The Halloween Potato Trend, Explained

This year's Halloween trick-or-treating brought plenty of treats, but a few more tricks than usual. Don't be surprised if your kid pulled a potato out of their bag this Halloween. Trick-or-treaters looking to fill their bags with chocolates and gummies might have been given the root vegetable instead. While it may have been a candy letdown for the more skeptical, this bizarre Halloween potato trend that has been widely documented on TikTok was all in good fun. At best, it became the highlight of many kids' nights.

That's right, there's a good chance that the children who got potatoes this year actually opted for this vegetable. Many of the houses that participated in the trend made giving potatoes part of an experiment-like game. They placed both potatoes and candy in the same bowl and gave the trick-or-treaters the option to choose whichever they liked, with little or no explanation. The reason behind it was a curiosity to see which the children would prefer when given the freedom to choose. Some immediately took the potatoes, others were less thrilled about this option, but all were at least a little bit amused. Getting actual sustenance instead of candy seems like a win to us, too.

There may be historical significance to the Halloween potato

Although it's hard to pinpoint who started the Halloween potato trend and why, it has been gaining traction for a number of years now and isn't as random as it may seem. Halloween has Celtic roots and its origins can be traced back to the 16th century when Irish and Scottish children took part in a tradition called "guising." Guising was when children would dress up in costumes, go from house to house performing "tricks," and receive treats, like fruit or coins. Fast forward to the mid-19th century when Ireland faced the potato famine. This event led many Irish to flee to the United States, bringing their customs and traditions with them. Although events like the Great Depression and World War II damaged the attempts to form organized, community-based trick-or-treating and the production of wrapped candies to hand out, Halloween bounced back, and today, it is the second biggest commercial holiday in the United States.


Wait, why are they giving out potatoes inatead of candy? Someone fill me in because I'm still confused 🤣 #Halloween2023 #trickortreat #halloweenpotato #fyp #viral

♬ Halloween – TonsTone

While it may just be a coincidence, the tie-in between the Celtic origins of Halloween and the Irish potato famine with this potato trend makes sense. So, potatoes for Halloween may be a silly treat to get, but it's far from one of the worst treats to get in your trick-or-treat bag. Think of it as a nod to the Irish who brought the tradition of trick-or-treating to the United States in the first place.