The Simpsons, Which Predicted Everything, Had One Episode About Actually Predicting
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The Simpsons is famous for depicting events before they actually occur. That's sort of an inevitable consequence of a show containing 250 hours of footage, offering an absurd number of jokes and references per minute, and sticking around for decades till things can come true. Often, when we say "The Simpsons predicted it," we're joking. For example, the show didn't really predict anything by joking about a possible Matrix Christmas special, but it's still funny to share the screenshot when we get a Matrix sequel in December.
Sometimes, when we say The Simpsons predicted stuff, we're straight-up lying, sharing a recent clip and pretending it aired years ago. Other times, the connection is so uncanny that we wonder if people are purposely trying to make Simpsons predictions come true. Like, it was a bit surprising that the show should predict, in 2000, that Donald Trump would win the 2016 election, but it's even more surprising that they should predict he would be succeeded by a woman wearing a purple jacket and oversize pearls.
It's enough to make some people think about choosing lottery numbers based on Simpsons content, if such a thing were possible. It was possible, once, kind of.
We're talking about the episode "Lisa the Greek," which aired 30 years ago this month. This was a very different time, which was why the show showed a library with a card catalog, a tape reel supercomputer, and a Washington football team called the Redskins. In this episode, Lisa and Homer bond when Lisa shows a talent for predicting which NFL team will win each Sunday.
Lisa finally predicts the Redskins will win the Super Bowl, and then they do—both in the show, and in real life, when the big game happened three days later. That worked out pretty well for the episode. Still, it was a 50/50 shot, right? (Actually, it was a lot more likely than that; Washington was favored to win).
Then the next year, when Fox re-aired the episode right before the Super Bowl game, they got the cast back in the studio to redub some new lines, inserting the names of the 1993 champions. This time, Lisa predicted the Cowboys would win. The Cowboys were narrowly favored, and they ended up massively beating the Bills, in one of the highest-scoring Super Bowls in history. We don't have info on 1994 (they might have just used last year's recording, since it was the Cowboys versus the Bills again, and the Cowboys again won), but in 1995, they again rerecorded, Lisa now predicted the 49ers would win, and she was again right.
Showrunner Al Jean says that he bet against Lisa's pick every single time, and every single time, he lost.
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