, erasers and glow sticks, which are mostly handed out to children with food allergies or, in some cases, given to kids who are diabetic.
  • In 2021, Kaiser Permanente Antioch Medical Center in California literally gave out rocks for National Nurses Week, calling them "encouragement stones". The internet was not impressed, especially since it was during a time period when medical professionals everywhere were massively overworked due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some even directly compared it to Charlie Brown getting rocks in his trick-or-treat bag.


Video Example(s):


"I got a rock."

While trick-or-treating, while the other kids get candy, Charlie Brown just gets rocks.

How well does it match the trope?

4.88 (33 votes)

Example of:

Main / IGotARock

Media sources: