Everyone who isn’t one of the Warners’ celebrity targets has been enjoying Wellesley Wild’s Animaniacs reboot on Hulu since it launched four days ago. But yesterday, viewers noticed something was up: Episode 6 had suddenly gone missing. Social media did some detective work and discovered the reason: a phone number in the episode turned out to be real.
Everyone knows that if you make up a phone number that starts with 555, it shouldn’t go anywhere — thus making it a safe set of numbers for movies and TV shows to use. What most people DON’T know is that sticking an 800 or 900 prefix before the 555 changes this. 555 numbers have NOT been set aside in the case of commercial or toll-free purposes, and because of Murphy’s Law, anyone who makes this mistake in a Hollywood production will ALWAYS inadvertently pick a sex hotline.
Which is exactly what happened here. If you’re not at work or around impressionable children, you can hear what happens if you call the offending number through this tweet. Hellooooo Nurse!
Would you believe this has happened once before, and from the same studio? The Tiny Toons episode “Tiny Toon Music Television” once contained a 1-800-555 number at the beginning of its second act, which the production crew assumed would be fake. The number was edited out eventually, and the scene is not on the DVD…hence why I can’t show you a screenshot. (I probably could if I dug my VHS recording from 1993 out of storage, but…I’m on a tight schedule here.)
The episode returned to Hulu later that evening, with a hasty edit that simply shows a blank screen around Brain instead of an address and info. It’s unknown at this time if WB will take a more comprehensive effort and go back into the episode to edit the number, but if they want to sell this season on Blu-Ray in the future, they’ll probably have to.
UPDATE: The number has been edited already; the new version displays 1-800-555-0199, which, although barely any different, apparently leads nowhere.