THE SIMPSONS UNCANNILY PREDICT THE FUTURE
jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG Friday 16 July 2021
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
The Simpsons: 14 of the series’ most uncanny predictions
The seminal cartoon created by Matt Groening has covered a lot of subject matter over the course of its 703-episode run.
While the series retains a devoted fan following across the globe, it’s also been kept strangely relevant in recent years, thanks to an uncanny pattern of headlines that suggest only one thing: The Simpsons can predict the future.
The Simpsons: ‘Will this horrible year never end’
From a sly mention of a Donald Trump presidency in a 20-year-old episode, to a revolutionary scientific theorem 14 years before its discovery, the series has often been months, years or even decades ahead of global news events.
While its creators have sometimes disputed the veracity of the show’s status as a modern Nostradamus, The Simpsons’ ability to foreshadow seemingly unforeseeable occurrences is often astounding.
Here is a selection of 14 times The Simpsons “predicted” the future…
- Donald Trump
The Simpsons actually predicted Donald Trump’s presidency back in the 11th season episode “Bart to the Future”, which aired back in 2000. Set in the future, the episode alludes to a Trump presidency, which seemed far-fetched at the time (though Trump’s unsuccessful run as a third-party candidate likely provided inspiration for the gag).
- Lady Gaga
The 23rd season episode “Lisa Goes Gaga”, reviled by a large section of the Simpsons fanbase when it aired back in 2012, saw Lady Gaga (voiced by herself) flying into a stadium while suspended from cables – a stunt the popstar would later enact in real life during her Super Bowl halftime show in 2017, wearing an uncannily similar outfit.
- Nobel Prize winner
A blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot in a 2010 episode saw Milhouse bet that Finnish economist Bengt R Holmstrom would win the Nobel Prize in Economics – which he really did, six years later (in a joint win with Oliver Hart).
- The Biden-Harris presidency
Series animator and director David Silverman recently joked on Twitter that the series had “predicted the future again” in a 2019 clip that seemed to predict Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s joint places on the Democratic ticket. Towards the end of the segment – an anti-Trump song that parodies “America” from West Side Story – Biden and Harris are pictured beside one another, though their joint candidacy and eventual election would not happen until the following year.
- The Higgs boson
In the 1998 episode “The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace”, Homer becomes inspired by Thomas Edison to pursue a career as an inventor. At one point, he writes an equation on a chalkboard which pretty much predicted the mass of the Higgs boson particle. “That equation predicts the mass of the Higgs boson,” specialist Simon Singh told The Independent. “If you work it out, you get the mass of a Higgs boson that’s only a bit larger than the nano-mass of a Higgs boson actually is. It’s kind of amazing as Homer makes this prediction 14 years before it was discovered.”
- Murder Hornets
Even series writer Bill Oakley admitted that The Simpsons had “predicted 2020” when a clip from the season four episode “Marge in Chains” went viral last year. The clip in question sees residents of Springfield fight each other over access to a placebo, which fans thought had predicted Donald Trump’s scientifically spurious Covid-19 treatment claims. What’s more, the clip then sees the unruly mob overturn a container of killer bees, which viewers interpreted as an ominous prediction of last year’s murder hornet invasion.
- Horse Meat Scandal
The classic 1994 episode “Sweet Seymour Skinner’s Baadasssss Song” featured a scene in which lunch lady Doris (the late Doris Grau) is seen pouring “assorted horse parts” into Springfield Elementary’s school meals. In 2013, the scene would take on a harrowing new significance when the UK was rocked by a scandal involving horse DNA found in beef products.
- The Beatles letter
An early episode of The Simpsons sees Marge receive a response to a piece of fan mail she had sent to Ringo Starr decades earlier. The premise became reality for two Essex women in 2013, who were sent a letter by fellow Beatle Sir Paul McCartney 50 years after they had attempted to contact him.
- Smart Watches
Though the first commercial smart watch would not be released until 2014, the idea was in fact depicted in the 1995 episode of The Simpsons entitled “Lisa’s Wedding”. In the episode, the multi-functional wristwatch is seen being used by Lisa’s prospective bridegroom, Hugh (Mandy Patinkin).
- Disney-Fox Merger
The $71.3bn dollar acquisition of Fox by Disney took most of the world by surprise in 2019 – but not some attentive Simpsons fans. The series had in fact “predicted” the Fox-Disney merger in a joke back in 1998, which showed 20th Century Fox studios labelled as “a Division of Walt Disney Co”.
- US Olympic Gold
A season 21 episode titled “Boy Meets Curl” saw Homer and Marge join a mixed doubles curling team, eventually travelling to the Winter Olympics and, in a true late-era Simpsons turn of events, beating Sweden to take home Olympic gold for the US. The surprising win actually happened eight years later in Pyongyang, when the US men’s team took home the nation’s first ever Olympic gold in the sport.
