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20 Times 'The Simpsons' Eerily Predicted The Future

Photo: Viky Ky / Shutterstock
homer simpson's face

With its first episode airing in 1989, “The Simpsons” is one of the longest-running TV shows of all time and the longest-running animated series ever.

The show’s longevity isn’t surprising as, as a satire, “The Simpsons’” storylines poke fun at what’s really going on in American life, which isn’t very hard to do these days.

However, many people have pointed out a number of times when “The Simpsons” didn’t just satirize current events, but also seemed to predict the future.

Here are some of the most memorable and eerie “The Simpsons” predictions.

RELATED: Why People Are Saying Bob Saget Predicted His Own Death

1. La Palma’s Volcanic Eruption

Season 14, Episode 15: C.E. D'oh, Season 16, Episode 4 “She Used to Be My Girl”

A volcano on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands began erupting in September 2021. 18 years earlier, a “Simpsons” episode featured a canary that Homer and Bart Simpson freed and told to fly back to the Canary Islands.

The canary, however, didn’t know where the Islands were located, so he looked at a globe to find them. Those familiar with geography noticed that the island of La Palma was missing its west flank, an area of the island that many feared would fall into the ocean and cause a tsunami during the volcanic eruption.

And that’s not all. Season 16, Episode 4 also showed a volcanic eruption. News reporter Chloe Talbot, voiced by Kim Cattrall, nearly lost her life covering the eruption.

When Cumbre Vieja erupted on La Palma, Antena3TV reporter Susanna Griso, who looked strikingly similar to Cattrall’s “Simpson” character, reported on the eruption.

2. The Coronavirus Pandemic

Season 4, Episode 21: “Marge in Chains”

Fans have pointed out a few times “The Simpsons” satirized a virus similar to COVID-19 and the effects it had on society.

In the 1993 episode, Homer accidentally releases a deadly virus that originated in Asia onto Springfield.

In this episode, Mayor Quimby tells his constituents that he canceled his scheduled vacation to the Bahamas due to the virus, but after his announcement, is shown in his swimsuit in the Bahamas.

This is reminiscent of the many scandals that occurred during coronavirus travel restrictions, most notably when Austin Mayor Steve Adler uploaded a video to Facebook urging people to stay home despite him recording the video while on vacation in Mexico with eight others.

Fans also noted that the 2007 film “The Simpsons Movie” seems to have predicted coronavirus lockdowns when it showed Homer once again unleashing an illness onto Springfield when he pollutes the water system, prompting Springfield to go on lockdown.

The movie also features Tom Hanks advertising the Grand Canyon but asking people to leave him alone if they see him, which fans equated to the time Hanks revealed that he and his wife were quarantining after catching COVID-19.

3. Murder Hornets

Season 4, Episode 21: “Marge in Chains”

“Marge in Chains” also seemingly predicted the brief but concerning issue of murder hornets that plagued the U.S. in 2020. The 1993 episode shows the town of Springfield panicking about the mysterious virus the Homer unleashed, leading them to knock over a truck that supposedly holds a cure.

A crate labeled “Killer Bees” just so happens to be inside the truck and the bees begin swarming Springfield.

4. The September 11th Terrorist Attacks

Season 9, Episode 1: “The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson”

While this episode didn’t necessarily predict the fateful events of that day, a few facets of “The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson” are eerie nonetheless.

The first striking similarity is the season and episode numbers, 9 and 1 respectively. Second, in the episode, a magazine appears showing the number 9 in front of the two World Trade Center towers, making it look like the number 911.

“That spooks me to this day. That is really odd,” “Simpsons” Executive Producer Al Jean tells “Esquire.”

5. Correct Super Bowl Predictions

Season 3, Episode 14: “Lisa the Greek”

If you’re into sports betting, you may want to consider watching an episode of “The Simpsons” leading up to the next Super Bowl.

In “Lisa the Greek,” which aired a few days before the 1992 Super Bowl XXVI, Lisa Simpson correctly predicted the Washington Redskins as the victors.

“The Simpsons” creators tried their luck again the following year when they predicted that the Dallas Cowboys would be victorious over the Buffalo Bills, which ended up being correct. They also accurately predicted the winners of Super Bowl XXIX, San Francisco 49ers.

6. Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl Performance

Season 23, Episode 22: “Lisa Goes Gaga”

Speaking of Super Bowls, “The Simpsons” had Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl LI performance right all the way down to the outfit in “Lisa Goes Gaga,” which aired five years before Gaga actually took the stage at halftime.

6. FIFA Corruption Scandal

Season 25, Episode 16: “You Don’t Have to Live Like a Referee”

Super Bowl predictions aren’t “The Simpsons’” only foray into the sports world. “You Don’t Have to Live Like a Referee,” which aired in 2014, seemingly predicted the 2015 FIFA corruption scandal.

The episode depicts Homer becoming a referee due to a referee shortage caused by corruption in the league, where he referees a World Cup game that Germany ultimately wins. 

Germany actually did end up winning the World Cup that year, and the following year, members of the FIFA organization faced indictments for racketeering and corruption.

7. The U.S. Curling Team Winning Olympic Gold

Season 21, Episode 12: “Boy Meets Curl”

Homer and Marge join the U.S. curling team for the 2010 Winter Olympics, where they beat out Sweden for the gold medal.

