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 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 events.
Given 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. Similarly, on the day of the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, social media users shared images claiming The Simpsons had predicted Harris' vice-presidency.
Users drew attention to the episode "Bart to the Future," which originally aired in March 2000 and showed character Lisa Simpson succeeding Donald Trump as president. In the episode, Lisa can be seen wearing a purple suit and a pearl necklace, which some said was a "prediction" of Harris' identical ensemble as she was sworn in on Wednesday, as illustrated in the tweet below:
Co-incidence or Prediction?
As previously reported, these claims are sometimes based on falsified images that do not represent what actually happened on the show or are often misleading.
For instance, after the riots at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month, social media users started circulating digitally altered images of a horned, shirtless man at the federal building claiming The Simpsons predicted Trump supporter and QAnon conspiracy theorist Jake Angeli at the Capitol in an episode aired on the sitcom, as previously reported.
In another example, an image claiming to show Trump descending the escalator at Trump Tower after announcing his presidential candidacy in 2015 was aired on the show in 2000. However, it was in fact taken from a short clip that was shared on YouTube after the event had actually occurred.
As far as the "Bart to the Future" episode is concerned, the identical appearance of Lisa Simpson and Harris seems to be nothing more than a coincidence but what was accurately "predicted" in the same episode was Trump's presidency.
However, Trump had flirted publicly with the idea of running for president since at least 1999, and in 2000, when the episode aired. "Simpsons" writer Dan Greaney said the line in "Bart to the Future" in which Lisa Simpson states she inherited "quite a budget crunch from President Trump" was intended to add to the episode's dystopian vision of the future.
"It was a warning to America," Greaney told The Hollywood Reporter in March 2016. "And that just seemed like the logical last stop before hitting bottom. It was pitched because it was consistent with the vision of America going insane."