Psychic Simpsons

Violet Flanagan, Journalist

The popular cartoon The Simpsons is pretty well known for making uncanny predictions about the future. The writers are thought to have predicted everything from facetime to Ebola to Trump’s presidency, and it turns out they might have predicted parts of the 2021 inauguration as well. 

Kamala Harris next to Lisa in the same purple suit (via google images)

In the episode “Bart To The Future” which aired March 19th in 2000, Bart goes to the future and finds out that Lisa is being sworn in as president. At her inauguration, Lisa mentions “a budget crunch” she inherited from Trump, her predecessor. During her speech, she’s wearing a purple suit, pearl earrings, and a necklace, the same thing VP Kamala Harris wore on the 20th.

Of course, it could just be a coincidence given that purple often symbolizes bipartisanship (blue + red) as well as women’s suffrage. In fact, given that The Simpsons has aired 31 seasons and over 600 episodes, many people believe that with such a huge sample size anything is possible.

One writer for the show, Stephanie Gillis, told BBC that it’s not surprising what The Simpsons have predicted, but for a different reason. 

We are sort of futurologists in that we write 10 months ahead, so we’re trying to guess what is going to happen.”

We take the most unlikely, ridiculous, stupid, impossible, never-will-happen joke, and then it turns out that our imaginations aren’t that imaginative.

— Matt Groeng

The humor in the Simpsons involves a lot of satire about the state of America and current events, basically joking about the downward spiral the country is 

in. So maybe rather than some mysterious time travelers making psychic predictions, the writers were just making educated guesses (well, educated jokes anyway). 

Matt Groening, another writer, said something similar. “We take the most unlikely, ridiculous, stupid, impossible, never-will-happen joke, and then it turns out that our imaginations aren’t that imaginative.”

Whether it’s time travel or not, it’s still cool to look back on all the crazy things that have happened in The Simpsons that actually came true in real life.

Homer next to Trump on an elevator during his in show presidency (via google images)

The New York Post spoke on the eerie news report from an episode released 20 years ago.

“In an episode that aired in 1999, news anchor Kent Brockman is depicted delivering the day’s headlines from his own home in observance of new curfew laws in Springfield aimed specifically at seniors.”

The context in the show is different, as the fictional news anchor’s line was “This is Kent Brockman… reporting from my own home in accordance with the new curfew for anyone under 70.”

That episode was about Homer and his friends vandalizing a school, and the mayor assuming kids were to blame and instilling a curfew. Still, other episodes also have weird mentions of viruses, namely the “Osaka Flu” episode in 1993, in which an airborne virus made it all the way from Hong Kong to Springfield.

Either way, The Simpsons is the longest running sitcom in the world, and its beloved jokes and psychic predictions probably still have a long way to go into the future.