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"Oi, nutta!"


In the early 90s, bedroom coder and Amiga fan Andy Davidson decided to make an Artillery-style Turn-Based Strategy game with a large arsenal of outlandish comedy weapons and - for reasons known only to himself - warring annelids. Showing his game idea - Total Wormage - at a games fair, he caught the eye and imagination of games company Team17, who offered to develop the game. The result was Worms. With weapons ranging from the relatively sane Bazooka, Grenade and Shotgun to the bizarre Sheep, Banana Bomb, and the devastating Holy Hand Grenade.

The warring annelids were originally set to be Lemmings, for the first several years of the game's existence. Only when he started trying to sell the game to games companies did he change it from "LemArtillery" to something less copyright-infringing. Some versions of the game still mention "***Artillery" in the credits or title screen.


Worms games throughout the years have included:

  • First Generation
  • Second Generation (a smoother, more cartoony graphical overhaul)
    • Worms 2
    • Worms Armageddon
    • Worms World Party (Intended as a console exclusive to the Dreamcast and PS1 by Titus Interactive but it did receive a PC port, brought in the Wormpot for randomizing gameplay)
  • 3D Generation (3D)
    • Worms 3D
    • Worms Forts: Under Siege (more of a focus on constructing buildings than worm-on-worm warfare)
    • Worms 4: Mayhem (refined and addressed most of the criticisms that Worms 3D picked up; unfortunately the game was a financial flop, largely killing off the 3D Worms line)
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    • Worms: Ultimate Mayhem (an Updated Re-release, coupling the content and an upgraded version of the game engine of of Worms 4 with most of the content of Worms 3D)
  • Third Generation (back to 2D, but with vector graphics for the Worms)
    • Worms (Xbox Live Arcade and PSN)
    • Worms 2: Armageddon, a sequel to the above game (which is not directly related to the similarly-titled Second Generation game Worms: Armageddon) for XBLA (and eventually PSN) that's also been released for the PC as Worms: Reloaded
    • Worms Open Warfare (handhelds)
    • Worms Open Warfare 2 (handhelds)
    • Worms: A Space Oddity
    • Worms (Facebook)
  • Fourth Generation (2.5D graphics and new gameplay features)
    • Worms Revolution
    • Worms 3 (mobile)
    • Worms Clan Wars (computers-only)
    • Worms Battlegrounds (console port of Clan Wars)
  • Fifth Generation (full return to 2D)
  • Spin-offs
    • Addiction Pinball/Worms Pinball
    • Worms Blast (puzzle game with similarities to Puzzle Bobble)
    • Worms Crazy Golf (golf from an Artillery game perspective, with Worms weaponry)
    • Flockers (while not an official Worms title, it is developed by Team17, and mainly stars the sheep from the franchise itself as they attempt to escape the Worms' weapon factory; where the worms themselves serve as the antagonists. Notable for being the only game to feature bloodshed)
    • Worms Rumble (First real-time combat game in the series.)

The most popular game is probably Worms Armageddon, which is still being patched and modded to this day to keep compatibility with modern machines despite its age, and is even available on the Steam service.

Worms provides examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Sheep and Pigeons can be shot at opposing Worms, and you can call in airstrikes for more sheep, carpets, explosive mail, and who knows what else.
  • Accidental Aiming Skills: The AI tends to make some of the most spectacularly improbable shots purely by accident, as the A.I. Roulette decides that they'll pick this turn to miss their intended target. Human players frequently do these too.
  • All There in the Manual: Worms World Party included a handy little guide named the Wormopedia that gave rundowns and extra tips on all the weapons in the game, the passive effects gained from utility crates and even some extra trivia like the origin of the Concrete Donkey, Light Side Vs. Dark Side, and fort building with Girder Starter Packs.
  • April Fools' Day: Several hoaxes and jokes were laid out in the early days by Team 17 to fool players, ranging from a Worms game on the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum, A UFO Weapon in Worms 2, an expansion for Worms 2 that consists of baby worms dressed up for bedtime called Night Fight, etc.
  • Artillery Game: A comedic take on the genre, with ballistic-toting cartoon worms in place of tanks.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The Armageddon weapon's meteors take out almost the whole map. It's down to luck as to whether any of your Worms will survive. It helps if you burrow one or more of your worms deep into the ground first.
    • Worms 2 allowed players to edit weapon settings to crank up or down the damage weapons do and how many times certain weapons could fire per turn. Setting weapons to their maximum stats results in them being so destructive that they can take out large sections of the map in one go, often damaging its user in the process. The minigun, in particular, can either wipe the entire map in one go, or cause your worm to take damage and fall into the hole it's just made after one shot.
  • Artificial Stupidity: It's easy to make an AI that can hit the target every time. It's hard to make one that can convincingly miss.
