'The Simpsons' Celebrates 30 Years 'Treehouse of Horror' in 60 Seconds

Annual Halloween special airs on Fox tonight

Who needs Nostradamus when you’ve got “The Simpsons”? The long-running animated comedy has an uncanny talent for looking into the future with incredible accuracy. Here are 13 times “The Simpsons” predicted events that haven’t happened yet… but still could.

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  • Hover Cars     Back in 2005, Professor Frink invented a machine that allowed Bart and Lisa to see into their future, as in 2013. Marge left Homer because he blew through their savings on an underwater house and spent what he had leftover on a hover car. Although the ride is bumpy (it’s a prototype), it does get them through a quantum tunnel. How close is that vision to coming true? In 2017, Renault created a futuristic-looking concept car called “Float” that could move in any direction without turning. The same technology is being used in Tesla’s Hyperloop train design.

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  • Mind Control Through Music     A 2001 episode of “The Simpsons” called “New Kids on the Blecch” scared the bejesus out of parents with its plot that had Bart and his pals in a new band that unwillingly was a psy-ops project by the Navy Dept. intended to feed children with subliminal messages in their music. Their biggest hit: a song titled “Drop Da Bomb.” This entry may be making it into TheWrap’s “Simpsons predictions that have come true” story sooner rather than later, as some people believe that hip-hop lyrics brainwash listeners.

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  • Virtual Reality Food     “The Simpsons” made it back to the future, this time to 2030, where Homer and Marge chowed down on “virtual fudge” via VR glasses and feeding tubes. Although you’d think the whole “virtual,” “no calories” thing would have trimmed down the junk-food junkie patriarch, it didn’t. Meanwhile, in the real world, Royal Caribbean is looking into giving their cruise-line guests a VR dining experience – with every bite of food, you are transported to a new setting. And food scientists at Cornell University found that cheese eaten in a pleasant VR setting tasted better.

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  • Colonization of Mars     Marge is not thrilled when Lisa volunteers for a future one-way trip to Mars… so she volunteers to go with her. In fact, hoping to dissuade Lisa, the whole family signs up. The idea behind Exploration Incorporated’s expedition is to colonize the Red Planet before 2026, a date that moves up to, like, the end of the week. The takeoff fails but Lisa and Marge make it to Mars in 2051, only for Lisa to announce she wants to move to Venus. While Elon Musk’s SpaceX is currently developing Mars-bound cargo flights for as early as 2022, fully colonizing Mars would require an out-of-this-world budget.

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  • Hologram Mail     Another look into the future had a deadbeat Bart getting a hologram message hiring his band for a club gig. The booking signed off with “smell ya later,” which replaced the customary “goodbye.” HD3 holograms – a three-sided holographic display case – are already available for use in stores and installed in more than 500 Best Buy stores. Could hologram mail be close to reality? Maybe. But one thing is for sure, it won’t be cheap.

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  • Suppression of Green Energy     In the 582nd episode of “The Simpsons,” Lisa invents a car powered by solar energy to race in the Alternative Energy Derby, only for the Duff blimp to block out the sun, making her vehicle stop dead inches from the finish line. Weird coincidence or a message about a large company (Duff) sabotaging the progression of green, renewable energy for corporate interests?

     

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  • Large-Scale Environmental Disaster     “The Simpsons Movie” tackles a massive environmental disaster that most definitely could happen but fixes it in a truly implausible way. In the 2007 film, Homer dumps pig feces in the already dangerously polluted Springfield Lake, causing an environmental crisis. To keep the town’s contamination contained, the president encloses Springfield under a giant glass dome. Can the deadly levels of contaminated water happen? Hell yes. And it has many times. But no glass domes yet. 

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  • First Foreign-Born President     The U.S. president who ordered a giant dome to be erected over Springfield after the previously mentioned disaster was… wait for it… President Arnold Schwarzenegger. Yes, the former California governor has some political experience, but the Constitution states that “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.” But there is room for interpretation.

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  • Ivanka Trump Runs for President in 2028     “The Simpsons” made a rather subtle point of suggesting that the first daughter, Ivanka Trump, would run for the highest office in the land when Homer wore an “Ivanka 2028” campaign button in a 2016 episode. They again tossed shade on Ivanka in 2017 by marking her father’s 100th day in office with an episode that showed her replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, while modeling a robe and earrings from her collection that could be bought for 1,000 rubles. It is conceivable that Ivanka could run for president, and although there are “preferred” qualifications of a Supreme Court Justice, the Constitution does not stipulate anything one way or the other.

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  • ABC Merges With Several Networks     In a flash-forward to the day Lisa gets married, a news telecast showed that ABC had merged with a couple of other major television networks to become CNNBCBS. TV networks, film studios and production companies are merging all over the place the last few years, so anything is possible on that front. On the flip side, that same episode said that Fox had gradually become a hardcore sex channel. So there’s that.

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  • Robots Take Over     “The Simpsons” predicted mass automation in 2012 with robots taking over jobs of many humans (which many believe is already happening), but a robot coup was touched on long before that. In a 1994 episode of “Itchy and Scratchy Land,” the family visited a theme park manned with robots that go off the rails and kill everybody. Jürgen Schmidhuber – known as “the father of artificial intelligence” – believes that AI superintelligence will trigger runaway technological growth and profound changes to civilization in “just 30 years.”

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  • Big Ben Goes Digital     The “Lisa’s Wedding” episode in 1995 once again cast a look into the future (as in, 2010), when she was in love with a Brit. A trip to England to meet his parents showed the famous Clock Tower sporting a new look to the face of Big Ben: digital display. It reappeared 17 seasons later next to the St. Beatles Cathedral in the “Holidays of Future Passed” episode. Big Ben’s chimes have been silent for over a year and won’t be ringing again until 2021 due to repairs, but going digital? Nah.

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  • Bigfoot Is Real     While on a camping trip with the gang, Homer is mistaken for Bigfoot after falling into mud and is captured by scientists for observation. But it was Bart who encountered the real Sasquatch in 2002 while exiting a bus in Canada. Okay, so maybe we’re stretching it a little by suggesting that Bigfoot “could be” real.” But then again, maybe we’re not.

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  • From hover cars to President Schwarzenegger to proof that Bigfoot is real. Wait. What?

    Who needs Nostradamus when you’ve got “The Simpsons”? The long-running animated comedy has an uncanny talent for looking into the future with incredible accuracy. Here are 13 times “The Simpsons” predicted events that haven’t happened yet… but still could.

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