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Nigel Tufnel: What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?

Marty DiBergi: Put [the volume] up to eleven.

Nigel Tufnel: Eleven. Exactly. One louder.

Often, some people have the need to top things. It could be because of dissatisfaction with something, a need to best someone else (often known as "Keeping up with the Joneses"), or some other reason. Either way, you would like to take something, and push it beyond what's been done before.

Unfortunately, things like time, money, technology, and/or other factors will only allow that so far. So you just end up topping the last thing by a small amount. So you've been forced to leave room for your own thing to be topped later on. Then you top that new thing, this can lead to an all-out "topping" war. This may or may not be a good thing, depending on the circumstances.

Exactly what is topped can vary. It could be a commercial product (like computer and gaming tech), an architectural feat, a world record, or something else. Whatever thing, this trope is taking the highest bar set, and taking that "Up to Eleven".

For those who aren't into guitar (electric guitar specifically), the phrase "Taking it up to eleven" is a reference to the volume setting on a guitar amplifier; the maximum setting on most (especially older) amps is 10, however newer amps (most often Marshalls) with the "11" option (which is beyond loud, believe us on that one) came out, and you can even take the volume higher with gain/equalizer settings on distortion boxes. More recently volume eleven has become partially obsolete as many Marshall amplifiers sport 0-20 volume knobs, essentially taking the trope Up to Eleven.

Conspicuous Consumption and Absurdly High Stakes Game often involves this.

Not to be confused with Beyond the Impossible, which is beyond what should be possible according to the internal logic of a story. This trope is more likely to be a competition between two or more groups or one group against itself, where one group goes beyond what is considered the limit.

Compare Serial Escalation, Sequel Escalation, Tim Taylor Technology, Exaggerated Trope, and The Same but More. A guiding principle behind Rank Inflation. Often appears with music if a Loud of War is on the rampage. In sci-fi settings, it often takes the more literal form of Readings Are Off the Scale.

The Loudness War is a direct result of this (and is not about the listener increasing the volume on their player), as is Orange-Blue Contrast in examples where it gets out of hand.

Up To Eleven was officially Defictionalized by its inclusion in the Oxford Dictionary.

When applied to a trope, said trope is Exaggerated Trope.

Examples of Up to Eleven include:


Advertising Edit

  • RAZOR BLADES. O Gillette, why would anybody need five blades with only either one chin or two legs?
    • In theory each additional blade shaves the tiny bit of the whisker that the one before it missed. Presumably this means that the more blades you add, the smaller the remaining bit trimmed by the last one... a literal case of cutting it fine.
    • Michael McIntyre once did a bit on Mock the Week on Gillette ending with "For that closest ever shave. In fact, this one's too close. It'll cut off your face like a potato peeler. Buy the previous Gillette razor, we couldn't get it any closer than that."
      • That said, there tends to be a noticeable difference between, say, a three-blade and five-blade razor. When you've got five-minutes before you have to catch a bus to work, and your face looks like cactus, those five-blades are a godsend. A quick once-over tends to do a passably thorough job, though you might want to bring along the aftershave with you on the commute.
    • A long time ago, Saturday Night Live, in response to the 'two blade razors' showed a three-blade razor parody commercial. The fake ad looked completely real until the final line: "Because ... you'll believe anything!"
      • Later, they did another commercial parody about "The Platinum Mach 14" -- A razor with 14 blades.
    • One-upped by a real razor ad. The 15-bladed Quintippio is of course a parody, the actual product is an electric razor.
    • Mad TV one-upped SNL and did a skit with the fiction Spishak Mach 20 which had 20 blades and shaved the man to the bone. Watch it here.
    • Here's a 9- and a 114-bladed razor!
    • The Onion did a parody article called Fuck Everything, We're Doing Five Blades shortly after Schick introduced their four blade razor in response to the popular Mach3. This is made extra hilarious by the fact that this is what Gillette actually did a few years later. And they added one more on the back.
    • Rotoshaver - an actual (electric) razor with 9 blades.
    • The Daily Show spoofed the Razor Wars in an interview segment with the commentator's own 16-blade razor...it included four four-blade razors connected at the handles to a rotating motor. The skit ended with the commentator leaning his face in towards the spinning razors...
    • The Economist published this graph estimating the rate razor blade technology's increase into the future. We will soon have razors with infinite blades.
    • The Other Wiki's article on technological singularities used to predict this would happen in 2015, illustrated by a picture of the Schick Infini-T. Then some humorless bastard got hold of the article, obviously.
    • And once again, Irregular Webcomic plays with it.
    • Mad did a Star-Wars-themed razor parody about a lightsaber razor that actually took off the top layer of skin, but hey, it was cauterized! Closest shave ever!
  • "Our Games Go to 11!" was the tagline of defunct publisher Working Designs, known for publishing niche Japanese RPGS in the US with expensive, high-quality packaging (often including lots of Feelies).


