please let it be true

McDonald's Halloween Happy Meal Pails Are Officially Back Starting Today!

They’re only available while supplies last.

Originally Published: 
McDonald's Halloween Happy Meal pails are back, starting today and through October 31.

It’s here! It’s happening! The rumors are true! Starting today, you (and your kids, too, I guess) can get the beloved Happy Meal Halloween pails across the country.

Who could ever forget McPumk’n, McBoo, and McWitch — and who could pass them up now? If you grew up in the United States in the 80s and 90s, chances are that you saw the commercials, begged your parents for a trip to McDonald’s in October, and perhaps, if you were really lucky, tried to collect all three.

Now, 36 years after the Halloween buckets first made their appearance, they are finally returning, and McDonald’s decided to wait until the day of their release to make the announcement.

“We heard you loud and clear… if spooky SZN doesn’t include McDonald’s Halloween Pails, then you don't want it,” the company said in a release. “That's why we’re bringing back the most iconic Halloween trio – McBoo, McPunk’n and McGoblin – that first came on the scene back in 1986.”


You have to buy a Happy Meal in order to get a pail — and they’re only available while supplies last.

The rumors that the Halloween pails were returning have been swirling for weeks now.

In mid-September, Nightmare Nostalgia, a website focused on horror nostalgia of the 80s and 90s, reports that the McDonald’s corporate calendar lists October 18 as the day “Halloween Pails Happy Meals Begins,” with the promotion ending on October 31.

Next, Halloween Lovers Club, a Halloween enthusiast Instagram account, reported that they confirmed the report with several inside sources as well as a memo.

And finally, Halloween Lovers Club also leaked a photo of the new buckets — which, again, has not been confirmed by McDonald’s.

The buckets first appeared in 1986, as three regular orange pumpkin tubs named McPumpk’n, McBoo and McGoblin. In 1989, the goblin was switched out for the witch and history was made.

Throughout the years, McDonald’s has experimented with all sorts of permutations of the pails, including vinyl bags, cookie cutter tops, and glow-in-the-dark pails (these were the best IMO). In more recent years, the brand also tried Mr. Potato Head and Charlie Brown pails, with much less success.

The pails sputtered out through the 2000s and completely disappeared after 2016. Until now, maybe? Let’s cross all of our witchy fingers.

You can read an amazingly thorough and thoughtful 35-year history of the McDonald’s Halloween pail Happy Meals at Nightmare Nostalgia.

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