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% Apple.png
Name apple
Base price 7 zm
Nutrition 50
Turns to eat 1
Weight 2
Conduct vegan

An apple is a fruit that is suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Pets that are herbivorous will consider it a treat, and it can be used to tame horses. Healers and Monks start with at least 5 apples, and Knights start with at least 10 apples.

In NetHack 3.6.0 and later versions, eating a cursed apple will cause you to fall asleep for 20-30 turns if you lack sleep resistance. This is a reference to Snow White and the poisoned apple.[1]


Apples do not give much nutrition. Eat your rations first and save your apples for other uses, such as taming or feeding pets.

Healers, Knights, and Monks might need to eat their apples before they can find other food.


You hear sinister laughter as you fall asleep...
You ate a cursed apple and fell asleep.
You fall asleep.
As above, while deaf.
Heigh-ho, ho-hum, I think I'll skip work today.
As above, while a dwarf and hallucinating.

Some YAFMs appear if you eat an apple or pear in NetHack while playing on a Unix or Mac OS system.[2]

Message Effect
"Core dumped." (Unix, not hallucinating) No effect

When a Unix program performs an illegal operation, the kernel shuts down the program. The program often dumps a core file for loading into debuggers. This message can scare a player into thinking that NetHack had suddenly crashed and exited. The joke here is that the hero has only discarded an inedible apple core.

"Segmentation fault -- core dumped." (75/100 chance)

"Bus error -- core dumped." (24/100 chance)
"Yo' mama -- core dumped." (1/100 chance)
(Unix, hallucinating)

No effect

These error messages are more realistic - the typical "core dumped" error on Unix comes with the cause of the crash.

"Delicious! Must be a Macintosh!" (Mac OS before Mac OS X which is Unix-like) No effect

Apple Computer named their Macintosh computers after a real type of apple.

In no case does the game actually crash.

Encyclopaedia entry

NEWTONIAN, adj. Pertaining to a philosophy of the universe
invented by Newton, who discovered that an apple will fall
to the ground, but was unable to say why. His successors
and disciples have advanced so far as to be able to say

[ The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce ]

Other Reading

Joke Unix documentation from which the "core dumped" messages appear to be derived. This appears to be a Usenet post, but Google Groups doesn't seem to have this one.