The Simpsons has been around since the dawn of time. Cavemen were probably watching it, before worshiping fire.
Somewhere in these hundreds and hundreds of episodes, there have been some throw-away lines and entire episodes that predict the future...and have come true! Some of them are pretty obvious, such as a circus tiger who attacked the performers in season five (and later came true). That's not a prediction. That's common sense. Others are kind of terrifying and creepily accurate.
Please note that I am not including that whole 9/11 conspiracy theory in this. The theory began when the Lisa holds up a magazine while the family was in New York. It had a giant $9 on the cover with a shadow of the entire NYC skyline in the background, which just happens to include the twin-towers because, at that time, they were there! That's not a prediction or foreshadow. Yeesh!
These other ones, though...we'll let you decide.
15 The Rise of Trump
Season 11, Episode 17: "Bart to the Future"
After getting caught trying to sneak into a Native American casino, Bart gets a vision of his family's future. He sees himself as a bum who mooches off of friends and family (not too far off by his life as a teenager either). Lisa, on the other hand, is president of the United States (I like Bart's description of her job better: it's "some government job"). Her predecessor? Donald Trump.
Lisa: "As you know, we've inherited quite the debt from President Trump. How bad is it, Secretary VanHouten?" An adult Milhouse pulls up a chart with a rather damning downward arrow and says, "We're broke." Now, I'm not going to get into a whole political thing here, even with the election just a week away. But let's just say, I hope at least part of this prediction is wrong.
14 Radiation-Spawned Mutant Tomatoes
Season 11, Episode 5: “E-I-E-I-D’oh!”
This episode aired in 1999 and featured the family moving to an old farm to escape the wrath of a dueling Southerner. In an attempt to grow something from the dead land, Homer sneaks into the nuclear power plant to get some uranium, giving the soil a little boost (at least he was trying to be thoughtful, right?). He then carelessly plants a mixture of seeds, most of them tomato and tobacco. The result: tommaco. Funny enough, in 2013, Japan found a ton of weirdly mutated fruits and vegetables in the villages surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. It's believed that these were the end result of the meltdown that happened in 2011. Although none of these tomatoes were laced with tobacco or horribly addictive, it still makes you think twice about where your vegetables are picked from.
13 Faulty Voting Machines
Season 20, Episode 4, “Treehouse of Horror XIX”
In the opening of the 19th Treehouse of Horror (which aired in 2008), Homer tries to vote for Obama. The machine, however, is evil. Or at least a very dedicated Republican. It turns his votes to McCain (every one of them, as he keeps pressing the "Obama" button; no one ever accused Homer of being too smart). Then, when Homer realizes it's rigged, it sucks him in, shreds him up, and spits him out. And oddly enough, when Obama ran for his second term in 2012, this actually happened. Okay, not the shredding part, the changing votes part. A Pennsylvanian tried to vote for Obama, and the machine turned it into a vote for Romney. Every. Time. The machine was removed, of course. But it was still weird AF. Coincidence? You decide.
12 The Secret Ingredient is Horse Meat
Season 5, Episode 19, “Sweet Seymour Skinner’s Baadasssss Song”
When Bart brings his dog, Santa's Little Helper, to school for show-and-tell, he has to put the dog in the closet so as not to distract the students. Santa's Little Helper behaves himself...lunchtime. He smells something delicious cooking in the kitchen and goes into the vents to get it (think Alien, but a lot less terrifying). But maybe Santa's Little Helper should've given this one a pass. The cook uses some, ah, unusual meat as her secret ingredient. It was rather unsettling because of course, nothing like that would ever actually happen. Right? Right...The good news is, it didn't happen in a school. Just Birds Eye Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese and Beef Lasagna, Taco Bell, and a catering supplier called Brakes (all located in the UK). Apparently, someone on the farm mixed the cow and horse meat up because the horsemeat was in all of the beef products. Old McDonald don't like them apples.
