The Simpsons is one of my favorite shows of all time. It practically raised me as a child. Not literally or anything — my parents loved me. The show is where I got my humor from, so in that regard it raised me. I’ll never be able to look at a bottle of Catsup, or Ketchup again without laughing. The same goes for so many other inside jokes. Now true The Simpsons hasn’t remained golden. Seasons 3-8 are pretty great and since then it’s kind of been hit or miss with the latter being unfortunately the case. That doesn’t lessen the best seasons of the cartoon though, but it is sad to see it still on the air and be kind of a joke instead of telling the jokes. Can you feel me?
Anyway, one thing I never paid attention to was their weird jokes poking fun at pop culture. Specifically, I mean in reference to stuff that wasn’t real, or looked toward the future. At the time they were just funny riffs, but people are uncovering a lot of things The Simpsons got right retroactively. Now you can explain away these spooky instances as coincidences, or lucky guesses. You could also say some of these came true because people were inspired by The Simpsons episodes like making a piece of clothing, or invention. Stuff like that. Admittedly we here at TheGamer didn’t initiate this trend of looking at things The Simpsons predicted to be true, but other blogs and websites didn’t have me.
25 Go To Plan B
This is one of the more obvious additions on this list. It’s not like The Simpsons invented the idea of Smartwatches. Similar types of communication wrist devices had existed for years in some form, or another like in Star Wars, or Star Trek. So in season six, there’s an episode called Lisa’s Wedding, which is a flash forward to The Simpsons’ lives in 2010.
Fireworks are the best part of weddings.
Lisa meets someone in college and decides to get married. Her fiancé, Hugh Parkfield, has a Smartwatch he can talk to. When did the Apple Watch premiere? Sadly it wasn’t until 2015, but that’s a close guess only off by five years. His Smartwatch also has a flip top like old flip phones. I miss those things.
24 Buying the Whole World With Their Hands
This season ten episode When You Dish Upon a Star, is another celebrity-filled episode that goes nowhere. It’s my problem with a lot of later season episodes almost as if they are designed just so the writers can meet celebrities. Anyway, Homer befriends Alec Baldwin, Ron Howard, and Kim Basinger and sort of becomes their servant. At the end of the episode Ron Howard goes to pitch some movies to Fox and out front you can see the sign as it appears above.
My partner is a pie in disguise.
This episode aired in 1998 so it was off by twenty years, but now it’s finally coming true. Now the deal hasn’t officially gone through yet. Comcast is trying to prevent them from acquiring Fox, but I bet Disney will eventually win.
23 Tastes Like Grandma
Okay so there are some episodes worth looking into past season eight. Take this one, for example, E-I-E-I-(annoyed grunt) from season eleven. Homer travels back to the farmhouse he grew up on and gets a crazy scheme to make some money off of the crops. Nothing grows until Homer adds some “special fertilizer” to the mix aka nuclear waste. It helps the tomato and tobacco plants grow, but also it also fuses them together into a new plant: the tomaco. While no such fusion exists in real life there was a case in Japan circa 2013, which was fourteen years after this episode aired. Some tomato plants near a nuclear power plant mutated the tomatoes. Crazy prediction, or just an obvious coincidence? You be the judge.
22 A Touch Of Fraud
One of the only decent things left to look forward to on The Simpsons is in regards to their Treehouse of Terror episodes that air every Halloween. In season twenty circa 2008, the nineteenth episode of Treehouse of Terror aired. In the beginning, Homer tries to vote for Barack Obama, but every time he hits the button it automatically chooses John McCain instead.
It’s a tapping good conspiracy.
This could be a reference to the voting tampering found in the George W. Bush years regarding Florida and their ballots. Well in the 2012 election voting machines counted votes made for Obama to his opponent, Mitt Romney, in certain areas. Oops. It’s not like it was a Republican conspiracy. Touch technology isn’t perfect, but it didn’t stop angry people from raising their false flags.
21 Shake Harder Boy
One of my favorite episodes of all time is season six’s Lemon of Troy. Kids from Shelbyville are bullying Bart and the other kids about their lemon tree. The next day it’s gone with tracks leading into the neighboring town. So the boys hatch a scheme to infiltrate enemy territory. The jokes are just so good even if that premise doesn’t sound like a good one to you. Anyway in 2013, eighteen years after this episode debuted, a similar case was reported in real life. In 2011 a lemon tree was stolen off of a Madison, Wisconsin resident's porch. Stranger still this isn’t the only stolen lemon tree I found online. Are there copycat thieves who got inspired by The Simpsons, or is there some weird lemon Ent uprising we should be worrying about?
