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13 Is Unlucky

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"Florida is 13th in education, 13th in tourism, 13th in cleanliness. It is the worst state in the union."
Creed Bratton, The Office (US)

Similar to how Four Is Death and 108 is Mystical, the number thirteen is often considered an unlucky number in the western world.

There is some debate over the source of fear towards the number thirteen, though the writer Nathaniel Lachenmeyer has argued that the original 'unlucky thirteen' superstition was the 19th century belief that if thirteen people sat at a dinner table one would die before the end of the year. (Presumably he hadn't read the Greek myth using the trope.) Certainly it was established by the early 20th century when the word triskaidekaphobia was coined to describe an irrational fear of the number thirteen, a fear which has become so prevalent that many buildings in America will not have a 13th floor. If it is not particularly subtle it's the writers beating you over the head with symbolism.


Some will cite thirteen as being the number of Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve Disciples of Jesus in The Bible and the one who betrayed him, leading to his death on a Friday (he was replaced by Matthias; who became the new 12th Disciple, thus making Judas number 13).

Another myth was that Loki, the Norse god of trickery who betrayed all the others, was the 13th of the Aesir (battle gods). Friday the 13th was unlucky because Friday means "Freyja's Day", and Freyja (the goddess of love [and war and death]) was known to be hot-tempered and had a grudge against Loki. Another story says that The Knights Templar were wiped out on a Friday the 13th.

Often writers will associate someone or something to the number thirteen to show that they are dark, evil, unnatural, or just unlucky. Maybe the Butt-Monkey or the Cosmic Plaything was born on the 13th.


Friday the 13th is believed to be a particularly unlucky day, and has even spawned a movie franchise. Weirdly the idea that Friday the 13th is especially unlucky apparently appeared relatively late — in the 19th century both thirteen and Friday were separately unlucky (compare this to the Spanish-speaking countries, where the especially unlucky day is Tuesday the 13th, combining the previously existing independent superstitions about the number 13 itself and the medieval-Spain one about Tuesday).

Another theory about the miasma attached to 13 places its roots in numerology. Twelve is a multiple of several important numbers — two, three, and four (six only having significance as two times three). The number thirteen, however, is prime. A number with no connections at all after such a divisible one? That couldn't have been good!

And a last especially crazy theory (google if you believe noone could come up with that): You know what happens 13 times in a year?

Note: This is not a repository for every time the number thirteen just happened to appear in history (Apollo XIII and the thirteen stripes on the United States flag being the best examples), this is for when writers use the number thirteen to denote something bad, or just really unusual.


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  • Played for Laughs, possibly unintentionally, in an old cyber-security commercial where security is alerted to an intruder in Sector 12. They chase him through the building only to stop and proudly proclaim "Sector 12 now secure" as he flees ... into Sector 13.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Akuma no Riddle, Haru Ichinose is #13 on the class roster, and is targeted by the twelve assassins who make up the rest of her class.
  • If one looks closely at the student body assembly in Assassination Classroom Season 1 Episode 5, not counting Class 3-E each year has four sections for a total of twelve. Class 3-E is thus the thirteenth section, reinforcing its reputation as the dumping-ground for Kunugigagoka's worst of the worst.
  • In Attack on Titan, the Curse of Ymir slowly kills Titan Shifters 13 years after they acquire their powers.
  • Train from Black Cat has the number 13 etched on the side of his custom-made gun. Like Golgo 13, it's usually bad luck for the person fighting him (he can even use his gun to deflect bullets). He also has the number 13 tattooed on his collar. Not to mention that his catch phrase is "I'm here to bring some bad luck."
  • In Death Note:
    • Light Yagami was trying to invoke this trope when he had Ryuk add a fake rule to the Death Note's directions. The "thirteen day rule" stated that anyone who wrote a name in the Death Note and did not keep writing names would die after thirteen days. This retroactively "proved" Light's and Misa's innocence after their confinement, and Light was noticeably angered when Mello disproved it. In the films, Light considers it critical enough that he was willing to murder his own father to preserve the illusion.
    • Thirteen also figures prominently again in the Light Novel Another Note, as part of Beyond Birthday's Murder-Suicide plot.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • The Demon King Piccolo announces his ascent at the top of his Villain World on May 9th, "nine" being considered an unlucky number in Japanese culture. In the English version, it's changed to the 13th, to preserve the sinister nature.
    • The Big Bad of the 7th DBZ movie is Android #13, who then transforms into Super Android #13. He also lampshades this trope when fighting Goku.
      Android 13: Number 13... That's your unlucky number. And I ain't talkin' about no silly superstition, city-boy. I'm talkin' about yours truly; Big 13!
    • In the 11th DBZ movie, the tank that contains Bio-Broly is assigned with the number 13.
  • Meredy marked Juvia as the 13th member of Fairy Tail to kill (out of about 22 guild members on Sirius Island), due to viewing her as a weakling. Then Meredy says that Gray, Juvia's crush, is the one she wants to kill most of all because he hurt Ultear. Oops.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood has "The Mystery of Warehouse 13" — which turns out to be a misreading of Warehouse B. It is a very bad place.
  • The eponymous Golgo 13 has a Mysterious Past, but is not unlucky himself. He is bad luck for whoever his target is.
  • Hellsing has a secret Vatican organization known as Section XIII: Iscariot. They're a creepy bunch.
  • Gundam:
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, Treize Khushrenada, the closest thing the show has to a Big Bad, is named for the French word for thirteen. It's also probably not a coincidence that he's the only major character to die. Also, the model numbers for OZ's mobile suits are as follows: the Gundam Epyon (OZ-13MS), the Vayeate (OZ-13MSX1), and the Mercurius (OZ-13MSX2).
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Rau Le Creuset's designation number for his Providence Gundam is ZGMF-X13A.
  • This trope is invoked in Legend of the Galactic Heroes. The Alliance's 13th Fleet, under the control of Yang Wenli, is a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits, originally only half the size of other fleets and composed of raw recruits and remnants of devastated forces. However, they're anything but unlucky due to Wenli's tactical genius.
  • In Natsume's Book of Friends, Taki's curse involved the owners of the last 13 names she said being killed (to which Nyanko comments it to be a merciless number).
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, the 13th Angel, Bardiel, is a Knight of Cerebus who cripples Toji and is partly responsible for the show getting even darker than it already was.
  • In Steins;Gate, Mayuri is murdered on Friday the 13th and every time Okabe tries to prevent it she ends up dying in a different way regardless of how much he tries to stop it.
  • Tokyo Ghoul uses this quite often, usually in combination with Tarot Motifs. Yamori and Juuzou are both associated with the number '13', and both are noted for their exceptionally violent tendencies. The 13th Ward is also noted to be an extremely violent area, with many dangerous Ghouls including Yamori and (in the Prequel) Serial Killer Lantern.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War has a meta example. Most volume covers tend to feature a singular character. Naturally, resident Butt-Monkey Maki was on the cover of volume 13.
  • In Rent-A-Girlfriend, when Chizuru has the misfortune of being hired by Kazuya's ex-girlfriend Mami, who intends to play mind games with her, they go to karaoke together, and her client takes her to booth 13. Also worth noting is the client's birthday is November 13th.
  • In Bleach the 13th Division of the 13 Court Guard Squads has a history of terrible things happening to it. A few decades before the start of the story, its lieutenant, Kaien Shiba, dies in battle with a hollow, an incident that traumatizes much of the squad and results in it taking a long time to replace him as lieutenant. At the start of the series, Rukia Kuchiki, a member of the squad, is fored to transfer her Soul Reaper powers to Ichigo Kurosaki, an illegal act that ends with her getting arrested and nearly arrested as part of Aizen's evil plan to steal the MacGuffin inside of her. Much later in the series, Squad 13 Captain Jushiro Ukitake is forced to sacrifice himself.
  • In the Sword Art Online : Aria of A Starless Night Motion Picture, the exact fateful moment that Asuna logs into and becomes trapped in the epynomous online game, where dying in-game kills you in real life, is shown on her HUD to be 13 Minutes Past 1. Or more ominously in 24-hour-time, 13:13 Hours.
  • Ataru Moroboshi of Urusei Yatsura was born on Friday the 13th, in the middle of an earthquake, on Butsumetsu (the day Buddha died), considered the unluckiest day in the Japanese calendar. Expectedly, a lot of misfortune befalls him, either it be due to his own acts or because of things outside of his control.

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  • George Carlin joked about how he'd been on airplanes that didn't have rows numbered thirteen. He said that knowing the airplanes' designers had been so superstitious they thought that might save someone's life didn't make him feel all that safer. In another bit, he wonders how the word "shit" got associated with the number 2.
    Why didn't they call it 13? That'd be easy to remember. "13 means shit and bad luck. Right. I got it!"
  • Mitch Hedberg:
    • He had a bit poking fun at the superstition of some buildings leaving off the 13th floor:
    The hotel I'm staying in doesn't have a thirteenth floor because of superstition. But people on the fourteenth floor — you know what floor you're really on. "What room are you in?" "1401." "No, you're not! Jump out the window, and you will die earlier!"
    • He then goes on to say:
      If 13 is unlucky, then so should the letter B be, because B looks like a scrunched-together 13. "Hello. What's your name?" "Bob." "Get the fuck away!"

