Ah, popcorn—possibly the most universally cherished movie time snack, and definitely the easiest to eat buckets of without even realizing it. Most of us stick to a traditional approach of topping our popcorn with salt and butter, and sometimes we even spice things up a bit with some sweet and salty mix. But weird popcorn toppings? Usually not on people's radars.

I spent all four of my high school years at a small boarding school in Connecticut. Curfews were strict, the town was small, and options were very limited. So, a couple of my friends and I took it upon ourselves to venture into uncharted territory and experiment—with popcorn. We soon discovered that a world of opportunity awaited our mindless snacking indulgences. What follows is our groundbreaking findings of the weirdest, most unexpectedly delicious popcorn toppings.

1. Old Bay

Sam Jesner

I grew up in Maryland, and, as any Marylander knows, Old Bay goes on absolutely everything. This mid-Atlantic crab seasoning is a bit of an acquired taste, but its unique mixture of herbs and satisfying saltiness tastes great when mixed into popcorn with a bit of butter.

2. Cream Cheese

sweet, cheese, butter, dairy, cream, dairy product, milk
Caroline Ingalls

Honestly, I'm not sure if I can recommend this option because it's just too good, and too unhealthy. The method to eating popcorn with cream cheese is not to mix it together, but to dip the individual pieces of popcorn into the tub of cream cheese. Needless to say, my friends and I polished off quite a few tubs between the three of us.

3. Olive Oil & Black Pepper

olive oil, herb, tea, oil, rosemary
Jessica Kelly

If you're in search of a healthier option, try mixing olive oil into your popcorn rather than butter, and season it with some cracked black pepper. A little known fact is that plain popcorn is actually a relatively low-cal snack, so putting healthier ingredients on it can actually make it a pretty healthy snacking option.

4. Chili Sauce

beer, soda, juice, alcohol, hot sauce, liquor, condiment
Stephanie DeVaux

When I say Chili Sauce, I don't mean hot sauce or Sriracha, I mean Valentina. One of my friends was from Mexico, and she always brought bottles back to flavor her snacks while at school. Valentina doesn't have the same sweetness of Sriracha, but it's still thicker than hot sauce, which is why I consider it the best option if you're in search of something a bit spicier.

5. Nutritional Yeast & Parmesan 

coffee, condiment, cereal, relish, chocolate, salt
Jedd Marrero

Don't let the yeast fool you, this weird popcorn topping is really great. I personally prefer to mix it in with a bit of olive oil, but it's also great with butter, or even plain. Similarly to the cracked pepper, these toppings are still pretty good for you (better than others, at least), and are surprisingly really delicious. 

6. Reese's Pieces

candy, Reeses, Halloween
Emma Salters

These sweets are my childhood favorite. Reese's pieces put a unique spin on the sweet and savory approach to popcorn with the incorporation of a bit of nuttiness. Best served with the popcorn still dressed with salt.

7. Hot Chocolate

coffee, chocolate, espresso, mocha, milk
Xinwei Zeng

This one wins for the most weird popcorn topping, and you'll either love it or hate it. Hot chocolate isn't a topping, per say, but rather a dip. Listen to the satisfying sizzling of your popcorn as you dunk the pieces into the hot chocolate. A little bit soggy, and a little bit confusing, but enjoyable nonetheless. 

8. Ranch Dressing

vegetable, salad dressing, condiment, dairy product, italian dressing
Brooke Van Waalwijk

Let's be honest, what isn't ranch delicious on? Make sure to toss the popcorn around a fair amount after drizzling this dressing on top to make sure it spreads evenly.

9. Olive Oil, Rice Vinegar, Salt & Cayenne

chili, pepper, salsa, chilis, Market, Spicy, Spice
Dea Uy

This combination is interesting and delicious. The spiciness of the cayenne creeps up on you after the initial salt and vinegar flavor, but it isn't so overwhelming that you can't come back for more.

Whether you prefer your popcorn sweet, salty, or downright weird, one (or maybe even all) of these unexpected toppings is sure to wake up your tastebuds. So, rather than instinctively grabbing the salt during your next movie night, let your imagination run wild. Try something a little bit different. You might be pleasantly surprised.