Times The Simpsons freakishly predicted the future

After being on the air for nearly 30 years and producing more than 600 episodes, there really aren't many things that haven't been made fun of by The Simpsons. The show's razor-sharp satire has taken aim at politicians, American life, human behavior, big business, parenting, education, pop culture, science, and more—and with such accuracy that it's even been able to predict the future from time to time. Here are a few occasions when The Simpsons knew what was going to happen before the rest of us.

President Trump

On a future-set episode of The Simpsons that aired in 2000, we learn that Bart is a broke bar musician doing Jimmy Buffett ripoffs and living with Ralph Wiggum. He makes big plans to mooch off his sister, Lisa, who has just been elected President of the United States. In her first cabinet meeting, President Simpson mentions that her administration has "inherited quite a budget crunch from President Trump." While a first name is never given, one can assume she's referring to Donald Trump, who, in January 2017, became the President of the United States. (Which means Lisa Simpson is up next.)

All-you-can-eat is a lie!

On "New Kid on the Block," a 1992 episode of The Simpsons written by Conan O'Brien, Homer sees a TV commercial for an all-you-can-eat seafood restaurant called the Frying Dutchman. (It's the first appearance of the Sea Captain.) Homer goes and proceeds to eat until closing, and is then kicked out…while still hungry. He then sues the restaurant for false advertising, and Homer and the Sea Captain come to an agreement: He can shove gobs and gobs of fried fish down his craw if he does it in The Frying Dutchman's window under a sign labeling him "Bottomless Pete: Nature's Cruelest Mistake," so as to draw more customers.

In 2012, Bill Wisth went to a Mequon, Wisconsin, restaurant called Chuck's Place for its weekly Friday night fish fry buffet. After a few trips, he wanted more, but the restaurant claimed they'd run out. Wisth refused to pay and planned on picketing Chuck's Place, telling reporters, "if the people who run the restaurant put up signs that say all you can eat, but then selectively not want to fill that promise, that's false advertising." The owner of Chuck's Place claimed Wisth had eaten more than 20 pieces of fish…and was violating the buffet's "no sharing" policy.

The Isotopes move to Albuquerque

The 2001 episode "Hungry, Hungry Homer" concerns Homer going on a hunger strike to prevent the local minor league baseball team, the Springfield Isotopes, from secretly moving to Albuquerque. In 2002, the minor league Calgary Cannons announced a move to Albuquerque, and the local paper published a poll asking readers to come up with a new name for the team. The Isotopes overwhelmingly won with 67 percent of the vote. While they admit they got the idea from The Simpsons, "Isotopes" is an appropriate fit for a team from that area, as New Mexico is near the site of many nuclear facilities, most notably the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Don't bet on insurance

The 1997 episode "Hurricane Neddy" is all about Ned Flanders' spiritual and mental breakdown. A hurricane hits Springfield—specifically Ned's house, reducing it to rubble. The people of Springfield come together to rebuild it for Ned, because he's such a great guy…and, as his wife Maude remarks, they had no homeowners' insurance to cover the damage because Ned equated insurance with gambling. Ten years later, Darul Uloom Seminary of Deoband, an influential institution for the Sunni Muslim community of India, issued a fatwa, or edict, that decreed buying life insurance was—you guessed it—akin to gambling.

People unknowingly ate gym mats

Over the course of The Simpsons' run, there have been many scenes depicting the cost-cutting and utterly disgusting measures by which Lunchlady Doris will go to feed the children of Springfield Elementary. But she has her limits. In the 1995 episode "The PTA Disbands," Doris keeps using shredded newspaper and old gym mats as recipe ingredients, even though "there's very little meat in these gym mats." In 2014, a minor but disgusting scandal developed when the Environmental Working Group released a report that found a compound called azodicarbonamide in around 500 processed food products, primarily breads, including Wonder Bread, Pillsbury Dinner Rolls, and the bread they use to make sandwiches at Subway. What's so bad or surprising about that? The chemical is a filler that makes bread—and yoga mats—soft.

Uncle Herb's baby translator was made for real

In a handful of early Simpsons episodes, Homer meets his long-lost brother Herb, but then leaves him in financial ruin after he bets his whole car manufacturing business on a ridiculous car Homer designs. Left destitute, he moves in with the Simpsons, and gets rich again when, with Maggie's help, he creates and markets a baby translator that turns an infant's cries and sounds into English. As Marge says in the episode, "every mother in the world" would want one—and in 2004, Japanese high-tech company Takara developed a real-life prototype that analyzed a baby's sounds along with its facial expression and body temperature to alert parents that the baby was hungry, tired, or needed to go to the bathroom, among other needs.

