Plenty has been written about The Simpsons‘ uncanny ability to predict major events in culture and politics. But we came across a pair of classic episodes recently that seemed to particularly accurately foretell of some of the more unsettling aspects of the Trump era.
In 1998’s Trash of the Titans, Homer picks a dubious battle with the Springfield Sanitation Commissioner (played by Steve Martin), and decides to run against him. He makes all manner of ridiculous promises (sound familiar?), and actually wins – only to predictably crash and burn once in office. His mismanagement ends in the entirety of Springfield having to be physically moved five miles down the road. (Best scene: While campaigning, Homer gets up on stage with U2, leading to The Edge and Larry Mullen Jr. sneering at Bono’s usual self-righteous “save the planet” grandstanding.)
The brilliant 2000 episode The Computer Wore Menace Shoes finds Homer launching a website under the pseudonym Mr. X, and accidentally scoring a few major scoops – leading to a Pulitzer. When there’s not enough real and juicy news to keep up his site traffic, Homer just starts fabricating stories (i.e. “fake news”). “I’ll just make up some news!,” he enthuses – causing Lisa to reply with a pained sigh, “At least take off your Pulitzer Prize when you say that.”
Want to know what the world’s going to look like in 2030? Watch The Simpsons.