Not only is “The Simpsons” television’s longest-running scripted series, the animated TV institution is also something of a latter-day Nostradamus, predicting the future with eerie accuracy. From foreseeing Disney’s purchase of Fox — nearly 20 years before it happened — to Kobe Bryant helicopter crash and coronavirus outbreak, check out these times “The Simpsons” put fortune tellers to shame.
• Branson Blasts Off
In a 2014 episode, an art forger is confessing his crimes to Lisa, opening to a collage of all the different forgeries in distinguished places throughout the world. One of these is on the wall of a Virgin Galactic spaceship, where Richard Branson is relaxing in zero gravity admiring his bogus artwork.
On July 10, 2021, Sir Richard and his crew blasted off for their first successful space flight.
Coronavirus And Murder Hornets
The 1993 "Marge in Chains" nearly predicted the novel coronavirus pandemic and the nightmarish murder hornets plaguing 2020. First, Springfield citizens clamour and shout at Dr. Hibbert for a cure to a disease; however, all the doctor prescribes is bedrest. In a different scene, towsnfolk accidentally unleash a swarm of killer bees.
Back in 2018, before long before the coronavirus pandemic and the term "self-isolation" was firmly in the public lexicon, "The Simpsons" called it.
In the episode "Heartbreak Hotel", Homer and Marge were forced into self-isolation after filming a reality show to keep spoilers under wraps until it aired.
'GoT' Season 8, Epiosde 5
While social media users were agast at the fifth episode of season eight of "Game of Thrones", "The Simpsons" writer room was not.
The show essentially predicted it in an episode from 2017, titled “The Serfsons” where Homer, Marge, Bart and Lisa are seen atop a castle overlooking their village being burned indiscriminately by a dragon in the medieval fantasy-set episode.
The Stanley Cup In Vegas
In a 1999 episode of "The Simpsons" we see the Stanley Cup make an appearance in Homer and Ned Flanders' hotel room. Skip ahead to 2018 and the Las Vegas Golden Knights -- in their first season in the NHL -- have made it to the final round of the playoffs and are four wins away from being the first expansion team to hoist the cup.
Team USA's Out Curls Sweden
"The Simpsons" fans watching the 2018 Winter Olympics may have experienced deja vu when the U.S. men's curling upset Sweden and took home the gold medal.
Eight years ago, yes in 2010, an episode of "The Simpsons" depicted a similar event with Homer Simpson's makeshift curling team besting Sweden for the gold.
Disney Buys Fox
Disney's acquisition of 20th Century Fox has been heralded as one of the biggest media mergers of all time, but "The Simpsons" jokingly predicted it would happen back in 1998. In an episode titled "When You Dish Upon a Star," Homer travelled to Hollywood, where he saw a sign outside the 20th Century Fox studios, with a small addition at the bottom: "A Division of Walt Disney Co."
Kobe Bryant helicopter crash
The episode under scrutiny is "Marge in Chains" from season four of the show which aired back in 1993 (May 6, 1993) - almost 27 years before Bryant's death. The episode features a scene where a helicopter can be seen flying over the town with the words "going around and around" repeated multiple times. According to conspiracy theorists, the phrase in tandem with the helicopter scene is a reference to Kobe Bryant's helicopter circling in the foggy weather before ultimately crashing. The crash - which killed Kobe along with his daughter Gianna and seven others - occurred on January 26, 2020, at the hills near Calabasas, California. If this is not one of the more convincing Simpsons predictions, Kobe Bryant's death was also predicted on another animated sitcom, "Legends of Chamberlain Heights." The episode 'End of Days' aired in November 2016 and highlights a chain of events eerily similar to Kobe Bryant's death. The scene shows Kobe's helicopter crashing with the Lakers legend stuck in the burning chopper, which later explodes, killing the basketball legend.
The Stones Keep Rolling
Despite being well into their 70s, The Rolling Stones continue to tour and record — something "The Simpsons" goofed on way back in 1995. During the season 6 episode "Lisa's Wedding", a future flash-forward to the future saw grown-up Lisa in her college dorm room, which featured a poster for the band's 2010 "Steel Wheelchair Tour." Although The Stones didn't tour in 2010, they did hit the road in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Gaga Flies At The Super Bowl
Five years after Lady Gaga soared above the heads of Springfield fans, Mother Monster did the exact same thing for real while headlining the 2017 Super Bowl halftime show.
Back in 1994, the debut of the iPhone was still 13 years away as Apple launched its failed "personal digital assistant," the Newton. "The Simpsons", however, amazingly predicted the future frustrations felt by smartphone users thanks to autocorrect, when a school bully writes himself a reminder to "Beat Up Martin," which autocorrect translates into "Eat up Martha."
Vegas Tiger Attack
An season 5 episode featured a sight gag in which one of the white tigers featured in Siegfried & Roy's Las Vegas stage act wound up turning on the magical duo. That exact scenario tragically came true two decades later when Roy was horrifically mauled by a tiger onstage in 2013.
The God Particle
Back in 1998 during "The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace" episode, Homer strives to be the next great inventor, standing at a chalkboard where a complex equation is written.
That equation is just a tad off of what would become The Higgs boson particle or "God particle" in 2002.
“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," author of the 2013 book , Simon Singh, says. "It’s kind of amazing as Homer makes this prediction 14 years before it was discovered.”
Despite Donald Trump's years of threatening to run for president, few believed he would actually do it. When he finally did declare his candidacy, few thought he actually had a shot at winning until he proved the pundits wrong in November 2016. "The Simpsons", however, jokingly foresaw the Trump presidency way back in 1990, when an episode peered into the future to show us a peek at President Lisa Simpson, who gripes about the budget deficit left behind by her predecessor, President Donald Trump.
Virtual reality was the stuff of science fiction when "The Simpsons" portrayed the children of Springfield with Oculus-style goggles on their heads while indulging in the "Yard Work Simulator" — predicting not just the rise of VR, but the inexplicable popularity of Farmville and its ilk.
Nobel Prize Winner
In what is arguably the show's most obscure prediction, a 2010 episode indicated that MIT professor Bengt Holmström would win the Nobel Prize in economics. Six years later, he actually did!
To be fair, Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" predicted telephone-style communication with video, but "The Simpsons" likewise predicted what would eventually emerge as apps such as Facetime and Skype, way back in 1995.
In that same 1995 episode, "Lisa's Wedding," "The Simpsons" depicted a future world in which people would communicate with their watches — nearly two decades prior to the launch of the Apple Watch.
Horse Meat Scandal
It was way back in 1994 that Springfield Elementary's thrifty lunch lady was caught using "assorted horse parts" in school lunches — presaging an actual scandal that would occur 19 years later when traces of horse DNA were discovered in ground beef distributed throughout the U.K.
Electronic Voting Manipulation
In 2012, investigators discovered that a Pennsylvania voting machine had been rigged to change any vote cast for President Barack Obama to his Republican rival, Mitt Romney. Turns out the exact same thing happened in the 2008 "Treehouse of Horror" episode when Homer enters a voting booth, only to watch his Obama vote mysteriously change to a vote for John McCain.
One of the earliest sight gags on "The Simpsons" came disturbingly true: the three-eyed fish populating Springfield's lakes and streams thanks to radiation from Mr. Burns' power plant. Years later, a fisherman in Argentina caught an actual three-eyed fish in a reservoir near a nuclear power plant.
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