Anime & Manga Edit

  • To Aru Majutsu no Index: Accelerator's game-breaking power is essentially telekinesis turned Up To One Hundred Eleven.
  • Dragon Ball Z went all the way up to eleven, then OVER 9000!!!,
  • Pretty much everything in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is an example of this. Bigger Mechs! More powerful weapons! Even more Hot-Blooded shouting!
  • Detroit Metal City offers this less-than-subtle Shout-Out - Krauser attempts to push his record of yelling 'rape' ten times a second Up To Eleven.
  • Kakashi Hatake from Naruto is one of the most powerful ninja his village has to offer, due to his knowledge of techniques, martial arts abilities, determination, and tendency to take it up to eleven. Even though his dial only has about eight notches.
    • Naruto himself has gone Up to Eleven: Learning Sage Mode, beating Kyubi and then stealing its power for a new Super Mode. Oh, three words: Choodama Rasen Tarengen.
      • Seriously pushing it into Serial Escalation territory as of one of the latest chapters; in English, he's developed the Rasengan Riot, where he forms multiple Rasengan behind him with chakra tails and attacks multiple targets simultaneously, the Vacuum Rasengan, where he forms a Rasengan above his back and slams enemies violently against it, and a MINI RASEN SHURIKEN.
      • Since it has been suggested than Naruto could be a reincarnation successor of the Sage of Six Paths, along with the fact that he is now developing the Tailed Beast Bomb, Naruto is definitely going to take it Up To Twelve sometime in the future. Up to twelve? Check.
        • He's done it now. He's tamed Kurama, melded their chakra, and can use the Tailed Beast Bomb now.
  • Gao Gai Gar went this route in the FINAL OVA, since the enemy at the end of the series proper was so powerful it could take out Jupiter the folks at the Gutsy Galaxy Guard decided they needed a weapon that could out do it. 3G's weapon can Extinguish the Sun
  • Mahou Sensei Negima starts using this a lot in its more recent chapters, most notably with Jack Rakan, who exists solely to continually ramp up the amount of 'AWESOME' the series contains. He starts with summoning a sword the size of a building, and only gets more ridiculous from there. He also seems to be rubbing off on Negi, as the entire Negi/Kotaro vs. Rakan/Kage fight in the tournament was essentially a contest to see who could turn the awesomeness knob higher. After five separate I Am Not Left-Handed moments from Negi, Kotaro turning into a Big Badass Wolf, and Rakan nearly destroying the arena with one punch, the knob gets broken off and the match ends in a draw.
    • There is also the school's tendency to push all school tropes Up to Eleven. Wacky Homeroom? Check. Elaborate University High? Check. School Festival? Check!
    • Ku Fei starts the series as the most badass of the human characters going toe to toe with demons in the Kyoto arc (as a human mind you just with badass martial arts) and then she learns to harness her Ki and succeeds in reducing a mountain into a fine dust. Seems level ten just wasn't enough for her.
  • At one point in the Digimon series, the protagonists considered it "cheating" when the main antagonist reached a power level one higher (Mega) than the one they had been told was the apex (Ultimate). Since then, we've had DNA Digivolution of two Megas, Mega Mode Change, Ancient Spirit Evolution (the fusion of ten Ultimate-equivalent level Digimon), Burst Evolution and Digi Xros.
  • One end-of-episode teaser in Yu Yu Hakusho claimed things would be going Up to Eleven in the next episode.
    • Younger Toguro raises his strength in percentage. He reaches 100%, and then pulls out his 100%'s 100%, or 120%. The Updated Rerelease of a recent YYH videogame added "120%" to its title in a reference to this.
  • In the Pokémon episode "A Promise is a Promise", Dr. Namba tells his Electabuzz to "turn it up to eleven," as he turns up his rage machine to greatly increase the Pokémon's power.
    • Done earlier, with speakers, when the Team Rocket trio were dressed as rock stars with This Is Spinal Tap accents.
  • Seto no Hanayome has a tendency to make things as absurd as possible (like a Schoolgirl Rival literally declaring war on another girl), but the Finale takes the cake. It involves...well, just read this.
  • The Comic Book Adaptation of Breath of Fire IV has a specific case of a story segment from the original game being deliberately ramped Up to Eleven as a Take That to Bowdlerisation.
    • Some background is necessary here. In the original video game, there is a scene featuring The Emperor Soniel stabbing Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds and God-Emperor Fou-lu with a soul-devouring sword; Fou-lu pulls the sword out and decapitates Soniel with the very sword he was stabbed with. This ended up being Japanese-only and was completely Bowdlerised out of both international releases and the Windows port, despite the game being a Play Station release (in an era where gory games were already well known for the platform) and despite the decapitation scene being depicted solely in black-on-red silhouette. (This ended up in fact being rather a bit of a What Happened to the Mouse? in this game until videos came out of the censored scenes.)
    • In the manga adaptation, Soniel yet again BackStabs Fou-lu with the Evil Weapon--and Fou-lu proceeds to manifest an energy sword by will, decapitates Soniel in a spray of gore whilst still having the Dragonslayer sticking through him, and then proceeds to shove the Dragonslayer out of his midsection by hand as Soniel's body sprays blood like a fountain.
  • Eyeshield 21 takes every Jerk Jock stereotype you can think of and stretches it to logical limits in the form of Agon. Over-developed sense of entitlement? Said to be the most talented athlete of the century and believes anyone who lacks natural talent (even if they work hard) doesn't deserve to exist. Gets away with anything? Car jacked a woman without getting so much as a scolding. A bully? Aimed a football at the head of a little boy in a wheelchair and seems to mug people on a regular basis. Popular with the ladies? Popular enough to get away with car theft. Chauvinistic pig? Is only relatively nice towards pretty girls, and sees nothing wrong with kicking an ugly girl in the back of the head. And if you're a pretty girl who ignores him, he isn't above using violence to get you to notice him. Jerk is an understatement (to say the least), he's practically a sociopath.
    • Although he can't get away with everything. The cops left him alone because Hiruma had the threat notebook out.
  • Sana from Kodomo no Omocha cranks multiple tropes up to eleven - Genki Girl, Motor Mouth, Human Hummingbird, Wheel-O-Feet, and anything to do with screwball humor.
  • Bleach: Ulquiorra, after stomping all over Ichigo in his released form, decides to bring out his far more powerful Second Release in an attempt to invoke despair. And immediately following Ichigo's supposed death, Hollow Ichigo takes over and returns the favor in full.
  • Toriko does this with food. It's as awesome as it sounds. One of the chapters is even titled "Beyond 10".
  • The Rosario to Vampire anime does this with Fan Service.
  • The gore in Umineko no Naku Koro ni is ramped up like this compared to that in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.
  • Blame does this with Killy's Graviton Beam Emitter. Now, even at the lowest power, its power can be paralleled by your average space fleet's Wave Motion Gun. Now, when he cranked it up to 8 (apparently) and shot it, it gave him the nickname of "the Calamity".
  • The Book of Darkness from Lyrical Nanoha does this to spells it copies, such as getting even More Dakka out of Fate's Photon Lancer and a city-sized version of Nanoha's Starlight Breaker.
  • Schirach Fühler of Rosenkreuzstilette, as The Brute of the Black Cross organization, is said to possess abilities that go way, WAY beyond the simple limitations of standard humans.


Comic Books Edit

  • In the Marvel and DC Comics crossover JLA-Avengers, Superman says to The Mighty Thor, "Tell yourself that, Mister... Ease yourself to sleep at night while you let your world go to hell! Where I come from, though, LIVES MATTER!" When Thor tries to bring Mjolnir on his head, Superman catches the hammer, causing an astonished Thor to react, "Odin's beard! How can you...? The mightiest... mightiest in Nine Worlds cannot..." Superman retorts, "S-sorry... sorry to disappoint... but in... my world, it looks like the dials GO UP TO ELEVEN!" and crushes Thor with a roundhouse punch, knocking him out cold. This caused a LOT of controversy among comic book fans, which fortunately we won't duplicate here.
  • The Casket of Ancient Winters from the Thor comics is a weird example of this. It created a winter so cold when opened that frost giants started freezing to death.
  • The Singaporean Mr. Kiasu calls himself "a 101% true-blue Singaporean".
  • In Dork Tower, anything Igor Olman does will eventually come to this.
  • Issue 27 of Transmetropolitan has one after the main characters confront a senator about his porno dealings.
  • President Rexall of Give Me Liberty is Reaganism turned Up to Eleven.
  • Doom: "I`m the man! I`m a bad man! How bad? Real bad! I`m a 12.0 on the 10.0 scale of badness!"


Fanfic Edit

  • Shinji and Warhammer 40 K Shinji decides to embrace the setting's madness and do everything Up To 121.
  • In An Entry with a Bang!, the Americans and Russians announce that they are massively, massively increasing nuke output for the Deus Ex Nukina defense against intruders into the solar system. We're looking at least 10,000 warheads a year, compared to a mere 2,700 (!) per year as US peak production during the Cold War. A mercenary leader converted to Clancy-Earth's side, already appalled by the talk of Nuclear Rearmament since C-Earth alone has many more nukes than any of the Inner Sphere houses, realizes that he needs a stronger alcoholic drink than beer after this.
  • In the Harry Potter/Manga/SailorMoon/Manga/RanmaOneHalf crossover The Girl Who Loved, Harry thought that on the scale where Fleur Delacour and Shampoo were tens, Sailor Pluto was a definite eleven.
  • One memorable line (and not for the right reasons) from the Harry Potter fanfic, Passion Night: ""IF I GO ANY FASTER WE WILL BE AT HYPER SPEEEEEED!" Lupin shouted trying not to moan while he shouted."
  • Ace Combat the Equestrian War. Chapter 15. Drama is temporarily turned Up to Eleven by killing several ponies. This includes a scene that is probably the most tearjerking moment in the story so far.