    Comic Books 
  • 13 was a Golden Age superhero (later revived in Project Superpowers) who always had spectacularly bad luck whenever he had anything to do the number 13. He ultimately adopted 13 as his crime-fighting alias and sought to bring bad luck to evil doers.
  • In ABC Warriors, during the Volgan War arc, Volkhan recruits thirteen (well, twelve plus Mek-Quake) disciples.
  • Captain America: Steve Rogers' sometime love interest Sharon Carter was known as Agent 13 during her time with S.H.I.E.L.D.. She was presumed killed during an investigation of a white-supremacist group called The National Force, but later discovered to be alive and involved in a deep-cover assignment for SHIELD, held prisoner by a dictator and after escaping became a mercenary.
  • Marvel's Captain Britain and his teammates in Excalibur occasionally worked with the British Government's paranormal investigative branch, MI-13. Eventually, after Excalibur disbanded, MI-13 became a super-team in their own right in Captain Britain and MI13.
  • The DC Comics character Doctor Thirteen is a paranormal investigator. His daughter Traci Thirteen is a sorceress. Neither one is a particularly bad sort, though Doctor Thirteen is a Flat-Earth Atheist suffering from Arbitrary Skepticism.
  • In the Disney Ducks Comic Universe, along with Donald Duck being pursued by the number (most notably, his car with the plate 313), the Beagle Boys have the Born Unlucky 1313.
  • In Fables, all the witches from fables live on the thirteenth floor of the Bullfinch building in Fabletown. They're not entirely evil, more Chaotic Neutral.
  • House of Mystery
    • In DC Comics' original House of Mystery, a horror anthology series, the 13th page of every issue always broke from whatever story was being told to foretell some gruesome event in the reader's future/fake a misprinted page because "that's just what happens when you try to print something on page 13."
    • In homage to this, the 2008 series made #13 an "Aniversary Issue" with three "13" related stories (reflecting its anthology roots), and an activity page by Sergio Aragones (returning to Cain and Abel some 23 years after Plop!). The latter was supposed to be page 13, as a direct homage, but they couldn't get it to work, so instead they numbered every page 13.
  • In The Multiversity, Earth-13 is a Vertigo-y Dark Fantasy world where the greatest superheroes are Super-Demon and Hellblazer.
  • SpyBoy skipped the 13th issue, but eventually it appeared as a miniseries that is numbered as 13.1, 13.2 and 13.3. Very bad things happen to a cast member on it.
  • Spirou hasn't had a page 13 since 1995. It has a page 12, 12bis, and it goes on to 14.
  • Sweet Chastity has Vincent, 13th baron von Frankenstein. 'nuff said.
  • A Thomas & Friends comic story had an engine named "Unlucky no.13" who had bad luck.
  • The comic book series and videogame XIII, which is about a man with amnesia, the number XIII tatooed on his back, and a knack for using weapons.
  • In Green Lantern a notable planet that got destroyed, Xanshi, was in designated Sector 1313.

    Comic Strips 
  • As everyone knows, Garfield hates Mondays. Slightly less known is the fact that he hates February. One strip had him take Jon's announcement that it was February and Monday in stride... only to scream when Jon points out that it was also the 13th.
  • If the 13th of a month fell on, say, a Tuesday, Albert Alligator in Pogo would quip "Friday the 13th come on a Tuesday this month!"
  • The Thirteenth Floor was a strip in the British anthology comics Scream! and Eagle, which was set in a high-tech tower block with a hidden thirteenth floor that was home to a supercomputer named Max that was programmed to protect the tenants, and did so by becoming a Poetic Serial Killer to anyone it percieved as a threat. In the much later comic Vigilant, the thirteenth floor is the headquarters of a superhero team, which has apparently come to an agreement with Max.

    Fan Works 
  • In The Many Dates of Danny Fenton, Danny's 13th date may have been his worst one, given that it's with Vicky from The Fairly OddParents.
  • In The Night Unfurls, this applies to the 13th chapters in both the original and the remastered version.
    • For the original version, it features The Good Hunter dealing with the most troublesome issue he has ever faced: the aftermath of a rumour claiming he slept with Maia.
    • For the remastered version, it features Alicia throwing a tantrum due to her loss against Kyril during his Trial by Combat, which leads her to lash out at Soren, putting the young man in critical condition. As if this does not piss off Kyril any further.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines: Combined with Number of the Beast, Hunter J's offshore bank account has the number "1366613".
  • In Where Talent Goes to Die, Inoue, who's a bit superstitious, notes that he's glad that there are sixteen students, rather than thirteen, because he has this belief. On the thirteenth night in the school, Hoshino's murder of Yuuki and Akasaka takes place.
  • Chapter 13 of Smurf Village Upturned heralds a tragic turning point in the story, as Papa Smurf makes a Heroic Sacrifice that leaves everyone else reeling from the loss.
  • Vision of Escaflowne Abridged: Taken to extremes when Dryden and Millerna's wedding takes place on Friday the 13th of the thirteenth month of the Asturian calendar, in the year 1313 at 1313 military time.
  • This is frequent in Infinity Train: Blossomverse:
    • Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail: After going in circles over a spiteful rant of everything that is awaiting Chloe all stemming from how she didn't conform to the normal that is her world and having three other Trainers help get rid of this toxic bias, her number settles at a 13. Sure enough she ends up dying by the claws of Destruction — a transformed Simon Laurent — and would've stayed that way had Tuba not told Atticus to resurrect the girl with the Pendant of Life.
    • Infinity Train: Seeker of Crocus: In the Lumberjack Car, Tiffany of the Apex gets separated from the group and meets a boy who has a number that reads 13. But in reality the boy's hand was bandaged, hiding that the number was 20135 and he's part of a villain team called Elipzo which kidnaps and later drugs her to be brainwashed because she's carrying a special gem heart that is the form of Specter's former denizen partner Lampetia.
    • Infinity Train: Crown of Thorns's main character, Acerola, is turned into the 13th Acerola of her family, as every queen prior to her also bore the name. Needless to say, her terrible luck (from being peer pressured by her ancestors to continue the family legacy to said ancestors becoming tangible) leads her into the Infinity Train.
  • In The Roboutian Heresy, the Arch-Traitor Primarch Roboute Guilliman is number 13 amongst the Primarchs.

    Films – Animation 
  • Thirteen species are seen at the circus in Dumbo. The title character, who later becomes one of the most recognizable Woobies in media, is the last, and therefore the thirteenth, baby to be delivered.
  • Thirteen tends to come up a fair amount in Frozen (2013), some times more subtly than others.
    • Elsa is the thirteenth Disney Princess, and has one of the most traumatic backstories out of them all.
    • The incident in the start of the movie, in which Elsa accidentally strikes her sister Anna with magic, resulting in their parents isolating Elsa in a failed attempt to help Elsa control her powers, happens when Elsa is 8 and Anna is 5 (8+5=13). Also, the sisters were shut in for thirteen years before the main story - the Time Skip ends when Anna is 18 and Elsa is 21 (18-5=13; 21-8=13).
    • Prince Hans is the thirteenth son of the King of the Southern Isles, and has been mistreated by his father and older brothers. He's also the villain, referencing his status as thirteenth child as proof that he'll never get the throne, and Anna having fallen for him is very bad luck for her.
  • Overlaps with Number of the Beast in Hey Arnold! The Movie where the zip code for FutureTech Industries is 66613.
  • In The Rescuers movie, Bernard is afraid of the number thirteen, especially when it comes to the number of steps on a ladder or stairs. He's also afraid of flying, especially when the flight is number 13. The movie also ended on a Friday the 13th, if you look at the calendar shown.

