It's time for the Second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest! Details here
"It's abhorrent what you young folks text to one another. Is English truly that difficult?"
It's easy 4 numbers
2 be substituted 4 letters in chatspeak and it needs 2 be typed quickly. However, in the same vein as Xtreme Kool Letterz
, numbers are often used in place of letters 2 be "hip". Most of the time, the number looks nothing like the letter it's meant 2 replace.
An awful lot of sequels will pun off of "2 / Too / To"; a few more will offer "3 / 3D
" (not a pun at all, actually), and a very rare few will utilize "4 / For."
This is bound to spark countless debates on how it's actually supposed to be pronounced.
Teleprinter operators were doing this before the cellphone was even invented.
A subtrope of Xtreme Kool Letterz
. Rel8ed 2 Lucky Charms Title
and Leet Lingo
open/close all folders
An1me & Manga
- We3 is a pretty straightforward one.
- Was it supposed to be anything other than We Three? Wee?
- Hack Slash had a villain-of-the-issue called D1ab0lik. He was a stereotype misanthropic geek.
- Often used with sequels to movies, a particular kind of Oddly Named Sequel:
- Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.
- Also, the horror classic Leprechaun: Back 2 Da Hood. Which is a sequel, apparently implied by the number 2 (it's actually part 6 in the series).
- Pokémon 4Ever
- Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, a sequel to the 2008 movie Journey to the Center of the Earth, which can also be read without the colon as Journey to the Mysterious Island.
- And, taking it to a ridiculous level, 2 Fast 2 Furious. At least the third film wasn't called 3 Fast 3 Furious. Though that didn't stop theatres from marking it as that on their marquees. (Or the inevitable NewgroundsPoop.)
- Step Up 4Ever (this was later renamed Step Up: Revolution when it was decided to make it less about dancing and more about flash mobs).
- This is parodied on 30 Rock with a fictional fifth movie in the Snow Dogs series, called 5now Dog5.
- Cradle 2 the Grave. "Born 2 the life. True 2 the code. Bad 2 the bone."
- Se7en. Fans enjoy various alternative pronunciations, such as "Se-seven-en," "Seten," and "Se'en."
- "Thir-thirteen-en-ghosts" (Thir13en Ghosts). Particularly heinous because the movie is a 2001 remake of the normally-spelled 13 Ghosts.
- Also to be noted is Lucky Number Slevin, where the L is an upside down 7, though how we're supposed to pronounce that is anyone's guess. Lucky Number Su-sevin, perhaps?
- 2ge+ her, a comedic film that spoofed the boy band phenomenon. It was the first film ever produced directly for air on MTV.
- 5iveGirls, presumably pronounced Five-ive Girls, a direct-to-video horror movie about five schoolgirls and Ron Perlman.
- In Bandslam, the name of one of the main characters is Sa5m (the 5 is silent).
- Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem.
- The working title for TRON: Legacy was TR2N, overlapping with Leet Lingo.
- Scr3am and SCRE4M.
- Final Destination 5 was almost called "5nal Destination", but this was dropped when the producers realized it looked a lot like "Anal Destination".
- 5ive Days to Midnight, a 2004 sci-fi miniseries which reads weirdly ("sive?" "five-ive?")
- S1m0ne, to emphasize how the title character is a virtual construct.
- Wyg&, ¼maine, @kins and S&erson: all names from Alfred Bester's The Demolished Man (1953).
- A children's book has a character named Susan who changes her name to, well, the title says it all: My Name is Sus5an Smith. The 5 is Silent.
- Snow Crash has a minor character named Da5id. (Roman numerals, you see.)
- The Discworld novel Soul Music had a band named "&U", a parody of the rock band U2.
- Not actually in the book, but on the cover of Thirteen Reasons Why, the title is often spelled "Th1rteen R3asons Why".
- The picture book ''Wumbers'' written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Tom Lichtenfeld. "What do you get when you combine a word and a number? A wumber! Paying tribute to William Steig's CDB!, best-selling book, cre8ors Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld have wri10 and illustr8ed this s2pendous book that is 1derful 4 readers in kindergar10 and up. If we've confused you, just take a look at the book—4tun8ly it has helpful pictures. We are sure you will get it ins10tly!"
- Multiple Bles8ings, Jon and Kate Gosselins' (of Jon And Kate Plus Eight, later Kate Plus Eight) book about their relationship and their children before they broke up.
- Cassie's mom is obviously not used to this, as she believes Boyz || Men is actually pronounced "Boys Eleven Men" (along with Nice is Neat and Snoopy Dog) due to one of Marco's convoluted plans to get Cassie to buy their music so he can make a tape of it.
- NUMB3RS is an example.
- In the Back to Earth miniseries for Red Dwarf, the license plate on the Starbug automobile reads ST4R BUG. In a bonus webisode, Chris Barrie comments "You know what I always say? Wanna tell people you're a pillock? Get a personalised number plate."