Film Edit

  • Named, of course, for the amplifiers used in This Is Spinal Tap. It's then promptly parodied when Marty asks why the amps literally go to eleven when they could have just made ten louder. Nigel's brain breaks. "These go to eleven."
    • The film has a rating of 8 out of 11 on IMDB. (For other films, the scales go up to ten, though even for Spinal Tap, the user can only give up to ten.)
  • In The Princess Bride, Christopher Guest plays a character who also goes to eleven (fingers). The film also has suggests breaking the scale to perhaps up to five someday. But definitely not to fifty!
    • "Not to fifty!" is itself an example: in the book, it was merely "not to twenty!".
  • Lightsabers in Star Wars are cool. But then Darth Maul tops this with a dual blade saber in The Phantom Menace. And then, General Grievous wields four lightsabers in Revenge of the Sith.
    • Irregular Webcomic parodied the concept, predicting the escalation before Episode III came out.
    • And this strip of Diary of a Crazed Mimbanite, back when all we had to go on was the Episode I trailer.
    • In canon, the Expanded Universe series New Jedi Order has Lord Nyax, with eight lightsabers (surgically implanted into his wrists, elbows, and knees). One of the latest RPG books finally gave us a picture of him... He is a very silly-looking Cuisinart.
      • The ones on the elbows makes sense though, if the enemy hits them he's going to have a hard time powering through even with two hands, allowing you to get a quick jab in.
  • The villains of The Frighteners are going for a murder world record even from beyond the grave.
  • Piranha 3D : The whole movie, and especially the end.
  • Stephen King wanted cinema houses to play the sound as loud as possible when showing his film Maximum Overdrive--so it would be the loudest movie ever. He later admitted to abusing a popular local anaesthetic during its production. Whether this was connected may never be established conclusively.
  • Zurg's Ion Blaster in Toy Story 2 goes up to 11.
  • The Hunt for Red October has Captain Tupelev: "Inquire with the engineer about going to 105% on the reactor", and then going to 110% when he doesn't think 105% is fast enough
    • It's pretty close to the trope-namer in that in this case, "100%" represents a safe maximum power output level, not the theoretical or even practical maximum output of the reactor, like 10 on Nigel's amp. Given the setting, "100%" probably represents what the reactor system can handle without burning up the sub plus a reasonable safety margin. In the original book, a Soviet Alfa-class sub actually does have a reactor meltdown and gets a hole the size of the superheated reaction mass burnt through its hull and sinks.
  • At the beginning of the first Back to The Future, Marty plugs his electric guitar into Doc's ginormous amps and blows himself across the room with the blast emitted from playing a single note. It seems Doc had taken the speakers up by a POWER of 11 during a recent experiment but hadn't had time to tell Marty yet.
  • Saw VII supposedly includes a trap that was "so bloody, so disgusting, and so disturbing, the producers wouldn’t allow them to put it in any of the [previous] Saw films – until now". (source) This in a series that is known for its gory and disturbing traps, and they wouldn't let this one be put in because it was too much? You can bet it will go up to eleven. That, or be a complete anti-climax,depending on your opinion.
  • In The Villain, Arnold Schwarzenegger is a White Hat character with a seven-shot six-shooter. When asked why he had it made, he simply looks confused and said "I don't know".
  • In Scott Pilgrim vs. the World there's an amp vs. amp battle between Scott's band, Sex Bob-omb, and the Japanese DJs the Katayanagi Twins. The Twins kick off the battle by cranking their amp up to +- (11 in Japanese). This little bit also doubles as an Arc Number/Mythology Gag, as the Twins are Ramona's fifth and sixth Evil Ex-Boyfriends[1] who Scott has to fight over the course of the film. 5+6=11.
  • There's the guitar scene from Cheech and Chong's Next Movie, where Chong, in a pot high, decides to pretend he's Jimi Hendrix. His guitar is rigged to a big maxed-out amp, and the entire neighborhood knows he's playing. People outside run for cover, a dog covers his ears, and the neighbor's house shakes. Cheech even has trouble getting inside to stop him since the blast from the speaker keeps slamming the door in his face.
    • Later on, he tries the same routine in a record store and blows out a "cheap" amplifier within seconds.
  • Clockstoppers. So, you're in hypertime thanks to your Applied Phlebotinum watch. What happens if you get another watch and go into hypertime again while you're already in hypertime? Zak finds out in the climax.
  • In Aladdin, when Iago steals the lamp, he mimics Jafar congratulating him for doing the deed, saying, "On a scale of one to ten, you are eleven."
  • In Spaceballs the ship travels at Ludicrous Speed because light speed is too slow.


Literature Edit

  • A character in Sewer, Gas and Electric goes Up To Eleven in both lavish extravagance and in attempts to impress one's date with one's wealth, investing $10,000 in a top-of-the-line pack of condoms.
  • Dune Messiah: Alia Atreides engages in a sparring match with a mechanical swordsman, which gets faster, and creates more lights (which reflect off its prismatic body to distract its opponent) every time it is struck. It's noted that the greatest swordsmen in the universe can strike it seven times before it becomes too fast to safely continue. Alia manages to strike it eleven times, before Paul stops her. (Note that this book was published in 1969, which makes Up To Eleven Older Than They Think.)
  • Matthew Reilly bypasses eleven in his books and goes straight to sixteen. One example: the heroes are in a truck and being chased in a tunnel barely wide enough to hold a car. The solution to get rid of the bad guys? Call in a plane, have it fire a missile down the tunnel, and drive the truck hard against the wall so that the wheels on one side ride up the wall, allowing the missile to shoot below the truck and kill the bad guys. Mind you, this is one of the less extreme examples.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe is full of much "up to eleven" material, including a tiny ship which has a power factor that makes the Death Star itself seem like a cap gun, a Sith Lord who sliced through a planet with his lightsaber, and combat movements that seem to be too fast for the human eye to collect (Thank God they're written down, then, eh?)
    • Luke's powers have been taken Up To Eleven, especially by Troy Denning. (Matt Stover, however, has Luke see the heat death of the universe. Seriously.) Kyle is too; he actually survives being stabbed through the heart with a lightsaber. It actually goes back to Bantam, when Zahn made a big deal about Luke's powers being taken Up To Eleven. He didn't exactly win that battle.
    • Even the Jedi who have innate mechanisms to prevent them from being taken Up to Eleven, such as Corran Horn (He can't use psychokinesis, but get him enough energy, and it doesn't matter.), are taken Up To Eleven, when Corran projects an image of himself as a Kaiju giant. Force, make my Jedi...grow!
    • Happens to Sith too. Palpatine in Dark Empire goes body surfing and rips the fabric of space-time itself, resulting in a Villainous RROD. (He gets better due to said body surfing.)
  • In The Dresden Files, during the Finale of Changes, this trope is invoked by the narrator when he describes Molly, his apprentice, ramping the battle's chaos Up to Eleven with what he calls her One Woman Rave spell. Thomas goes into Dance Battler mode in response with a falcata and an automatic.
    • The gamebook for the RPG takes this trope...well, one step further. The book describes evil wizards as having arrogance turned Up to Eleven, and Harry's margin notes remark that it should be thirteen. This is followed by Will and Harry re-creating the Spinal Tap scene with altered dialog.
  • The children's book Green Eggs and Ham was written as the result of a friendly bet: Dr. Seuss's publisher was impressed that The Cat in the Hat was written using fewer than 300 different words, and bet Seuss that he couldn't write another one with a coherent plot using only 50 different words. Seuss hit it right on target.


Live Action TV Edit

  • Myth Busters has a policy of "Duplicate the myth, replicate the results." They first test a myth under the claimed circumstances, then ramp up the test to see just what it would take to produce the results the myth claims. And then sometimes they'll take it up to ridiculous levels after that, just for the sake of making a really big explosion. Said explosion will ALWAYS demand MORE DAKKA!!!!!!!
    • One episode had them taking many of their previous myths and just pushing it up to insane levels. For example, the myth about the exhaust of a jet engine flipping a car. They confirmed it in the original show (if only through archive footage) but then they decide to see if it could flip a bus. (It could.)
    • Or the "Shooting Fish in a Barrel" episode: it turns out that shooting fish in a barrel is, indeed, quite easy (the shockwave will knock them out even if the bullet misses). So why did they then attack the barrel with a Humvee-mounted Chaingun? Because. (No live fish were harmed testing this myth.)
    • And we must mention the episode where they tried to find out if you could clean out a cement mixer with explosives. Then filled it with the most powerful non-nuclear explosive in existence. Just because.
      • The cement company accidentally overfilled that truck, and the entire load had set. Tory had unsuccessfully tried to loosen it using a jackhammer, and it had pissed him off. The truck deserved everything it got. At the time it was the biggest explosion ever done on the show (now it's only 3rd or 4th biggest but still one of the coolest). There was very little left of that truck afterwards.
    • The build team did this literally when they busted the myth that a sheet of paper can be folded in half only seven times. It culminated in producing and folding a huge sheet of paper (with the same ratio of width to length as a standard sheet of printer paper) in alternating directions to achieve a maximum number of folds... to eleven.
      • Another person got it up to twelve using a different pattern of folding and a differently shaped piece of paper -- i.e., folding in a single direction using a very long strip of paper.
    • The Hindenburg episode had them using scale models of the Hindenburg to test the myth that it was the chemicals on the skin of the airship rather than the hydrogen that destroyed it. It turned out to be a "contributing factor". Then - just for the hell of it - they took the last scale model, pumped it with hydrogen, and coated it with seventeen pounds of pure thermite. It burned. Oh yeah did it burn.
    • Another episode has them trying to cause two tractor-trailer rigs to fuse together in a head-on collision, with a compact car being crushed between them and literally lost in the wreckage. They crashed the trucks into the car at highway speeds, but there was no fusion, and the car was still partially there. Next, they built a rocket-propelled sled with the proper mass and crashed it into the car at seven hundred miles per hour. Still no fusion, though it did successfully make the car vanish, bend a piece of one-inch-thick steel plate in half, and throw a multi-thousand-pound block of concrete about thirty feet. They eventually resorted to explosive welding. (The car wasn't just destroyed. It was vaporized.)
    • Another favorite motto of theirs: "If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing"
    • Four words: "When in doubt, C4."
  • In Star Trek the Next Generation, "Force of Nature", LaForge is found to be engaged in friendly competition with Commander Donald Kaplan of the USS Intrepid over their respective ships' power conversion levels. He does manage to one-up him by 0.1%... shortly before a speed limit of Warp 5 is imposed.
    • The concept of "anti-time" took Rocks Fall Everybody Dies Up To Eleven. An energy field grows to the point of consuming Earth before life on Earth evolved.
  • The House season 6 episode 'Epic Fail' includes House joking about this to Wilson:

 Wilson: Doesn't this seem a little bit obsessive?

House: Should've been here when I was butchering the ox. What do you expect? I'm an addict. I turn everything up to eleven.

    • In "TB or not TB", House and Foreman have a bet going on whether a test will gain any results. As soon as it looks like House is losing, he turns the dial up to 11, gets expected results, as well as $20.
  • Top Gear has a few examples of this, a recent one coming from episode 12x03 where Jeremy Clarkson presents to the audience a food blender powered by a 6.2L Corvette V8. It could blend a brick.
    • On the last episode of series 13, Hammond is reviewing the Holden VXR 8 Bathurst with a supercharged LS 2 V8 engine. His exact words: "What this car does is go to 11."
  • In the Doctor Who episode "The Lazarus Experiment", the Doctor uses an organ as a sonic weapon. When it fails to produce the required results, he says to himself "Need to turn this up to Eleven", before using the screwdriver to do exactly that (the readout changes from 100 to 110).
    • The Eleventh Doctor does this quite a lot. It's in the name.
    • In Frontier In Space the Doctor is put on the Mind Probe to figure out whether he is working with the Draconians. The probe says that he is telling the truth about not working with them so the General becomes convinced that the Probe is broken and orders that it be turned up to eleven.
  • Brainiac: Science Abuse, a British show somewhat similar to Mythbusters, investigated the danger of using a mobile phone in a petrol station by filling a caravan with petrol vapor and a mobile phone and calling it. They then turned it up to eleven by adding a lot more mobile phones and calling them simultaneously. Then somewhat subverted the trope by blowing up the caravan - by having a man dressed in nylon dance in a bucket then touch the end of a long wire running to the caravan.
  • Good Eats did a straight-up reference to This Is Spinal Tap in one episode where Alton's assistant Paul makes a toaster that goes up to eleven. When another character asks why he didn't just make ten higher, he starts freaking out until Alton puts him in time out.
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Finster, the Monster of the Week maker, lampshaded this when he tried to make Rita grow back to regular size with one of his devices: "I've never turned it to eleven before!"
    • Hell, any time a monster grows (Once Per Episode), it takes it Up to Eleven. Tommy also grows, and a Tommy, Goldar, and Scorpina vs. the Megazord battle takes it Up to Eleven. (Until then, the rangers only faced one monster at a time.) Tommy and Goldar have zords too, more Up to Eleven, and at the end of Zeo, all the Rangers grow. And Dark Specter's as big as a small moon.
  • ICarly: from the episode "iOMG", Gibby and Carly put Spencer into a box for their project to see how he reacts to different stimuli, one of them being stink gas.

 Gibby: Hey Carly, check this out! I turned the stink gas up to eleven!

Spencer: slides down the side of the box


Music Edit

  • In Camera Obscura's "Dory Previn":

  How I adore you,Dory Previn/I'll turn you up to eleven/for the band's ears to bleed

  "Well you're on ten, but honey, I'm on eleven!"

  • Peter Tagtgren from PAIN/HYPOCRISY.
  • Citizen King's song "Better Days" features the line "Crank it to eleven/blow another speaker".
  • Daniel Ekeroth demonstrates Swedish Death Metal guitar sound.
  • In the documentary film Moog, Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman remarked that when the Moog synthesizer allowed keyboardists for the first time to fill a role equal to that of guitarists in bands, all the guitarists started looking for the knob that goes to eleven.
  • Murdoc of Gorillaz mentioned taking the bass up to thirteen in Rise of the Ogre.
  • The German band "Die Ärzte" demonstrate this in their animated music video for the live-performed song "Elke". This sarcastic song about a fat Fan Girl called "Elke" starts out calm, but when the amplifier gets up to eleven, this song rocks hard and the animated over the top violence begins. The "11" even glows red ! Here (with English subtitles)
  • German Industrial Metal band KMFDM recently released WTF?!, an album featuring the song "Krank" which features the lyrics "Krank! Krank it to 11/Kein Mehrheit Für Die Mitleid 24/7"
  • Natasha Bedingfield's heart megaphone is set on eleven. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • The song Smack Down by Thousand Foot Krutch mentions turning it to eleven.

 Come on everybody

Gonna start this party

If we turn it to 11

Then we can't go wrong


Professional Wrestling Edit

  • King Kong Bundy has, as a central part of his gimmick, the "five-count". Normal pinfalls go to a three-count; when Bundy pins someone, to show how badly he's beaten them, he holds up a hand and yells "FIVE!", demanding the referee count to five instead.


