Fridge / The Matrix

Fridge Brilliance

  • After my first viewing of The Matrix, I was wondering why the Oracle lied and told Neo he wasn't The One. I eventually hypothesized that she needed to lie to him so that the proper sequence of events could be set into motion. It was only upon a later viewing that I realized that her actual words, "Your next life, maybe. Who knows." were completely correct, since Neo had to die first before becoming The One. —Onigame
    The Oracle: Now here's the part where I go hmmm, aaahhh, interesting. And here's the part where you say...
    Neo: What?
    The Oracle: But you already know what I'm going to say.
    Neo: ... I'm not the One.
    The Oracle: Sorry, kid. You got the gift. No doubt about it. But it looks like you're waiting for something.
    Neo: For what?
    The Oracle: Your next life, maybe. Who knows.
    • For Trinity to love him. To give him purpose. And Neo doesn't fully become the One until after he's died. So he was waiting for his next life. - Saintheart
    • It also explores the theme of belief. Morpheus believes Neo is the one. Neo doesn't believe he's the one. Trinity comes to believe Neo is the one. It doesn't matter what Morpheus or Trinity believed, it matters what Neo believed. Trinity confessing her love and the Oracle's prediction finally allowed Neo to believe as he came back to life. Remember the Jump program? "Free your mind" indeed.
    • The Oracle told Neo that he isn't The One so that he would not set his own life over Morpheus' during a situation later in the movie where Morpheus is in danger. She needed Morpheus to live on, and knows Neo will only save him if he knows he is not the One: "Fuck it, might as well risk my life for this guy, The Oracle said I wasn't The One anyway". — Merzer
    • The Oracle doesn't tell Neo to choose either way, she lets Neo answer. If she had said either way, then she is telling Neo what he is and not letting Neo find out on his own, thus the whole reason for showing his "know thyself" in latin above the door. This is also the better way as it frames the choice Neo has to make for Morpheus (as the parent comment states).

  • Literally just realized that, in The Matrix, Agent Smith's story of how the first Matrix was a perfect reality but was rejected for the painful world exactly mirrors the Biblical story of the Garden of Eden and Adam/Eve's rejection of it. They, like the humans in the Matrix, were condemned to an imperfect world because they couldn't accept paradise. — Long Ranger 2

  • 'Neo' is an anagram of 'One' - How this didn't occur to me before now is anyone's guess.
    • Neo means 'new' and Anderson, Neo's name in the Matrix, is derived from the greek Ander, meaning 'man'. So he's basically "the new son of man".
      • Also:His first name, Thomas, is a reference to the Biblical "Doubting Thomas."
      • Also Also: Thomas is often translated as meaning "Twin". "Thomas Anderson" is the "Twin of the Son of Man."

  • This just struck me reading the Wham Line for the Matrix. Neo asks for his phone call, and Smith says "What good is a phone call if you're unable to speak?" Now you tell me, what are phones used for in the Matrix? It's got to be a deliberate parallel to how they use phones to exit the Matrix!
    • Presumably a telephone, in the Matrix, represents some sort of communication channel

  • When Morpheus and Neo are seemingly walking down the street together in what appears to be the Matrix, Neo is being jostled by everyone who passes, while Morpheus is not. Makes sense when you learn a minute later that they are in a training program; Morpheus has been in this simulation before, and knows exactly where to step.
    • It also shows how uneasy Neo is now that he sees through The Masquerade. He was perfectly at ease when he just felt something was wrong, but now that he knows, he doesn't feel like part of the system anymore.

  • Early on in the first movie, when Neo is being chewed out by his boss, the boss says: "You have a problem with authority, Mr. Anderson. You believe that you're special, that the rules don't apply to you. Obviously you are mistaken. This company is one of the top software companies in the world because every single employee understands that they are part of a whole. Thus, if an employee has a problem, the company has a problem. The time has come to make a choice, Mr. Anderson: Either you choose to be at your desk on time, from this day forth, or you choose to find yourself another job." Before you know about the existence of the Matrix, you'd think it was just standard angry boss lines. No. It's foreshadowing that Neo really is special and the rules don't apply to him.
    • Everything anyone in the Matrix says other than an Agent or someone who has been unplugged is foreshadowing. Remember the guy who bought the software from Neo. "Hallelujah. You're my savior, man. My own personal Jesus Christ." "I know. This never happened. You don't exist." "You need to unplug, man."
    • Even some things that Agents say are foreshadowing too. When Agent Smith is talking to Neo about his double life, he tells him, "One of these lives has a future...and the other does not." He was right about that; he was just wrong about which life had the future.

