The Simpsons Predictions: How Do They Keep Getting It Right?
— 26 June 2023

The Simpsons Predictions: How Do They Keep Getting It Right?

— 26 June 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

What began as a string of coincidences has since presented an undeniable patter. At the time of this writing, The Simpsons have made 14 bang-on predictions about the future.

Discussions surrounding this eery statistical phenomenon have been reignited after OceanGate’s Titan submersible lost contact with the surface world before imploding with five passengers inside: OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet, British billionaire Hamish Harding, Pakistani-born businessman Shahzada Dawood, as well as Dawood’s 19-year-old son Suleman.

So how does the beloved animated series consistently foresee what’s on the horizon before the events occur?

Put Down The Tinfoil Hats… There’s A Simple Answer

The explanation is actually fairly straightforward and the furthest thing from sinister (shut up about “predictive programming,” already).

Essentially, the brains behind The Simpsons — and Futurama, given the cross-pollination of comedic talent — are renowned for being the most over-educated and over-qualified television writers going around.

As of 2014, the show has hired dozens of scribes who’ve studied at the prestigious Harvard University:

  • Al Jean
  • Dan McGrath
  • John Collier
  • Greg Daniels
  • Patric Verrone
  • Bill Canterbury
  • David X. Cohen / David S. Cohen
  • Jon Vitti
  • Richard Appel
  • Bill Oakley
  • David Sacks
  • Ken Keeler
  • Steve Tompkins
  • Jeff Westbrook
  • Conan O’Brien (yes… that Conan O’Brien)
  • George Meyer
  • Max Pross
  • Steve Young
  • Dan Greaney
  • Jeff Martin
  • Mike Reiss
  • Tom Gammill
  • Nell Scovell
  • Daniel Chun
  • Matt Warburton
  • J. Stewart Burns

Many of the names listed above did a little more than just attend too. In fact, a good deal of them actually finished with honours.

Show veteran Al Jean graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. J. Stewart Burns graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, submitting a senior thesis titled “The Structure of Group Algebra,” before receiving his master’s from UC Berkeley.

Futurama co-developer David X. Cohen graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in physics before also receiving a master’s degree in computer science from UC Berkeley.

Jeff Westbrook majored in physics and history of science, eventually earning a PhD in computer science from Princeton University, where he submitted a doctoral thesis titled “Algorithms & Data Structures for Dynamic Graph Algorithms; later serving as an Associate Professor for Yale University’s Department of Computer Science.

Ken Keeler graduated summa cum laude in applied mathematics, only to double down with a PhD in the same field after publishing his doctoral thesis titled “Map Representations & Optimal Encoding For Image Segmentation” (also see: the Futurama theorem).

Then there’s Matt Warburton, who completed his bachelor’s in cognitive neuroscience at the crimson establishment of higher learning.

Now keep in mind: these Lisa Simpson-tier overachievers are just the ones who attended Harvard.

Bill Odenkirk, for example, earned a PhD in inorganic chemistry from the University of Chicago (non-Ivy League but impressive nonetheless).

Hell, even longtime music composer Alf Clausen was originally studying Mechanical Engineering with a minor in math at North Dakota State University before surrendering to the arts.

With an intellectual pedigree of this calibre, it’s almost impossible not to predict the future. What other outcome could you honestly expect from rounding up some of America’s best + brightest, and throwing them into a single room to keep their finger on the pulse/scrutinize the current landscape for satirical purposes?

Given sufficient time — and considering the recurring motifs in this rather circular modern culture of ours, i.e. Donald Trump threatening to run for office (succeeding once), Richard Branson threatening to breach space — they’re bound to anticipate the curve.

The Simpsons Did Predict OceanGate’s Titan (And For Good Reason)

The Simpsons Predictions Future - OceanGate Titan

The OceanGate tragedy was less about seeing the broader strokes and more about lived experience.

As questions were raised about how The Simpsons got it right once again, executive producer Mike Reiss revealed he’d actually undertaken four voyages with OceanGate — including one to the site of the Titanic wreckage, similar to Titan.

