Created By: Megaritz on August 12, 2009
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So The Empire has conquered a number of unfortunate countries and crushed the citizens under the weight of oppression. But it just isn't enough for The Empire. They've got to rub their newfound authority in the subdued province's face. How best to humiliate them? Take away something they strongly value, something that symbolizes their very identity--their name! The Empire will show how evil they are by re-branding the area with a label and a number.

  • In Code Geass, Japan is renamed "Area 11."
  • 1984 has the entire United Kingdom given the pitiful title of "Airstrip 1."
Community Feedback Replies: 14
  • August 12, 2009
    Ryusui
    This is likely to get a lot more examples if you broaden the definition - changing the name of anything to a number as a sign of dehumanization and oppression. In that event, you have an obvious title: A Number Not A Free Man, in a reversal of the classic line from The Prisoner (though I suspect that was what you were going for).
  • August 12, 2009
    BlackMageJ
    • Ixia's Military Districts (MD-1 through MD-8) in Maria Snyder's Ixia And Sitia books. The Commander isn't actually evil though, just a military man who hates any show of extravagance relating to the royal family he ousted.
    • Half Life 2 takes place somewhere in Eastern Europe, in a location known only as City 17.
    • Midgar's sectors in Final Fantasy VII. Someone (Barrett?) mentions that the areas on the ground used to have real names, but nobody remembers them any more.
  • August 12, 2009
    Nekusagi
    I second the "change the name of anything to a number". On that note:
    • Music example: Secret Agent Man. "He's giving you a number and taking away your name"
    • In Spirited Away Yubaba changes Chihiro's name to the number Sen (literally 1000).
  • August 12, 2009
    Prfnoff
    There's one reason not to broaden the definition: it would cause a dubious overlap between the proposed trope and You Are Number Six.

    And here's the likely page quote:
    Even the names of the countries, and their shapes on the map, had been different. Airstrip One, for instance, had not been so called in those days: it had been called England or Britain, though London, he felt fairly certain, had always been called London.
  • August 12, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    I think "Airstrip One" might be iconic enough to be the trope namer.
  • August 12, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Also, Earthbound plays with this a bit: the towns are named Onett, Twoson, Threed, and Fourside.
  • August 12, 2009
    Epiblast
    I agree that Airstrip One would be a good name.
  • August 12, 2009
    Ryusui
    Ditto here.
  • August 12, 2009
    Arilou
    There is something of a subversion in Planescape Torment, a woman who has *lost* her number and is incredibly distresses at this (since she no longer knows exactly where she belongs) you can solve her problem in many ways though, including giving her a new name or getting her number back.
  • August 12, 2009
    Saintheart
    Real Life: Russia and Germany, at different points in their existence, have tried to do this to Poland.
  • August 13, 2009
    Frank75
    The Kurds in Turkey were (still are?) mentioned only as "mountain Turks".

  • August 13, 2009
    Silent Hunter
    Oddly enough, the districts of Paris are numbered.
  • August 13, 2009
    Gammon
  • August 13, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Didn't Germany do this to Austria after the Aunchless?
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