    Films – Live-Action 
  • Zig-zagged in 13 Tzameti and the 2011 American remake 13. The protagonist is forced to take part in a Deadly Game of Russian Roulette. The players are only known by a number, his being 13. He survives the game through sheer luck, only to be killed afterwards.
  • 1408. The movie takes place on the thirteenth floor, and the titular room numbers add up to thirteen. In fact every number in the movie adds up to 13. The room's key lock has "6214" etched into it, the first death was in the year 1912, the hotel is mentioned to be at 2254 Lexington Street in New York City, "this is 5" then "this is 8", Mike opens the room's Bible at random to Chapter 11 of book Samuel 2, and the movie was released in the US in June 22, 2007. The normal DVD version's runtime is 104 minutes, 8 seconds. The director's cut is 112 minutes (1 + 12...)
  • Apollo 13: Both the movie and the real mission went badly. However, the film actually deconstructs this trope twice before the mission takes place.
    • First, Marilyn's reaction upon hearing that Jim has been bumped up is to note that it's number 13. Jim tells her that it comes after twelve.
    • Second, while being interviewed by the media, Jim, Fred and Ken joke about having a black cat walk across a broken mirror under the lunar module ladder. Considering how things turned out...
    • NASA itself wasn't going to be scared off by this superstition at first. The launch occurred at 1:13 PM ET (13:13 hours, military) on April 11, 1970 (4+1+1+7+0 = 13). The CSM/LM spacecraft were in lunar gravity influence on the day of the accident, April 13.
    • Notably, while a lot of things went wrong, a lot of things also went right enough that they survived. For instance, the astronauts were damn lucky the explosion happened in the beginning of the mission when they had a full complement of supplies and equipment; they would have had no chance if it occurred at the moon or on the trip back.
    • It's interesting to note that NASA has not had a 13 mission since. Even the STS-# designations for the shuttle missions leaves off at STS-9 and goes to a different designation system before picking back up at STS-26.
  • Bataan starts with 13 American soldiers placed to Hold the Line against a Japanese army. None are left by the end of the film.
  • District 13 is a very crapsack place filled with heavily armed gangs, drug dealers, and poor people that the president would rather nuke it than deal with it. Also doubles as a pun, since a stenciled B resembles a 13. The sequel ditched the B.
  • In the 2016 movie Tô Ryca, a Gender Flipped adaptation of Brewster's Millions, Selminha tries to lose $100,000 on the roulette by placing that money on 13. She wins.
  • Captain America: Civil War is the 13th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and ends with Zemo succeeding in dividing the Avengers, with one half ending up as fugitives on the run.
  • Convict 13, in which an innocent man is mistaken for an escaped felon.
  • In an eerie coincidence (or is it?), the 13th IMAX scene in The Dark Knight Rises (including brief shots) has Bane destroy a football stadium and take over Gotham, thus kicking off the city's Darkest Hour.
  • The Draughtsman's Contract: When Mr. Neville returns to the estate to make a thirteenth drawing, he is murdered.
  • As stated before, the movie franchise Friday the 13th, which is about Jason Voorhees (who drowned on Friday the 13th) coming back on Friday the 13th to murder teenagers.
  • In the 2009 horror movie Ghost Town, a gang of Satanic cultists wiped out an Old West town and then committed ritual suicide. The town then vanished into a pocket dimension. Every thirteen years, on Friday the 13th, the town reappears and traps any travelers who wander in, then the ghosts of the cultists terrorize and kill them For the Evulz. According to notes left by previous victims, if the travelers can't escape or break the curse by morning, the town will vanish, leaving them trapped for thirteen years and most likely killed by the ghosts long before the town reappears.
  • In the movie adaptation of Hostile Waters, the fatal sequence of events starts in missile silo #13. (In reality, it started in silo #6)
  • Halloweentown: A witch's 13th Halloween should mark the end of their witch training; if she doesn't at least start her training until the end of then, she will lose her powers forever.
  • James Bond plays with this trope on two occasions:
    • In From Russia with Love, when he and Tatianna break into the Russian embassy to steal the Lektor (a day early, because Bond thinks it's an Obvious Trap):
      Tatianna: I thought this was for tomorrow. Today is the thirteenth, isn't it?
      Bond: This is a hell of a time to be superstitious.
    • In On Her Majesty's Secret Service, James Bond runs from Draco's goons and finds himself in Draco's office with a knife in his hand. When Draco greets Bond, Bond throws the knife at Draco's calendar. Draco looks at the date where the knife landed and quips, "The fourteenth, Mister Bond? Today's the thirteenth." Bond answers, "I'm superstitious."
  • Labyrinth has Jareth give Sarah a time limit of 13 hours in which to rescue her baby half-brother.
  • First mate Bilson in The Mystery Of Mary Celeste is unhappy that there are a total of thirteen people onboard the brig. What's worse, there's also a woman onboard and a black cat too.
  • In One Week, the newlyweds' housewarming party is held on Friday the 13th.
  • In Sherlock, Jr., the exploding pool ball is numbered 13.
  • Thirteen (2003), especially when you consider that the movie is basically supposed to prey on parents' worst fears.
  • The Thirteenth Year: Merpeople can live amongst the humans until their thirteenth birthday, where they will steadily transform until their aquatic forms over time.
  • The movie Thir13en Ghosts is about a machine powered by ghosts to see into the future. The number of ghosts needed was probably not a coincidence.
  • El Camino: The encyclopedia book that Todd's cleaning lady tried to read and gets her killed (it's where he hid his stolen money) happens to be the thirteenth volume in the series.
  • The direct-to-DVD horror/suspense anthology movie Locker 13 deals with the terrible things that happen to several people who've used a locker with that number on it.

  • In the Sagas of the Demonspawn series by J. H. Brennan, whenever Fire*Wolf is killed, you have to go to paragraph 13 of the book for instructions on how to resume the game from the start.

  • A children's riddle:
    "What time is it when the clock strikes 13? Time to fix the clock."

