Few TV shows have achieved the same dizzying level of success as The Simpsons – and few ever will.
The cartoon sitcom has been a cornerstone of television (and indeed popular culture) since as far back as 1989, and has since developed a reputation for correctly predicting future events, be it Donald Trump’s presidency or the historic Disney-Fox merger.
Fast forward to the present day, though, and some Simpsons fans are now claiming that the Fox comedy correctly predicted the Coronavirus outbreak… back in 1993. Well, not quite.
During the season 4 episode “Marge in Chains,” a Japanese flu spreads to Springfield after germs traveled to America inside the boxes of products manufactured in Japan. It’s a scene which plays out a little something like this:
— Jordan Coombe (@Jordan_Coombe) January 30, 2020
Turns out the image of Kent Brockman (top left) was not only doctored, but from a different episode entirely. It’s also worth noting that “Marge in Chains” chronicles the outbreak of “Osaka Flu,” which originates in Japan. So, it’s not exactly a one-to-one comparison.
Well would you look at that, it is edited. pic.twitter.com/RArufdHrdY
— Slinky – Bring back 1 vs 100 on the Xbox (@SlinkyDoughnut) January 30, 2020
The Simpsons has predicted many things during its time on the airwaves, but not Coronavirus. Not quite. The Fox comedy has, however, prophesied events and developments as far-reaching as the advent of autocorrect, FIFA’s corruption in the World Cup, smartwatches, Lady Gaga’s memorable Super Bowl performance, the Higgs-Boson particle, and many, many more.
And yes, The Simpsons continues to pump out new episodes every now and then – even if there are those who believe the Fox classic is on the wane in terms of actual quality – and was last year renewed for a thirty-first (!) and thirty-second (!!) season. Like them or lump them, Springfield’s most famous family isn’t going anywhere anytime soon…