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McDonald’s Halloween Happy Meal Pails are back

The retro candy receptacle has made a return to the zeitgeist.
McDonald’s Halloween Pails
The trick-or-treating trio McPunk'n, McGoblin and McBoo.McDonalds

Some would say Halloween is not officially Halloween until the night is full of trick-or-treaters toting their candy hauls in bags and buckets around their neighborhoods. Now, after a long wait, a nostalgic favorite has returned to help kids around the country tote their Skittles and Twix back home on the 31st.

On Oct. 6, McDonald’s announced that its Halloween Pails are officially returning. The trio of bucket designs, affectionately named McBoo, McPunk’n and McGoblin, first made their appearance nearly four decades ago, in 1986.

Now, the pail on everyone’s minds is making its return to participating McDonald’s restaurants nationwide beginning Oct. 18 to Oct. 31 while supplies last.  

McDonald’s Halloween Pails
McBoo, McGoblin and McPunk’n.McDonalds

While it’s been six long years since the pails last arrived on fast-food menus, it couldn’t stop fans from clamoring for the return in the meantime, even coming up with inventive ways to pay tribute to a lil’ bucket that has been a fond memory for many people.

McDonald’s said it noticed the clever ways fans kept their Halloween pails over the years, from making fan art to using them as flower pots year-round, to making purses and other accessories. In honor of the return of the Halloween-y Happy Meals with the oh-so-coveted packaging, McDonald’s is also spotlighting five different fan-inspired ways to reuse a Halloween pail after your kids — or, let’s be honest, you — have devoured whatever contents your bucket held.

McDonald’s Halloween Pails
TikTok accounts @sidclusive, @beatsbyjblack, @saracampz, @themartinezcasita and @laurdiy show different ways to use your pails this season.McDonalds

The ideas come from TikTok accounts @sidclusive, @beatsbyjblack, @saracampz, @themartinezcasita and @laurdiy. The content, which lives on TikTok, shows the creators using the pails as Halloween décor, as houseplant receptacles, to complete outfits and even to as percussion in recorded music, assuring that you have plenty of avenues to take with your pails once the fake cobwebs come down on Nov. 1.

Fun fact: McDonald’s pails were originally all orange and all jack-o’-lantern in design when they debuted and over the years evolved to the three distinct colors and faces you can get this season.

No word on whether McDonald’s is going to bring back the talking chicken nuggets from their classic Halloween-themed 1989 commercial, but the pails will more than likely satiate your Halloween nostalgia for now.

In fact, as many adults posted to social media on Oct. 18, they were thrilled to revisit this particular part of their childhoods.

"I’m a 37 year old grown man who’s excited to go collect my Halloween happy meal bucket from @McDonalds today," Andrew Marlowe wrote on Twitter.

Another person joked that everything was coming full circle for them.

"My mom to 8 year old me: 'When you make your own money you can buy your own happy meal with the bucket.”

Adult me: 'Bet.'"

For more info on the retro receptacles, visit McDonald’s website, Twitter or Facebook pages.