A Numerological Motif that serves as sort of the Evil Counterpart of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's 42. To put it simply, whenever you see the number 23, it hints towards a connection to the Ancient Conspiracy.
Examples of works that use 23 as an Arc Number:
- This is the original name that Theophrastus Bombastus Von Hohenheim goes by in Fullmetal Alchemist.
- It's also Hige's call-sign as a Manchurian Agent in Wolf's Rain.
- In Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force, the first arc is set mostly on Ruwella, a pastoral world where a Government Conspiracy conducted secret experiments on Lily Strosek (a driving force of the plot). According to TSAB's catalogue, Ruwella is the "Administrated World #23".
- In the opening chapter of AKB49 Renai Kinshi Jourei, when the protagonist Minoru Urayama cross-dresses as Minori Urakawa and shows up to audition for the group, "she" is candidate number 23.
- The number 23 shows up quite a few time across the various episodes of Tank Girl, usually as a recurring detail in the background.
- The Number 23 uses it as a subject.
- Jeepers Creepers.
"Every 23rd Spring for 23 days, it gets to eat..."
"Eat what? Eat what?"
- On Roger Rabbit's last day as a cartoon star before Doom frames him for the murder of Marvin Acme, he gets his key line wrong for the twenty-third time.
- Videodrome starts with the protagonist's secretary telling him it is Wednesday the twenty-third.
- Seven Samurai: Kanbei says that there are twenty houses in the village plus three over the river. Probably a coincidence.
- Toy Story 2: Al the toy collector lives on the twenty-third floor of his apartment building.
- German film "23 — Nichts ist so wie es scheint" about the "KGB hack".
- Midnight Special: Sarah's mother lives at number 23, and the camera has a good look at the house number to make sure we notice.
- Principia Discordia: Discordianism pretty much set the ball rolling on this one.
- The Illuminatus! Trilogy helped it get known.
- It gets used as a Running Gag in Robert Rankin's "The Toyminator." (It's that kind of book.)
- In Stephen King's short story 'N.', the obsessive-compulsive main character fears all odd numbers, but some seem to be worse than others. He states that 23 is a terrible number, even worse than unlucky 13.
- In A Tale of Two Cities, Sydney Carton is the 23rd prisoner to be executed.
- They Might Be Giants had a show in 1983 in which 23 was prevalent. The show was on January 23rd, John Linnell was 23 years old at the time, 23 people attended the show, they played 23 songs (although they had only planned to play 22), and Flansburgh and Linnell both earned $23.
- Every song by Black Metal/Ambient project Echtra is exactly twenty-three minutes long.
- The number is a frequent Easter Egg in the Gorillaz universe.
- The KLF have a fascination with the number due to its association with Discordianism, ranging from the catalog number of their first release under their first alias to their comeback being at 23 minutes past midnight on 23 August 2017, exactly 23 years after their last exploits (excluding a 23-minute appearance in 1997 in another guise).
- "23" (referring to Michael Jordan — see the Real Life section below) is the title of a song by rapper Mike WiLL Made-It, featuring Miley Cyrus, Wiz Khalifa, and Juicy J. The song is actually about Air Jordan shoes, with an overload of basketball imagery and shameless Product Placement in the music video.
- The opening number in Little Shop of Horrors mentions that the otherworldly antagonist lands on Earth on the twenty-third of September.
- The number 23 appears regularly in Kingdom of Loathing. FNORD
- In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, this gem of a conversation between protagonist Carl Johnson and The Truth:
Carl Johnson: What's with all the aluminum foil, man?
The Truth: Protection from mind control, dude.
Carl Johnson: Mind control?
The Truth: Induction of images, sound or emotion using microwave radiation. D'you know how many government satellites are watching any citizen at any moment?
Carl Johnson: No.
The Truth: Twenty-three. Do you know how many religious relics are kept at The Pentagon?
Carl Johnson: No, I don't.
The Truth: Twenty three. You see a pattern emerging here, man?
Carl Johnson: Man, I'm seeing patterns all over the place! Get that smoke out of my face!
- Resident Evil 0: Sexy bad boy Billy Coen was convicted of killing 23 people.
- Overwatch: The Sombra ARG was heavily predicated on the number 23, using it as a constant for decoding various encrypted messages and also as a hint that whatever it was affixed to might be related to Sombra. Incidentally, Sombra is also the 23rd hero in the game.
- The villains of Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 are The 23 Society, an Expy of the Illuminati.
- The 1920s slang "23 Skidoo!", which means go away, scram, or GTFO. (23 had been reported to mean "get out of here" as early as 1899.)
- Together with 28, one of the Arc Numbers in Wilhelm Fliess's Biorhythm theory.
- 23 is the smallest two-digit prime in which both its digits are primes themselves.
- It's also the smallest isolated prime, or a prime that is not part of a pair of twin primes (such as 5 and 7 or 59 and 61).
- Allegedly, Julius Caesar was stabbed 23 times during his assassination. According to Suetonius, only one of his wounds was fatal. There were seven or eight assassins, so it was about three hits each (a number of assassins in fact wounded their allies).
- Øystein "Euronymous" Aarseth, the guitarist from Mayhem, was also found with 23 wounds after Varg Vikernes of Burzum fame stabbed him to death. Varg claimed that most of the wounds came from falling on broken glass, though.
- The motor company Nissan whenever they launch a new race car in any series, will use the number 23 because Nissan sounds a bit like Ni-San or 2-3.
- Michael Jordan's number was 23 (okay, and 45, but 23 is the one that everyone remembers). Bizarrely, one of the factors that drove him to retire the first time was the death of his father — who was murdered on the twenty-third of July 1993. He returned to basketball under the number 45, the number he wore during his short-lived minor-league baseball career, because the number 23 had been retired in his honor after his first retirement. During the Bulls' 1995 playoff series against Orlando (which Chicago lost), he brought the 23 jersey back, with the Bulls officially un-retiring it for him at the start of the following season.
- Midsummer Eve/Saint John's Eve falls on the twenty-third of June.
- The number 69 is 23 multiplied by 3.