The Simpsons Have Predicted The Future More Than 10 Times
The Simpsons have included bold predictions about the future during its over 30 years on the air, and amazingly, many have come true. The writers didn’t predict getting rid of Apu, but they did nail the controversy over the Statue of David. Read on to see some of the best predictions made during the show’s legendary run.
10. Three-eyed fish – Homer’s Odyssey (1990)
When the waste from the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant mutates the local wildlife, it becomes a problem for Mr. Burns, who had just launched a bid for governor. The Simpsons disturbingly predicted the future this time when earlier this year, a fisherman in Argentina found a real three-eyed fish mutated from the local nuclear power plant. Despite the real-life ecological concerns of mutant wildlife, Blinky has on to become an unofficial mascot for the show and, in fact, the actual mascot of Springfield’s curling team.
9. The Super Bowl – Lisa the Greek (1992)
When “Lisa the Greek” first aired on January 23, 1992, the Super Bowl was a few days away, leading to an unlikely Simpsons tradition when Lisa successfully predicted the Washington Redskins would win. Over the next three years, the episode was re-dubbed with the current teams, ending with another accurate prediction when the San Francisco 49ers beat the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX. Somehow, accurately guessing the biggest football game of the year isn’t all that impressive regarding The Simpsons’ track record for the future, but the fact it happened multiple times is amazing.
8. Germany Wins the World Cup – “You Don’t Have To Live Like A Referee” (2014)
This Simpsons future prediction gets some bonus points for getting the final result of the World Cup correct, and the reason behind Homer’s involvement, a FIFA corruption scandal, also gets uncovered within the same year. A double-whammy of unintended accuracy, someone in the writing room is a very good sports handicapper. Even Homer’s disappointment at becoming the owner of the Denver Broncos is fitting for everything that’s happened with the team after John Elway’s retirement.
7. Disney’s Acquisition of Fox – “When You Dish Upon A Star” (1998)
20 years before Disney purchased Fox, The Simpsons included this amazing shot towards the end of “When You Dish Upon A Star,” which everyone thought was a joke and not a prediction of the future. At the time, it would be unthinkable that Disney, a company that faced bankruptcy a decade earlier, would purchase the most successful entertainment company in the world. The irony of the longest-running primetime show going from Fox to Disney isn’t lost on anyone.
6. Higgs-Boson Particle – “The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace” (1998)
Homer Simpson discovered the Higgs-Boson (also referred to as “the God particle) over a decade before scientists. How The Simpsons managed to predict a future scientific breakthrough is a question for the ages. What makes it more eerie is just how close Homer’s math is to the real Higgs-Boson, a fact that both amused and disturbed the scientists behind the revolutionary discovery, but then again, Dr. Simon Singh, a physicist, wrote an entire book on The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets.
5. Auto-Correct – “Lisa on Ice” (1994)
The Simpsons Season 6 episode, “Lisa on Ice,” included a prediction on how bad autocorrect would be in the future that was so influential Apple engineers quoted it as they worked on the first iPhone. “Beat up Martin” became “Eat up Martha,” nearly a decade before the pain of autocorrect altering text messages became a common occurrence. In the same episode, “Bart” became “brat,” and now 19 years later, we’re still double-checking before sending that text to Grandma.
4. Faulty Voting Machines – “Treehouse of Horror XIX” (2008)
The 19th “Treehouse of Horror” featured Homer trying to cast his vote for Barack Obama, but the machine read it as a vote for John McCain instead. Every voter’s nightmare came true in 2012 when a video of a voter in Pennsylvania had the same problem after casting a vote for Obama that was counted for Romney. The Simpsons predictions for the future are sometimes as horrifying as they are accurate, though we’ve yet to have to vote for either Kodos or Kang, so an earlier “Treehouse of Horror” has yet to come true.
3. Siegfried & Roy Tiger Attack – “Springfield, (Or How I Learned To Stop Worring And Love Legalized Gambling)” (1993)
10 years before the infamous attack on Roy, the show had a joke about a tiger getting frustrated and attacking during a show at Mr. Burns casino. This time around The Simpsons predicted a future that everyone had a feeling would come true at some point, but no one wanted actually to see it. Roy Horn survived the attack and went on to live for 17 more years, finally passing in 2020 at the age of 75.
2. The Election of Donald Trump – “Bart to the Future” (2000)
When The Simpsons showed a future in which Lisa became President, she included an off-hand remark about having to fix the budget after President Donald Trump left office. The New York real-estate mogul was running as a reform candidate in 2000, 16 years before he won and became the President of the United States. Widely circulated at the time as one of the show’s wildest predictions that became true, the show would go on, in 2015, to include a “Trump 2024” sign, which, again, is also a true prediction as he’s running for a third time.
1. Smartwatches – “Lisa’s Wedding” (1995)
Five years earlier, when The Simpsons had a future episode for the first time, Lisa’s boyfriend Hugh is shown talking into his watch, which was also predicted by Dick Tracy 60 years earlier. Still, Hugh’s watch could access the internet and play music, making it the precursor to the modern Smartwatch, which first hit the market in 2013, 18 years after this episode first aired. The ease and functionality of Hugh’s watch makes it stick out compared to sci-fi shows that had similar technology, as the consumer-friendly approach shown here was the design that won out in the end, notching another win for the crowd that thinks time travelers are writing the Simpsons.