  • The Oracle is pretty much the embodiment of this trope. Everything from the first movie onwards keeps coming back to her.

  • Switch calls Neo "copper-top" early on, before being ejected out of the Matrix. Copper-top used to be the Catch Phrase for Duracell batteries, which Morpheus shows when he explains the Matrix.
    • If it's your first time seeing the movie, or you just don't get the Duracell reference, you could be forgiven for assuming that Switch was just hurling random insults at the naive civvie for being a pain in the ass. Actually, it goes deeper than that: it's Switch's way of saying that she thinks rumors about the One are just bullshit, and that the errand to recruit Neo into the Resistance is a waste of time. To her, he's just another one of the Machines' batteries, and that's all he'll ever be.
    • It's sort of a shame they didn't dye Keanu Reeves' hair red for the role.

  • In the first movie, Smith curb-stomps Morpheus. In the second movie, despite being unable to last two minutes against Smith, Morpheus takes on one of the upgraded Agents and does much better. So does Trinity, for that matter. This makes no sense...until you remember that Smith was already losing his shit in the first movie. While he was doing a better job of hiding it then, his anger at his situation was already driving him, giving him an edge over both the old and new Agents, who have no motivation of their own.
    • On top of that, Smith uses a more varied fighting style than the newer Agents. Why? Because the "upgrades" may be stronger and a bit faster or more used to the resistance's reality-bending fighting styles, but they sure as hell aren't more creative. After Smith went rogue, the Machines probably downgraded the Agents' initiative.
      • It could also be a result of less processing power, every person that was taken out of the matrix reduces available power for the Matrix's servers probably meaning less memory being free for non-essential parts of the matrix, hence the weakened ability of programs that haven't gone rogue since they would be limited in how much memory can be allocated to their functions. And with Neo having become the one, that would be a massive drop in power.

  • In the subway fight in the first movie Neo managed to execute a specific trick, which resulted in him hitting Agent Smith right in the neck. But when he attempts the same on Agent Johnson, he performs a block, indicating that this particular flaw has been fixed.
    • Indeed, but remember Neo even addresses the agents as upgrades after they make that specific block.
      • Except Smith wasn't plugged into the Matrix at that point (or however the Agents are connected), and was a rogue. Unless— Smith ate an agent that had been upgraded and stole the upgrades for himself.

  • I think it's fairly well established that the One is a blatant Expy of Jesus Christ, but this is not because the Wachowski Brothers ripped off the Bible, but the Machines did. Think about it - religion is one of if not the most long-lasting complex memes; of course they'd use it as the basis for their control scheme.
    • Actually, the most long lasting complex meme the machines ripped off is the Hero's Journey. The One is not just Jesus, he's Gilgamesh, Apollo, Ramayana, Buddha, Luke, Frodo, etc. etc.
      • My head just exploded.

  • You remember thinking how people as energy source does go against everything you learned about Physics? Well, where do you get your Physics from? Rule one of Science: How do you know what you know? Because you learned it in school, in the Matrix. Everyone thinks it is so, in the Matrix. Also you can test it, in the Matrix. Well people, Computer Simulations run on mathematics, I can't say the same about the universe.
    • Even if perpetual motion machines are possible in the really Real World outside the Matrix, there are still better options than using humans. Cows (and an endless simulated sea of grass) are often mentioned. Face it, the original idea (pre-Executive Meddling) was just better, though slightly harder for Joe Bluepill to understand.
    • Assuming that our world is the "real world" in the movie, I can say this: The universe shows a incredibly great predisposition for Mathematics. If our world is the Matrix, then *shrug*
    • There is a simpler explanation. Others have said that humans provided the processing power for the Matrix with their brains. But what is the energy source for the brains upon which the Matrix relies for processing power? Humans.
      • Humans aren't an "energy source" unless you pile them up and burn them, and they're not a very good one then. You eat food, don't you? Food, of which a relatively small fraction ends up as a relatively permanent part of your body's structure; the rest you use to power your life functions and eventually radiate as waste heat, which is why your body runs at a temperature so much higher than ambient.
      • Expanding on that: The "power source" explanation, for why humans are installed in the Matrix, has never made sense, and I think is best understood as an artifact of the general ignorance likely endemic in the machines' new dark age; the only way to take any energy at all off a running human body, for use in powering other processes, is as heat, and that's both vastly inefficient — you'd get more heat by just burning the food directly than by dumping it into a human body — and inconsistent with the atrophied state of newly disconnected humans — a human body generates maximum waste heat during strenuous exercise, which would lead to muscle development. The "brains as processors" hypothesis, conversely, is consistent with all observed facts regarding the state of Matrix-installed humans, leaving only the question of why the machines bother keeping any humans alive in the first place, but presumably that's either addressed later in the series or ignored as part of the later films' general disintegration into trivial allegory.

