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The Simpsons Made Yet Another Prediction That You Wouldn't Believe

Over the course of 32 years (and counting), "The Simpsons" has predicted a number of cultural events that actually ended up happening. The beloved animated sitcom has, on numerous occasions, made jokes that came to pass in real life years later — most famously the election of Donald Trump, which was a throwaway joke in a 2000 episode where the gag was basically that Trump was the least likely person to ever be president. The show also joked about the absurdity of a Disney-Fox merger in 1998, almost 20 years before the merger of the entertainment giants actually happened, as well as proposing a scenario eerily close to the pandemic and the murder hornets moment way back in 1993.

The latest thing "The Simpsons" predicted is Richard Branson's spaceflight. Last week, the billionaire entrepreneur was a passenger on the world's first-ever commercial trip into not-quite-outer space on his company Virgin Galactic's spacecraft. As Deadline points out, "The Simpsons" showed Branson in space in a 2014 episode.

In the Season 25 episode, "The War of Art," art forger Klaus Ziegler (voiced by Max Von Sydow) claims that his fakes "give pleasure to people all over the world." To prove his point, this line is followed by cutaways of people enjoying his forged paintings, including a man obviously meant to be Richard Branson, floating in zero-gravity inside of a spaceship while beaming at a Jackson Pollock-style painting floating nearby.

Do The Simpsons' writers have a crystal ball?

If we're being honest, this prediction is not as impressive as some of the show's other ones, because it didn't create a scenario out of thin air that no one would have thought would ever actually happen. By 2014, Richard Branson had been trying to get commercial spaceflight off the ground for a decade. Virgin Galactic was founded in 2004, and the company was experimenting and doing test flights for years by the time "The Simpsons" rendered Branson in space. At the time, Branson was publicly claiming that commercial spaceflight was imminent, even though it wasn't. He had discussed it years before it actually happened. 

"The Simpsons" showing him in space was making fun of him, because at that point it seemed like his dream was a joke. The painting he was enjoying was just as fraudulent as his bold claims he was going into space. But it turns out the joke is on them, because he did it. The Branson prediction is not quite as prescient as, say, the time "The Simpsons" predicted Sen. Ted Cruz's ill-fated trip to Mexico while Texas experienced a historic blizzard by having Mayor Quimby do something very similar many years earlier, but it's still pretty astute.