Upside-Down Digits YKTTW Discussion

Upside-Down Digits
LCD digits look like letters when turned upside-down.
(permanent link) added: 2011-08-04 07:39:01 sponsor: SonicLover (last reply: 2014-08-27 06:30:41)

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Hello to you too, calculator. How are you today?
Seen It a Million Times. Needs a Better Name (maybe). Needs a Better Description. Rolling Updates. Could seriously use some discussion; I'm sick of making irrelevant edits just to bump.

It's a classic trick known by anyone who's ever been bored with a calculator: enter a number, turn the display upside-down, and read it like it's a set of letters. 0.7734 becomes "HELLO", 58008 becomes "BOOBS", 312217 becomes "LIZZIE"... the possibilities go on and on.

This trick of turning numbers upside-down to form letters (or vice-versa) has been incorporated in many ways, in many different forms of media. Apparently a lot of people have been bored while in possession of calculators (and if you've ever taken a high school or college math class you can't really blame them).

See also Letters 2 Numbers. Will go under Number Tropes.


  • Used without an actual calculator in the Warhammer novel Beasts In Velvet. One of the characters gets fatally stabbed but sees the killer. When he is found, his body is stuck in a barrel, with his dying message scrawled on the inside of the lid. It looks like a string of numbers which don't make sense until the climax, where the heroes realize they have read it upside down.

  • The Hollies released an album called 5317704. Think about it.

Video Games
  • Telltale's Sam & Max: Freelance Police series, Episode 204 (Chariots of the Dogs): When Sam inspects the keypad for the door, Max tells him to "make it say BOOBIES". The code turns out to be 5318008, "BOOBIES" upside-down. Strange Minds Think Alike, apparently.
  • In Riddle School 3, Phil has to find the combination for Richy's locker. When he finds it it says "BLOBBLES". Of course, it's actually 53788078.
  • At least one puzzle in the Professor Layton series has made good use of this trope.

Web Original

Web Comics

Western Animation
  • When Karen got turned into a calculator in one episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, she displayed the "HELLO" trick across her screen.
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