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Poor Charlie Brown...

"I don't understand it. I went trick-or-treating and all I got was a bag full of rocks."

In Halloween Episodes, some characters go trick-or-treating. They eagerly open their candy bags and ready themselves for the candy. The adult reaches into a bowl and grabs some ... fruit? This will typically make the children mad, usually resulting in the vandalizing of said adult's house.

Also can happen from the adult's point of view. If it is in this form, the adult will desperately try to convince the children that the item is tasty and nutritious. The adult will then be truly and sincerely shocked that their house has been targeted.

Note that the "treat" does not always have to be edible, or even a likely one, like the eponymous rock.

The Trope Namer is from the Peanuts Halloween Special, Its the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.

Compare My New Gift Is Lame

Examples of I Got a Rock include:

Anime and Manga

  • In the OEL I Luv Halloween, the first house the main characters go to gives them an apple, and after that all the houses give them Hostess Snack-like treats. They attempt to break the 'curse' by hiding a razor blade in the apple and giving it to the chief of police, who has the old lady who gave it to them arrested.

Card Games

  • While there is a Munchkin card with this name, it refers to a treasure chest rather than Halloween. Still counts. (Oddly, the rock can come in extremely handy to break a tie or instantly smash the Glass Jaw).
  • Also a card name in the Too Good to Last CCG Net Runner, where the "Rock" in question was a mass driver launch from orbit which the corp could launch at the runner. A tough card to deploy, but if you could get it off, it squashed the runner flat.


  • A Looney Tunes comic had Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck trick or treating. Daffy gets only charcoal and rocks. On the other hand, Bugs gets candy and money, but is annoyed he didn't get carrots.
  • In an issue of the Incredible Hulk (the intelligent) Hulk studies his officially licensed Avengers action figure. He comments that while everybody else has some cool accessory (Captain America's shield, etc.), "I got a rock."



  • In the Goosebumps book "The Haunted Mask", Carly Beth gets apples. Since Evil Feels Good with the mask on, she throws it at the house.

Live Action TV

  • In That 70s Show, Kitty decides to give out raisins. Eggs are promptly thrown at the windows.

 Kitty: "Raisins are nature's candy!"

Red: "And eggs are nature's hand grenade."

    • From that same episode:

 Fez: An apple? Where's my candy, you son of a bitch?!

  • In a Saturday Night Live sketch from the 1970s, the extraterrestrial Coneheads give out beer and "fried chicken embryos" (eggs). None of the children retaliate, but the Coneheads do get an angry visit from neighbourhood parents, who are mollified when the aliens give their explanatory Catch Phrase, "We are from France." They apologize about the beer but continue dispensing the fried eggs when assured that's okay
    1. Mung (they didn't actually know what it was)
    2. Hurl (they did know what that was)
    3. Candy apples (especially when that house has cats that shed on the apples)
    4. Pop Rocks (the old Urban Legends)
    5. Pennies (self evident)
  • In a Beverly Hills, 90210 episode, Cindy Walsh gave out raisins, calling them "nature's candy".
  • In an episode of Married With Children, the Bundys' yuppie neighbours (you know the ones) give out potatoes on Halloween...
  • The Halloween episode of Good Eats, which is about making various kinds of candy, uses this as the impetus; Alton's nephew Elton has been given health-food candies by his mother for his school's Halloween event, and Alton offers to replace it.
  • On his Character Blog, Lassiter of Psych says to note down the people who do this and he will arrest them.
  • When Roseanne was shown her horrible future by The Ghost Of Halloween Yet To Come, she was giving kids fun-sized tubes of toothpaste.
  • On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Scoobies are drafted by Principal Snyder into taking groups of kids Trick or Treating on Halloween. The first house they visit gives out toothbrushes. (And Xander coaches his assigned group of kids on avoiding "rocks" and extorting the best/most candy.)
  • When KISS was on Mad TV, they did a bit where they went trick-or-treating and Peter Criss got a rock... but he loves rock!
  • In Do Over, Joel's parents gave people energy bars.
  • In an episode of Millennium a depressed man gives young Frank Black a cigarette.
  • In the Christmas Special A Muppet Family Christmas, there's not only a rock, it's a regifted rock -- and getting it is regarded as a good thing. The "nice yellow pebble" has been circulated as a gift among the Fraggles thirty-seven times, then is given to Robin the Frog, who gives it to Grover.
  • In an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, Frank runs out of candy, but starts giving out what he thinks are chocolate coins to keep the neighborhood kids from egging the house. Angry parents soon start to arrive to find out why their kids are being given condoms.
  • WWE ECW. Guess what the Boogeyman gives out on Halloween.

