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..."
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. The most horrendous use is when a writer implies something may be More Than Infinite, which again makes no sense because infinity is a limitless value, not a number that you can add to.
A common misunderstanding of infinity is that infinite is equivalent to everything. For example, there are infinitely many even numbers, and infinitely many numbers in between 1 and 2, but those infinite sets are a tiny fraction of the infinite set of all real numbers. Applying this to science-fiction concepts, an infinite multiverse does not necessarily contain all possible universes.
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. Or the villain from Sonic Forces.
Examples
- One of the themes in the Aquarion franchise, as the various titular mecha from Genesis of Aquarion, Aquarion Evol, and Aquarion Logos all have the power to grow and create new powers infinitely thanks to their pilots. Logos takes this a step forward by having a monster representing nothingness being punched to death at the half way point.
- In the final episode of Bakugan, Dragonoid Destroyer is powered up by the combined energy of the bond of every human and Bakugan on Earth, which gives it infinite power, complete with the laptop being used to measure its power showing an infinity symbol.
- Chainsaw Man: The Eternity Devil traps the Devil Hunters on the 8th floor and sticks the time at 8:18, a play on how a lemniscate (a symbol for infinity) looks like a sideways eight.
- Dragon Ball Super: Zamasu's final form is called "Infinite Zamasu", it's basically a massive amalgamation of seemingly endless Zamasu faces whose sole goal is to assimilate the entire multiverse and can break across timelines.
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
- Golden Wind: Giorno's Gold Experience Requiem stats has a zero in everything. While this could be explained as the reoccurring "power of zero" theme by constantly negating all manner of attacks thrown at it, delivering a decisive attack will subject its target to an eternal Resurrection/Death Loop.
- Stone Ocean: When struck by Pucci's C-Moon, Jolyne manages to counteract the effects of her body being destroyed by constructing a band of infinity; the Mobius Strip, with her strings. With no concept of inside or outside on the Mobius Strib, Jolyne is able to undo C-Moon's ability of inverting objects.
- Steel Ball Run: Johnny's Tusk Act 4 is a literal representation of infinite energy. It cannot be stopped by seemingly any metric, being completely unaffected by manipulation of time, dimensions, or the translocation across multiple realities.
- JoJolion: Josuke discovers that Soft & Wet's bubbles are really infinitesimally thin lines spinning at high speed into the shape of a sphere. This makes them infinitely close to being functionally non-existant, removing them from normal causality and creating an entirely new power; Soft & Wet: Go Beyond.
- In My Hero Academia, during a super-powered fitness test, the characters have to throw a ball as far as possible. The teacher has a device/app that instantly determines the distance to wherever the ball lands. Ochaco, who can negate gravity for any object she touches, tosses the ball into space. The measurement tool somehow understands this bizarre situation and displays an infinity symbol.
- Sword Art Online: Alternative Gun Gale Online: Team Zemal has it on their team logo, as embroidered on their uniform jackets from SJ 3 onward, is a machine gun ammo belt shaped as an infinity symbol.
- 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 the 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, Dartz, summons a monster called Divine Serpent Geh with infinite attack during the final rounds of the duel, that has a side effect that causes him to lose automatically should it be destroyed. The Pharaoh defeats him by summoning a monster called Timaeus the Knight of Destiny with more than infinite attack.
- Obelisk the Tormentor has an effect that gives him infinite attack by sacrificing 2 other monsters.
- Zorc claimed his power to be infinite. Later this was proven to be true with Horakhty, his murderer.
- In an issue of Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), Sonic collects his millionth (or billionth?) ring and has a Disney Acid Sequence that eventually leads to him running around a giant ring shaped like the infinity symbol. You might call it a sort of "Mobius strip".
- Marvel has The Infinity Gauntlet, a glove which gave its user near (but not quite) infinite powers. There's also the character Infinity, a cosmic entity who represents the infinite potential of existence and all of space. She is the sister of Eternity, who represents all of time.
- Crisis on Infinite Earths, and its sequel Infinite Crisis are prime examples. In the former all of the multiverse is being threatened.
- Final Crisis: Superman Beyond: The heroes find a Great Big Book of Everything that has infinite pages, said to have every page created in all possible realities. Naturally, it was so heavy that Superman and Captain Marvel working together could barely lift it. They manage to get it scanned into a computer that had infinite storage space.
- The entire premise behind The Infinite Loops is that the characters caught up in the repeat their lives over and over and over and over... With no end in sight.
- The Vasto of White: Baraggan borrows a sword Noble Phantasm from Shirou and uses his Rapid Aging powers to increase its power by several orders of magnitude. When he fires its Sword Beam, Ichibei tries to use his name-erasing ink to reduce its power, but it doesn't work. The narration comments that reducing a practically infinite source of power is still infinity.
- 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 computerized futures calculation program written by the protagonist as a means of revenge against the unscrupulous title bank that drove his father to suicide.
- The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy:
- The concept of The Infinite as an actual speed is played for all the absurdity it is worth with the Infinite Improbability Drive. At one point, we're told that the improbability level is "infinity minus one", which the text acknowledges makes no sense.
- Douglas Adams has more fun with infinity with the Guide's claim that the universe is uninhabited, because there's an infinite amount of universe and a finite amount of people, so on average...
- 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.
- In The Phantom Tollbooth, Milo asks the mathemagician what the number of greatest magnitude is. He's told he simply has to think of the biggest number he can and add 1 forever. Later, he tries to get to the land of Infinity with a staircase that never ends.
- The Star Trek: Voyager episode "Threshold" featured Tom Paris in a shuttlecraft traveling at Warp 10. This was described as being infinite speed, where it was (somehow) possible to occupy every point in the universe simultaneously.
