The Oracle: “OK, now I’m supposed to say, “Hmm, that’s interesting, but…” then you say…”

Neo: “But what?

The Oracle: “But…you already know what I’m going to tell you.”

Neo: “I’m not the One.”

If Neo is essentially a predetermined program in the Matrix, why does the Oracle need to lie to Neo to get him to "become" the One on his own? Wouldn't he already possess the ability inherently?

EDIT: As Mithoron points out, yes Neo isn't actually a program in the Matrix, but what I meant was that the Architect in the Matrix Reloaded reveals that the One is a designed feature of the Matrix. So if Neo is the One, and while in the Matrix he has the abilities of the One, why does the Oracle feel the need to tell him that he isn't the One?

  • 3
    She told him the truth and Neo wasn't any program, just a guy who could become the One, like he did.
    – Mithoron
    Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 19:00
  • @Mithoron yes Neo isn't technically a program, but as we learn in the Matrix Reloaded, the concept of the One is a designed feature of the Matrix. So if the One is designed in the Matrix to be able to bend the rules, then why does she need to lie to him about it? Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 19:04
  • Well, ask yourself what would happen if he got uppity and didn't risk his life? When he actually got real powers?
    – Mithoron
    Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 19:10
  • 2
    check this movies.stackexchange.com/questions/35136/…
    – Luciano
    Commented Jul 22, 2021 at 9:03
  • 1
    Morpheus said Oracle will say what you want to hear.. that's all..
    – Vishwa
    Commented Jul 24, 2021 at 11:53

3 Answers 3


That's a great question actually, and the answer applies to real life as well! He wasn't the one by that time, because he didn't choose to, he didn't accept it yet. The further conversation reveals this:

The Oracle: I'm sorry kid. You got the gift. But it seems you're waiting for something.

Only at that moment when he decided to do what needed to be done, to do his part, when he started to believe in himself, at that moment he became who he was meant to be.

  • 1
    Don't forget her apparently throwaway line that comes next, after Neo asks what he's waiting for: "Your next life maybe, who knows?" And in fact he becomes the One only after he's gunned down by an agent.
    – Kyralessa
    Commented Oct 27, 2023 at 17:14

I always a see this scene as:

  • Neo is all-powerful but he don’t know it at that moment.
  • The Oracle is repeating same phrase in this scenario for 100th time, but she always expects one of two answers, the other answer is “I am the One”.
  • That’s why she poses it like that “you know what I am going to say”. Yes he knows, because he decides what she says. Just not yet realising it.

(As already mentioned by Kyralessa) She didn't lie. She was technically correct to say that Neo was "waiting for a new life". Neo essentially had to die and resurrect to transition to that.

  • What I told you was true, from a certain point of view... Commented Nov 1, 2023 at 13:39

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