For whatever reason, “The Simpsons” has a proven track record of accurately predicting the future unintentionally. Time after time, episodes air that make fun of a ridiculous event happening several years before it actually occurs. Many of the parallels seem a little far-fetched or too much of a stretch to be considered impressive, but lest that not detract from the real instances where the show has made some uncanny observations.
Defective Voting Machines
Episode: Treehouse Of Horrors #19
In this episode, Homer goes to the polls to cast his vote in the 2008 presidential election. However, the voting machine appears to be defective as it keeps changing his vote from Barack Obama to John McCain. Four years later, the exact same thing happens in real life when Obama runs against Mitt Romney.
Episode: Lisa’s Wedding
Lisa’s Wedding, an episode where Lisa sees a fortune teller, made many correct predictions about the future. Part of the episode focuses on Lisa’s fiance, who is a savvy young man who happens to be equipped with a smartwatch. Of course, smartwatches have become some of the most popular modern-day gadgets.
Episode: Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?
Homer’s half-brother Herb comes and stays with the Simpsons to get back on his feet in this episode. While he’s a guest, he develops a cry translator that he believes will make him rich. In 2016, an actual company developed an app that can tell what your baby’s cries mean with up to 95% accuracy.
Tiger performers clearly meant to resemble the legendary magic act Sigfried and Roy are mauled on stage by a tiger. Ten years later, Montecor the Tiger drags Roy off stage by his neck.
Episode: Lisa’s Wedding
Again, in “Lisa’s Wedding”, the Simpsons video call Marge from the future, using a device that unmistakably resembles a cell phone with facetime capabilities.
Rolling Stones Tour
Episode: Lisa’s Wedding
In the same episode as before, Lisa can be seen with her futuristic boyfriend as well as a poster that reads “The Rolling Stones Steel Wheelchair Tour 2010”. While The Stones didn’t reunite in 2010, they did have a reunion tour in 2012, well within the window of time to make this prediction valid.
Episode: You Don’t Have To Live Like A Referee
One year before FIFA was exposed for its many corruption scandals, The Simpsons were making fun of what was to come. Homer becomes a referee in the World Cup and is offered multiple bribes from players to fix games, but refuses again and again. Essentially, The Simpsons shed some light on the huge amount of palm greasing that happens in soccer before it was cool.
Episode: Papa’s Got A Brand New Badge
After becoming dissatisfied with Springfield’s police department, Homer creates his own private security company. On one of his most ridiculous investigations, he uncovers the Mob boss’ plot to glue cotton balls onto ferrets to make them resemble poodles. Obviously, it sounds completely unbelievable, but a little while later that exact scandal really happened.
Average Joe Sent To Space
Episode: Deep Space Homer
Homer is selected to take place in a civilian space exploration program. He is selected because he fits the description of an “average joe,” which is exactly what the contest runners want. Critics initially disliked this plot line because they thought it was too unrealistic, but then, Oliver Knight and several other men described as “average joes” were selected for that very endeavor.
— Oliver Knight (@fakie540ollie) July 16, 2013
NSA Is Spying On Us All
The Simpsons Movie
In perhaps the most important prediction yet, The Simpsons joked about the government spying on all Americans and listening in on their conversations. It seemed funny at the time, but in 2013, Edward Snowden famously revealed the ugly truth.
Episode: Lard Of The Dance
Homer discovers that all the leftover grease from Springfield Elementary is actually worth some money, and decides to steal it to turn a profit. Groundskeeper Willie has the same idea, and they fight over who gets the grease in an epic brawl. Interestingly enough, an actual man does the same thing.
Episode: Whacking Day
Whacking Day in Springfield is a beloved holiday where snakes are clubbed to death by all the residents – and a contest is held to see who can club the most snakes. It’s believable enough, but it’s still pretty ridiculous and unlikely in the real world. Until, in 2013, The Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission decided to host the Python Challenge, where residents were encouraged to “harvest” as many snakes as they can in exchange for prizes.
Episode: Homer’s Odyssey
Episode: The City Of New York vs Homer Simpson
To say that The Simpsons predicted 9/11 implies terrorist collusion, so that might not be exactly fair. But, The Simpsons writers’ 6th sense might have shown through in this eerie episode. In the scene below, Lisa is holding up a magazine that costs $9 right next to the twin towers. Together, a picture of 9/11 is painted. While the writers obviously deny any involvement in terrorist activity, they do admit the scene is creepy.
Episode: Bart To The Future
While there is a lot of misinformation regarding this prediction due to a more recent mockery of Trump’s election, The Simpsons do deserve some credit for this one nonetheless. In a glimpse into the future, Lisa becomes president and makes some uncanny statements. In the scene captured below, Lisa concedes a press conference and meets with her team where she asserts that
“As you know, we’ve inherited quite a budget crunch from President Trump”
She is, of course, referring to her predecessor who left the country broke. While many Simpsons’ conspiracy theorists will back up their claims with Simpsons’ Trump footage from after he already began his claim, this is the only real piece of evidence suggesting the Simpsons may have known something before everyone else.
Disney Takes Over 20th-Century Fox
Episode: When You Dish Upon A Star
Finally, in 1998, The Simpsons casually predicted the acquisition of FOX by Disney with this subtle clip. And just recently, shareholders approved the purchase for 71.3 Billion Dollars.