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Tootsie Roll Pops “Legend of the Indian Wrapper”

Contributed by Nick Sherman on Oct 23rd, 2015. Artwork published in .
Tootsie Roll Pops “Legend of the Indian Wrapper”
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.

A popular urban legend claims that any wrapper for a Tootsie Roll Pop that has an image of an American Indian shooting a star with a bow and arrow can be redeemed for free candy. It is not true. Tootsie Roll Industries created a special letter to send to any hopeful seekers of free candy. As describes it:

The company originally sent special letters expressing their regret to prize-seekers, then in 1982 they created their “Legend of the Indian Wrapper” to accompany those letters “with the hope that children’s liking for a good story would help to assuage their disappointment.”


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35 Comments on “Tootsie Roll Pops “Legend of the Indian Wrapper””

  1. Amanda Chambers says:
    Nov 1st, 2017 10:05 pm
    This is not an urban legend it is true in Richardson, Texas gas stations will honor it!
  2. Luke Frangos says:
    May 14th, 2018 8:09 pm

    I like the story. It is very interesting, but I guess that’s the point. I myself have an Indian wrapper and searched up the rare image. I found the rumor was false, but the rumor I heard was different. I heard that if you get the Indian wrapper you could get 1,000 dollars if you redeemed it. Welp, I guess both rumors are false. :/

  3. This is just an attempt to throw us off the trail. I, for one, am convinced a fabulous prize awaits those who seek out the Indian star wrapper.

  4. jim fox seely says:
    Aug 2nd, 2021 4:48 pm

    In the ’80s I worked for a Mom and Pop store that did redeem a “full-Indian” wrapper. To nice kids.

  5. rich draper says:
    Sep 22nd, 2021 8:20 pm

    I have one with the word grape and a star at the end of the arrow. The wrapper is grape colored and I have had this for a long time! Is it worth anything?

  6. Casey Michel says:
    Nov 11th, 2021 3:42 am

    When I was a kid probably sometime between 2000–2001, my brother and I bought tootsie pops from Walgreens in Gilbert, AZ. The cashier told us that if we found a star on the wrapper we would get free ones. Sure as hell my bro found a star on his and the guy gave him a free one. So it has worked in a least one instance!

  7. Becky Ascheman says:
    Aug 10th, 2022 6:24 pm

    Back home in Benson Minnesota they used to do that we get free suckers for those rappers so that is true

  8. Dana A Reaves says:
    Aug 25th, 2022 11:59 pm

    It was always true where I grew up. All stores honored the wrapper with Indian shooting bow and arrow. Fun times

  9. Where I grew up, If you found a full picture of him( not even a little bit could be cut off) It would bring you good luck, and fortune. Of course I trusted that theory as a little kid, then when I moved people would get them and keep the rapers until they had ten, then they would cash them in for a free one at the school office. High school comes along and everyone forgets about the legend…

  10. Devon Greenwell says:
    Jan 18th, 2023 5:10 pm

    I’m 39 years old and remembering hearing about it. My parents wouldn’t let me even try because “It’s just for advertising like the golden ticket for Wonka bars” and I finally remembered this after my kids got me a Tootsie pop and saw it on the wrapper. Need to keep the legend alive!

  11. Donnovan Simpson says:
    Jun 8th, 2023 6:44 pm

    I used to take my wrappers to a dillons In Lawrence ks and was able to get free ones all the time. I wonder how so many of us were able to do this if it was not a policy by tootsie

  12. Colin Garcia says:
    Jun 15th, 2023 4:03 am

    This most definitely is NOT a myth or legend. It worked when I was a kid, at multiple locations.

  13. When was the last Indian Chief published on a tootsie roll wrapper

  14. Jb12883 says:
    Jul 22nd, 2023 5:15 am

    Not sure where you get information – Tootsie Roll Industries may not honor it, but the gas station by my childhood home. I’ve personally sone it many times.

  15. Tiffanee says:
    Aug 24th, 2023 1:06 am

    This was actually true for a lot of us kids growing up. I remember turning in wrappers with an Indian and Star and getting free suckers. This wasn’t a “written policy” as much as it was just a fun thing that people used to do for kids. It is actually one of the fond memories I have as a child. I suppose humans used to actually like kids lol

  16. It’s true – back in my day 1957–1960s they honored it and you would get a prize or another tootsie pop.

  17. Tootsie should make it true , just to boost sales, show that they like kids.

  18. Kathleen Bailey. says:
    Sep 16th, 2023 12:17 am

    I just always heard it meant good luck (I got one today) I don’t need good luck anymore cuz I found Jesus!

