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42 is the ultimate number — the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything as computed by Deep Thought. Arthur Dent did compute the Ultimate Question to be "What do you get if you multiply six by nine?", which is actually 54. Contrary to popular belief, the answer is 42 not because fifty-four is written "42" in base 13, but because there is something fundamentally wrong with the universe (or that both the Ultimate Answer and Ultimate Question cannot be simultaneously known in the same universe). 42 might also be the answer to "How many roads must a man walk down?"

In conservative circles the number 42 is used to inspire fear[edit]

  • William Jefferson (Bill) Clinton was the 42nd president of the United States.
  • The ASCII decimal code '42' represents an asterisk * — the sign of a CP sysop.
  • The number of months the Beast will hold dominion over the Earth (Revelation 13:5).
  • The number of US gallons in a barrel of imported Arab oil.
  • Rosa Parks was 42 years old when she refused to give up her seat on a bus for a white man
  • The British government wishes to have the power to hold terrorist suspects for 42 days without charge.[1]

References in popular culture[edit]

  • 10cc's album The Original Soundtrack features the number 42 in Une Nuit à Paris — Part Three: Later The Same Night In Paris

Forty two, quarante-deux, Rue de Saint Jacques
All our girls are, how you say, good in the sack

  • 42nd Street is the title of a 1932 Warner Brothers "backstage" movie musical, which includes the infamous line "You're going out a youngster, but you've got to come back a star!" The title comes from the street in Manhattan where many Broadway theaters, the Chrysler Building, Grand Central Station, and the main branch of the New York Public Library are located. The intersection of 42nd Street, Broadway and 7th Avenue forms the southernmost reach of Times Square (which extends north to 47th Street). The east end of 42nd Street is also the southern end of the United Nations Plaza.
  • 42 was the highest of The Numbers in the TV series Lost. (You know — 4,8,15,16,23,42)
  • In Super Bowl XLIITM, the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots by a score of 17-14.
  • Gibbs' Rule #42 (from NCIS): Never accept an apology from somebody who just sucker-punched you.
  • In the movie Finding Nemo, the dentist's address is: P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney

Historical 42s[edit]

  • Washington — the only state named for a POTUS — was the 42nd state admitted to the Union (11 November 1889).
  • Midnight Cowboy was the 42nd movie to win the OscarTM for Best Picture. It's the only X-rated film to ever win the prize.[2] The film takes place in part on 42nd Street and includes the line, "Who do you think you’re dealing with, some old slut on 42nd Street?!"[3]
  • Theodore Roosevelt was 42 when he became president.
  • With regards to the re-entry of manned spacecraft, NASA had a perfect record for 42 years (1961-2003) before the Space Shuttle Columbia blew up over Texas.
  • Mike Borich, the first former college football player who did not play pro football to be diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), died in 2009 at the age of 42. CTE is a swelling of the brain caused by too many blows to the head. (With regards to boxing, this condition is known as "dementia pugilistica" (DP).) Before Borich's death it was thought that only players who played pro football could receive enough blows to the head to cause CTE.
  • 42 was the minimum age for a Roman to become consul.

Other famous 42s[edit]

  • The critical angle of refraction by water is 42°. From this comes the fact that the angle between the centre of a rainbow and the antisolar point is 42°.
  • FORTY TWO is rainbow coloured
  • Forty-two is a domino game popular in Texas.
  • 42 is the impact factor of Nature, rounded down to an integer.[4]
  • Jackie Robinson,[5] the first African American professional baseball player of the modern era,[6] wore the uniform number 42 during his ten Major League seasons with an allegedly mythical team called the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, and up until the day he died continued to push for more diversity and inclusiveness in Major League Baseball. On 15 April 1997, the fiftieth anniversary of his first Dodger game, Major League Baseball permanently retired the number 42 for all MLB teams, but due to a grandfather clause the great Mariano RiveraWikipedia sported a 42 for his whole career (Jackie's wife, Rachel, has said she was glad it was someone like Rivera who was the last to wear it). These days everyone in uniform throughout baseball wears the number on April 15.
  • What will you do when you are 42?
  • The 42 negative confessions of Maat
  • 42 is the last 2-digit number that was found to have a integer solution to the Diophantine equation n=x3+y3+z3:
    42 = −80,538,738,812,075,9743 + 80,435,758,145,817,5153 + 12,602,123,297,335,6313.[7]

Famous and historical people who died at age 42[edit]

Along with 27, It seems to be one of the more popular jumping off points.


  • Lenny Bruce
  • John Cazale: Fredo from The Godfather movies
  • Gary Coleman
  • Freddie King, bluesman nicknamed The Texas Cannonball
  • Elvis Presley
  • Gilda Radner


  • Queen Mary I of England, aka Mary Tudor
  • Prince Albert: Consort of Queen Victoria


  • Abraham Baldwin: Delegate from Georgia to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. A county and an agricultural college in Georgia are named for him.

Other historical figures[edit]

  • John Wesley Hardin: 19th century Texas gunslinger. Ironically, he also claimed just before his death that he had killed 42 men.

In da B-I-B-L-E. (Yeah, dat's da book fur me!)[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Bible
  • The Bible has 66 books, which is 42 in hexadecimal.
  • In 2 Kings 2:23-24, as the prophet Elisha walked towards Bethel, several little children[8] approached him and started taunting him for being bald. He turned on them and cursed them in the name of the Lord.[9] The Lord then sent two she-bears to maul to death 42 of the little rugrats. Everybody sing!

    Jeebus loves da li'l children!
    All da children ub da world!
    Red White and yellow white, black white and white.
    All are precious in his sight!
    Jeebus loves da li'l children ub da world![10]

    Hey, why didn't anybody sing?
  • While not biblical in the strictest sense, the Roman Catholic church commemorates 25 January in the year 42 as the date Paul of Tarsus converted to Christianity.


42 is, like, one zero away from being an even awesomer number!!! So head on over to that funky little shop on the edge of town — you know, the one that sells "specialty glass" — and get "resupplied". Then go to Costco for a couple of their pizzas and some of those mondo-sized bags of munchies that they sell. (Too bad they don't sell incense.) Then go over to your friend's house and watch his DVD collection of Spongebob Squarepants. Nods.gif


  1. UK Gov hold suspects 42 days
  2. And thanks to changes in the MPAA's Ratings Code, it's the only X-rated film that will ever win for Best Picture. The film, which has since been re-edited and rated "R".
  3. Midnight Cowboy: 25 fascinating, sleazy New York details, a celebration of 42nd Street from an X-rated Oscar winner (February 22, 2013).
  5. Jackie Robinson on Wikipedia
  6. Originally, this line was going to appear as "Jackie Robinson, the first affirmative action black professional baseball player of the modern era," but that seems a bit unfair.
  7. How Julia Robinson helped define the limits of mathematical knowledge by Evelyn Lamb (November 22, 2019 at 6:00 am) Science News.
  8. Yes, the verse specifically says "little children.":
    :2 Kings 2:23-24
    And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.
    And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tore forty and two children of them.
  9. For being called bald? Mighty thin skin you have there, Elisha.
  10. Yeah, we know 2 Kings is in the Old Testament. You got a problem with that?