  • The whole "humans as batteries" thing left me perplexed at first, and I was quick to dismiss it as a goof or the result of Executive Meddling. Then I realized that the fact that it does not follow the laws of thermodynamics may have been intentional! The laws of thermodynamics we know are valid within the Matrix; in the real world, they may be entirely different! This would also explain how the entire Neb crew does not freeze to death, nor does the vapor they breathe out condense into fog, when they are forced to abandon the ship before it blows up and they walk around an environment that has not received any heat for centuries: because thermodynamics works differently in the real world than it does in the Matrix.
    • The Earth receives heat from the Sun, even during "nuclear winter" conditions; even a largely opaque atmosphere can only reflect so much. Between that, waste heat from the gigantic machines girdling the planet, any functioning leftovers of human infrastructure, and the planet's quite ample geothermal heat, it's plausible that deeply buried tunnels would be warm enough for breath not to condense. (Also, where was it suggested that the movie's audience was made up of Matrix inhabitants?)

  • In the first film, I wondered why the Sentinels didn't kill off the remaining crew of the Neb right away, instead dilly-dallying around as they did long enough for the humans to set off the EMP. I watched the entire trilogy the other day and it just now hit me: The Machines had set up Neo to be The Chosen One and repopulate the Matrix, so they were unable to kill off everyone on the Nebuchadnezzar; they were maybe even becoming confused and unable to act due to a lack of instructions/instructions against action when they got inside the ship.

  • All the scenes filmed inside the Matrix have a green-ish hue. Just like the green Matrix Raining Code.
    • This tint also makes the rain during the scene under the bridge look like falling code.

  • When still inside the Matrix, Neo is contacted through his computer by Morpheus who tells him to "Follow the White Rabbit." When Choi and Dujour (and friends) visit Neo soon after that, we find out that the "White Rabbit" is represented by a tattoo on Dujour's shoulder. When Neo tells Choi that he's late, Choi says "I know. It's her fault," blaming it on Dujour ... the White Rabbit ... As in "I'm late! I'm late for a very important date!"

  • It's a measure of how good the Wachowskis are at establishing a visual metaphor - especially for a viewer who comes to the movies with a little Genre Savvy - that when Agent Smith casually removes his earpiece to talk to Morpheus off-the-record without Agents Brown and Jones knowing, This Troper sat bolt upright and whispered, "wait, can he do that?" A seemingly mundane action has vast implications for what this particular program is capable of.

  • The exact time period inside the Matrix (i.e. Is it always 1999?) has been a subject of debate among fans for a while, with many people raising the question of why the Machines specifically chose the year 1999 for their simulation. Agent Smith seems to think that it's because the end of the 20th century was "the peak of human civilization" (which is debatable), but it was also the last period before the internet took off and became a major presence in human life. The internet would make it much harder to safeguard the truth about the Matrix, since people all around the world could openly discuss the world's apparent artificiality.

  • The old question of "Where do babies in the Matrix come from?" is utterly trivial. Humans are known to interact directly through the medium of the Matrix. Humans are also known to have physical bodies outside the Matrix. When two humans conceive, their gametes are combined in vitro and the resulting zygote implanted in the female of the pair, by means of techniques developed by trivial extension of those known to modern medical science as in-vitro fertilization. From there, gestation and parturition proceed as they ordinarily would, and the pregnant woman's sensorium is extended to include whatever information is necessary for verisimilitude; a woman pregnant in the Matrix is also pregnant outside the Matrix, and her mediated sensorium feels pregnant either because the sensations of her physical body are being piped to her mind, or the Matrix is synthesizing a suitable equivalent accurate to her physical situation. Once birthed, the newborn is removed from its mother's pod and installed in a vacant one, and the relationship proceeds again as it would outside the Matrix, subject to the Matrix's usual mediation of all parties' sensoria. (For example, if the newborn is surplus to the machines' requirements, perhaps it's euthanized and reprocessed as feedstock, while the parents observe their infant dying by accident or illness.)
    • Oh, well, I mean, sure, you could take at face value all that nonsense about robot baby farms, if you're untroubled by the trivially obvious implication that the machines are blatantly stupid — there is no other adequate adjective to describe the choice of such an incredibly wasteful and failure-prone technique as that depicted over Morpheus' narration, when there's a much cheaper and more reliable alternative available, one which has stood the test of millions upon millions of years worth of time, and which also offers the not inconsiderable benefit of greatly enhanced verisimilitude. The only evidence of robot baby farms is Morpheus, early in the first movie, saying that they exist; I don't assume he was wrong, or lying, but it's quite possible that the robot baby farms, like the "Garden of Eden" initial design for the Matrix's user interface, were merely one of possibly very many failed experiments which informed the Matrix's evolution.

