Coronavirus: The Simpsons (almost) predicted the outbreak in 1993

The episode was just 2000km away from being accurate

Louis Chilton,Jacob Stolworthy
Saturday 14 March 2020 12:43 GMT
Simpsons predict Coronavirus in episode 'Marge in chains'

Fans of The Simpsons believe that the cartoon predicted the ongoing coronavirus outbreak back in 1993.

The seminal animation has previously “predicted” many other events with bizarre specificity, including the election of President Donald Trump, the invention of smart watches, and the football World Cup results.

Now, people think they have found another thanks to Simpsons season four episode “Marge in Chains”, which depicts a global pandemic.

In the episode, a news report announces fears of the “Osaka Flu”.

Another scene shows a visibly infected Japanese factory worker coughing into a package, which is then sent to the United States.

Most of the residents of Springfield get sick as a result.

However, it is worth noting that the that coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China – more than 2000km away from the Japanese city of Osaka.

With this in mind, it would be fair to chalk this up as one of The Simpsons’ less accurate predictions, but many are highlighting similarities between the behaviour of the show’s characters and people in real life.

People have been making this observation online, with one meme account editing over the words “Osaka flu” with “coronavirus”.

Here are some of the responses:

As the coronavirus situation intensifies around the world, many are pointing to TV shows and books that have seemingly predicted several things correctly.

The UK’s reaction to the global pandemic is being criticised with a scene from British sitcom Yes Minister going viral for seemingly predicting Boris Johnson’s “clueless” response.

A book that recently made headlines for seemingly predicting the outbreak IS Dean Koontz’s Eyes of Darkness, while another – released in 2008 – went viral for saying an illness would spread globally “around 2020”.

Meanwhile, the 2011 virus thriller Contagion has become one of the most-watched films online.

Find a list of every film and TV show either cancelled or delayed by coronavirus here.

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