    • The AI in Worms 2, Armageddon and World Party does insane efforts to never hurt a teammate, even if choosing to hurt them would allow them to kill the only enemy worm left that has only 1 health point. Given the Improbable Aiming Skills with the Bazooka of higher AI levels, and the final Deathmatch level in Worms 2 (Two worms of yours vs 15 Level 5 ones), this needs to be exploited to win (Though sometimes they forget about it and they Fire Punch you and any unlucky teammate). With enough practice, no amount of enemy worms will be enough to beat you. They also never take grenade bounce into account - if it does not blow up on your worm when it hits the ground, they will not do that shot. Similarly, when setting up dynamite, they merely walk away instead of jumping away - as a result, they always get caught in the blast.
    • The AI in the mobile game Worms 3 does incredibly stupid things like setting up dynamite next to an enemy worm... and stay still, no further from the dynamite than its target. More often than not, they kill themselves and the opposing worm does not die.
    • The AI will also occasionally make some very strange choices in the usage of their weapons (e.g. Bazooka tunneling instead of hitting the obvious target nearby, or using a bazooka to shoot someone right next to them). In some installments, they cannot use the variety of weapons. In some games they are all too happy to tunnel with Air Strikes, even if they have limited ammo for them.
    • Sometimes they'll skip a turn for no apparent reason, even if their enemy is literally in front of them.
    • The Stupid AI in Reloaded deliberately invokes this trope. The improved smarter A.I.s will sometimes do stupid things as well like getting caught in their own explosions, or maybe they're making a sacrifice for some higher strategic value. It's hard to tell.
    • As of Revolution, the AI will often fail to account for the game's newest features - physics objects and water physics. The AI will sometimes destroy physics objects next to them during their turns, even if it results in water bursting out from a water bottle and washing them into the sea. And the AI will sometimes leave the water if they're submerged... Only to go back in before their turn ends. And they don't account for indestructible terrain, either.note 
    • The AI in the DS version of Worms: Open Warfare probably takes the cake for doing the stupidest things in a Worms game, even on the highest difficulty. Not surprising since the game is an Obvious Beta. Some problems include attempting to fire Bazookas through obstacles and damaging itself; walking off cliffs and losing turns; and whiffing Fire Punches.
  • Baa-Bomb: Sheep exploding. Flying sheep with capes exploding. Flying, swimming sheep with capes and snorkels exploding. Sheep that have been launched from cannons exploding. Sheep spawning from destroyed weapon crates, then exploding. Cloned sheep exploding in herds. Sheep dropping from a plane and exploding. Sheep that have been set on fire dropping from a plane and exploding while La Marseillaise blares in the background. And, in Director's Cut, sheep using Ninja Ropes and exploding.
  • Baby Planet:
    • Worms World Party features one in the background of its title screen.
    • Also on the title screen of Worms 3D. It even spins!
    • The single player mission "In Space, No-One Can Hear You Clean" from Worms 3D is set on and around one.
    • A case of Developers' Foresight in Worms 4: Mayhem. It is possible to launch your worm into space using a strong explosive weapon (ideally a Holy Hand Grenade) and a combination of Wormpot settings: Super Explosives, Double Damage and Low Gravity. Barrels lying around are a bonus. Once you fly high enough, the sky around you changes and you can spot the round planet covered in water beneath you. The planet is quite smaller than what would be realistic and you can't escape its gravity even if you get far enough to barely see it.
  • Bag of Holding: Some games include a Plunder setting, that let worms keep any kind of weapon they had in the last round, while replenishing all their starting weapons.
  • Bag of Sharing:
    • All worms on the same team have access to the same pool of weapons and items.
    • Zig Zagged with World Party's wormpot setting "specialist worm" that gives each worm on the team specific weapons, but once that worm died, the respective arsenal is transferred to another worm.
  • Bag of Spilling: In a multi-round versus match, the Regular arsenal setting gives each player a fresh arsenal of weapons and items each round, ignoring what they had remaining in the previous round. Averted with the other settings; the Plunder setting allows teams to keep what they had in the previous round as well as giving them a new arsenal each round, and the Survival setting gives each team only one arsenal at the very beginning that carries over but is never replenished.
  • Batter Up!: The baseball bat is incredibly useful for knocking other worms into the water. The home run jingle will play if you knock them off the edge of the screen.
  • Bigger Stick: Parodied in one of the intro videos for Worms 2.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Though some of the games, like Armageddon, gives the option to turn blood on. It's basically the equivalent of a minor graze. Flockers completely averts this.
  • Bond One-Liner: When a Worm is killed, a comment like "Playername is 6 feet under" or (in the case of falling into the water) "Playername sank like the Titanic" is displayed at the top of the screen.
  • Boring, but Practical: A few weapons, but exemplified by the Shotgun which has great range, good damage output, and is usually readily available.