Tabletop Games Edit

  • Warhammer 40000 takes the amp, scrawls twelve and thirteen on the amp in gothic script and then plugs it into a Slaaneshi Noise Marine's Blastmaster, causing heads to explode all over the planet.
    • And the Orks would cheerfully turn it up to seventeen if any of them could count that high.
    • Tzeentch would then turn the knob backwards....to 999, then clasp his hands
    • Examine a Warhound battle titan sometime. One of the largest and most expensive Forge World models in existence, armed with some of the most powerful guns in the game, and guess what it is? A SCOUT TITAN! The battle titans are so big they don't make models for them.
      • Forgeworld now make Reaver titans. These guys are bigger than Warhounds and mount an extra weapon on their top carapace. There can only be time before these gentleman crank out a Warlord titan...
      • There are official rules for Warlord Titans and some fans have made them. They are about four feet tall.
      • Look at this
      • Those are not even close to what they had before the Age of Strife hit. During the Dark Age of Technology they had even BIGGER Titans. Why don't they have them now, you may ask. Well, many things were lost in-between the Dark Age and the 41st Millennium.
    • The standard sidearms go to ridiculous extremes already. Their numbers include laser guns that can blow limbs off people with a single beam, guns that spray razor-sharp shards of crystallized neurotoxins, guns that spray even sharper shards of crystal, guns that fire rocket-propelled armor-piercing grenades, and railguns that vaporize their iron slugs before firing them. And these are the sidearms.
    • You have to buy 11 or more Orks for all of them to get the fearless rule. 11 is also the minimum number of barrels on a baneblade.
  • Torpedoes bigger than small frigates, cargo shuttles barely shorter than the Starship Enterprise, frigates the size of Star Destroyers, cruisers that dwarf Wraith hive ships, thousands of battlecruisers bigger than anything in fiction beyond a Super Star Destroyer...TabletopGame/BattlefleetGothic has it all.
  • The card game Munchkin has a card named "Mine goes up to Eleven!" If you play it, people have to reach level 11 instead of 10 as usual.
  • Magic the Gathering has a mechanic called "protection" which made a card essentially immune to a certain source (A card with "protection from red" can not be blocked or damaged by red creatures, or targeted by red spells and abilities). Until recently, the mechanic was limited to phrases like "protection from black" or "protection from red" or "protection from artifacts", or occasionally "protection from creatures". Then along came this card.
    • Most MTG cards at the new "Mythic Rare" rarity level fall under this trope.
      • Progenitus is "protection up to eleven"
      • Kresh the Bloodbraided is "gets-stronger-when-something-else-dies (a common ability on Jund creatures) up to eleven"
      • Sedris the Traitor King is "unearth up to eleven,"
      • Rafiq of the Many is "exalted up to eleven"
      • Conflux is "card-search up to eleven"
      • Maelstrom Nexus is "cascade up to eleven"
      • Godsire is "token-producing up to eleven,"
      • ...et cetera. Although not all Mythic Rare cards make use of an existing mechanic, it's basically not worth making a card Mythic Rare UNLESS its potency is cranked up to eleven.
    • "Darksteel Colossus" goes up to eleven literally. It has 11 power, 11 toughness, and costs 11 mana. Oh, and it's indestructible. Not only that, but if it is somehow sent to the graveyard, it's shuffled into its owner's library instead. This ability (which also appears on the aforementioned Progenitus) is actually meant as a drawback, as it prevents players from discarding or milling it and then reanimating it.
      • Blightsteel Colossus does all that, plus has infect. Infect deals poison damage, which can't be healed in standard and it only takes 10 points to kill you. Yes, Blightsteel Colossus can One-Hit Kill you without even trying.
    • Zendikar is Everything Trying to Kill You taken up to 11. Get some Rise of the Eldrazi cards and you can take it up to 15 (the linked monster nukes six of your cards simply by looking at you funny, and is almost impossible to kill).
  • Rifts' is basically Fantasy Kitchen Sink turned Up to Eleven with pretty much every freakin' RPG genre combined together...with Megadamage!!
  • Scion quite literally goes up to eleven. See, it has a system known as Legend, and Scions, gods and other supernatural beings have a Legend score, and they're able to take Epic Attributes and Boons equal to their Legend score minus one. The maximum Legend score is 12. Therefore, the maximum you can take your powers to is 11. The 11-dot Boons and Epic Attributes are the Avatars and Ultimate Attributes, at which point you quite literally become a force of nature.
  • The Dresden Files RPG takes Up To Eleven...Up To Eleven. The section on the Laws of Magic describes breaking the Fifth Law (Never reach beyond the borders of life) as giving an exaggerated arrogance over one's power over life and death, like a doctor's God complex turned Up To Eleven. In the hand-scribbled notes, Harry himself crosses out the eleven and adds "Thirteen", leading himself and Bob to do a brief parody of the Trope Namer ("...These go to THIRTEEN," Harry insists).
  • Star Fleet Battles
  • We'd be remiss without mentioning Dystopian Wars. Think the giant robots and tanks from Warhammer 40000, then make them bigger. MUCH BIGGER. Throw in some truely bizarre exotic weapons like Robotic Squids, Colossal Robots capable of trampling city blocks and literal Flying Battleships and you get something close to the amount of steampunk insanity going on.
  • Larloch had a level one above what was possible for his class, by Word of God (the intended implication was 'he'll always be more powerful than the player characters, no matter what'). Then the edition changed and rules were published that made it possible to reach that level.


Theater Edit

  • There is a game in improvisational theater called "Toppers", which is basically this trope.


Video Games Edit

  • Moore's Law actually facilitates handheld Videogame Systems being more powerful than home systems of the same class (should the game company choose to do so), as long as they come out a few years later.
    • The Game Boy Color has a faster processor and more memory than the NES, especially seen in Metal Gear Ghost Babel, which looks closer to the MSX games than the NES games.
    • The Game Boy Advance is not only more powerful than the SNES, it's more powerful than the Neo Geo, in everything but screen resolution and color depth. The Castlevania games show this quite well.
    • The DS tops the Nintendo 64, even though its processors are slower. This was because the processor speeds were mostly for show. The RAM is also more efficient, making it more practical than even the RAM with the Expansion Pak. Plus, it has plenty of texture memory, which can be seen in comparing the graphics of the original and DS versions of Super Mario 64.
    • The PSP has the same processor speed (especially with the CPU cap removed) and memory as the PS2, and it has texture compression which the PS2 lacked (only a few recent games have truly shown this off though). Unlike the PS2, it also has a proper GPU (one that can process vertices on its own, rather than needing a separate Vector Unit).
    • Early reports from E3 claim that the upcoming Nintendo 3DS to have graphics that surpass the Nintendo Gamecube, and, though obviously no one outside of Nintendo has had a chance to look under its hood, the mere fact that it has 3D effects obtained without glasses makes it almost certain to surpass the Gamecube on a technical level as well.
    • And now the PSVita doesn't just surpass the 3DS but is even more powerful than the PS3.
  • Equipping Demyx with the Ultimate Gear in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days changes his sitar into one named Up to Eleven. A slightly more powerful version called Up to Eleven+ is also obtainable.
  • House of the Dead: Overkill has volume dials which can be turned all the way to eleven.
  • Rock Band and Guitar Hero are falling into this quite nicely.
    • In a nod to This Is Spinal Tap, the volume controls go up to eleven in the first two Guitar Hero games. In a direct example of this trope, when Neversoft took over the games for the third game (but not the controllers, which have always been made by Red Octane), the volume controls went up to 12. (Also see Rank Inflation for other examples.)
    • An interesting example of this occurs in Rock Band: Unplugged. The standard multipliers (without Overdrive) go up to 5x. Activating Overdrive doubles the multiplier: 1x becomes 2x, 2x becomes 4x... except when used while the multiplier is at 5x... then, the multiplier becomes 11x. Why? Because, as Harmonix's Alex Navarro said in an interview, "Eleven is better than ten."
    • Guitar Hero 5 matches this by escalating the maximum total band multiplier all the way up to 11x assuming everyone has a good streak and uses star power when a band moment occurs. Keeping in mind the personal score multiplier that's also applied, this pushes the possible score to previously unthinkable amounts. This is also how you're expected to get the diamond-level score on the "God of Rock score attack" challenge (which requires you to score 10 million points - though you only need half of this score to get the gig's unlockable, which requires platinum).
    • Guitar Hero 6 (Neversoft's rhythm swan song) had "powers" which could be combined. 36x multipliers and running Star Power for minutes at a time becomes common.
    • Australia's XBOX Magazine gave Guitar Hero II 11 out of ten.
    • Here's the Space Oddity Guitar chart in Rock Band. Now here's the Pro Guitar chart for the same song.
  • In the free flight simulator of Flightgear, a specific aircraft can go at 112% Maximum Speed in space.
  • Some of Ace Combat's superplanes have special weapons which are more or less downgraded versions of the superweapons you destroy on a regular basis.
  • In Dissidia Final Fantasy, performing Cloud Of Darkness's EX-Burst perfectly requires you to charge the attack to 120% power.
  • During target practise in Psychonauts, Razputin is tasked with killing a THOUSAND dummy mooks that pop out of a dispenser. The only way to actually finish the level is to set the dispenser intensity up to eleven (aptly marked with a skull and crossbones) which makes the whole shooting range run amok and force you to fight in near-combat conditions. Which actually was the whole point of the practice from the very beginning.
  • In Burnout Paradise the SFX volume goes up to 11.
  • 11 is an intentionally recurring number in Kingdom of Loathing. In particular, the Super-Secret Canadian Mind-Control Device goes Up To Eleven, with a reference to This Is Spinal Tap.

 The device is currently set to level X. Note that the dial goes to 11. Most mind-control devices have dials that go up to 10, but this one goes to 11. It's one higher.

