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Worm in an Apple

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"I bring you greetings from Apple World!"

Unlike its fellow infested food tropes, such as Fly in the Soup and Ants at the Picnic, a worm in an apple stands out because it isn't beholden to a singular setting or context. This is largely courtesy of the apple aspect. An apple is a natural product that is picked instead of a dish that needs to be prepared. This means that a worm in an apple can show up everywhere and that the worm may be considered the apple's proper owner because it was there first. Apples also just so happen to be fruits that have both nutritional and religious connotations. The worm aspect may overlap with the Literal Bookworm, strengthened by the fact that apples have their own link with education in Apple for Teacher.

The simplest usage of a worm in an apple is as a Stock Joke, where someone takes a big bite out of a juicy, shiny, and usually red apple, only to violently spit it out after a few chews of diminishing conviction upon spotting a worm wriggling around inside. In a worse scenario, the worm is part of the initial bite. In a worse-worse scenario, the protagonist gets the Incredible Shrinking Man treatment or finds themself Trapped in Giant World, in which case any apple is a potential lion's den.

Other times, the human element is taken out. This is firstly done by making the worm the focus character and the apple their home, sometimes complete with windows and doors. The second take is to invoke Anthropomorphic Food and make the apple the focus character. It's rich ground for Body Horror, but more often the apple and the worm function as The Symbiote. The worm then takes the role of assistant, pet, or limb, and may altogether never actually be in the apple. The usual distinction between a living apple and a worm having a healthy relationship or not is that in the latter scenario there'll be a bite out of the apple too.

Worms in apples are based on apple maggot larvae and various caterpillars, but rarely do the fictional worms look like either. If the "worm" isn't meant to be an earthworm, which don't crawl into apples in real-life, it'll usually be some sort of generic green caterpillar, the latter contrasting nicely with the red of the apple. None of the real-life apple pests are green, though critters like the hornworm may go for apples if nothing more suitable is available and inchworms eat the leaves of apple trees. Furthermore, between improved pesticides and modern food grading processes, finding pests in one's fruit has become a rarity in real-life.

A fair question to ask is why worms in apples became a motif as opposed to any other combination of a pest and a fruit (or veg). The immediate answer is that apples were a superfood going from the 19th Century to the 20th Century. Apples had been getting a good rep for some time in the West and when the temperance movement hit it big in the United States, orchard owners and marketing wisely shifted away from cider apples to wholesome edible apples. An increase in apple eating naturally led to an increase in encountering infested apples. An indirect answer is that there's an ancestor motif that requires understanding that neither "worm" nor "apple" (and their translations in various languages) entirely mean today what they used to mean. "Worm" has a history of being in use for any legless and elongated creature, including dragons and eels, and "apple" used to be roughly synonymous with "fruit" before becoming one specific kind of fruit. Several old stories that weren't about a specific fruit have thus become about apples. This linguistic fluidity puts the worm in an apple in the path of the Serpent in the Garden of Eden, Ladon in the Garden of the Hesperides, and the (silk)worm in the tale of Haftvad. Presuming apples, the latter actually is an Older Than Print example of a worm in an apple.

Sister Trope to Fly in the Soup, Literal Bookworm, Tempting Apple, Apple of Discord, and Apple for Teacher, several of which Worm in an Apple may overlap with.


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  • In 2020, Epic Games created an anti-Apple ad by parodying Apple's own Nineteen Eighty-Four ad. In the ad, called Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite, the role of the evil Big Brother figure is filled by a humanoid apple with a worm sticking out of a bitten area.
  • In a The Flintstones Fruity Pebbles commercial, Fred decides to get back at Barney for always stealing his cereal by disguising himself as Barney's elementary school teacher and threatening to send him to the principal's office. When it seems like the trick works, Barney hands him an apple which turns out to have a giant monstrous worm inside of it that scares Fred's disguise off and the cereal out of his hands.
    Barney: I'm a rotten apple. Hehe.
  • From 1987 to 1994, Nickelodeon had a bumper in which five worms pop out of a green apple and sing into a mic attached to the stem.