  • British Accents: Several voicebanks in Armageddon and World Party: Scouser, Yorkshire Tykes, Cockney Wideboy, Geezer (also Cockney), Brummie (Birmingham), Stiff Upper Lip, Cad (both upper class accents), Geordie, Angry Scots, Jock (also Scottish)... Worms 3D then brought Welsh and Madchester to the party.
  • The Bus Came Back: Some of the craftable weapons in Worms W.M.D. are weapons that appeared in previous games in the series, but were removed at some point:
    • The Super Banana Bomb from the second generation games is one of the Banana Bomb variations.
    • The Mine Strike from the second generation games is one of the Air Strike variations.
    • The Ming Vase from the second generation games is one of the Dynamite variations.
    • The Sheep-on-a-rope, a Sheep variation, once appeared in Worms DC.
  • Character Customization: Worms 2 and Armageddon allowed the player to create their own sound schemes using .wav files. A massive amount of fan made schemes abound, ranging from Duke Nukem one liners to Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 quotes.
  • Cherry Tapping: The Prod is a slight that pushes a worm a very short distance. Worms Reloaded awards the player an achievement for winning a game this way.
  • Circling Birdies: In 3D installments. The star variation in 3D, and the bird variant in Forts: Under Siege.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: Several of the weapons, as well as some methods of getting around.
  • Combat Pragmatist: One of the easiest way to kill an enemy worm is to make it fall in the water - instant death assured.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Because of how turns work, when a team of worms starts to dwindle down, they "move faster" than they did before. The game always ensures that players alternate turns, and because there's fewer worms on the team to cycle through, they get to act more frequently. At the extreme end of 1 vs 8, the 1 worm is basically moving eight times as fast as all the other worms. This helps narrow the advantage the 8 might have in such a situation, making spectacular (and usually hilarious) comebacks more likely.
  • Critical Existence Failure: In many of the games, the Worms blow themselves up with a demolition plunger when they run out of Hit Points. This "corpse explosion" will occasionally damage or even kill other worms that happen to be in the area of effect. It can turn the tide in close matches.
  • Cutscene Incompetence and Cutscene Power to the Max: Sort of. The amusing opening animations tend to feature stuff that couldn't happen in game.
  • Darker and Edgier: Worms Armageddon
    • The theme song:
      Then came the nuke and the disease tumbling down
      If the bug didn't get you, you probably drowned
      But the Worms battled on, through hunger and pain
      Living to fight, just a victor again.
    • The game itself is much darker in its premise than any of its earlier and later incarnations. The notable detail is an ambient style soundtrack ranged from dark and atmospheric tracks to an arguably nightmarish ones.
    • The first-generation Worms games have a gritter and (only slightly, considering this is Worms we're talking about) more realistic atmosphere and gameplay.
    • Flockers proves to be the darkest games developed, even topping the first-generation Worms tonewise. To clarify; despite using the third-generation designs for the worms, the landscapes and the environment are downright dark, gritty, and nightmarish. It puts into perspective as to how the sheeps (the titular Flockers) are treated by the worms themselves (read: as disposable weapons) and the aim is to lead them to freedom while avoiding death traps (and later the worms). It's also Bloodier and Gorier, a jarring contrast to the Worm's norm of Bloodless Carnage style of cartoon violence.
  • Death from Above:
    • Air Strikes, Napalm Strikes, Mail Strikes, Flaming Sheep Strikes, Carpet Bombs, Concrete Donkeys. There are plenty.
    • WMD adds in attack helicopters armed with a chin-mounted gatling gun to spray the surrounding area with bullets.
  • Death Is Cheap: Fallen worms are back for the next battle as if nothing had happened. Even in campaign mode, the whole team is back for any following cutscene and the next battle in the story, even if only one worm survived.
  • Delayed Reaction: In Worms W.M.D., worms no longer scream when an explosive is about to blow near them. They do so after it blows up.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • A number of weapons, but perhaps the poster child for this is the Super Sheep, which while finicky, can fly to any place on the map and explodes upon contact.
    • The AI's Improbable Aiming Skills showcase how the simple bazooka and grenade can be ridiculously lethal in the hands of a master.
  • Disaster Dominoes:
    • Some of the most spectacular and memorable shots set off chain reactions of exploding barrels, crates, mines, etc., killing worms which then explode, setting off more barrels...
    • The "Bow 'n' Arrow" scheme is this personified. Played on maps that resemble giant pachinko boards with mines on all the dots not occupied by worms, players shoot at the mines with bows and arrows to send them flying. Maybe the mine will take out the worm you want. Maybe it'll miss everything. But most likely the chain reaction will take out half of the worms on the map, including several from your own team.
  • Disco Dan: Can be chosen for an outfit and voice in Worms 4 Mayhem.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • Players will often use the Ninja Rope item to grab crates and boxes with powerful weapons early in the game, though the AI can do this as well.