- Revenge, which uses the infinity symbol of "∞" turned 45° to substitute the "g" and tie in with Emily Thorne's "double infinity" wrist tattoo.
- Liber8 in Continuum. Makes for a great graffiti tag.
- The X-Files episode "2Shy". 2Shy is a username.
- The Mexican Telenovela "Amigos x Siempre"note ; It can even be translated in a similar way (i.e. "Friends 4 Ever")
- Pretty much any song written by Prince.
- The album Tr3s Lunas by Mike Oldfield.
- There was a boyband called 5ive. I think they changed their name to be more sensible.
- They spelled out the number, but in That Thing You Do the band originally called themselves "The Oneders"; their manager made them change it to "The Wonders" because DJs were calling them "The Oh-nee-ders."
- Avril Lavigne, Sk8er boi. There are no words.
- Inverted: the band 3OH!3, who replace the number "0" with an interjection.
- Boyz II Men
- Tom Lehrer: "I am reminded at this point of a fellow I used to know whose name was Henry, only to give you an idea of what a individualist he was, he spelled it H-E-N-3-R-Y ? the three was silent, you see."
- The Veronicas: "4ever"
- MC Hammer: "2 Legit 2 Quit"
- Nine Inch Nails, Year Zero remix album Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D. This is the official title.
- Van Canto, One to Ten:
- Once we have been told a secret
- Too risky to know
- Three years we tried to keep silent
- For to save our homes
- Probably as a nod to Prince's influence, Ween title songs this way on occasion. "Pumpin' 4 The Man" and "Don't Get 2 Close (2 My Fantasy)" for instance.
- Alice Cooper did the Oddly Named Sequel variant with his Welcome To My Nightmare sequel Welcome 2 My Nightmare. Of course, this sort of makes it impossible to say the title out loud in conversation without having to specify which of the two albums you mean.
- Sander van Doorn's ELEVE11.
- Megadeth's Thirteen is styled Th1rt3en on the cover. It's also their thirteenth studio album, and has thirteen songs (not counting bonus tracks for itunes and Japan).
- "Le7els", the single of Swedish house music producer Avicii.
- Canadian house music producer Deadmau5.
- 90s Brit dance pop band 2wo Third3.
- Euro IV Ever, E-type's fourth album.
- Country Music artist Lee Brice's second album is called Hard 2 Love, which doubles as a Chronological Album Title.
- "2 the Sky" on Robin Thicke's album The Evolution of Robin Thicke, one of the few songs that doesn't put a "you" in the title as "U".
- While the numbers usually aren't considered to be part of the official title, the front cover of Journey's Escape renders the title as "ESC4P3".
- The artwork to The White Stripes' Elephant renders the title in all capital letters and replaces the E's with backwards 3's. However, canonically it's still Elephant, not 3L3PHANT.
- Mr. 76ix (seventy-six)
- N 3 XU 5, a Portuguese psytrance artist.
- Finnish metal band Stam1na.
- Left 4 Dead ostensibly has a reason for doing this (there are four survivors), but it would be a blatant lie if we said the marketing team didn't use the 4 in the title for this reason.
- Some pins in The World Ends with You (e.g. Go 2 Hell) use this.
- The math-obsessed Minamimoto takes this a bit further than usual. "(It's x 2) die!"
- The chapter titles are not exempt (e.g. Who 2 trust).
- Wip3out and Driv3r. Pronounced, presumably, "Whip Three Out" and "Driv Three Are"
- The fourth Thief game had the working title THI4F.
- THE iDOLM@STER.
- Dive II Hunt, a flash game featuring a moogle named Sorbet who also appeared in Final Fantasy XII.
- Ready 2 Rumble Boxing.
- Shadowman 2: econd Coming... errr... Shadowman: 2econd Coming
- Silent Hill Origins is actually "Silent Hill 0(as in Zero)rigins".
- The first trailer for Modern Warfare 3 ran on this: "Am3rica, 3ngland, Franc3, G3rmany"
- Yume 2kki, the fan-made sequel to the identically pronounced Yume Nikki (the Japanese phoneme that represents the number two is "ni").
- In Godzilla: Monster of Monsters!, most of the cheat codes are phrases with the first letter O replaced with a zero.
- The various 321 references to the deity EZI in Eternal Sonata
- Being a co-op focused game, Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One does this for pretty much the same reason as Left 4 Dead. In addition, one of the potential subtitles the developers came up with was "4Play", which didn't make it through... for obvious reasons.
- Ultim@te Race Pro
- Brøderbund Software's name was actually written with a zero in many of their early games, since old computers' built-in fonts didn't include "Ø" but did have a similar-looking "0" with a slash through it.
- In the James Pond series, the piscine protagonist is an agent of F.I.5.H.
