10 Times ‘The Simpsons’ Predicted the Future (VIDEO)
Every so often, fans of The Simpsons hail the show’s writers as prognosticators or even prophets—just as they did earlier this month after rediscovering a throwaway gag about Richard Branson that accurately predicted the billionaire’s future.
In fact, the long-running Fox animated comedy’s knack for depicting future events has become so newsworthy that Disney+ has a whole collection devoted to the topic, one aptly titled “The Simpsons Predict.”
And speaking of Disney, one of The Simpsons’ eeriest predictions-come-true has to do with the company. Read on details on these predictions and other times The Simpsons seemed to have a crystal ball.
Sigfriend and Roy’s tiger attack
In Season 5’s “$pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling)” the white tiger Anastasia attacks her trainers Gunter and Ernst, who are riffs on the Las Vegas performers Siegfried and Roy. Nearly ten years later, in 2003, a white tiger attacked and wounded Roy during a Vegas show.
School bully Dolph tries to take a memo to “beat up Martin” on his Apple Newton in Season 6’s “Lisa on Ice,” but the device mistranslates his handwriting to “eat up Martha.” Fun fact: The episode inspired Apple engineers to get the iPhone keyboard right. “In the hallways [at Apple] and while we were talking about the keyboard, you would always hear the words ‘Eat Up Martha,’” Nitin Ganatra, Apple’s former director of engineering for iOS applications, told Fast Company in 2013.
The Apple Watch
Later that same season, in “Lisa’s Wedding,” The Simpsons foreshadowed another Apple innovation, the Apple Watch, as Lisa’s would-be fiancé, High Parkfield, dictates a command into the tiny computer on his wrist.
The Higgs boson particle
The equation Homer works on in Season 10’s “The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace” yields “the mass of a Higgs boson that’s only a bit larger than the nano-mass of a Higgs boson actually is” and came 14 years before this so-called “God particle” was discovered, as physicist Simon Singh told The Independent.
Disney buying 20th Century Fox
In Season 10’s “When You Dish Upon a Star,” a sign with the 20th Century Fox logo has the fine print “A Division of Walt Disney Co.” Little more than two decades later, Disney purchased the movie studio.
Donald Trump becoming U.S. president
Sixteen years before Donald Trump moved into the White House, the Season 11 episode “Bart to the Future” made mention of President Trump as Lisa Simpson’s predecessor in the Oval Office.
Voting machines changing votes
At the start of Season 20’s “Treehouse of Horror XIX,” Homer tries voting for Barack Obama for president, but a voting machine erroneously logs his vote as one for John McCain. Four years later, that very glitch happened in Pennsylvania, with a voting machine logging a vote for Obama as one for opponent Mitt Romney.
Greece’s financial crisis
In Season 23’s “Politically Inept, With Homer Simpson,” a ticker at the bottom of the screen of the cable news show Head Butt With Nash Castor bears the headline: “Europe puts Greece on eBay.” The episode aired two and a half years before Greece defaulted on a $1.7 billion payment to the International Monetary Fund.
Lady Gaga giving an aerial performance
Season 23’s “Lisa Goes Gaga” features Lady Gaga performing while wearing a metallic costume and flying over her audience on a wire, much like the pop star did at Super Bowl LI nearly five years later.
Richard Branson going to space
The Simpsons predicted it… 👏
— virginatlantic (@VirginAtlantic) July 13, 2021
Virgin Galactic billionaire Richard Branson took a trip to space in Season 25’s “The War of Art,” just as he did earlier this month aboard the company’s Unity 22 spaceflight.