“The Simpsons” has seemingly predicted the future several times over its 32-season run: From satirising a Donald Trump presidency 16 years prior to his election to conceptualising a Coronavirus outbreak immediately followed by murder hornets in 1993, Simpsons fans are constantly wondering if the writers have access to a time machine.
The Simpsons scares me. This episode aired 27 years ago in 1993 🤯 #CoronaVirus https://t.co/Zc0XUZn5PO— 𝖆𝖘𝖍 (@𝖆𝖘𝖍) 1580397977
Now, the long-running series has done it again — or rather, real life has caught up to its plot lines: The Simpsons seemingly prophesied Sir Richard Branson travelling to space.
How can The Simpsons show predict every Damn thing? 😯 https://t.co/9wt3uSbiFh— Aditya Kondawar (@Aditya Kondawar) 1626084958
Branson rocketed to outer-space earlier this week, via his space tourism venture Virgin Galactic. He travelled with three Virgin Galactic employees in tow, beating fellow billionaire and space enthusiast, Jeff Bezos, to successful space travel by just nine days.
"To all you kids down there..." - @RichardBranson's message from zero gravity. #Unity22 Watch the livestream:… https://t.co/B39txKaR1G— Virgin Galactic (@Virgin Galactic) 1626028016
A version of Branson has appeared in three episodes on the show, though the billionaire actually voiced himself for his most recent appearance in Season 26. In the episode, which aired in 2015, he played himself as Mr. Burns’ neighbour, sending his new acquaintance’s dogs to orbit the planet on a Virgin Galactic flight.
While this is certainly exciting, the writers may have already known about Branson’s astronomical aspirations by the time they wrote the “predictive” episode. Branson founded Virgin Galactic in 2004, revealing the Virgin Galactic jet in July of 2008. Per BBC, he predicted his initial voyage would take place in “18 months,” as well as “a hotel in space” and “small spaceships that go around the Moon” in 20 years. So far, his predictions have been off by about a decade, so perhaps we can look forward to a space hotel come 2040.
Thus, we’re sorry to say that by the time the Simpsons writers were penning this episode, that, according to Reddit, originally aired in 2014, they — and the rest of the world — were likely well aware of Branson’s imminent journey to space. Therefore, they simply satirised it, and didn’t necessarily tell the future.
This still does not explain the plethora of other Simpsons predictions, however, so don’t disregard any Matt Groening time travel theories just yet.