    Asian Animation 
  • "The Myth of Haftvad Worm" is an adaptation of the tale of Haftvad that simplifies the cast to Haftvad, his daughter, the worm, and Ardashir I. The girl finds a worm in an apple one day and keeps it. In return for a few apple bites, the worm helps her spin more and finer thread. Upon learning of the worm, Haftvad immediately sees money and forces the worm to eat apples and spin silk, going as far as to lock the critter in a cage. Haftvad also ignores his daughter's pleas to stop. Eventually, the worm grows into a full-on dragon that'd have killed Haftvad if Ardashir didn't kill the worm first.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: In the title card of Joys of Seasons episode 7, Paddi is scared off by a worm he finds in an apple he was eating.

    Comic Books 
  • In one Donald Duck comic story, Donald and his nephews are sent to find one of Scrooge's gold ships after it goes missing, and discover that the crate of apples he sent them is infested with worms.
  • When Shazam! finally comes face-to-face with Mister Mind for the first time, he nearly misses him anyway because he doesn't know what the villain looks like and the miniature laboratory he's supposed to reside in is empty. A civilian finds his lunch box open nearby and wants to eat the apple he'd brought along, which just so happens to be Mister Mind's makeshift hiding place. It is then that Shazam learns that Mister Mind is a worm.
    • In Issue 14 of the 1973 volume of Shazam, Georgia Sivana discovers a worm in her apple, and is about to squash it when she is stopped by her father, who has recognised the worm as Mister Mind.
  • While waiting for his team to come pick up a curious meteorite in the album "The Shooting Star" of Tintin, Tintin eats an apple he discovers a caterpillar inside of. Either he didn't find it until after consuming most of the apple or he was hungry enough to remove the caterpillar and continue eating, because he throws away only the core. The next morning, the caterpillar has metamorphosized into a giant butterfly and the apple core has sprouted into a humongous tree all due to the meteorite's influence.

    Comic Strips 
  • A strip on The Far Side has two worms in a half-bitten apple watching in horror at the human child eating their home. One worm exclaims "Egad! It's got Uncle Jake!"
  • In one Rugrats comic strip, Tommy and Angelica are under an apple tree. Angelica says to Tommy, "I wouldn't eat those apples, they could have worms." Phil and Lil overhear and try to climb the tree so they can eat the worms.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 


  • The apple Mac and the worm Will meet up on a rainy day and strike up a friendship in Bad Apple: A Tale of Friendship by Edward Hemingway. Will teaches Mac how to fly a kite and to play in the dirt and he also reads him stories because Will likes to read. Sadly, the other apples come to shun Mac for being infested. Will leaves so that Mac will be accepted again, but Mac is unable to fill the hole Will left behind and goes in search of his friend. Upon reunion, Will accepts that Mac rather is with him than with the other apples.
    • In the Bad Apple's Perfect Day, Mac and Will do make more friends. Sooner or later, those friendships water out, while Mac and Duo remain inseparable.
  • In The Berenstain Bears book "The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble with Strangers", Mama Bear, who is talking to Sister Bear, compares strangers to apples, saying that some apples may look bumpy on the outside, but then cutting the bumpy apple she brought out and revealing the inside is fine. Then she brings out an apple that isn't bumpy, but has a bunch of worms inside when sliced; Sister is disgusted, and so is Brother when he enters the room. The lesson Mama is teaching here is that some strangers may be "bad apples" that look friendly on the outside but actually aren't.
  • Card Force Infection: Occurs a few times throughout the story.
    • Richter shows that he can manifest card subjects in real life by summoning a Sinner's Apple and giving it to Donovan... but after he bites the apple, Richter manifests his cursed card, Worm Infestation, in the apple, to Donovan's disgust.
      "Tell me, what's worse than biting an apple and finding a worm?" Richter asked as he slapped his card onto the table.
      "Biting an apple and getting kicked out of paradise?" Donovan suggested. A squiggling worm crawled out of the apple, wiggling as it broke free. But it did not come alone. More worms poked up all over, breaking through the skin of the apple. Dozens crawled out. Donovan felt sick, even knowing that they were a new addition. He dropped the apple to the floor and watched it turn to dust. The worms all crawled away before turning to dust as well.
      "Biting an apple and finding an infestation."
    • On a more lighthearted note, during the Tournament Arc, one of the food vendors sells caramel apples with gummy worms in them. Fletcher buys one, but he finds that the tastes don't blend together very well. Later chapters suggest that they're a big Love It or Hate It flavor.
    • Alicia and Thuy encounter a painting of Adoraborb pecking at a worm in an apple. Yuu begins analyzing the painting, coming up with a bunch of nonsense to keep Alicia and Thuy distracted while Aron escapes undetected.
    • When Dion plays the card Revapplenote  to resurrect Powcreatur Rivormnote , Rivorm first materializes inside the apple, briefly mimicking the worm in an apple motif.
    • The Wormy Apple card is a simple worm in an apple. Apple Worm Hydra, a much stronger card that draws its power from Wormy Apple, is a giant apple that sprouts more worms the stronger it gets. Each new worm raises the card's stats and allows it to make one more attack each turn.
    • One opening to the in universe anime Card Force Rebellion features a scene with several rotting apples, all filled with worms.
    • Aron at one point has a nightmare where he is dining with the Devil. The Devil offers him an apple, which turns out to be filled with worms.
  • In the Shivers (M. D. Spenser) book The Awful Apple Orchard, one of the first pranks from the ghosts haunting said orchard involves having Sara seeing a worm in an apple she just bit into. She promptly freaks out and drops the apple, but after picking up and re-examining the apple again, the worm had somehow disappeared.
  • The tale of Haftvad, mostly known for the version in The Shahnameh, starts with Haftvad's one daughter, who takes a break from spinning to eat an apple. Inside, she finds a small worm (interpreted but not identified as a silkworm) which she keeps with her the rest of the day. From that day on, she spins more and finer thread than ever before, making her family rich and powerful. The worm is well taken care of and becomes huge. Eventually, Haftvad draws the attention of Ardashir I, the future Sasanian emperor, who wants to break his power. He succeeds by pretending to be a travelling merchant and killing the worm by feeding it molten lead.
  • "The City Worm and the Country Worm" is a Sesame Street story in which Slimey visits his country cousin Squirmy. Squirmy lives inside an apple with an acorn as mailbox.
  • There is a Polish children's rhyme by Jan Brzechwa about a worm living in an apple that gets tired of all the apple goodness and decides to leave it for the city and to go to a restaurant for a steak.
  • Richard Scarry's character Lowly Worm is canonically an earthworm (albeit one with a face), but he drives an apple-shaped car.
  • The Very Quiet Cricket: The cricket encounters a worm eating through an apple saying "Good Day".

