The Simpsons may be the greatest animation show ever but it’s also scarily accurate at imaging the future as this list of predictions shows.
Some great writers have worked for The Simpsons – Conan O’Brien, The Office’s Greg Daniels, the OG creator Matt Groening – but it’s become quite clear that Nostradamus is also in the writer’s room.
Since it’s debut all the way back in 1989, the show’s ability to predict the future has become legendary. Consider even just this year: a Halloween episode predicted the Capitol Hill riots on January 6th and then a 2000 episode predicted Kamala Harris’ Presidential inauguration outfit.
It’s spooky, it’s worrying, it’s weird, so we thought we’d compile a list of everything that The Simpsons has predicted so far! If we missed anything out, let us know. We’ll no doubt have to update it within, like, a month or two anyway.
Donald Trump’s Presidency – Season 11, Episode 17: “Bart to the Future”
The same episode that predicted Harris’ outfit, the show also predicted the horror that was Trump being in power. As Lisa becomes the first straight female president, she mentions that she took over from Trump, who of course had just ruined the economy.
Disney owning Fox – Season 10, Episode 5: “When You Dish Upon a Star”
A blink-and-you’ll-miss-it prediction, a small scene in a 1998 episode showed 20th Century Fox as “A Division Of Walt Disney Co.” Just under 20 years later, of course, Disney completed a multi-billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s film and TV assets, as they continued sweeping all culture under the shadow of Mickey Mouse’s ears.
Horse meat scandal – Season 5, Episode 19: “Sweet Seymour Skinner’s Baadasssss Song”
If you had the misfortune to live in the U.K. in 2013, you might have had the extra misfortune of eating horse meat when traces of the animal’s DNA were found in beef products. Pure and utter horror. In a 1994 episode of The Simpsons, the school’s lunch lady Doris was seen with a barrel of “assorted horse parts” that she then unsubtly added into the school’s meals. Lovely.
Siegfried and Roy tiger attack – Season 5, Episode 10: “$pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling”
The German magicians were famously turned on by one of their white tigers during a live show in 2003. 10 years prior though, an episode featured a Siegfried and Roy-type pair being attacked by a tiger. Captive tigers are always likely to detest their owners but still, another eerie prediction.
Three-eyed fish – Season 2, Episode 4: “Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish”
Lisa and Bart famously found a three-eyed fish in Springfield’s highly-contaminated waters, unsurprising given Mr. Burns operates a power plant nearby with their dad Homer in a prominent role. The three-eyed fish was found in real life in 2011, terrifyingly, when fishermen in Argentina found a three-eyed wolf fish in a reservoir near a nuclear plant. Don’t let it breed, please.
Bengt R. Holmstrom wins Nobel Prize in Economics – Season 22, Episode 1: “Elementary School Musical”
The later seasons of the show might be much-maligned by fans but that hasn’t stopped it predicting things. In season 22’s opening episode, Lisa and her nerdy friends have created a predictions sheet for the upcoming Nobel Prize announcements. Milhouse said that Bengt R. Holmstrom would win for economics, which the Finnish economist duly did in 2016.
— Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (@MIT) October 10, 2016
The Higgs-Boson Particle – Season 10, Episode 2: “The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace”
In a classic episode, Homer attempts to invent things after being inspired by Thomas Edison. In one small cutaway gag, Homer is shown scribbling frantically on a chalkboard, which features a complex math equation. When scientists later discovered the vital Higgs-Boson particle, they also found that it was startlingly similar to Homer’s profound work. A real Good Will Hunting moment.
Faulty voter machines – Season 20, Episode 4: “Treehouse of Horror XIX”
The 19th edition of “Treehouse of Horror” was actually linked to the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. When Homer tries to vote for Barack Obama, the voting machine instead gives it to his opponent John McCain. It might not have happened in that election but in 2012, a video went viral showing a voting booth in Pennsylvania doing the same thing with Obama and his new presidential opponent Mitt Romney.