    • The thing about getting a crate shower from a utility crate in the second generation games is that they have an equal chance to spawn any weapon in the game even if they were set to never spawn in that particular scheme. Case in point: this game that was meant to rely heavily on melee weapons winds up a lot shorter than intended due to one player getting an Armageddon on the very first turn from a crate shower.
  • Edible Ammunition: The Banana Bomb.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin:
    • Some weapons are this combined with puns: Mike's Carpet Bomb is an airstrike... using rolls of carpet and the Mail Strike is an airstrike... using letters.
    • The "reckless" AI in Reloaded will make careless and often suicidal decisions if it means doing damage.
    • There's also the Sheep Launcher in Armageddon.
  • Exploding Barrels: Full of napalm in the second generation games, full of poison in Worms 4: Mayhem, just generically explosive in other games.
  • Exploited Immunity: Some games have Armageddon; an indiscriminate meteor storm that targets the whole map. It can be used to invoke this trope if you've prepared a lot of girders and/or dug your team deeply into the ground.
  • Enough to Go Around: Many of the superweapons are like this, where uses are 'in' crates that anyone can grab.
  • Evil All Along: Professor Worminkle from Worms 4: Mayhem turns out to be this. He only used your team to prevent himself from getting fired and leaves you stranded in the Stone Age for all eternity.
  • Face Palm: In Worms Reloaded, worms will smack themselves in the face when they hurt themselves.
  • Fartillery:
    • The Skunk from Worms Armageddon onward releases poison this way.
    • The Old Woman farts in a few games as she walks. It's only cosmetic in some games, but actually poisons worms in others.
    • One of the weapon variants you can craft in Worms WMD is the Super Flatulence Sheep. It's essentially a Super Sheep that constantly farts a trail of poison gas as it flies, and just one can easily sicken most of the worms on a map.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: A terrain type in the original game.
  • Fixed Damage Attack: Some weapons do a fixed amount of damage, such as the Shotgun always dealing 25 a shot, and Fire Punch always doing 30.
  • Floating Limbs:
    • Worms' hands ever since the third generation and onward. Furthermore, they disappear when not in use. Worms 3D in particular played with this in the cut-scenes where worms would be knocked away by something but their limbs would stay, moving around as if still attached.
    • If one looks closely at the Homing Pigeon's design in the 3D games, its feet aren't attached to its body.
  • Floating Platforms: Terrain continues to hang in the air after you blow up the land supporting it. It just wouldn't be the same without it. It also leads to some of the more amusing moments where chunks of terrain can be reduced to tiny little dots that still register collisions with worms, ropes and weapons. Cue players blowing themselves up by firing a bazooka at a dot of terrain in front of them that they didn't see.
  • Forced Tutorial:
    • Worms Armageddon forces you(r team) to play the basic training disciplines before you can start the campaign with that team.
    • In Worms Revolution, not only do you go through a short tutorial before getting to the main menu, but there are eight tutorial levels before starting the real campaign.
  • Forgotten Theme Tune Lyrics: Most versions of the game have the Wormsong refrain without the lyrics.
  • Game Mod: Worms Armageddon in particular is still being maintained by fans of the game employed by Team17, who have added many, many things to keep it up-to-date and relevant with modern computers.
  • Gatling Good: The Minigun, a super weapon in the original but more common in the second-generation games. In Worms 2, cranking all of its stats to the maximum makes it the most overpowered weapon in the entire game, making it capable of wiping out literally the entire map in one turn.
  • God Is Good: God Himself is the announcer in Worms Forts: Under Siege, is in charge of the tutorials, and will happily help His followers below if they can find the ammo to invoke His miracles.
  • Have a Nice Death: "_____ is an ex-worm" is a classic example, as is "_____'s team is no more..." Later games add more death messages, such as "_____ is six feet under."
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: VERY prevalent in every game. The Worms seem to be not only desensitized to death, but occasionally laugh whenever someone dies.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: Worms 4: Mayhem featured Pixar style outtakes with the animated characters. Worms Ultimate Mayhem gave them voice acting like everything else and also featured genuine flubs from Guy Harris.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: Straight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and hits hard as hell with its huge blast radius.
  • Home Run Hitter: The Baseball Bat, even though many of the more powerful weapons can easily send worms flying off the map as well. In some of the 2D games, batting enemy worms into the water will prompt the 'Charge!' theme to play.
  • Homing Projectile: The Homing Missile (obviously), the Homing Pigeon, and the Silver Bullet, in increasing order of reliability. There was also the Homing Strike only found in Worms 2 which unleashed a whole swarm of Homing Missiles.
  • Idle Animation: Several to choose from.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills:
    • AI driven worms throwing Grenades down a shaft so that it bounces off of an object, rolls up a crater and gets lodged inbetween your worm and a wall half a second before exploding is not uncommon. The improved AI in Worms Reloaded plus the fact that grenades stop dead when they roll into a worm makes this more common.
