Here’s why Memento and Fight Club use the same phone number as contact information for prominent characters. Released just a year apart, there are more similarities to the modern classics – directed by Christopher Nolan and David Fincher, respectively – than some may think. Beyond the unreliable narrator element and beginning with the ending structure that they share, one of the strangest connections viewers have noticed is the same phone number being used in both.
The number in question is 555-0134 and is prominently featured in Memento and Fight Club. In Fincher’s movie, the number is used as the best way to contact Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter). A burnt piece of paper with the phone number is found by The Narrator (Edward Norton) after his apartment blows up. As for Nolan’s mystery thriller, 555-0134 is listed as the phone number for Teddy (Joe Pantoliano) on the Polaroid photo Leonard (Guy Pearce) carries with him.
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So, is this a clever Easter egg by Nolan added shortly before Memento‘s release or a sign that these two films exist in the same universe and Marla and Teddy are close associates? The truth is that neither of these options is the answer. The reason for Memento and Fight Club using the same 555-0134 phone number is a bit of a coincidence, but happened because of restrictions put in place by the North American Numbering Plan. They listed the 555 prefix for fictional use in movies, TV shows, video games, and other media.
The North American Numbering Plan encouraged the use of the 555 prefix starting in the 1960s, and the reason for this practice is due to prank callers. Without using a 555-xxxx phone number, there would be a chance that fictional works would use real phone numbers. This led to some innocent bystanders being bombarded by prank calls by people testing out the number that was used. However, the range of 555 numbers now available for fictional use has dwindled down to just using numbers between 555-0100 and 555-0199.
Memento and Fight Club‘s 555-0134 falls in that range, but, sadly, there is no direct link to both of them using the exact same phone number. In fact, these are not the only movies to use this phone number. The 1996 Nickelodeon movie Harriet the Spy used this number for a restaurant. It was also used in 2001’s Someone Like You for Eddie Alden (Hugh Jackman). It is worth noting how close these four uses of the number are to one another, as they all come in a five-year span. The usage of this number in Memento and Fight Club just months apart from each other is strange, but choosing the exact same one is merely a coincidence aided by the 555 prefix being delegated to fictional use.
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