Many of us are in quarantine right now in response to the coronavirus pandemic – including the Simpsons! The eighteenth episode of the long-running FOX show’s thirty-first season aired this past Sunday, and it kicked off with a special couch gag that appeared to feature a nod to the current state of the world.
The episode, titled “The Incredible Lightness of Being a Baby,” featured one of those extended intro sequences that’s become a fixture of the series in recent years. This time, the couch gag appeared to show the family engaging in extreme sports. Homer flies a jet, Bart snowboards, Lisa goes deep-sea diving, Marge surfs and Maggie goes wild on a tricycle. Except everything isn’t as it seems.
Yes, it turns out that the Simpsons are actually just keeping themselves entertained with some VR headsets. Now, seeing as the animation production process likely means this was completed a while back, it presumably wasn’t originally intended as a reference to the current situation. That said, the couch gag definitely gains a new meaning from being released in the midst of our self-isolation.
Of course, this isn’t the first time The Simpsons has been seen as predicting the coronavirus. A scene from a classic episode, revealing the townsfolk of Springfield contracting “Osaka Flu,” went viral a few weeks back, with people thinking it reflected what was happening today. That said, a former showrunner of the series hit back at the comparisons, labelling them as inaccurate given the Japanese origin of the fictional flu.
If you’re looking to keep yourself entertained while stuck at home, the past 30 years of The Simpsons can be seen on Disney Plus. Likewise, new episodes are still airing weekly on FOX.