Fact-Check: Did 'The Simpsons' Predict Richard Branson's Space Flight in 2014?

Social media users shared visuals of Branson floating in space aboard his spacecraft from a 'Simpsons' episode that aired in 2014.

If there is one thing we know for sure about The Simpsons, it is that the popular animated TV series has been bang 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, and at least three Super Bowls among several other 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. British billionaire Richard Branson's successful flight to the edge of space and back aboard the Virgin Galactic was no exception.

The Simpsons Richard Branson prediction
The Simpsons screenshot is from a 2014 episode titled "The War of Art." Twitter

Social media users shared visuals from 'The Simpsons' showing Branson floating inside what appears to be a rocket, bearing an uncanny resemblance to an image of the Virgin Boss on board Virgin Galactic during Sunday's flight.

Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic also noted the coincidence. "The Simpsons predicted it," they wrote alongside the image on Twitter, adding a clapping hands emoji.


The Simpsons image is from a 2014 episode titled The War of Art – the 15th episode of the show's 25th season. In the episode, the art forger Klaus Ziegler (Max von Sydow) tells Lisa that his "forgeries give pleasure to people all over the world". As he speaks, we see people looking at art in various locations, including Branson leaning back and admiring a painting in zero-gravity on his spacecraft.

Branson founded Virgin Galactic in 2004 and has long been known as an advocate for commercial space travel. He had originally planned to launch the suborbital space flight by 2010 but the launch was delayed for several years, primarily due to the October 2014 crash of the first Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo space plane called VSS Enterprise. Therefore, it seems that Branson's epic space flight was nothing more than a pre-emption by the show's writers.