McDonald’s Beloved Halloween Boo Buckets Will Be Back This Month

Want some nostalgia with your cheeseburger? After rumors that McDonald’s Halloween pails could come back, the fast-food chain officially announced their return on Thursday. The pails will be available at participating McDonald’s locations nationwide in the US starting Oct. 18.

On Thursday, the fast-food chain’s Twitter account posted a GIF of three buckets — pumpkin orange, slime green and ghostly white — with the words “Halloween Happy Meal” in a spooky font and a “10.18.”

“Guess who’s coming back,” McDonald’s wrote in the caption. McDonald’s didn’t immediately respond to a request for confirmation.

What are McDonald’s Halloween Boo Buckets?

Back in 1986, McDonald’s started offering its Happy Meal kids meal in cute little Halloween-themed buckets, which can double as a kid’s trick-or-treat pail — if they’re not out for maximum candy, that is. Happy Meals usually come in cardboard boxes shaped kind of like little houses, so the buckets were a spook-tacular treat.

What do the 2022 Halloween Boo Buckets look like?

McDonald’s is offering three different colors — the white ghost, orange pumpkin, and green witch, aka McBoo, McPunk’n and McGoblin. One notable difference from past years: The lids are unusual. Looks like there’s a raised decoration for each lid — a witch’s hat for McGoblin, a pumpkin top for McPunk’n, and what appears to be a white pumpkin top for McBoo. But it’s not clear from the photo if that decoration is part of a lid that covers the top, or just a separate piece of plastic, and the bucket itself is open. Guess we’ll find out soon.

Also, customers should know that these Happy Meals don’t come with additional toys. The bucket is the toy. But McDonald’s new adult Happy Meals do come with toys — classic McDonald’s figures, plus one new creation, that all have four eyes.

What did the original McDonald’s Halloween buckets look like?

The three original designs were all orange, and had the names that McDonald’s is reusing in 2022 — McPunk’n, McBoo and McGoblin. All looked like jack-o-lanterns, just with different faces. McPunk’n looks happy, McBoo looks slightly started, and McGoblin looks … sleepy, but he’s probably supposed to look scary.

Ghost and witch McDonald’s Halloween buckets

A few years later, McDonald’s added white ghost and green witch designs. They all looked pretty happy — even the supposedly spooky witch. Here they are in an ad from 1990. As the commercial explains, the ghost bucket even glows in the dark. (Don’t think too much about how the Chicken McNuggets are busying themselves making sauce, presumably to be used in their own consumption.)

When did McDonald’s stop making Halloween buckets?

Nightmare Nostalgia has a wonderful timeline of the history, if you really want to delve into a fast-food chain’s promotional past. (Not knocking you if you do, because I am one of you.) Some of the bigger changes involved a switch to vinyl glow-in-the-dark trick-or-treat bags, called McBoo Bags. In 1992, the buckets were redesigned to include cookie cutters that popped off the top. That had to be a high-water mark for McDonald’s Halloween bucket creativity. Hope somebody got a raise that year.

After that, the pails kept being tweaked, and finally vanished in 2016, going out with a It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, design.

Unreleased Halloween buckets we’ll never see

According to YouTuber Consumer Time Capsule, there were six proposed Halloween buckets that were never released, including this purr-fect black cat. Whoa, we missed out on some pop-culture goodness here. There’s also a wonderful McMummy.