You’ve probably heard of The Simpsons predicting a dozen real-life events and Johnny Bravo pointing out the 9/11 incident before it ever happened. However, we are going to dive deeper and cover 40 different times that movies and TV shows predicted the future. Sit back, grab some popcorn, and enjoy these “coincidences” that are nearly too strange to be true.
Lost and Social Distancing
The show Lost predicted the whole social distancing situation over 10 years ago. It aired between 2004 and 2010, portraying the life of Desmond Hume who lived in isolation for years. Hume was unable to go outside so he lived inside an isolated bunker, practicing the measures of social distancing that we are dealing with today. Even though the show did not specifically predict when the social distancing is going to take place, it surely did point out the possibility of this situation in the world.
The Truman Show and the Modern Entertainment
Back in 1998, a Jim Carrey movie predicted the direction in which modern entertainment has headed. The Truman Show predicted that people would be entertaining themselves by watching other people live their lives on TV. Today, reality TV shows make up for a large percentage of popular entertainment sections as people enjoy watching shows such as Keeping Up With the Kardashians. In fact, many people are getting entertained by watching others live their daily lives through YouTube vlogs, which is another example of how The Truman Show’s prediction came true.
Family Guy and Caitlyn Jenner’s Transition
The Family Guy cartoon predicted Caitlyn Jenner’s transition and her decision to undergo gender confirmation surgery at such an old age. Fox’s cartoon had already announced all these changes six years before they happened. A section of a 2009 episode shows baby Stewie referring to Bruce Jenner as a woman, which was way before Caitlyn announced the transition. To make things even stranger, Brian, the family dog, told him that Bruce Jenner is a man, to which Stewie replied with: “No, Brian.”
Supernatural and Toilet Paper
Believe it or not, a 2009 episode of Supernatural predicted the toilet paper craze that the world is going through these days. In the episode, the main character Dean was sent to the future where he saw some things that were too similar to our real life today. Namely, in the future, there was an outbreak of the so-called Croatoan virus, which sounds similar to the virus we are fighting against today. To make things even stranger, upon returning from the future, Dean told another character to start stockpiling toilet paper because it would become more valuable than gold.
Back to the Future II and the Hoverboard
The whole point of the Back to the Future movie was to show people a glimpse of what the world could look like a few years in the future. However, back when the movie was released, people had no idea that some of its scenes would actually turn into reality 40 years later. In Back to the Future II, Marty McFly travels from 1985 to 2015 where he sees people traveling on floating boards, a.k.a. the hoverboards, as we know them today. Decades after the movie was released, hoverboards became a real thing!
Mr. Robot and the Ashley Madison Hack
The creator of Mr. Robot admitted that the scene where the fictional dating site Ashley Madison gets hacked was not a last-minute addition to the show. In fact, it was an original part of the script, which accidentally predicted the real Ashley Madison hack. The real-life hack, as portrayed on the show, actually took place in 2015 when thousands of married cheaters were exposed on a dating site called Ashley Madison. “It’s almost as if the world wanted me to keep the [Ashley Madison] scene as intended,” creator Sam Esmail said. “That’s just stuff I can’t predict. In general, the feeling is incredibly surreal.”
Black Mirror and Autonomous Drone Insects
Even though Black Mirror was intended to provide a look at how technology influences everyday life, the show ended up predicting a few things about the future. Some of those predictions include contact lenses with cameras in them and hackers blackmailing people through the Internet. However, the most interesting prediction came from the final episode of Season 3 in 2016, which showed drone insects pollinating flowers after the bees had become extinct. Today, companies such as Prox Dynamics are already working with miniature robotics to make this prediction come true.
The Simpsons and the FIFA Scandal
Here’s another time The Simpsons successfully predicted a future event. In the episode titled You Don’t Have to Live Like a Referee, The Simpsons revealed corruption inside FIFA and portrayed Germany as the winner of the World Cup. The real-life hack, as portrayed on the show, actually took place in 2015 when thousands of married cheaters were exposed on a dating site called Ashley Madison. “It’s almost as if the world wanted me to keep the [Ashley Madison] scene as intended,” creator Sam Esmail said. “That’s just stuff I can’t predict. In general, the feeling is incredibly surreal.”
Ghost in the Shell and Invisible Clothing
Many movies and shows over the past few decades featured characters bragging about their invisible coats and clothing, one of them being Ghost in the Shell. This movie portrayed a distant future filled with technologies that seemed more than impossible back in the day. However, Japanese scientists have already discovered technology known as RPT or retro-reflective projection. Thanks to RPT fabrics, they were able to create a prototype coat that allows you to blend into the surroundings and appear invisible.