    • The "Cocky" AI in Worms Reloaded does this on purpose. It chooses to do the most difficult (but still viable) shots possible in order to show off.
  • In a World…: Invoked by the "Movie Trailers" voice option in Reloaded. "In a world where worms can't trust one another..."
  • Instant Gravestone: The games have dead worms blowing themselves up with a dynamite plunger and instantly being replaced with a gravestone.
  • Large Ham: The Thespian voice set, which is basically worms trained in classical acting. Has gems such as "FEEL THE POINT OF MY RAPIER, YOU SCOUNDREL!" for damaging an enemy worm, "'ZOUNDS! I AM UNDONE!" after killing an enemy and the randomly said "A DONKEY, A DONKEY, MY KINGDOM FOR A DONKEY!" , a Richard III quote rendered in-context.
  • Last Ditch Move: Worms blow up when they die, damaging others near them.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Professor Worminkle’s final fate is being left in the Stome Age where he intended to leave his students. He tries to keep his cool, but then loses it and gives out a Big "NO!" as the cutscene ends.
  • Lethal Joke Item: The silliest weapons also tend to be the most deadly ones.
  • Lies to Children: The origin of the Concrete Donkey. Andy Dennis as a child was led to believe by his parents that the concrete donkey in their garden was a real donkey encased in concrete and held at their leisure.
  • Lighter and Softer: Worms 2 and onward, save for Worms: Armageddon, and especially, Flockers.
  • Lock-and-Load Montage:
    • A trailer, released way-back-when, displayed a Worm spending a good thirty seconds grabbing weapons from the wall and loading up, before turning to menace the camera... only to tremble then collapse under the weight of all the weaponry.
    • The intro of the first game on PlayStation.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: A dying Tin Can Wally attempts to pull one of these on the lead Worm in Worms 4: Mayhem, but dies before he can complete his sentence.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: The Dragon Ball weaponnote , introduced in Worms 2, involves the user throwing an energy ball at the target, knocking them a decent distance away.
  • Made of Explodium: EVERYTHING!
  • Magikarp Power: Everything you consider useless as a weapon - because in worms, there is actually no such thing as a useless weapon.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: At least in Armageddon, worms have two different animations that play some random time after receiving damage - one being waving their fist angrily, and the other being an annoyed side glance. The first animation plays when the worms receives enough damage, while the second plays when the worms receives very little damage or just under the arbitrary limit. Since each shotgun shot deals maximally 25 points of damage, and the minimum for the first animation seems to be either 26 or 30, worms usually react to being shot with a shotgun with an annoyed side glance. It gets even more ridiculous if you shoot them twice, resulting in them losing 50 points of damage - the first animation will play if you shoot them fast enough not to let them play the second animation, but otherwise, they'll just make the second animation after each shot. Considering that worms usually have 100 points of health, it comes out as "Oh, I just lost half of my health. Annoying."
  • Making a Splash: Revolution has a few weapons that create "dynamic water," which acts much differently than the water at the bottom of each map. Dynamic water can also be randomly generated in a map.
  • Mini-Mecha: The mech, a bipedal war machine that can fly for a short time, and their primary means of attacking is to slam its fists (which can be charged to inflict the most damage and leave a large hole on the ground on impact).
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: Worms World Party. In all fairness it added a few new modes and restored a number of Worms 2 features that had been left out from Worms Armageddon, but a lot of buyers felt cheated afterwards.
  • My Brain Is Big: Scientist worms in Fourth Generation titles have enlarged craniums.
  • Mythology Gag: Some of the craftable weapons in Worms W.M.D. resemble weapons that appeared in earlier games in the series:
    • The Demon Strike works similarly to the Napalm Strike from the second generation games, only that the missiles blow up when they make contact with the floor, instead of mid-air.
    • The Training Shotgun is a combination of the regular Shotgun with the Laser Sight tool from the second generation games.
  • Multiplayer-Only Item:
    • Both Worms Armageddon and Worms World Party feature Invisibility, an utility that renders the entire team invisible to other players, which lasts until someone from the team fires a weapon. It appears only in online battles, which by default are restricted to human players.
    • In Worms Blast, there are a few weapons that are useless against AI-controlled opponents. A good example is the tentacle monster, which, if it catches a player, requires you to quickly mash a button in order to not get killed - AI enemies ALWAYS come out of it unharmed, meaning that it only causes them to be immobilized for like 5 seconds. The utility that reverses the controls doesn't seem to have any effect either.
  • Nerf:
    • In most games after Worms 2, the Bazooka and Grenade had their base damage reduced from 50 (2-hit kill on perfect hits) to 45 (3-hit kills).
    • In Worms 2, the player can invoke this trope with the custom weapon schemes by cranking all the damage settings to the absolute minimum.
  • Nerf Arm: As a rule of thumb, the more unlikely a weapon sounds, the more powerful it will be.
