555 Area Codes

An Area Code made for the Movies

The use of 555 in telephone numbers, often referred to as the 555 area code, is a convention in the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), which includes the United States, Canada, and several other countries. In this system, 555 is reserved for fictional or non-working numbers in the media, such as movies, TV shows, and advertisements. The purpose of this reserved code is to prevent the use of real and potentially private telephone numbers in popular media.

When you see a phone number in a movie or on TV that starts with 555, it is a signal to the audience that the number is not real and cannot be dialed. This practice helps to avoid unintentional calls to real phone numbers that might have been used in the production.

For example, if a character in a movie says their phone number is (555) 123-4567, the audience understands that they should not attempt to call that number, as it is reserved for fictional purposes. This prevents the unintended consequences of people calling or bothering individuals who happen to have the real phone number.

In reality, there is no geographic area with the area code 555. It is simply a reserved prefix within the numbering plan to be used for specific fictional or non-working purposes in the media. The rest of the phone number following 555 in these scenarios is usually made up, and calling such a number will not connect you to a real phone line.