The Simpsons has an uncanny track record of its spooky predictions coming true. Over the years, it’s been noted that past episodes predicted smartwatches, the Siegfried & Roy tiger attack, Disney purchasing Fox, and most famously, the presidency of Donald Trump (described by the writers as “the logical last stop before hitting bottom”). But now, a prediction made in the season 4 episode “Marge in Chains” has, appropriately enough, gone viral. Twice!
The episode features Springfield suffering from the “Osaka flu,” which naturally caused many to begin comparing it with coronavirus. This made the episode’s writer, Bill Oakley, pretty unhappy. He laid out his problems in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, saying:
“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. I believe the most antecedent to (Osaka Flu) was the Hong Kong flu of 1968. It was just supposed to be a quick joke about how the flu got here.
It was meant to be absurd that someone could cough into box and the virus would survive for six to eight weeks in the box. It is cartoonish. We intentionally made it cartoonish because we wanted it to be silly and not scary, and not carry any of these bad associations along with it, which is why the virus itself was acting like a cartoon character and behaving in extremely unrealistic ways.”
But now, the episode has seen another burst of popularity. In this much-shared scene, we see the townspeople of Springfield demanding a cure from Dr. Hibbert. He laughs and says that any cure he would give would simply be a placebo. In response, the panicked crowd attacks a truck looking for some of these “placebos.” Unfortunately, this releases a swam of Murder Hornets.
As we’re currently living through a global panic with people hungry for a cure – and now also have to deal with a wave of murder hornets – Bill Oakley has revised his assessment, saying:
As The Simpsons‘ powers of prognostication are now firmly established, I eagerly await President Trump’s announcement that he intends to plunge America into darkness by blocking out the sun using a gigantic mechanical device.