aka: The Infinite

You could say it's... loopy.

Figure eight as double four,
Figure four as half of eight.
If you skate, you would be great
If you could make a figure eight.
That's a circle that turns 'round upon itself...
Place it on its side and it's a symbol meaning Infinity...
-Schoolhouse Rock, "Figure Eight"

When a big number just isn't BIG enough , writers turn to the Infinite. Rarely do writers touch upon on its immeasurable nature, sometimes even assigning it to something that's just really large, although that version is usually Played for Laughs or is just the closest approximation they (or the characters) could find. The most horrendous use is when a writer implies something may be More Than Infinite, which again makes no sense when you factor in the fact that infinity is a limitless value instead of an actual number that you can add to note .

See all related Number Tropes, which can't possibly compare. You can however, compare a Mouthful of Pi, which is Infinite in its own way as it goes on and on and..., well, you get the idea. And if you were wondering, that sideways 8 thing is called a Lemniscate.

If you were looking for the Tabletop Game, you can find it here. Also not to be confused with the Korean boy band with the same name.


Anime and Manga
  • In The Movie of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, the final, almighty clash between the title mecha and the copycat villain is so powerful it absorbs the pocket universe around it, zooming out until the scene shows no more than two intertwined, struggling specks in a featureless void, which briefly become an infinity symbol before everything explodes back into epic mecha-anime action. What this is supposed to actually mean is anyone's guess.
  • In Space Runaway Ideon, when the Solo crew reaches Earth, they use its most powerful computer to estimate Ide's power output. As they look at the screen, the number on it begins to rise exponentially before being replaced by a single symbol: infinity.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • An anime-only villain summons a monster with infinite attack during the final rounds of the duel, that has an side effect that causes him to lose automatically should it be destroyed. The Pharaoh defeats him by summoning another monster with infinite attack that cannot be destroyed by battle.
    • Obelisk the Tormentor has an effect that gives him infinite attack by sacrificing the other two god cards.

Comic Books

  • Near the end of the Australian film The Bank, the main characters are watching a computer screen when a large and ominous-looking infinity sign pops up, at which point one of the characters remarks, "There is no bank." It's part of a computerised futures calculation program written by the protagonist as a means of revenge against the unscrupulous title bank that drove his father to suicide.

  • The concept of The Infinite as an actual speed is played for all the absurdity it is worth by Douglas Adams in The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy with the Infinite Improbability Drive.
  • In Necroscope Harry Keogh (and his heirs) gain access to the Moebius continuum (with its ability to time travel and teleport) by being able to calculate the infinite length of a moebius strip as a finite number.

Live-Action TV
  • Infinity is used as a substitute for "really, really, fast" in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Threshold". In stark contrast to the Douglas Adams example above, it is played painfully straight prompting a near meltdown by SF Debris in his review who pointed out that "Infinite" speed is not something you can accelerate towards.
  • Parodied in Look Around You's first episode "Maths".
    Narrator: What's the largest number you can think of?
    Girl: Um... a hundred thousand?
    Man: Nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand.
    Older man: A million.
    Narrator: In actual fact, it's neither of these. The largest number is about 45 billion. Although mathematicians suspect there may be even larger numbers.

Tabletop Games
  • At this point, Wizards of the Coast doesn't even bother with making numbers in Magic: The Gathering stay finite anymore. But the most annoying of these is Time Vault (which enters play "tapped", or off, does not "untap" or turn on at the start of your turn like normal, and lets you untap it by skipping a turn, so that you can tap it to take another turn) and Voltaic Key (which, for one mana and a tap, lets you untap any artifact). With this combo, you have infinite turns. And then there's the Mox Lotus, a card from Unhinged that can be tapped for infinity colorless mana. Setting up infinite combos like this is considered a basic deck build style; they aren't as overpowered as they look at first glance since they take time to set up and are vulnerable to disruption.

Video Games
  • DWN-∞ is the serial number of Zero of the Mega Man X series; it's implied that his creator sees Zero as having an unlimited potential.

Web Original
  • TV Tropes itself does it: Infinity+1 Sword, Infinity–1 Sword, Infinity+1 Element, More Than Infinite. As Infinity is not a number (being, ya know, infinite), adding or substracting one means nothing, meaning that infinity +1 and infinity -1 are still infinity and thus the same thing.note 
  • One of Phelous' reviews has him call out the opening narrator for claiming that this story "is still happening" because "this story is about time, and time has no ending.". However, upon checking the DVD box label, he finds that the film has a running time of "∞", causing him to freak out.

Alternative Title(s): Lemniscate, The Infinite, Infinitely Big Number