Would Morpheus have had to force Neo to swallow the blue pill if Neo had refused the both of them?

  • 9
    They hold you down and shove the pill into your mouth
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 31, 2016 at 11:10
  • 36
    "Look, we teased you with cryptic clues and such just to get you out here so we could make this cool dramatic pill speech. We didn't have to do it this way, but some of us have a sense of drama. But fine, you don't want to play along? Then we'll just tell you. Your entire life is a computer sim run by robots after the world was nuked. We were going to ask you to help us, but now we don't want you. And you don't get the kindness of the comforting illusion, either. All because you didn't want to choose a pill. Enjoy your fake life, sucker." Commented Dec 31, 2016 at 14:04
  • 12
    format c: ................ Commented Dec 31, 2016 at 15:47
  • 9
    @DVK-in-Florida except the Matrix is clearly running some variant of Linux. "Earlier versions of the Matrix were designed to run on Windows... whole crops were lost."
    – Paul
    Commented Dec 31, 2016 at 16:59
  • 8
    And what if you snort both of them?
    – TRiG
    Commented Dec 31, 2016 at 20:09

4 Answers 4


Since it doesn't happen in the Matrix (or any related media), we can only speculate. The choices are relatively simple and we can assign a probability to each of them though.

  • They just let you walk out the door.

You've likely seen at least one safe-house and may have encountered vehicles used by the Zionese. You represent a distinct security risk for the entire time that you're with the redpills. This option seems vanishingly unlikely.

  • They hold you down and force-feed you a red pill.

Morpheus is very clear that taking the red pill must be (in his opinion) a conscious choice. On top of this, we know that attempting to wake someone who's unwilling tends to lead to their deaths. This option seems very unlikely

  • They kill you.

The Zionese don't tend to kill without good cause, but nor do they have a problem with killing bluepills when it serves the greater cause. This option seems moderately unlikely

  • They hold you down and force-feed you a blue pill.

The blue pill appears to be a common sedative. It may also have some impact on memory. This option seems to be the safest one for the Zionese and is probably the most likely.

  • Cool answer! Thanks for this :) Commented Dec 31, 2016 at 15:33
  • 2
    For the record, Switch would just kill you.
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 31, 2016 at 19:11
  • 2
    Add: the matrix kills you. The can't have someone aware walking around now can they?
    – WernerCD
    Commented Dec 31, 2016 at 22:39
  • @WernerCD Yes, a likely scenario would be getting terminated by the Matrix the moment he Zionese release you.
    – Mast
    Commented Jan 1, 2017 at 0:53
  • 1
    @Mast - That seems very very unlikely. The Agents would most likely just bug him again in the hopes that he'd make contact with Morpheus again in the future.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 1, 2017 at 1:00

Morpheus states clearly that he expects a choice:

"You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland and I'll show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes."

I assume if Neo would have refused to choose, Morpheus would have suggested to take the blue pill and continue his accustomed life. That would have probably included that he forgets they ever met. I don't see why they would have killed Neo. Even if Neo insisted on not picking any pill, I think they would have given him some time, maybe a day or two, to consider his decision.

Ultimately I think as most likely option, they would have forced him to take the blue pill.

  • 2
    Do you have any evidence to back up this assumption?
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Dec 31, 2016 at 19:20
  • 2
    Which part exactly you need evidence for? Generally it's a matter of interpretation as this scenario is fictive. I assume the blue pill would make him forget that he met Trinity and Morpheus for the simple fact that Morpheus tells him he can believe whatever he wants, if he takes the blue pill. They wouldn't give him that choice, risking Neo would remember the safe house and potentially reveal this information to an agent.
    – Raul
    Commented Dec 31, 2016 at 19:35
  • @RaulSebastian - We actually encounter a voluntary blue pill in the Matrix webcomic A Life Less Empty. There's no good indication that her memory of Morpheus has been wiped.
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 31, 2016 at 20:11
  • This kind of just disregards the question. What if Neo said "I don't do drugs!" and just refused?
    – Hack-R
    Commented Jan 1, 2017 at 14:49
  • Remember, at this point, Morpheus is absolutely certain Neo is "the One" - which he (presumably) can't possibly be if they force him to take the blue pill. So I guess so long as Morpheus is in charge and holds to this belief, they would either force him to take the red pill, tell him the truth without the "You have to see for yourself" nonsense and hope he then takes the red pill, or else they'd have to find a way to bring him into the group and accommodate his aversion to brightly coloured drugs proffered by strangers in abandoned buildings.
    – delinear
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 15:48

My interpretation of the scene is that the pills don't actually do anything, it's just a symbolic way for Neo to make the choice.

  • 6
    It's said in the film that the red pill is a tracking device, it helps us locate where you are in the real world, so that's not entirely true.
    – AStopher
    Commented Jan 1, 2017 at 9:37

Actually, this would be the ultimate choice - take none them.

From a philosophical point of view you might say by swallowing the red pill Neo replaces a constructed world (the matrix) with an other one.

So, the ground breaking insight at this point would be that Neo can not escape the matrix no matter which pill he takes.

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