They are capable of seeing into the future, predicting world events and can see your love life in the palm of your hand. We’re not talking about fortunetellers or astrologers; we’re talking about one of the greatest TV series of all time, The Simpsons. Okay, they can’t actually do any of those things and they don’t get the future exactly right but they seem to get pretty close in some cases. The series has been on the air for so long those coincidences are bound to happen. The Simpsons is an animated sitcom that airs on the Fox Network. It was created by Matt Groening and originally aired as sketches on The Tracy Ullman Show in 1987. The sketches proved so popular they received their own series. The first episode “Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire” premiered on December 17, 1989. The series has now completed 27 seasons with the 28th season set to premiere in the fall of 2016. The series is the longest running American sitcom and the longest running American animated sitcom. The first feature length film, The Simpsons Movie, was released in 2007. The series has been both critically acclaimed and criticized. It’s created controversy and become a cultural icon.
The series revolves around The Simpson family and the residents of Springfield. The Simpson Family consists mainly of parents Homer and Marge, and their three children, Bart, Lisa and Maggie. The series follows them on their many adventures and misadventures. The Simpsons has aired 596 episodes and will reach 600 by the fourth episode of season 28. In that time The Simpsons have aired some of the funniest, sweetest and most groundbreaking TV. However, in some cases some of the silliest and most outlandish jokes have actually become true. It’s eerie how accurate the series was in some cases and other times were just a bit off. However, if the series is really able to predict the future then everyone should be paying close attention. Here is a look at 15 The Simpsons Jokes That Correctly Predicted The Future.
15. Technology – “Lisa’s Wedding” (March 19, 1995)
When The Simpsons first came on the air; the Internet was years away from being commonplace in life, cellphones were the size of a shoebox and most families only had one TV. Since then a lot as changed in the world but before the world could change, The Simpsons was already light years ahead. The series has made many predictions, but in this one episode they got a lot of stuff right. The episode revolved around Lisa (Yeardley Smith) having her fortune told. In the future she meets and falls in love with the perfect man, Hugh Parkfield (Mandy Patinkin), the only problem is he wants nothing to do with her family. At one point in the episode, Hugh attempts to propose to Lisa and speaks into his watch. Not only did they predict the Apple Watch, but Lisa and Marge also videoconference. Facetime is another advancement they got right. In another scene, Bart is shown playing a virtual reality game which seems to have predicted the rise of systems like Nintendo Wii.
14. The Case of the Stolen Lemon Tree – “Lemon of Troy” (May 14, 1995)
In a 1995 episode, the residents of Springfield find themselves at odds with those who live in nearby Shelbyville. Their rivalry goes back many centuries to the founding of both Springfield and Shelbyville. This particular feud revolved around lemons. Some of the kids in Springfield are making a killing in the lemonade game and the secret to their success is in the lemon tree. Bart (Nancy Cartwright) begins to feel great pride for his town and is angered when Shelbyville steals the lemon tree. Bart and his friends, Milhouse (Pamela Hayden), Nelson, Martin and Todd, venture into Shelbyville to reclaim the lemon tree. It seems silly and ridiculous that anyone would steal a lemon tree. However in 2013, residents of a Houston town were shocked and confused when they discovered that their lemon tree had been stolen. All jewelry and electronics were not taken. Many wondered who would steal a lemon tree, but leave expensive jewelry behind. One can only assume that a group of kids made a ton of money one summer selling a lot of lemonade.
13. The Beatles Respond To Their Fans – “Brush with Greatness” (April 11, 1991)
In the 1991 episode, Marge (Julie Kavner) rediscovers her passion for painting (which she used to love doing). At the time, her favourite person to draw was Ringo Starr of The Beatles. She was scolded by an art teacher and sent Ringo a painting to get his honest opinion. Of course, she never heard from him and moved on. However, the series depicts that Ringo has been busy responding to his millions of fans for the last several years. Eventually Marge gets a response and it changes everything for her. Well, The Simpsons’ prediction kind of came true. In 1963, Lyn Jeffries and Barbara Bezant recorded a message for Beatles member Paul McCarthy, on a reel-to-reel recorder. At the time the two teenagers had hoped to hear back but eventually they moved on. Eventually the tape ended up in the hands of Paul McCarthy and he sent a response to the two fans nearly 50 years later.