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Big & Small episode "The Worm in Big's Apple", Big swallows an apple that turns out to have a worm inside. Small reaches inside his friend's mouth to get the worm and the apple out. Once the worm, who is nameless, is nursed back to health, they befriend each other and agree for her to go by "Twiba" ("The Worm in Big's Apple"). Twiba becomes a regular for the first two seasons and is rarely seen outside of a big red apple. She is also the lead singer of three songs: "Worms Rule", "Do They Dig It? They Do!", and "Twiba's Calypso". During these songs, two other worms in two other apples provide the backup vocals.
  • In an episode of Eureeka's Castle, Bogge is about to eat an apple, when he finds a worm in it. He says that worms make apples even sweeter.
  • Parks and Recreation: In "The Pawnee-Eagleton Tip-Off Classic", the snooty Ingrid de Forest is disgusted by Pawnee apples, claiming that they're full of pesticides. Leslie attempts a rebuttal:
    Leslie: Oh no, these are pesticide-free. I ate one of these for breakfast this morning and I found a worm in it, so...I bet somebody feels really stupid right now.
  • In Sesame Street, a segment on the words "over", "under", "around", and "through" shows a worm named Willy who moves in all directions around an apple, then eats his way through it.

  • H.M.S. Pinafore invokes this as a metaphor for Hidden Depths in the first spoken dialogue. In response to the Boatswain calling her "the rosiest, the roundest, and the reddest beauty in all Spithead," Little Buttercup says:
    Buttercup: Red, am I? and round—and rosy! May be, for I have dissembled well! But hark ye, my merry friend—hast ever thought that beneath a gay and frivolous exterior there may lurk a canker-worm which is slowly but surely eating its way into one's very heart?

