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Why Is Peacock's New Show Called Apples Never Fall? The Complex Meaning Behind the Unusual Name

Although the Peacock drama focuses on a family with a love of tennis to keep them together, apples play a key part in unraveling the mystery behind Joy Delaney's disappearance. 

By Caitlin Schunn

Peacock’s new drama Apples Never Fall is based on the best-selling novel by Liane Moriarty and its name is memorable for readers and viewers alike.

Four apples line the cover of the novel, seemingly representing the four Delaney children featured in the story: Amy (Alison Brie), Brooke (Essie Randles), Troy (Jake Lacy), and Logan (Conor Merrigan-Turner). The Delaney parents, Stan (Sam Neill) and Joy (Annette Bening), are now retired after running a prestigious tennis academy — a life that brought  all four of their children into the world of competitive tennis.

Many have speculated that the title comes from the popular proverb, “The apple never falls far from the tree,” meaning a child often grows up to be similar to its parents.

But why is the drama called Apples Never Fall? That turns out to be a difficult, complex answer.

Why is the book and show called Apples Never Fall?

In the opening moments of the premiere episode, we see Joy riding a bike along the streets of suburbia, houses and green lawns flashing by. She ends up at the grocery store, where we see her picking up and inspecting apples. This then cuts to a scene of an empty bicycle turned over on a street with apples scattered around the ground, indicating the bike crashed while holding the apples in its basket.

Annette Bening as joy on Apples Never Fall

Blood on the pedal and body of the bike also paints a sinister picture of what happened to its rider, Joy, as an apple did indeed fall.

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But the title clearly goes beyond literal apples and looks more at the complex dynamics of the Delaney family after Stan and Joy retire from running their tennis academy.

The four Delaney children were all tennis stars of various degrees, taking after their athletic parents — but none of them ever made it pro, as their father dreamed. In this way, the children are all falling very much away from the tree, as we learn they went into professions like physical therapy or stock investment instead of professional tennis.

Of course, as secrets come out about all six members of the Delaney family and we learn more about their faults and mistakes, we learn the children may be more similar to their parents in unflattering ways.

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Another running storyline involving apples is the family’s attempts to reproduce the infamous apple crumble that Stan’s grandmother used to make — but the recipe remains a secret — foreshadowing the Delaney family crumbling before our very eyes as Joy goes missing and even his own children suspect Stan might be behind her disappearance.

Apples Never Fall3

Above all else, Apples Never Fall is a story about family, marriage, and the secrets that lie below the surface. It premieres only on Peacock on March 14.

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