  • Nice Hat: In some games you can slap on helmets, beanies, paper bags and cement mixers on your worms. An update in Worms W.M.D. added a hat editor so that players could make their own.
  • Non-Action Guy: 3D has civilians that only appear in certain campaigns. They cannot fight at all, and are easily recognizable by a top hat they are wearing.
  • Non-Damaging Status Infliction Attack: Armageddon has the "Shove!" attack, which does no damage but moves the enemy 10 feet away. Ideally, off a ledge or into a booby trap.
  • Non Sequitur: The 'Cricket' soundbank adds completely unrelated comments to the end of its cricket phrases, such as commenting on a lovely flock of birds or informing the player the worm likes wine before blowing themselves up.
    • This is a referance to real life Cricket commentators who, as a result of how much standing around and waiting for the weather to clear can occur in a typical test match, often go off on farily long tangents about nothing in particular.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: Worms are trying to kill each other with nasty weapons. Why? Who knows? More to the point, who cares? Later games have a Story Mode that still doesn't really explain why the worms goes out into war to solve their problems. There are also Wormsongs, that has been part of the series since the first title, and all of them tell stories about a military soldier named Boggy B and his battles, though they still don't explain franchise's backstory.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: Worms will take damage if they strike the landscape at a fast enough speed, and if this happens to the active worm, the turn will end... except with some transport tools.
  • Obvious Beta: The Nintendo DS version of Worms: Open Warfare has several problems that point to it being a rushed job: simplistic menus, buggy worm and weapon physics (e.g. worms can force themselves under another when walking uphill, grenades/cluster bombs never come to rest, numerous problems with the ninja rope), graphical and audio glitches, and a broken AI.
  • Oh, Crap!: Worms will respond to timed explosives that are a second from going off. In Reloaded, they actually scream whenever they see it coming.
  • Percent Damage Attack: The Battle Axe cuts the target's HP in half.
  • Perfect-Play A.I.: CPU opponents on the highest settings are able to perfectly calculate bazooka shots to compensate for the wind, and can fire off grenades and related weapons such that they explode right as they hit the target worm.
  • Pinball Spin-Off: Worms Pinball for the PS1 and PC.
  • Power-Up: Many, such as Double Damage, extra superweapons and health.
  • Preorder Bonus:
    • Worms Reloaded comes with extra maps, bonus hats, a discounted price and early access for preorders. There was also an exclusive hat for the Soldier in Team Fortress 2, the Lumbricus Lid that replaced his usual grenades with Holy Hand Grenades. It even plays the same Halelujah sound clip should you perform the suicide taunt with The Equalizer.
    • Those who preorder Worms Revolution on Steam get Worms Armageddon. Oh yeah, and hats, gravestones and such.
    • Worms WMD came with All Stars Pack which included hats, vehicles, weapons and few missions from other video games, see Shout-Out bellow. All of it's content became available to everyone later on.
  • Press X to Die:
    • Most of the games have an item called the Surrender. When used, the player's team will be removed from the match, although its members remain on the landscape waving white flags and can be knocked around by the remaining teams.
    • Heck, all weapons can be used to to kill yourself (or your teammates), and it regularly turns out that having one or two worms sacrificing themselves for the greater good is a good idea. Or you just want to show your opponent that you can use your team as a suicide squad and still kick his ass.
  • Priceless Ming Vase: Like everything else, the vase explodes. More specifically, it is a dynamite-like weapon which yields a very large explosion after 5 seconds and sends shrapnel everywhere. Then the shrapnel explodes too.
  • Product Placement: A can of Red Bull is a rare utility item in Worms 3D. It serves both as a Super Serum and Healing Potion.
  • Pun: Mail strikes, literal carpet bombs, mine strikes, cloned sheep, magic bullet, mad cows... and probably a lot more.
  • Random Drop: All sorts of weapons, items and even health pickups can be randomly dropped in crates scattered around the map.
  • Rise to the Challenge: See Stalked by the Bell.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: To quote the song Wormsong '95 - "It was all too much for Boggy as he watched his best friend die. His heart filled with rage, and he gripped his rifle tight. Charging down the hill, he had to have revenge. What had Spadge done to come to such an end?"
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: Quite literally with the Armageddon weapon.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Inverted - in all of the Worms games, the shotgun is your primary sniping weapon.
    • Played straight in Worms Rumble though in that it fires a spray of shots that is more likely to kill quickly if you're up in your target's face.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The most notable examples being the Fire Punch and Dragonball weapons, homages to Street Fighter's Shoryuken (Dragon Punch) and Hadouken Fireball, and the Holy Hand Grenade's Shout-Out to Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Some of the default voice packs actually have worms say "Shoryuken!" or "Hadouken!" when using the former two.
    • The beta demo of the game made it even more blatant as it just called them 'Dragon Punch' and 'Fireball' before they were swapped around for the actual release.
