30 Times People Think 'The Simpsons' Eerily Predicted The Future

There sure are a lot of coincidences.

Homer Simpson Viky Ky / Shutterstock

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 a satire, “The Simpsons’” storylines poke fun at pretty much all aspects of American life, which isn’t hard to do these days.

Notably, 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.


Did "The Simpsons" predict the missing Titan submarine that has been lost on its way to the Titanic wreckage?

While the events currently unfolding in the search for five people aboard the missing submersible are certainly no laughing matter, it's not unusual for people to turn to humor as they struggle to find explanations for tragic and terrifying events we find difficult to understand. In looking to both, there are people who have pointed out that "The Simpsons" may have predicted this situation in 2006.

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In season 17, episode 19 (titled "Homer's Paternity Coot"), Homer Simpson and Mason Fairbanks, whom he believes to be his long-lost father, embark on a submarine journey. They find hidden treasure in the wreckage of a large ship, only to become stuck and panic as low oxygen warnings flash. Homer fortunately awakes in the hospital safe and sound.

To make things even more compelling, this particular episode was produced by showrunner and comedy writer Mike Reiss, who was himself a passenger on the Titan three times.

Did "The Simpsons" really predict the future?

Whether or not episodes of the animated series technically predict anything isn't something that can be proven or disproven per se, and the show's creators have said that while they themselves find the accuracy of the seeming predictions to be eerie, they also say they are unintentional.

In 2021, showrunner Al Green told NME, "“One of our writers, the guy whose episode predicted Donald Trump as president, said it best: ‘If you write 700 episodes, and you don’t predict anything, then you’re pretty bad. If you throw enough darts, you’re going to get some bullseyes…’”


Mostly he says, "[It’s] just educated guesses... Stanley Kubrick made the movie ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ in 1968, and there’s Zoom and iPads in it — but that’s because he had futurologists helping him construct what the world might look like in 30 years’ time.”

Intentional or not, a review of “The Simpsons” alleged predictions is pretty surreal to pour over. So be our guest...

30 Times (Some People Think) "The Simpsons" Predicted the Future

1. Censorship of Michelangelo’s “David” (2016)

Season 2, Episode 9: “Itchy & Scratchy & Marge” (1990)

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.

2. Three-Eyed Fish (2011)

Season 2, Episode 4: “Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish” (1991)

21 years after the episode in which Bart catches Blinky the three-eyed fish, a fisherman caught a three-eyed fish of his own near a local power plant in Argentina.


3. The Beatles Send Belated Fan Mail (2013)

Season 2, Episode 18: “Brush with Greatness” (1991)

In this episode, The Beatles' Ringo Star can be see answering fan mail dating from decades prior. Twelve years later, two Beatles fans heard back from Paul McCartney regarding a letter they'd sent the band 50 years before receiving his response.

4. Correct Super Bowl Predictions (1992-1994)

Season 3, Episode 14: “Lisa the Greek” (1992)

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.

5. The Pandemic Response (2020)

Season 4, Episode 21: “Marge in Chains” (1993)

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 restriction. Most notably, Austin Mayor Steve Adler uploaded a video to Facebook urging people to stay home despite recording the video while on vacation in Mexico with eight others. (Some people also see this as a prediction of the trip Senator Ted Cruz took to Cancun while nearly 300,000 Texans went without power during snow and ice storms in 2021.)


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.

6. Murder Hornets (2020)

Season 4, Episode 21: “Marge in Chains” (1993)

“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.

7. Siegfried & Roy Tiger Attack (2003)

Season 5, Episode 10: “$pringfield” (1993)

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.

8. The Barbie Movie Comes Out and a President is Arrested (2023)

Season 5 Episode 14: "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy" (1994)

Fictional Kent Brockman is shown reporting on Lisa Simpson's campaign urging the creators of Barbie creators to develop a more feminist version of the doll, concluding the segment with a brief announcement that the president has been arrested. Just less than 20 years later, the "Barbie" move was released in the same news cycle as Donald Trump's arrest.


9. The First Non-Astronaut in Space (2013)

Season 5, Episode 15: “Deep Space Homer” (1994)

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.


10. Horse Meat in Food (2013)

Season 5, Episode 19: “Sweet Seymour Skinner’s Baadasssss Song” (1994)

When Lunchlady Doris put "assorted horse parts" in the lunch she prepared for students at Springfield Elementary, no one could have known that nearly a decade later the Food Safety Authority of Ireland would find horse DNA in beefburger samples.