8 years later at the 2018 Winter Olympics, the U.S. men’s curling team did just that.

8. Donald Trump’s Presidency

Season 11, Episode 17: “Bart to the Future”

The episode depicts Lisa as president following a Donald Trump presidency 6 years before Trump was actually elected.

9. Kamala Harris in the White House

Season 11, Episode 17: “Bart to the Future”

That same episode shows Lisa giving a press conference as president and later sitting in the Oval Office. Her outfit is strikingly similar to one that Kamala Harris wore 15 years later after being elected the first female Vice President of the United States.

10. Disney’s Purchase of 20th Century Fox

Season 10, Episode 5: “When You Dish Upon A Star”

A clip of “When You Dish Upon A Star,” shows a sign depicting the entrance of the 20th Century Fox studios. Underneath the name of the studios, smaller print reveals that 20th Century Fox is “a division of Walt Disney Co.”

While 20th Century Fox stood on its own when the episode aired in 1998, Disney acquired it in 2019.

RELATED: Did Disney Predict Coronavirus? The Hint In ‘Tangled’ That Has Fans Convinced

11. Siegfried & Roy Tiger Attack

Season 5, Episode 10: “$pringfield”

1993’s Season 5, Episode 10: “$pringfield” features a duo called Gunter and Ernst who perform with tigers. In the episode, one of the tigers attacks the duo after dreaming about her life before her capture.

Gunter and Ernst are a parody of performers Sigfried and Roy. In 2003, 10 years after the similar “Simpsons” episode aired, Roy was mauled by one of their tigers during a show.

12. Apple Products

Season 6, Episode 8: “Lisa on Ice” and Season 6, Episode 19: “Lisa’s Wedding”

It’s hard to remember a time when smart products weren’t a part of our everyday lives, but back in 1995 when Season 6 of “The Simpsons” aired, we were still far from much of the technology we use today. Yet somehow, “The Simpsons” knew exactly where technology was headed.

In Episode 19 of this season, “Lisa’s Wedding,” Lisa’s boyfriend initiates his proposal to her by speaking into his watch.

The Apple Watch with that technology wasn’t released until 2013, 18 years later after the episode.

Likewise, “Lisa on Ice” parodies what a disaster autocorrect can be.

Former Apple employees allege that the episode actually played a huge part in Apple’s development of its autocorrect feature.

13. First Non-Astronaut in Space

Season 5, Episode 15: “Deep Space Homer”

When this 1994 episode aired, space expeditions were reserved for rigorously trained astronauts. In this episode, however, NASA recruits an average person to go into space.

Trained astronauts remained the only people in space until 2013 when the United Kingdom ran a contest to send an average person to space.

14. Richard Branson in Space

Season 20, Episode 8: “The Burns and the Bees”

In 2021, British billionaire Richard Branson went into space with Virgin Galactic. Virgin Atlantic was quick to point out how similar the situation was to not only the premise of this 2008 episode depicting a billionaire in space, but the to the animation of the billionaire as well.

15. Censorship of Michelangelo’s “David”

Season 2, Episode 9: “Itchy & Scratchy & Marge”

This 1990 episode centered around the debate on censorship. Marge defended the nudity of the “David” statue while protesting violent cartoon characters.

Similarly, Russians took a vote in 2016 on whether or not to cover up “David’s” privates.

16. Faulty Voting Machines

Season 20, Episode 4: “Treehouse of Horror XIX”

This episode aligned with the 2008 presidential election and showed Homer’s voting machine erroneously counting Homer’s vote as being for John McCain despite him actually voting for Barack Obama.

These days, voter fraud is a hot topic, with a 2012 viral video actually showing that exact scenario happening in a voting booth.

17. The Higgs-Boson Particle

Season 10, Episode 2: “The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace”

Homer Simpson isn’t known for his intelligence, but in this 1998 episode, he completes a math equation that’s strikingly similar to the work of the scientists who, 14 years later, discovered the mass of the Higgs-Boson particle.

18. Doughnut-Shaped Universe

Season 10, Episode 22: “They Saved Lisa’s Brain”

Perhaps Homer actually is smarter than we give him credit for. In this 1999 episode, he once again makes scientific history when he discusses the shape of the universe with Stephen Hawking. According to Homer, the universe is shaped like a doughnut.

You could write that off as Homer being obsessed with doughnuts, but surprisingly it turns out he’s not wrong, according to new research.

19. Bengt R. Holmstrom’s Nobel Prize in Economics

Season 22, Episode 1: “Elementary School Musical”

In this 2010 episode, Milhouse predicts that Bengt R. Holmstrom would win the Nobel Prize in Economics. Though economist Jagdish Bhagwati won in the episode, 6 years later Milhouse’s prediction came true when Holmstrom won the Nobel Prize in Economics for improving contract design.

20. NSA Spying Scandal

“The Simpsons Movie”

In “The Simpsons Movie,” Marge aims to reveal government secrets. The film then depicts the inside of the National Security Agency (NSA), showing agents listening in on Americans’ phone calls.

In 2013, Edward Snowden leaked information that the NSA was indeed running numerous secretive surveillance programs.

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Micki Spollen is an editor, writer, and traveler. Follow her on Instagram and keep up with her travels on her website.

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