Red Pill Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

Your writing, at its best

Compose bold, clear, mistake-free, writing with Grammarly's AI-powered writing assistant

If you’ve ever seen the 1999 science fiction action film The Matrix, then you’re probably familiar with the infamous scene where Morpheus offers the main character Neo (played by Keanu Reeves) either a blue pill or a red pill. 

The blue pill is thought to be synonymous with ignorance, but what exactly does the red pill mean? What happens if you take both?

You have questions, and we have answers. Read on to get the scoop on these interesting pills.

What Is the Definition of Red Pill?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the term red pill means to provide someone with information that allows them to view the world as it really is. 

It’s the concept that what is presented as truth by the corporate press is, in actuality, a carefully constructed narrative designed to keep certain people or governments in power — a concept that has seen common usage within the manosphere. 

The manosphere is a collective of men’s rights movement online communities, additionally known as the alt-right movement, which includes:

  • Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW)
  • PUAs (pick-up artists)
  • Involuntary celibates (incels)  
  • Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs)

So, what does red pill mean, you ask? Simply put, our word of the day refers to becoming enlightened to the truth about reality — especially a truth that’s difficult to accept or exposes disillusions. 

What Is the Origin of the Red Pill?

The red pill is a metaphorical meme used to describe the epiphany of the uncomfortable truth of reality in a large range of contexts — but where did this peculiar word originate from? 

The term red pill — as well as blue pill — comes from the 1999 sci-fi film The Matrix, wherein the main protagonist Neo is offered to take either a blue-colored pill or a red-colored pill. 

The rebel leader Morpheus tells Neo, “You take the blue pill and the story ends — you wake in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.” He says, “You take the red pill — you stay in Wonderland, and I show you just how deep the rabbit hole goes.”

Neo decides to take the red pill, which helps him to escape the matrix, ultimately revealing the world for what it really is — a fictitious construct of machines that have enslaved humanity. 

What Are the Synonyms and Antonyms of Red Pill?

According to WordHippo, red pill has only two synonyms: rabbit hole and looking glass. Our word of the day doesn’t have very many antonyms, either, other than “blue pill.”

How Can You Use Red Pill in a Sentence?

Now that you have a better understanding of “red pill,” let’s take a look at a few example sentences to see how you can use our word of the day in the real world:

There are quite a few conspiracy theories that have come from the blue pill and red pill scene in the science fiction film The Matrix.

When Elon Musk and Ivanka Trump tweeted about the red pill, Matrix co-director Lilly Wachowski instantly slapped them down.

I know what the red pill and blue pill are, but what is the black pill?

Some people think that the red pill is a reference to the Republican Party, but it’s not.

After reading an article in the New York Times about the red pill, I finally decided that it’s time to wake up and change my worldview.

Unfortunately, the red pill has become some kind of a symbol of white supremacy and misogyny. Why? Because bigots often mistake their own prejudices for inconvenient truths.

If Morpheus asked me, I would take the red pill over the blue pill any day.

Did you know that the metaphor of the red pill was adopted by the right-alt supporters of President Donald Trump back in 2016?

There are a ton of subreddits online about the red pill and blue pill, so if you’re looking for more information, I suggest starting there.

What Are Translations of Red Pill?

Wondering how to say red pill in a different language? We have you covered. Here are some common translations of red pill:

  • Afrikaans — rooi pil
  • Italian — pillola rossa
  • Japanese — 赤い丸薬
  • Korean — 빨간 알약
  • American English — red pill
  • Arabic — حبوب منع الحمل الحمراء
  • Czech — červená pilulka
  • Danish — rød pille
  • Finnish — punainen pilleri
  • Norwegian — rød pille
  • Polish — czerwona pigułka
  • Portugese — pílula vermelha
  • Russian — красная таблетка
  • French — pilule rouge
  • Vietnamese — viên thuốc màu đỏ
  • British English — red pill
  • German — rote Pille
  • Spanish — píldora roja
  • Swedish — rött piller
  • Thai — ยาเม็ดสีแดง
  • Turkish — kırmızı hap
  • Ukrainian — червона таблетка
  • Greek — κόκκινο χάπι
  • Dutch — rode pil
  • Bulgarian — червено хапче
  • Chinese (simplified) — 红色药丸


The word red pill — and its counterpart, blue pill — are popular social media terms that have become iconic symbols for the choice between the blissful ignorance of illusion (blue pill) and embracing the often painful truth of reality (red pill).

Originally introduced in the 1999 blockbuster film The Matrix, the term red pill has gained widespread usage among conspiracy theorists ever since it made its initial debut in which the protagonist was offered either a blue pill or a red pill.

Neo chooses the red pill and is illuminated as to the true nature of the Matrix, which keeps the inhabitants complacent in a mental prison in order to convert their bioelectrical energy into power for machine consumption.

In other words, the red pill is a metaphorical term used to describe the epiphany of the harsh truth of reality. 

Now that you know all about the red pill and blue pill, ask yourself — if you were to be given the choice, which pill would you take? 


RED PILL English Definition and Meaning |

RED PILL : definition | The Cambridge English Dictionary

What is another word for red pill? | The Word Hippo