The show clothed a naked statue before it was cool

In 1990's "Itchy & Scratchy & Marge," Marge goes on a crusade to clean up cartoons—via censorship. She abandons the cause when her fellow crusaders move to cover up Michelangelo's David when the Renaissance masterpiece visits a museum in Springfield. In 2001, a Lake Alfred, Florida, statuary shop called Fountain and Falls placed a small replica of David outside its front door. Never mind that it was a masterpiece—the statue is anatomically correct and shows off a man's genitals. The owner of a barber shop nearby complained to city hall about it. "I didn't even know it was art," said Jeanne Johnson. "To me, it's just a naked man standing on the side of the road." City officials asked Fountain and Falls to cover the statue's crotch with a loincloth.

Homer's theory of a donut-shaped universe was correct

At the end of "They Saved Lisa's Brain," a 1999 episode of The Simpsons in which Lisa and her local MENSA chapter attempt to rule Springfield with their superior intellect, the smartest guy in the world makes a cameo: physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking. He remarks to Homer, "Your theory of a donut-shaped universe is intriguing. I may have to steal it." In scientific parlance, "donut-shaped" is torus shaped. And yes, as it turns out, the universe may actually be donut- or torus-shaped. Four years after Homer Simpson "proposed" the theory, cosmologists noticed radiation patterns in space suggesting that the universe was round and tube-like, but "empty" in the middle. Mmmmm…space donut.

A lemon tree was stolen in real life, too

The kids of Springfield have a grand adventure with rival town Shelbyville in a 1995 episode about efforts to recover the town's beloved lemon tree, planted by settlers long, long ago. Those villains from Shelbyville ripped it right out of the ground! Who steals a lemon tree? The idea is absurd! Hannah Cook Wallace of Madison, Wisconsin, would agree, except the story happened to her. In the summer of 2011, the huge Meyer lemon tree she kept in a planter on her front porch for 20 years was stolen. "It's bizarre," Wallace told reporters.

Homer's life was saved by the man he mocked

In the 1997 episode "Homer's Phobia," the Simpsons befriend a kitsch shop owner named John (voiced by director John Waters). Homer loves the guy…until he finds out he's homosexual. Eventually, Homer gets over his fear and distrust of John when John is the bigger man and saves Homer from being gored to death by a bunch of reindeer. A very similar lesson was learned by Baljit Koonar in 2010. Koonar's home in Birmingham, England, was next door to Bryn and James Tudor, who in 2005 became the first same-sex couple in the city to obtain a civil partnership. Koonar publicly harassed and terrorized the couple…until they saved his life. Koonar's house was on fire early one morning, and the smell of smoke awakened James Tudor, who got Koonar and his family away from the house to safety.

A throwaway gag predicted Farmville

While attending "Colonel Tex's Traveling Carnival" in the 1998 episode "Bart Carny," the kids of Springfield are transfixed by a cutting-edge virtual reality game that allows them to…pretend they're doing yard work, such as trimming hedges and raking leaves. This is essentially Zynga's Facebook-based game Farmville, which racked up more than $1 billion in in-game purchases.

Homer determined the weight of the Higgs boson

While first proposed in 1964, it wasn't until 2013 that physicists discovered the Higgs boson, the field (and particle by which it could be detected) that basically holds atoms together—in other words, the very fabric of existence, and a key to understanding how the universe and matter work. Oddly enough, Homer Simpson, of all people, predicted the discovery of the Higgs Boson. On the 1998 episode of The Simpsons called "The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace," Homer attempts to become a scientist and inventor, and is seen messing around with some formulas on a chalkboard. His math actually gets pretty close to the one that determines the molecular weight of the Higgs particle.

Lady Gaga's Super Bowl halftime show

Lady Gaga played the halftime show of the 2017 Super Bowl, delivering a performance that was a spectacular for the ages, featuring high-wire stunts, pyrotechnics, theatrical costumes…and other elements that closely mirror the performance of an animated Gaga on a 2012 episode of The Simpsons. In "Lisa Goes Gaga," the pop star comes to Springfield for a concert and soars over the crowd in a harness while wearing an outfit (and knee-high boots) similar to the ones she eventually wore during the real-life Super Bowl.