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Infinite
aka: The Infinite

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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"
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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.

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.

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Examples

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     Anime and Manga  

  • 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 Anime/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.
  • 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 summons a monster 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 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 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.

     Comic Books  

     Fanfic 

  • 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.

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     Film  

  • 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.

     Literature  

  • The concept of The Infinite as an actual speed is played for all the absurdity it is worth by Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker's 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.
  • 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.

     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.

     Music  

  • The band Hoobastank has their name often stylized as h∞bastank, which contains an Infinite symbol.

     Tabletop Games  

  • 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.

     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.
  • 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."
  • Sonic Forces introduces a villainous and extremely powerful character named Infinite. The infinity-symbol is also heavily associated with him.

     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.
  • 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 sees him grant the review infinite sins, complete with infinity symbol, after Jeremy takes a shot at the John Wick series.

     Western Animation  

  • 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.

     Real Life  

  • 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 infinitenote . 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 SCG(13), which is again dwarfed by Rayo's Number

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

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