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11. Apple Products

Season 6, Episode 8: “Lisa on Ice” and Season 6, Episode 19: “Lisa’s Wedding” (1995)

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 (18 years before smart watches existed).

The 1995 episode also features a video chat by phone, even though FaceTime wasn't launched until 2010.

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.


12. The Shard (2009)

Season 6, Episode 19: “Lisa’s Wedding” (1995)

When Lisa Simpson flies to London, the skyline is shown features a tall, pointed building. Many point to this as a prediction that The Shard would eventually come to stand a prominent feature of London's architecture.

13. The 9/11 Terrorist Attacks (2001)

Season 9, Episode 1: “The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson” (1997)


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.”


14. The Higgs-Boson Particle, aka The God Particle (2012)

Season 10, Episode 2: “The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace” (1998)

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.

15. Disney Buys 20th Century Fox (2019)

Season 10, Episode 5: “When You Dish Upon A Star” (1998)


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.

16. Doughnut-Shaped Universe Theory (2021)

Season 10, Episode 22: “They Saved Lisa’s Brain” (1999)

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.

17. Mutant Tomatoes (2013)

Season 11, Episode 5: “E-I-E-I-D’oh!” (1999)

In 1999, The Simpsons family invested in a farm where, as a result of radiation, their tomato plants mutated into “tom-acco” (tomato and tobacco) plants. Sure enough, in 2011, mutant tomatoes known as Micro-Toms cropped up in Japan.


18. Donald Trump’s Presidency (2016)

Season 11, Episode 17: “Bart to the Future” (2000)

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

And when Trump announced his intention of running for a second term, this one became all the more eerie, as 2024 was the year in which the show originally predicted he would run.


19. Kamala Harris in the White House (2021)

Season 11, Episode 17: “Bart to the Future” (2000)

The 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.


20. The Albuquerque Isotopes Move to (2002)

Season 12, Episode 15: “Hungry, Hungry Homer” (2001)

In 2001, Homer went on a hunger strike to keep local minor league baseball team, the Springfield Isotopes, from moving to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Just one year later, minor league team, the Calgary Cannons, announced their own move to Albuquerque, along with a request for readers of the local paper to come up with a new team name. "The Isotopes" won with 67 percent of the vote.


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21. La Palma’s Volcanic Eruption (2021)

Season 14, Episode 15: C.E. D'oh (2003) and Season 16, Episode 4 “She Used to Be My Girl” (2004)

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.

22. Legalization of Cannabis in Canada (2018)

Season 16, Episode 6: "Midnight Rx" (2005)


Ned Flanders, Homer, Grampa Simpson and Apu travel to Canada, where they learn pot is legal. In reality, recreational use of marijuana was legalized in Canada in 2018.

23. Faulty Voting Machines (2012)

Season 20, Episode 4: “Treehouse of Horror XIX” (2008)

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.

24. Richard Branson in Space (2021)

Season 20, Episode 8: “The Burns and the Bees” (2008)


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.

25. The U.S. Curling Team Winning Olympic Gold (2010)

Season 21, Episode 12: “Boy Meets Curl” (2010)


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

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

26. Bengt R. Holmstrom’s Nobel Prize in Economics (2016)

Season 22, Episode 1: “Elementary School Musical” (2010)


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.

27. Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl Performance (2017)

Season 23, Episode 22: “Lisa Goes Gaga” (2012)

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.


28. FIFA Corruption Scandal (2015)

Season 25, Episode 16: “You Don’t Have to Live Like a Referee” (2014)

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.

29. The Game of Thrones Torching of King's Landing (2019)

Season 29, Episode 1: "The Serfsons" (2017)

During this "Game of Thrones" parody episode, the family standing hill watching as a dragon burns their town to the ground, in a nearly exact match of the scene in which Daenerys Targaryen and her dragon took fans by surprise when they destroyed already surrendered King's Landing.

30. NSA Spying Scandal (2013)

“The Simpsons Movie” (2007)

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 a contributing editor and writer for YourTango who is an especially passionate traveler.

Executive Editor Arianna Jeret, MA/MSW, is a writer, former family law mediator, and recognized expert on relationships and conflict resolution. Her work has been featured in Cosmopolitan, The Huffington Post, Yahoo, MSN, Bustle, Parents and more.