The concept is simple enough: write a full program to output its own code golf score!

Output should only be the byte count of your program and a trailing bytes.

BUT WAIT..... there is one restriction:

  • Your source code can not include any of the digits from your byte count
  • So if your score is 186 bytes, your program can not contain the characters 1 , 6 , or 8

Example Output:

315 bytes
27 Bytes

Additional Rules:

  • Unnecessary characters, spaces, and newlines are forbidden in the source code, however trailing spaces and newlines are perfectly acceptable in output
  • There should be a single space between the number and bytes in the output
  • Letters are case insensitive
  • No self inspection or reading the source code
  • standard loopholes are disallowed

  • this is , so

Shortest code in bytes wins!

  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ Does this need the quine tag, or may the code self-inspect? \$\endgroup\$
    – Adám
    Mar 29, 2018 at 15:59
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @Dat, given the formatting of the word bytes I suspect the intention is that the count should include the bytes it takes to print the text: bytes \$\endgroup\$ Mar 29, 2018 at 16:16
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Are leading spaces in output acceptable? \$\endgroup\$
    – rafa11111
    Mar 29, 2018 at 17:43
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ If my code is 1 byte long, should I output 1 bytes or 1 byte? (keep in mind there are already 41 answers, although I don't think any are affected) \$\endgroup\$ Mar 29, 2018 at 18:07
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Can bytes be in any case pattern, e.g. bYtEs? \$\endgroup\$ Dec 27, 2019 at 14:56

185 Answers 185

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Commodore 64 - 74 tokenized and BASIC bytes

Assuming by score in bytes, you mean tokens and bytes used by the BASIC interpreter, this works:

0 def fn b(x) = 38911-(fre(x)-2^16*(fre(x)<x)): print fnb(.);"bytes

There is a bug in the FRE() function on the Commodore 64 as it assumes maximum size of BASIC is 32K, or 32768 bytes.

Commodore VIC-20 (unexpanded) - 29 tonkenized and BASIC bytes


Zsh, 16 bytes

<<<$[##␐]\ bytes

Attempt This Online!

should be a literal 0x10 byte, but that doesn't show up in SE markdown.

Zsh -BCDEFGHIJ, 13 bytes

<<<$#-\ bytes

Attempt This Online!


  • \$\begingroup\$ What is that flag lol \$\endgroup\$ Aug 24, 2022 at 15:14
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @thejonymyster It doesn't matter what the contents of the flag is, but the code itself is counting the length of the flags (I think). \$\endgroup\$
    – naffetS
    Aug 24, 2022 at 16:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Steffan That's correct. Note that Zsh already has the options 569X enabled by default, so by adding BCDEFGHIJ the length of the options reaches 13. \$\endgroup\$
    – pxeger
    Aug 24, 2022 at 17:33

Headascii, 55 BYTES


Try it here, code will have to be pasted in and executed as shown below:


Outputs 55 BYTES

Code breakdown:

++++[]]]][]^^]]+++++PPDP++]]P^]+++++++P-----P(D+++P<-P! full program
++++[]]]][                                              save 16 to R2
          ]^^                                           save 32 to R1
             ]]+++++PP                                  append "55" to string register
                      DP                                append " " to string register
                        ++]]P                           append "B" to string register
                             ^                          save 66 to R1
                              ]+++++++P                 append "Y" to string register
                                       -----P           append "T" to string register
                                             (          store 84 in R3
                                              D+++P     append "E" to string register
                                                   <-P  append "S" to string register
                                                      ! print string register

This breakdown isn't great but the basic idea is that [^( store to registers and ]D< return values from registers, and treat the rest like brainfuck basically :P

  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh wait this is 54 bytes in Headass, i'll add it later \$\endgroup\$ Aug 24, 2022 at 20:00

Thunno, 14 bytes

7 2*J" bytes"+

Attempt This Online!


7 2*             # Push 7 * 2 (14)
    J            # Convert to string
     " bytes"    # Push the string " bytes"
             +   # Concatenate
                 # Implicit output

RProgN 2, 12 bytes

34*" bytes"+

Try it online!

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