12. Alan Rickman and David Bowie – “Love is a Many-Splintered Thing” (February 10, 2013)
This wasn’t really a prediction, but a coincidence that turned out to be a nice little way to pay tribute to two great icons. David Bowie was a rock icon and one of the best selling artists of all time. He released several highly successful albums, such as David Bowie, The Man Who Sold The World and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Alan Rickman was an actor who appeared in the films Die Hard, Love Actually and the Harry Potter films. In January 2016, David Bowie and Alan Rickman died just days apart. Fans of both were devastated but a scene from The Simpsons helped many through their grief. In a 2013 episode, Homer and Bart watch a parody of Love Actually. At the end of the movie, Alan Rickman, voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, shows up as his Harry Potter character Professor Severus Snape while the background music is David Bowie’s “The Young Dudes”.
11. The Corrupted Voting Machines – “Treehouse of Horror XIX” (November 2, 2008)
Each year for Halloween The Simpsons presents their ‘Treehouse of Horror’ special episode. ‘The Treehouse of Horror’ series has become a hallmark of the series. It wouldn’t feel like Halloween without ‘The Treehouse of Horror’. The episodes take place outside of the regular episodes and usually include horror, science fiction and mystery. The first Treehouse of Horror aired on October 25th, 1990. So far there have been 26 Treehouse of Horror episodes with the 27th to air in the fall of 2016. In 2008, the episode aired right around the US Presidential election between Barack Obama and John McCain. In the episode, Homer (Dan Castellaneta) attempts to vote for Obama but the voting machines count each vote as one for McCain. The voting machine then eats Homer. In 2012, during the election between President Obama and Mitt Romney, several people reported instances where they voted for Obama but the machine counted it as one for Romney. However, the situation was resolved and luckily none of the machines came to life and ate any of the voters.
10. Rise Of Grease Thieves – “Lard Of The Dance” (August 23, 1998)
It might seem like a very silly concept, but grease thieves have apparently existed long before The Simpsons episode that featured Homer and Bart stealing grease. There is a good chance that the episode itself was inspired by grease thieves of the time, however, as in 2007 there was a spike in grease theft. The season ten premiere revolved around Homer and Bart stealing grease from the Springfield High School during a dance initially put on by Lisa, but taken over by new student Alex Whitney (Lisa Kudrow). After all of their hard work, Homer and Bart get out of the grease game. The episode aired in 1998, well before the grease craze. As noted, it may have been influenced by events at the time. However, recently there have been a lot more arrests regarding grease. When oil prices went up, so did grease theft. In 2011, Ryan and Gary Vaughn were caught stealing grease from a St. Louis Chinese restaurant. In 2012, Andrew Carnegi was caught stealing grease from a Five Guys Burgers. Also in 2012, Bogdon Todorov Yordanov and Aldin Bajric tried stealing grease from a Chilli’s restaurant in Florida.
9. Farmville or Yard Work Simulator – “Bart Carney” (January 11, 1998)
For decades, parents have been trying to get their kids to help out around the house instead of playing video games and running around like maniacs. Well, Marge Simpson had the same dream; that someday her young son would help out to clean the yard but he’s way more concerned with blowing things up. In a 1998 episode, The Simpson family goes to the carnival. Bart gets excited when he sees one of the virtual games that some of the kids are playing. Two kids are shown playing at the “Yard Work Simulator”. Marge expresses frustration over Bart wanting to play the game but not do actual yard work. Everyone might have laughed then but in 2009, the social networking game, Farmville became one of the most popular Facebook games (and app). It’s not a virtual reality experience like in The Simpsons but it’s very close. In the game, players manage a farm and must plant, grow and harvest crops. They’re also responsible for raising livestock and maintaining the farm.
