The iconic animated TV show is known for predicting major world events – from Donald Trump’s presidency to the construction of London’s skyscraper The Shard to the discovery of the three-eyed mutant fish.
Here are some key predictions from The Simpsons’ four-decade-long run – and the real-life events that took place years later…
Mystic Merge… Maggie, Homer, Lisa and Bart: The iconic animated TV show is known for predicting major world events.
1: Defective voting
Foretold: Treehouse of Horror XIX – 2008
Realized: Pennsylvania, USA – 2012
In 2008, Homer is seen trying to vote for Barack Obama in the US general election, only for the machine to change his vote to Republican John McCain.
Four years later, a voting machine in Pennsylvania discovered that Obama, who was running for a second term to Republican challenger Mitt Romney, was shifting the public’s vote.
rigging? Homer couldn’t vote for Obama in 2008
2: Osaka Flu aka Coronavirus
PREDICTED IN: MERGE IN CHAIN - 1993
Realized: Wuhan, China – 2019
In the episode, a Far-Eastern virus called the Osaka Flu is being transported around the world and infecting residents of Springfield, who were ordering Japanese juicing machines that were coughed up by infected factory workers.
COVID-19 was first reported in China in December 2019 It was declared a global pandemic by March 2020
Oh do not! The show predicted the coronavirus with its fictional Osaka flu
3: Tom Hanks has to isolate himself
PREDICTED IN: THE SIMPSONS MOVIE – 2007
Realized: Gold Coast, Australia – 2020
The Hollywood actor and his wife, Rita Wilson, contracted COVID-19 while filming Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic on location in Australia in March 2020.
As a result he and Rita had to go into isolation.
In 2007’s The Simpsons Movie – the big screen version of the TV show – Hanks has a cameo, where he says: ‘This is Tom Hanks saying if you see me in person, please, let me be.’
(Out) Cast Away: Tom Hanks Warns Viewers to ‘Let Me Be’ in 2007
4: Erection of Shard
Predicted: Lisa’s marriage – 1995
Realized: London, UK – 2009
When Lisa went to see a fortune teller, she realized that she would one day marry a British man.
In the episode, he flies to London – where there is a tall, pointed building on the skyline.
Fans saw it as a prophecy that The Shard would one day become a fixture of London architecture – eventually built in 2009 and opened in 2013.
Up the Shard: Did Lisa’s prediction foretell London’s landmark?
5: Donald Trump becomes president
PREDICTED IN: BART TO THE FUTURE – 2000
Realized: USA – 2016
In another flash-forward episode, Lisa is the successor to the President of the United States, Donald Trump.
After he left office, he was seen bemoaning the financial meltdown that Trump had left the country in.
This episode aired 16 years ago before even the idea of Trump taking over the White House was a possibility. He was elected as the 45th President of the United States on November 9, 2016.
President Lisa: A flash-forward sees Lisa loosely picking up on former President Trump.
6: Blinky the three-eyed mutant fish
Predictions: Two cars in every garage and three eyes in every fish – 1990
Realized: Córdoba, Argentina – 2011
Blinky, the three-eyed fish from The Simpsons, first appeared in the show’s second season, when Bart caught it while fishing in the river at the Springfield nuclear power plant.
In 2011, a fisherman in Argentina caught a three-eyed wolffish, similarly in the waters outside a power station.
In both cases, the power plants were blamed for dumping toxic waste into the water, thus affecting wildlife.
The perfect catch? Bart catches a fish – and a glimpse of the future
7: King’s Landing is destroyed by dragons
Predicted in: The Surfsons – 2017
Come to Reality: Game of Thrones – 2019
In 2017 The Simpsons parodied Game of Thrones, with the episode ending with the family having their village destroyed by a fire-breathing dragon.
When the final episode of Game of Thrones aired in 2019, King’s Landing suffered a similar fate when Daenerys Targaryen ordered Drogon to raze the city to a crisp.
Winter came early: The Simpsons predicted the fate of King’s Landing in 2017
8: Child Translator
Prophecy: Brother, can you spend two rupees? – 1992
Come True In: Twain, East Asia – 2015
When Homer is awarded $2,000 as compensation for exposure to nuclear radiation, rendering him infertile, his long-lost half-brother Herb shows up, seeking investment in an invention that translates to ‘baby babble’ – using Maggie as a guinea pig.
In 2016, app developers unveiled their Infant Cry Translator, which claimed to be able to decipher what a baby’s cry is trying to convey.
Baby Babel: Did Homer’s Long-Lost Brother Invent the Infant Cry Translator?
9: Censoring Michelangelo’s David
Predicted: Itchy and Scratchy and Merge – 1990
CAME RUE IN: ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA – 2016
Marge was outraged by the violence in Bart and Lisa’s favorite cartoon, The Itchy and Scratchy Show, and wrote a letter of concern to the broadcast network. This turned into a full-blown protest that saw the cat and mouse cartoon toned down; Instead of blowing each other up, they were seen sharing lemonade.
When the famous sculpture Michelangelo’s David is due to stop on a tour in Springfield, Marge refuses to join a local protest led by the pious Maud Flanders, who claims the statue is absurd. He was then accused of being a hypocrite.
26 years later, the exact same scenario unfolded in Russia [minus the Itchy & Scratchy part]When residents of St. Petersburg protested a replica of the nude sculpture that was to be installed in the city.
Censored! Marge’s itchy and scratchy tirade foreshadowed real-life protests against fine art
10: You can all eat law suits
PREDICTED IN: NEW KID ON THE BLOCK – 1992
Realized: Massachusetts, USA – 2017
Homer was kicked out of the All You Can Eat venue for overeating – leaving the restaurant dry. After that, he became engrossed in fighting legal cases.
A real-life incident occurred at Golden Corral in 2017, when a man ate 50 pounds of food, and was kicked out.
He then sued the restaurateur for $2 million.
All you can eat! Homer’s fish food binge happened in real life
11: Tiered lockdown in the UK
PREDICTED IN: THE SIMPSONS MOVIE – 2007
Realized: United Kingdom – 2020
Homer dumps his pet pig’s excrement into Springfield Lake and causes an environmental crisis.
The EPA then placed a dome over the city, isolating residents and not allowing them to leave.
In December 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK into a tiered system, with the nation divided into different categories, with some tiers ordered not to travel outside the city.
Lock down: Fans compare dome erected over Springfield by government to tiered restrictions imposed by Boris Johnson on UK in 2020
12: Reporting from home and carface
Prophecy: Wild Barts Can’t Be Broken – 1999
Realized: Global – 2020
When Homer, Barney, Lennie, and Carl drunkenly vandalize Springfield Elementary School, it is blamed on the children of Springfield, prompting Principal Wiggum to impose a curfew.
Kent Brockman is forced to present the news from home.
In a strikingly similar situation, Channel 4 newsreader Krishnan Guru-Murthy had to present from home in the UK due to self-isolation.
The country also implemented a strict curfew shortly thereafter, with restaurants and bars reopening but having to close by 10pm each night.
Eagle-eyed: A Simpsons viewer noticed that a 1999 episode drew parallels with stay-at-home policies and curfew orders from the coronavirus pandemic.
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