  • Games company Team17 were originally known as 17-Bit Software - because they were "that bit better than the rest".
  • In Digimon World 3, Imperialdramon Paladin Mode takes digivolving power up to 11 with the following: Heals that do everything but rez KO'ed allies or recover MP, a devastating 3-hit attack technique (not to mention the already crazy physical attack power), a OHKO attack technique that always works in random encounters and even has a chance of OHKO'ing the 2nd phase of Galacticmon, the final boss, not to mention his signature technique, Omega Blade, which can OHKO an evil Armageddemon (if you have enough strength) on the Gunslinger satellite.
    • Some Digimon Digivolve beyond Mega, taking them Up to Eleven. Imperialdramon Paladin Mode, Omnimon, and Susanoomon are prime examples. Diaboromon falls into this category as well. And probably Kimeramon, if he Digivolved from anything at all.
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is pretty much Star Wars: Up to Eleven, in that, not only did it have a Mary Sue as the main character, but it also went back and "unleashed" all the symbolic battles that took place in the movies and the sort. The game is just that over-the-top that it pretty much destroyed the visual impact of the movies, because suddenly, grabbing a lightsaber from a few feet away using your mind, or pushing a fragile droid over isn't quite as cool as pulling a Star Destroyer out of the sky, or pushing a stormtrooper so hard off his feet that he flies through a titanium sealed door, landing in a bunch of conveniently placed explosives which effectively destroy the enemy base of operations.
    • The enemies in the game also have flesh and bone that is lightsaber and impact resistant. They are just that strong. Not so smart on the field, though.
    • In Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2, Starkiller appears to have taken knowledge from the almighty Yoda, as well as Vader, and goes up against a Rancor probably three times the size of the huge Bull Rancor from the first game. It seems that he has also destroyed the canonical ending of the first game, and now has two lightsabers.
  • In Borderlands, in the third DLC, they upped the level cap from 50 to 61.
  • In Prototype, although the game has no predecessor, it is constantly breaking its own boundaries as the game progresses. Such improvements reveal the ability to change course of flight without any leverage whatsoever, running up buildings faster than The Flash can wank, parkouring your way through Manhattan in less than five minutes, and the ability to expand and compress your body mass so much that you can both set off a biological bomb inside yourself, and run through practically anything that gets in the way.
    • Despite all this, players feel somewhat underpowered because you can't fly like Superman, run on water like a genetic antichrist, or pick up tanks with your unearthly strength. For some reason, people also want to be able to drive cars. You can run five times faster than cars, not to mention turn into a walking tank. You do not need to drive cars in this game.
  • In God of War, you took on leviathans, warlocks, and medusas, dueling a God at the end. In the sequel, you pretty much take on the authorities of Greek Mythology as a whole, so the goal-meter has been heightened quite a bit. And as for the third game...
    • Lets put it this way. If anything was left alive after God of War III, it's because Kratos hasn't killed it yet.
  • Every time the Final Fantasy series uses the Job Class system, S-E invokes this trope. In the original Final Fantasy, you chose classes in the beginning and were stuck with them. In Final Fantasy III, the game gives you several classes that you can switch between anytime you wanted to, with a wide variety of abilities. Final Fantasy V uses a similar system to III, but this time around you can also set a secondary skillset from another class. Final Fantasy Tactics introduces even more classes and not only lets you equip a second skillset, but also gives you a myriad of counterattacks, supportive, and movement abilities to create the most customizable FF game to date.
  • The Fusion Pins in The World Ends With You. The first is simply the Neku and his partner jumping between the planes attacking with beams. The second adds more character; Shiki's attacks with Mr. Mew, Joshua's summons meteors and Beat's involves riding on chains. Then, the third takes it up to eleven. Shiki's third Fusion is transforming Mr. Mew into Godzilla-like-proportions, Beat's summons a giant wave which squashes the Noise and Joshua's summons the freakin' moon.
  • In Star Trek Bridge Commander, you can boost the power going to your ship systems up to 125%. There is no downside apart from the increased power drain. What happened to "The engines cannae take it, Captain!"?
  • Half-Life starts with a experiment at Black Mesa to run the "Antimass Spectrometer" to "one-oh-five percent." Whatever that meant, it didn't turn out well.
  • Pokémon Battle Revolution: "The energy level of the fans has been turned up to 11!"
  • The Mass Effect series seems determined to use every single trope in existence. This is not an exaggeration - its pages have gotten so large that they've broken the wiki several times.
  • In the case of the Capcom vs. Whatever games (this only applies for the five games featuring Marvel vs. Capcom Clash of the Superheroes Comics characters and Tatsunoko vs Capcom), the attacks of some Capcom characters become MUCH more flashier, powerful, and over-the-top than they actually appear in their series of origin. This is because they'll fit more with the exaggerated and frantic gameplay seen in those games. It's even more noticeable when it comes to the Street Fighter characters. As an example, compare Alex's Hyper Bomb from Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike in this video to the amplified version seen here from Tatsunoko vs Capcom.
  • In Beautiful Katamari, of the Katamari Damacy series, your performance on each level is graded out of 100 points. If you do really, really well, you'll get 120 points instead. The King of All Cosmos comments that even he doesn't understand how that works.
  • World of Warcraft has currently (Cataclysm expansion) a maximum of 10 characters per realm (server). In the upcoming Mists of Pandaria expansion, they are, in words of one of their forum representatives, turning it all the way up to 11.
  • In Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel, legend has it that Schirach Fühler of the Black Cross organization possesses abilities that go FAR BEYOND the simple limitations of standard humans.
  • Starcraft II: "Class 12 psionic waveform pattern detected, the Queen of Blades is inbound". The scale usually caps out at 10.


Web Comics Edit

 "There was only one sure thing I knew when starting HS. That was that this thing would go batshit insane in ways I couldn't begin to imagine. In fact, it was practically the mission statement."

 Kevyn: When you've already been flipped out of the frying pan and into the fire, what do you call it when you get flipped again into something even worse?

Ennesby: I don't know. I'm reindexing "frying pan" for a higher baseline, though.


Web Original Edit

  • The Nostalgia Critic does top eleven lists instead of Top Ten Lists, "Because I like to go one step beyond."
    • And it is cranked up to a whole twelve in the Christmas lists, because "IT'S CHRISTMAS!".
    • In his "Top Eleven Coolest Movie Clichés" he parodies himself: "Why top eleven? Because I have my own cliche that'll never die!"
  • Linkara from Atop the Fourth Wall goes "up to 15". Linkara has said that his video personality is basically his real life personality "turned up to eleven".
  • Movie-related podcast All Movie Talk has Top 6 lists because 6 is one more than 5,
  • Episode 16 of the web series Pure Pwnage opens with the main character activating a series of amplifiers and overdrivers attached to his Xbox360 and dialing up the volume past the labeled 'Max' setting as well as the labeled 'Dude', and 'Srsly' marks to reach 'WTF' before rocking out to Guitar Hero.
  • With the revamp of Screw Attack's website, ratings can be given up to eleven. If you care enough.
  • 11 Points: Because Top 10 Lists are for Cowards
  • The Online Game Billy vs. Snakeman contains countless references to this trope. The in-game character of the maker is called "11billionth HoCage".
  • Red vs. Blue: Revelations Episode Ten is titled "It Goes To Eleven", in reference to the Trope Namer. Since the entirety of the episode is a fight scene animated by Dead Fantasy's Monty Oum, it's extremely appropriate.
  • EPICMEALTIME strives to take cooking this way. They built a gingerbread house using meat and cheese that totaled 86,997 calories and lots of bacon. Then there was the Sloppy Roethlisburger, totalling over 100,000 calories. And they ate the entire thing.
  • Regular Ordinary Swedish Meal Time plays this delightfully literally - their cooker has a maximum setting of 11 drawn on it.


