One of the most iconic television shows of all time, as well as one of the most quoted properties in pop culture history, The Simpsons has made hundreds of jokes fans and others know, remember, and reference on a daily basis. Often, these jokes revolve around extremely absurd concepts that could only happen in a cartoon or a satire - at least according to the writers. But in reality, a lot of the jokes that seemed ridiculous at the time were actually giving us a glimpse into the future. In fact, Disney+ has an entire collection dedicated to all the episodes that predicted the future (there probably more than you think). Sometimes, these jokes underestimate just how low humanity (and often, America) can go. The Simpsons predictions on this list actually all came true.
Here's a collection of hilarious Simpsons jokes that really ended up as true, happened, or were repeated elsewhere. The Simpsons predicted some crazy things.
The Joke: In the Season 18 episode "Please Homer, Don't Hammer 'Em", the Simpsons are casually strolling through the mall when they stumble upon a dilapidated JCPenney's (obviously a reference to J.C. Penney Co.), which had been shut down and converted into a mix of candle kiosks and CD stores.
What Actually Happened: J.C. Penney filed for bankruptcy on May 15, 2020, citing financial difficulties due to COVID-19.
The Simpsons' Season 4 episode "Marge in Chains" from 1993 apparently foreshadows the events of 2020 with the spread of a new flu virus. When a worker in Osaka, Japan, sneezes into a package that ships to Springfield, the entire town is subsequently threatened by what they call the "Osaka Flu," mirroring the spread of the coronavirus around the world.
What's more, scientists in 2020 claim to have spotted Asian giant hornets in Washington state - a species that threatens life with its poisonous stingers. In the same Simpsons episode, residents knock over a truck they believe to be carrying a cure, but instead crack open a box labeled "Killer Bees."
Episode writer Bill Oakley told The Hollywood Reporter, "I don't like it being used for nefarious purposes. The idea that anyone misappropriates it to make coronavirus seem like an Asian plot is terrible. In terms of trying to place blame on Asia - I think that is gross."
The Joke: In the 2007 Simpsons Movie, Lisa Simpson delivers an emotional speech about climate change to her classmates. She passionately warns= there is no room for optimism, Ralph, because in 50 years the oceans will rise and nothing will be left except hot desert lands that cannot produce quality foods.
What Actually Happened: In September 2019, 16-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg stood before the UN and called for those in power to take action against the changing climate. Her passion, knowledge, and composure were remarkably similar to Lisa Simpson's in 2007.
The Joke: In an episode from 2017 called "The Serfsons," the Simpsons find themselves in Springfieldia, an alternate fantasy universe that is demolished when a fire-breathing dragon wreaks havoc.
What Actually Happened: In the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones, Daenerys Targaryen surprises everyone by burning King's Landing in a move against Queen Cersei. Though Dany's attack on Cersei is somewhat expected, her actions take out countless innocent commoners, which goes against her history of benevolence toward innocent people.