🔒Remember those McDonald’s Halloween pails? 👻🧙‍♀️🎃 Social media is buzzing that they’re returning; This is what we know so far

A Getty image of McDonald's and Canva graphics. (Getty/Canva, Getty/Canva)

Editor’s note: See our update here.


HOUSTON – McDonald’s could be bringing back a major nostalgic favorite this year if social media is right.

Remember the company’s adorable Halloween buckets and pails they had in the 80s and 90s? They could be coming back this spooky season.

KPRC 2 reached out to the Houston area’s McDonald’s public relations representatives and this is what we heard: “There’s no update at this time, but I’ve made note to follow up when and if we receive an update.”

Sound promising? We’re going to be optimistic. And we’re not the only ones.

Social media is all-in on the rumor

You’ve probably already seen the graphics featuring the beloved Halloween pails, saying they’re set to return on Oct. 18. They’re adorable, but they’re nostalgic too, bringing back memories of mountains of candy on my grandma’s living room floor after a night of trick-or-treating in the crisp mountain air. (I grew up in the north where we actually had pretty cold Halloween nights. Bear with my nostalgia, y’all.) I’m the target audience -- a millennial with memories of simpler times pining for those memories for my own kids. But I know I’m not the only one with this feeling...These things are going to be REALLY HARD TO FIND if the hype turns into reality. I’ve always wondered what would become my generation’s Beanie Babies...well, this could be it. The passion for these is real. The Freebie Guy’s post has been shared more than 40,000 times. The comments are even more fun as folks come out of the woodwork to say they have evidence of the beloved pails’ return.

What ‘evidence’ is there that the pails are coming back?

KPRC 2 hasn’t confirmed the validity of any of the “evidence” out there indicating that the pails could be returning, but it is out there in the absence of McDonald’s response. Some folks are claiming they’ve seen a McDonald’s calendar indicating the start date of the Happy Meal pails. Pointing to the supposed “leaked” calendar, folks are saying the pails be available while supplies last or until Halloween night, Monday, Oct. 31.

Others have said their loved ones have helped with the manufacture of the pails themselves: Holly Lefler Whitten wrote in a post by The Freebie Guy, “They are most definitely coming back! My boyfriend is making them at his work! ... Everyone, I’m not sure which ones they are actually making. He was actually making the handles. I don’t listen. But he saw the orange buckets being made today. Sorry that’s all the info I have.”

These are the rumored new pails. This is what some accounts are saying: there will be three designs -- a ghost, witch and pumpkin, only one will be in-store at a time, the pail serves as both the toy and Happy Meal box.

What are the McDonald’s Halloween buckets?

As Nightmare Nostalgia reported, McDonald’s -- as early as 1986 -- put their Happy Meals inside plastic trick-or-treat buckets that had a number of variations over the years.

At first, Nightmare Nostalgia noted there were three orange variations: McPunk’n (with a jack-o’-lantern face), McBoo (with a ghost face), and McGoblin (with a more jagged jack-o’-lantern face). And in the ‘90s, Happy Meal eaters got the Pumpkin Pails, which included an orange pumpkin, a white ghost, or a green witch.

OMG -- just an extra find while researching this report -- remember these adorable Chicken McNuggets you could dress up? Blast from the past.

How can you get them?

If the Halloween pails are actually released, you can buy a Happy Meal and get one with your meal purchase. Happy Meals cost around $4 to $6, depending on location.

If you can’t wait and want to go the vintage route on eBay or Etsy, you’ll likely pay a lot more.


Are you planning to get the McDonald’s pails if they come out? Let us know what you think in the comments.


About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.