    • The Priceless Ming Vase references an ancient comedy trope, French and Indian Nuclear Tests, Mad Cows, and most of the Strike weapons (particularly the French Sheep Strike, with its burning lorry...) also shout out to other events, things and tropes.
    • The two main playstyles of "Lightsiding" and "Darksiding" reference, of course, Star Wars. (The styles seem inverted: in Star Wars, Light Side fighting is mainly defensive while in Worms, Lightsiding is offensive; with the Dark Side seeming vice versa. However, what the two Dark Sides have in common is that they engage in tactics that can be seen as sneaky/cowardly. So in Worms, Light vs Dark is more of a case of overt versus covert.)
    • There are Shout Outs just about everywhere in the Worms series, right down to the voice sets: "Formula 1" is the Worms doing the best impersonation their squeaky voices can handle of legendary British motor racing commentator Murray Walker. "There was definitely contact there!"
    • The classic Ninja Rope was a Shout-Out to Batman and his Grappling-Hook Pistol. The beta even called it a Batrope.
    • In the story of Worms 4 Mayhem, one of the levels includes a clock tower with a wire running down to two lamp posts, with a very familiar DeLorean beneath it. By hitting it with an explosive weapon, it's possible for the DeLorean to explode, leaving a pair of fire trails behind. The icing on the cake is that after completing the level, as part of the story you and your team travel back in time.
    • The Disco Dan voice in Worms 4 Mayhem, when missing a shot, delivers lines straight from the lyrics of Michael Jackson's song "Blame it On the Boogie" ("Don't blame it on the sunshine", "Don't blame it on the moonlight").
    • The Holy Hand Grenade ("Haaaa-llelujah!") comes straight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
    • One of the hats that are available from the beginning in Worms W.M.D., Unicorn, has hair that resembles Rainbow Dash's mane.
    • The "Stooges" soundbank features various catchphrases from The Three Stooges shorts, saying things such as "Spread out!" when an explosive lands nearby, "Look at the grouse!" when launching an air raid or "Nyuk-nyuk-nyuk" when using an animal or "drop and run" weapon. The voice itself sounds like a strange mix of Moe and Curly, sounding more like one or the other depending on the voice clip.
    • Worms WMD's "All-Stars Pack" featured a lot of official content from other video games, including Rocket League, Saints Row IV, Team Fortress 2note , Yooka-Laylee, Broforce, Goat Simulator, PAYDAY 2, Unturned, Orcs Must Die! Unchained, The Escapists and various titles by Rarenote .
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness vs. Seriousness: Way down the silly end, and loving every second of it.
  • Smelly Skunk: A weapon in Armageddon. Once deployed it will walk around and, after a few seconds, spray toxic fumes which poison nearby worms.
  • Sniper Scope Sway: In Worms 3D, this happens when the player is using the shotgun since, as in all other Worms games, the shotgun works more like a two-shot sniper rifle.
  • Sphere of Destruction: The explosions of most weapons in the 2D games leave perfectly circular craters.
  • Stalked by the Bell: When the round timer runs out, varying things can happen: all Worms reduced to one health, all Worms poisoned (via a nuke), and/or the water level starts to rise. The latter is a problem due to Super Drowning Skills.
  • Stealth Pun: Homing pigeon. It's of course a type of a pigeon, but here it's also "homing" in a way a homing missile is.
  • Stereotypical South Asian English: One of the voices you can select for your worms in Armageddon is "The Raj", in which the worms speak with an exaggerated South Asian accent. Features of this voice set include the singsong cadence of speech, use of the present participle, and a somewhat verbose vocabulary (for example, when other voice sets would respond to a missed shot with lines like "Missed me!" or "Bad Shot!", The Raj's line is "You are having bad eyesight!").
  • Stuff Blowing Up:
    • There's stuff you'd reasonably expect to explode, like grenades and bazooka rockets. Then there are sheep, bananas, pigeons, carpets, concrete donkeys, more sheep, cows, envelopes, and grannies. Shoot a supply, health, or utility crate, and it will explode, and if the crate contained a sheep-based weapon, the sheep might jump out of the crate and then explode when it lands. Kill a Worm and it explodes, leaving behind a small gravestone which given enough provocation also explodes.
    • This is also the only reason why an entire team can get wiped out with one prod. That and really lucky placement.
  • Super Drowning Skills:
    • Being submersed in water kills instantly regardless of health unless you skip over it. Then again, if you're being skipped over water, odds are you're flying off the side of the level...
    • In Revolution, dynamic water merely acts like poison, chipping away the health of worms in it at the end of a turn.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Title: The spin-off Worms Pinball was originally named Addiction Pinball on its PC release before being renamed for the PlayStation port.
  • Take That!: The Nuclear Bomb in Worms 2 plays La Marseillaise before causing the level to sink. The French nuclear test becomes an Indian Nuclear Test in later games.
