Few TV shows have had the impact on the world that ‘The Simpsons’ have enjoyed. The show first aired way back in 1989, and after almost thirty years, is still going strong. The adventures of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie have taken them far and wide, while the show has featured a slew of guest appearances. The show, as well as being world famous, has managed to predict the future on multiple occasions. These range from the bizarre to the utterly implausible! This article is this week’s Sunday Read.
Rigged Voting Machines
Episode: Sideshow Bob Roberts
Predicted in 2008, Happened in 2012
An uncanny occurrence happened in the 2008 episode ‘Sideshow Bob Roberts’, when Homer attempted to vote for Barack Obama, only for his voting machine to register the vote for John McCain. This would then happen in 2012, with concerns over rigged voting machines raised.
The 2013 Horse Meat Scandal
Episode: Sweet Seymour Skinner’s Baadasssss Song
Predicted in 1994, Happened in 2013
Back in 1994, The Simpsons revealed that Springfield Elementary School was holding a deep and dark secret – they were using horse parts for some of their food. Then in 2013, it turned out that a Horse meat scandal would engulf the United Kingdom!
Episode: Bart Carny
Predicted in 1998, Happened in 2009
Farmville – arguably most known for its annoying notifications – is a game that proved hugely popular on Facebook upon its release in 2009. Yet in an episode of the Simpsons from 1998, children are seen playing with a ‘yard work simulator’ – similar to the farming simulator nature of Farmville!
Europe and Greece
Episode: Politically Inept, with Homer Simpson
Predicted in 2013, Happened in 2015
While this didn’t strictly happen, Europe and Greece’s relationship struggled following economic woes. In an episode in 2013, the news headline ‘Europe puts Greece on eBay’ ran across the screen. By 2015, Greece were struggling.
Disney’s Takeover of 21st Century Fox
Episode: When You Dish Upon a Star
Predicted in 1998, Happened in 2017
Another crazy prediction that came true is the Disney takeover of 21st Century Fox. In the 1998 episode ‘When you dish upon a star’, a sign outside a building reads that 20th Century Fox was a division of Walt Disney. Now, Disney is set to take over 21st Century Fox’s assets. And here’s another strange happening – just as I am writing this article, an episode of The Simpsons is on in the background. Just as I wrote ‘Walt Disney’, Homer said it…
The Rolling Stones, Smartwatches and Robotic Librarians
Episode: Lisa’s Wedding
Predicted in 1995, Happened in 2010
The Simpsons are at their best when they have future-based episodes! The 1995 episode ‘Lisa’s Wedding’ is set in 2010. In it, Lisa marries an Englishman, which threatens to tear the Simpson family apart. In this episode, characters talk into their watches – an early sign of the smartwatch! The episode also featured robotic librarians – something seen in the US! As seen in the Tweet below, the episode also predicted that the Rolling Stones would still be rocking – as they are!
Episode: The Simpsons Movie
Predicted in 2007, Happened in 2013
During the Simpsons Movie, Marge, Bart and Lisa are fugitives, attempting to escape detection from law enforcement. During their time laying low, Lisa warns Bart and Marge to be careful about what they say. Despite Marge telling Lisa no one is listening, it turns out every conversation is being listened in on. A few years later, the PRISM scandal engulfed the world, with concerns over snooping.
The FIFA Corruption Scandal
Episode: You Don’t Have to Live Like a Referee
Predicted in 2014, Happened in 2015
In this episode, Homer becomes a top-class football referee – making it to the World Cup. During the episode, he is offered a series of bribes – foreshadowing the corruption scandal that would rock football in 2015. Oh, and they also predicted Germany would win the World Cup – impressive!
The Perils of Auto-Correct
Episode: Lisa on Ice
Predicted in 1994, Happens Every Day, Every Minute, Every Second, Everywhere…
In an episode from 1994, Kearney instructs Dolph to take a memo to ‘beat up Martin’, using his ‘Newton’. Yet the Newton auto-corrects to ‘eat up Martha’. In the age of smartphones, the perils of auto-correct are known only too well. The world’s first ever auto-correct fail happened on an episode of ‘The Simpsons’.
Siegfriend & Roy’s Tiger Attack
Predicted in 1993, Happened in 2003
The famous episode which sees Homer and Ned Flanders in Las Vegas is also memorable for a famous prediction. The episode parodies iconic entertainers Siegfried & Roy – which includes the duo being mauled by tigers. Yet in 2003, the prediction would become true – with a white tiger attacking Roy during a show at the Mirage in Las Vegas – partly paralysing him.
The Higgs Boson Particle
Episode: The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace
Predicted in 1998, Happened in 2012
During this episode – Homer attempts to become an inventor. Ten minutes in, Homer is shown writing a formula on a blackboard. Fast forward fourteen years, and the formula emulated the equation that calculated the mass of the Higgs Boson particle – which hadn’t previously been calculated. This discovery baffled scientists when discovered.
Episode: Lisa’s Sax
Predicted in 1997, Happened in 2013
Another strange occurrence took place in a 1997 episode – with the Ebola outbreak seemingly being predicted. During the episode, Marge is attempting to cheer up Bart, when she holds up a book named ‘Curious George and the Ebola virus’. In 2013, the Ebola virus affected several nations, leading to over 10,000 deaths.
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Episode: Bart to the Future
Predicted in 2000, Happened in 2016
Surely the most remarkable and unbelievable prediction of them all was Donald Trump becoming the President of the United States. In the 2000 episode, Lisa Simpson has become the first female President of the United States, having inherited the job from Donald Trump. ‘As you know, we’ve inherited quite a budget crunch from President Trump’ says Lisa, with the episode going on to say Trump ‘bankrupted the country’. Seen as inconceivable in 2000, Trump became the President in 2016, making this prediction come true!
Never change ‘The Simpsons’, never change.