20 I Do It All For The Money
It’s a known fact that some people in the world worship money like a god. That’s just sort of a known joke when you think of stock marketers, or high-level businessmen in general. Hey, I may not worship it like a god, but I do love money. It’s not the meaning of life but it is the essence when you come right down to it. Anyway, in the season seven episode Team Homer, Bart, and Milhouse read an excerpt from Mad Magazine implying the power of money as a god. Kind of has nothing to do with the episode’s plot, but I digress. Seventeen years later Pope Francis mocked people for worshiping money like a god. Was this the first time Money was called out? Probably not and it won’t be the last.
19 More Means More Iron
In the season five episode Sweet Seymour Skinner’s Baadasssss Song, Skinner gets blamed for a school incident involving Bart’s dog, which causes a bunch of damage. That’s not really important to this article. What is concerns lunch lady Doris who we see grinding horse meat to feed to the children. School cafeteria food was always joked about when I was growing up. Just what is this loaf of meat made of?
Taco Bell is the best meat sludge on Earth.
Anyway, that joke was in 1994. Skipping ahead to 2013 we find a scandal involving traces of horse found in products from Bird’s Eye, Brake’s catering, and Taco Bell. Sure it may sound gross, but I can safely say that in the case of Taco Bell, I don’t care.
18 The Pickle Matrix
Here’s an instance of obvious parody. The Simpsons knew companies would target millennials and their fascination with kitschy gimmicks. In the season ten episode The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace, Homer is trying to invent stuff to rival that of Thomas Edison. Professor Frink secretly shows off a pair of earmuffs shaped like hamburgers when Homer leaves his lab. Not only do these exist in real life, but also you can get them virtually anywhere online. That’s not all. We as a nation, no, we as a global entity love hamburgers. We want them in our mouths, we want them around us as pillows and lamps, and we want them on us via earmuffs and scarves. It’s kind of an insane business. Who buys this kind of stuff?
17 The Precogs Of Apple
One of the most maddening services in modern Smartphones is predictive text. It infuriates me when it changes a certain word to “duck” every time. So in season six, there’s an episode called Lisa on Ice. She starts failing school because she’s not adept at the gym so she joins a hockey league for extra credit. Turns out she is one heck of a goalie.
If you tell me it’s duck one last time…
There’s a moment where Dolph is entering a note into his PalmPilot, a very early smart device for all you youngsters out there. He means to write “Beat up Martin” but it autocorrects to “Eat up Martha” which is a funny gag on its own and is even funnier considering we’re still dealing with these types of issues twenty-four years later!
16 I Hung It On Me Wall
In the season two episode Brush with Greatness, Ringo Starr, The Beetles’ drummer, is shown in an office filled with fan mail. Back then he promised in real life to answer anything he received in the mail and to sign autographs within reason. Given his status, no one believed him, which is why it was parodied on The Simpsons although he did answer Marge’s letter as well as hang her painting on his wall. Fast-forwarded almost two decades later when Ringo announced in 2013 that he was going to stop replying. This started a controversy, but come on people. The man was consistent for decades. Sure he may not have gotten to you, but how many celebrities did stuff like this. Here’s to you, Ringo. Peace and love!
15 Carnival Games
This one saddens me to no end, but at the same time, I need to remind myself that anyone who plays games is welcome into the community even if that game sounds boring as heck to me. I’m referring to the FaceBook smash hit your elderly family members are obsessed with: FarmVille. In season nine on the episode Bart Carny, Homer and Bart take in a bunch of carnies.
Stop sending me FarmVille invites!
When they first enter the festival grounds you can see some children playing a VR game called Yard Work Simulator. Now prior to this farm like games have existed like Harvest Moon, but there are more RPG aspects to it too. Who’d want to strap on VR gear just to do yard work? Well, I bet someone will eventually.