  • In 13 Reasons Why, Hannah Baker, a classmate who committed suicide, leaves behind thirteen tapes detailing how thirteen people (including the main protagonist) led to her depression and eventual suicide.
  • The room number in 1408 totals 13, and the room is on the 13th floor.
  • In his book Complications, Dr. Atul Gawande says that doctors tend not to be very superstitious, but there are a few exceptions. During his residency, none of his fellow residents wanted to work in the Emergency Room on Friday the 13th or on nights with a full Moon. They particularly dreaded doing ER shifts when the two things occurred at the same time.
  • The Dark Tower series contains Maerlyn's Rainbow, a multi-colored set of thirteen crystal balls that allow their possessor to divine various actions depending on the specific ball. None of them are terribly nice—the pink one, for example, only allows its user to see people at their absolute worst and eats away at their life—but the most dangerous of the lot is the Black Thirteen itself, which is said to allow the local Satan figure to look out of it. The protagonists wind up leaving it at the World Trade Center, implying that it helped cause the September 11th attacks.
  • In The Da Vinci Code, reference is made to the Knights Templar being targeted by a conspiracy between the king of France and the Church which accused them of heresy, bestiality, and other deplorable acts, for which the order was disbanded, all possessions confiscated, and every member they could get their hands on was burned at the stake. It is claimed that this took place on Friday the 13th and is thus the origin of the superstition.
  • Deltora Quest: The Evil Sorceress Thaegan has thirteen monstrous children.
  • The Dresden Files: McAnally's, the pub used as a meeting ground by Chicago's supernatural community, is said to have thirteen columns and thirteen tables as a way of dispersing magical energies. While not unlucky per se, it does rely on thirteen being a number intrinsically adversed to the workings of magic.
  • Inverted in Emily the Strange as thirteen is Emily's favorite number, her lists always number thirteen.
  • Encyclopedia Brown has a friend nicknamed Trisk (short for Triskaidekaphobia), who is terribly superstitious, particularly about his namesake.
  • Ghost In The Noonday Sun: When three of the sixteen people aboard the Bloody Hand are washed overboard in a storm, everyone except Oliver and Second Mate Jack o' Lantern is so alarmed at the prospect of sailing on a ship with thirteen men that they agree to maroon one of their number. They draw doubloons (one of which is marked with an x) to determine who will be marooned, while making sure to keep seven doubloons in one bag and six in the other so they don't have thirteen coins together. Captain Scratch cheats by palming his coin before the drawing starts. Jack draws the unlucky doubloon, but bribes the men assigned to maroon him to sneak him back onboard.
  • In The Goldfish Boy, fear of the number 13 is one of the symptoms of Matthew's OCD. He refers to the number as "tenplusthree," and if he sees it, he counts to seven in his head to neutralize it by turning it into twenty.
  • In the Harry Potter books:
    • Professor Trelawney has a fear of thirteen, and in Prisoner of Azkaban she mentions the superstition that when thirteen dine together, the first to rise from the table will be the first to die. This comes true in two instances:
      • Since Peter Pettigrew is in Ron's pocket at the time Trelawney mentions the superstition, there are already thirteen people seated at the table when she believes the number to be twelve. Dumbledore rises to greet her when she enters the Great Hall. As Harry, Ron, and Pettigrew later leave the table at the same time, the number seated drops from 14 to 11. In Half-Blood Prince, Dumbledore becomes the first to die of that particular group of thirteen.
      • In Order of the Phoenix, thirteen people have dinner together and Sirius gets up first. He dies at the end of the book.
    • Voldemort returns to power after 13 years pass since his downfall in the Potters' House.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: In Mostly Harmless, the evil Guide-bird was being kept on floor thirteen. Maybe lampshaded because Ford notices that the elevator doesn't have a thirteenth button, and he thinks that's weird because only humans have a fear of 13, and that's how he figures out the bird-thing was being kept there. It was The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Mk II, created by the Vogons as part of a multidimensional plot to finally and completely destroy Earth and put that final tick in the box and file the paperwork. It was only shaped like a bird for reasons not explained.
  • The Hobbit has a group of thirteen Dwarves who want to reclaim their homeland and defeat Smaug. Part of the reason that they shanghai Bilbo, the titular hobbit, into coming is so that they can avert the unlucky number.
  • Land of Oz: Ojo was born on Friday the 13th, which is one of the reasons he's called Ojo the Unlucky. Around the climax of his debut book, the Tin Woodman explains why it's silly to think of himself as unlucky just because of the day he was born. In the end, Ojo drops the "Un" from his title.
  • Played with in Margaret Owen's retelling of "The Goose Girl", Little Thieves. Vanja, who stole her former mistress and best friend's identity as a princess, is the thirteenth child of a thirteenth child. People assert that this means she's cursed (including her mother, who abandoned her at the crossroads as a child, and Vanja herself in her lower moments), and she certainly runs into more than her fair share of trouble. However, it's pretty clear, as her love interest basically spells out, that Vanja's "unluckiness" is actually the result of living in a crushingly unequal society and being failed by every adult who was supposed to look after her.
  • It's in Chapter 13 of The Martian that the Hab's airlock fails.
  • Midnighters
    • Inverted: 13 is an extremely lucky number — for humans, anyways. Seeing 13 of anything (or even hearing a 13-letter word) is a Brown Note for slithers, and one of the few ways to keep them from killing you if they catch you.
    • Played straight when the Darklings try to turn Rex into one of them. Although they are mostly unsuccessful, he finds that he is now repulsed and weakened by the number 13, just like the Darklings, though not as strongly because he is still mostly human.
  • In Edgar Rice Burroughs's The Monster Men, Professor Maxon is convinced that Number 13 will be his successful experiment.
  • In Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, as befits its odd ways of doing everything, the circus's anniversery party is held not in the tenth year but the thirteenth.
  • At the beginning of 1984, the clock strikes thirteen, which is an early indication of just how wrong the world has gone. An obvious hand-wave is that they've just changed the way people (and chiming clocks) tell the time so that afternoon hours keep adding up from twelve to twenty-four, but (a) such a change to such a mundane aspect of everyday life hints at a pervasive change to society at large (compare Hit So Hard, the Calendar Felt It), and (b) the choice of thirteen rather than, say, fourteen is not a coincidence; the creepy significance is almost certainly deliberate.
  • In Replica the thirteenth Amy clone (who was not supposed to exist and accidentally off from the twelfth) is the only Amy who does not have the clone perfection.
  • A Sailor of Austria by John Biggins. When the submarine crew is assigned to U13 people start making bets on how long they will last until the submarine is struck by a torpedo that fails to explode.
  • The Scholomance: Zigzagged. Angel Torres, who came in thirteenth in the class rankings, hasn't done well enough to make it into an enclave. However, his luck picks up when he gets a promised enclave spot in exchange for participating in the repair mission and then proceeds to survive that mission.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events has thirteen books, which would fit with its macabre nature. Each book has thirteen chapters. Subverted in that the 13th book contains the 14th book, which is one chapter; lampshaded in that it's called Chapter Fourteen.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, the thirteenth commander of the Night's Watch, known only as "Night's King", enslaved the Watch with sorcery after marrying a "pale, unholy woman" and was the cause of atrocities for thirteen years before he was killed.
  • Ogden Nash's deliciously spooky "A Tale of the Thirteenth Floor" embodies this trope to a 'T'.
  • Patricia C. Wrede's Thirteenth Child. Though Eff's actual problem is that people expect a thirteenth child to turn out bad. (She's also the seventh daughter, as other characters point out.)
  • The War Against the Chtorr. When the protagonist first encounters the Uncle Ira Group, they take him to the Missing Floor of a hotel (which is naturally on the 13th floor) and put him in Room 1313. He doesn't Have A Bad Feeling About This until he finds the door locked and his access to a terminal cut off. When the Uncle Ira Group does let him out, it's because they've decided to set him up to be killed.
  • The Wheel of Time:
  • Warrior Cats: The thirteenth law in the warrior code (that a Clan leader's word must be unchallenged by his Clanmates) is easily the most controversial and the one that has led to the most trouble, since it can be twisted to mean that a tyrant is allowed to rule unchallenged.

    Live-Action TV 
  • All That: A Good Burger sketch had the workers frightened of Saturday the 14th due to a haunting.
  • Andi Mack: The first episode has Andi celebrate her 13th birthday and discovers her older sister Bex is really her mother.
  • Battlestar Galactica — Twelve tribes of man who founded the Twelve Colonies... plus one that "got lost" and inspired the survivors to go on a wild goose chase IN SPACE! to find a planet called Earth. Twelve Lords (gods) of Kobol... plus one who became the Cylon God. Also there are 13 human-like Cylons — five "originals" and their eight creations (numbered 1-8) — however only twelve survived long enough to be considered important, since #1 killed the #7s and then programed the others to ignore the gap between 6 and 8.
  • The Brittas Empire: The flashbacks in “The Trial”, which ended with the deaths of seven gangsters as well as several elderly women being seriously hurt, is noted to have taken place on Friday the Thirteenth.
  • In Charmed, Barbas the demon of fear required the death of thirteen witches on Friday the 13th in order to gain his full power.
  • Deal or No Deal: The case numbered 13 (held by the model Leyla) often contained large amounts of cash, usually those close to the one million amount. A teaser for one episode even showcased such.
  • Dexter has Lumen Pierce, also known as No. 13, the victim of a group of a murdering rapist/torturers. Who leads to the destruction of the entire gang after being rescued by Dexter when he kills one of the members right before she would have ended up as the thirteenth Barrel Girl.
  • Doctor Who:
    • A Time Lord who is dying can regenerate into a new body. They can do this twelve times, but the thirteenth time, they'll die for good. Of course, there have been some exceptions to this rule.
    • At the end of "Twice Upon a Time", the Thirteenth Doctor makes her debut by being thrown out of an exploding TARDIS thousands of feet above the surface of the Earth.
    • Putting it further for the 13th Doctor, "The Timeless Child" retcons over 60 years of DW lore by revealing that not only was the 13th Doctor not the first female Doctor, but the regeneration of the Time Lords was actually stolen from her by killing her over and over again so that she would regenerate continuously, making the ability that was unique to them literally Powered by a Forsaken Child. Needless to day, this was the episode that officially broke the fandom, truly making the 13th Doctor unlucky.
  • In Game of Thrones, the Council of Thirteen of Qarth, who prove less than helpful to Daenerys. Things don't end well for them, eleven of them were killed by the warlock who was one of them, leaving Daxos as King of Qarth. Then the warlock gets killed by Daenerys's dragons, and Daxos is locked up in his own vault.
  • Agent 13 on Get Smart is a character who always gets terrible assignments, that often go hilariously wrong, and usually involving him being crammed into uncomfortable spaces as part of his disguise.
  • House has a character commonly known as Thirteen who has Huntington's Disease.
  • The iCarly episode "iScream on Halloween" revolves around a haunted apartment. The apartment number? 13-B.
  • Kamen Rider: Kamen Rider Ryuki and Kamen Rider Dragon Knight involved thirteen Riders, and in Ryuki they're all trying to kill each other because There Can Be Only One. There are two good candidates for being the unlucky 13th one: Odin/Wrath, who is the most powerful and under direct control of the Big Bad; and Ryuga/Onyx, an unintended addition to the original twelve and Evil Twin of The Hero (though played with in Dragon Knight, as the Evil Twin takes over the title role instead and the Good Twin gets the Onyx gear in response).
  • In Lexx:
    • Category 13 biohazards and Type 13 planets are among the most dangerous kinds of each.
    • In the final episode, the particle accelerator determining the mass of the Higgs Boson finally gives the result as 131313.
  • Masters of Horror and Fear Itself (both horror anthology shows) had 13 episodes per season.
  • The Munsters live at 1313 Mockingbird Lane.
  • On The Price Is Right, there is a game called Half Off, where is hidden in one of sixteen numbered boxes. To date, the cash has been hidden in fifteen of those boxes several times, but it has not once been placed in box #13.
  • Psych did an episode spoofing summer camp horror films, titled "Tuesday the 17th". It was aired on a Friday the 13th. This appears to be a Shout-Out to the episode of Ren & Stimpy below.
  • Robot Wars
    • 13 Black had 2 huge spinning discs for massive destructive potential, and yet, it never lived up to its capabilities. Their motto was "unlucky for some..."
    • And in season four, 13th seed Gravedigger coincidentally went out in the first round.
  • Rome shows why 13 is unlucky... to people not Roman. Legio XII Gemina, the 13th Legion was Caesar's Legion that crossed the Rubicon.
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures: Sarah Jane Smith lives at 13 Bannerman Road, but is not really that unlucky. Her life is just weird.
  • Supernatural:
    • The tagline for Supernatural's 13th season is "Thirteen is their lucky number."
    • Samuel Colt created only thirteen bullets for his Colt revolver that can kill any supernatural being. One assumes the number was used for its magical association, rather than because it was unlucky (except for the demons who got shot with it, of course).
  • Warehouse 13 has the title warehouse, which does contain all sorts of magical artifacts.
  • Wizards vs. Aliens had an episode called "The Thirteenth Floor", about an office building that follows the "skip from 12 to 14" superstition. The thing is, there actually is a thirteenth floor, in that the elevator can sometimes spit you out in the Neverside.

