Making the Grades
Spaghetti might be a hard meal to eat after watching worms fried, boiled, blended and put in the microwave. Warning: this movie is not for the weak of stomach. Unfortunately that's exactly what Billy Forrester (Luke Benward) is, and his reputation for throwing up is not something he's anxious for the kids at his new school to find out about.
However, a group of students welcome him on his first day by filling his lunch thermos with a pile of worms. At that moment, Billy knows he'll have to stomach the urge to puke or risk losing face forever. But he doesn't stop there. When the gang leader Joe (Adam Hicks) and his followers chase Billy down an alley, the new arrival bets he can eat ten of the juicy wigglers.
With a handshake to confirm the deal, Billy realizes he'll have to carry through on the ridiculous wager. Luckily, he is befriended by a few of the other class outcasts including an exceptionally tall girl named Erika (Hallie Kate Eisenberg) and the group geek named Adam (Austin Rogers) who are eager to see him succeed.
At home, Billy discovers he isn't the only one having some trouble fitting in at the family's new location. At the office, his father (Thomas Cavanagh) is trying to find his place as well. Although Dad doesn't grasp the fact that Billy is literally eating worms, he does offer some encouragement and shares his own apprehensions about being accepted when his son balks at going to school.
A disclaimer at the end of the movie reassures viewers that no worms were harmed during the making of this production, however the visuals are realistic enough to make at least some audience members feel a little queasy. The film's gross-out factor also includes bathroom humor, anatomical and pet names for male anatomy, and depictions of throwing up. Name calling among the peers, sibling rivalry and the mocking of authorities are issues for these preteens as well.
Luckily, these fifth graders aren't all about boyish antics. The kids also discover that standing up to a bully is the best way to disable him or her preferably without having to eat worms.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about How to Eat Fried Worms.
What does Joe use to intimidate the other kids? Why is he able to make them believe in the “death ring”? What does Billy discover about Joe’s reasons for bullying?
Why are “new kids” often picked on? What can you do to help new arrivals feel welcome in your school, community or church?
What struggles do Billy and his father share? Can moving be hard for adults as well? What things can a family do to make a move easier for everyone?