Six is Nine YKTTW Discussion

Six is Nine
Now if 6 turned out to be 9, it\'s important
(permanent link) added: 2011-10-23 10:08:55 sponsor: drdeathray (last reply: 2011-10-30 06:01:58)

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If you turn the number 6 upside down you get a 9 and vice versa. We all know that.

This trope is about those cases where these two numbers becomes a plot point. The most common (but not the only) scenarios:
  • Causes some sort confusion in the plot, that doesn't allow it to advance (like the example below).
  • It's used for The Reveal or a Plot Twist. Often, but not necessarily, is the Number of the Beast.

For example: Alice is a detective and has learned from a phone call that weird things are happening in Apartment 6. She goes over there, investigates, but finds nothing. But the phone calls continue, so Alice goes again to to Apartment 6, only to find out that the apartment where she was investigating was number 9, but the 9 somehow it was unscrewed, and looked like a 6.

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  • This is why they put a line in the bottom of these two numbers.

  • Oliver Stone's JFK was released on the 30th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination. The theatrical trailer displayed the date of said assassination--November 22, 1963--and then swiveled the 6 in 1963 around to reveal the release date for the film.
  • Star Trek: Voyager had a similar ad for their 30th anniversary episode: they showed the number 1966 (Star Trek TOS's first year) and rotated the first 6 into a 9.

Anime and Manga
  • In The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, the title character notices a '90' tattooed on her arm that wasn't there before. It isn't until she time leaps a few more times that she realizes it was the number of leaps she had left, and it was actually '06.'

Comic Books
  • The Far Side: In one cartoon, a painter has just painted "999" on Satan's office door in hell. Satan doesn't look happy, and the painter says "I must have been holding the dang work order upside down!"

  • In National Lampoon's European Vacation the Grizwolds spend some time with German-speaking relatives; as they leave they slam the door and the six swings down and becomes a nine, they'd been staying with strangers and didn't realize it.
  • In End Of Days the Number of the Beast is really 999.
  • Something like that happened in the French/British Film La Grande Vadrouille set during WW2 with hotel room 6 and 9.
  • In the film version of Minority Report there was a scene where John Anderton gets Crow's hotel room wrong due to the number 9 or 6 having a screw loose.
  • This happens to Lenny in Memento causing him to bash a random motel resident in the face.

Live-Action TV
  • In the How I Met Your Mother episode "Bad News", the numbers fifty to one are hidden in the episode as a countdown until Marshall receives the news of his father's death. A file folder Barney is holding is marked with the number nine, and later on the folder is picked up upside-down, now representing the number six in the countdown.
  • In a Halloween episode of Quantum Leap, Sam leaps into the body of a horror writer whose street address is 669. Near the climax, the nine flips upside-down to reveal that the devil is amongst them.
  • Parodied in an early episode of Saturday Night Live, one sketch was a parody of The Omen. Late in the sketch, one character accuses the child, Damien, of being spawned from Satan, and they should check for the Number Of The Beast on his forehead. One character checks by standing behind the child, and declares that everything is okay with him, because the number on his forehead is 999.
  • Cheers: The bar has a raffle using numbered ping pong balls. Number 99 gets chosen, but Sam points out that the 99 looks like a 66. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Parodied in 3rd Rock from the Sun: Harry:
    "Dick, I've lost all feeling in the left side of my body. [looks at can upside-down] Could somebody please call "1-1-6"?
  • In episode 9 of The Unusuals, the cops find out that the perpetrator of the case they're working on lives in apartment #6. They go to the apartment, and find the wrong person entirely. Naturally, the apartment they knocked on was actually #9, and the nail had fallen out of the top of the sign. (Cue chase scene, set to Tunak Tunak Tun, as the actual perp has had plenty of time to prepare to flee...)
  • In a short sketch on The Benny Hill Show, Benny as a jealous husband breaks into a hotel room and shoots the man & woman in the bed. Then he takes another look at them, looks at the room number, rotates the 6 to a 9, and sheepishly exits.
  • In an episode of cult The '70s British cop show The Sweeney, the "6 with a screw missing turns into a 9" gag is used in a scene where a very respectable family are eating dinner when armed policemen crash into their home, and are just as surprised as they are because they were expecting to meet armed criminals. After the mistake is cleared up, the cops leave with apologies and the family calmly return to their meal. Moments later, a crash is heard in the distance, and the father comments that it sounds as though they've found number 9.


  • In the Old Harry's Game there is a bit where Satan received a phone call intended for the emergency services because the caller had the phone upside down.

Video Games
  • Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors makes the Number 9 a plot point by having June's bracelet (a 6) actually being a 9, which allows her to open any of the doors in the game, making it an important hint to who Zero actually is.
  • In the fifth case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, a piece of evidence contains a note that reads "6-7S 12/2." However, the note was apparently written upside down and it actually reads "2/21 SL-9," tying it to another case altogether.
  • In Indigo Prophecy (a.k.a Fahrenheit), Carla and Tyler are in the hotel and want to frame Lucas and they will find him in the room 369. Lucas tells Marcus to call the cops, meanwhile Carla opens room (pictured above)] with force, only to find out a couple in bed, and realizing it's room 366. She later goes to the real room 369, only to find out it's empty.

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