The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. It has been on-air since 1989. It eventually became the longest-running American sitcom, the longest-running American animated program, and in 2009 it surpassed Gunsmoke as the longest-running American primetime, scripted television series. The show is not just about a dysfunctional, working-class family and their every day problems. For over 26 years, it has managed to predict future events several times. Here are ten examples of The Simpsons future predictions.
10. FIFA Corruption
In episode 546, which was broadcast in 2014, a FIFA official is arrested by American authorities for corruption. A year later, in real-life, 14 people were indicted by the FBI in connection with a FIFA corruption scandal. The investigation is ongoing.
9. Baby Translator
In 1992, Homer’s half-brother Herb Powell invented a machine that successfully translated baby noises into English. It made him a fortune. In 2009, Spanish developer Blood Technology released an iPhone app that claimed it could translate a baby’s cries into 5 categories: hungry, sleepy, bored, stressed, or annoyed.
8. Tiger Attack
When Springfield legalized gambling in a 1993 episode, Mr. Burns hires the magicians Gunter and Ernst to entertain visitors at his casino. During the performance, the pair is attacked by their white tiger. A decade later, real-life Las Vegas magicians Siegfried and Roy, on whom Gunter and Ernst were based, were also attacked by a white tiger. The big cat bit Roy on the neck during a show…luckily he survived.
7. Robot Librarians
The 1995 episode “Lisa’s Wedding” is partially set in a future 2010 and shows a world where librarians have been replaced by robots. In real-life 2011, the University of Chicago unveiled a huge underground library storing 3.5 million books on 15m high shelves. Robot librarians were being used to retrieve books for users
6. Cooking Grease
In the episode “Lard of the Dance”, Homer and Bart steal grease from kitchen fryers in an attempt to make a quick buck. Broadcast in 1998, the show foreshadowed a 2012 New York Times report about thieves plundering used fryer oil from restaurants, apparently costing the rendering industry millions of dollars every year.
5. Auto Correct
In the 1994 episode “Lisa on Ice” Bully Dolph takes a memo on his Apple Newton to beat up Martin but the text recognition doesn’t quite get it right. Auto-correct fail went on to be a huge internet sensation. According to a former employee, the episode actually helped Apple design the iPhone. The Simpsons sketch was used by execs to motivate designers and made sure they got the iPhone’s touch key ad to actually work.
4. Smart Watch
Back to “Lisa’s Wedding” from 1995, which showed Lisa’s future fiancé make a phone call using his watch. It wouldn’t be until 2014 that similar smart watches became reality. It’s also worth noting that the same episode successfully predicted video chatting on phones.
In the episode “New York City Against Homer,” it seems as though the cartoon’s creators already knew there would be some significance to the day – September 11 – and it was set in an episode where “against NY” was the pretty much the title.
2. Ebola Virus Outbreak
In the 1997, Marge holds up a book, “Curious George and the Ebola Virus.” Later, Bart points to a picture he colored in which he has passed away. So yeah, The Simpsons predicted the latest Ebola outbreak – or else based the episode on previous Ebola outbreaks that killed hundreds.
1. Horse Meat Scandal
Before the UK’s Burger King horse meat scandal in early 2013, the Simpsons’ elementary school had already covered it in 1994. In the episode, ‘The Simpsons’ made a joke about Lunchlady Doris cooking with “assorted horse parks – now with more testicles”.
Honorable Mention: Donald Trump Elected as President of U.S.A.
16 years before Donald Trump was elected US President, The Simpsons predicted the tycoon would become leader of what they called the “free world”. The bizarre story line was featured in the episode, titled ‘Bart To The Future’, broadcast in early 2000. Trump was also mocked in another episode of the satirical cartoon, aired last year, after he announced he was running for president.
About Alex Noudelman
Alex Noudelman is an educator, coach and Digital Marketing Manager with over 5 years of experience. Alex enjoys and strives to motivate others to better themselves professionally and on a personal note. Feel free to contact him if you have any questions or would like a specific topic covered.