This is the scene I'm referring to. Right after Morpheus calls Neo and Neo gets captured while trying to escape the Agents at his office building, we see Neo in an interrogation room with Agent Smith. He (somehow) makes Neo's mouth close, and releases a rather disgusting robotic insect that crawls into Neo's belly button. Neo then wakes up, as if from a dream, in his bed at home.

We assume that Neo getting kidnapped is "real" (that is, taking place within Neo's Matrix reality, and not occurring within a dream of his) because we see Trinity outside of the office building as Neo is getting shoved into a car by the Agents. She's clearly worried that he's getting kidnapped, but the only person that notices her is Agent Smith (and not Neo).

If this was a dream (and then the next scene in the dream is the interrogation and Neo waking up), then why the scene with Trinity? Was Neo really dreaming in such detail that Trinity sighed with exasperation from afar as he was being taken away?

But if this wasn't a dream, then what is Neo waking up from? Or did the interrogation even happen? So confused!

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    Well there's also the fact that they pull the robobug out of him later in the movie. That would seem to suggest the scene was "real" Commented Jun 21, 2015 at 4:26
  • @JasonBaker But then, what happens in between bug-crawling-into-belly-button and Neo waking up in his bed? Commented Jun 21, 2015 at 4:29
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    We know the agents can change the Matrix in real-time. My interpretation was that they knocked him out, removed any "physical" damage caused by the insertion, and let him wake up in his apartment. Neo convinces himself from a dream because of course he did; wouldn't you? Commented Jun 21, 2015 at 4:33
  • Hi. I note you haven't accepted any answers for this question yet. If my answer addresses the question, would you please consider answering it for future viewers? If not, please let me know where I can improve it! Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 6:41
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    Smith gave him a blue pill... then he woke up in his bed, free to believe anything he wanted.
    – user11521
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 1:26

1 Answer 1


No - Neo was not dreaming

The fact that slightly later on in the film when Neo is taken by the Redpills when driving in the car and the bug is actually removed shows that this probably was a real experience (real in the sense that it happened in The Matrix)*.

As pointed out by Jason Baker, it is possible for the Agents to change the Matrix in real time, explaining how Neo's mouth could be 'removed'. This is supported slightly by the Matrix Wiki where the page on Agents explains the following:

Agents possess extraordinary powers to manipulate their surroundings

Now, although they have limitations, considering their function is to:

eliminate anyone or anything that could potentially reveal the truth of the Matrix to its inhabitants or cause harm to its system

and the fact that they can take-over anybody within the Matrix to achieve that end, it is quite reasonable to expect that they had the power to manipulate an individual's physical (well in the Matrix at least) make-up. It is important to remember that Neo at this time wasn't a Redpill, but a Bluepill, so the effects of the Matrix were still very real to him.

*If you take the view that all the events that occur within the Matrix aren't real, but are like dreams then, yes, Neo was dreaming when that occurred, but for the purposes of this answer it is assumed that actions within the Matrix are not considered to be dreams

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    Also it's fairly easy for them to make it look like it was a dream within the Matrix. They put the bug, knock him out, put him in his home, and make it seem to him like he was just waking up...
    – Stark07
    Commented Jun 21, 2015 at 4:55
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    I'd also add that the bug was the representation or manifestation of a code to act as an electronic bug. They could have made it a piece of cake (see Matrix 2) or anything else they wanted. They made the electronic bug unpleasant because they are nasty SOBs. Or because the Agents aren't coded to be particularly creative. Whichever you prefer, I suppose.
    – Broklynite
    Commented Jun 21, 2015 at 10:52
  • This question was posted after I went to bed so this time you beat me to it. +1 in return.
    – Null
    Commented Jun 21, 2015 at 16:35

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