Newspaper Comics

  • FoxTrot has Andy giving out health foods.
    • FoxTrot also had a comic where Jason and Marcus went to each house in the neighborhood to get a sample of what they'd be giving out on Halloween so that they could avoid this. Of course, everyone gave them lame foods so that they wouldn't come back.
    • While watching the Trope Namer, Jason concocts a scheme were Charlie Brown would eat the rocks, get surgery for his intestines and sue the pants off the people who gave him rocks, for not telling him they weren't candy.

Real Life / Truth In Television

  • Dentists:
    • Good or nice dentists will give out toothbrushes, to the disappointment of the kids.
    • Mean dentists will give out the best candy, eagerly rubbing their hands together at the idea of torturing the kids in the dentist's chair soon getting a couple thousand bucks from the kid's insurance provider for services rendered.
    • The best dentists will open their door in full dentist garb, a scary smile, and give regular candy to those who haven't run in fear yet.
      • Complete with functioning power drill.
    • My dentist always gives me sugarless candy. It's delicious.
  • A common tactic used by fundamentalist religious types is apparently to hand out Chick Tracts to trick-or-treaters, to show them the error of participating in a Satanic ritual and show them the truth about yadda yadda yadda... Hey, why does my front door smell of eggs?
    • Don't forget those folded over "$20's" which when opened are revealed not to be cash but "even more valuable than money" scripture verses.
      • The really odious fundies give those as tips at restaurants.
  • During the 2008 election season, a woman made local news because she asked trick-or-treaters who their parents were voting for...and refused to give any candy to the kids who said, "Obama." Then Anonymous struck, and there was much rejoicing.
  • A pediatrician who was offering money to the kids at her door, and asking that they give their loot to her. The newspaper however did not report if her trees/shrubbery got T Ped or not, but I have no doubt it did.
  • Apples and popcorn balls are commonly subject to this trope because unless the giver is a trusted friend, most parents will make their children throw them away.
  • Those incredibly flimsy spider-shaped plastic rings that are supposed to glow in the dark but don't.

Video Games

  • In City of Heroes, the Halloween event includes a Mini Game in which you can "trick or treat" for Halloween-themed items or temporary abilities. One of these is a rock (ranged weapon, minor damage).
    • It's common in-game for a teammate to announce "I got a rock" and for the rest of the team to congratulate that player.
  • In the early days of World of Warcraft, Blizzard used to occasionally release audio plays featuring a band of gnome adventurers who are frequently mistaken for children. It became a running gag during the holiday episodes that one of them would get a rock as a gift, causing another to ask if it's one of the many types of ore or gems in the game. "No, just a rock."
  • The name of this trope is a cheat code in Geneforge. It gives you one rock. No use has ever been found for this.
  • Early on in Costume Quest, when the siblings Wren and Reynold go trick-or-treating, the adult in the very first house they visit is so repulsed by their costumes that all they give them is some old marzipan they dug up from their couch.

Web Animation

  • The Homestar Runner Halloween cartoon, The House That Gave Sucky Treats, is a game where you hand out candy, and some of the treats are traditional "unpopular" treats or otherwise unsuitable. You can give Marzipan (who is vegan) a steak, which causes her to complain "Is this a joke? It's not funny." (While Strong Bad slips several of them into her treat pail) You can give Strong Sad a can of Campbell's soup (he's dressed as Andy Warhol), Necco wafers or some Baker's chocolate. Also, you can give Mary Jane (a sort of cheap honey-flavored taffy) to Pom-Pom and the Poopsmith, prompting the Poopsmith to hold up a sign reading "Give us something good instead." Furthermore, Strong Bad will complain about any of the treats you can give him: a fun-size Butterfinger ("What's 'fun' about less candy?"), an apple ("What are you, a dentist? Or a hippie? Or some kind of hippie dentist?"), or a marshmallow bunny ("All you've got is old freakin' Easter candy?!"). Finally, you can give Homestar change, at which point he sarcastically thanks you for "adding a step to my Halloween process".
    • When Strong Mad and The Cheat show up, a pile of rocks shows up as one of the treat choices. Give it to them, and Strong Mad will just eat the rocks like normal candy, and wash them down with cola. Then The Cheat's head a'splodes.
      • If you give Homestar the Circus Peanuts instead, he'll start singing "Entry of the Gladiators" (this bugger right here) until you shut the door in his face. Then he'll knock again so he can keep singing at you.
    • Brainkrieg's song "Decomposing Pumpkins" has two sequences saying things like "An apple is not candy! (You get egged! You get egged! You get egged!)"
  • The Gag Dub "It's the Great Dolemite, Charlie Brown" has African-American Charlie Brown receive baked potatoes when he and his friends trick-or-treat in the white neighborhood.
  • Hella Weenie, the second episode of Radiskull & Devil Doll. A neighbour who looks like a cross between Ned Flanders and Weird Al Yankovik has a bowl with supersized chocolate bars. When a kid comes to his house, the man reaches into the bowl and pulls out a hidden tangerine, to the kid's disappointment.