Western Animation Edit

  • The entire plot of Avatar: The Last Airbender revolves around this. Firelord Ozai is the most powerful firebender in the entire world. But on the day of Sozins Comet, every firebender will be much stronger than usual, which allows him to burn the entire world!
    • Of course, he forgot that the Avatar was also a firebender, among other things.
  • In an episode of Re Boot, Megabyte gatecrashes a concert and produces a powerful electric guitar. Unsatisfied with the sound after a couple tests, he reaches for the dial and cranks it up to 11.
    • At this point Bob jumps up on stage, whips out his own guitar, and the two of them have an epic rock-off. Megabyte then says "I've always wanted to do that", gives Enzo the guitar as a birthday present, and drives off in his stretch limo.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls' episode 'Bubblevicious', Bubbles got sick of being the "kid" in the group, so she turned the training simulator up to eleven to prove she was "hardcore". The result is an entire Crowning Moment of Awesome for her, and her sisters acknowledge it.

  Buttercup: Wow, she took the laser all the way Up to Eleven!

  • In the opening sequence of Bump in the Night, Mr. Bumpy actually uses a crayon to add an 11 setting to his amp before jacking it all the way up.
  • In The Simpsons, Pete Townshend (Guitarist for The Who) has an amp with a setting in place of 11 reading simply "Whuh-Oh", that's strong enough to partly demolish a wall made of solid garbage.
    • Mr. Burns hires a hypnotist to motivate his softball team.

 Hypnotist: You are all very good players.

Team: We are all very good players.

Hypnotist: You will beat Shelbyville.

Team: We will beat Shelbyville.

Hypnotist: You will give 110 percent.

Team: That's impossible. No one can give more than 100 percent. By definition, that is the most anyone can give.

  • In the Veggie Tales video "The Star of Christmas," Seymour (Pa Grape) sends Bob and Larry's characters to the church where a Christmas pageant is going to be held in a Rocket car. He warns them that although the car has 11 engines, they should only fire engines 1 through 10, and that under no circumstances should they fire the untested rocket 11. Larry does anyway when the car shows that the church is out of the range of 1-10.
  • In the "S'Winter" episode of Phineas and Ferb, Doofenshmirtz builds a laser that has a melting capacity of seven...on a scale of one to five.
    • Much of the show is the titular brothers taking everything Up To Eleven.

  Phineas: Guaranteed to kick any party up to an eleven!

  • In Home Movies, Duane's band SCAB scrawled the number 11 on the far end of their amps' volume dials.
  • In one episode of Teen Titans, Cyborg complains that, as a machine, he cannot go beyond 100% of his ability. By the end of the episode, he does, and throws away the corresponding indicator.
  • In the episode "Out of this world" of Ruby Gloom, Frank and Len crank the volume of their music up to eleven curiously at Poe's suggestion. Cue fireworks and an explosion that sends them all into orbit around the moon.
  • Megas XLR is build around this trope. The Guns, the Robot, even the Karaoke get turned to eleven regularly. Its stereo system goes up to eleven thousand.
    • Said stereo actually has more security preventing its use than all of Megas' weapons and is the one weapon Coup actually considers cruel to use. As if that didn't already show how powerful it is, when combined with Coup's off-key voice, it becomes a weapon of mass destruction capable of destroying a massive space station and an army of monsters and robots in seconds.
  • In Shaun the Sheep, whilst trying to cure one of the other sheep of hiccups, Shaun pulls out an electric guitar and amplifier and turns the amplifier up to eleven. As soon as he plays a single chord, a mushroom cloud is seen rising out of the field.
  • One episode of Chalk Zone takes it one step further by cranking it up to 12 in a song at the end. It's part of the lyrics, even.
  • In Adventure Time Marceline's bass amp goes up to XII!


