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Did The Simpsons Just Predict the End of the World?

The Simpsons

Lots of folks like to try their hand at predicting the future, but no one has done it quite as accurately as The Simpsons. No, seriously. It’s just scary at this point.


The popular animated series, now enjoying its record-breaking 32nd season, had its annual Halloween episode back in early November, but no one really paid attention to the details until now.


In the episode, entitled Treehouse of Horror XXXI, Homer is seen sitting on top of his house as the world around him burns. The date? January 20th, 2021.

Of course, since that day is Inauguration Day, it’s an easy target for a comedy show to peg as the end of the world. In the episode, Lisa reminds Homer about Donald Trump’s track record as Homer debates on for whom his vote should be cast. But, in true Homer fashion, he sleeps all day, missing the vote. “Hey, how bad could it be?” he asks Marge, while we get a glimpse of an apocalyptic world rife with killer robots, fire, and destruction.

One other interesting “prediction” that has been making the rounds on social media is claimed to be from that same episode, yet is actually not true. The claim is that Groundskeeper Willie is dressed exactly like the fur-and-horn-hatted man seen all over the news clips from yesterday’s attack on Capitol Hill. While this would be an amazingly obscure prediction, it’s actually false. That shot of Willie is fan art that was created to stir people up. Unfortunately, the fur-and-horn-hatted man is not just fan art.


But The Simpsons cartoon has quite a legacy of predicting future events, especially in politics. The show writers predicted everything from the 2014 Ebola outbreak to Disney’s purchase of Fox to Donald Trump’s presidency.

“We predicted that he would be president back in 2000,” show creator Matt Groening told The Guardian. “But [Trump] was of course the most absurd placeholder joke name that we could think of at the time, and that’s still true. It’s beyond satire.”


So while past predictions from the show have been eerily spot-on, we have to say that this one is probably nothing more than a warning from the show’s writers about the dangers of skipping out on exercising our right to vote in America. Or about the dangers of long naps. Either one.

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Shawn has been infatuated with the post-apocalyptic genre since he wore out his horribly American-dubbed VHS of the original Mad Max as a child. Shawn is the former Editor-in-Chief at Joystiq's Massively.com, creator of the Aftermath post-apocalyptic immersion event, and host of the Through the Aftermath podcast for over 11 years. He currently resides on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere with his wife and four children.

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