troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Ridiculously Long Phone Number
"Well, that's easy to remember: ♪ 0118 999 881 999 119 725 -beat- 3 ♪"
Moss, The IT Crowd

A phone number is much longer than a real phone number, or noticeably longer than other phone numbers given at the same time. The entire number may be listed or the audience may simply see a character dialing far more digits than would be reasonably expected without seeing which digits they are. Sometimes the number will be an international number and the extra digits are presumably country and area codes, but more often than not no explanation is given.

Usually a type of Overly Long Gag. See also For Inconvenience, Press "1".

Sort of Truth in Television: To dial on a public phone from Tokyo to Guadalajara, Mexico, for example, you have to dial 0041-010-52-33-XXXX-XXXX, where 0041 is the long distance carrier,note  010 is the international long distance code,note  52 is Mexico's country code, 33 is Guadalajara's city code, and XXXX-XXXX is the local phone number. Also, any extra digits are ignored once you've finished dialing a full valid number, so sometimes harmless extra letters are tacked on to a mnemonic (i.e. 1-800-BUSINESS-NAME).

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Film - Animated  
  • The technical support line for the Insan-O-Flex in Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters.
    • Also the emergency number Carl had to dial after Meatwad sawed both his arms off.

     Film - Live Action  
  • Used in You Don't Mess with the Zohan to have some Palestinian-Americans call an extraordinarily long number to reach the "Hizballah Phone-Line". It turned out that "terrorist-supply service will resume as soon as negotiations break down".
  • In a surreal comedy bit, John Lennon dials one of these from his below-ground resting area in the Beatles' house in Help!, to set off Paul, George and Ringo's alarm clocks late at night.

     Live Action TV  
  • The "new emergency number" in The IT Crowd: That's ♪ 0118 999 881 999 119 725 ...3 ♪
  • In Little Britain Abroad, Caroll Beer dials a lot of numbers on the telephone in order to call someone.
  • Talk Soup had a gag like this, but it was intentionally parodying 10-10-321 (formerly 10-321) and a host of other similar ads that were advertised at the time, especially on E! network. As I rememeber, the chain ended with "...and pi, then press 1, and then the number you want to dial!"
  • The Amanda Show did this for each of its "When ______s Attack!" sketches; for example: "1 (500) I-Just-Saw-the-Brady-Bunch-Attack-Some-Person-and-Now-I'm-Calling-This-Number-to-Report-What-I-Saw".
  • An Alec Baldwin episode of Saturday Night Live had a false ad promoting a new collect-call service:
    Well hey! Don't dial direct! Now you can save 4%! Simply dial 10-10-1776-5-28-1830-242-3-316-68-22! Then 1, the area code, and the number you're calling!
    • Another SNL episode from the early 90s featured a commercial parody of a phone company willing to provide top notch customer service, which allowed a customer to choose 123-456-789note  as her number.
  • Done on The D Generation. A poll on a news show was "Do you think unions have too much power?". The number to call for "yes" was short and the number for "no" was ridiculously long.
  • The NBC prank show Betty White's Off Their Rockers had an old lady approach a guy and ask him to dial one of these so that she could talk to her grandson in another country. She recited at least thirty digits before stopping and asking to start over. The second time, she took the phone back, but then said it was a wrong number.
  • In "Chef Rotten Food" on LazyTown, this is combined with 555 with a phone number that's nothing but 5s that seems to keep going and going.
  • A B-Plot in Vicious has Violet head to Buenos Aires, where she leaves Freddie and Stuart a message stating she's in trouble. The contact number she leaves is "0054-770-09-0B-B04-K51Q".

     Music  
  • Allan Sherman had one of these in The Let's All Call Up AT&T and Protest to the President March.
    • This might be considered the closest thing Sherman had to a 1960s protest song. AT&T had recently introduced direct dialing for long-distance calls, letting customers avoid the charges associated with operator-assisted calls. This required knowing a lot of extra digits. Introduced in 1951 in the NYC area, it didn't get big until the 1960s when smaller communities got the routing equipment for such calls.

     Stand-Up Comedy  
  • Mitch Hedburg jokes about company phonewords that are much longer than the actual phone number, saying that he always he insists on dialing the words out to the bitter end.
  • Dane Cook's rant about car accidents (specifically, when the other guy is an absolute jerk) includes a list of utterly absurd details about the contact information that gets exchanged, such as a 48-digit phone number and a sketch of a monkey screwing a coconut for a name.

     Video Games  
  • In Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People: Homestar Ruiner, if Strong Bad attempts to call Homsar with Homestar's phone, a really, really long sequence of simulated button presses (via speed dial) is heard, though the numbers can't be seen.

     Web Original  
  • A fake advert in Homestar Runner features Senor Cardgage Mortgage inviting you to "come along down and dial 555-55-55855-55-5-SENOR-MORT-GAGE-TODAY!"
  • Stuart Ashen once did a fake promotional message to support Sad Onions (long story). The YouTube comments were quick to jump on the fact that the long phone number he recites is different from the number that scrolls along the bottom of the screen.
  • Day Job Orchestra's Star Trek: The Next Generation Gag Dub "Happy in Paraguay" ends with a phone number for ordering DJO apple juice, spoken very fast: "ACT NOW CALL 1-800-608-652-5612..24-652-642-, THAT'S 1-800-608-56-56-56 1-800-608-642-562-642 1-800-56-56-56-"*BOOM*!

     Western Animation  

     Real Life  
  • Placing a phone call in the United States using a prepaid phone card will add 25 digits to any phone number.
  • Sometimes an advertisement will state to dial a number that is longer than an actual number just so that the word or words they're using to represent the number won't be cut off. You don't actually have to dial anything other than the actual number in order to reach it, but dialing the extra digits won't hurt. (For instance, "1-800-JENNY-CRAIG" is actually just 1-800-JEN-NYCR; the AIG won't do anything because the phone system already connected you and isn't listening anymore.)

Repeating so the Audience Can HearPhone TropesRipped from the Phone Book
Numerological MotifNumber TropesSequel Number Snarl
Ridiculous Future InflationComedy TropesRidiculous Procrastinator
Ridiculously Loud CommercialAdverbly Adjective NounRidiculously Successful Future Self

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
19340
2