11 Hamburger Earmuffs
Season 10, Episode 2: “The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace”
Homer finds a role model in Thomas Edison and decides to become an inventor. After days of smoking cigars and lounging in the basement, he goes to Professor Frink for advice. Frink tells him that the way to invent things is to either find a need for something and then fill it, or take something that already exists and improve it. At the latter, Homer comes up with some pretty wild ideas like "hamburger earmuffs," before dashing out of the lab to get to work. Professor Fink is rattled. He retrieves his prototype of the hamburger earmuffs, consoling himself with the knowledge that "these babies will be in stores while he's still grappling with the pickle matrix, nghoyvhen!" Amazon apparently figured out the pickles first, because their set of cheeseburger earmuffs were so popular, that they sold out. Sorry, Frinky.
10 The Beatles respond to every fan
Season 2, Episode 18: “Brush With Greatness”
Marge wanted to be a painter back in high school, but was told that she was no good, she would fail, that she'd spend her life dirt poor and would eventually end up dead in an alley. Oh no.. wait, that last one was towards me. Some great encouragement from Grandpa about my writing career. Anyways, Marge sent some of her work to her high school celebrity crush, Ringo Starr. (Who didn't have a crush on Ringo Star in high school?) She asked for an "honest opinion," but never got a response. That is, until decades later. We see Ringo in his office that is packed with letters and packages from fans, and he responds to every single one of them. Eventually, he gets around to Marge and gives her the encouragement she needed to finish the episode in an emotionally satisfying manner. And just like the episode, in 2013, two Beatles fans received a response to a tape they had sent to Sir Paul McCartney...50 years after they'd sent it! That is a celebrity dedicated to his fans.
9 Baby Translator
Season 3, Episode 24: “Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?”
Homer has a long-lost brother named Herb, whom he ruined financially in an earlier episode by making a rather obscene car (really, he should've taken the clue from that experience before modeling himself after Thomas Edison to become an inventor). In Season 3, a homeless, penniless Herb returns, and asks for help to create a new invention that'll make him rich again. Maggie provides the inspiration, and Herb creates a clunky but effective baby translator! Too good to be true? Not exactly, there's now app for that! Biloop Technologic created a "cry translator" device that you can buy in stores or download on your phone. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to work as well as Herb's translator, which can accurately decipher a baby's gurgle into a "This leash degrades us both." Reviews have been mixed, at best.
8 The Land of Chocolate
Season 3, Episode 11: “Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk” (Homer's daydream)
I'm moving to Shanghai, who's with me?! When Mr. Burns sells his plant to a German company, Homer is interviewed by his new bosses to test his competency. He fails, primarily because he was traipsing through the Land of Chocolate in a daydream. You can't really blame him, though. I'd rather be in the Land of Chocolate than talking about nuclear physics, too. And German chocolate is the best, so I can see why Homer was so inspired. The folks in Shanghai agreed. In 2013, they opened the Chocolate Happy Land. And boy, it is a happy land, indeed! They have a castle made of chocolate, sculptures made of chocolate, flowers and jewelry made of chocolate. Even gaming equipment and prize money made of chocolate! This place is like Christmas morning-every morning! So, yeah, I'm totally moving to Shanghai.
7 The Rich 'n Greasy Scheme
Season 10, Episode 1: “Lard of the Dance”
Homer decides that selling grease is a great get-rich-quick scheme. However, when he realizes that legally obtaining grease isn't bringing in enough product for him to sell (let alone to come out with a profit), Homer and Bart break into the school during a dance to steal grease from the school cafeteria. It goes poorly (shocker), involving a fight with Willie in the air vents, a crashed school dance, and a bunch of kids doing winter activities in said grease. Yuck. Similarly, in 2013 (which seems to be the year of Simpson predictions coming to fruition), a New York Post article reported that selling used grease is a thing on the black market. "Yellow grease" is in high demand, as it's a prime ingredient for biodiesel. I get that people sometimes resort to the black market for cash, but can't these guys find a better way to do it? Cars or jewelry or something?
6 He Came In Like a Wrecking Ball
Season 6, Episode 5: “Sideshow Bob Roberts” and The Simpsons Movie
Before Miley visited the construction zone, Homer found himself on the wrong end of a wrecking ball in season six, as well as in The Simpson Movie.