- AIs in Schlock Mercenary sometimes use numbers to substitute for letters, and even whole syllables, in their names; for example, "5er0" (pronounced "Ver-None") instead of Vernon.
- There's a site called Squirrelworks that does this as well as often invoking z for plural s and other text speak especially in their main comic Coz/Effect.
- Last Res0rt has it right in the title, though Word of God justifies it on the basis of having a hard time securing a domain name in the "correct" spelling.
- Sequential Art has four Squirrel Girls, who were subjects of a secret lab experiment. Their names all translate to a mix of letters and numbers, which are also color coded. Scarlet = 5C4R137, Jade = J4D3, Amber = 4M83R, Violet = V10L37.
- Many of the trolls in Homestuck do this, usually in a way that fits into some sort of Numerological Motif. Specifically:
- Aradia replaces her O's with zeroes, representing the fact that she's an Emotionless Girl.
- Sollux replaces S's with 2's due to his obsession with dualism and bifurcation. It also represents his lisp.
- When he attains a sort of tranquility and has his teeth knocked out, he ad0pts the zer0-related m0tif that Aradia used.
- Nepeta replaces double E's with 33. This represents the mouths of her cat lusus, and also references her Trollian handle, arsenicCatnip, 33 being the atomic number for arsenic.
- Terezi replaces A's, I's and E's with 4's, 1's, and 3's, respectively. They are referred to as 'TH3 NUM3R4LS TH3 BL1ND PROPH3TS ONC3 US3D', since 413 is an Arc Number in Homestuck. Her counterpart, Latula, uses the same replacements but in lowercase.
- Vriska uses 8's to replace both B's and the sound 'ate'. This is due to her obsession with spiders and the number 8. When she gets worked up, she goes even farther, replacing many of her vowels with 8's regardless of the sound they make.
- Aranea, Vriska's counterpart, uses a similar quirk, but in a much more subdued fashion: most of the time she uses 8's only to replace B's, and when she's upset she replaces the sound 'ate' with 8, but only where it's phonologically appropriate.
- Equius replaces the sounds 'loo' and 'ool' with '100' and '001', probably a reference to his namesake Zahhak, known as "he who has 10,000 (one hundred hundred) horses."
- Then there's Sollux's counterpart, Mituna, who has suffered a serious head injury in backstory and replaces letters with numbers virtually at random.
- A fancomic, A Complete Waste Of Time, has a character with an inventive use for this trope. Rick's typing quirk consists of him replacing the first letter of a word with a numeral (from zero to ten) whose initial phoneme(s) most closely resembles the word's. 7o 4or 8xample, 3hese 1ords were most likely written by him.
- L3375P34|<, d00D!
- 7up briefly made a beverage called dnL (look at it upside-down), which was basically 7up with caffeine. Also green in a clear white bottle.
- Number plates/license plates.
- There was once a flyer at a videogame store for a "4Play" marketing campaign, which let you know about special offers at that store. This was aimed at the 6- to 15-year-old crowd. Given that this happened in a non-anglophone country, they are probably oblivious to the fact that the word doesn't means what they think it means.
- Channel 4 (UK) has/had a late night music show named 4Play.
- G4 (USA) has a not-so-late night show named 4Play, which started out as a game news/review program.
- The production company 4Kids Entertainment.
- Skateboard clothing company 323K13(upsidedown)7 (Ezekiel).
- There is a shirt that has D 1 4 M 0 N 4 5 (Diamonds) written on it.
- The 2econd Stage Theatre in New York.
- General language/overseas culture examples:
- URLs with numbers replacing words are surprisingly popular in China. Probably helps that they're easy to type and remember.
- In the Japanese language, there's a LOT of waysnote to replace kanas (and sometimes whole words) with numbers. Remember this when looking at Japanese screen-names and such with seemingly random numbers in them.
- Often when someone is trying to speak Arabic online without an Arabic language pack, they'll use numbers in the place of letters of the Arabic alphabet. Maybe not a true example though, because those letters don't exist in the English alphabet and are usually represented in print by special punctuation that the computer may also not be able to make.
- Ma3ak 7a2 (loosely translates to "you're right")
- The tresillo and cuatrillo are modified numerals, used as letters in some post-colonial Mayan languages.
- Just as above, this combined with a variant of Xtreme Kool Letterz comes up when trying to represent the International Phonetic Alphabet in ASCII. Of course, there's not much point to it anymore, since most programs you'd pass an IPA input to can now handle Unicode.
- It's common to do this with passwords in order to include a letter or special character while keeping it easy-to-remember. It's advised not to do this, though, as most brute-force password-guessing algorithms are aware of the tendency and will go ahead and try swapping (for example) "@"s for "a"s and "1"s for "I"s when attempting to guess your password.
- It's also quite common to do this with online usernames as on most sites, no two accounts can share the same name. So for instance, if flowerchild where already taken on a certain site, a new user may instead use f10w3rchi1d.