Created By: moocow1452 on May 18, 2010
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A Glitch in The Matrix

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When one enters a Lotus-Eater Machine, an explicit part of the trope is that the world is composed of one's mind, like a completely lucid dream. So naturally, details don't transfer over well. So, if one sees a salt shaker disappear where you could have sworn you saw one, someone's shadow doesn't look quite right, or people are just plain acting out of character, you know that something's up...

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Community Feedback Replies: 28
  • May 14, 2010
    muskie
    There's an episode of Batman The Animated Series that had scarecrow trap Bats in a Lotus Eater Machine / Lucid dream. The way he realised he was dreaming was that the newspaper he was reading was gibberish. After all, even Batman (better trope title), Cant Read In Dreams..
  • May 14, 2010
    Shrikesnest
    I think the best title would be A Glitch In The Matrix. At least, that's what I hear it referred to as all the time.
  • May 14, 2010
    muskie
    Dang, i was just gonna suggest Glitch In The Matrix as well..
  • May 14, 2010
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    Neo: Whoa. Weird.
    Trinity: What?
    Neo: I just saw a black cat walk by. And then a second later, another one just like it.
    Trinity: ... Was it the same black cat?

  • May 14, 2010
    STUART
    Truth In Television: Next time you think you're dreaming, pinch your nostrils shut. If you're still breathing, you're right.
  • May 15, 2010
    moocow1452
    • Kids Next Door has Numbuh 1 catch on because Numbuh 4 is at a pool party, but cannot swim.
    • A couple of the The Animatrix stories are built around this, most notably Beyond.
  • May 15, 2010
    RawPower
    In Gurren Lagann, a couple of these (and the help of one dead guy) allow Simon and Yoko to realize what's going on. It's one of the most tragic parts of the series.
  • May 15, 2010
    Arutema
    • In the Digital Graphic Novel re-telling of Metal Gear Solid, Snake sees Ocelot with two arms (after the Cyborg Ninja cut off his right arm) and realizes he's in a Psycho Mantis-induced hallucination.
  • May 15, 2010
    Kayube
    In the Star Trek The Next Generation episode "Ship in a Bottle", somebody (I think Data) realizes that the ship is a holodeck program because Geordi is left-handed in the program, right-handed in real life.
  • May 15, 2010
    Unknown%20Troper
    In a Deep Space Nine episode, Dr. Bashir also realizes that he's in a hologram when "O'Brien" doesn't correctly know how he injured his arm. From this, he realizes that Sloan from Section 31 is playing tricks on him.
  • May 16, 2010
    halfmillennium
    Referenced in Red Dwarf. After realising they crew are in an AR simulation, Kryten uses the fact that Cat was able to solve a cryptic clue as proof of that.
  • May 16, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Farscape had two.

    "A Human Reaction"- the aliens can only recreate people and environments that John Crichton has seen before. Once he realizes that everything and everyone in the Lotus Eater Machine of the week is familiar to him, a trip to the ladies' room brings the illusion crashing down.

    "Won't Get Fooled Again"- This time Crichton has wised up, and knows it's a hallucination, but the ladies bathroom trick doesn't work. He first realizes that Harvey, Scorpius's neural clone, isn't part of the illusion. Harvey alerts him to the fact that he is a prisoner of the Scarrans, whose intense body heat John can feel through the illusion. The hot flashes therefor function in this episode as "Matrix Glitches."
  • May 17, 2010
    Arivne
    Literature
    • Robert Heinlein's short story "They". A man realizes that something is wrong with the world when it's raining when he's outside his house, but when he goes upstairs and looks through a window it's clear and sunny.
  • May 17, 2010
    Bisected8
    @Paradisca Corbasi: The actual line is "woah, deja vu"
  • May 18, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Yep. As Trinity explains, "A deja vu is usually a glitch in the Matrix. It happens when they change something."
  • May 18, 2010
    BlackMageJ
    In Lois And Clark, Clark realises he's in a virtual reality after noticing that the crowds are made up of only a few different people, repeated over and over.
  • May 18, 2010
    Arivne
    Live Action TV
  • May 18, 2010
    foxley
    In a XXXenophile story, Orgasm Lass realises she is trapped in a virtual reality because the AI only has enough processing power to animate one person at a time. Whenever she is 'interacting' (If You Know What I Mean) with one of the two villains in the scene, the other is frozen.
  • May 20, 2010
    moocow1452
    We ready to go?
  • May 20, 2010
    FalconPain
    This is a game mechanic in Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box. You can take photographs of areas and find small discrepancies between the picture and the area in front of you. These discrepancies are evidence that you're having a gas-addled hallucination.
  • May 21, 2010
    moocow1452
    Anyone want to launch this puppy?
  • May 22, 2010
    Lysythe
    Batman does this a lot. He realised he was being trapped when his sixty-year-old body was sending his brain the signals of a thirtyish-year-old and got the JLA out of the machine as a result.
  • May 22, 2010
    Servbot
    Fate in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's realizes almost immediately that she's trapped in a Lotus Eater Machine since her dream had her living happily with her older sister Alicia, a detail that simply couldn't be because Fate is Alicia's clone, specifically created by her mother as a Replacement Goldfish after Alicia died.
  • May 22, 2010
    Dinsdale
    Doctor Who: Donna realises that her perfect life is just an illusion when it's pointed out to her that there's only two children in this world, repeated over and over.
  • May 22, 2010
    Kayube
    Similar to the Professor Layton example, in Metal Gear Solid Mobile there are blue bug icons in various places in the game that you can take pictures of with the camera, that disappear after you take the picture (you get a reward for finding them all). It turns out that the mission is a computer simulation created by the Patriots.
  • May 22, 2010
    ThePocket
  • May 22, 2010
    Dcoetzee
  • May 24, 2010
    moocow1452
    Launching tomorrow, last call.
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