8. Meat Scandal – “Sweet Seymour Skinner’s Baadasssss Song” – (April 28, 1994)
Often, The Simpsons will make a joke that most people probably find ridiculous and silly. Well, that’s until it becomes true. In a 1994 episode, Lunch Lady Doris (Tress MacNeille) is busy preparing the children’s lunch for the day. She seems to be making something but it’s not clear what. She is shown taking meat from a large container with the phrase “Assorted Horse Parts, now with more testicles”, written on the side. It was a running joke throughout the series that Springfield School is underfunded and struggling. It was funny until it came true. In 2013, a meat scandal hit the UK, when it was discovered that meat containing beef actually had undeclared or improperly declared horse meat. Although horse meat isn’t unhealthy and is consumed in parts of the world, it’s considered taboo in the UK. It also was noted that racehorses could have been used and in many cases, those horses use certain drugs that might be illegal or damaging to humans.
7. Mutant Tomatoes – “E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)” (November 7, 1999)
After watching the movie Poke of Zorro, Homer begins to challenge everyone he has a problem with to a dual by slapping them in the face with a glove. Eventually, his challenge is accepted and the family is forced to hideout in Grandpa Simpson’s old farmhouse. The family struggles to grow vegetables on the farm, so in an attempt to speed things up Homer combines tomato seeds with plutonium and accidentally adds tobacco seeds. The result is a highly addictive mutated tomato called ToMacco. On March 11, 2011, Japan was struck by a devastating earthquake and tsunami that caused major damage to the country. The tsunami caused considerable damage to the Fukushima nuclear power plant, which resulted in a horrible nuclear accident. No deaths or sicknesses occurred but over 100,000 people had to be evacuated. Later farmers reported that because of the nuclear accident, many of their tomatoes and other crops had become mutated.
6. Eat Up Martha – “Lisa On Ice” (November 13, 1994)
Apple products, such as iPhones, iPads and iPods have become commonplace in life. Due to these products, another common thing in life is autocorrect… annoying autocorrect. The Apple Newton was an early technology for Apple and was a personal digital assistant. It was first released in 1993 and discontinued in 1998. It was known for having problems with the handwriting recognition, which The Simpsons first made fun of in 1994. In the episode “Lisa on Ice”, during an assembly, Martin Prince annoys the bullies with his teacher’s pet attitude. Dolph makes a memo on his Apple Newton, “Beat up Martin” which because of the poor handwriting, recognition became “Eat up Martha”. Poor Martin wasn’t saved by the autocorrect because the bullies simply threw the Newton at his head. The Simpsons correctly predicted that autocorrect would result in everyone throwing their phone. This may have been the inspiration for what would become the iPhone. They were also correct that we would carry these tiny devices everywhere we go.
5. The Force Awakens or The Apology – “Homer The Whopper” (September 27, 2009)
The Star Wars franchise has created some of the most memorable movies of all time. Throughout the years, Star Wars has made its fans happy, angry, overjoyed and frustrated. After the success of the original three films, fans desired more of the epic space opera. Star Wars finally returned with a prequel series in the late 90s – early 2000s. For fans it was very disappointing but there was still a strong desire for more Star Wars, which the fans finally got in 2015. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens set box office records and was a major success. Once again, The Simpsons predicted The Force Awakens long before albeit with a different title. In a 2009 episode, a poster for the seventh Star Wars film can be seen in one of the scenes. The title of the film is “Star Wars Episode VII: The Apology”. Interestingly, it’s next to a Chipmunks film poster: “Alvin & The Chipmunks 3: Gettin’ Rabies”. Coincidently, a Chipmunks film: Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Road Chip, was in theatres at the same time as The Force Awakens.
