That Time My Roommate Tried to Buy Me Death M&M’s

Caitlin Doughty

Exhibit A, black lace parasol for my birthday.

My roommate is the best, guys.  Not only is she a sex therapist, meaning we live in Ye Ol’ Haus of Eros & Thanatos, she also gives a good gift.

This Yule-season, dear roommate Jill was thinking even bigger.  She had recently ordered her mother a bag of personalized M&M’s because for some reason that’s a thing.  You can get your face printed on M&M’s, words printed on M&M’s, your dog printed on M&M’s, all the things printed on M&M’s.


M&M’s happens to think personalized M&M’s are good for pretty much ANYTHING. Anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, weddings, father’s day, mother’s day, baby showers, bar mitzvahs, sports events, animal sacrifices, etc.  But as Jill learned the hard way, the one thing personalized M&M’s don’t make a delightful chocolate companion to?  DEATH.


Here we have the first three images she submitted for my fanciful Christmas death-themed M&M’s.  I mean, c’mon, cute as heck, right?

M&M’s promptly replied with a rejection notice that read:

We wanted to thank you for your recent order (0011830895) of personalized MY M&M’S and we are very excited to assist you in creating the perfect experience.

We want to confirm that we have received your order; however the following image and/or text included with your order cannot be used:

  • Too dark/Shadows on the face.
  • Too bright.
  • Too blurry.

HeadstoneJill, undaunted in her quest, selected a different image of the noble tombstone.

Again, the same rejection from M&M’s.  “Did you know why they were rejecting them at this point?” I asked.

“Oh, yeah, totally, but I just figured I would keep doing it until they gave up.  A battle of wills with Mars North America.”

SkullFinally, the selection of the skull, really the most elegant I think.  This is where “Katie,” the person on the receiving end of personalized M&M orders had to fess up to the real reason for the aforementioned rejections:

It is our policy not to print anything in reference to death on our My M&M’s® Brand candies as it may be viewed as offensive and may not represent the fun and whimsical nature of our brand.  We hope that you will respect our decision to ensure that our products will continue to be a colorful, light-hearted addition to family celebrations which is one of the goals of My M&Ms Brand.

Please be advised we are also unable to print your message reading “DEATH”.

There you have it.  M&M’s are delicious, but they are not a death positive.  Down with the death negative corporate machine!  Skull M&M’s for everyone.  Guess they’re not good for EVERY occassion, i.e. funerals, eh M&M’s?

In the end, the fact that M&M’s personally rejected my death M&M’s as a threat to their brand identity was the greatest Christmas miracle of them all.

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  • mina

    omg.. thats so ridiculous.. ;D

  • Alexis Dietz

    It gets sillier when I think about their Halloween commercials. Would the response be something like, “Our commercials were fine b/c no skulls, lolz.” Whatever.

  • TedV

    Hershey’s might oblige: According to the Overview section “They cause a sensation.” What could possibly be better?

  • Anonymous

    Somebody ought to remind them that this stance could be interpreted as racist – because, Day of the Dead is an important holiday for (obviously) people who don’t work in the office that made this policy decision.

  • I’m going to need to know where I can get that parasol.

    • Kate

      Search Battenburg lace parasol on Ebay and you will find a bazillion.

  • realdeal

    WOW – thats cool — get a life….. LOSER!

  • LA Richardson

    What about yellow candies with frowny faces? Or smiley faces with x’s for eyes? C U L8R on the reverse!

  • Moraliae

    I bet they’d do angels, though…

  • Gwenhwyfar

    Caitlin, love your blog and your work!

    Sidenote: I’m pretty sure you will know the character of Abby Sciuto the Lab-Tech from the TV-series NCIS, but please confirm this. You two could be sisters if she wasn’t a creation, although I’ve heard in this case art imitates life (with regards to the actress). Picture for reference.

  • Micah 李 文 Jung

    bastards since they would proably print one for Halloween

  • Gushi

    You don’t want to sell me Death Candies. You want to go home and rethink your life.

  • MerlinMedic

    Give them kudos for admitting the real reason. You won’t find many companies that will do that for fear of offending someone.