Demolition Man and Scott Peterson
This 1993 movie predicted the exact name of a criminal years before the crime was committed. In the movie, John Spartan was sent to the cryo-prison when a list of inmates was clearly shown to the viewers. One of the names on the list was Scott Peterson. Nine years later, a man by the same name committed a horrendous crime and killed his wife and unborn child. While this could just be a coincidence, it didn’t stop the fans from concluding that the show predicted the 2002 crime.
Tangled and the Coronavirus
A Disney movie titled Tangled aired in 2010, back when no one made any assumptions about the show predicting the future. However, 10 years later, people are looking back at Tangled with some concern and curiosity. Namely, in the movie, Rapunzel lived in quarantine inside a tower to stay away from a kingdom called “Corona.” Not only was she quarantined but the thing that she was trying to run away from is also called “Corona,” which seems like too big of a coincidence.
Akira and the Tokyo Olympics
A popular Japanese anime film titled Akira started trending recently after the viewers found strange similarities between the movie’s narrative and real life. Namely, in the 1988 anime, the Olympic games were supposed to be held in Tokyo. The movie showed a sign counting down to the Olympics with a writing underneath it that said “just cancel it.” Today, the Tokyo Olympic games have been postponed due to the current virus outbreak. Even though the show wasn’t very specific when it comes to the details of the cancellation, it did accurately predict that something would stop the Olympics from taking place.
Netflix and the Pandemic
Netflix has recently aired an original documentary series titled Pandemic. As you can guess by the title, the show portrays real-life pandemic situations and goes over methods and strategies for preventing an outbreak. What makes this release so strange is that Netflix chose to put this show out in January of 2020, less than two months before an actual global pandemic took place. You cannot help but think that Netflix somehow knew what was going on so they chose to release a spot-on documentary topic.
Star Trek and the iPad
All Star Trek fans will remember the legendary PADDs or Personal Access Display Devices. These tablet-like devices first appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation, which aired in the 80s and 90s. The PADDs looked awfully similar to today’s tablets and iPads. Mind you, this was decades before technology such as iPads was introduced to the world. It looks like Star Trek predicted the way mobile technology would develop 30 years in advance.
Spongebob and AI Voice Assistants
Even though Spongebob and his friends live underwater, they are still way ahead of us tech-wise. In fact, in one of the episodes of this popular cartoon, Plankton’s wife was shown talking to a computer that responded thanks to artificial intelligence. Back in the day, AI was nothing but one of those things you see in sci-fi movies. Today, years after the release of this Spongebob episode, we can talk to Siri, Alexa, and a variety of other intelligent voice assistants.
Star Wars and Holograms
In the 1980s Star Wars Strikes Empire Back, you can see a pretty accurate portrayal of real-life holograms talking to people and interacting on different levels. While Star Wars is definitely one of the most popular franchises in this niche, they were not the only one to predict holograms. Back in the day, AI was nothing but one of those things you see in sci-fi movies. Today, years after the release of this Spongebob episode, we can talk to Siri, Alexa, and a variety of other intelligent voice assistants.
Quantum Leap and the Superbowl XXX
It’s not so shocking that Quantum Leap was actually on point with one of their predictions. After all, the show was all about predicting the future with the main character Sam traveling through time and into the bodies of others. However, no one expected a 1990 Quantum Leap episode to actually predict a Superbowl game that was played in 1996. In the show, the main character mentions the Steelers playing the game with three points behind the opponent. Not only did the Steelers play the Superbowl XXX but they were also trailing by three points half the game.
Star Trek and the Moon Landing
In a Star Trek episode called Tomorrow is Yesterday, the Starship Enterprise travels back in time to 1960 where they pick up NASA’s radio transmission signals. That’s when the crew overheard that astronauts were preparing to perform the first-ever landing on the moon. Keep in mind that this episode aired in 1967 and the first moon landing actually took place in 1969, as the show predicted. We are not sure if the producers randomly picked this year or did they have a hunch about what was going to happen.
Max Headroom and Internet Advertising
The 80s show titled Max Headroom made an extremely accurate prediction about how advertising was going to evolve in the information age. The show gave some pretty obvious hints about Internet advertising and cybercrime which later turned into a reality. While Internet advertising could just be a wild guess, keep in mind that Max Headroom aired at a time when the Internet wasn’t even a big deal. However, the show still predicted detailed advertising and information algorithms that are used by large corporations nowadays.
The Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Limbs
The Six Million Dollar Man revolves around a bionic character with superhuman powers such as the ability to run at extreme speeds or see things at an impossible distance. The character also had bionic limbs that allowed him to do all sorts of things. The whole thing became far closer to reality as billion-dollar corporations invented robotic prosthetics and high tech limbs that could change mankind in the years to come. There is no doubt that this 70s show was onto something back in the day.
The Thunderbirds and Skype
The Thunderbirds, a.k.a. a popular 60s puppet series follows an ex-astronaut who is trying to protect the planet from alien spaceships. This is one of the earliest TV shows that portrayed a phone-like technology that allowed communication through a TV screen. Bear in mind that these were the 60s and it was revolutionary to even think about being able to see the person you are calling on the screen. Five decades later, the technology shown in The Thunderbirds became a reality thanks to services such as Skype, Facetime, Zoom, and more.
Laugh-In and the Fall of the Berlin Wall
The popular comedy show titled Laugh-In ran between 1968 and 1972. It featured a segment called News of the Future which was filled with satirical comments about what the world could look like one day. However, at one occasion, the characters in this segment described that: “There was dancing in the streets today as East Germany finally tore down the Berlin Wall.” Not only did the show predict the fall of the Berlin Wall but they guessed it would happen around 1989, which is only one year away from the actual date.
The Lone Gunmen and the 9/11 Incident
The Lone Gunmen, a popular X-Files spinoff, didn’t waste any time with their predictions of the future. Their very first episode predicted no other than the massive attack on The World Trade Center which took place on September 11th, 2001. In the pilot episode, hackers took control of a passenger plane and tried to fly it directly into the towers. Keep in mind that this episode aired in March the same year the incident took place. How was this show able to predict an event that happened six months later?
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Transparent Aluminum
The 1986 Star Trek sequel depicted all sorts of futuristic technologies including time travel machines. While traveling through time is still not reality, there is one thing that the creators of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home actually predicted. Transparent aluminum, as shown in the movie back in 1986, was actually invented in 2009 at the University of Oxford. Researchers managed to create transparent aluminum by treating regular aluminum with powerful X-rays.
The Jetsons and Flat-Screen TVs
The Jetsons, a 1960s comedy cartoon, predicted the development of all sorts of common items including dog treadmills, talking alarm clocks, and even roomba vacuum cleaners. They also predicted the appearance of fully flat TV screens, which the audience found impossible during the 60s. If you think about the size of the TVs back in the day, it is quite understandable why people didn’t believe that all those components could fit into a flat structure. However, nowadays. LCD screens are more than just a thing. In fact, TV screens are continuing to evolve as we are seeing TVs with fully transparent displays.
Spooks and the London Subway Bombing
The BBC drama Spooks follows the adventures of a team of secret British agents who aimed to stop terrorists before disasters took place. One of the show’s episodes that was filmed in 2005 portrayed a terrorist trying to bomb train stations in London. A month after the episode was released, terrorists actually executed this attack and killed 52 people while injuring 500 more victims. What’s really shocking is that the train station bombing took place at the same location both in real life and on the show – the Kings Cross Station.
Family Guy and the Death of Antonin Scalia
The Family Guy cartoon show is no stranger to tasteless jokes such as this one. In their 2007 episode titled Meet the Quagmires, the Grim Reaper revealed that Supreme Court Justice Scalia had been killed during a hunting accident with Dick Cheney. The joke was a hit on Cheney who accidentally shot a friend during a quail hunting session in 2006. However, in 2016, Scalia passed away at a Texas ranch after a day of quail hunting. Doesn’t this seem too strange to be a coincidence?
Merrie Melodies and the 9/11 Incident
Here’s another time a TV show predicted the 9/11 event, even though it is a bit less specific than the Lone Gunmen example. This one took place a while ago back in 1949 when an episode of the Merrie Melodies cartoon portrayed a dog who couldn’t imagine living in a city. The joke was a hit on Cheney who accidentally shot a friend during a quail hunting session in 2006. However, in 2016, Scalia passed away at a Texas ranch after a day of quail hunting. Doesn’t this seem too strange to be a coincidence?