“It’s always in the back of your head that this is dangerous, and any small problem will turn into a major catastrophe,” explained Mike Reiss, adding there were communication issues experienced in all four of his OceanGate voyages (via ABC News).

“That seems to be just something baked into the system. I don’t blame OceanGate, but I blame deep water for that.”

Reiss also recalled that passengers set to embark on an OceanGate voyage had to sign a waiver which mentioned the possibility of death “three times on the first page.”

“Sometimes you do things knowing these risks and hoping for the best.”

On his trip to the Titanic, Reiss noted the submersible landed approximately 500 yards away from the wreckage, but “our compass was acting up, and we didn’t know in what direction it was.” Eventually, they found their way to the Titanic and took the obligatory pictures.

“We didn’t get the great Titanic experience. We got the Instagram experience. We were just there long enough to take photos of the anchor and the porthole and the railing.”

Reiss added: “It should be a wakeup call for everyone that, yes, things can go wrong. There aren’t that many deep sea submarine dives but we’re seeing an age of space tourism, and it’s the exact same thing.”

“Things will go wrong. There will be an incident like this at some point when you’re sending tourists into space, and it’ll slow things down a little and will give people pause.”

Check out some of the greatest predictions from The Simpsons below.

The Simpsons Predictions: Every Major Moment So Far

The Simpsons Predictions Future

1. Ebola Outbreak

When it was predicted: S09E03 ‘Lisa’s Sax’ (October 19th, 1997)
When it actually happened: December 2013

The Simpsons Predictions Future - Ebola

2. 9/11 (Sorta)

When it was predicted: S09E01 ‘The City of New York vs Homer Simpsons’ (September 21st, 1997)
When it actually happened: September 11th, 2001

The Simpsons Predictions Future - 9/11

3. The Siegfried & Roy Tiger Attack

When it was predicted: S05E10 ‘$pringfield (Or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying & Love Legalising Gambling)’ (December 16th, 1993)
When it actually happened: October 3rd, 2003

4. Game of Thrones Finale

When it was predicted: S29E01 ‘The Serfsons’ (October 1st, 2017)
When it actually happened: May 19th, 2019

5. Disney Buying 20th Century Fox Fox

When it was predicted: S10E05 ‘When You Dish Upon A Star’ (November 8th, 1998)
When it actually happened: November 6th, 2017

6. Lady Gaga Superbowl Halftime Show

When it was predicted: S23E22 ‘Lisa Goes Gaga’ (May 20th, 2012)
When it actually happened: February 5th, 2017

7. The Higgs-Boson Particle Discovery

When it was predicted: S10E02 ‘The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace’ (September 20th, 1998)
When it actually happened: July 4th, 2012

The Simpsons Predictions Future - Higgs-Boson Particle

8. Professor Bengt R. Holmstrom Winning The 2016 Nobel Prize In Economics

When it was predicted: S22E01 ‘Elementary School Musical’ (September 26th, 2010)
When it actually happened: October 10th, 2016

9. NSA Mass Surveillance Revealed (PRISM)

When it was predicted: The Simpsons Movie (July 26th, 2007)
When it actually happened: June 2013

10. Faulty Voting Machines

When it was predicted: S20E04 ‘Treehouse of Horror XIX’ (November 2nd, 2008)
When it actually happened: November 6th, 2012

11. President Donald Trump & Kamala Harris Taking Office

When it was predicted: S11E17 ‘Bart To The Future’ (March 19th, 2000)
When it actually happened: 2016-2021

12. Richard Branson’s Space Trip

When it was predicted: S25E15 ‘The War of Art’ (March 23rd, 2014)
When it actually happened: July 11th, 2021

13. COVID-19

When it was predicted: S04E21 ‘Marge in Chains’ (May 6th, 1993)
When it actually happened: December 2019

14. OceanGate’s Titan Submersible Goes Missing & Implodes

When it was predicted: S17E10 ‘Homer’s Paternity Coot’ (January 8th, 2006)
When it actually happened: June 2023

Now that you’ve read all about The Simpsons predictions, find out how you can make some money from it courtesy of Platin Casino.

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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