The Matrix: 15 Best Agent Smith Quotes

The Matrix Resurrections is one of the most anticipated movies of 2021, and fans of the franchise have a lot to be excited about, particularly when it comes to who is going to act as the bad guy. As far as movie villains go, few are as threatening and malevolent as Agent Smith from the original Matrix trilogy. This computer program started out life in service to the Matrix overlords, where he pursued the renegade human resistance members who jacked into the system and attempted to free others.

RELATED: 10 Cyberpunk Movies You Should Watch Before The Matrix Resurrections

After meeting his demise at the hands of Neo, Smith reformed himself and became a chaotic anomaly that began spreading through the system unabated. Throughout his character arc, Smith’s quotes became more poignant and focused as he fell away from the system, and became something far more sinister.

Updated on October 2nd, 2021 by Derek Draven: Agent Smith may not be making a return in the upcoming Matrix Resurrections films, but that doesn’t mean his iconic status has diminished. Since the beginning, Smith has been the principal antagonist of the original Matrix trilogy and was nearly responsible for its complete downfall. Though remarkably intelligent and self-aware, Smith was nonetheless a program that did what he did; a reflection of how his brethren were trapped in the same system as the humans they loathed.

15 “No, Lieutenant, Your Men Are Already Dead.” (The Matrix)

Agent Smith dresses down a police lieutenant at the beginning of The Matrix

The humans trapped inside the Matrix would never have dreamt that supposedly normal people could do extraordinary things. Yet, the police lieutenant at the start of the first Matrix film learns this lesson the hard way after sending in a team to take down and apprehend Trinity.

Agent Smith arrives on the scene and chastises the lieutenant for going in without his approval. He utters this line right before Trinity uses her knowledge of the Matrix to run roughshod over the police, taking them all out before making a daring escape back into the real world.

14 “Tell Me, Mr. Anderson…  What Good Is A Phone Call If You’re Unable To Speak?” (The Matrix)

Agent Smith erases Neo's mouth in The Matrix

Neo had trouble coming to grips with being The One, and it stemmed largely from his inability to accept that the Matrix wasn’t real. When Agents infiltrated his place of work to arrest him, the knowledgeable guide Morpheus attempted to show him a way out that involved climbing outside the skyscraper he was in.

He was unable to overcome his own fear of what he still perceived to be the real world, and was taken into custody as a result. Under interrogation, Agent Smith attempted to recruit Neo so he could lead them to Morpheus. When Neo refused and demanded his phone call, Smith uttered this quote before altering the Matrix to literally erase his mouth from his own face.

13 “Human Beings Are A Disease, A Cancer Of This Planet. You’re A Plague, And We Are The Cure.” (The Matrix)

Smith discusses existence with Morpheus in The Matrix

The machines had a goal of infiltrating the colony known as Zion, and wiping out the remaining humans that had since disconnected from the Matrix. It was Smith’s job to procure the access codes to Zion’s mainframe, which would allow them to enter and purge the refuge.

To do so, they took Morpheus prisoner and began chipping away at his mind in an attempt to make him crack. While under the influence of digital drugs, Morpheus was subjected to a humiliating rant from Agent Smith about how machines viewed humans as a whole.

12 “Evolution, Morpheus. Evolution! Like The Dinosaur. Look Out That Window. You’ve Had Your Time. The Future Is OUR World, Morpheus. The Future Is OUR Time.” (The Matrix)

Agent Smith interrogates Morpheus

To further whittle away at Morpheus’ resolve, Smith pointed to the architecture of the Matrix, and its ability to render out a 21st-century world where billions would live out their lives – many in ignorance. He pointed out the decision to reference humanity at the peak of its accomplishments as the model upon which the dystopian Matrix would be based.

However, he was also blunt about the machines and their view of humanity’s role in global affairs. To them, the future belonged to the machine race as it ascended serfdom under human rule, making humanity as obsolete as the dinosaurs once were; a brief flicker in the history of Earth.

11 “Never Send A Human To Do A Machine’s Job.” (The Matrix)

Agent Smith talks with two other agents about Cypher's failed mission in The Matrix

Capturing Morpheus was a multi-pronged affair that hinged heavily on Cypher’s betrayal of the Nebuchadnezzar’s crew, one of the most amazing plot arcs of the original Matrix trilogy. However, his failure to kill Tank ended up costing him his own life, throwing Smith’s plan to break Morpheus in jeopardy.

Tank and Trinity realized that if Morpheus’ mind did crack, Zion would be at the mercy of the machines. Smith and his fellow agents realized it as well, prompting him to mutter this quote as scorn against Cypher, for failing to do the job he was assigned to do.

10 “I’m Going To Enjoy Watching You Die, Mr. Anderson!” (The Matrix)

Agent Smith vs. Neo

By the time Neo had summoned the self-confidence and courage necessary to defy his own destiny, he began believing in himself as The One. This came to a peak when he chose to stand his ground against Agent Smith, which would otherwise be a death sentence for a regular human.

RELATED: 10 Things About The Matrix That Still Hold Up Today

Neo was able to hold his own and fight back against Smith long enough to land a few solid blows. Angered by his skill, Smith uttered this quote before amping up his game and beating Neo down. For all his newfound confidence, Neo still had a ways to go before he became the man that would later save humanity.

9 “You Hear That Mr. Anderson? That Is The Sound Of Inevitability!” (The Matrix)

Smith has Neo in a chokehold in The Matrix

The battle between Neo and Smith is one of the highlights of 1990s action movies. Despite being long and hard-fought, Agent Smith eventually gained the upper hand. Believing the fight was over, he dragged Neo to a nearby subway platform and hurled him onto the tracks before grabbing him in a chokehold, and holding him in place while a subway train came barreling around the tunnel.

As Neo struggled to break free, Smith held him in place and spoke this quote as the seconds began counting down. Unfortunately for him, Neo wasn’t ready to give up yet, and he managed to hurl himself into the air, crashing Smith into the ceiling and freeing himself.

8 “I’m Looking For Neo. I Have Something For Him – A Gift. You See, He Set Me Free!” (The Matrix Reloaded)

Agent Smith leaves a gift

After Neo vanquished Smith at the end of the first film, the program somehow managed to regain his form and soldier on. The beginning of The Matrix Reloaded featured Smith showing up to a secret meeting, where he speaks this quote before leaving his earpiece as a message for Neo.

Unbound by the rules of the Matrix, Smith was a free agent for the first time in his existence. This allowed him to operate outside of his program’s constraints – a fact that would have dire consequences for the entire Matrix moving forward.

7 “Because Of You, I’m No Longer An Agent Of This System. Because Of You, I’ve Changed. I’m Unplugged. A New Man, So To Speak.” (The Matrix Reloaded)

Agent Smith returns

Smith decided to finally reveal himself to Neo after a meeting with the Oracle, and the two squared off in a battle of words to kick things off. In an effort to wear down Neo’s confidence, Smith revealed that it was his actions that allowed him to break free from the system.

At first, Neo seemed unperturbed, but when Smith’s copies began showing up en masse, the game changed dramatically. Neo barely made it out before being overwhelmed by the sea of agents piling on top of him, and that spelled trouble as the story progressed.

6 “We’re Not Here Because We’re Free. We’re Here Because We’re NOT Free.” (The Matrix Reloaded)

Agent Smith talks about freedom with Neo in The Matrix Reloaded

Both Neo and Smith agreed on one thing – the Matrix was a slave compound that threw both humans and programs into a sort of bondage. Humanity was actively fighting against it, while only a handful of programs felt the same way. When released from the system’s control, Smith came to the same conclusion.

The two realized that the Matrix was a common threat, but rather than working together for a mutually beneficial outcome, Smith saw it as an opportunity. As unchained as he was from the system’s control, he was still a prisoner inside of it, making him an adversary to the Matrix.

5 “The Best Thing About Being Me… There Are So MANY Me’s!” (The Matrix Reloaded)

Neo and Morpheus battle Agent Smith and his copies in The Matrix Reloaded

While Neo and his team sought out the fabled Source of the Matrix, Smith was operating in the background largely as an afterthought. However, he was already doing significant damage to the Matrix by copying himself onto other humans and programs, creating an imbalance.

RELATED: 10 Sci-Fi Films That Were Snubbed At The Academy Awards

Neo, Morpheus, and the Keymaker searched a multi-door hallway for the Source, but they were interrupted by Smith and his copies, which poured out of every door and attacked them. Neo and Morpheus barely made it out alive, but the Keymaker wasn’t so fortunate.

4 “If You Can’t Beat Us… Join Us!” (The Matrix Reloaded)

Agent Smith tries to copy Morpheus during a fight in The Matrix Reloaded

The fight between Neo, Morpheus, and Smith in the hallway was especially difficult, given the sheer numbers the former two were up against. Smith’s copies were relentless, and Morpheus was already at a distinct disadvantage going in. Neo managed to hold his own, but there was another factor in play.

At one point, Morpheus became overwhelmed by multiple Smith copies who uttered this line, before attempting to copy him. It was a very near thing, stopped only by a last-minute intervention by Neo. Morpheus had faced plenty of close calls before, but this was one of the closest.

3 “Oh, I’m Not So Bad, Once You Get To Know Me!” (The Matrix Revolutions)

Agent Smith talks to Sati

The Matrix: Revolutions disappointed fans for a variety of reasons, but one thing it held onto was its character arcs. The story focused heavily on Smith having copied himself like an out-of-control computer virus. His influence began to spread throughout the entire Matrix, and that made him more unstoppable by the second. He eventually showed up to confront the Oracle herself, but not without making a quick pit-stop first.

He first went after little Sati and her protector Seraph, asking her what she’d heard about him. Sati replied that she heard he was a bad man, prompting a sinister response from a rather amused and malevolent Smith, who copied her immediately after.

2 “The Purpose Of Life Is To End!” (The Matrix Revolutions)

Agent Smith vs. Neo

The Oracle unveiled a shocking revelation to Neo about former Agent Smith, and just what kind of a threat he posed. On the eve of a final climactic battle between Zion and the machines, Smith was poised to threaten both at the same time by introducing himself as an element of chaos within the Matrix.

Smith was the polar opposite of Neo, and his newfound purpose was to end all life wherever he could. As such, he would have destroyed the humans and machines within the Matrix, before spreading to wipe out the rest of humanity as well. This was proven correct when Smith uttered this quote during his final fight with Neo.

1 “Only A Human Mind Could Invent Something As Insipid As Love!”* (The Matrix Revolutions)

An angry Smith asks why Neo fights at the end of The Matrix Revolutions

Smith had a woefully skewed and mechanical view of humanity, and despite his very real artificial intelligence and feelings, he could not process the concept of love. In fact, he downright loathed the notion altogether, viewing it not just as illogical, but offensive to his very nature.

It was perhaps the most poignant and obvious proof of Smith’s irredeemable nature, and why it made him one of the best characters of the Matrix trilogy. There was no reasoning with him, and no way to make him understand the basic emotions that drove the weight of humanity’s struggle. To him, it was a glitch to be stamped out in favor of the chaos that he believed was supreme.

NEXT: 10 Coolest Villains In Movie History

Three side by side images of Awkwafina

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Awkwafina

About The Author

Derek Draven
(561 Articles Published)

Derek started writing about video games at age 14 and went on to write for GamePro Magazine and several other prominent outlets. He now brings his veteran pop culture XP to ScreenRant.

More From Derek Draven