Based and redpilled is an online expression, combining the slang terms “based” which describes a solid, agreeable argument and “redpilled” which is a word used to describe individuals who have “woke” to an uncomfortable and harsh reality, possessing knowledge of something obscure.
The phrase is predominantly used for praising controversial people, especially on 4chan’s /pol board.
Both components of “based and redpilled” have been used on 4chan for quite a while, with “based” having been adopted from rap artist Lil B in 2010 and “redpilled” being a reference to The Matrix where the red pill reveals the devastating truth to individuals.
One early occurrence of the combined phrase comes from a 2013 comment on a thread of 4chan’s /pol board where users were praising Kanye West.
The comment threw racial slurs and profanities at the hip hop artist, after opening with
“Every time a celebrity even hints at going against something mainstream, even just a little bit, /pol/ immediately has 4 threads dedicated to how ‘based’ and ‘redpilled’ they are”.
In the following years, the expression would spread on to other boards on 4chan, outside of /pol.
Starting in 2016, “based and redpilled” would turn up on various other sites and would start getting associated with the “alt-right” by the media.
It would appear in numerous articles and see use on Reddit, following 2018.