the worm has turned

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the worm (has) turned

Said when a normally quiet, submissive, or patient person or group of people is retaliating or refusing to put up with agitation or mistreatment. With the dictator in hiding and the oppressed population taking control, it seems that the worm has turned. I used to get awful verbal abuse from my last boss, but the worm turned and I told him where he could stick it. Now I'm starting up my own rival company.
See also: turn, worm
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

the worm has turned

You say the worm has turned if someone who has accepted a lot of bad treatment from other people without complaining suddenly decides that they are not going to accept the situation any longer. Then my mother came home and started bossing us around. She said, `The worm has turned. Things are going to be different around here.'
See also: turn, worm
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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