The Truth Behind How 3 Musketeers Got Its Name

If you've ever paused between bites to consider if this fluffy chocolate bar's name has anything to do with the number three, or with musketeers, you might not be alone. Mars Wrigley's signature chocolate-covered nougat bar was first introduced in 1932 (via Mars), and there's more to the name than meets the eye.

Enthusiasts of 19th century French literature could tell you that the bar's namesake is a tale of a swashbuckling adventurer named D'Artagnan in the 1600s titled — you guessed it – The Three Musketeers. In the book by Alexandre Dumas, a young man sets out to join the Musketeers of the Guard, which was basically a cool name for royal bodyguards of the King of France. Along the way, he meets three famous musketeers — Athos, Porthos, and Aramis — and adventures ensue (via Britannica).

As for the candy — 3 Musketeers has gone through many changes since its creators gave it such a curious name, and the number "3" really did have significance at one point.

Why is 3 Musketeers named after a random French novel?

No, you're not wrong; 3 Musketeers really does only have two basic components: the fluffy chocolate nougat and its milk chocolate coating. But back when Mars Wrigley invented the bars, introduced after Milky Way and Snickers (via Mars), the confection came in three different flavors: chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry in one Neapolitan-esque package (via Insider). Thus, the connection to the three musketeers from the book.

During World War II, the company pared down their offerings to cut costs, according to Penn State's "History of Candy" blog. They scrapped the strawberry and vanilla flavors in 1945 to save on sugar, but kept the name (via Thrillist). They changed courses, marketing the bar, which in those days looked a little more like a brick, as "big enough to share" (according to this vintage ad on YouTube).

More recently, Mars has come out with a number of special edition flavors: mint, s'mores, and even a trio of minis in cappuccino, french vanilla, and strawberry (via Belleville News Democrat). But those looking for chocolate, vanilla and strawberry all for one and one for all and all in one package are doomed to disappointment. There was even a Facebook group urging Mars to bring back the classic trio, but to no avail. It doesn't look like it's happening any time soon.