14 Terminating Librarians
Also in the season six episode, Lisa’s Wedding, the writers predicted the obvious. Introducing robots is an easy go-to when parodying the future. It’s the dual nightmare and dream, right? Imagine a society where we can relax and no longer have to do menial backbreaking labor and or bad jobs in general. Alongside that is the fear robots will rise up when they become too sentient like in The Terminator. Oh, the humanity! Ahem, anyway the library in Lisa’s college is run by a robot. A humanoid one mind you who can apparently cry, but also cause it to short circuit and explode. Go figure. In 2011 the University of Chicago introduced a robotic archiving system for their library. It’s the beginning of the end!
13 Welcome Back Unky Herb
In the season three episode Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes, Homer’s brother Herb, played by Danny DeVito, returns. In his last appearance Homer accidentally caused him to become broken due to his terrible car idea. He begs Homer to invest in him so he can restart his life. How does he do it? Herb gets inspired by Maggie and decides to invent a baby translator.
“Discarded pizza boxes are an inexpensive source of cheese.”
It apparently “works” so much so that Herb never sees The Simpsons again after this. Anyway, it’s pure science fiction even though you can download a billion on your computer, phone, or smart device. Sorry, a gurgle or cry from a baby isn’t a one to one translation. Literally, there will never be a “real” baby translator.
12 The Wheelchair Tour
Like Ringo, this was another stab at the rock and roll community this time with The Rolling Stones. This is once again from Lisa’s Wedding. Having her hang a poster of a comical wheelchair tour starring The Rolling Stones in 2010 was another obvious gag to make fun of. It was hard to believe that they were still touring when this came out in 1995 as they started in 1962. Well, they aren’t in wheelchairs, but they may as well be. The Rolling Stones are still touring! Don’t believe me? Go ahead and prove yourself wrong by ordering some tickets right now. They are probably sold out on that site by now, but proof is proof. Touring till death should be their motto. Mick Jagger, the front-runner, is 74!
11 Baby Baby Baby
Here’s another joke for all you old school rockers out there. In the season fourteen episode How I Spent My Strummer Vacation, Homer and a few other Springfielders join a rock and roll camp led by The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Other artists pop up too like the late great Tom Petty. The episode is not that great and the plot hardly matters.
“I can't believe they canceled Monkey Trauma Center for this!”
As sort of a graduation gift, Mick Jagger gives Homer a jacket that says “Guitar Hero” on the back. This aired in 2002 with the game, Guitar Hero, premiering three years later in 2005. Did Activision plagiarize The Simpsons for a name? Heavens no. Calling someone a guitar hero, or a blank hero is common lingo.
10 Chocolate Happy Land
In the season three episode Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk, Mr. Burns decides to sell his nuclear power plant to a bunch of German entrepreneurs. When Homer hears tell of this he daydreams about an amusement park wherein everything is made of chocolate. German is the land of chocolate. Get it? In reality, a chocolate theme park would be disastrous. Chocolate melts for one and two think of the germs. Well, hygiene aside China decided to try their hand at this idea. Chocolate Happy Land popped up in Shanghai in 2013. While it’s not exactly as Homer imagined, it is astounding that a park was created at all. There’s a 160-ton chocolate castle! You can’t eat it like some crazed lunatic, but that’s still impressive.
9 My iPod Plays B...
This inclusion is very minor, but in the season eight episode Bart After Dark, Bart is forced to work for a woman whose house he damaged. At first, he’s resistant and then he finds out it’s a brothel and all is forgiven. Once Flanders finds out he forms a mob to storm the gates.
Putting the spring back in Springfield.
At said gate is an intercom, which some speculate looks like the design of the very first iPod. I mean sure it technically does look like it, but so does a lot of art out there. It’s just a box, with a screen and a circle below. It’s not like Apple watched this episode and came up with it although that would make for a funny anecdote.
8 The Spruce Moose Caboose
This season five episode $pringfield (Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Legalized Gambling), premiered in 1993 and the news story broke in 2003. Anyway time for some context. Mr. Burns decides to build a casino in an effort to scam the town for more money. He becomes obsessed with germs and locks himself away Howard Hughes style. Also, Marge gets hook on gambling. It’s another one of my favorite episodes of all time. Now as this is a casino you expect there to be entertainment right? Well, Burns hires two doppelgängers of Siegfried and Roy, two famous magicians who used white tigers in their act. For a long time, there was a joke about them getting mauled, which is why it made it into this episode. Guess that joke finally came true.