  • Some artists intentionally "skip" track 13 on albums (usually by making track 13 a few seconds of silence). Or make the thirteenth an unlisted Hidden Track. Examples include:
    • Alan Jackson's Who I Am skips from 12 to 14 by way of a silent track 13. Alan lampshades this trope on the liner notes, which say "That's right folks, I am just a bit superstitious."
    • Similarly, the first disc of Garth Brooks' Double Live album uses a few seconds of applause as a "phantom" track 13, so that the track listing can skip from 12 to 14. His 2020 album Fun does likewise.
    • Fly by The Chicks skips from 12 ("Heartbreak Town") to 14 ("Let Her Fly"). Depending on the pressing, track 13 is either a second of silence (listed as "ain't no thang but a chicken wang" in the booklet), or just the last couple seconds of "Heartbreak Town". This may be due to this trope, or the fact that the album as a Cut Song — it was originally slated to be a duet with Deryl Dodd on "Wherever You Are", but he came down with encephalitis and was unable to re-record the track to his liking so it became a Cut Song.
    • Fantômas' self-titled album and The Director's Cut both have short silences as track 13. So far Suspended Animation is their only album to have an actual song on track thirteen, although Delirium Cordia was just indexed as one long track anyway.
    • The back cover of Hot Hot Heat's Elevator runs with the theme of the title - not only does the track listing start with number 15 and end with 1, like an elevator's floor buttons would, but there's no 13th track since buildings with that many floors tend to skip 13. On the album itself, the 13th track is just the last few seconds of the ending of the previous song.

  • 70's musical icons Chicago titled their albums according to the order they were issued (Chicago II, Chicago III, Chicago IV, etc). They subverted this trope by naming their twelfth album "Hot Streets", and reverting to the numerical system with "Chicago XIII". "XIII" played the trope straight however, proving to be a commercial and critical failure, and the first album by the band to produce no significant hit singles.
  • The Danzig song "Thirteen".
  • Korn's third studio album, Follow The Leader, actually begins with the thirteenth song, aptly named "It's On!" after 12 songs of five-second silence. The album has a grand total of 25 songs, yet ironically, if the first 12 songs were omitted, the album itself would be reduced to 13 songs. It seems the band must have double subverted this trope.
  • Mushroomhead's 2003 studio album is titled XIII and, appropriately enough, has 13 songs. To top it off, the final thirteenth song is even named "Thirteen".
  • Steely Dan's "Black Friday" has a rather clever example of this:
    When Black Friday comes
    I'll stand down by the door
    And watch the grey men when they dive from the fourteenth floor...
  • Inverted with Taylor Swift to the point of being her personal Arc Number (she was born on December 13).
  • Wax actually added three silent tracks to an album with ten songs on it, just so they could somewhat justify calling it 13 Unlucky Numbers.
  • German comedian/chansonnier Reinhard Mey has "Ankomme Freitag den 13.", where the preparations for the arrival of his girlfriend go polar south. But note that the whole song is actually a subversion. After the narrator has been buried under a heap of Disaster Dominoes, he finally realizes it's only Thursday 12th yet.
  • King Angus McFife XIII of Dundee from Gloryhammer sees Earth destroyed in battle between his army and an Eldritch Abomination, and during a time-travel mission to fix it in the past, he is stabbed through the heart by a Knife of Evil (read as "Morgûl Blade"), requiring him to leap into a volcano to avoid becoming a Deathknight.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • In the Book of Genesis, Jacob's 13th child (and only daughter) is raped by a Schechemite prince. Her brothers avenge her by killing not only her rapist, but every adult male in his village, and then taking the Schechemite women and children as plunder.
    • In The New Testament, as noted on the intro, there were 13 people in the Last Supper. The next day, a Friday (the supposed origin of combining weekday and number into bad luck), Jesus was executed. Then, Judas, the traitor who hanged himself in guilt, was replaced, but they're still called The Twelve Apostles.
  • Classical Mythology: The mythological backstory for the Trojan War starts with a banquet of the gods... they only have 12 golden place settings, but Eris, goddess of Chaos, shows up uninvited with the Golden Apple. The source story for Sleeping Beautynote  starts with a similar dinner, replacing gods with fairies.
  • Most of the legends about The Jersey Devil claim it was Mother Leeds's thirteenth child.
  • Ironically, for Jews thirteen is a lucky number. For instance, it is considered the age of spiritual adulthood.
  • In Tarot, XIII is Death in the Major Arcana. While it usually does not mean physical death, it usually implies the end of something (relationship or interest).


    Pro Wrestling 
  • During his WWE tenure, Tazz wore the number 13 on his gear, symbolizing the bad luck that brought his opponent face-to-face with an unstoppable rage machine like him.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons
    • In the episode of where the eponymous hero gets fired, the reason as to why was because he lost all his money whilst gambling, his last act being to put them all on no. 13 (you can guess how that turned out).
    • An earlier episode featured Big Ben striking 13 (apparently due to the distance you are from it). At the end Scarlet says he considers it his "lucky number".

  • In Cricket, especially in Australia, a score of 87 (thirteen short of 100) is considered unlucky.
  • Curve 13 at the Whistler Sliding Center at the Vancouver Olympics is nicknamed "50-50", because the first time people went on it there was a 50% chance of crashing, although the American bobsled driver who named it now wants to call it "100-100" because he and his team completely owned it to win gold.
  • Until 2014, there was no car #13 in Formula One for this reason. Pastor Maldonado started driving a car with that number starting in the season; Maldonado is Venezuelan, a country where thirteen is considered a lucky number. Unfortunately for him, the end result became rather catastrophic. Things only worsened to Maldonado in 2015 season. Despite Lotus having the best engine (Mercedes), the car was so fragile and combined with a good amount of more bad luck (and a bit of mistakes), made him lose a lot of points (he almost finished in the 13th position in the drivers standings, however). This trope is played Up to Eleven in 2016. Before the start of the season Lotus was bought by Renault after struggling to survive and become a works team again. Everything was going right and the expectations are high for the upcoming years, but he was fired by the team, despite being under contract for racing in 2016, due a conflict between Renault and his sponsor. With no place to go and his sponsor (PDVSA) becoming nearly bankrupt due to the Venezuelan economy crisis, he is forced to take a sabbatical year and maybe never return to racing in F1.
  • Goalkeeper Nick Hammond was given the number 13 shirt when he signed for Swindon Town... then broke his leg. Twice. Ahead of the 1993/94 season, he switched to the number 23 shirt, stopped breaking his leg, and no Swindon Town player has worn the number 13 since.
    • On a broader note, since the number 13 shirt is traditionally given to the second-choice goalkeeper, one could say that any keeper who receives that shirt is inherently unlucky.
  • Brazilian soccer coach Mario Jorge Lobo Zagallo is known for believing thirteen is lucky.
  • On August 5, 2013, Major League Baseball handed down thirteen suspensions related to the use of performance enhancing drugs. Yankee number 13, Alex Rodriguez got a 211-game suspension, while everyone else got less.
  • German soccer player Michael Ballack is probably more known for the trophies he missed out on than what he won, all while wearing the number 13. In 2002, his club Bayer Leverkusen lost out on the Bundesliga title by one point and finished runners-up in the German Cup and the UEFA Champions League and on international duty that summer, he was part of the Germany squad which lost to Brazil in the FIFA World Cup Final. In 2008, his new club Chelsea lost out on the Premier League on the final day and were also runners-up in the League Cup and Champions League that season, he was also captain of Germany as they were the losing finalists at UEFA Euro 2008
  • The iconic Hall-of-fame quarterback Dan Marino of the Miami Dolphins is easily regarded as one of the best to play the position in the NFL for the 16 years he has played, setting all kinds passing records and setting the Single season Passing touchdown record in 1984 (Since surpassed by Peyton Manning in 2004). Unfortunately, he is also known and regarded as one of the best players to never win a Super Bowl, only reaching the Super Bowl with the Dolphins once in his career (1984 Season) and falling short many times afterward until he retired after the 1999 NFL season. What was his jersey number? 13 of course.
    • On the other hand, during the 1985 season, Marino helped them end the Chicago Bears' undefeated season, delivering their only defeat during week 13.
  • Averted by Wilt Chamberlain, whose jersey number was 13 throughout his professional career.
  • Averted by Super Bowl XXXI as the Green Bay Packers made it 13 straight NFC wins over the New England Patriots and the AFC. The streak ended at 13 the next year with the Denver Broncos defeating those Packers.
  • Averted by Pavel Datsyuk, who wore jersey number 13 throughout his professional NHL career and played entirely with the Detroit Red Wings, winning the Stanley Cup in 2002 and 2008.
  • Averted by Kurt Warner, who wore number 13 in his NFL career, becoming one of the league's best passers in his time as a quarterback with the Rams (with whom he would win a Super Bowl with during the 1999 season), Giants, and Cardinals.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Dark Eye's religion (the most popular) features twelve good gods and the thirteenth Nameless One. And oh boy, you better not go around mentioning that guy unless you want to get serious trouble.
  • In the Mad City of Don't Rest Your Head, every twelfth hour brings a thirteenth hour, in which the characters can not leave the city and the Nightmares go hunting...
  • A recurring pattern in Eberron is to have 13 of something, with one of them lost or destroyed. This is a play on a "Baker's Dozen" (12 + 1), named after the setting designer, Keith Baker.
    • There are 13 Outer Planes, one of which was cut off from the cosmology (and with good reason).
    • 13 moons, one of which disappeared.
    • There are currently 12 calendar months (named after the moons), but it is implied that there used to be 13 months.
    • 13 nations on Khorvaire, one of which was destroyed in a magical catastrophe.
    • 13 Dragonmarks, but the Mark of Death was destroyed (save for one sole survivor who still bears that mark) during the War of the Mark.
    • Of the 12 remaining Dragonmarks, there are 13 Dragonmarked Houses because one of the original twelve houses split into two after a bloody internal conflict.
    • In an odd coincidence, the Artificer class, originally created for Eberron, is the 13th class in 5e, and the only one outside the Player's Handbook.
  • In Exalted, the Neverborn's chief servants are the thirteen Deathlords, who are somewhat reminiscent of The Wheel of Time's Forsaken, except undead and indestructible.
  • The GURPS adventure Flight 13 thrusts the characters into a Space/Horror setting, regardless of what their original destination was.
  • Old World of Darkness has various thirteen things, like thirteen vampire clans and thirteen werewolf tribes, to fit in with its whole Crapsack World. In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, the Wyrm has Thirteen Urges which form the heads of the hydra, each of which is served by a Maeljin Incarna, who might as well be called the Thirteen Horseman of the Apocalypse. In Vampire: The Masquerade, the thirteen vampire clans were founded by the thirteen Antediluvians.
  • In Warhammer, the evil, rat-like race the Skaven worship the number thirteen. Their strongest spell (one of the strongest non-storm of magic spells) is even called The dreaded 13th spell.
  • In Warhammer 40,000, the thirteenth Black Crusade was by far the most damaging to the Imperium, destroying Cadia and allowing the Eye of Terror to grow unchecked.

