Introduction: How to Memorize the Resistor Color Code

Picture of How to Memorize the Resistor Color Code

How to memorize the Resistor Color Code

The reason I came up with this is because in High School and in College they taught us the same offensive phrase, bad boys, etc, but Violet gives willingly. Although this is easy to memorize, it didn't make it easy to remember a color for a number without having to think of the entire sentence. If you memorize each picture association I have provided, you will remember the colors for the numbers.  

These are what work for me based on objects that first popped into my head. You should choose objects that are easiest to remember based on your mind and what you first think of.

The trick to making them stick is to make them as ridiculous as you can think of. Or link them to things you like.


Step 1: 0. a Black Olive in the Shape of a "0"

Picture of 0. a Black Olive in the Shape of a "0"

0. Think of a black olive. Think of a really big black olive that is about to run you over and squish you. The shape is a 0 and the color is black.

Step 2: 1. Brown Bear Poopin

Picture of 1. Brown Bear Poopin

1. Does a bear poop in the woods?
It sure does!!
What color is the bear?
There is one bear and it's brown.

In my mind I actually picture the Charmin bear holding the toilet paper roll. You can also picture what's coming out of the bear as the shape of the number 1. Yum-Bo!

Step 3: 2 Red Cherries

Picture of 2 Red Cherries

2. Think of cherries. How many are usually on a stem? 2. What color are they? Red

Step 4: 3. Juggling 3 Oranges

Picture of 3. Juggling 3 Oranges

3. Think of 3 oranges. You are juggling 3 oranges. They are dripping all over you as you juggle. There are 3 and the color is orange.

Step 5: 4. Made of Bananas

Picture of 4. Made of Bananas

4. Draw a 4 using 4 bananas. A 4 is in four segments and you use 4 yellow bananas to make the shape. You designed a 4 using yellow bananas.

Step 6: 5. Green Marajuana 5 Leaves

Picture of 5. Green Marajuana 5 Leaves

5. Think of a marijuana plant. There are (pretend) only 5 leaves on a marijuana plant.

The color is green.

You can also picture yourself getting totally stoned and looking at your hand and your 5 leaf fingers looks like a marijuana plant ,I guess.

Step 7: 6. Blue Angels in Formation

Picture of 6. Blue Angels in Formation

This is my favorite because I grew up in California and would watch the Blue Angels airs show at El Toro Marine base. When the Blue Angels fly in formation, there are 6 of them.
Guess what color?

Step 8: 7. Viole(n)t 7

Picture of 7. Viole(n)t 7

7. The shape of a 7 also resembles an axe. Picture a very violent(violet) bloody axe. The shape is 7 and bloody viole(n)t

Step 9: 8. Eight Is Greight! It's Going to Eat You and It's Grey!

Picture of 8. Eight Is Greight! It's Going to Eat You and It's Grey!

8. Eight is Greight! You can picture a grey eight. He's trying to eat you.

Isn't that Greight?

Step 10: 9. Rescue Me! My White Ninght in Shining Armour!

Picture of 9. Rescue Me! My White Ninght in Shining Armour!

9. All the girls want a white knight in shining armour to rescue them from the high tower. Picture a white 9 (ninght) riding in on a horse and rescuing you.

Step 11: Finished

As I stated before, they work for me. It was the first thing I thought of and so it sticks in my brain.

Share some of your ideas.
I taught this to my boys in 3 minutes and then handed them resistors. They could identify all of them with never learning about black bears running over green grass or about Violet the poor girl.


SurabhiA1 (author)2016-05-28

Quite interesting method and easy too

JoeP21 (author)2015-07-11

Good job that was fun and helped me out.

bullseye123 (author)2014-10-07

WOW Bagunca, Im a new student and don't know any of these color codes or their values. I remember somebody saying that Poem thing, but I can never remember it. After reading your post, from top to bottom. I remember them all and all the color and the numbers!! Amazing. If I think Yellow, I think 4, if I think 9 I think white knight. If I think 1, Pooing Bear, if I think 5, Green Marijuana Leave. it pops up instantly.

Thank you!!!!

jthomas89 (author)2014-05-08

there are usually 7 leaves on a pot leaf...

ddan4 (author)2013-08-14

Black Boys Raped Our Young Girls But Violetta? thats what our teacher taught us in highschool. LOL

Works like magic. Now when ever i want to read resistor color codes numbers just jump into my mind, no need to go through long scentences.

arionisa (author)2009-05-08

Let's see, being a bit older I learned .....

Bad Boys Ravish Our Young Girls Behind Victory Garden Wall
Bad Boys Rape Our Young Girls But Violet Gives Willingly

then a bit more "PC"

Black Bears Raid Our Yellow Grain, Blue Violets Grow Wild

Of course PETA got involved .... and I DON'T mean People for the Eating of Tasty Animals .... so we were stuck with ........

Black is the absence of all color, thus Black = 0
White is the combination of all colors thus White = 9 (the highest single digit number)

and the rest are in order as they appear in the spectrum when light is shown through a prism, which of course EVERYONE knows ..... don't laugh ... I used to teach electronics and one of the training manuals we were given actually stated that.

Sadly, it's NOT a laughing matter, when that text was written (in the 1950's), everyone WAS taught that before they finished grade school. I learned it in my electronics class .. long after high school ........ and 20 years after I finished high school, and decided to get a degree, I'm taking college courses .... that are "teaching" me stuff I had to learn to get out of Junior High ...... what has our education system come to ?

pennsteve (author)arionisa2009-12-26

Bad Boys Rape Our Young Girls But Violet Gives Willingly.........ahhh it all comes back to me now!  I am 99% sure that this is the phrase we were taught in Vo-Tech school in the mid 1980's!

naughtysriram (author)2009-06-18

i learnd it this way BB ROY from Great Britain had a Very Good Wife guess this wud be easy..

kanamin (author)2009-05-09

They didn't teach me any of the offensive phrases in my introductory electronics course D: I learned from constantly searching for the right values, so repetition I guess. Anyway, the brown bear taking a poop makes me think of no. 2 lol so I guess that would interfere.

bensmith8302 (author)2009-05-03

Bad Beer Rots Our Young Guts But Vodka Goes Willingly Black Brown Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Violet Grey White 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

inventivefiend (author)2009-04-15

I was taught the 'offensive' version also. But it stuck. I heard it once, and it was mine forever. IMO, you can't argue with results. If your way works as effectively for your boys, kudos.

zuixro (author)inventivefiend2009-04-15

Yeah, the offensive one works well for me: Bad Boys Rape Our Young Girls But Violet Gives Willingly Black Brown Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Violet Grey White This one is good too, less offensive.

foobear (author)zuixro2009-04-17

Bad Boys Ravish... was the one I got

JakeTobak (author)inventivefiend2009-04-15

I always remembered it this way: Black <--- remember this one cause it comes first Brown <--- and remember this one cause it comes 2nd Roy G. B(i)v <--- visible color spectrum minus indigo Grey <--- this one is between violet and white White <--- this one is after grey Not necessarily the easiest way to remember it :P

Spookiefish (author)2009-04-17

"bad booze rots our young gut but vodka goes well" is the pg rated version that I learned

erio (author)2009-04-15

The phrase (in French, in my case : "Ne Mangez Rien Ou Jeunez Voilà Bien Votre Grande Bêtise") works for me, but it forces me to say the entire sentence while counting on my fingers. Each time. Linking directly numbers to colors seems efficient. I like the cherries, and also the three oranges (because I recall Serge Prokofiev's opera "The Love for Three Oranges", but maybe it's way too much). I will try to find other connections on my own (more international than great=greight, for instance)

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