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Letters 2 Numbers

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"It's abhorrent what you young folks text to one another. Is English truly that difficult?"
Professor Fitz Quadwrangle, Quantum Conundrum

It's easy 4 numbers 2 be substituted 4 letters in chatspeak when words need 2 be typed quickly. However, in the same vein as Xtreme Kool Letterz, numbers are of10 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 2 spark countless deb8s on how it's actually supposed 2 be pronounced.

Teleprinter oper8ors were doing this be4 the cellphone was even invented.

A subtrope of Xtreme Kool Letterz. Rel8ed 2 Goroawase Number, Phoneword, Lucky Charms Title and L33t L1ng0.

These kind of words are hell to CamelCase-based wikis like TV Tropes. If you want to lessen the Red Link quantity related to them in this very wiki, when typing them make sure to put between "[=" and "=]".



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    An1me & Manga 
  • The second season of Rosario + Vampire is titled Rosario + Vampire Capu2, a play on the onomatopoeia "kapuchuu~" ("two" in Japanese sounds like "chuu").

    C0mic Books 
  • 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.

    Films — An1mation 

    F1lms — Live-Action 
  • Tak3n. Yes, you read that right. Even Liam Neeson is doing it now.
  • Also, the horror classic Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood. Which is a sequel, apparently implied by the number 2 (it's actually part 6 in the series).
  • Menace II Society, a 1993 Hood Film directed by the Hughes brothers.
  • 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.)
    James Rolfe: ""They should have called [the fourth film] 'The Fast and the 4-ious'. Couldn't be any worse than '2 Fast 2 Furious'!"
  • 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).
  • Se7en. Fans enjoy various alternative pronunciations, such as "Se-seven-en", "Seten", and "Se'en".
  • Cradle 2 the Grave. "Born 2 the life. True 2 the code. Bad 2 the bone."
  • Lilya 4-ever
  • "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.
  • 5ive Girls, 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).
  • The working title for TRON: Legacy was TR2N, overlapping with L33t L1ng0.
  • 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".
  • S1m0ne, to emphasize how the title character is a virtual construct.
  • Pictured above: Fantastic Four reboot's poster is "Fant4stic".
  • There's really no reason for the number in 4Closed, but it's present.
  • The hacker group FR13NDS in Who Am I (2014).
  • Though neither marketed nor actually titled as such, Taken 3 is stylized as Tak3n on its DVD and Blu-ray cover art.
  • The Men in Black sequels use Roman numerals to maintain the MIB acronym - MIIB and MIIIB. Though this obviously leads itself to redundancy—men in in in black? Are they wearing three layers of clothing?
  • There's also the teenage gangster movie Menace II Society.
  • 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."
  • Serial Killing 4 Dummys. Also an Inherited Illiteracy Title.
  • The Tim Allen vehicle Jungle 2 Jungle.
    • Coming To America received a 2021 sequel titled Coming 2 America.

  • Wyg&, ¼maine, @kins and S&erson: all names from Alfred Bester's The Demolished Man (1953). Telepaths' names almost all use typographic symbols or numbers where they work phonetically (The names here are "Wygand", "Quartermaine", "Atkins", and "Sanderson".)
  • Thr3e.
  • 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 13 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 & Kate Plus Eight, later Kate Plus Eight) book about their relationship and their children before they broke up.
  • In Animorphs, Cassie's mom is obviously not used to this, as she believes Boyz II 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.
  • The protagonist of the SF Feersum Endjinn speaks this way.

    Live-Act10n TV 


  • Belgian channel 2BE is this as well. Dependable on how you translate its either the common word "To be" or stands for "Two Belgium". The reason why it could be called "Two Belgium" is that it was the second tv channel that Medialaan ever owned.


  • 5ive Days to Midnight, a 2004 sci-fi miniseries which reads weirdly ("sive?" "five-ive?")
  • The trope is parodied on 30 Rock with a fictional fifth movie in the Snow Dogs series, called 5now Dog5.
  • The Mexican Telenovela Amigos x Siemprenote ; It can even be translated in a similar way (i.e. "Friends 4 Ever").
  • Liber8 in Continuum. Makes for a great graffiti tag.
  • Doctor Who: "Orphan 55" features a character who introduces herself as "Hyphen with a three". She later clarifies that her name is spelled "Hyph3n".
  • Spoofed several times on Mr. Show, as in Entertainment 4-Every-1 Productions, and the Three Times One Minus One song "Goodbye 2 Every 1 Ever".
  • NUMB3RS is an example. The show also did this in its opening sequence. The names of the actors would slide across the screen to the right as numbers, resolving then into the letters of the actors' names, except for a couple of them, which would remain briefly before then switching over to the letters.
  • 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.
  • The X-Files episode "2Shy". 2Shy is a username.
  • Curfew has an In-Universe example. The vehicles in the race each have a number painted on the side. The number on Team Awesome's van is "05", but they've painted their name over it so that the 5 becomes the "S" in "Awesome".

