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The Simpsons predictions coming true again and again prove that this is more than just a TV show. The Simpsons just passed its 30th birthday this past December. It came on air when landlines and CD players were necessities in every household and legwarmers were a viable fashion choice. The Simpsons has been a cultural landmark since before it was even its own show, when the first Simpsons shorts debuted on The Tracy Ullman Show starting in 1987. The shorts became such a phenomenon that they got their own half-hour-long show two years later.
The Simpsons is the longest-running sitcom in TV history. Having been on for three decades, the writers are bound to get a few things right but the amount of events that The Simpsons has predicted correctly makes me think that one of the requirements to get into the writers’ room is a degree in medium channeling, psychic abilities and fortune-telling powers. It is straight-up freaky how many predictions the show has gotten correct.
#10 The Simpsons Predictions – 2010’s Advanced Technology in 1995 – S6E19 “Lisa’s Wedding”
In this episode, Lisa learns the future from a fortune teller at a Renaissance Fair. A lot of Simpsons episodes take place in the future and a couple of them predict future technology. But that’s not too hard considering that many futuristic movies accurately predict future technology. Blade Runner predicted advancements in AI and Back to the Future Part II predicted video calls (although I’m still upset that 2015 didn’t bring us actual flying hoverboards.) The Simpsons prediction is especially cool because it predicted two technologies that would be linked together. In the episode, Lisa’s boyfriend Hugh proposes to her and when she rejects, Hugh tells his watch he’s going to call an audible. This both predicts voice recognition and smartwatches, two technologies that go together as voice recognition is a capability of most smart-watches.
#9 – The Simpsons Predictions – FIFA scandal – S25E16 “You Don’t Have to Live Like a Referee”
You’d think the clairvoyance of The Simpsons would die down after two decades. The writers of the show change and I don’t know, maybe future telling abilities die down with age. But nope, even 25 years after the show’s premiere it was still going strong with predictions. In 2014, The Simpsons aired an episode in which Homer becomes a referee. The executive VP of FIFA approaches Homer and asks him to become a symbol for FIFA because FIFA has been losing credibility due to bribery and other scandals. And, what do you know, later that year fourteen people in connection with FIFA were arrested on charges of fraud, racketeering and money laundering.
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#8 – The Simpsons Predictions – USA wins gold in curling – S21E12 “Boy Meets Curl”
The USA is the ultimate underdog in curling, mostly because curling is such a gentlemanly sport and most of the US’s favorite sports are only a step away from barbaric gladiator matches. If curling just added a bit more head trauma and cursing out everyone on the ice the US might just win the title! No one could’ve guessed the US would win curling in the Olympics… except The Simpsons. In “Boy Meets Curl,” Marge and Homer join the US Olympic curling team. And you can probably guess where this is going. Thanks to their participation, the US wins the gold. And in 2018, history repeated The Simpsons as the US won gold for competitive ice sweeping. Granted, if Marge and Homer joined the team, they were gonna win in Simpsons world. The Simpsons is a rather optimistic show. But it’s not like the writers of The Simpsons had to choose curling for Marge and Homer to participate in. They could’ve chosen a much more American sport like ice hockey in which losing teeth while playing is the name of the game. By the way, that’s the official tagline for the sport of ice hockey.
#7 – The Simpsons Predictions – A civilian goes to space – S5E13 “Deep Space Homer”
In 2013, the UK picked an Average Joe to become an astronaut. It was an incredibly weird and borderline irresponsible decision as it takes tons of physical, emotional, and academic training to go to space. No one could have predicted the UK making such a call to send an untrained individual into space except, well, you can probably guess who. Nearly two decades before this happened in England, The Simpsons premiered “Deep Space Homer.” After seeing that their space launches had dipped in the ratings when broadcast on TV, NASA decides to send an Average Joe into space. And Homer Simpson is as average as they come. Maybe the writers of the show aren’t perfect future tellers, a 25-year-old woman was the real winner of the contest in Britain. But cut them some slack, having Yoda like abilities aren’t easy and their crystal ball probably gets some radio interference working on the Fox lot.
#6 – The Simpsons Predictions – Faulty voter booths, Voter Suppression – S20E4 “Treehouse of Horror XIX”
In one of my favorite Treehouse of Horror cold opens of all time, Homer goes to vote for Obama but there’s an error with the voting booth and he keeps fighting with it because it picks McCain instead. You know our world’s going to dark places and simultaneously becoming a parody of itself when it mimics a Treehouse of Horror episode. But alas, in 2012 the exact same thing happened in Pennsylvania in the subsequent presidential election between Romney and Obama. Well, at least the world hasn’t become a giant killer board game and we haven’t all discovered a secret twin in our closets… Yet. (Dun-Dun-DUUUUUUN!!!)
