Fact Check: Did 'The Simpsons' Writers Predict The Coronavirus Outbreak 27 Years Ago?

Twitter is convinced that an early episode of "The Simpsons" predicted the coronavirus outbreak.

India   |   6 March 2020 9:37 AM GMT
Editor : Bharat Nayak | By : Aditi Chattopadhyay
Fact Check: Did

Image credit: Ashakiiii/Twitter

16 years ago, an episode of "The Simpsons" predicted that Donald Trump would be the president of the United States.

In the midst of the frenzy that the Coronavirus outbreak has generated, a rumour started circulating on social media that the long-running sitcom "The Simpsons" had "predicted" this outbreak in 1993.

The stills are believed to be taken from a 1993 episode, where there is an illness creating chaos.

In the fourth season of The Simpsons, in an episode "Marge in Chains," a news report announces fears of the "Osaka Flu."

In another scene, a visibly infected Japanese factory worker coughs into a package, which is then sent to the United States.

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

This narrative seems to suggest "The Simpsons" somehow knew about the spread of the respiratory illness 27 years ago.



Claim:

Simpsons predicted Coronavirus outbreak long ago.

Fact Check:

The first three panels of the viral image going counter clock-wise (i.e., all but the bottom-right panel) are original. These are taken from the 1993 episode (Season 4, Episode 21) entitled "Marge in Chains."


The episode shows the residents of Springfield dealing with an outbreak of "Osaka Flu," which spreads after a factory worker coughs into a box.

The video shows the 3 stills in this episode.

The fourth panel (bottom right), however, is doctored and actually comes from a different episode of "The Simpsons."

That panel, featuring Springfield reporter Kent Brockman, is from the episode "The Fool Monty" (Season 22, Episode 6).

The words "Corona Virus" are morphed on top of this image, which originally read "Apocalypse Meow."


Although the 1993 episode of "The Simpsons" did focus on a viral outbreak, this can't be termed as a prediction.

"The Simpsons" was in all probabilities commenting on past events like the Spanish Flu, the Hong Kong Flu, and the Asian Flu and not making future predictions.

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Also Read: 'No Handshake, Only Namaste': Israeli PM Advises Citizens Amidst Coronavirus Outbreak

Claim Review :  Simpsons predicted Coronavirus outbreak long ago.
Claimed By :  Twitter posts
Fact Check :  False
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Contributors

Aditi Chattopadhyay

Aditi Chattopadhyay

Fact Checker

"I like to read, cook my own food and note down witty lines. Fact checking reminds of the time when I was a kid and would go hunting for whatever caught my fancy in that moment."

Bharat Nayak

Bharat Nayak

Founding Editor- Special Project

I am a passionate writer and believe in the power of the social media to bring about social change – it is the small things that each one of us add that contribute to the bigger picture.

Aditi Chattopadhyay

Aditi Chattopadhyay

Fact Checker

"I like to read, cook my own food and note down witty lines. Fact checking reminds of the time when I was a kid and would go hunting for whatever caught my fancy in that moment."

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