Are the writers time travelers, or are they related to Nostradamus? The Simpsons never disappoints viewers with its eerie Simpsons predictions that ring true years later.
The Simpsons family is made up of several characters, but the main characters are Homer (voiced by Dan Castellaneta), Marge (voiced by Julie Kavner), Lisa (voiced by Yeardley Smith), Bart (voiced by Nancy Cartwright), and Maggie. Each episode is filled with the Simpsons family interacting with other residents of Springfield including guest stars that appeared in some episodes on The Simpsons. Yet what intrigues viewers is how some events were predicted by The Simpsons writers at least five years before it happened. So, what did The Simpsons predict? Could it be that The Simpsons really predicts world events or is the world just following The Simpsons script?
Updated on October 24, 2023, by Hannah Saab:
With the 35th season of the long-running sitcom currently airing, fans are seeing a return of more creative, powerful, and witty storylines that are reminiscent of the beloved classic Simpsons seasons. There’s no doubt that the wild narratives from more recent seasons will be added to the growing Simpsons predictions list, there’s no telling exactly which ones will come true in the coming years.
20 A Submersible Disaster
Season 17, Episode 10 (2006)
A more recent prediction from The Simpsons became clear earlier this year, when fans made the connection between the Titanic submersible disaster and the episode “Homer’s Paternity Coot.” In the episode, Homer finds a man he thinks is his long-lost father and agrees to venture into the depths of the ocean with him in an attempt to find an old ship. Disaster strikes and Homer gets stuck, but thankfully opens his eyes in a hospital a few days later.
Last June, a real-life submersible carrying five passengers toward the sunken Titanic unfortunately imploded. The expedition to see the wreck dominated conversations around the world, and the tragedy has raised crucial questions about safety regulations and protocols to prevent a similar event from ever happening again.
19 The God Particle
Season 10, Episode 2 (1998)
One of the most shocking Simpsons predictions yet, “The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace” shows Homer’s attempts at becoming an influential inventor like Thomas Edison. In a small part of the episode, Homer’s seemingly nonsensical writing on a chalkboard reveals itself to be a complex math equation.
Renowned British science writer Simon Singh told The Independent that Homer’s final figure on the chalkboard isn’t too far from the 2012 CERN Higgs boson discovery. “If you work it out, you get the mass of a Higgs boson that’s only a bit larger than the nano-mass of [what] a Higgs boson actually is,” Singh said. “It’s kind of amazing as Homer makes this prediction 14 years before it was discovered.”
18 Malfunctioning Voter Machines
Season 20, Episode 4 (2008)
“Treehouse of Horror XIX” seems to have predicted an electoral mishap related to former President Barack Obama. A brief moment depicts Homer voting for Obama in a booth, but his soon revealed to have been tallied as one for John McCain.
A similar event would occur in 2012, with a viral YouTube video showing an incorrectly registered vote. Instead of the vote in a booth in Pennsylvania being counter for Obama, it appears to have been tallied for Mitt Romney, sparking controversy among the public.
17 Real Tomacco Plants
Season 11, Episode 5 (1999)
When Homer sets his eyes on agriculture, wacky disasters follow. Using nuclear ingredients from the power plant, Homer decides to create a mutant hybrid plant in the episode “E-I-E-I-D’oh!” – the result is the not-so-humble “tomacco.” A bizarre combination of the tomato and tobacco plants, the potential to make money from it drives a wedge between Homer and the rest of his family.
Disturbing real-life counterparts emerged around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, where deformed vegetables and fruit popped up and looked unsettlingly similar to Homer’s creation. While no one has (thankfully) tried to find a way to make money out of these monstrous mutations, it’s not too far-fetched to imagine less scary versions of these in grocery stores in the future.
16 Accessible Space Travel
Season 5, Episode 15 (1994)
“Deep Space Homer” marked an important moment in the show’s history, as aside from featuring some of The Simpsons‘ best guest stars – Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin and musician James Taylor – the episode also signaled the creators’ willingness to go beyond the realm of possibility (or so they thought).
What seemed like an unrealistic idea at that time – an ordinary man going to space – has since become a common concept, as commercial space flight is something people can look forward to in the not-too-distant future. There have even been “all-civilian spaceflights” in recent years, proving that Homer’s far-fetched experience back then has become the reality for some people today.
Season 6, Episode 19 (1995)
In the classic season 6 episode of The Simpsons, “Lisa’s Wedding,” there were more than a few jokes about future tech, with only one really getting the future right. The episode showed a brief moment where Hugh talks to his watch, predicting the rise of smartwatches almost two decades before the first one would be introduced to the world.
