Many people today -- as much as when these films were released -- feel bored and discontent with their lives and work. Desperate for escape, we build digital lives through the outlets provided by the Internet. Technology can be a great thing -- the Internet has revolutionized the world in ways beyond the imagination of those involved with its creation in 1983. When tech gets out of hand, or falls into the wrong hands, things can go horribly wrong. Much like themes we've seen in other movies, such as The Terminator, The Matrix trilogy asks bold questions about reality and authority. As such, it captivated fans in the first film's initial release in 1999.
The films also show the audience some intense action scenes, jaw dropping special effects, amazing writing and acting, and fabulous outfits. Unlike other action flicks, The Matrix goes incredibly deep into concepts of philosophy as well as technology. That, of course, is one of the reasons they are so memorable -- and so enjoyable to see people make light of through the use of memes! With countless Matrix related memes floating around, CBR saves you from getting lost by sharing some of the most outrageous Matrix memes we could find!
16 EXIT THROUGH THE PHONE BOOTH
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and The Matrix movies have a bit more in common than just starring Keanu Reeves -- they both explore some "far out" concepts about space, time and reality. Before there were cell phones, the only way mankind could communicate -- besides the post, homing pigeon, and signal fires -- were these archaic forms of technology known as “pay phones.”
The Matrix was created during the evolution of cell phones, and the phasing out of pay phones. So, both kinds of phones are present and utilized in the films. However, if a “redpill” or “operator” needs to escape the Matrix and back into the “real world,” they must use an analog pay phone, not a cell phone! This, of course, begs the question -- if there are no pay phones left for us to use, how do we escape the Matrix?
15 THERE IS NO SPOON
How do we know what is real versus what may be a grand illusion? They say "sage" figures understands this and can parse through the information to see the truth. Neo encounters an ultimate sage when he finds The Oracle for the first time (well, he thinks it’s his first time). We're talking about the unforgettable “Spoon Boy,” as he is so creatively dubbed in the film and script. “There is no spoon -- it is only yourself that bends.” It’s a pretty deep and beautiful moment in the movie.
This very depth of moment is why we find this meme so funny -- taking the non-literal and making it literal and material again... and then throwing in sad Keanu eating a sandwich; that old glorious internet chestnut. Poor Neo! Oh well, it doesn’t really matter anyway, since food isn’t real in the Matrix, along with flatware.
14 ARCHITECT LEVEL
In The Matrix Reloaded, we get a mind blowing explanation of Neo’s existence, and reality in general -- according to “The Architect.” The self-proclaimed creator of the Matrix, The Architect goes on to explain that Neo is “an anomaly” within his program; an anomaly that does not know it is an anomaly, and has been through this very plane of existence before --five times no less!
This could be considered a reference to more Buddhist concepts, such as reincarnation. It could also be taken as a reference for Game Theory -- that reality is somehow a program created by higher intelligence. Whatever interpretation the viewer takes, this meme certainly tickles the geek, gamer and Matrix lover in us all!
13 NET NEUTRALITY
Net neutrality is a pretty major issue that needs to be taken seriously. Some experts would argue it is one of the biggest problems facing our modern society today. Internet service should be unfavored in any way, so as to maintain a complete open source database equal to all. One could state internet neutrality is downright democratic and American and it’s silly it is even being argued about at all. But we digress...
We’ve been given lots of extreme images of what a lack of Net neutralization would look like with various memes and images. This meme presents us with a look at the ideal present in preserving net neutrality as much as possible -- using the “bad guy” Agent Smith to do so! Hmm, the bad guys fighting for the good side -- we feel like we’ve heard this somewhere before.
12 THE MATRIX: MARRIAGE EDITION
The sacred act of Holy Matrimony is a beautiful joining of two souls, for better or for worse. Two souls whose hearts beat as one, and love and cherish each other always -- at least this is what the romantic comedies tell us. Sometimes in relationships, we see the worst in each other -- which can be one of the biggest challenges of holding something like a marriage together.
