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 show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Matrix 1 always got me confused at this point of the movie. This is how I understand the proposition given by Morpheus :

The blue pill

  • The story ends : the life the matrix invented for you ends.
  • You wake up in your bed : in the jelly tube
  • Believe whatever you want to believe : you are finally free to think for yourself

The Red Pills

  • You stay in Wonderland : you stay in the Matrix

Then Neo picks the red pill and I've always been puzzled as why is the red pill the one to get out and not the blue pills. I'd appreciate some enlightenement about this quote : Why is the blue pill the pill to leave the Matrix ?

  • I didn't get your question... Could you please clarify it a bit? – Stark07 Jun 16 '15 at 10:52
  • @Richard it woudl appear so, I missed that question. Thanks ! – WizLiz Jun 16 '15 at 11:39
  • wow, it is a good thing Neo was an English native speaker. I would have picked the wrong pill... – WoJ Jun 16 '15 at 12:29
  • @Richard Yes, definitely a dupe; I've VTC. Strange that we got these two questions so close together. – Null Jun 16 '15 at 13:33

Your interpretation is wrong. If you take the blue pill, "the story ends" means your chance to escape the Matrix ends, "you wake up in your bed" means you stay in your current (simulated) life, and "believe whatever you want to believe" means that you'll be closing your eyes to the actual truth. Whereas with the red pill, "you stay in Wonderland" means that you continue the process of escaping the Matrix that you've just begun.

  • 2
    Yes, Morpheus is fully aware that at this point Neo starts disbelieving his own eyes, hence the allegory as if the agents, the revolution and all things that don't belong to the monotone reality would just be a story that can either end with him waking up from this nightmare into his usual life or go deeper into the rabbit's hole to see even more incredible things. – zovits Jun 16 '15 at 13:20

I think you're misunderstanding "Wonderland". It's not simply a place that isn't real - it's a place that's more fantastical than reality, a place where rules don't apply and reality as you know it breaks down. In this film series the robot-infested, scorched-skies, plugging-into-computers, I-know-kung-fu real world is more unbelievable than the dull, rule-based Matrix.

Morpheus is making a parallel between Neo and Alice.

Neo begins his journey to Wonderland by paralleling the book - he follows a White Rabbit and goes on to meet a cast of characters who defy the rules of reality as he knows it. With this context in mind Morpheus's statement is much clearer.

The blue pill

  • The story ends: No more Wonderland - just like the end of the book, you'll be back in your old, predictable reality.
  • You wake up in your bed: the blue pill is implied to be a sedative. Neo, just like Alice, will wake up back in his normal "reality".
  • Believe whatever you want to believe: Neo will be free to make up whatever he wants to explain Morpheus and the events he has seen. Again, this parallels the book - perhaps it was all just a dream.

The red pill

You missed an important part of the quote here - the second part. For context, the first Chapter of Alice in Wonderland (in which she follows the rabbit and begins her journey to Wonderland) is called "Down the Rabbit Hole".

  • You stay in Wonderland: You stay in the world I am showing you, where things make no sense.
  • I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes: Neo continues in his journey, and Morpheus shows him just how crazy the real world really is.

Hopefully that makes things clearer?


You are correct about what the Blue Pill represents. You are incorrect about the Red Pill.

Both lead to Neo learning the truth. He is being presented the information as though it were a choice - it is not. Neo only has the illusion of free will.

  • I think this is something missed in the duplicate question as well; the series plays with the concepts of free will, choice, the illusion of choice, the comprehension of choice, and the idea that it didn't matter which pill he chose plays very much into that. Morpheus even interrupts Neo's "choice", saying 'Remember, all I'm offering is the truth, nothing more'. Both statements were true. Both pills lead to the truth, Neo has already chosen to seek it out. – Danikov Jun 16 '15 at 13:47

Red pill means awakening - that's what Morpheus means by Wonderland - life full of meaning in real world.

Blue pill means continued sleep - you go back to Matrix existence.

This is somewhat corroborated by the colours of the pills. Please note that red is very rare colour in the movies. And when it's in plenty - only when there's lots of blood. And please note again - there is not much blood overall (IIRC). Thus it may signify life and sacrifice, while blue denotes peace and servitude - according to medieval Christianity colour significance... (Christianity - because both names: Neo/Thomas Anderson have deep meaning in it)

  • in the medieval world, red also meant good things, heaven was a red colour, whereas blue meant night or dark,and I guess death. – gbjbaanb Jun 16 '15 at 13:46

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