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McDonald's Halloween Pails Will Be Back In a Few Days—Here's How to Get Creative With Them

From purses to planters, the festive buckets are easily Halloween's hottest accessory.

Spooky rumors swirled for weeks leading up to the big announcement, but it's now official: McDonald's iconic Halloween Pails are indeed returning to participating U.S. locations this fall.

The chain's Halloween Happy Meals, which feature three different spooky buckets, will become available on Tuesday, October 18, and will stick around until October 31, or until supplies last. So don't wait until the afterlife if you're looking to snag one!

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First launched in 1986, McDonald's Halloween Pails quickly became a major part of the holiday for countless '80s and '90s kids and adolescents. Some 20 years later, they disappeared from the ephemera of the spooky season.

Numerous iterations of the Pails have come and gone in the years and decades since their debut, but no design has resonated with customers quite like the original version. That's why there's so much excitement surrounding this announcement. McDonald's original Halloween Pail trio—McBoo, McPunk'n, and McGoblin—are coming back in a big way.

All three were originally orange in the late 1980s, but by the early '90s, McBoo had adopted a white tone and McGoblin turned green, while McPunk'n stayed orange.

True to their targeted audience, the Halloween Pails were originally intended to be used for trick-or-treating. However, McDonald's and its fans has found other creative ways to make use of the pail this Halloween (and beyond.)

The perfect fashion accessory

If you're heading to a Halloween costume party this year instead of trick or treating, a Halloween Pail from McDonald's can make for a fun accessory that's sure to be a conversation starter.

Fashion TikToker @saracampz showed off just a few fun, freaky ways to add any one of the three available Pails to a Halloween outfit or costume.


#ad Spooky season is upon us, and what better way to celebrate than by styling @mcdonalds McBoo, McPunk'n, and McGoblin Halloween Pails in my own unique way🎃👻💚 #fyp #mcdonalds #ootd #halloweenstyle #grwm #styleinspo #fitcheck #maximalism #maximalist #mcboo #mcpunkin #mcgoblin #fashiontiktok

♬ Halloween ・ cute horror song – PeriTune

Gruesome gardening

Who says the Halloween Pails have to hold candy? TikToker @laurdiy breaks down how to easily construct your own DIY plant hanger using just a couple of Halloween Pails, some string, and a little bit of ingenuity.


it's that time of year 🎃, @mcdonalds halloween pails are BACK #ad #diy

♬ original sound – LAUREN ˚✧* ༘

Monster (music) mash

Certain songs are synonymous with Halloween, and you can use McDonald's Halloween Pails to help put together your own spooky soundtrack. TikToker @sidclusive used his Pails as a mini-drum set!


#ad Who remembers McDonald's Halloween Pails? They're back and look what I did with them @mcdonalds #halloween #duetthis

♬ original sound – Sidclusive

Deadly décor

One of the best aspects of Halloween is all of the fun decorations we get to put up around and outside our homes, and McDonald's Halloween Pails are a great way to spook up your domestic décor.

TikToker @themartinezcasita posted a fun, short tutorial showing how to create DIY floating ghosts using the Pails.


#ad The Halloween pails are back at @mcdonalds! We turned ours into floating ghosts for our front porch 👻 #hometiktok #halloweendecor #mcdonalds #halloweeen

♬ Halloween ・ cute horror song – PeriTune

Boo beats

The only limit on possible Halloween Pail innovations is your imagination. Take TikToker @beatsbyjblack, for example, who created an entire beat using nothing but Halloween Pails, spoons, a rubber band, and ice!


#ad @McDonald's Halloween Pails are back! you already know I'm going to make a dope beat out of these! Let's go!

♬ original sound – Beatsbyjblack

How will you make use of the hottest Halloween accessory this season?

John Anderer
John Anderer is a writer who specializes in science, health, and lifestyle topics. Read more about John