The Chris Rock Show and the OJ Simpson’s Book
Back in 1999, the Comedian Chris Rock made a skit on his HBO series called The Chris Rock Show. The segment involved Rock reminiscing about his past guests, including the former NFL superstar OJ Simpson. Simpson made an appearance on the show to promote his instructional video which didn’t exist at the time, titled I Didn’t Kill My Wife… But If I Did, Here’s How I’d Do It. No one knew that this title would be so similar to the actual title of the book that Simpson later published; If I Did It.
Johnny Bravo and the 9/11 Incident
Here is another example when a TV show or in this case a cartoon predicted the 9/11 incident. This time we’re talking about Johnny Bravo and an episode that portrays an obvious picture of the towers burning in a fire. Keep in mind that this Johnny Bravo episode aired five months before the 9/11 incident took place. It is indeed very strange why cartoon creators would include such a poster in a kids’ show. It only got stranger once the event came true.
Total Recall and Self-Driving Cars
Total Recall is a 1990 movie that predicted self-driving cars. Featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone, the movie portrays a character who is trying to find the reason behind his recurring dreams about Mars. While the movie has several examples of futuristic technology such as chips and brain implants, it also featured self-driving vehicles, which were seemingly impossible back in the day. Today, however, we have Tesla driving the industry toward autonomous vehicles.
Hannibal and the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting
The NBC show titled Hannibal was not off to a good start when they predicted a disastrous event in their fourth episode of season one. The plot of the episode predicted the Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting as the real and fictional event had way too many similarities. However, the creator of the show chose not to release the episode five days before it was supposed to go on air because of the event that had recently taken place. Bear in mind that the episode was scripted and filmed before the shooting, although it never made it to air because of it. The episode was, however, released on VOD services.
Scrubs and Osama bin Laden
Finally, back in 2007, an episode of Scrubs, a popular sitcom at the time, predicted the real-life location of Osama bin Laden. In the episode, the janitor casually pointed out that the United States should look for Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan. While no one thought of this detail so much, the viewers of Scrubs were shocked after bin Laden was found hiding in Pakistan in 2011, which was four years after the said episode had aired.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Memory Erasing
Back in 2003, the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind got everyone thinking about what life would be like if we could just erase memories. It sounds pretty convenient to be able to erase the things we don’t want to remember. At the time the movie featuring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet was published, mind erasing was far from reality. However, researchers at the University of Toronto have discovered a technology that helps soldiers suffering from PTSD recover by erasing individual memories that caused the trauma. We might be moving in the right direction when it comes to making mind erasing technology publicly available.
Parks and Recreation and the Cubs Victory
If you’re a fan of Parks and Recreation, you probably know that the seventh season that aired in 2015 took place in 2017. In one of the Season 7 episodes, Tom’s girlfriend predicted that the Chicago Cubs are going to win the World Series in 2016. Now, keep in mind that the Chicago Cubs had not won the World Series in over 108 years at the time this episode aired. However, only one year later, the Cubs won the next World Series for the first time in over a century.
30 Rock and Harvey Weinstein
Today, the general public is well aware of Harvey Weinstein’s crimes committed during his career as an American film producer. He was charged for multiple sexual assaults and related crimes he committed as the producer for Miramax Films and The Weinstein Company. Now, keep in mind that the Chicago Cubs had not won the World Series in over 108 years at the time this episode aired. However, only one year later, the Cubs won the next World Series for the first time in over a century.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and the Google Glass
The 1997 episode titled Rocks and Shoals features characters using “virtual display devices” similar to today’s Google Glass accessories. The device allowed characters to see data outside of their environment, even though it had a negative side effect of headaches. One of the characters described the device as “having a view-screen inside your brain.” That’s basically what Google Glass is, which was first introduced back in 2013. However, we’re sure that Star Trek is not the only movie that portrayed this futuristic device.
Contagion and the Deadly Virus
Back in 2011, a movie titled Contagion portrayed doctors and experts all around the world fighting against an outbreak of a deadly virus. The characters were on a quest to develop a vaccine that would help cure and stop the spreading of the virus. To make the matter even stranger, the virus they fought against in the movie targeted the respiratory system, which seems just a bit too similar to the situation we are in today. Let’s not forget that virus in the movie also originated from a bat in China.
Scandal and the Edward Snowden Saga
The political thriller Scandal aired in 2012 predicted the whole Edward Snowden saga in their season two episode when Olivia Pope helped an NSA agent prove that the government was indeed spying on American citizens. Only a year after the episode aired, an NSA contractor known as Edward Snowden leaked classified data to prove that what this show predicted was actually true. There is no doubt that this was one of the most spot-on predictions given that it took place only a year before the actual event.