Common Movie Issue


Why does everyone in movies leave out the area code when calling someone??? They always only dial 7 digits. What kind of magical world is this where you don’t have to type the area code? I’ve noticed it way too many times on tv.

In: 0

It used to be that you didn’t have to input the area code if calling within that area code.

Because they don’t want people trying to call random numbers they put in the movie. So they don’t bother trying to use real phone numbers.

Its why all hollywood/U.S. TV shows will have 555-####. The 555 isn’t used in any actual phone numbers, so nobody gets called 5 million times when the number is given out by the actors.

They don’t use real phone numbers in TV shows or in movies any more. The problem, it turned out, was that some people would watch the film or TV show and then dial the phone number expecting to speak to a fictional character.

Also, if you’re calling a phone that has the same area code as the number from which you’re calling, many phone networks do not currently require dialing the area code… so what you’re seeing in movies is not entirely unrealistic.

There’s two reasons for this. The first being that they don’t want anyone trying to actually try calling the numbers you see in movies and tv shows. The other reason is to save time. Dialing those extra three digits takes up precious time that adds nothing to the story. It might not seem like much but, all cutting time across the board can add up quick. It’s the same reason you never see anyone say goodbye when they end a call.

If it is an old movie, area codes were not required for local calls.

Even today if you are in an area code, and your phone has a phone number in that area code, and you are calling someone in that same area code you do not need to enter the area code.

As mentioned you used to be able to skip the area code if you number you were dialing from was the same area code. In many places this was fine as 1 area code might cover a large region.

I lived in NYC and basically it was 212 for Manhattan and 718 for the 4 boroughs. But NYC was growing so fast, and then beepers and cell phones exhausted those area codes so they added more, 917, 646, 347, etc. Then they made it mandatory to dial the area code because with so many in the area there was a high chance the number you were dialing wasnt the same area code as your own.

The real question you should ask about phones in movies is why when people get hung up on, you get instant dial tone. It doesnt work that way. How often have you been disconnected and didnt know, talking to silence until either you get a tone alert and then fast busy signals, or the person calls you and your phone rings and surprises you?

My grandparents lived in a rural Wisconsin town where you only had to dial the last 4 digits if calling someone in the same exchange. Which pretty much covered the whole county because everyone was on party lines.