  • Romeo and Juliet: Juliet is 2 weeks away from her 14th birthday. She doesn't live to see it.
  • Despite its title, 13 is an aversion. The characters aren't unlucky, they're just 13 year olds. And it sucks to be 13.
  • Inverted in Once Upon a Mattress, where there are thirteen princess who wanted to marry Prince Dauntless. The first twelve princess failed the Queen's test; the twelfth is even said to have failed due to bad luck. Winnifred is the thirteenth princess, and she gets the Prince.
  • The French play Treize à table is entirely about a superstitious housemistress trying her damnedest to avoid having thirteen people around the dinner table for Christmas Eve.
  • The Wild Duck. Used as a Brick Joke. It is stated that the dinner party at the beginning of the play has thirteen guests, and it is handled as an ominous sign. At the end of the play, Gregers Werle muses that he was the thirteenth guest.

    Theme Parks 
  • The roller coaster, Th13teen, at Alton Towers is based entirely around this.
  • The "Icons" of Busch Gardens' Howl-O-Scream event in 2013 was a sinister group known as "The 13", each member consisting of a different type of horror monster.
  • "The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror" amongst the Disney Theme Park Resorts, where the elevator vehicle drops guests 13 stories. The clock in the lobby has stopped at the time 8:05, the official backstory being the lightning struck the hotel at this time; eight plus five equals thirteen.

  • GoBots
    • Although all non-monster GoBots are good guys, that didn't stop Tonka from keeping 13 off the side of good. Hans Cuff (Patrol Car Robo) was marked MR-13 in Japan, but in America, he was reassigned to #12 as he was one of the Guardians... leaving #13 to a Renegade Gobot, Fly Trap (a recoloured Sanitation Robo MR-26)
    • The Revenge of Cronos reissues assigned another designated Renegade, Tank MRB-13.
  • There are several rulers available called 'Lucky Rulers', which miss out the number thirteen.
  • Transformers: The original Big Bad, Megatron, was originally Micro Change figure #13.
  • Such an unlucky number is featured on jerseys of top athletes in any toyline based on Creatures of the Night, Like Mad Balls and Monster High.

