8 times the Simpsons predicted the future

  1. The Donald Trump presidency (Season 11, Episode 17: “Bart to the Future”)

Let’s start with the most widely circulated prediction. In this episode, Lisa has become president of the United States. During a cabinet meeting, she off handedly said “We inherited quite the budget crunch from President Trump.” It was intially a reference to Trump attempting a run as a Reform Party candidate. But the words gained much more validity when Trump was elected president in 2016. The week after the election, the recurring chalkboard gag even read, “Being right sucks.”

2. Autocorrect (Season 6, Episode 8: “Lisa on Ice”)

This is one of the few cases when The Simpsons not only made a prediction but actually contributed to events. A quick gag has bully Dolph writing the memo “Beat up Martin” on his Apple Newton phone. The text then translates to “Eat up, Martha,” a clear crack at the PDA’s poor handwriting recognition. Sources allege that years later, when Apple was working on the iPhone keyboard, they would quote, “Eat up, Martha” to each other to signal the feature’s importance.

3. Video chats (Season 6, Episode 19: “Lisa’s Wedding”)

In “Lisa’s Wedding,” the episode features a vital component of the 2010s: video chat. The style of communication throughout the episode is visual via a screen, not by phone. In a world that runs on Skype, Google Hangout and FaceTime, this is one prediction the writers had to see to believe.

4. Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl performance (Season 23, Episode 22: “Lisa Goes Gaga”)

Although one of the most unfavoured episodes of the show thus far, “Lisa Goes Gaga” featured the pop star visiting Springfield and aiding Lisa’s self-esteem issues. When Gaga performed at the Super Bowl halftime show in 2017, many noticed her wire-based stunt bore an uncanny resemblance to one of her many outfits during the episode.

5. The Shard (Season 6, Episode 19: “Lisa’s Wedding”)

Back to “Lisa’s Wedding”, here’s a “too eerie to be a coincidence” prediction. The episode featured an establishing shot of Big Ben with the joke thrown in of it now having a digital face. But if you look on the lefthand side, you’ll see a pointed spire that doesn’t seem to fit in with the real London skyline. Construction of the Shard completed in 2012, and the skyscraper not only has a similar shape to the mysterious building but also sits in the same place in comparison to Big Ben.

6. Three-eyed fish (Season 2, Episode 4: “Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish”

One of the most memorable creatures to come out of the show, and apparently now real life. ‘Blinky’ is a three-eyed fish that has been used by major news publications, linked to commentary on nuclear waste and mutation. But those messages turned sentient in 2011, when fishermen caught a three-eyed wolf fish in a reservoir that feeds near a nuclear plant in Argentina. Weird!

7. Putting horse meat in food (Season 5, Episode 19: “Sweet Seymour Skinner’s Baadasssss Song”)

A quick visual in the fifth season shows Lunchlady Doris adding horse parts to a typical Springfield Elementary lunch. Little did she know how much of a trailblazer she would be, as, in 2013, health officials discovered that several beef products in the UK contained horse meat.

8. Disney buys 20th Century Fox (Season 10, Episode 5: “When You Dish Upon a Star”)

An establishing shot at the end of “When You Dish Upon a Star” shows the 20th Century Fox logo with “A Division of Walt Disney Co.” below it. Although they’ve definitely poked fun here and there at their now parent company, theycertainly did not expect Fox to sell to The Walt Disney Co. in July 2018, now bringing Homer Simpson and Mickey Mouse into the same house.

Written by Annabella Skinner