- Tom Hanks’ inauguration address
When Tom Hanks addressed the nation during Joe Biden’s inauguration as president, Simpsons fans collectively pointed to a scene in The Simpsons Movie 14 years earlier that seemed to anticipate the moment. “The US government has lost its credibility, so it’s borrowing some of mine,” says Hanks in his cameo, which Twitter users suggested felt oddly similar to the actor hosting a post-inauguration TV unity special for the Biden administration.
- Capitol Riots
The deadly pro-Trump riots at Capitol Hill on 6 January 2021 were a moment that shocked the world, and rocked the very foundations of the American democracy. But some Simpsons fans suggested that the show had in fact “predicted” the riots in the 1996 episode “The Day the Violence Died”, pointing to a scene in which the steps of Capitol Hill are stormed by an angry mob of cartoon characters.
- Richard Branson going into space
Virgin media tycoon Richard Branson journeyed to the edge of space in the year 2021, prompting some fans to suggest that the series had in fact predicted this, back in the 2014 episode “The War of Art”.
In the episode, a man is seen floating in a zero-gravity spaceship bearing a close resemblance to Branson. However, this is not so much a prediction as simply basic foresight — it was already announced at the time of the episode’s conception that Branson aimed to launch Virgin Galactic in the future.
No. of Seasons 33
No. of episodes 703
Season 1 (1989-90) Season 2 (1990-91) Season 3 (1991-92) Season 4 (1992-93)
Season 5 (1993-94) Season 6 (1994-95) Season 7 (1995-96) Season 8 (1996-97)
Season 9 (1997-98) Season 10 (1998-99) Season 11 (1999-00) Season 12 (2000-01)
Season 13 (2001-02) Season 14 (2002-03) Season 15 (2003-04) Season 16 (2004-05)
Season 17 (2005-06) Season 18 (2006-07) Season 19 (2007-08) Season 20 (2008-09)
Season 21 (2009-10) Season 22 (2010-11) Season 23 (2011-12) Season 24 (2012-13)
Season 25 (2013-14) Season 26 (2014-15) Season 27 (2015-16) Season 28 (2016-17)
Season 29 (2017-18) Season 30 (2018-19) Season 31 (2019-20) Season 32 (2020-21)
Season 33 (2021-22)
TOP TEN OF THE DAY
TOP TEN BEST SIMPSON’S EPISODES
For thirty four years plus one family, The Simpsons has occupied the televisions screens of millions across the globe.
Since its initial appearance as a short on The Tracy Ullman Show in 1987, The Simpsons has accumulated billions of dollars through merchandise sales, video games, a hit movie and, of course, the 1990 hit single “Do the Bartman”. The show soon evolved into the one of most successful franchises of all time.
The cartoon made its debut as 60-second animated bumpers for The Tracey Ullman Show, with the first short airing on April 19, 1987. The shorts were then expanded into a full-length 30-minute television spin-off by 20th Century Fox, first airing on December 17, 1989.
Cynicism would be easy in light of the show’s decline in quality and popularity, yet at its creative apex, the misadventures of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie are unmatched even in today’s crowded animated comedy landscape. Peter Griffin and Hank Hill rode Homer’s coattails; with The Simpsons truly defining the trials, tribulations and quirks of American suburbia for a generation.
Now, with almost the entire back catalogue of Simpsons episodes available to stream on Disney+ in the UK, it will be easier than ever to get your fix.
Here is a ranking of the top ten Simpsons episodes.
|10. You Only Move Twice – Season eight, episode two|
|9. Brother From Another Series – Season eight, episode 16|
|8. Marge vs The Monorail – Season four, episode 12|
|7. Homie the Clown – Season six, episode 16|
|6. Lisa vs Malibu Stacey – Season five, episode 14|
|5. Mr Plow – Season four, episode nine|
|4. Homer the Smithers – Season seven, episode 17|
|3. 22 Short Films About Springfield – Season seven, episode 21|
|2. Summer of 4 Ft. 2 – season seven, episode 25|
|1. Last Exit to Springfield – Season four, episode 17|
DON’T FORGET TO LAUGH EVERYDAY
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE FOR THE DAY
“The hell with the rules. If it sounds right, then it is.” – Eddie Van Halen
Happiness is…The Simpsons.
GRANDAD’S ONE LINER JOKE OF THE DAY
No one turned up to the first meeting of my Sarcasm Club – despite loads of people saying how much they were looking forward to it…
Love is…what you make it.
A time to read…A time to write.
1951 J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, which centred on the sensitive, rebellious adolescent Holden Caulfield, was published and later became a classic.
1955: Moss claims first Grand Prix victory – Stirling Moss won the British Grand Prix at the Aintree track near Liverpool – the first time an Englishman has triumphed in the race.
1965 The Mont Blanc Tunnel officially opened, linking France and Italy; at the time, it was the world’s longest vehicular tunnel, spanning 7.3 miles (11.7 km).
2005 “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”, the 6th book in the series by J. K. Rowling, is published worldwide. 9 million copies sell in 24 hrs.
BOOK OF THE DAY
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RETRO HIT RECORD RAMBLINGS
Reflections of a Top Hit Record
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LET’S TALK ROLLING STONES
©2021 Phil M Robinson