red pill n.

a drug that reveals esp. unpleasant truths of the real world; cf. blue pill n.

Often fig. Now often associated with right-wing or men’s-rights political movements.


  • 1998 Wachowski & Wachowski The Matrix (shooting script, 29 Mar.) 29

    You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.

  • 2015 K. Slaughter Pretty Girls xxiv. 384 page image Karin Slaughter

    At some point, Claire had chosen to pull a Helen and stopped asking questions because she did not want to know the answers. There was no difference between the blue pill and the red pill. There were only degrees of suffering.

  • 2020 H. Kunzru Red Pill 171 Hari Kunzru bibliography

    So much of what he said had that particular tone, that suggestion of double meaning. Come inside or stay in the dark, as if he were about to initiate me into a mystery, offer me the red pill.

Last modified 2020-12-27 10:22:25
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.