‘The Simpsons’ Predicted The Coronavirus Outbreak – True or False?

The Simpsons predicted the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus 27 years ago, fans of the cartoon have claimed. Maybe it’s time to raise our standards for “predictions.”


On Dec. 17, 1989, the animated show “The Simpsons” debuted on the Fox Network with a Christmas episode entitled “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire.” Since then, Springfield’s most famous residents, Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie, have appeared in more than 600 episodes over the course of 31 seasons.

That’s more than 200 hours of content. If you watched “The Simpsons” non-stop 24 hours a day, it would take you more than a week to finish the entire series. That’s a lot of content, a lot of jokes, and a lot of opportunities for coincidences to appear.





Loyal viewers of The Simpsons believe the animated Fox comedy warned the world about coronavirus decades ago.

As proof, they’re citing a 1993 episode of the series, which featured a storyline about a virus called Osaka Flu spreading through Springfield after residents ordered juicers from Japan.


The first three panels of this image going counter clock-wise are unaltered and originate with a 1993 episode (Season 4, Episode 21) entitled “Marge in Chains.”

Even though the virus in the episode came from Japan, instead of Wuhan in China, fans have been burning up Twitter saying The Simpsons has a penchant for predicting global events.





The fourth panel in this graphic (bottom right) is doctored and actually comes from a different episode of “The Simpsons.” That panel, featuring Springfield reporter Kent Brockman, comes from the episode “The Fool Monty” (Season 22, Episode 6). The words “Corona Virus” were added on top of this image, which originally read “Apocalypse Meow.”

Here’s the original image:

While it’s true that a 1993 episode of “The Simpsons” focused on a viral outbreak, this is hardly a prediction. After all, the world has seen a number of pandemics. The Spanish Flu, the Hong Kong Flu, and the Asian Flu are just a few historical examples. As is the case with most of these “prediction” claims, “The Simpsons” was commenting on past events, not predicting future ones.

This article is inspired by Snopes’ article (here is the LINK).

Photo 1: Daily Mail
Photo 2: Snopes
Youtube: Rob Martin

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