- 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.
- The band Hoobastank has their name often stylized as h∞bastank, which contains an Infinite symbol.
- Numberock: The roller coaster shown in "Symmetry Song" has the infinity shape, with kids going from one end to the other.
- Egyptian Mythology had Heh and his female counterpart, Hehut, who personified infinity. They were part of the eight primordial deities worshiped in Hermopolis, which included Nun/Naunet (chaos), Kek/Kauket (darkness), and Amun/Amunet (invisibility). The hieroglyph that represents Heh is also used to mean "million".
- Magic: The Gathering plays with the concept:
- Mox Lotus, a card from the unofficial Self-Parody silver-border set, Unhinged. Parodying the infamously broken Black Lotus and Mox cards, Mox Lotus could be tapped for infinite colorless mana.
- Unstable, another silver-border set, adds the Infinity Elemental, a creature with infinite power. If a player uses an ability like lifelink to gain infinite life, they can never lose the game due to life loss - even if another Infinity Elemental hits them, infinity minus infinity is infinity.
- Many official card combos can be used to gain infinite mana/life/creatures, and a number of decks are built around assembling these combos to win the game. The rules explicitly give instructions on how to handle infinite loops like this - if the loop can be ended voluntarily, the affected player chooses a number of iterations to run. If the loop cannot be ended, then the game is a draw.
- Antimatter Dimensions: Infinity is rendered as 1.789e308; having that much of a resource usually stops all production, at least until you break the infinity limit. The first reset layer is also called Infinity, obtained by getting your antimatter to infinity and then performing a Big Crunch. Then once you get infinite Infinity Points, you can get an Eternity.
- Hyperballoid: Level 5 in Exotic Levels is shaped like an infinity symbol, with another infinity symbol inside.
- In Kingdom of Loathing, after you complete the final main quest, you can ascend to Valhalla, where all of your stats are set to infinity. Such as realm turns out to be infinitely boring with nothing to use these infinite stats for, so you end up reincarnating as a new adventurer, leading to the game's New Game Plus.
- Mega Man X:
- X's defining trait is his limitless capacity for growth. He has no limits, no set parameters, and no way of knowing just what he can become. His worrying more intensely and thinking more deeply than other Reploids from as early as the first game is a sign that his mind operates under this principle as well, but it manifests most clearly in gameplay.
- DWN-∞ is the serial number of Zero. it's implied that his creator sees Zero as having an unlimited potential.
- Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots has it implied in its infamous "Zero becomes one, one becomes 100" and it will continue from there and taking back it to one goes back to 100 again in the navelgaze during the ending by Big Boss when he euthanizes Major Zero.
Big Boss: "Everything has its beginning... But doesn't start at 'one.' It starts long before that... In chaos, the world is born... from zero. The moment zero becomes one is the moment the world springs to life. One becomes two... Two becomes 10... 10 becomes 100. Taking it all back to one solves nothing. So long as zero remains... One... will eventually grow to 100 again."
- Replicanti Incremental defines infinity as 1.798e308. Once you reach it, you're forced to perform an infinity reset, but it can be broken after beating all normal challenges.
- Sonic Forces introduces a villainous and extremely powerful character named Infinite. The infinity-symbol is also heavily associated with him.
- The main villains of Xenoblade Chronicles 3, Moebius, are represented by an infinity symbol and desire to perpetuate the cycle of the world, which they refer to as the "endless now".
- XenoGears: Infinity Level is when Gears can attack with any specialized Deathblows after performing enough attacks to deal strong damage to enemies.
- 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 (except if you treat infinity as an ordinal number instead of a cardinal number, but that goes into major Mind Screw).
- 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.
- Th3Birdman's video about CinemaSins's video for Spawn (1997) sees him grant the review infinite sins, complete with infinity symbol, after Jeremy takes a shot at the John Wick series.
- Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths has Owlman ponder that if each choice any person makes in turn creates another world to go with the The Multiverse Theory presented in the movie, that means 'Billions of people making billions of choices create infinite worlds' - It's an impressively large number of worlds made if such was the case, but it still isn't Infinite.
- The LEGO Movie: The Octan Tower is claimed to have an "infinitieth floor" despite the fact some can clearly see a finite number of floors during the scene the camera goes from the bottom to the top of the tower, and see all of the floors.
- Based on studies of the cosmic microwave background, that among other things show a flat (with no measurable curvature) Universe, the Universe is typically described as being infinite^{note } . However there's a considerable difference between "infinite" and "so humongous and so young that we cannot determine its actual size and shape", and some finite shapes are also flat.
- Infinity has been the object of a great deal of study in mathematics since the late 1800s when Georg Cantor first provided a rigorous formal method of working with infinities.
- Graham's Number is not infinite, but it is very, very large. So large that if, in fact, you could write one digit in a space the size of a proton, the observable universe would not be large enough to write the number of digits it has, let alone the number itself. Unless you are yourself a mathematician, g1, the first step (of 64) on the road to Graham's Number, is probably larger than what you think of as "infinity". And even Graham's Number in its full glory is tiny compared to TREE(3).
- TREE(3) itself is dwarfed by SSCG(3), which is again dwarfed by RAYO(10^100).
- As unfathomably massive the above listed numbers are, as Carl Sagan once wrote in his book Cosmos (in reference to the also-huge number Googolplex, but the above apply as well), these numbers are precisely as far away from Infinity as the number 1 is.
- The singularity of a black hole is calculated to have infinite density and a volume of zero. This is likely not literally true however, as we don't have a working theory of quantum gravity to explain how black holes actually work and it's physically impossible to observe anything beyond the event horizon.