7 Greased Lightning
In the season ten episode Lard of the Dance, Homer comes up with another crazy scheme to get rich quick when he finds out he can sell grease. At first, he tries to make the grease by eating large amounts of heavy grease infused foods like bacon and then decides to rob establishments of discarded grease. Truthfully you can sell grease to recycle establishments, but by no means is this going to make you rich.
The smell has to be unbearable.
Well seems like a black market grease trafficking scheme was popping up around the country circa 2013 like in the case of this story from New Jersey. I remember people trying to run their cars on this stuff in an effort to get cheaper gas, but now it seems like that fad has disappeared.
6 Face To Face
Guess what? We’re going back to the season six episode Lisa’s Wedding once again. This time we’re going to talk about video chats. In this timelin, Lisa and Marge communicate over the phone with a similar setup to Skype, or FaceTime. It’s another obvious prediction that anyone and everyone could have made. Did you think The Simpsons came up with video-to-video calls? Nope. They did accurately predict we’d have this service by 2010 though. This is the last time I’ll bring this episode up, I promise. It was agoldminee for ideas since it does take place in a future setting and we already know what we had back in 2010 as a reference. What hasn’t come true yet? Virtual trees replacing real ones. Thank God.
5 A Stone Cold Controversy
Marge has always been the stereotypical fuddy duddy that has to put her foot down on stuff she finds less than wholesome. In this season two episode Itchy & Scratchy & Marge, she decides that the cartoon is too violent and tries to take it off the air. She succeeds and creates a paradise where all the children in Springfield are better behaved. Then it all comes crashing down when the Statue of David is going on tour and Marge thinks that that isn’t a problem. Well a woman in Australia bought a replica of the statue, put it in front of her house, and was urged to censor it or take it down. What is the world coming to? Sure there’s a stone dong on the statue, but come on. It wasn’t designed to be risqué.
4 Nuclear Mutations
Even though Springfield has a nuclear power plant not a lot of mutant jokes come out of episodes. Not in any regular fashion anyway. This very early season two episode Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish, Bart and Lisa discover a three-eyed fish prompting them to investigate the dangers of the nuclear plant’s pollution.
Help take a bite out of polluted crime.
Mr. Burns, of course, fights them and the town about how his plant is safe et cetera. That is until he sits down with Bart and Lisa for dinner when they surprise him with the three-eyed fish they caught. Well in 2011, a three-eyed fish was discovered in Argentina. Gross right? However, maybe the mutations made it tastier.
3 Gleeful Economics
I had to watch this one specifically for this article because I stopped caring around season sixteen, or so. I had hoped for, well, we don’t have time for that. In the season twenty-two episode Elementary School Musical, the show begins with Lisa, Data, Milhouse, Maggie, and Martin all watching the Nobel Peace awards. In the picture shown above Martin is bragging that he got his mark right, but right next to his you can see Milhouse bet on Bengt R. Holmstrom for the economic award. This was in 2010. Bengt R. Holmstrom won the actual award for economics in 2016 so good on him. This pretty much has nothing to do with the overall episode, go figure, but whatever. I paid my journalistic dues.
2 Cluck Like A Cow
In the season seven episode Lisa the Vegetarian, Lisa becomes disgusted with meat after meeting an adorable baby lamb. She goes on sort of a self-improvement quest while everyone else mocks her for ignoring the status quo. When I originally watched this I was definitely on everyone's side. I know better than to judge others for what they eat now even if I don’t agree with them.
“No Billy, they’re just ignorant.”
Anyway Lisa visits a distribution center that advertises meat-flavored chicken, which is sort of an oxymoron. Good joke right? Well in an effort to appear “healthier” KFC rolled out grilled chicken buckets. Turns out these chickens were flavored with meat. I can’t make this stuff up people. I guess it’s not as gross as horse meat though.
1 Alf’s Back in POG Form
Alf was a popular ABC sitcom back in the day starring an alien, Alf, living with a normal family after he crash lands on Earth. The series went off the air in 1990. Now in the season seven episode Bart Sells His Soul, Milhouse shows Bart his Alf POGs, which was in 1995. A POG is a milk bottle cap that grew in population in the 90s featuring various pop culture icons. Even when it came out it was a joke at least to me so saying Alf was back in POG form felt like a double joke. Right? Well Alf did indeed return with a short-lived talk show, Alf’s Hit Talk Show, in 2004 right as the online boom started to happen. He came back all right just not as a POG.