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dalepetrie's avatar

When you see a phone number on TV or a movie, do you call it?

Asked by dalepetrie (18009points) February 5th, 2010

I’m curious if curiosity gets the best of you when you’re watching a program and a number comes up. Like maybe you see a number on a caller ID box on TV or on an infomercial that the characters in your show are watching. And I don’t mean 555 or other fake numbers, but ones that could legitimately lead somewhere…do you wonder where they lead?

I know a lot of people over the years have dialed numbers they hear in songs, like I guess people still dial 867–5309 so much that the number gets sold on eBay when it becomes available so a business that wants the bonus traffic can cash in. So, if you call musical numbers, I suppose you can comment on that too.

Some examples that I’ve either called or Googled. 1–877-TAME-HER was the fake # put up in the movie Magnolia for Frank T.J. Mackey’s (Tom Cruise) infomercial on how to get any woman you want. If you called it you’d get a recording of Tom Cruise in character selling his product.

Dialing 414–466-MIKE will get you to Mike Schank, one of the two main “characters” in the film “American Movie”, a documentary that a guy and his burnout friend (Mike) made about their making of a completely different movie that no one will ever see. They claim you can get him directly if he feels like picking up, so far all I’ve gotten is a machine where you can leave a message (but not before being told how you can buy some of Mike’s music).

And finally, more recently you may have seen a commercial for a new Fender edition T-mobile smart phone, which features Eric Clapton. During the commercial while he is demonstrating some of the ways he can play a pretend guitar or listen to/watch, some of his own music, a call comes in from Buddy Guy, and we see the number 1–877-490–6637, which implies that this is Buddy Guy’s phone number, but of course we should know better because no one has a home phone number that starts with 877, and no celebrity is going to give out his number in a commercial. But if you call it, you get a sales rep from T-mobile saying they’re sure you must be calling to order that particular phone, right?

So, I’m wondering…are there numbers you’ve run into on TV shows or movies, or for that matter in songs, that you just had to know what you would get if you called it. What happened? Share your stories….

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19 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

I wouldn’t, but some do.

Steve_A's avatar

@dalepetrie Never have ,but enjoyed reading that GQ sir.

scotsbloke's avatar

I have called when a) it’s been something I wanted info on or was interested in and b) it was a free number. (0800 generally here in the UK)
To be honest though, I rarely watch the adverts. lol

pjanaway's avatar

I have a phobia of calling people, so no, I have never phoned a number I saw on TV. :)

TheJoker's avatar

I have done it once or twice…. on one occasion the number was for UK Customs & Excise. Needless to say I hung up quickly.

ucme's avatar

Beverly hills 90210 was strangely unresponsive in common with it’s residents,can’t think why.

knitfroggy's avatar

I called a number that they showed on Lost one time. It was funny because it was supposed to be the number you called to get info on the plane that had gone down or something. I don’t remember for sure. I knew they wanted you to call it because it was a real number not 1 800 555 5555 or something.

slick44's avatar

lol no i have not. but must say i have thought about it.

Bluefreedom's avatar

Not unless someone threatens me to do it.

tinyfaery's avatar

I once tried to call Jenny, but I was about 7 or 8.

EmpressPixie's avatar

I called a few of the Lost numbers, but didn’t really have time to get into the ARG. I didn’t get the number down fast enough when it first flashed on the screen, but I called my dad who also watched Lost and made him do it. See, I was in VA and he was in WA, so he had the chance to catch anything like that that I missed. It was incredibly difficult to get through on the line—lots of other people must have been calling. His entire office actually waited for me to call, then call them and report back about what was on the line.

I have not called the number they use in the American President, but you can Google it—it really will get you to the White House switchboard. Or at least, it did at the time the movie was made.

pathfinder's avatar

No.In the reason of fake seal quality.The screen isn t any good for that

dalepetrie's avatar

Interesting responses so far, thanks.

Steve_A's avatar

@dalepetrie Hey the super bowl had a commercial with some actor forgot his name with a number


dalepetrie's avatar

@Steve_A – did you call it?

reggie383's avatar

No dear not at all, I have no enough time for calling. I m too busy person. I have no time for mad work.

bookmarks's avatar

Hi Dale, I’ve phoned a number or two that were given on LOST. The numbers took me to info about LOST. I once called a number that was listed on a taxi in a movie that was located in my home city. The phone rang, but I was too ‘chicken’ to wait to talk with whomever answered, if anyone actually did answer. BTW, it’s great to run into you again. You may recognize my avatar from AV. Hope you’re well.

dalepetrie's avatar

@bookmarks – Yes, I remember you, welcome aboard…forgive me if I remember incorrectly as it’s been 2 years since I’ve been to AV, but were you LIN over there or something like that? Anyway, I do remember the avatar and I’m glad to see you on Fluther.. Hope you like it over here!

I’ve just started watching the HBO series True Blood and there was a number written on like a white board in the bar in that show, I was tempted to call it. Now days I pretty much just google the number because I figure some brave soul has called it and then blogged about their experience.

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