Anyone who has been in a relationship has argued at some point or another, whether it is a sibling, parent, friend, or spouse. These things can sometimes go a little too far -- as demonstrated here! If only we had been “The Chosen One” like Neo when we had a tea kettle thrown at us that one time. We swear, it wasn’t our fault!
11 NEO AND MORPHEUS IN JOHN WICK
It just so happens that Keanu Reeves is in some our favorite action flicks -- A Scanner Darkly, The Matrix Trilogy (of course), and John Wick, to name a few. If you haven’t seen it yet, John Wick is a fun, burgeoning series of action movies featuring gorgeous cars, martial arts, spies, and Keanu. They are made even more a fan favorite because the sequel co-stars Laurence Fishburne -- so it’s kind of like seeing The Matrix again.
John Wick is a very similar character to Neo, but the slummy Bowery King played by Fishburne couldn’t be more different from the military spec clean Morpheus. It’s a good thing Bowery wasn’t the one Neo was sought out by in The Matrix -- that would have been a whole different story arc we’re not sure would have turned out the same way.
10 GLITCHES IN THE MATRIX
Deja vu is not only a phrase that rolls off the tongue, but something we’ve likely all experienced at least a few times in our lives. Defined by Merriam-Webster as “the feeling/illusion that one has seen or heard something before,” deja vu can be borderline creepy when felt deeply. It has been speculated about by many scientists and students of the mind, and despite their countless theories, none can truly explain the phenomena.
That's because deja vu is actually when someone is experiencing a glitch in the Matrix! That explains everything. What about when it comes to the breaking down of ideas spread on the internet -- such as memes? Can there be deja vu with digital information? That could be argued as a bit redundant, as that is sort of part of the point of The Matrix story!
9 DODGING FEELINGS
Many people fear intimacy, especially emotional attachment of any kind, because it can lead to getting hurt. Aww. We know, falling in love and getting your heart broken is one of the darkest places a human can go. But hey, while it may be painful sometimes, it's a normal part of growing up. In fact, experiencing and handling emotion is the very thing that makes us human. So it makes sense that a machine, like the Agent above, would be duckin' those feels with the quickness!
Maybe that was what motivated Neo to move so fast -- not the fear of death, but falling deeply in love with Trinity! Of course, even he wasn't fast (or loose) enough to dodge those feels. Although, some might say that he should have tried a little harder, given the way things turned out for the couple!
8 HAVE COOKIES ENABLED
The Oracle is one of the more endearing characters in The Matrix -- she is matronly and wise, but not afraid to dish out some tough love when needed. Ahh, the sweet smell of home baked cookies mingling with the enticing scent of smoke, just like when we were growing up and mom was home from the club! It makes us dewy eyed with nostalgia and longing just thinking about it.
Anyhow, back to the present -- if the Matrix is a digital representation of reality, like the internet, then it could be argued that “cookies” may be something that exist -- and not just the delicious chocolate chip kind. Maybe there is a reason The Oracle was baking cookies when Neo walked into her kitchen -- an internet Easter Egg?
7 MATRIXING LAWSUITS
In Hollywood and across industries, we are experiencing an awakening within our society concerning gender rights and sexual harassment in the workplace. It is unfortunate that so many seemingly great men have been taken down by their own poor actions, and that such behavior has been fostered for so long. We look forward to an age when this is all part of history class, like the racial and sexual revolutions of the ‘60s and ‘70s.
For now, we are going through the growing pains of developing as a culture, part of which is facing ourselves and seeing behavior for what it is, with no excuses. Thankfully, it appears that Keanu is a man of true character -- not only in the roles he plays, but in real life -- which this meme captures in a very endearing way!
6 I KNOW MELEE
Captain Falcon is considered the unofficial main character of the Nintendo Super NES video game series F-Zero. This futuristic racing game was first released in Japan in 1990, hitting the states about a year later. It’s a highly rated fan and industry favorite, and for good reason -- the game had revolutionary scenarios and forms of gameplay that helped propel the new NES platform towards success.