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#5 – The Simpsons Predictions – Mutant tomatoes – S11E5 “E-I-E-I-D’oh”
With all the experimentation and hybridization done with our agriculture, this one was bound to happen eventually but oh well. It’s a great episode and it shows that The Simpsons are good satire for even future events. After Homer makes enemies with the wrong kind of guy, he and his family are forced to move out to the country where he acquires some plutonium and uses it to grow tomacco, a tomato/tobacco hybrid. This mimics both the horrors that Monsanto is “totally not” cooking up on their farms and more specifically in 2013 when a bunch of plants hybridized because they were growing next to a power plant in Fukushima, Japan. I don’t know which went up first but either the owners of the plant were jerks for building a vat of radioactivity so close to a farm or the farmer was an idiot for starting a farm so close to a nuclear power plant. A nuclear power plant is the second-worst place to set up shop next to right after a Native American burial ground, that’s just science.
#4 – The Simpsons Predictions – The Shard building in London – S6E19 “Lisa’s Wedding”
I know, I know. I’m double-dipping in “Lisa’s Wedding.” But this coincidence is too on-point not to mention. The opening shot of this episode we see Big Ben with a digital clock face which in itself is a hilarious joke which is bound to turn into a prediction come true at some point when Kindergartens everywhere stop teaching how to read analogue. But next to it is an oddly shaped spire which seems out of place in the London skyline. Then in 2013, enter The Shard. The Shard is a very modern-looking multi-purpose building in London that was constructed almost two decades after this episode aired. The weird-looking spire in “Lisa’s Wedding” looks almost identical to the top of the Shard. Why did the animators at The Simpsons include this detail? It was a completely unnecessary side detail in a joke. They’re witches, I tell you!
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#3 – The Simpsons Predictions – Russians vote to clothe Michelangelo’s Statue of David – S2E9 “Itchy & Scratchy & Marge”
Michelangelo’s “The Statue of David” is one of the most famous sculptures in all the world. And one of the things it’s most famous for is, well, flashing its privates to anyone who looks at it. When the episode aired in 1990, Russians would vote over whether to cover up the statue in 2016. The Simpsons predicted that someone would try to cover it up in “Itchy & Scratchy & Marge” when Marge gets a little censorship happy after deciding The Itchy & Scratchy show was too violent. Then, almost 30 years later, we got the news that Russia was unhappy with David’s nudity and were deciding whether to do something about it. Why Russia had authority over this matter is anyone’s guess. The statue is in France but I suppose the world’s biggest prudes got the most say. The funniest part of the issue is that they weren’t voting on whether to cover the statue up with a tarp. It’s a priceless piece of art that deserves to be seen. They were voting on whether to literally dress David. This, of course, begs the question what clothes were they planning to drape over the timeless statue. My vote is for a Hawaiian shirt and bell-bottoms.
#2 – The Simpsons Predictions – Autocorrect – S6E8 “Lisa on Ice”
Autocorrect can either be the bane of your existence or your best friend at any given time. And The Simpsons saw it coming back in 1995. In “Lisa on Ice”, Dolph, a member of the Springfield Elementary bully trio, tells his Apple Newton to create a memo to beat up Martin. But his phone reads back to him “Eat up Martha.” It’s rumored that high up people at Apple saw this episode and got the idea to create autocorrect. Unfortunately, their version is no better than the one in the show but this is one example of how The Simpsons occasionally not only predicts but influences the future.
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#1- The Simpsons Predictions – Trump’s presidency – S11E17 “Bart to the Future”
Remember in 2016 when we all held our breath as we waited to hear the results of the most divisive election in US history? Well, The Simpsons had the results back in 2000. This was an election that even pollsters had trouble predicting but The Simpsons had it right 16 years before it happened. Trump was running for office as a Reform Party candidate when President Lisa Simpson announced that she had a big mess to clean up now that her predecessor was Trump. No one thought that could happen back then. This was before America itself became a reality TV show and we figured that we should let a reality star run it. Trump was considered just a joke candidate back then and no one thought a Trump presidency could happen. He ran for the Reform Party! I guarantee you, 90% of Americans didn’t know about the Reform Party and thought it was a party you threw whilst renovating your house. There was no chance Trump could win back then and yet The Simpsons warned us all a Trump presidency could happen.
I guess we need to start watching The Simpsons diligently to avoid any disasters and to support all triumphs.
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Carrie Fishbane is obsessed with all things comedy and loves to reflect on the impact of comedy on the world. Having spent thousands of hours studying literature, she also writes about the political impact of entertainment and the power movies and TV have to create social change. Hollywood Insider promotes ethics and substance in entertainment, which is exactly in line with Carrie’s perspective. Carrie’s favorite movies include Jojo Rabbit, Deadpool, and Inception and her favorite shows are Rick and Morty, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and The Office.