Web Comics

  • Bug shows us the worst houses to visit during Halloween. These houses give out, in turn, a newborn, a detonator, and a pencil; take your pick
  • Inverted in Housepets, since chocolate is toxic to cats and dogs alike:

 Marvin as pirate: I got a marble!

Grape as devil: I got a piece of flint!

Sasha as witch: I got a bone!

Peanut with a blanket over him: I got a chocolate...

  • A Basic Instructions strip has Scott tell the trick-or-treaters to go to hell, and they inform him that if he doesn't give them candy, they will egg his house. He responds "If you have eggs, you don't need candy". Later he decides that the best way to scare children is to act in a more subtle manner, and he starts pouring Mr. Pibb directly into a child's candy bucket.

 Kid: That's enough, Mister.

Scott: Nonsense! There's no such thing as enough Mr. Pibb!

Kid: Really, sir...


Kid: No, sir!


Web Original

Western Animation

  • In the Trope Namer, Its the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, all of the other kids get candy but Charlie Brown always gets a rock in his treat bag.
    • If this were to happen in real life, the home-owner would run the risk of having the rock returned... through a window.
    • Parodied in Family Guy when Cleveland, Joe and Quagmire compare their tax refunds.

 Cleveland: I got a big tax refund. Uncle Sam sent me $500.

Joe: I got $600!

Quagmire: I got $850!

Charlie Brown: I got a rock.

    • Bad Gods presents the remix.
    • Robot Chicken had a skit where the Peanuts gang got various countries for a Geography assignment. What did Charlie Brown get? "I got Iraq"
    • And parodied in the NSFW Gag Dub It's the Great Dolemite, Charlie Brown!: "I got another mothafuckin' POTATO!!"
  • In The Fairly Odd Parents, Timmy's mom and dad give Chester and AJ advice for not having good costumes. Surprisingly, the children do nothing to the Turners' residence.
    • Of course it's a Double Subversion when they go to the principal: she covers them in reflective tape without giving them anything, and threatens to have them held back a grade if they TP her house. However, Chester says he's already being held back.
  • Billy gets a rock in his trick-or-treat bag in an episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy. He eats it, too.
    • In the Poorly-Disguised Pilot Underfist, Billy complains about getting pennies... because of how awful they taste.
  • In one of The Simpsons Halloween specials Marge tries to serve fruit to the children. They boo her. When she reminds them "Fruit is nature's candy!", they boo her even more.
    • In another Treehouse of Horror opening Bart complains that Flanders gave them toothpaste, in which Lisa complains about it being mini toothpaste and another when Bart empties his trick or treat bag (While dressed as Charlie Brown).

 Bart: Good grief! This candy's terrible. Circus peanuts, raisins, nicotine gum, a library card.

  • King of the Hill subverted this when Hank had a flashback to trick-or-treating as a kid. One house gave out king sized chocolate bars, but was vandalized anyway, because the kids only got one bar. Total.
    • Also, it was his own house.
  • On American Dragon Jake Long, the title character's Annoying Younger Sibling Haley went trick-or-treating dressed first as a princess, and then as a dragon princess, and then as a dancing fire juggling dragon princess but all she got were apples. Meanwhile Grandpa, who was with her, kept getting lots of candy and complimented on his wise old man costume. Eventually, Haley received candy when she changed her costume to a wise old man.
  • On an episode of Beavis and Butthead, Mr. Van Dreesan offered the trick-or-treaters a choice between organic nut clusters and a bumper sticker that said "My other car's a bike." Beavis and Butt-Head took the stickers.
  • In the South Park episode "Pinkeye," Stan is carrying a taser as part of his Halloween kit:

 Kyle: What's that?

Stan: For shocking people who try to give us granola treats, or something.

Cartman: Yeah, granola pisses me off.

  • In a Baby Looney Tunes episode, the babies go trick or treating and they all get candy, except for Daffy. Strangely, Daffy keeps getting sucky treats like toothbrushes and combs from the same people who gave his friends candy. But then, it's Daffy.
  • On Family Guy, Adam West gives out cornish hens.