First coronavirus, now ‘murder hornets’? ‘The Simpsons’ predicts the future again

The internet thinks "The Simpsons" predicted even more current events.
(Associated Press / Fox Broadcasting Co.)

“The Simpsons” apparently did it again. It inadvertently foresaw the future.

Bill Oakley, a writer on the long-running animated TV show, recently admitted in a tweet that yes, he and some of his colleagues predicted some disturbing events of 2020.

First up was the coronavirus crisis and now the “murder hornets” from Asia that were recently spotted in the U.S. and threaten honeybee populations.

“OK fine i guess we did,” Oakley replied Wednesday to a tweet of a clip from an old “Simpsons” episode that seemed to comment on our current crises. That tweet has already amassed more than 7 million views and 373,000 likes since it was posted Tuesday.

The clip comes from the same 1993 episode that sparked the initial speculation in February that “The Simpsons” predicted the coronavirus. From Season 4, “Marge in Chains” depicted a strange virus from Osaka, Japan, that sweeps through the Simpsons’ town of Springfield.


In that episode, an assembly-line worker in Japan falls ill with the flu and sneezes into boxes carrying a hot new item that will be shipped to numerous Springfield residents, including Homer Simpson.

The town’s inhabitants become scared and panicked, demanding a cure — a placebo, even. In their anger and desperation, they knock over a truck hoping to find a treatment, but instead release a hive from a box marked “Danger: killer bees.”

Stills from “Simpsons” episodes shared online suggest that the animated comedy — known for its prophetic writing — has done it again with the coronavirus.

Feb. 28, 2020

Oakley’s tweet on Wednesday suggested he’s come around on some of the conspiracy theories, which he originally disputed. Oakley had expressed frustration with internet users who implied his work foresaw the pandemic.

“I don’t like it being used for nefarious purposes,” Oakley told the Hollywood Reporter of the episode he co-wrote with Josh Weinstein. “The idea that anyone misappropriates it to make coronavirus seem like an Asian plot is terrible. In terms of trying to place blame on Asia — I think that is gross.”

The outbreak and killer bees aren’t the only current events “The Simpsons” seemed to predict. It apparently foresaw the Disney-Fox merger and Donald Trump’s presidency, too.