  • There's a 2-pack in the Littlest Pet Shop G3 collection that contains an inchworm (#1443) and a pigeon (#1442). Included in the 2-pack is a hollow apple for the inchworm to hang out in.
  • There are several apple-and-worm plushies among Maria Filipe Castro's creations. Usually, the worms serve take the role of an accessory such as a bow, glasses, and a scarf.
  • Moose Toys has created two lines of food-related toys that include worm-infested apples among the cast.
    • Apple Blossom is one of the original characters of Shopkins. She is a green apple with a pink worm named Wormy sticking out of her left side. In the fiction, the two are portrayed as The Dividual and only rarely, such as in "Look Within", is there need for them to interact with each other. Apple Blossom's signature dance is stated to be The Worm.
    • Rotten Apple and Awful Apple are Series 1 characters from The Grossery Gang. Rotten Apple belongs to The Grubz team and Awful Apple to the Moldy Veg team. Rotten Apple is a an apple core with a worm residing in the top half while Awful Apple is a full apple minus one bite, but there's a worm in his forehead all the same. Unlike Awful Apple, Rotten Apple appeared in the cartoons, where he was depicted as not intelligent. According to "An Apple A Day", though, the worm inside him is a doctor.
  • T. L . McBeth has a resin figure available that depicts a humanoid apple with a worm sticking out. The figure, called Apple & Worm, is produced in three color schemes for three colors of apples and worms.

    Video Games 
  • In Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival, one of the outcomes that can happen if you land on a space where you lose both Happy Points and Bells is you and your friends picking apples, only to find that all of the apples have worms in them, and having to pay to recycle the spoiled apples.
  • Brain Test Tricky Puzzles: Level 74 tasks the player with helping a fisherman catch a fish. The solution is to tap the apples in the background to slice them open, and find a worm in one of them to use as bait.
  • Among the many pun-based enemies in the library of Crayon Chronicles are Arrogant Book Worms. They're green worms with glasses and a grad cap sticking out of an apple.
  • The worm is a minor character in Donkey Kong 64 who resides in a large green apple (that is depicted as having a door and window, almost like a house) in Fungi Forest.
  • Blood Witch Gretta from the The Witchwood portion of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is depicted holding an apple with worms sticking out from it and several of her lines are to get the player to eat the apple. Her hero power is Blood Red Apple, a passive ability that makes spells drain health instead of mana.
  • Among the various thoughts found inside the self of "IT" in Hotel Sowls is an apple in a worm. It represents "IT"'s feelings of being consumed by the humans it saved.
  • In The Legend of Kyrandia's third game, Malcolm can steal and eat apples that always reveal a worm inside. While trying to eat the worm will make Malcolm joke that he's "not that hungry yet", these apples are found in an area inhabited entirely by Fish People that like worms better than apples.
  • In The Longest Journey, April has to distract Captain Nebevay away from the compass aboard his ship. Her course of action is to catch a wheat worm, stick it inside an apple, and show the infested apple to the captain as "proof" that the barrel might be infested and needs to be checked up on.
  • In Pikmin 2, a red apple is a treasure, and is referred to as the "Insect Condo" as a reference to this trope. The treasure returns both as a fruit in Pikmin 3, where the Koppaites express concern that this is the name their ship generated for them (as the treasure was originally found by someone else), and as a treasure in Pikmin 4, where Louie's notes advise checking for worms before taking a big bite.
  • Pokémon Sword and Shield: Applin is a worm-like Pokemon that burrows into an apple as soon as it's born. It's also Dragon-type, which means it's also a wyrm in an apple.
  • Sliding puzzle #107 in Professor Layton and the Curious Village is called A Worm's Dream (UK: Worm in the Apple). The goal is to make the pieces form an apple alongside the edges so that the center has no piece covering it. That's where the worm is located, who always wanted to make it to center of the apple.
  • In one path of SPY Fox 2: Some Assembly Required, an informant named Lenny emerges from a candy apple to give Spy Fox a clue he wrote on a leaf. When the exchange is done, Lenny asks Fox to dump the apple in the trash - while still half-burrowed in the apple.
  • Super Mario Galaxy: In the mission "The Dirty Tricks of Major Burrows," if Mario ground pounds a stump on an apple planet, a giant caterpillar comes out and burrows into a nearby apple planet, acting as a makeshift bridge for Mario.

    Web Animation 
  • Om Nom collects apples in his yard in "Wormy Apple!" of Om Nom Stories. A worm threatens the harvest, which Om Nom takes issue with. The worm tricks Om Nom into getting into a fight with a dog and Om Nom himself angers a muscular civilian while chasing the worm. The worm eventually enlists the dog to save Om Nom from the irate civilian, after which Om Nom gives the worm all the apples it can eat.note 


    Web Original 
  • One of the items in Neopets is a "Wormy Rotten Apple"; it's one of the foods that will make your pet sick if they eat it...except for the birdlike Pteri, where the item will fill it's hunger to full and cure it of any disease.