It’s a fleeting moment that didn’t mean much back then, but highlighted key tech like digital watches and voice recognition that would become commonplace today. Too bad Hugh’s attempts at using the technology to propose to Lisa back then didn’t quite work out as well as he had hoped.
14 Serving Horse Meat
Season 5, Episode 19 (1994)
Never trust the food in Springfield Elementary, as a short gag showcases Lunchlady Doris’ cooking chops (or lack thereof) by revealing the way she casually adds horse meat to the kids’ meals. The idea is hilarious on the small screen, but not so funny in real life.
A report from The Guardian recounts the infamous “horse meat scandal” of 2013, which found 29% of the animal used in Tesco burgers. Millions of “beef” products were pulled from around Europe, and there was understandably public outcry about how the supply chain could have been compromised so horribly.
13 Three-eyed Fish
Season 2, Episode 4 (1990)
Blinky is an essential part of some of the best Simpsons episodes. The three-eyed fish is supposed to be a funny reminder of the horrid effects Burns’ nuclear plant has on the town, mutating flora and fauna like Blinky – a practice that is widely accepted (or ignored) by the residents.
It turns out, Blinky has a real-life counterpart. Over a decade ago, Argentinian fishermen caught a three-eyed wolf fish in a reservoir near a nuclear plant – sound familiar? A ZME report quotes one of the fishermen, who recounts their surprise at finding this “rare specimen.” No mention of Mr. Burns’ counterpart is in the article, though.
12 Baby Translator
Season 3, Episode 24 (1992)
In one of the rare episodes featuring Homer’s half-brother Herb (voiced by Danny DeVito), he manages to invent a never-before-seen device that could make him wealthy beyond his wildest imagination. Herb creates a baby translator, which is able to decode precisely what babies’ babbling means.
Today, there are quite a few “baby translator” equivalents on the app store. Apps like Cry Translator, BabyTalk Translator, and Zoundream are able to approximate what an infant’s cry may mean. They’re not quite as sophisticated as Herb’s, but there’s no doubt the inventor would be proud of his innovation’s far-reaching influence.
11 Censoring Michelangelo’s David
Season 2, Episode 9 (1990)
Marge learns a hard lesson about censorship when a slippery slope leads Springfield residents calling for the censorship of Michelangelo’s David. The classic work of art is hilariously covered up with a pair of jeans in an effort to make it more acceptable for the outraged community that won’t tolerate nudity.
Back in 2016, a copy of the statue on display in St. Petersburg sparked controversy, and prompted a vote from citizens who wanted it to be covered up or removed. And just this year, a school in Florida’s decision to deem the statue as too “pornographic” to show to kids has prompted the mayor of Florence, Italy to extend an invitation to the principal to see the statue for herself.
10 Lady Gaga and The Superbowl
Season 23, Episode 22 (2012)
One of The Simpsons‘ Superbowl episodes included a prediction of a musical artist’s performance. In the 2012 episode “Lisa Goes Gaga,” Lady Gaga visits Springfield and performs her songs while flying over an audience, and at one point, played the piano during her concert.
In 2017, Gaga performed at the Superbowl LI Halftime Show performing her greatest hits including “Poker Face,” and “Bad Romance.” During her halftime show performance, Gaga was lifted above the audience, mirroring the Simpsons episode. Later in the show, she also played “Million Reasons,” on the piano.
9 Walt Disney and Fox Merger
Season 10, Episode 5 (1998)
In 1998, in the episode “When You Wish Upon a Star,” Homer met Alec Baldwin (voiced by Baldwin) and Kim Basinger (voiced by Basinger) and decided to work for them. Homer suggested an idea for a movie during his phone call to 20th Century Fox executives. The next scene of the episode showed that 20th Century Fox was now owned by Walt Disney.
The scene is now among the infamous things the Simpsons predicted, as in March 2019, Walt Disney announced a $71 billion merger with 21st Century Fox. In 2021, Disney and Fox settled on the streaming rights in terms of the films that Disney would own. In other words, this settled what movies would be solely on Hulu/Disney+ or HBO Max and the deadline for the agreement.
8 Trump Presidency
Season 11, Episode 17 (2000)
The episode “Bart to the Future” premiered in 2000, where Bart Simpson saw his and his sister’s future. The leader of the country was Lisa Simpson, Lisa mentioned that the United States was tasked with fixing the economy after former Donald Trump’s presidency.
