UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | June 18, 2024

OPINION | ‘The Simpsons’ most notable predictions that actually came true

“The Simpsons” is an animated sitcom for Fox Broadcasting Company created by Matt Groening. Since the show’s debut in 1989, episodes have predicted countless events such as the pandemic, Donald Trump’s presidency and Lady Gaga’s halftime show, years before they happened, providing viewers with an imaginative view into the future. Emily Vanmiddendorp | Sun News Daily

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A glimpse into the future or a stunning coincidence?

The American animated sitcom, “The Simpsons,” has aired episodes that follow the adventures of a family in Springfield, Oregon since 1989. With currently 762 episodes, this series has portrayed scenes of Homer visiting space all the way to adding a monorail to the town.

However, what really is captivating is the amount of times “The Simpsons” have predicted an event that then occurred years later. Whether it is due to pure luck or being time travelers, here is a list of times “The Simpsons” predicted future events.

Trump Becomes President

One of the most famous instances of the future being predicted is in season 11, episode 17, “Bart to the Future,” where Trump was the former president. In this episode, Bart is shown a glimpse of 30 years into the future, where Lisa is elected president. She comments on how she succeeded Donald Trump in office.

This episode aired in 2000, and then 17 years later Donald Trump became president. Given how Trump is pretty open to stating his views and opinions, it would not surprise me if this mention of him being president was based on comments he made back then.

Seen above is the comparison of Trump riding an escalator while making similar poses.

Trump was also seen in a later episode riding an escalator. A couple of years later, a similar photo was taken of him. While riding an escalator is a fairly common thing, it is crazy that the photo between the show and reality is so similar to the hand-raised waving.

Pandemic

One episode predicted many events that occurred in 2020. In 1993, the episode “Marge in Chains” was released and showed a viral outbreak of a flu called the “Osaka Flu” that made its way to Springfield. The residents of Springfield can’t find a cure, so desperate measures are taken when someone finds a crate of killer bees and tries eating one for a cure.

Though not entirely similar, 2020 did face both COVID-19 and murder hornets, and it is crazy that one episode predicted two events that occurred during an eventful time. The one thing both the episode and reality faced was hysteria and stress during a pandemic.

This example of “The Simpsons” predicting a future event stumps me on how they managed to guess it. Many shows mention different viruses, take “The Last of Us” for example, but the fact that two events were mentioned shocks me. Killer bees are such a random thing to mention, let alone in an episode that also has a virus just like in 2020. This episode prediction convinces me that the writers are either really good at coming up with random plots or that they have a time machine.

Lady Gaga’s Performance

We all love a good halftime show, and the residents of Springfield are no different. In the 2012 episode, “Lisa Goes Gaga,” Lady Gaga visits the town to help Lisa gain her confidence back and popularity. While in town, Lady Gaga does a performance where she is hanging in midair.

A side-by-side comparison of Lady Gaga’s performance in the episode and at the Super Bowl.

About five years later, Lady Gaga performed at the NRG Stadium in Texas for the Super Bowl. Similarly, she flew off the roof to begin her performance. Were “The Simpsons” able to predict this performance or did Lady Gaga take inspiration from the episode?

I guess that is a question for Lady Gaga, but to me, it seems like something Lady Gaga would do and not out of the ordinary. Her music is great, but she is also known for wearing some crazy outfits like a meat dress in 2010. Maybe “The Simpsons” just had in mind when making the episode that she does some out-of-pocket things.

Autocorrect

On the lighter side, there were also minor predictions made that have come true. The episode “Lisa on Ice” released in 1994, highlights some of the frustrations that come with autocorrect. A school bully tries to send a message that is scrambled to state an entirely different message.

This is not a life-changing prediction made by “The Simpsons,” but it does show the day-to-day struggle this generation faces with autocorrect and texting. It is crazy to think that before technology was a big thing, “The Simpsons” was already showing some of the downfalls of it.

Going through these predictions and more, it was mostly luck for “The Simpsons” to guess events that would occur in the future. There are so many episodes since 1989 that it’s almost impossible for some events not to be similar. If every episode predicted a future event, then maybe I wouldn’t be so hesitant to believe they give a glimpse into the future.

Despite being time travelers or not, “The Simpsons” continues to be a popular animated sitcom that predicts coincidental happenings.