The game also has similar concepts in its story to The Matrix -- including the themes of an atrophied, bored society, surrounded by technology and seeking escape. Captain Falcon also appeared in Super Smash Brothers and Smash Brothers Melee; in the first, he was only available as an unlockable character, while in the latter he was made a default character. So there are multiple layers to this meme going on here and we love it!
5 XZIBIT-ING THE MATRIX
The Xzibit Pimp Your Ride” Yo Dawg” meme is one of the older ones floating around on the web. It is amazing to see it still being used and recycled so intensely after all these years (kind of like these Matrix memes). We’ve seen many incarnations of Xzhbit’s smiling face being plastered across memes starting from when it first went viral back in 2007 on good ol' 4chan.
Described as “one of the best memes ever,” we’ve spent lots of precious time laughing over them. Something that is interesting about this meme is that it's described as being “recursive.” Like a fractal, or MC Escher sketch -- it loops back upon itself. Neo’s experience within the Matrix appears to be “recursive” as well, which means this meeting of Xzibit and The Matrix about Matrices may be one of the best memes on the internet.
4 NICE SUIT
Despite the cheesy aspect to it, you've gotta give this costume company kudos for being utilitarian in its approach to concept and design! “Padre” by day, “Cyber Man” by night -- taking your prayers while stalking Neo and friends through the Matrix! CBR cannot substantiate if the supposed story behind this meme is actually true.
However, it would certainly turn our heads if someone came on a plane dressed like this! We would start to get paranoid, wondering if “they” were onto us, and start seeing multiple Agent Smiths everywhere. Hang on, our cell phone is ringing! We’re being instructed away from the Padre/Cyber Man by a mysterious, omniscient voice. Could this be Morpheus? Follow The White Rabbit and take the Red Pill -- got it!
3 REALITY VS FACEBOOK
Red Pill or Blue -- which would you take if given the same choice as Neo? We’re inclined to believe we would be brave enough to take the Red Pill, but it’s hard to say how one will behave in a certain situation until actually facing it. The possibilities of being faced with the Red vs. Blue Pill decision are about as high as the writers and directors who created The Matrix must have been while making it.
So, for now, all people can do is speculate, and make memes like this one! Comparing the Red Pill to IRL and the Blue Pill to Facebook and other forms of social media is an excellent way to visualize them. It can be far too easy to get swept up in our online lives and forget to live our physical lives away from the screen.
2 WHERE’S THE BATHROOM
Throughout the awesome, hospital-like interior of The Matrix, Neo maneuvers within its various innards. But we always wondered: where’s the bathroom? What happens if Neo or someone else has to stop and use the “loo” in the midst of all their rebellion and running? We’d imagine that could work up quite a bit of exertion, which could lead to the need for a restroom break at some point in this crazy journey.
Perhaps, that is something you don’t have to think about in The Matrix universe -- like eating. We aren’t sure, as “The Bathroom Issue” is never addressed by Matrix materials -- and we love how this meme so eloquently points that out! If anyone reading this happens to have an answer, please give the morbidly curious here at CBR a shout!
1 THE MATRIX IN REVERSE
When we first meet Neo, he is unhappy with his mundane life and work. Seeking escape through the digital world, he becomes a highly-skilled hacker. Neo is told by an anonymous online source to “follow The White Rabbit,” and behold, a woman shows up at his door with an Alice in Wonderland tattoo! Neo takes the Red Pill, and the rest is cinematic history.
The Matrix movies are some of our favorites -- full of action, jaw-dropping special effects, memorable plot points, and fascinating characters. We wouldn’t change them for anything. This meme had us rolling on the floor the first time we saw it, though, because it does make a valid point. What happens if you write The Matrix story-line in reverse? “A guy who leaves the drugs. Then he gets a job.”