Real Life Edit

  • "Up to eleven" was officially accepted by Webster's Dictionary.
  • A common propaganda poster in Soviet Russia displayed a man in workman's dress turning a random machine's production speed to a red-bold "11".
  • Skyscrapers were often this, like the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building were basically a race to see which would end up taller.
    • Actually it was the Chrysler Building and 40 Wall Street, although the Empire State Building followed by less than a year, and not only beat it, but smashed it (the Empire State's top floor was 50 m above the tip of Chrysler's spire, Empire's Spire was another 70m above that).
    • More recently, the Burj Dubai (now named the Burj Khalifa) averted this. Rather than going 'up to eleven' to top the tallest building before it, the new tower went straight up to twenty. It's half a freaking mile high.
      • And even more recently, they've started the construction of yet another skyscraper higher than Burj Khalifa in the same city. Top THAT.
  • When Huey Long was governor of Louisiana, he ordered that the LSU swimming pool be 53 meters long, instead of the standard 50. It served no functional purpose and complicated swim races since they ended short of the wall, but hey, longest pool.
    • Huey Long also had built the Louisiana State Capitol, which still stands as the tallest state capitol in the country and the tallest building in Baton Rouge. Local historians state that the Nebraska state capitol, which was being erected concurrently, was going to exceed the planned height of the Louisiana construction. Governor Long responded by increasing the height of his capitol to remain the tallest.
  • Amps made by Fender go up to twelve, and still sound clean. Then we have Marshall who decided to one up it by giving it more watts, more speakers, more preamplification for that hard rock sound, and then later going to twenty. Then Mesa Boogie, inspired by Marshall, makes it go even further, creating one of the loudest metal amps. Soldano amps do go up to eleven because of this.
    • Averted by Soldano's daughter company Jet City--the knobs only go to nine, but they have just as much distortion and volume as the up-to-eleven models.
  • A lot of the Ermine Cape Effect is due to this, where royalty would do their best to show the most elaborate outfits and dresses they could get tailored, especially in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
  • One particular king commonly ate his dinners either plated in gold, sprinkled with ground-up pearls, or soaked in expensive perfume. However, the source is Ripley's Believe It or Not, so this idea is probably an exaggeration or taken out of context, at best.
    • A far more reliable source (a grade X chemistry school book from the 1970s) stated that Napoleon III, French emperor in the 19th century, used aluminium plates for himself and the empress at official banquets, this metal being the most expensive available in his era.
  • On that note, the Age of Imperialism was around those centuries, and all about getting the most colonies.
  • How many times have you heard a supervisor or a coach demand a "110% effort"?
  • The economic theory of Conspicuous Consumption, which basically says that people buy useless luxury items like diamond-encrusted dog collars to show off their wealth, which prompts others to find even more extravagant ways of showing off, et cetera.
    • Best exemplified by the infamous iPhone application "I Am Rich", which was an application which cost $999.99 (the maximum possible at the iPhone store) and did nothing useful besides showing that its owner is rich. Also, it had a typo.
  • The FreeBSD UNIX based operating system had some problems switching from the 4.x to the 5.x version, forcing them to release a 4.10 and 4.11 "production" versions. They lampshaded it releasing promo material with "4.11, ours goes to eleven" on it.
  • Overclocking computers with the help of liquid nitrogen. Liquid motherfucking nitrogen.
    • Then someone did it with liquid helium. For people who would do such a thing, the achievement is an end itself and there's apparently no such thing as "too much". It's all about the Rule of Cool, not the Rule Of Cooling.
  • The Big Ten college sports conference invited an eleventh member (Penn State) to join in 1990, kept their name as the Big Ten, and added an 11 buried in their logo, which they used until 2010.
    • Ironically, they had only formally adopted the name Big Ten in 1987....
    • The Atlantic 10 sees your eleven and raises you 14. Given its members in Missouri and Ohio, the name appears to have become an Artifact Title.
    • Quite a few of the major conferences have been wanting to expand to sixteen teams since forever, and now it looks like a definite possibility. The Big East will have seventeen starting next season. And the new entry is from Texas.
  • The Badwater Ultramarathon: (from Sports Illustrated) Think of Badwater as five consecutive marathons, only they're uphill (from 280 ft. below sea-level and 8,360 ft. above), held inside a blast furnace (the temperature hovers above 115 degrees -- at night) and capable of frying runners' brains like a fistful of peyote (hallucinations caused by sleep deprivation are part of the event's charm).
    • The featured runner, Arthur Webb, has run the thing 12 times and has finished around 48 hours (with a record 36 hours being fourth place) each time, rips his big toenails out so they won't crack as his feet swell in the 130 degree daytime heat, and once lost consciousness... and his pulse (he got better). Oh, and he's 67 years old.
  • In a West Indies vs Australia Cricket Rules match from the early 90s, specialist bowlers Mike Whitney and Bruce Reid (both infamously bad batsmen) were in the Australian side. Whitney came to bat at number 10 (second-last), and after he'd swung wildly at a few deliveries, West Indian commentator Michael Holding (who'd never seen either of them play before) said "can you believe this guy's at number 10?" Ian Chappell replied, "Just you wait. There's someone worse to come."
  • First round of Wimbledon 2010: John Isner versus Nicholas Mahut. They go into a fifth set. Because tie-breakers aren't used in the final set at Wimbledon, the final score of the fifth set was70-68. That's not points; that's games. They were at the game so long it had to be suspended and continued the next day - and then suspended again. It was finally finished two days after it began. Isner, still affected by the length of that match, lost in the second round.
  • The Space Shuttle Main Engine goes up to 109%
  • Fun fact: The volume on the BBC iPlayer goes up to 11.
    • However Sky's goes up to 12. "So there!" (R. Murdoch)
  • VLC media player's volume percentage goes up to 200% in the menu bar then goes on to 400% if you use the scroll wheel over the main window. This isn't just cosmetic, either: The default 100% setting is at the same level as other software, and cranking it higher will manipulate the waveform, clipping and even brickwalling it as needed.
    • This is probably for files that were transferred from the (usually non-digital) source at less than full volume -- somewhat common for bootleg media ripped from VHS tapes and the like, which also tends to use the weird formats only VLC and a few other obscure players can read. Also handy if your laptop's speakers just aren't very motivated and you can't hear the movie you are trying to watch without giving the audio a kick in the pants.
  • This is the entire point of Guinness Records.
    • The race for the fastest 100 meter dash in particular was stuck on trying to go below ten seconds for quite some time...and then Usain Bolt broke his own record by the largest margin to date, and he was so ahead of the rest of the pack that he slowed down a bit to show off.
  • The Russian "Tsar" projects: Tsar Bell, the world's largest bell; Tsar Cannon, the world's largest howitzer; and the more recent Tsar Tank and Tsar Bomb.
  • US Navy slang includes the term "All ahead Bendix." The ship's speed is controlled by a device which was often made by the Bendix company. Their logo was just beyond the maximum setting, so it appeared that "Bendix" was an option for higher speed.
  • The Bugatti Veyron's power gauge stops neatly at 1001. Actually it tops at about 1200 hp, but the constructors thought 1001 just looked cooler.
    • 1001 metric hp (PS) would make around 987 hp. To keep the power rating at the advertised "over 1001 hp" in both systems of measures, metric and Imperial, Veyron engines make around 1020-1040 hp.
    • While not quite as fast as the Veyron, the HTT Plethore LC-1300 "Canadian Supercar" has a 1,300 horse power engine and is designed as a 3-seater with the driver's seat and steering column in the centre like a Formula 1 car, and two passengers to the rear flanks of the driver.
  • Brew Dog seem to be brewing the world's strongest beer: Sink the Bismarck. At a alcohol level of 41% they have REALLY cranked beer up to eleven. It is even drinkable. But the company wisely include a bottle stopper with each sale so that you won't drink a whole beer as strong as whisky in one sitting.
  • One of the Tv Tropes forums discusses this in terms of bodybuilding, noting how contestants went from being strongmen who happened to have highly defined muscles (and actually looked pretty good) to freakishly huge guys more obsessed with adding mass than being healthy.
  • Appropriately, at the IMDb page for This Is Spinal Tap, the rating is displayed as <number>/11.
    • IGN also gave the movie 11 out of 10.
  • If you thought the Snuggy was bad, behold "Forever Lazy".
  • Advanced Micro Devices used the trope OUTRIGHT in their blog, litterally citing the Spinal Tap scene to explain what the Turbo CORE technology does in the Bulldozer processor architecture. The processor will often try to overclock all its cores by as much as 500MHz depending on the workload. If less than all the cores are being used, say in a single or dual-threaded program, it will underclock the unused cores and overclock the used ones even MORE. Depending on the program and conditions, it gives you 4.0GHz OUT OF THE BOX.
  • Energy drinks, in both can size and caffeine content. Originally an 8.3 oz. can of Red Bull was a lot. Then came other energy drinks that made Red Bull look like tea, and larger can sizes. 16 ounces is pretty much the standard, and there are also 24 and 32 ounce cans, as well as boxes.
    • Powerthirst (from this fake commercial), the most EXTREME energy drink. It actually belongs in this section now, because it's REAL.
  • Finnish Navy corvettes "Turunmaa" and "Karjala" used Rolls-Royce Olympus gas turbines (yup, the same as in Concorde), and they were equipped with special restrictors equipped with security seals. The normal maximum speed of those corvettes was 38 kn, but they logged regularly 43 kn speeds. But when breaking the security seals and overriding the restrictors, the vessels could achieve 50 kn speeds - although the engines would not stand such stress for a long time.
  • War Emergency Power on Pratt & Whitney R-2800 radial engine. Used on P-47 Thunderbolt, F6F Hellcat and F4U Corsair. The WEP device consisted of water-methanol injection on the already turbocharged engine. When breaking the security seals and applying WEP, the pilot could stress some 20% more power momentarily out of the engine than usually.
    • A similar German device was HaHa-Gerät, which injected nitrous oxide (laughing gas) in the engine, supplying extra oxygen and making the engine run hotter.
  • Rubik's Cubes. Thought the 3x3x3 cube was hard? There are cubes up to 7x7x7 commercially available, and a method has been patented that can take the cube's size literally up to eleven. When it comes to computer-simulated cubes, you can just go infinitely higher: How about a 20x20x20 or a 1000x1000x1000 cube? There are also 4-dimensional cubes or even 5D cubes.
    • 5D is so last millenium, they're up to 7D now, 5^7 to be precise.
  • In a recent interview about Bio Shock Infinite, the journalist inquired jokingly, "So at what point in development did it become clear that you needed to be flinging horses at the player character?" Ken Levine responded that, "...in video games, everything always has to be amped up to eleven..." and that they needed to show to the player that the antagonist shown was badass.
  • The TORRO scale for tornadoes goes up to eleven, with the highest ranking T11 tornadoes having wind speeds in excess of 300 mph. Because of its origins as a relationship between the Beaufort scale and Mach speeds, the Fujita Tornado scale goes up to twelve, where a theoretical F12 ranking would have wind speeds that break the sound barrier. Fortunately for us, tornadoes only go up to F5 (at least on this planet.)
  • The BBC embeded video players actually go up to eleven on the volume adjustment.
  • According to James May, in the final episode of Top Gear series 16, the original moon buggy was designed to have a top speed of 8 mph, but the astronauts managed to push it up to 11 mph.
  • Footballer Nicklas Bendtner's confidence was measured to a ten on a scale that goes to nine.
  • Body suits that make you look like a sex doll. Gets a creep out rating of 11.
  • For nurses, the questions on the NCLEX examination can feel like this if you've previously passed the CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) exam.
  • Telescope advances are usually more a case of Bigger Is Better, advancing in leaps and bounds, but the Gran Telescope Canarias, the world's largest and built in 2009, has a main mirror a little over 34 feet across. The previous record holder, the Keck telescope, has a 33 feet wide main mirror. You could park a bus on the main mirrors of any of them (and cause a gazillion dollars in damage doing so!)
  • The Clock Of The Long Now is a mechanical clock designed to run continuously for the next 10,000, that's ten THOUSAND, years. That is the entire length of human civilization, which is actually their benchmark. They want to build lots of them, and scatter them all over the earth.
  • NASCAR racecars, the quintessential "ten" of automotive racing in the USA, rates their cars in the 8-900hp range. The brand new Shelby Mustang's track version takes the horsepower Up to Eleven...hundred.

Notes

  1. "Evil exes."

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