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A Viral Meme Makes Such An Important Point About Teenaged Trick-Or-Treaters

The Halloween meme has a simple message: Let teens enjoy the holiday, too.

Teenage girl is painting her face for Halloween in bathroom.
Shot with Canon R5
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Most people have had it happen: You get a knock on the door on Halloween and open it to discover teenagers at your door — pillowcase in hand and perhaps a costume and perhaps not. You hand over the candy, maybe just so they don’t come back to egg your house, but you might feel conflicted about it. Isn’t trick-or-treating for little kids? Are they taking advantage of tradition meant for people younger than they are? Do their parents know they’re out?

But a meme about teenaged trick-or-treaters is flipping the script on the common response to teens asking for candy on Halloween. Is it really that bad? In fact, couldn’t it actually be completely fine?

The meme, which was created by Good Living Guide, offers a really simple but meaningful reminder: “Teenagers who seem to old to trick-or-treat,” it reads, “choose childhood over partying. Be happy and hand over the Snickers.”

The meme has gone viral in the week leading up to Halloween, and has been shared by celebrities across social platforms, including Clarissa Explains It All’s Melissa Joan Hart, who posted it to her Facebook page on Oct. 30.

“This Halloween we should remember to be kind to all ‘kids’ regardless of age or abilities. Be generous and offer a treat to all who trick or treat tomorrow if you participate,” she wrote.

And it’s such a valid point: Life is short and the more years you get to trick-or-treat, the better. Why put an age limit on a wholesome, community-driven celebration that doesn’t hurt anyone? And why waste a single second of Spooky Season being grumpy?

Not to mention, shouldn’t we all be completely pleased that these teens are dropping in on their neighbors and eating candy instead of getting into all of the sorts of trouble teens get into on Halloween, like TP-ing houses and throwing eggs (I mean, sure, maybe they do that after they trick-or-treat, but still)?

A 2019 poll by Today found that almost half of respondents think it’s never too old to trick-or-treat, while a Slate poll from 2016 found that 40% of adults think 14 is the right cutoff age.

Many of the people in the meme’s comments agreed with the fresh take.

“This!!!” said one grandmother. “My grandson has been working all week getting costumes ready for him and his friend. They are 17 & 18 yr olds that don’t go out & party.”

Some shared stories from when they tried to go when they were a bit too old.

“I remember being 12 and having people tell me i was too old and closing their doors in my face,” one woman shared. “That was the last time i went trick or treating.”

An autistic woman chimed in as well — and made a super strong point.

“I’m far too old for trick r treating,” she wrote, “but my neighbourhood knows that I’m autistic and I love it too much to stop! And the better my outfits, the cooler my treat bags are! I’m truly blessed to have such an amazing community who put up with my shenanigans all year round, I love them all very dearly. They are truly some of the most patient folks I’ve ever known.”

Others in the comments pointed out that local regulations disallow teens from hitting the streets on Halloween — and what a shame that is.

“I wish my area was friendly to teens,” one wrote. “They refuse to allow anyone over the age of 12 to trick or treat. We moved here and were so disappointed. It’s ruined the holiday for us for sure.”

Sure enough, some cities have restrictions on trick-or-treating that put a damper on the fun and make it difficult for people of different abilities to enjoy the holiday. According to USA Today, places like Charleston, South Carolina, Belleville, Illinois, and St. Michaels, Maryland, have age limits on trick-or-treating that range from 12 to 14.

A bunch of cities and towns in Virginia also have official limits, including Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Norfolk — some under penalty of a $100 fine and six months of jail time.

Whether or not it’s illegal in your neighborhood or not, though, consider happily dropping that Twix bar into the bag or any teens that show up at your door tonight. You’re only young once.