Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, The Simpsons has established its dynasty as the longest-running American sitcom and animated program. With more than 600 episodes and counting, the iconic series has successfully predicted future events on multiple occasions by the use of comical portrayals and commentary on political events and pop-culture.
One of the most famous instances of The Simpsons’ predictability is the 2000 episode entitled “Bart to the Future” where one of the main characters, Bart, travels to the future to find that Donald Trump had been elected for president and driven the country into much debt. This episode aired 16 years prior to Donald Trump’s campaign and election, leaving viewers shocked to make the connection between the episode’s prediction and the current media.
The Simpsons were also able to accurately predict many instances of technological advancement as well. In a 1995 episode, the idea of a watch in which someone could make phone calls was introduced, and Apple’s first smart watch was not released until twenty years later. Interestingly, that same year the show made a nod to Apple’s Facetime, which was not introduced for another fifteen years following the episode’s release.
In addition to technology, The Simpsons was able to predict many events including the Ebola outbreak and Disney’s takeover of 20th Century Fox. In a 1997 episode, one of the main characters is portrayed reading a book entitled Curious George and the Ebola Virus. This initiated much of the conspiracies at the time of the Ebola outbreak in 2014, as fans became suspicious of the show’s predictive tendencies. The following year, the show predicted Disney’s takeover of 20th Century Fox with a flashing of the company’s sign with a subheading that said “A Division of Walt Disney Co.” Twenty years later, in 2017, Disney settled a deal with the company and bought $66.1 billion worth of 20th Century Fox.
As the show has been on air for thirty years, it was inevitable for some themes to relate to true current events over time. Even so, many of the episode plots have been eerily specific, bringing more attention to the show in the media. There have been many occurrences of overlapping ideas in the show with the real world, which adds to the conspiracy about the show’s psychic capabilities.