  • The two cities are never directly mentioned together in the same sentence at any point in the series, but at some point you realize that the Humans and the Machines both live in single cities called "Zion" and "Zero One". When written out, the two names actually look surprisingly similar: both begin with a "Z" sound and end with an "N" sound, and the middle two letters of the word "Zion" ("I" and "O") actually look like "1" and "0". This subtly hints at the recurring idea that Humans and Machines are really Not So Different.

  • The Agents look a lot like The Men in Black. Now, imagine how their job must look to anyone in the Matrix: they cover up unusual events (vampires, werewolves, aliens, freaking super humans) to keep you from learning the truth. They are The Men in Black.

Fridge Horror

  • Cypher asks to be returned to the Matrix as "someone important, maybe an actor" and doesn't want to remember anything. Smith assures "Mr. Reagan" that this will happen. This seems like just a throwaway joke until you remember that, by 1999 (the year being observed in the Matrix), Ronald Reagan was in the throes of Alzheimer's disease.
    • HOLY SHIT! There's more to it than that! Smith called him Reagan BEFORE Cypher told him he wanted to be famous and important; therefore, upon striking the deal, the Machines must have altered the records of their "1999"'s past, giving EVERYONE (except for Redpills and Exiles, who wouldn't care anyway) false memories of Cypher having been a Hollywood actor and a president - and all he really received for his betrayal was the "remember nothing" part.

  • Here's some Fridge Horror: I was thinking about what happens to people taken over by Agents that don't get killed by the protagonists. Which, after all, was unheard of before the events of the trilogy. Since Agents revert upon death to the people they took over, they really are hijacking their simulated bodies rather than just replacing them, and they would presumably leave when they're done. So imagine you get bodysnatched by an Agent who either loses their prey or succeeds in killing them; you come to in a strange place, possibly in the company of a dead body (and forensic evidence might support the conclusion that you killed them, but then again it might not), and you have no idea how you got there or what you've been doing in the missing time. You might have nonfatal injuries as well if the rebel managed to hurt the Agent before escaping/dying. For the ones who don't wake up at the scene of a crime, this could explain alien abductions.
    • Could explain how people have blackouts sometimes and why certain people go missing without a trace; since the Agents are so hard to kill, it stands to reason that they would inhabit the same body long enough for the original person to become a cold case. - Ze Mogan
    • Unless the unfortunate bluepills are aware of what's happening and stuck in And I Must Scream while the Agent chases the redpills down, anyway, which is even worse.
      • YMMV. Being unable to control your body for a certain time, but at the same time performing superhuman feats and eventually learning mindboggling secrets would still be pretty awesome.
      • Which is exactly why a person "possessed" by an Agent would be permitted neither to perceive nor to remember it. There are lots of mundane ways in which such "missing time", &c., could be explained; allowing Matrix inhabitants to become aware of Agent possession would all but guarantee at least a few of them would become aware of the simulation, with potentially disastrous results.
    • Presumably the Agents have some sort of neutral body they can return to, allowing them to return the shanghaied body and ensure the system continues running as designed.
      • Why assume they need inhabit any body, except when they need a Matrix avatar? Smith, in the first movie, spoke of wanting to leave the Matrix, which would be impossible if he couldn't exist outside a Matrix avatar.

  • Imagine if two people were having sex, when suddenly the female morphs into an Agent.
    • Eh. Some people are into that.
    • And it's not all that likely, either. Agents possess Matrix inhabitants' avatars when they need a body for tactical reasons; having to disentangle a body in the midst of coitus imposes a certain degree of encumbrance, and probably wouldn't be worth it unless there's really no one else around.
    • Imagine they BOTH morphed into Agents'. Imagine blacking out in the middle of getting some then waking up naked with either, your' partner, also naked, in the middle of a strange place or your partners' Corpse!

  • There are no cats, maybe even no animals in the matrix. Like the scene A Glitch in the Matrix shows, the cat is just part of the background program. When that program was reset, so was the cat.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Fridge/TheMatrix