International "555" phone numbers?

We all know about the “555” phone numbers, used in TV and movies. Which if dialed in real life, would just send you to directory assistance.

But…is there an equivalent to the “555” for countries like the UK, that use eight digit phone numbers?

According to the site about, Australia doesn’t have one. So, that much we know.

Anyone else?

If you mean is there an area code that would always send you to directory assistance, then the answer is no for the UK (there are numerous directory assistance numbers but they’re all six digits beginning 118).

If you mean is there a standard area code that is used for phone numbers in dramas, the answer is still no. Naturally the writers try to choose a number that doesn’t exist, but recently a sandwich shop owner in Salford had the same phone number as God in the film Bruce Almighty. He got a lot of calls from people wanting divine advice.

My impression from German TV shows and movies is that usually spelling out or displaying ficticious phone numbers is avoided - instead people hand over business cards or notes, or point to a number on a document etc. Ficticious area codes mostly have the disadvantage of obviously not fitting to the regional setting.

Some people deliberately use real numbers because they hate the Hollywood 555 thing, which is like having a pop-up saying “Fake!”.

What am I saying, this is Hollywood!

Only 555-1212 sends you to directory assistance. 555 numbers work a lot like 800 numbers, and can be local or national (with just 7 digits). Number assignments are here

And according to the zip file referenced by 5cents, 555-0100 to 555-0199 (in whichever NANP area code) are reserved for fictitious use. :slight_smile:

What’s interesting is that some of those 555 numbers seem to be allocated to individuals. Do they get the number in all area codes, or what?

If the second column is “N”, then yes, it is a national line. Just like 800 numbers, you can specify which area codes it is valid for, so even if it is listed as national, doesn’t mean that it can be reached from every area code. I think 555 numbers can be setup toll free, toll, or pay (i.e. 800-, regular, or 900-).

As for personal numbers, there were a lot of speculators that grabbed numbers when these became available about 10 years ago. A quick search turned up a friend who holds twenty 555- numbers. The vast majority of 555 numbers remain unimplemented.