In the movie The Matrix, after Neo ambushes the high-military facility and goes into the lift with Trinity, he plants the charges inside the lift, goes on top of the lift, and while Trinity hangs onto him, he grabs hold of the lift cable, points the gun to the end of the cable, looks up, and says: "There is no spoon"

What was implied there?

No Spoon Neo

  • Isn't this a reference to one of the stories in Animatrix? Nov 19, 2014 at 22:31
  • 9
    He might have just been pointing out that there wasn’t a spoon up in the lift shaft. May 11, 2015 at 10:47

3 Answers 3


He's referencing what one of the potentials at the Oracle said to him earlier in the film.

Do not try to bend the spoon — that's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth: there is no spoon.

It's the idea that The Matrix is all just an elaborate illusion, and can be controlled by a wilful mind - just as the potential (and Neo) warped the representation of a spoon at the Oracle's home, Neo then warps "reality" to rescue Morpheus and then fight the agents.

  • 18
    Well furthermore Neo asks how, to which she replies: Do not try to bend the spoon — that's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth: there is no spoon.
    – rickyduck
    Dec 18, 2012 at 10:54
  • 3
    You are misquoting, rickyduck has the text correct but it was one of the other potential "the one"s that said it (and I am pretty sure it was a boy talking but it can be hard to tell with a shaved head pre-pubecent child), not the Oracle. Dec 18, 2012 at 16:04
  • 5
    yeah, it was a boy, and it was a potential
    – HorusKol
    Dec 18, 2012 at 23:01
  • @ScottChamberlain Who is misquoting? What are they misquoting? Jun 24, 2015 at 0:32
  • @Mr.Beatitude rickyduck was misquoting. He was saying the Oracle said Do not try to bend the spoon — that's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth: there is no spoon. but the Oracle did not say that it was one of the other potentials (a male child dressed as a Buddhist monk). Jun 24, 2015 at 2:03

To add on to what HorusKol said, I think the reason Neo chooses to say it out loud is to psych himself up.

He is about to send himself hurtling upwards while at the same time blowing up an elevator shaft, so he's just reminding himself that what he's doing is not impossible... just a choice.


The concept of Lucid Dreaming fits well within the framework of The Matrix. Many times other characters refer to The Matrix as a dream from which you cannot wake:

Morpheus: Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?

However a lucid dream is a dream in which one is aware that one is dreaming:

In a lucid dream, the dreamer may be able to exert some degree of control over their participation within the dream or be able to manipulate their imaginary experiences in the dream environment.

Thus the truth that 'Spoon Boy' is reinforcing for Neo is that he is in a dream and that he only needs to truly comprehend this in order to become lucid.

Spoon boy: Then you'll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.

Thus when Neo repeats this mantra to himself he is reminding himself that it it is only his awareness of being in a dream that matters.

This also functions as part of the plot which falls readily into the pattern of the hero's journey:

the hero begins in the ordinary world, and receives a call to enter an unknown world of strange powers and events. The hero who accepts the call to enter this strange world must face tasks and trials, either alone or with assistance. In the most intense versions of the narrative, the hero must survive a severe challenge, often with help. If the hero survives, he may achieve a great gift or "boon."

The concept of being within a dream, awakening from it, and finally gaining control over it is shown throughout the film.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.