4. 911 – “The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson” (September 21, 1997)
This one is more of a coincidence than a prediction, but it’s still pretty eerie. On September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center and other locations in the US were attacked by terrorists. The image of the WTC buildings crumbling is an image that is still very haunting. In a 1997 episode, Homer’s good friend Barney is tasked with being the designated driver for the night. This leads to Barney having a breakdown and disappearing with Homer’s car. His car finally turns up but it’s in New York City, a city which Homer has many bad memories of. In fact, the WTC is featured in the episode as that’s where the car ends up. The rest of the family is excited to be in NY but Homer is very weary. At one point, Bart holds up a New York magazine and promises to pay for the cheap bus ride, which is $9. In the background of the magazine is a silhouette of New York City and the WTC buildings are prominent in the picture. In an eerie coincidence, the $9 and the WTC building actually seems like they’re spelling out “9-11”. Executive Producer Bill Oakley said, “$9 was picked as a comically cheap fare. Frankly, it’s funnier than 10 bucks or 11 0r 8 for some reason..” He also pointed out that it was logical for the artist to include a silhouette of NY in the background.
3. Siegfried & Roy Attacked by Tiger – “$pringfield (or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)” – (December 16, 1993)
Siegfried & Roy were magicians and stage performs who often worked with white lions and tigers. They were an enormously successful act in Las Vegas and a major attraction for the city. On October 3, 2003, a white tiger named Mantecore attacked Roy during a performance in Las Vegas. He was bit in the neck and had major blood loss. However, both Siegfried & Roy deny he was attacked by the tiger and instead, claim that he had a stroke. They also claim that the tiger was trying to help him. Roy suffered several injuries and requires Siegfried’s assistance for certain things. The duo has since retired due to Roy’s injuries. In a 1993 episode of The Simpsons, the town of Springfield legalized gambling and Mr. Burns opens a casino. Siegfried & Roy are hired as entertainers at Mr. Burns’ Casino. In one of the scenes, Siegfried & Roy are viciously attacked and mauled by their white tiger during a performance.
2. Three Eyed Fish – “Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish”
In the 1990 episode, Mr. Burns (Harry Shearer) decides to run for governor and Homer supports him against Marge’s wishes. Early in the episode, Bart and Lisa are fishing and Bart makes a shocking discovery. Famously, the episode reveals a three-eyed fish, Blinky, that has been mutated because of Mr. Burn’s Nuclear Power Plant. This discovery and the fallout is what lead to Burns’ decision to run for governor. During a dinner at The Simpsons’ home, Marge attempts to feed the three-eyed fish to Mr. Burns and his refusal to do so results in the end of his campaign. It’s one of the longest running Simpsons jokes and only stopped being a joke when a real three-eyed-fish popped up. In 2011, fishermen in Argentina caught a three-eyed-wolf fish near a nuclear power plant. However, unlike in The Simpsons, those in Argentina are smart enough to not eat it. Local residents were worried about the possible side effects, which Mr. Burns was probably concerned about, too.
1. Donald Trump Presidency – “Bart To The Future” (March 19, 2000)
Currently, Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee for the 2016 Presidential election. He is likely to face off with Democrat Hillary Clinton. Trump has caused a massive amount of controversy since announcing his bid to run in 2015. He has gained many followers and has many detractors. Well, The Simpsons were once again ahead of us all. In a March, 2000 episode, Bart is shown his future where he is a lazy failed rock musician and his sister Lisa, is the President of the United States (or as Lisa puts it, the first “straight female” President). Lisa mentions to her staff that they inherited major debt from the previous President, Donald Trump. The Simpsons actually predicted that Trump would become president and went a step further and predicted that he would put the country in a huge debt crisis. One could argue that Lisa Simpson and Hillary Clinton might have a lot in common. Dan Greaney was a writer at the time on The Simpsons, and when talking about the joke, stated: “It was a warning to America” and “It was pitched because it was consistent with the vision of America going insane.”