  • Lyrics by Prince almost always write the words "to," "for" and "you" as "2," "4" and "U." The most famous case is the one Covered Up by Sinead O'Connor, "Nothing Compares 2 U".
  • The album Tr3s Lunas by Mike Oldfield.
  • The boyband called 5ive.
  • Avril Lavigne, Sk8er boi. There are no words.
  • Inverted: the band 3OH!3, who replace the number "0" with an interjection.
  • Boyz II Men combines this with Xtreme Kool Letterz
  • Gugudan is usually written as 'gu9udan'
  • An Evening Wasted with 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 an individualist he was, he spelt 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 2: Electric Boogaloo 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 Third 3.
  • 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 don'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)
  • N3XU5, a Portuguese psytrance artist.
  • Finnish metal band Stam1na.
  • The Accept song "Stand 4 What U R" from the ill-fated album "Eat the Heat".
  • "I Ain't The 1" on N.W.A's Straight Outta Compton.
  • "Sinds 1 Dag Of 2" ("Since 1 Day Or 2") by Doe Maar.
  • "5ynchr0ni7e" by, a Sequel Song to "Synchronize" located earlier in the album tracklist.
  • In his "Word Crimes" song, "Weird Al" Yankovic informs us that "You should never (Oh no) / Write words using numbers / Unless you're seven, or your name is Prince."
  • Rob Halford's interim techno band Two wrote the "T" as an upside-down "2" on the album cover.
  • The 90s French boy band 2Be3.
  • "Lucky 4 You (Tonight I'm Just Me)" by SHeDAISY.
  • Elvis Presley's popular 2002 Greatest Hits Album is titled ELV1S: 30 #1 Hits.
  • 311 renders the name of their eleventh album as Ster3ol1th1c on the cover, in lieu of their more familiar logo.
  • "Prayin' 4 A Miracle" from Asia's Then & Now.
  • The 77s' first live album was named Eighty Eight. For its deluxe 2-CD reissue, it was retitled 8ighty 8ight.
  • 13eaver (pronounced 'beaver'), an obscure Dutch stoner rock band.
  • Emray's songs "V1rtual paradise" and "Bed H3ad" (the latter of which being the third version of "Bed Head")
  • tool dabbled with this trope in their song "7empest," combining "Tempest" with the Arc Number of their album Fear Inoculum.
  • Sad13, the solo project of Speedy Ortiz vocalist Sadie Dupuis, converting the last two letters of her first name into "13".
  • 5ive

    Pr0f3ssi0na1 Wr3st1ing 
  • The autobiography, Arn Anderson 4 Ever
  • nWo's calling card, "4 Life, 4 Life!"
  • CZW has 2 Tuff Toy and The H8 Club. OI4K is an initialism example(Ohio Is For Killers)
  • Understanding this trope is just one of many steps one needs to take if they are to have any hope deciphering the handwriting, or typing, of Delirious.
  • Eddie Kingston's Tag Team with B-Boy, Un4given.
  • Pro Wrestling ZERO1, because it started in 2001. Several properties associated with it carried the World-1 designation in the early 2010s, for some reason.
  • The short lived garbage fed Pro Pain Pro Wrestling, or 3PW for short.
  • 3 Count Wrestling in the United Kingdom, or 3CW as they call it.
  • Steve Corino's Premier Wrestling Federation was known as World-1 from 2004 to 2012. Also, Arik Cannon's promotion F1rst Wrestling. Also, the tag team champions Victor Andrews and James Anthony, F1rst Generation.
  • Squared Circle Wrestling, otherwise known as 2CW.
  • Destination 1 Wrestling, D1W. Later, while it wasn't running, there was 1 Fall Wrestling, 1FW.
  • 5 Dollar Wrestling, it's still real bad to me, dammit!(a parody of D1W, that wrestlers associated with D1W work the shows of)
  • Momono Mio's Marvelous Power Stable, Mabutachi 2 Manjimanji, and their rivals Level5. Also, Level5's first gaijin recruit, Sahara Se7en.