In this episode, the ex-convict Sideshow Bob runs for mayor of Springfield and wins through voter fraud. As part of his plans to build a highway, he orders the Simpson home to be demolished. Homer, of course, was having none of it. And thanks to his...ah, rounded figure...he's able to absorb the blow of a wrecking ball as it hits his house and survives. Also, in the movie, Homer tries to save his family. They've been kidnapped by the Environmental Protection Agency and are being transported by armored car back to a domed and doomed Springfield (if you haven't seen the movie, it's a long story, just take my word for it). Homer uses a wrecking ball to try to knock the car over, but it misses, and hits him in the back swing. He finds himself caught between a massive rock and a restaurant called "A Hard Place." Miley may have been sexier on her wrecking ball, but Homer was a lot more entertaining.
5 Lemon Tree Thieves
Season 6, Episode 24: "Lemon of Troy"
In this episode, some local kids from Springfield's rival city, Shelbyville, sneak into Springfield and steal the hallowed lemon tree. A fired-up Bart and his friends have to fight tooth and nail to get it back. In 2013 (again!), a lemon tree was stolen from a Houston homeowner's yard in the middle of the day, because...actually, nobody knows why it happened or who did it, so the dominant theory is some kids got bored and dug it up. Unfortunately, Bart Simpson doesn't show up to rescue this Houston lemon tree. The homeowner had to eventually buy another tree, a bigger one, that'll be harder to dig out and steal. You know what they say: when life takes away your lemons, it's time to question the sanity of the human race.
4 Three-Eyed Fish
Season 2, Episode 4: "Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish"
The star of this episode is Blinky, a three-eyed fish that Bart catches in the Springfield River. The fish draws attention to the nuclear power plant that's been dumping toxic waste into the river. The scrutiny motivates Mr. Burns to run for Mayor to save his planet! Likewise, in 2011, fishermen caught a three-eyed wolf fish in Córdoba, Argentina. The reservoir, where they were fishing, is located near a nuclear power plant. They wisely decided against eating the fish, instead giving it to scientists to see whether it was a natural mutation or caused by the hot water dumped into the reservoir by the power plant. As the power plant in Córdoba is still up and running, it seems that A.) the plant was not responsible, or B) Argentina's version of Mr. Burns won the race for Mayor.
3 Really Graphic Billboards
Season 4, Episode 6: "Itchy & Scratchy: the Movie"
Itchy and Scratchy is The Simpson's version of Tom and Jerry. The only differences are there's a lot more blood and the cat has way more than nine lives. Like...way more. The show is likely to blame for Maggie homicidal tendencies. That baby has a higher kill count than half of the other characters combined. So of course, Bart loves the show. When an Itchy and Scratchy movie comes out in theaters, there are some truly disturbing movie billboards in Springfield. They spray blood onto newlyweds and stain the streets red. Surely, something like this could never happen in real life, right? Wrong. This was a promotional billboard in Auckland, New Zealand for Kill Bill Vol. 1. Having seen that movie (and loved it), I can say with absolute certainty that this is a very appropriate advertisement:
2 Whacking Day
Season 4, Episode 20: "Whacking Day"
This episode will make you love snakes. No, I'm serious. In Springfield, the most hallowed holiday is Whacking Day. Snakes are driven to the center of town and then whacked to death. For multiple reasons, we're sure. Now, snakes aren't exactly the most well-loved creatures on the planet. They slither. Some are poisonous. The ones big enough to take down and eat alligators (alligators!) are downright terrifying. But I don't think they deserve to be beaten to death by a town of baseball-wielding idiots. Unfortunately, Florida disagrees. Since 2013 the state has held an annual "Python Challenge" in the Everglades. The goal is to remove or at least contain the Burmese Pythons, which, in all fairness, are an invasive species. Thousands of dollars are rewarded as prizes for anyone turning in a python from the Everglades. Lisa Simpson would not be happy.
1 Everything from "Lisa's Wedding"
Season 6, Episode 19: "Lisa's Wedding"
Definitely the most impressive episode of predictions comes from "Lisa's Wedding." A lot of the technology and culture made it into the present day (though they may have come a little late). The episode aired in 1995 and features a vision of Lisa's future in 2010. First we see librarian robots. One of them malfunctions to the point of self-destruction while trying to figure out feelings (HA, same). In 2011, the University of Chicago built a library that is run entirely by robots. Hopefully their heads won't melt when they try to decipher the insanity of humanity. The show also predicted that the Rolling Stones would still be around (I'm pretty sure they're immortal), talking watches (Hello smartwatch!), and of course, Skyping. Four accurate predictions in one episode. Let's see Family Guy do that.