Did 'The Simpsons' Predict the 2021 US Gas Shortage?

Social media users shared a video clip of Homer appearing to hoard gasoline in the trunk of his car.

If there's one thing we know for sure about The Simpsons, it is that the popular animated TV series has been spot on with its predictions of the future over its three-decade-long run.

The show has been on the mark with its predictions of real-life happenings. These include Trump's presidency, the invention of smart watches, FIFA's corruption scandal, US beating Sweden to win a curling competition in the Olympics, Disney's Fox takeover, at least three Super Bowls and more recently, the coronavirus pandemic and the murder hornet invasion among several other major news events.

Thanks to its exemplary track record, after any major news event, a rumor starts circulating on social media claiming it was "predicted" by the long-running sitcom.

The Simpsons gas shortage prediction
A still from the video clip that is being circulated on social media. Twitter

Similarly, after the recent US gas shortage caused by a cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline, social media users shared what appeared to be a scene from an old episode of The Simpsons, claiming it was another one of the show's predictions of the future. The clip, which showed Homer appearing to hoard 1000 gallons of gasoline in the trunk of his car, was captioned, "The Simpsons predicted it again. LOL."


The Colonial Pipeline cyberattack triggered panic buying of gasoline in several U.S. states last week, prompting the U.S.Consumer Safety Commission to issue a warning to the public not to fill plastic bags with gasoline and use appropriate containers (such as the car trunk shown in the tweet above) to store gas.

While the clip showing Homer pumping gas directly into his car trunk is authentic, but had nothing to do with panic buying or a shortage of gasoline. The episode in question was Episode 5 from Season 22, which aired in November 2010. The episode, titled "Lisa Simpson, This Isn't Your Life," kicks off with Maggie, desperate to collect the rare "Baby Must-Have" toy, hidden among thousands of boxes of "Happy Little Elves" figures being sold at Texxon gas stations.

Homer, determined to make his daughter's dream come true, visits numerous Texxon gas stations in and around Springfield. When he is told he must buy 10 gallons of gasoline for evert "Happy Little Elves" box he purchases, he sets about using up gas as quickly as possible before eventually, filling the trunk with gas, as shown in the tweet above.