  • The Musical of The Adding Machine was retitled ADD1NG MACH1N3 (with a backwards 3).
  • In the second chorus of "Revolting Children" from Matilda, the newly liberated students proclaim to the ousted Trunchbull "It is 2 L8 4 U", as written on the chalkboard.

    Vi2eo Games 
  • 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". Or officially, "Wipeout Three" and "Driver Three".
  • FL4TOUT: Total Insanity.
  • The fourth Thief game had the working title THI4F.
  • Dive II Hunt, a flash game featuring a moogle named Sorbet who also appeared in Final Fantasy XII.
  • F.3.A.R.
  • Ready 2 Rumble Boxing.
  • Shadow Man: 2econd Coming
  • Silent Hill: 0rigins has a zero in place of the O.
  • The first trailer for Modern Warfare 3 ran on this: "Am3rica, 3ngland, Franc3, G3rmany"
  • The Saints Row: The Third "Shock and Awesome" trailer parodied Modern Warfare 3 by labelling the setting "St33lport".
  • 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.
  • Earthworm Jim: Menace 2 the Galaxy, which was actually the fourth (and last) game in the series, and the only one to be officially released for the Game Boy.
  • Some level passwords in both installments of TH3 L05T V1K1Ng5 are written in this way, which makes it harder to guess them if you're an impatient (or just curious) player.
  • Zer0 from Borderlands 2. This extends to all instances of the letter O in his skill trees as well. In some of his head customizations, other letters also get this treatment.
  • Stage 27 of This Is the Only Level 2 is titled "D34TH 15 2AD".
  • Die2Nite
  • 1NSANE
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
  • An example with Roman numerals; Resident Evil 7: Biohazard has its title stylized as RESIDENT EVII. biohazard, with the "VII" being highlighted in "EVIL".
    • The Japanese title, Biohazard 7: Resident Evil, is stylized as BIOHA7.ARD resident evil, with the "7" highlighted in the same way as the Western title.
  • While Resident Evil Village continues from 7 by highlighting “VIII” in the first four letters of “VILLAGE” in all regions, the official title is simply “Resident Evil: Village” with no spoken number.
  • In The Feeble Files, The name of a puzzle-relevant ship is "KICKA55".

    We8 An1mation 
  • Homestar Runner: The Cheat's "4rt B4ndit" persona, who vandalizes paintings.

    We8 Comics 
  • 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.
    • Then there's Sollux's counterpart, Mituna, who has suffered a serious head injury in backstory and replaces letters with numbers virtually at random.
    • 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" and a pun on centaur.
    • 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.

    Web Ori6inal 

    Wes7ern Animation 

    R3al Life 
  • L3375P34|<, d00D!
  • 7up briefly made a beverage called dnL (look at it upside-down), which was basically 7up with caffeine. It was also green in a clear white bottle.
  • Vanity and personalized license plates for vehicles. In most places, symbols aren't allowed, but numbers are, and every Department of Motor Vehicles (at least in the US) has a list of plate combinations that are not allowed because of what they spell. Using a number instead of a letter most likely won't get past them if you're trying to get one of those forbidden combinations.
  • 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 mean 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.
  • 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. (for instance, "Ma3ak 7a2" loosely translates to "you're right").
  • The tresillo and cuatrillo are modified numerals, used as letters in some post-colonial Mayan languages.
  • 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 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.
  • The mission patch for the first test flight (EFT-1) of NASA's Orion spacecraft has a stylized Orion drawing with the word "OR1ON" embossed over it.
  • The college football conference Big Ten is usually spelled B1G.
  • The Maradonian Church, who worships legendary Argentinian Association footballer Diego Maradona, combined the Spanish word for "god" and his jersey number to spell "D10S". Some even applied the nickname to Argentina's current 10, Lionel Messi.
  • During Derek Jeter's farewell season in 2014, items were produced bearing the slogan "Re2pect"(2 being his uniform number).
  • Bulgarian gets transliterated by some Internet users note  with 4 replacing Ч [ch] (the word for "four" is "четири" [chetiri[) and 6 replacing Ш [sh] ("six" is "шест" [shest]). This transliteration, derisively called "shlyokavitsa" ("moonshinish") or "maimunitsa" ("monkeyish") was more ubiquitous while all or most devices didn't support Cyrillic encoding. Letters such as З ("Z") and Ъ (schwa) are also sometimes replaced with 3 and 1, respectively. Other Cyrillic-using languages such as Russian and Macedonian have a similar way of informal transliteration.


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