    Video Games 
  • Ace Combat
    • Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation has the Strigon Squad, a Rival Ace Squad to the player in the game. It is noted in Toscha Mijasik's (a.k.a. Strigon 12) Assault recored that he retained the team's number 12 since the prelude because of his Triskaidekaphobia (aka a fear of 13). Ironically, the person he looked up to was killed and the city they occupied since day one was liberated on Mission 13!
    • In Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies, combining this trope with Four Is Death: Among the Erusean pilots, Yellow 4 and Yellow 13 are constant companions, both in the skies and (implied) off-duty. During the course of the game, the player shoots down and kills Yellow 4, leaving Yellow 13 heartbroken.
  • In both the Super and Real paths of Battle Moon Wars, mission 13 features the first major boss battle in the game, against Nrvnqsr Chaos, as well as being the hardest mission up to that point (assuming one isn't aiming for the Battle Masteries).
  • BlazBlue: Nu-13 causes the End Of The World repeatedly when awakened underneath the 13th Hierarchical City, Kagutsuchi.
  • One game's title says "Brain Dead 13". Also, it can be unlucky because of the many death scenes.
  • In The Darkside Detective, the episode selection screen is in the form of a set of Detective McQueen's case files labeled as "Vol. 13".
  • In the sequel, The Darkside Detective: A Fumble in the Dark, Detective McQueen visits a black market selling dangerous magical objects, which is located at Pier 13.
  • The Japanese subtitle of Eternal Darkness translates as "The 13 Guests". Strangely, there's only 12 playable characters; it's possible the 13th is supposed to be the player.
  • Fallout:
    • Subverted in Fallout; the population of Vault 13 turns out to be one of the luckier of the series of 122 long-term nuclear fallout shelters in the continental U.S., given the outcome of most of the other vaults which range from grisly to Fate Worse than Death. It's also the home of the main character of the first game, the ancestral home of the second's main and the number 13 has become iconic in the Fallout series.
    • In Fallout: New Vegas, you find your would-be murderer Benny on the thirteenth floor of the Tops Casino.
    • Also, in New Vegas: Honest Hearts, it's revealed that Salt Lake City, the home of Randall Dean Clark, a significant character in the backstory was hit by 13 nukes and completely destroyed.
  • God of War III: Hercules takes on Kratos, declaring his defeat of the Ghost of Sparta to be his thirteenth labor. Kratos ends up turning the tables on him and smashing his face in with the Nemean Cestus.
  • The Death Arcarum boss in Granblue Fantasy will inflict the "Death Sentence" debuff on your team which, when not cleared, will instantly kill all affected party members after 13 turns.
  • King Ashnard from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance is the 13th King of the Daein Kingdom. While it's not known how the previous Kings behaved (other than that they never allowed commoners to become military officers), Ashnard ignites a world-wide war just to awaken a Dark Goddess and shape the world into a Social Darwinist philosophy and wrecked havoc on both neighboring kingdoms and his own kingdom.
  • Final Fantasy VII: Thanks to being one of Hojo's intended recipients of Jenova cells, and therefore (presumably) a future Sephiroth-clone, Nanaki was given the tattoo "XIII" and even called Red XIII. He is also apparently the last (or next-to-last) of his race; had his father petrified while facing off with the Gi; was held prisoner by Shinra, experimented upon, and was slated for interracial breeding with Aeris; and loses his grandfather during the course of the story. On the other hand, at least he lives all the way through, is still around 500 years later, and is one of the party's better balances between magic-user and brawler, if properly equipped and leveled. And he certainly seems to bear his misfortunes with dignity and fortitude. On the other hand he's a flea-ridden dog thing, so...
  • Horizon Zero Dawn: The Mad Sun-King Jaran, who started a war to raid all surrounding tribes for Human Sacrifices in a completely doomed attempt to appease the Sun God, was the 13th Sun-King. His son had to kill him and usurp the throne just to keep him from destroying himself and the nation. Note that the culture has no negative association with the number 13 (though they might develop one now).
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Organization XIII consists of thirteen members who like to walk around in Black Cloaks and do nasty things, which is ambiguously justifiable in that they lost their hearts and are trying to reclaim them. The means of trying to reclaim their hearts, however, involves the distortion of the heart of all worlds. Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance reveals that the Organization's true purpose is to serve as vessels to Xehanort, who seeks to reforge the χ-blade by pitting thirteen darknesses against seven lights (the Princesses of Heart). But with Sora foiling his goals, Xehanort is trying again with a second Organization.
    • Sora is described in the Grid as Combatant 13, Foreshadowing Xehanort's plan to use him as his thirteenth vessel.
    • Castle Oblivion, which is used as a base by members of the aforementioned Organization, has thirteen floors.
  • You have to look for it, but since the creator of Kingdom of Loathing avoids the number 13 and has gone out of his way to code the various numbering systems to skip it over. (Read more about Kol and 13 here.) 13 is also the minimum level you have to be to take on the Naughty Sorceress, the final quest you get before reincarnating.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky: Joshua is revealed to be the former Enforcer No. XIII of Ouroboros. Befitting his Dark and Troubled Past with his home-village Hamel was razed to the ground, he killed a rogue mercenary after the man murdered his sister and Loewe's lover Karin, and he was a puppet of Weissman until being rescued by Cassius.
  • Subverted in The Longest Journey where 13 pops up continuously until you learn that it's actually a lucky number in the setting. And an Arc Number, to boot.
  • Inverted in Minigore. The player collects Four Leaf Clovers to gain brief spells of invincibility, the first of which always appears when the player's score reaches 13.
  • Octopath Traveler: According to the creation myth presented at the beginning of Ophilia's Chapter 1, there were originally 13 creator gods. However, the thirteenth god, Galdera, betrayed the others and was sealed away after a battle.
  • In Pikmin 2, the Submerged Castle has exactly 13 treasures, and is home of the dreaded Waterwraith, an unstoppable, incredibly lethal Eldritch Abomination that drops from the ceiling and terrorizes the characters and their Pikmin after a few minutes have passed on any given floor.
  • The thirteenth chapter of Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon has a malevolent entity turn Latios and Latias into stone, and is the starting point of the story's Cerebus Syndrome.
  • Progressbar 95: 13 acts as a red segment in Progressbar XL. Stepping on a cell with it (or having it reach your position) gives a BSoD.
  • In Punch-Out!! for Wii, Mr. Sandman has references to number 13 and its connotation of bad luck. He manages to beat twelve boxers from the WVBA and becomes World champion. Little Mac, the 13th opponent, beats him and not only takes away his hard-earned belt, but also renders his victory track imperfect.note  Also, Little Mac has 13 hearts of stamina in both fights against Sandman (the rematch is in Title Defense mode, where the latter is once again the 13th opponent), one of the lowest amounts provided in a fight in the game. Sandman's Contender introduction cutscene is 13 images long (the other boxers only have four-image-long cutscenes), he has to be hit 13 times (in case Star Punches aren't used) after the Berserker Rage is over to be definitely defeated, and even his stats (age, fight record, height) provide nods to number thirteen as well. Something interesting to note is that he, during his World title hold, has the highest rank in the World Circuit, while Aran Ryan (who embodies the Lucky Seven trope) is the lowest in the same circuit.
  • The events of Radiant Silvergun occur on July 13th, 2521.
  • The unlockable 13-Ship Mode in RayStorm gives you thirteen ships for one credit. Basically, you cycle through four different ship types — if you lose three of one type, you go on to the next. Ship thirteen... is the prototype, bereft of super attacks. And if you destroy Yggdrasil in this mode...well, Secelia's no longer a threat. But Earth was destroyed anyway. (At least the other colonies can go on.) Fridge Brilliance kicks in when you realize that if they sent the inferior prototype, then Earth must have sent all its R-Grays to Secelia. Leaving nobody to stop another fleet's Hannibal from causing an Earth-Shattering Kaboom...
  • Inverted in Resident Evil: Project W test subject No. 013, whom we know as Albert Wesker, was one of two subjects (from hundreds), who (kind of) survived the experiment. And got superpowers.
  • Ridge Racer series has Soldat Crinale, one of the notorious machines whose number is 13. It's also nicknamed "13th Racing" for that reason. A badass-looking matte black Le Mans Prototype with a frightfully tremendous top speed, but it is very punishing to drive. Those who are able to control it, however, can easily make the competitors eat the dust.
  • A rom hack of the original Sonic the Hedgehog, based on the "Sonic.exe" meme, plays like a regular Sonic game at first. Once thirteen seconds elapse, however, the level Sonic is in will turn into a hellscape with invincible enemies. About thirteen more seconds afterwards, Sonic gets chased by a flying demonic clone.
  • In Super Mario Galaxy, Prankster Comets start to appear across the universe once Mario has collected his 13th Power Star.
  • Terranigma has a symbolic clock whose face is numbered to 13:
    "If earth's history is likened to a clock, the hour hand points to 13. A time that cannot exist... No, a time that must not exist."
  • In Tokimeki Memorial 4, you need to ask out Okura Miyako on a date 13 times before unlocking her route, at which point she shows her true, dark side that will stalk you, chase her Robbie the Rabbit doll after you if you ''dare'' to go out with another girl and overall proves to be quite... unstable...
  • Reila of Valkyria Chronicles III has had her name erased from the records and replaced with the title "Number 13". This number was likely chosen because she is the Sole Survivor of several army squads and is viewed as The Jinx.
  • White Day: A Labyrinth Named School takes places on March 13th, on the night before White Day — a holiday similar to Valentine's Day in Western countries — and the protagonist enters the school in the dead of night to deliver candy to a girl he likes. Cue the entire school becoming more and more of a hellish nightmare.