    *I’m 64 years old lol

  19. Crystal says:
    Sep 21st, 2023 10:01 pm

    I must say that I received free tootsie pops for the image.
    Also as a kid I did write a letter to the company and asked the question. It is true I did receive a letter back explaining it all. I still have it somewhere!

  20. Anonymous says:
    Oct 13th, 2023 3:39 am

    It was true in Iowa

  21. It was 100% true in NE Iowa in the early 80's. This is NOT an urban legend. It is FACT.

  22. I guess the people running the Tootsie Company don’t have a clue about the rules that use to be. Back in the 50's thru the 80's when I was a young girl, in Paso Robles, CA. my brothers and sisters loved it when they found an Indian shooting a star with bow & arrow on the wrapper. But if even a corner of a feather, bow, arrow, Indian was cut off you didn’t get anything, and believe me they looked lol. I wish they would bring that back. So, no it was never a folklore.

  23. Miloman says:
    Oct 16th, 2023 6:23 pm

    All of you people saying “It’s true because my local store gave it to us” doesn’t mean it’s Tootsie roll policy. It made kids return to stores and it was good for business. Our local store would do it for kids because they thought it was cute and good for sales.

  24. Scott says:
    Nov 2nd, 2023 4:57 am

    I grew up in the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Mountain Store would always honor the free tootsie pop indian. This is NOT an urban legend, it actually hapened.

  25. Michael Dodson says:
    Nov 2nd, 2023 9:07 am

    It is not a fabled urban legend or false rumor. It was in fact true. It may not have been an offer put on by the manufacturer but in past times you could trade in such wrappers at nearly any malt shop candy shop or most popular those old style neighborhood drug stores that doubled as convenience stores much like CVS or Walgreens but with a more neighborhood feel. Thrifty comes to mind for me where if you brought a shopping cart in from the parking lot you got a free ice cream cone. Id like to know if tootsie pop manufacturer actually did offer a free lollipop originally and if anyone still offers it now. November 1, 2023

  26. Rayharp says:
    Nov 2nd, 2023 11:55 pm

    When I was young, in mid 80's, I remember getting a free Tootsie pop every time the Indian guy was on the wrapper. My brother and I gambled that way sometimes with only dollar we had to get plenty candy and coke for both…lol Also gambled sometimes on the Dr. Pepper buy 1 get 1 free cap. That was a 20oz. I think. It shrunk and so did most candy. Good ole days

  27. Carole in Illinois says:
    Nov 5th, 2023 5:50 pm

    Does any place honor this wrapper exchange anymore? Just unwrapped a delicious cherry one with the full Indian.

  28. Just unwrapped a Tootsie Roll pop and the Indian shooting the star is on the wrapper. Got a big bag of pops (72 count)

    Can’t wait to see how many wrappers have the Indian on it.

  29. It never worked for me back in the 60's but not for a lack of trying. Now that I see it has worked for some of you, I may have to try again. I found an Indian wrapper today!

  30. I want a free sucker! I found an Indian on my wrapper. I wonder where I could cash it in around Sacramento area?

    I wish we could do this with other things too, like with lottery tickets or something… Wow! Just imagine lol

  31. Bonnie Harrah says:
    Dec 29th, 2023 7:38 pm

    How many different characters are used on the wrappers on Tootsie Roll Pops.

  32. More proof snipes is the worst. Countless gas stations honor this for kids

  33. Ugh ppl r dumb says:
    Jan 23rd, 2024 4:14 pm

    How is snopes “the worst” when what they’re stating is that the company that makes Tootsie pops has not ever had an official policy about this; they didn’t state that NO one does it, so some mom and pop shops redeeming these wrappers for kids, regardless of whatever official policies are over at tootsie have no bearing on what’s been stated by snopes here.

  34. I remember as a kid getting a wrapper with the full American Indian on it. I took it in and got a free sucker from it.

  35. Rick Feldmann says:
    May 23rd, 2024 8:55 pm

    Well I for one received free candy or Tootsie Roll pops when I gave them a wrapper with the Indian on it. The store was on NE 82nd and NE Glisan in Portland, Oregon back from 1957–1963. We as kids loved it!

    Rick Feldmann

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