10 Simpsons Predictions That Came True (& How Many Years Later)

While everyone knows that The Simpsons has an uncanny ability to seemingly predict the future, a lot of viewers may still be surprised to see just how much the series has gotten right over the years. In 2002, South Park season 6, episode 7, “Simpsons Already Did It,” aired. The episode saw Butters attempt to come up with a novel way to take over the planet, only to repeatedly discover that all of his plans had already been explored in The Simpsons. Meta-textually, “Simpsons Already Did It” was inspired by the frustration that South Park co-creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker often felt when exploring new episode ideas.


In the years that followed, “Simpsons already did it” became a common cry as an increasing number of surreally specific predictions from the long-running animated comedy came true. While The Simpsons is famous for A-list guest stars and clever comedy writing, the show is equally infamous for seemingly predicting events before they occur. Some of these predictions came only a year or two before the event in question. Others arrived decades before the relevant headlines implied reality itself was plagiarizing storylines from The Simpsons. However, all of these stories were equally striking in their close similarity to the show’s plots and gags.

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10 Serving Horse Meat

The Simpsons - Lunch Lady Doris

In The Simpsons season 5, episode 19, “Sweet Seymour Skinner’s Baadasssss Song,” Lunchlady Doris serves the school children food from a drum ominously labeled “assorted horse parts.” Nineteen years after this 1994 episode aired, UK outlets reported that a significant chunk of the country’s beef supply was tainted with horse meat. While this Simpsons joke became funnier 20 years later, it was not the only weird food prediction in the series. Lunchlady Doris also used gym mats as a meat substitute in another episode, which seemingly predicted the controversy over Subway using azodicarbonamide to keep the sandwich chain’s bread springy.

9 Radioactive Food Goes Global

Simpsons-Mr-Burns-Fish

In season 2, episode 4, “Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish,” Marge serves Mr. Burns, a three-eyed mutated fish, as the villain campaigns for governor. The horrifying sight of a blatantly mutated fish sitting in from of him leads Burns to tank his campaign. Disgusted, he finally admits that his plant’s pollution is causing a catastrophe, thus ruining his political career. Thirty-two years later, in 2022, the UK’s Food Standard Authority got rid of a rule limiting the levels of acceptable radioactivity in foodstuffs. Prime Minister Boris Johnson ate popcorn produced in Fukushima as part of a photo opportunity announcing this move, mirroring this dark Simpsons prediction.

8 Siegfried And Roy’s Disastrous Accident

$pringfield Simpsons

In season 5, episode 10, “$pringfield, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling,” the famous Las Vegas entertainers Siegfried and Roy are parodied with the campy Gunter and Ernst. These two Teutonic Vegas showmen visit Springfield after the town legalizes gambling and bring their circus act with them. The pair is soon attacked by their trained white tiger in a throwaway gag that proves unfortunately prescient. Ten years later, one of the duo’s white tigers attacked and almost killed Roy in 2003.

7 Don Mattingly’s Hair Gets Him Benched

The Simpsons Don Mattingly

In season 3, episode 16, “Homer at the Bat,” Don Mattingly gets benched for refusing to trim some “sideburns” that only Mr. Burns can see. This absurdly specific Simpsons prediction somehow came true only one year after the episode’s 1992 air date. In 1993, Yankees manager Stump Merrill benched Mattingly for refusing to cut his hair on game day. Essentially the same infraction that Burns accused the player of, this decision held Mattingly back from partaking in the game.

6 The Statue Of David’s Nudity Causes A Stir

Custom image of Marge and the Statue of David in The Simpsons.

In season 2, episode 9, “Itchy & Scratchy & Marge,” Marge successfully petitioned to have Itchy & Scratchy censored but was shocked when her supporters then protested Michelangelo’s sculpture David due to its nudity. Thirty-three years after this episode aired, Tallahassee Classical School principal Hope Carrasquilla was let go after parents complained that teachers showing David in an art class constituted “pornography.” Astoundingly, this was not the first time that David’s nudity was challenged by moral guardians. A Glasgow subway advertisement featuring the statue was also censored due to his nudity.

5 The Matrix 4’s Release Date

The Matrix Resurrections poster in The Simpsons

In season 15, episode 14, “The Ziff Who Came To Dinner,” Homer stands in front of a poster for “A Matrix Christmas.” Seventeen years after this 2004 episode aired, The Matrix Resurrections was released on December 22, 2021. Unfortunately, the release date of The Matrix Resurrections was the only Christmas-centric element of the belated sequel, which did not offer viewers A Matrix Christmas despite its many strengths.

4 COVID-19

The Simpsons spoofs COVID with Kirk's anti lockdown protest

In season 4, episode 21, “Marge in Chains,” Springfield residents are resigned to bed rest after a flu from Osaka causes illness to spread quickly throughout the town’s residents. The flu depicted in this 1993 episode and the medical advice given to its sufferers eerily mirrors 2021’s COVID-19 pandemic. While The Simpsons didn’t address COVID-19 until years after the pandemic’s peak, the fact that the Osaka flu leaves sufferers bed-bound and spreads like wildfire throughout the town’s population led many online commentators to note the similarity during the early days of the pandemic.

3 Tom Hanks Lends The US His Credibility

Tom Hanks in The Simpsons Movie

In The Simpsons Movie, Tom Hanks appears in a commercial for an upcoming landmark and announces that the U.S. government is borrowing some of his credibility since the institution has lost its own. Seventeen years later, in 2022, Hanks appeared in a commercial for Joe Biden’s administration that focused on the president’s successes and downplayed the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the process, the U.S. government did indeed borrow some of the actor’s credibility to supplement its own.

2 Disney/Fox’s Merger

The 20th Century Fox sign in The Simpsons

In season 10, episode 5, “When You Dish Upon A Star,” a comedic cutaway reveals that the Disney Corporation has bought 20th Century Fox. Nineteen years after this episode aired in 1998, Disney’s $71 million merger saw the company effectively buy Fox in 2017. While celebrity cameos are this Simpsons episode’s primary focus and the joke about mergers is a minor aside, this is still a striking coincidence for the satirical series.

1 Trump’s Presidency

Split image of Donald Trump and Lisa in The Simpsons

The Simpsons season 11, episode 17, “Bart to the Future,” saw Bart glimpse a vision of the future wherein Lisa was president. Lisa announced that her administration inherited a lot of debt from President Trump in what was no doubt intended to be a goofy one-line joke. Sixteen years after this 2000 episode aired, Donald Trump became the 45th President of America in what would go on to become the most infamous case of The Simpsons, seeming to predict the future.

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