TV Shows That Freakishly Predicted The Future

Television is supposed to be entertainment. And it's pretty deliciously entertaining when TV writers—be it to satirize, mock, or just look forward— try to predict the future. Sometimes they don't even mean to, but TV shows have called out world events long before they happened. Here are some eerie examples of some silly little TV shows that somehow knew what was going to happen before the rest of us did.

The Chris Rock Show knew O.J. did it before O.J. did

During the very first sketch in the very first episode of his eponymous HBO show, Chris Rock aired a sketch imagining O.J. Simpson hawking a videotape called I Didn't Kill My Wife, But If I Did, Here's How I'd Do It. It brutally mocked Simpson, acquitted for the murder of his ex-wife in 1995 but still widely believed to be guilty. Amazingly, Simpson imitated that tacit admission of guilt in real life, with almost the exact same title, with his 2006 book If I Did It. To promote it, he taped a TV special called If I Did It, Here's How it Happened. After protests, both projects were cancelled.

Family Guy predicts Bruce Jenner's gender transition

Ninety-nine percent of the time, the asides and cutaways on Family Guy are throwaway gags and digs at celebrities, and when it first aired in 2009, this one was seemingly no exception. In the bit, baby Stewie Griffin remarks that in actuality Bruce Jenner is "an elegant, beautiful Dutch woman"—years before Jenner announced that she now identifies as a woman and goes by Caitlyn Jenner. (As far as we know, she still isn't Dutch).

An X-Files spinoff envisions the 9/11 attacks

The Lone Gunmen was a mostly comic spinoff of The X-Files. A notable exception: the time the short-lived show predicted the events of 9/11 months before they happened. The characters known as the Lone Gunmen had appeared occasionally on The X-Files as conspiracy theorists who were often correct. On the first episode of their own show, they uncovered a conspiracy about the U.S. government planning to crash an airplane into the World Trade Center, blame it on foreigners, and then use the resultant outcry to justify raising the defense budget. Real-life conspiracy theories about the government having a role in the events of 9/11 aside, it's chilling that some TV show in early 2001 suggested the possibility of an airplane flying into the WTC.

An obscure sitcom in 1987 pinpoints when Muammar Gaddafi will die

One of the first-ever shows on the Fox Network was the little-remembered 1987 sitcom Second Chance. It's about a man named Charles who, in the far-off future year of 2011, dies in a hovercraft accident, goes to Heaven, and is sent back to Earth to be a friend and guide to his younger self. Second Chance is notable for two things: first, future Friends star Matthew Perry played the younger version of Charles. Secondly—and more importantly, for our purposes here—just before Charles meets St. Peter to determine his fate in the afterlife, Libyan dictator and real-life '80s villain Muammar Gaddafi learns he's going to Hell. This means on the show, Gaddafi died in 2011—which totally happened in the real 2011. (Still no hoverboards, though.)

A British spy show predicted the 2005 London Underground bombings

On July 7, 2005, a series of bombs planted by terrorists exploded in the London Underground subway system, killing 52 people and injuring more than 500. A few months earlier, the British espionage series Spooks had filmed—but not yet aired—an episode in which terrorists detonate bombs and injure dozens. In both, bombs had been planted at Kings Cross Station. The Spooks episode ultimately did air a few months after the real-life attacks, but with a disclaimer at the top of the show.

Quantum Leap knew the outcome of the 1996 Super Bowl

It seems like he usually jumped into the body of a woman or someone associated with the JFK assassination, but in a 1990 episode of Quantum Leap, Sam (Scott Bakula) quantum leaped into the body of a high school football player. In keeping with the football theme of the episode, Sam's holographic advisor Al mentions that he's watching the 1996 Super Bowl, and that "The Steelers are down by 3. You wouldn't believe..." Sounds like an intense, late-game moment. And it's one that happened at Super Bowl XXX in 1996 for real—even the team was right. The Pittsburgh Steelers were in the game, and with a few minutes to go, the team was down by 3. (They ultimately lost to the Dallas Cowboys. Oh boy.)

The Simpsons called it: President Trump

The Simpsons have a lot of episodes set in the future, but they're usually just ways for the writers to make jokes about how the future is just as messed up as the present. For example, in a future-set episode where Lisa is in college, humanoid robots are commonplace...except they catch fire and melt anytime they feel human emotion. In the same episode, phone calls are made via video, just like on FaceTime or Skype. That's a mixed track record, so you shouldn't get too excited one way or the other at a 2000 episode's prediction: newly elected President Lisa Simpson inherits a country left in shambles by the previous commander-in-chief, Donald Trump.

Friends foreshadowed Facebook

Before Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook to the world, you better believe that Friends was talking about the social network a year before.

In 2003's Season 9 of the comedy series, Ross and Chandler are amazed by a website that lets them search and keep up to date with past college classmates. Does that sound a bit familiar? "Have you seen this?" says Ross. "It's our new alumni website for college. It's cool! You can post messages for people, let everyone know what you're up to."

Cue Facebook starting up a year later around university students and then ... the entire freaking world. There were obscure social networks in their infancy when the Friends episode aired, so it's hard to know if the writers ran into one of those or if they came up with the idea on their own.

Parks and Recreation predicted the Chicago Cubs' World Series win

In what could be the holy grail of sporting event predictions, Parks and Recreation actually foreshadowed the Chicago Cubs breaking their 108-year-old curse to win the World Series in perfect timing.

In the 2015 episode titled "Ron and Jammy," the crew visits Lucy in Chicago during the summer of 2017, where she tells them the town is in great spirits because the Cubs took the title in the recent postseason.

In case you've been living under a rock, the Cubs won the World Series in November 2016 for the first time since 1908. Actress Natalie Morales (who plays Lucy), even tweeted screenshots of the massive coincidence.

Scrubs knew where Osama Bin Laden was hiding

Who knew that the Pentagon could have just watched Scrubs to find Osama Bin Laden? Could have made that nearly decade-long search a little bit shorter.

In 2006, the comedy series featured an episode titled "His Story IV," where J.D. is learning fast facts about the war in Iraq. During a discussion, the janitor says that the army should be looking for Bin Laden in Pakistan. Fast forward to 2011 when the U.S. forces tracked down the al-Qaeda leader to — yup — Pakistan. Cree-py.