  • Erma: The titular character was born on October 13th, with the comic showing this coming out Friday the 13th October 2017. As for why it's unlucky, well Erma is an Apocalypse Maiden.
  • Sleepless Domain: This is referenced and inverted on Chapter 13, Page 13, in which Zoe narrowly manages to save Rue's life in Big Damn Hero fashion. The Alt Text notes that evidently, the two thirteens cancel out to make a very lucky double negative.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Chapter 13 is the one at the end of which one of the non-immune members of the crew gets bitten by a troll, which means they may very well be infected by a disease that will either kill them or turn them into a troll.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Amphibia: Anne was teleported by the Calamity Box to Amphibia on her thirteenth birthday.
  • An episode of The Care Bears Family centered around Friday The 13th being a day of bad luck.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door
    • Numbuh 13 is a ridiculously unlucky person who always gave trouble for anyone under his proximity. Indeed he is loathed so much by the Kids Next Door that when he gets tagged to become the Supreme Leader, everyone dogpiled him so as not to let him become the leader, despite them not being keen on the idea of becoming their Supreme Leader.
    • 13 is the age when a kid becomes a teenager. In this series, if a KND member becomes 13, they must go through a Laser-Guided Amnesia process, forgetting that they ever joined the team. This is bad because afterwards, the teen will most likely go through a Start of Darkness, and join other teens to fight against the Kids Next Door. At best they become apathetic and oblivious to the ongoing conflict. For at least one teen, though, this is not the case.
  • Johnny "13" first appears in the thirteenth episode of Danny Phantom, and fittingly enough the episode's title is "13". He claims to have a "reputation for being unlucky." He can also summon a Living Shadow that is also unlucky. Johnny's bad luck also seems to affect his Biker Chick girlfriend, Kitty.
  • The number 13 has popped up a few times in Detentionaire. For example, Wing 13 of the Green Apple Splat factory is a creepy, dark, seemingly haunter corridor, and it's where the survivors of the old factory's meltdown were kept, since they all went insane because of the fumes. Of course, the protagonists have to go through it to escape the second meltdown. Also, students are periodically called down to Room 113 B, which actually leads to the underground brainwashing rooms.
  • Donald Duck:
    • Donald's car is the "313" — it's known for being extremely unreliable. (It's also the area code for Detroit.)
    • Donald Duck was also born on Friday the 13th, according to some sources. Notably, in The Three Caballeros, Donald's birthday gift from South America notes his birthday as "Friday the 13th". Subverted in this case as his birthday gift that year was a magical tour of Mexico and South America. A bit trippy, but not anything unlucky or unpleasant at all.
    • One cartoon, Donald's Lucky Day, has a very superstitious Donald delivering a package on Friday the 13th to 1313 13th Street. Naturally, the package is a bomb.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: Discounting Plank, Eddy's Brother is the thirteenth character to be introduced in the show. He's a Big Brother Bully and a Knight of Cerebus.
  • The Fairly OddParents Anti-Fairies escape to cause bad luck on Friday the 13th.
  • Rock Bottom from the Felix the Cat TV cartoons is a mean cuss but he's also superstitious. It's Friday the 13th (from the cartoon of the same name) and whatever can go wrong for Rock does go wrong, which he blames on Felix (what being a black cat and all).
  • Gravity Falls: The final story arc has Dipper and Mable work with the others to stop Bill Cipher's "Weirdmageddon" apocalypse before their 13th birthday.
  • Eugene, The Chew Toy in Hey Arnold!, was born on a Friday the 13th.
  • In the Looney Tunes short "Scaredy Cat", Porky and Sylvester check into a decrepit hotel, where Porky is blissfully unaware of a group of mice that are trying to off him. The room they spend the night in is numbered 13.
  • Jinxy Jenkins & Lucky Lou: Jinxy Jenkins was Born Unlucky. When we first see him, he is walking out of his house, whose street number is 13.
  • The 13th short of Love, Death & Robots is fittingly called "Lucky 13", and is about a drop ship that is considered unlucky because its serial number is 13-02313; not only does that number begin and end in 13, all the digits also add up to 13.
  • Megas XLR: In "Rearview Mirror, Mirror", Evil Coop's mecha's number is 13; MEGAS, driven by the real Coop, bears the number 12.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In "Games Ponies Play", when Twilight advises the Mane Six practice the Welcome Committee Song "one more time from the top" while on the train, AJ mentions they've already practiced it twelve times earlier. Of course, the Mane Six practice it one more time... just in time for the train to arrive at the Crystal Empire, screech to a stop and throwing all of them for a loop.
    • In "Dungeons and Discords", Discord makes his big entrance wearing a #13 basketball jersey, foreshadowing how badly the Guys' Night will start out.
    • The episode "The Mean Six" is by no doubt the thirteenth episode of the eighth season, and it's the episode where Chrysalis comes back to exact her promised revenge on Starlight, but the mean clones she sends out split up and interfere with the real Mane Six in various situations, causing them to hate each other for the episode. To top it off, the way the clones are destroyed by the Tree of Harmony in the end is terrifying.
  • Thirteen from Numberblocks is so unlucky that he splits into Ten and Three everytime he hears his name. Twenty-Six, being a multiple of Thirteen, also splits when he hears his name.
  • A classic Popeye short had Bluto ripping a leaf from Olive Oyl's calendar so she'd think it was "Fri 13" instead of "Thur 12".
  • In Slimer and The Real Ghostbusters, the thirteenth floor of Hotel Sedgwick is reserved for dwelling ghosts and their guests.
  • Parodied in The Ren & Stimpy Show. Ren was born on Tuesday the 17 (which would follow a Friday the 13th) and is, as a result, extremely unlucky.
  • In an episode of Rocko's Modern Life, Rocko and Heffer board a plane with flight number 1313. All kinds of misfortune occur on their flight.
  • Ruby Gloom features a character named Misery who is known to be extremely unlucky, to the point where she is often struck by lightning. An episode dealing with Friday the 13th ends up being her luckiest day ever, though she is explicitly annoyed by it, while her friends adapt to their own string of bad luck. When the episode ends, the day is over and Misery is unlucky again, much to her relief.
  • Scooby-Doo: The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo is about Scooby Doo and Shaggy releasing the thirteen most terrifying ghosts ever from the Chest of Demons and trying to put them all back. The really unlucky thing though was that we never got a chance to see them finish, as the show coincidentally only lasted thirteen episodes.
  • On The Simpsons, the Treehouse of Horror story "Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace" starts "on the thirteenth hour of the thirteenth day of the thirteenth month" with a meeting to discuss the misprinted calendars bought by the town.note 
  • Stunt Dawgs: While the heroes really suffered bad luck in that day, Lucky, who's usually unlucky, was extremely lucky that day.
  • Superfriends: In Challenge of the Superfriends, the Legion of Doom has thirteen members.
  • Subverted for Tom in Tom and Jerry. Fittingly enough for him, thirteen is the exact number of shorts he got to defeat Jerry.
  • The Top Cat episode "Rafeefleas" has T.C. collecting money for a pizza from the gang (as part of a scheme to get free pizzas for each of them), and Brain has thirteen cents.
    T.C.: Thirteen is an unlucky number. Get rid of that hoodoo! (Brain drops the money in T.C.'s hat)
  • Transformers: The thirteenth original Transformer is Megatronus Prime, who actually betrays his twelve brothers to serve Unicron, hence his new title, The Fallen.
  • In a song sequence from U.S. Acres, Orson jumps on the numbers 11, 12, 13, and 14 while singing "Don't be suspicious, it's all fictitious!", and once Orson is done walking, Wade hops over the number 13, thinking it's bad luck.
  • In Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death, twelve bakers have been murdered, and Wallace appears destined to be the thirteenth victim. Especially since his new fiancee Piella is the murderer.
  • One episode of Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego? took place on Friday the 13th. It starts off with Zack losing his lucky rabbit's foot and things go downhill from there.
  • In Young Justice (2010), the Justice League gives authorized designation numbers to anyone using their Zeta Tube transports or who needs to get into one of their hideouts. There are separate subcategories for the League (no prefix), the Team (B-), Authorized Guests (A-), and pets (C-). The pet subcategory doesn't go up to 13 yet, the League's 13 is unremarkably Black Canary, and A-13 is the similarly unremarkable retired original Flash, Jay Garrick. However, the Team's B-13 is the second Robin, Jason Todd, who is implicitly the first member of the team to die. Metatextually, Jason is famous in the original comic books for being disliked enough that DC staged a publicity stunt where readers got to vote on whether or not The Joker killed him — and the pro-death side won.

    Real Life 
  • The first Canadian cabinet had thirteen cabinet ministers, including the Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald. Out of respect for the superstition that thirteen could not sit down at a table, twelve sat at the cabinet table while the remaining member sat at a small table off at the side. The original cabinet room is maintained the way it was, and is shown on tours of the East Block of the Parliament Buildings.
  • The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose contains multiple thirteens: thirteen steps, thirteen candles in a candelabra, and so forth. Since Sarah Winchester built (and built, and built...) the house to confound the spirits of those killed by the Winchester Rifle, perhaps the multiple thirteens were meant as bad luck for ghosts.
  • This is inverted in Italy, where 13 is the lucky number. There is an expression in Italian, "Fare trédici", which means "to get lucky".
  • The Madrid Metro Network names its lines after numbers (Line 1, Line 2, Line 3, etc.), except for one, Line R. For decades, it stood in the third place in the network list between L2 and L3, as it was the third line to be ever built, back in 1925, as a branch of Line 2. That is, until a Line 12 was finished and plans for a new line arose — then, Line R was immediately demoted to the 13th place in the list, and the new one was given the name of "Line 14", making 13 the only number not represented in the network..
  • Each modern version of Microsoft Office, prior to being titled with its year of release, is codenamed by its technical version number. For example, Office 2010 (version 14.0.4760.1000) was codenamed 'Office 14' while in development. However, there was never an 'Office 13'. Office 2007, the version prior to 2010, was version 12 and codenamed 'Office 12'. Microsoft have even stated this was for superstitious reasons. This might be a Hand Wave, since Office 2010 is actually the 14th iteration of Microsoft Office, if you include the Mac editions. Office 2008 for Mac was the 13th iteration. But it doesn't help that Microsoft started weird numbering conventions; the first version of Office for Windows, for instance, was 3.0.
  • Irish car number plating went by year (eg. 09, 10, 11, etc) until 2013. In 2013, the government decided to change this method in 2013 to 131 and 132. Of course, the official reason was "to boost car sales mid-year", but the government admitted fear of the trope driving buyers away.
  • British hospital wards never have a Bed 13; either the numbers skip from 12 to 14, or the ward has beds "12a" and "12b."
  • Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem was afraid of the number 13, so all his manuscripts labeled the 13th page "12a." He died on May 13; popular legend says that his gravestone lists it as "12a," but in actuality the dates are given by the Hebrew calendar, making his death date Iyar 10.
  • Back in the days when television stations would broadcast over the UHF band, stations that broadcast on channel 13 sometimes used a black cat as their mascot, conspicuously displaying the number 13, to make fun of their status as the "unlucky" channel.
  • Because of the superstition about thirteen people at the dinner table, in Paris, France, a quatorzième is a professional dinner guest whose job is simply to sit in and add a fourteenth person just to avoid this trope.
  • German composer Arnold Schoenberg was extremely superstitious about the number thirteen, even going so far as to entitle one of his operas Moses und Aron because the correct spelling "Aaron" would have given the title thirteen letters. All his life he had a fear that he would die during a year that was a multiple of thirteen, and consequently he was very relieved when he made it past his 65th birthday. But when he turned 76, someone pointed out that 7 + 6 = 13, which hadn't occured to Schoenberg to worry about before. On Friday, July 13 that year, the anxiety proved too much for him, and he took to his bed and ultimately had a fatal heart attack... about 13 minutes before midnight.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Unlucky Thirteen


Chiko's Bike

Wally and Dokko see a number 13 on Chiko's bike. They know it will end badly.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / ThirteenIsUnlucky

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