Wormcore, also tagged as Worm Time, is variation of toywave based on the toys known as Worm On A String, Magic Worm, and Squirmles. Worm Rights may also be tagged when the post has LGBT overlap. This aesthetic is theorised to have started from the Furby Fandom on Tumblr, as members of Furby Fandom often joked about Squirmles being a Furby's food. The phrase "Oh, worm?" became a Tumblr meme in early 2017, thus bringing the first wave of site-wide attention to the worm toys. Wormcore emerged as its own subculture in mid to late 2019.
Squirmles (also known as Snoots, Magic Twisty Worms, or Worm on a String) are small, worm-like toys with eyes, a furry body, and a hidden string used to imitate a live worm, sometimes used as a magic trick. A popular toy released in the late 1970s by the Illfelder Importing Company, Squirmles come in a variety of colors and are measured at 8.5 in by 0.5 in. They are typically found in discount stores in the United States. In 2017 they began being referred to mainly as "Worm on a String", and in 2020 as "wormies" or simply "worms".
Squirmles have gained an unexpected second life as a material used in fly fishing. Re-branded as "Dragon Tails," they can be tied onto a hook and the same properties which made them appear like live worms on land, make them appear lifelike to fish as well.
In late 2019, Squirmles rose in popularity as an Internet meme under the name of “Worm on a string”. Often popular on websites such as Tumblr, Amino, Pinterest, TikTok, and Instagram, they have been used in art projects such as jackets, door beads, and earrings. They are sometimes referenced as "worms on a string" in these communities, and the style is known as "wormcore". Some people have made LGBT versions of them. Squirmles are mostly popular due to their appearance, featuring googly eyes, fluffy bodies, extended "noses", and bright colors. In these memes, their likeness is often used in edgy or obscure humor often referencing the "sins" of the Squirmles, in juxtaposition with the appearance of the toy.
The original toy came in the colors pink, orange, blue, yellow, green, and purple. Later, new colors were made available, such as red, navy, black, white and multi-colored.