    Western Animation 
  • While waiting for his team to come pick up a curious meteorite in the album "The Shooting Star" of The Adventures of Tintin (1991), Tintin eats an apple he discovers a maggot inside of and promptly throws it away. The next morning, the maggot has metamorphosized into a giant butterfly and the apple core has sprouted into a humongous tree all due to the meteorite's influence.
  • There are two instances in Adventure Time:
    • "Tree Trunks" opens in Tree Trunks's apple orchard, where Finn and Jake are chopping up apples with their swords. A green worm eagerly approaches one of the apples, only for it to be halved right before the critter reaches its intended meal.
    • In "The Real You", Finn and Jake attend the Worm College. Worm College is located in a giant rotten apple. It doesn't last long because the fingers of the duo are mistaken for truants and attacked by the worm-students.
  • After much trouble with Slappy, the serpent in the Garden of Eden finally gets its tail on an apple to feed to Eve in the Animaniacs episode "Guardin' the Garden". However, she declines when she spots a worm sticking out of it. The serpent only barely realizes in time that the worm is actually a lit fuse and that the apple is a bomb.
  • Apple from Apple & Onion doesn't like worms because they're his natural predator. There's one living inside him that he's unable to get out. In "Falafel's Fun Day", Apple imagines himself as being homeless and the worm eating him bit by bit.
  • In the episode "Draw!" of Arthur, Francine says that Fern's caricature comic of her is "about as funny as biting into an apple and finding half a worm".
  • In the short "A Coach for Cinderella", dwarfs and animals cooperate to get Cinderella a dress and, more importantly, a car. Part of this effort is a barbershop located in an apple. A worm that crawls out of it becomes the stripe on the barber's pole. The barber, an unidentifiable insect, shaves four caterpillars, who go on to curl up to serve as tires for the car being made for Cinderella.
  • In the Columbia Cartoons short "Crop Chasers", a murder of crows steal all of the crops a farmer has. The only resistance comes from a worm that protects its apple by means of a Blinding Camera Flash. He gets overwhelmed when the crows steal the whole apple tree.
  • The Disney short "Planning for Good Eating" starts with discussing animal eating habits. When addressing the animals that live on fruit and/or vegetables, an enthusiastically chewing worm pops out of an apple.
  • The Happy Harmonies short "The Early Bird and the Worm", the titular worm and his mother live in a nicely furnished apple wedged between the roots of the apple tree amidst many more apples.
  • Hey Arnold!: In "Student Teacher", Helga tries to get Olga sick by leaving an apple with a worm inside on her desk. A very unfortunate Mr. Simmons is the one who picks it up instead.
  • Looney Tunes: In "A Tale of Two Kitties", Tweety steals an apple Catstello was enjoying to eat the worm hidden inside. He swallows it whole and throws away the apple before Catstello realizes he's been robbed.
  • There are several examples of worms in apples in the Merrie Melodies shorts.
    • A worm is minding its own business inside a discarded apple in "Billboard Frolics" when a chick jumps out of a billboard to eat the worm. The worm uses its own body to roll the apple into the chick's face, which buys enough time for the worm to hide in a nearby pile of trash.
    • The theme of "Fair and Worm-er" is a hunting chain that goes apple-worm-crow-cat-dog-dogcatcher-(dogcatcher's wife-mouse). Starting with the worm who wants to get the apple, a relentless chase ensues between all participants in which the worm tries to get to the apple, to avoid the crow, and to keep the cat safe because it'll go after the crow. In the end, a Smelly Skunk scares off everyone except the worm, who has a gas mask ready. It turns out that, despite the worm showing up with cutlery at the start of the short, it doesn't want to eat the apple but to live in it, as it's the last furnished apartment in town.
    • Two segments of "Pop Goes Your Heart" feature worms in apples. In the first segment, two spiders are playing their web like a harp. The music appeals to the worms munching on the apples below and they crawl out four per apple far enough to serve as limbs to the apple body for a bit of dancing. In the second segment, a chick tries to pull a worm from an apple, but it uses its own body to whip-spank its attacker into leaving.
    • "September in the Rain" reuses concepts from various earlier shorts, one such short being "Billboard Frolics". This time, the apple the worm crawls out of is part of a store's stock. Five chicks jump out of the packaging art to eat the worm, but the worm safely reaches another apple.