  • Taking You with Me: The worms self-destructing upon death can be a (usually) unintentional example: if there's a nearby enemy with very little health left or inches from being knocked off stage, the small explosion can kill them. As for straighter examples, there are the Kamikaze and Suicide Bomber weapons: the former does more damage and has higher knockback and range, while the latter does little damage upfront but poisons nearby worms, potentially making it the more devastating option during longer games.
  • Tank Goodness: WMD has tanks, armored vehicles equipped with a cannon that fires two shells in a salvo, takes a brief pause before repeating the same pattern until the third shot is made.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: At least four different varieties of teleporters are available:
    • The classic Teleport lets worms move almost anywhere on the map, but immediately ends their turn when used.
    • Reloaded's Emergency Teleport warps every worm on a team to a random spot on the map.
    • Revolution introduced the Teleswap, which lets worms switch places without using up a turn.
    • Clan Wars introduced the Teleport Gun, which allows worms to shoot a spot on the map and immediately warp there without wasting a turn.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Used in Blast when Blast Mode is activated and a remix of Wormsong starts up.
  • Theme Tune: Wormsong, written by Bjorn Lynne. Four versions of it - Wormsong '95 from the original, Wormsong '98 from Worms Armageddon, Wormsong '03 from Worms 3D and Wormsong '11 from Worms Reloaded - have lyrics and little stories to go with them. note 
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Any worms who died in a war during gameplay always come back alive and well for the next round.
  • This Banana is Armed: Every game starting with Armageddon has had a number of silly weapons, the sillier the more dangerous. Including a literal Banana Bomb (a Banana as a Cluster Bomb but stronger). The Banana Bomb & standard Sheep have actually been there since the Original game, but it was Armageddon when the silliness really took off.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: When a worm is about to get royally fucked by a weapon, they'll either nervously say something like, "Oh dear!" or just plain scream in panic.
  • Throw the Pin: Played straight in one cutscene in Worms 2: We see a worm pulling the pin from a grenade, the camera cuts to the "victim" worm - who is hit on the head by the pin. Cut back to the attacking worm, who proceeds to do an Evil Laugh - then notices that he's still holding the grenade.
  • Title Drop: The Armageddon weapon in Worms Armageddon.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The worms have no sense of fighting back or fleeing when they're attacked.
  • Trash Talk: If you screw up a shot, expect other worms to point out your stupidity. "OI, NUTTA!". They'll also chew you out for skipping turns or running out of your turn time. "BORING!"
  • Trope Codifier: For Artillery-style turn-based strategy. Despite being preceded by a number of similar games, newer games with a similar style of play (such as Hogs of War) are inevitably knows as "Worms clones".
  • Tunnel King: Some weapons, such as the Blowtorch, allow the player to quickly dig through terrain.
  • Video Game Stealing: Reloaded introduced the ability to steal a weapon from another team. This was reworked into the close-range Stick Up in Revolution.
  • Videogame Flamethrowers Suck: Zig-zagged by the flamethower fixed turret in Worms: WMD. It's fire actually behaves much more like that of a real-life liquid flamethrower than a Hollywood gas one. It still fails to obscure the users' position with smoke, but that would be pointless to begin with considering the 2D antfarm-view nature of the game. While it can indeed damage buildings, your grenades will do significantly more. While it still explodes if you do enough damage to it, this is true of all the game's fixed turrets.
  • Visual Pun:
    • Worms will pull out a skipping rope when skipping a turn.
    • The Carpet Bomb is literally an air strike that drops explosive bouncing carpets.
  • War Has Never Been So Much Fun: Particularly with the cartoony direction of the series from Worms 2 onwards.
  • Water Guns and Balloons: Water pistols and water balloons (called water bombs) are part of the arsenal in Revolution, Clan Wars and Battleground.
  • Weapon Tombstone: If Donor Cards are set, the last worm on a team can drop such a card upon dying instead of the usual Instant Gravestone. Picking up this card gives all the utilities and superweapons that worm's team had. It can be blown up, too.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Your worms will berate a teammate for getting them caught in the crossfire.
  • When It Rains, It Pours: Happens in the 3D installments.
  • Whoopee Cushion: Clan Wars introduces the Whoopsie Cushion, which bounces around the battlefield while emitting poison gas when used.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: PLENTY of this going on. Enemy worms will take any opportunity they can to lambast your combat skills.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: The second generation games have a setting where the last worm in a team drops a donor card when killed. Whoever takes the donor card gets all extra weapons that team had.

Trope-tan is an ex-worm


Video Example(s):



Whenever a Worm runs out of health while still on-stage, they'll blow themselves up with a Plunger Detonator, being replaced with a gravestone. Later games would allow you to pick the gravestone that the ex-Worm would turn into.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / InstantGravestone

Media sources: