The article analyzes how allusive cognitive metaphors (ACMs) function as a persuasive narrative strategy in contemporary social media–fueled storytelling cultures. The ACM is a concise way of combining intertextual and metaphorical meaning-making for use in viral storytelling. Well-known works of fiction function as a shared baseline that can be easily alluded to. This narrative-metaphorical strategy has been adopted especially frequently by populists and online groups advocating extreme ideologies, one of the prominent and influential cases being “the red pill,” coined by the antifeminist manosphere. The popularity of ACMs suggests that the interpretive contexts and target texts that narrative scholarship has grown accustomed to are changing, and that scholars of narrative and fiction need to adapt to the new challenges stemming from the ever-expanding digital sphere.

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