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Tootsie Roll Pops are known for the catch phrase "How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?" The phrase was first introduced in an animated commercial which debuted on U.S. television in 1970.

No one knows. For the owl in the original commercial, it took three licks and then he bit into it. The whole point is that no one will ever know because you can't resist the great temptation of biting the candy shell to get to the center of a tootsie pop!

Additional Input from Contributors:

- This is one of the more profound questions ever posed to humankind and animal alike. To test this hypothesis correctly, you must stop counting the moment that the 'center' (the tootsie roll blob at the core of the pop) becomes exposed. That should be considered 'reaching the center'.
- It depends on a variety of factors such as the size of your mouth, the amount of saliva, etc. Basically, the world may never know. According to the producers of Tootsie Poops the consensus seems to be between 600-800 licks
- One...two...three... three.
- I got a bag of tootsie roll pops once that seemed to be mis-manufactured, and the tootsie roll center was peeking out of the candy on almost all of them... so for that bag, the answer was one. If you wanted to get right to the center... there it was already. So it also depends on the pops you have.
- Scientifically: What you have to do is measure the amount of saliva you produce per lick, measure the volume of the Tootsie Pop, find the amount each lick your saliva takes away from the pop, and divide that much by the total volume of the Tootsie Pop.
- From Tootsie Roll Inc.: "We've been asking the question since 1970. Many have tried to lick their way to the center of the Tootsie Pop, and many have failed for they couldn't help but bite into it. But for those proud few who do make it to the center, and manage to keep count of how many licks it takes, we hold a special place in our hearts."
- I spent three hours counting with my friend we got 765, 902, 730, and 877. So on average about 800.
- When asking this matter to theexpert on Tootsie pops, Chuck Norris, he explained to me that if you roundhouse kick the tootsie properly it will lick itself, so zero licks!
- In an experiment by Miah and Dr. Shin, it was proposed that it takes, on average, 413 licks to get to the center (see links below)
- There are many factors that would go into how many licks it takes such as:

- acidity of saliva
- coarseness of the tongue
- how much amylase (enzymes) you have in your mouth

- Depends on how you lick it, below are some results
Large licks:423

Small licks:752

There are several factors, needless to say, even if it's the same person counting, the # of licks will differ at each attempt. If you wanted to look at it semi-scientifically, the number of licks needed depend on these factors:

* Pressure per square inch the tongue is applied to the surface of the tootsie pop (TP)

* The average amount of square inch in contact between tongue and TP

* At what measurement from the center of the stick of the TP at which you declare that you have reached the center of the TP.

* The rotation factor of the TP - if the eater continues to lick one specific portion only to reach the center faster - or if licks are distributed evenly around the outer surface area of TP.

And to a lesser extent:

* Ambient temperature

* Use of teeth / or lack of teeth of eater

* Hunger of TP eater

* Boredom of TP eater

* Age of TP

- Lost count of licks
- Ran out of time
- Amount of saliva in the mouth
- The lollipop expired
- The temptation was to great and you bite down and took a bite
- Tongue size

1, 2, 3, CRUNCH!

The world may never know…

More answers

No, the flavor of it does not effect the number.

And it takes approx. 45, 86, 139, 176, 221, 330licks to reach the center of of a tootsie roll pop.

I disagree it takes 450 or 650 licks for me that is.

One! Two! Three! *crunch*

It all depends on how big your tongue is or how many times you lick it. There really isn't an accurate answer for how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop. Magazines say its about 360+ licks, but that's not completely accurate. Or maybe you can be like the owl and only take three and then CRUNCH, but if you have bad teeth i recommend you shouldn't do that :)

It takes 442 licks to get to the center, and about 276 to finish the center actually on this YouTube video i just watched it took 2,000,345 licks but im not sure it says that in a weird tongue speacking lol

My friend got to the center after 600 licks.

It depends on who you are-- what kind of question is that!?

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