Love it or hate it, “The Simpsons” has quickly become one of the IT shows of our times. The humor and the iconic characters along with the show’s seemingly ability to predict random events have kept fans tuning in for over three decades. From technological advancements to major news events, “The Simpsons” has made numerous predictions that have come true over the years. Next we’ll cover some of the most notable The Simpsons predictions and how they’ve become a part of our present-day reality.
1. Donald Trump’s presidency
Season 11, Episode 17 “Bart to the Future”, 2000
In this episode Lisa becomes the first straight female president and refers to inheriting “quite a budget crunch from President Trump.” In 2016, Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. Why did they pick Trump to be featured? Greaney, one of the writers of that episode stated “He seems like a ‘Simpsons’-esque figure — he fits right in there, in an over-the-top way.”
Season 6, Episode 19 “Lisa’s Wedding”, 1995
Lisa’s future fiancé wears a smartwatch-like device. The first smartwatch was released in 1998, three years after this episode aired.
3. The Higgs Boson particle
Season 10, Episode 2 “The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace”, 1998
Homer becomes an inventor and writes an equation on a blackboard that, according to Dr. Simon Singh, “almost predicted the mass of the elementary particle.” This particle, also known as the God particle, was discovered in 2012.
4. The censorship of Michelangelo’s “David”
Season 2, Episode 9 “Itchy & Scratchy & Marge”, 1990
Marge leads a campaign to censor violence on television, and a statue of Michelangelo’s “David” is censored due to its nudity, being portrayed wearing jeans. Coming back to the real world, several parents complained that their kids were left “upset” after being shown art pieces, David included, during a sixth-grade history class. The aftermath was pretty obvious, the principal being fired.
5. The Ebola virus
Season 9, Episode 3 “Lisa’s Sax”, 1997
In this episode, Marge tries to cheer up a sick Bart by reading him a book called “Curious George and the Ebola Virus.” Despite Ebola being a well-known virus at the time, the Ebola outbreak occurred in 2014.
6. The invention of the smart home
Season 13, Episode 1 ” Treehouse Of Horror XII”, 2012
One of the stories was entitled “House Of Whacks” and here we see Marge upgrading her house to the Ultrahouse 3000, an AI smart house that responds to her every need. With Pierce Brosnan being chosen as the voice of the AI. Today, more and more homes are equipped with smart devices that can control lighting, temperature, and more.
Season 9, Episode 12 “Bart Carny”, 1998
The carnival is in town and among the many activities features there’s a “Yard Work Simulator” game. The game was another prediction, this time of Farmville, a popular mobile Zynga game that was released in 2009.
8. Three-eyed fish
Season 2, Episode 4 “Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish”, 1990
A nuclear power plant accident that is to blame on Mr. Burns, as usual, causes a fish to have three eyes. In 2011, a three-eyed fish was found in a reservoir near a nuclear power plant in Córdoba, Argentina.
9. Faulty voting machines
Season 20, Episode 4 “Treehouse of Horror XIX”, 2008
In this episode, Homer tries to vote for Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, but the voting machine changes his vote to John McCain. In real life, there were reports of faulty voting machines during the 2012 and 2016 elections. Then in 2012 this scenario repeated in real life in the election duel between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
10. Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox
Season 10, Episode 5 “When You Dish Upon a Star”, 1998
In this episode, Ron Howard pitches a movie idea to Homer and mentions that they’ll have to go to “20th Century Fox.” In 2019, Disney completed its acquisition of 21st Century Fox.
11. The FIFA corruption scandal
Season 25, Episode 16 “You Don’t Have to Live Like a Referee”, 2014
Homer becomes a referee for the World Cup and exposes a corruption scandal within FIFA. A few months after this episode aired, several high-ranking FIFA officials, including Joseph “Sepp” Blatter, were arrested on charges of corruption.
Season 6, Episode 19 “Lisa’s Wedding”, 1995
Lisa travels 15 years into the future and uses video chatting to talk with her mother. Mind you, this happened years and years before this technology was even possible.
Simpson predictions that are in fact false
Season 6, Episode 8 “Lisa on Ice”, 1994
Lisa types on a computer and the auto-correct feature changes “beat” to “eat.” Auto-correct became a popular feature on smartphones in the early 2000s but it was available for Microsoft Word as early as October 1993.
The impact of the NSA’s surveillance programs
The Simpson Movie, 2007
The writers slipped in a joke about how the NSA installed listening devices even in the houses of regular Americans. Edward Snowden leaked classified documents revealing the NSA’s surveillance program back in 2013 but there were rumors of this being a common practice even in 2005.
Famous for its clever and often hilarious take on pop culture, “The Simpsons” has become a cult classic. However, the show’s uncanny ability to predict the future has given it a whole new level of relevance. With so many The Simpsons predictions coming true, we’re super anxious what will they feature next.
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Are The Simpsons predictions accurate?
Some of them are extremely accurate like the time Trump was going down an elevator in a mall, waving to the crowd. But let’s be honest here, we’re not talking about a magic 8 ball. These are just scripts that happened to come true, one way or the other.
How many times did The Simpsons predict the future?
At least 30 times, at least according to this article from The Hollywood Reporter.
Who writes The Simpsons predictions?
Al Jean, a writer for the show, addressed this several time in the past. “One of our writers, the guy whose episode predicted Donald Trump as president, said it best. ‘If you write 700 episodes, and you don’t predict anything, then you’re pretty bad. If you throw enough darts, you’re going to get some bullseyes.’” And he does have a point, after so many episodes you do tend to get a few things right.