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Revealing the Mystery Behind Fake Numbers Starting With 555

Red-colored Fake Text

Have you tried calling the Ghostbusters at 555-2368? Or Skylar from Goodwill Hunting at 555-1294? They never pick up!

Let us give you more examples– 555-1125, 555-3455, 555-2401, 555-0112, and we could go on. These are all fake telephone numbers that were used to call someone in popular shows and movies. Most American movie numbers begin with the digits 555. If you’ve ever tried calling a 555-phone number well, now you know that they don’t work. Any 555 number is most likely a fake number created to be used in a movie or tv show.

As soon as you see your favorite character barfing their on-screen phone number it’s a fake us phone number. There are people (generally teenagers) who think it’s hilarious to call on-screen numbers A USA fake number or a 555-phone number has been in existence from before the 1950s. The only difference is that it was known as the Klondike 5 or the Klamath 5 then. Let’s see how the 5-5-5 became the convention for fake phone numbers.

What are Fake Numbers?

Fake numbers are randomly generated numbers that cannot be assigned by the telephone companies. Why? Because these numbers are reserved for “entertainment purposes only”. This practice protects citizens from any inconvenience caused should their phone number appear in the film.

A fake US number prefixed with the 555-area code is a common sighting. If you’re curious to find where is area code 555 then let us tell you that it is a fake area code assigned to the fake telephone number. However, since the 1970s there's one "valid fake phone number" and that is 555-1212. This is the number that rings directory assistance in the USA.

The Relation Between Fake Numbers and 555

There are two possible reasons why 555 became the go-to prefix for a US fake phone number, they are:
  1. The repeated digits make it easy to remember.
  2. No main places in the US were named from the letters J, K or L.

Besides the 555-1212 number, there are not many real numbers with the 555-area code. The rest of these fake numbers have been used widely in popular American tv shows and films. Since before the 1950s, there have been many fake numbers that the entertainment industry could use. But from quite some time now, the 5-5-5 prefix is the only fake number area code available.

landline keypad

Are there Real Fake Numbers?

As you know now 555 numbers are not real or working numbers. But what if we told you that there are very limited real phone numbers with the 555 prefixes? There was a time when the 555 numbers were also being reserved for information service providers.

Since 1994, businessmen and individuals have been wanting to get their hands on 555 numbers. Naturally, the North American Numbering Plan Administration started allotting these numbers and they worked anywhere in the continent. Say, for example, a dialer calls 555-XXXX. They will always be connected to the same person or business irrespective of their area code. This helps people remember numbers easily as the same number works in different places.

These real fake numbers were close to toll-free 800 numbers. Companies like Verizon claimed this scheme cost them $108M and thus their allocation was prohibited.

Why Fake Numbers are Popular in Movies and TV Shows

The main reason behind this is that when a person obsessively tries calling a number they saw in their favorite movie; it won’t harass any real people. When you call any number with the 555-area code, it may be a wrong number or no number at all.

10 Times Fake Numbers Were Used on Screen
Let’s see some of the more popular movies and television shows that have used a fake phone number in this table.
Movie Name 555-Number
Die Hard 555-2401
Family Guy 555-1125
Seinfeld 555-3455
Toy Story 3 555-0112
Back to the Future 555-4385
Good Will Hunting 555-1294
Scream 2 555-0176
The Naked Gun 555-3900
Saved by the Bell 555-MMMM
Bruce Almighty 555-0123
So, the next time you spot a number with the 555-area code in a movie, you’ll know what it is fake.