The Owl House And Amphibia Fandoms Are Filled With Worm Memes And I’m So Afraid

Hiatuses can have a damaging effect on fandoms. Some fans wait patiently for a new announcement, making friends in the community while producing all manner of fanfiction and fanart as new episodes linger on the horizon. Others have comprehensive breakdowns and morph their favourite media into unknowable masses of memes so impenetrable that you need some form of further education to figure out where exactly it all came from. The Owl House and Amphibia sit in the latter camp, and I love them for it, even if I’m now more confused than ever.

Amphibia reached its conclusion months ago, with the Calamity Trio bowing out in a fantastic finale that delivered on all of our expectations. The Owl House, on the other hand, still has a trio of extended specials left to air, all of which are planned to wrap up the narrative instead of a complete third season. It isn’t the climax fans were hoping for, but Dana Terrace and company have managed to take these restrictions and subvert them to create something wonderful. Who knows when the hiatus will be over, but for now we have worms to keep us busy. Say hello to The Worm House and Wormphibia. Yep, that’s actually a real thing.

Do you remember those overpriced worms on a string you’d find in supermarkets or being sold on television as a kid? Presenters would treat them as magic, when in reality they are deftly pulling on a hidden string that allows the furry creature to slip about the place like a living creature. I thought they were the coolest thing ever and desperately wanted one, only to find out that the charm wears off pretty damn quickly. Yet I still love them, if only for their funny little noses and googly eyes that can be transplanted onto any existing character and still be recognisable. The Owl House and Amphibia have done just that, and it’s glorious.

According to my research, this trend originated in a Discord server when one fan noted that a flick of Hunter’s hair resembles the iconic worms, officially named Squirmles, and thus the floodgates were opened. It spread to social media, and soon entire pieces of art and animatics were being made to celebrate this weird new universe. Animators and writers on the show were just as confused as I was, but all of them seemed to embrace the sillier side of things. Just take a look at the hashtag on Twitter, and you’ll find an avalanche of amazing pieces. I almost couldn’t believe how well worms can translate to any number of iconic moments in each show. So long as the clothing, expressions, and scene composition remains, you could remake every single episode and just throw worms in there instead. I love it so much.

Iconic moments like Lumity’s first kiss and the epic space battle from Amphibia’s finale have been infiltrated by worms as fans have taken this inside joke and absolutely ran with it. Its viral potential is oddly wholesome. Fandoms can be toxic, territorial places at times, but this is fuelled by joy and isn’t hurting anyone. It only serves to bring fans together as they laugh at the absurdity of it all. Everyone is having fun instead of going at each other’s throats over lore discussions or competing over queer representation despite the fact we’re all in this together. For a short while, all that matters is the worms.

My personal favourite is the animatic I mentioned earlier recreating Amity’s first kiss. The dialogue remains identical, as does the background art and scene composition. Except now, all of our characters are limbless worms sliding about the place with wanton hilarity. Amity – excuse me – Wormity holds up her ID card before staring back at Wuz, scooting closer before planting a brief kiss on her wormy cheek. Her reaction is priceless as she drops to the floor and scoots away like she’s trying to escape a big gay predator. The camera even cuts to wormified versions of Edric and Emira reacting from above, which is just perfect. I’m describing this scene like its high art, and from my subjective viewpoint, it just might be.

If you're a fan of either The Owl House or Amphibia and fancy a good laugh, I’d recommend jumping on Twitter and losing yourself in this ridiculous trend. It’s so fun, fully aware of how silly the joke has become and embracing each new step forward it takes. Pivotal moments from each show being twisted into bouts of incidental hilarity because the cast has suddenly been transformed into a group of furry, googly eyed worms is just the thing I needed.

Disney, if you’ve noticed this, please go ahead and greenlight worm-based adaptations of all your major properties. Worm MCU. Worm Pixar. The Worming Dead. Worm Wars. The Worm House and Wormphibia were just the beginning, now we must all embrace the worm.

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