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how many licks to the center of a tootsie pop

    How many licks does a tootsie pop take? The world may never learn. Right? Do you remember that commercial with the little boy (and Mr. Owl)? I do.

    Did you know that this commercial lasts a lot longer than the one we all know and love? The original commercial shows a young boy speaking to a cow and then talking to a fox, a turtle, and Mr. Owl. Different people tested how many licks the campaign took after it was published. Swarthmore Junior High School and the University of Michigan conducted their experiments. Purdue University found that their licking machines took 364 and 252 respectively from their volunteers.

    Michigan’s licking machines took 411 steps to reach the center. Swarthmore completed all tasks with human tongues in an average of just 144 licks. After reading about all these interesting experiments, I decided to join in the fun. I quickly gathered my fellow participants, gave them all lollipops, & we were on our journey. The results surprised me.

    The Tootsie Pop debate could last for decades.

    Tootsie Roll Industries has shared the following information on their official website: An engineering student at Michigan invents their locking mechanism. The machine needed 411 licks for the Tootsie Pop’s center to be reached. A group of middle school students tried something more traditional, licking Tootsie Pops only. They could get the center of Tootsie Pops with an astonishing 144 licks.

    Reddit was the place where the discussion was rekindled when one user shared the Perdue-University study’s results. UnstuckTimePilgrim stated that they performed their lick testing as children, and it took them 1,150 attempts to reach the center. They received a Tootsie Roll Company certificate and neighborhood fame to recognize their efforts. Other users shared similar results, with lick counts from 1,012 up to 1,436. Freeman7-13 claimed that it took only 800 licks for a Tootsie Pop science experiment to be completed at school.


    1. To use regular-sized Tootsiepops (no minis!) ).
    2. Record the truthful number of licks.
    3. Must be the one who recorded all of the licks in this experiment.
    4. Be able to see and touch the centerpiece.


    This is why I am calling it the “pre-round,” as the first Tootsie Roll that I tried was missing the Tootsie Roll core. I was fortunate to get more than one cherry-flavored Tootsie Pop. Since there wasn’t a center, I licked the TootsiePop until the end. The total was 910 licks and two bites.

    Cherry: 1st round

    Cherry was the very first TootsiePop I tried. Fortunately, the middle of this Tootsie Roll had a Tootsie Roll. The flavor was terrific, despite it being artificial and all. Unfortunately, it took me around 480 licks before I got to the middle. The result was some bright red teeth and a bright yellow tongue.

    2nd Round: Orange

    After that, I grabbed an orange TootsiePop. This one tasted horrible. It tasted like fruit-flavored cough medication. Although I could smell the Tootsie Pop in the sucker after 300 licks, I couldn’t see the middle until 454 licks.

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