Not only was Trump elected President in 2016, but one scene from the show looked as if it was almost replicated in real life. In the same episode, a crowd of people watched as Donald Trump descended an escalator – it’s a scene that’s now among The Simpsons predictions that came true. In reality, President Trump also descended the escalator with First Lady Melania Trump while a group of supporters watched in the background.
7 USA Curling Team
Season 21, Episode 12 (2010)
In 2010, the episode “Boy Meets Curl,” premiered where Homer and Marge arrived at the skating arena only to see that it was closed to those practicing curling. They tried their hand at curling and eventually joined the U.S. Curling (Mixed Doubles) Team during the Winter Olympics. During the episode, the U.S. team won a gold medal and defeated Sweden.
In 2018, the U.S. Olympics Curling Team, led by Josh Shuster, won their first gold medal for Curling. The U.S. team also beat Sweden in the 2018 Olympic with a score of 10 to 7.
Season 6, Episode 19 (1995)
In 1995, in the heartwarming Simpsons episode “Lisa’s Wedding,” Lisa went to a fortune-teller who predicted Lisa’s future in 2010. Lisa’s future consisted of her marrying her college sweetheart. Excited to share the news, she called her mom. The phone that Lisa dialed included a screen that showed Marge’s face in real-time attached to a rotary dial.
While Skype was invented in 2003, it served primarily as the calling service used on computers. In 2010, Apple announced that it developed “FaceTime” for Apple users, the app allowed users to not only talk but see the person that they were talking to through the phone’s camera.
5 Matrix 4 Premiere
Season 15, Episode 14 (2004)
This Simpson prediction was easy to miss in the 2004 episode “The Ziff Who Came To Dinner.” At the beginning of the episode behind Homer Simpson is a movie poster that read “A Matrix Christmas,” “Coming Soon.” The image presented Neo (played by Keanu Reeves) in a Christmas hat.
The Matrix was released in 1999 while The Matrix Reloaded, and The Matrix Revolutions were released in 2003. It wouldn’t be until 2021 that the next dystopia film in The Matrix franchise would be released. The Matrix Resurrections was released December 22, 2021, in the United States. While Neo was front and center on the poster, he, unfortunately, wasn’t wearing a Christmas hat.
4 A Pandemic
Season 4, Episode 21 (1993)
In 1993, the Simpsons first aired the episode “Marge in Chains.” The episode focused on Marge (voiced by Kavner) charged with shoplifting and forced to serve prison time. The rest of Springfield caught the Osaka Flu after a shipment of products reached Springfield.
Osaka Flu caused a similar pandemic to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Osaka Flu originated from a different country before it made its way to the U.S. In addition, the episode didn’t have a treatment immediately available and the doctor of the episode recommended that the patients got some bed rest, similar to how the scientists were still testing out their vaccine to prevent the COVID-19 virus.
3 Murder Hornets
Season 4, Episode 21 (1993)
In the same episode that The Simpsons predicted a pandemic, they also gave clues to another outbreak. During the episode “Marge in Chains,” a crowd of people demanded that they wanted a placebo to cure their illness. When one of the members of the crowd pointed at a truck that could hold the placebos, the crowd knocked the truck over releasing a swarm of “killer bees.”
Similar to around the same time as the COVID-19 outbreak, there were reports of the Asian Giant Hornet appearing in the U.S., a type of “killer bee”. The Asian Giant Hornet was claimed to be a threat to the bee population and was reported that they could destroy an entire bee colony.
2 Tom Hanks Endorses the US
‘The Simpsons Movie’ (2007)
In The Simpsons Movie (2007), actor Tom Hanks made a cameo appearance during a commercial scene that the Simpsons were watching. During the commercial, a father took his two children to see the Grand Canyon, but his daughter was unimpressed by the landmark and requested for there to be a new Grand Canyon. Next, Hanks enters the scene stating that the “US government lost its credibility, so it’s borrowing some of mine.”
In 2022, one year after President Joe Biden‘s presidency, Hanks appeared in the commercial stating the Americans’ determination as they endured economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The video focused on America’s theme of rebuilding its economy and highlighting the successes of Biden’s administration so far.
1 Legal Reeferino in Canada
Season 16, Episode 6 (2005)
The 2005 episode “Midnight Rx” sees Ned tagging along with Homer and Grampa’s smuggling trips to Canada to get medicine for his own kids. Ned meets his Canadian counterpart and quickly learns they’re very different when he’s offered a “reeferino,” since it’s legal in that country.
Thirteen years later, in 2018, recreational marijuana became legal in Canada. While Ned likely won’t be making any trips back with Apu, Homer, and Grampa, it’s good to know he was at least at the center of one of the coolest things Simpsons predicted.