What is this secret code hidden in so many films and TV shows?

There's a mysterious code hidden in an increasing number of films, shows, and videogames out there, from The Simpsons to South Park to Toy Story. The list goes forever, including live action features like Avengers, Star Wars, and Hunger Games. The code is the key to a secret society limited to a selected few.

A113

If you have ever noticed this number popping up in different media, that's probably because you studied graphic design and character animation at the California Institute of the Arts. That's the same school where people like John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, Brad Bird, and countless other animators and special effects people started their education and careers. All of them went through a very specific classroom there:

What is this secret code hidden in so many films and TV shows?

The classroom number became a running gag that has invaded many films. Anytime there's an occasion to write some random alphanumerical code, if the person in charge of the shot went through that class, there's a high probability that she or he will leave that Easter egg for other colleagues (and now you) to discover.

Brad Bird was the first person who used A113 for a "license plate number in the 'Family Dog' episode of Amazing Stories."

What is this secret code hidden in so many films and TV shows?

Here's a list of TV shows and movies that contain the Easter egg:

TV Shows

  • American Dad!
  • Amazing Stories
  • Firefly
  • Rugrats
  • The Powerpuff Girls
  • The Simpsons
  • Tiny Toon Adventures
  • South Park
  • Bobby's World

Pixar films

  • Toy Story trilogy
  • A Bug's Life
  • Finding Nemo
  • The Incredibles
  • Cars franchise
  • Ratatouille
  • WALL-E
  • Up
  • Brave (written in Roman numerals)
  • Monsters University

Other movies (animated and live action)

  • Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • Alpha and Omega
  • The Iron Giant
  • Lilo & Stitch
  • Bugs Bunny's Lunar Tunes
  • The Brave Little Toaster
  • Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers
  • The Princess and the Frog
  • Meet the Robinsons
  • Terminator Salvation
  • Planet 51
  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  • DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story
  • Terra Nova
  • Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
  • The Avengers

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