The Simpsons is one of the longest running shows in the history of TV. It’s aired countless episodes, and produced more jokes than any other TV show. Over the course of its run, it’s also come up with plenty of absurd, strange scenarios for the town of Springfield. On more than one occasion, though, those scenarios have had an eerie similarity to things that happened in the real world long after the episode aired.
How many times has the long-running show "predicted the future"? Way too many times.
How many times has ‘The Simpsons’ predicted the future?
The Simpsons has successfully predicted the future too many times to count, but there have been at least 30 instances where the show seemed to know what would happen in the real world. Some of those predictions were bigger than others, but all of them leave you feeling at least a little bit like your mind has been blown.
‘The Simpsons’ saw Donald Trump coming.
When The Simpsons glimpses into the future during its 11th season, it shows that Lisa Simpson has been elected president. In a cabinet meeting, she says that they’ve inherited quite a budget crunch from President Trump. At the time, the show was referencing the first time Trump flirted with a run for the White House, but the reference has only gained significance in the years since.
The show predicted Disney’s purchase of 20th Century Fox.
Years before it seemed possible that Disney could wind up purchasing 20th Century Fox, The Simpsons seemed to know that it would happen eventually. In a Season 10 episode, we see a logo for 20th Century Fox with the words “A Division of Walt Disney Co.“ written underneath. At the time, the show was produced by Fox. Now, of course, it’s become a Disney property.
Faulty voting machines also proved to be real.
In 2008, the show parodied the presidential election with a cold open that showed Homer attempting to use an electronic voting machine to vote for Barack Obama, only for his vote to be automatically swapped to John McCain. An entire election cycle later, a viral video emerged of an actual voting machine doing the same thing, switching a person’s vote from Barack Obama to Mitt Romney.
The show knew about killer hornets, too.
The latest Simpsons clip that has been making the rounds shows a recent example of the show’s eerie ability to capture the future. The clip, which is from a Season 4 episode that aired in 1993, seems to reference both the novel coronavirus and the news of killer hornets coming to the U.S. In it, the citizens of Springfield are seen demanding a cure after a virus from Asia infects the town.
When a doctor tells them that there is no cure, they tip over a truck only to find killer bees inside. While they aren’t exactly the same as the hornets currently infesting the U.S., the details are strangely similar.
‘The Simpsons’ predicted an insane amount correctly.
Those were just some of the biggest examples of the show’s habit of predicting the future. It also predicted the Ebola outbreak, the invention of autocorrect, Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl performance and the U.S.’s gold medal in curling, among many other things. Even though it’s been on for more than 30 years, The Simpsons has only gotten more and more relevant.