    • A crow is looking for a worm to feed on in "The Wacky Worm". He finds one chilling in an apple tree, but the worm escapes him and twice hides in an apple among many other apples. The first time, the crow can't find the correct apple until the worm accidentally breaks it open. The second time, the crow plans to eat his way through the apples to find the worm. He gets sick to the point of giving up after consuming about half the apples.
  • In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Holidays Unwrapped, the Flim Flam Brothers have a tradition of sabotaging each Harvest and Cider-Making Party held by the Apple Family. The previous year, they gifted Apple Bloom a pet worm. Apple Bloom happily named it Colonel Wigglesworth. Colonel Wigglesworth ended up inviting all his friends to eat every last apple harvested by the Apple Family.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Sleepless in Ponyville", Applejack tells Scootaloo that she appears "more nervous than a worm in an apple on cider making day."
  • "Langtree's Lament" in the "Schooltown Follies" episode Over the Garden Wall is a heartache song disguised as an educational song that starts with ""A" is for the apple that he gave to me, but I found a worm inside."
  • At the end of "The Harum-Scarum Sanitarium" of The Scooby-Doo Show, Scooby bites into an apple and encounters an angry worm. The worm then eats the whole apple.
  • SpongeBob and Patrick try to raise an abandoned clam (the equivalent of birds in the setting) in "Rock-a-Bye Bivalve" of SpongeBob SquarePants. Ignorant of what a clam eats, they unsuccessfully present it with an apple. However, a worm that talks and claims to be visiting from Apple World pops out from the fruit. The duo feeds the worm to the clam instead, despite the worm's threat that "[w]e will bury you!"
  • The Terrytoons short "Horsefly Opera" features a bug version of The Wild West. An apple with a hole in it that's placed on wheels and drawn by horseflies functions as a stagecoach. A hold-up by a spider scares off the horseflies and out of the apple crawls a caterpillar as the sole occupant. The caterpillar is robbed, but gets the local police force to go after the spider.
  • In the Timon & Pumbaa episode "Washington Applesauce", a voracious earthworm devours an apple orchard down to the apples on the farmer's boxer shorts. The worm's presence threatens the upcoming Applefest and Timon and Pumbaa volunteer to catch the worm for free as long as they can eat it. The worm, however, has grown and continues to grow rapidly from eating the many apples around town and eats the duo instead. Not to be outdone, Timon and Pumbaa eat their way out of that problem.
  • In "Worm Circus" of Toopy and Binoo, an entire worm circus is located inside an apple. Toopy and Binoo join the clown act by juggling.
  • The short Under The Apple Tree makes worms in apples the origin of zombies. A fraternal farmer and priest live and work next door to each other. The pride of the farm are the apple trees, which branches run over the church's graveyard. However, in past years the trees have become infested with worms to the point not one apple remains edible. The desperate farmer hangs himself and the worm Aber, who recently was separated from his other half Crombie, chooses the corpse as his new home because of its strong cider scent. The priest gladly buries his brother and cuts down the ungodly apple trees. Aber regrows a new half named Neffie and together they discover that they can vocally command the corpse into action. Out of the grave, Aber is horrified to see that the apple trees — and with them Crombie — are gone and commands the corpse to search the remaining apples for his brother. A crow plucks Aber from the corpse's socket, leaving Neffie behind. Aber reunites with Crombie in the crow's stomach and Neffie, along with her newly grown half Paul, has the corpse kill the crow so Aber and the others can take control. With the apple trees gone, the worms all relocate to the graveyard's sleepers and make them rise up.
  • The villain of "LarryBoy and the Bad Apple" of VeggieTales is Temptation Apply, an apple who seeks to control people by making them lose themselves to temptation. Her one henchman is Curly the Worm, who spies on her prospective victims to figure out what they're sensitive to. Curly gets captured by LarryBoy and arrested, but Temptation escapes.
  • In the Little Bear episode "Applesauce", Little Bear and Emily are picking apples so they can make applesauce. One of the apples they pick has a worm inside it.
  • Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color: In "An Adventure in Color", Ludwig Von Drake does a demonstration how there is no color without light by holding up a round object that, when the lights are turned on, is revealed to be a red apple. He takes a bite of it, and is shocked to find a worm living inside.
    Von Drake: Well, that just proves one thing: never eat an apple in the dark.

    Real Life 
  • In the 1970s, Avon released a series of scented gloss-filled plastic brooches aimed at children. The series was named Pin Pal Fragrance Glace. Among the "pals" was Willy the Worm, a brooch depicting a yellow worm wearing a red knit cap eating through a red apple.