life is good in the Matrix, and the character realizes that they were happier not knowing what they know now. Maybe they prefer madness to harsh reality. Or it could be that to them the false reality seems more real than the alternative, and it's impossible to tell the difference between what is real and what isn't. Who's to say that something isn't true, if they choose to believe it is? Often this is a Downer Ending as there's the sense that the character has made the wrong choice in choosing to stay in the fantasy rather than accept reality. In contrast, I Choose to Stay is usually a positive choice, and in those stories the "fantasy" is usually more real or more suited to the character than their original reality. Not to be confused with I Reject Your Reality, which is more about stubborness.
- Trope Namer is the movie The Matrix. Cypher sides with the machines because he prefers the Matrix to the After the End reality of earth.
- In the novel Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World the protagonist almost escapes from his Epiphanic Prison, but turns back at the last minute, choosing to stay in the town, basically commiting mental suicide.
- [[Lucien Mulholland]] of Mary Hoffman's City of Masks chooses the reality in his head to the one where [[he's dying cancer]].
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