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Foreshadowing We Missed In 'The Matrix' Movies

Updated August 21, 2019 3.2k votes 534 voters 61.7k views13 items

List RulesVote up the subtle details you can't believe you missed.

The Wachowskis embedded so many layers of symbolism into their cult film trilogy, people are still uncovering secrets in the Matrix movies decades later. The first installment - released in 1999 - is particularly rife with Easter eggs; visual, verbal, and audible clues all hint at themes and key plot points from the second and third films in the trilogy.

These secrets are buried with mixed degrees of subtlety. Christian allegories are laid thick, from biblical-inspired names like Trinity, the Nebuchadnezzar ship, and the human city of Zion, to Neo basically becoming Jesus in a trench coat (his journey of death, rebirth, and acquiring miraculous powers parallels the son of God's). If that isn't enough Matrix fan theory fodder, Neo's status as "the One" is also hinted at from the very start, since his name is an anagram of the word.

While you might have picked up on some of the more obvious homages (like when Trinity tells Neo to "follow the white rabbit,") there's lots of other foreshadowing you probably missed in The Matrix.    

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  • 1

    A Soapy Window Alludes To The Matrix Code

    As Neo's boss chastises the hero for being late to work in the first movie, he looks over at the office window which is covered in specks of soap. The suds are then wiped away by a window cleaner to reveal a clearer view of the room. Many astute viewers reckon - as nothing in these movies happens by chance - the soap pattern on the window represents the scrawling green lines of code Neo's world is secretly constructed out of.

    Redditor /u/VonAether also pointed out, "the sound effect used for the squeegee on the window was used again later when Neo was getting sucked out of his pod in the power plant, hinting that even early in the movie he's trying to wake up."

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  • 2

    The Oracle Tells Neo He's Waiting For His Next Life

    For the most part, Oracle speaks in too many riddles for viewers to get a grip on future hints she might be dropping. This exchange, however, takes place when Neo first meets her, and it's pretty explicit:

    Oracle: "Sorry kid, it looks like you've got the gift but it looks like you're waiting for something."

    Neo: "What?"

    Oracle: "Your next life maybe, who knows."

    Viewers don't learn the significance of Oracle's last comment until Neo reaches the Architect at the end of The Matrix: Reloaded. Once he arrives, the Architect reveals several versions of the Matrix have existed before, complete with multiple variants of Neo.

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  • 3

    Neo Owns A Book Called 'Simulacra & Simulation'

    During the scene in which Neo hands off a computer file to Choi, eagle-eyed viewers can make out the title of the hollowed-out book Neo hides his contraband in, Simulacra & Simulation. This alone is an obvious peek behind the digital veil of the world he currently lives in, but it's also an academic reference. 

    The book is real, written by French philosopher Jean Baudrillard, with the title referring to Baudrillard's theory that the modern world has become a "hyperreality" in which it's increasingly hard to distinguish the real from the virtual. To vastly oversimplify a complex idea, this is basically how humans experience the internet. Morpheus even quotes Baudrillard later on when he describes the Matrix as a "desert of the real."

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  • 4

    Neo Is Told He Needs To "Unplug" To Relax

    Neo Is Told He Needs To "Unplug" To Relax
    Video: YouTube

    Upon one's first viewing, this line from Neo's client Choi sounds completely innocuous. "Hey, it just sounds to me like you might need to unplug, man."

    Once Neo's situation becomes clear however, Choi's use of the word "unplug" sticks out as obvious foreshadowing, since Neo later literally unplugs himself to see what the real world looks like.

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