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The Simpsons Will Reveal Their Prophetic Secret In A Future Episode

Longtime fans of "The Simpsons" (are there any other kind?) know that in addition to consistently providing simultaneously funny and biting social commentary, the series has an uncanny knack for predicting the strangest, most specific turns of events. Even those less familiar with Matt Groening's culturally pervasive cartoon are likely aware of one of its most notorious prophecies: that is, that Donald Trump would become president of The United States. In this case, the March 2000 "prediction" in the Season 11 episode "Bart to the Future" was really just a contemporary reference to the TV personality's then-recent (and failed) attempt to run for office (via New York Magazine), but there are other instances where a seemingly insignificant punchline or sub-plot ultimately manifested, years later, in the real world.

As The Hollywood Reporter noted in a 2018 breakdown of these divinations, "The Simpsons" accurately or near-accurately predicted all kinds of technology (including smart watches, baby translators, and video chats), the outcome of several Super Bowls and sporting events, a handful of governmental, corporate, and petty crime scandals, an Ebola outbreak, the construction of London's Shard, the donut-shaped universe theory, and, maybe most curiously of all, the mass of the Higgs boson particle, aka the "God Particle." There are, of course, many more instances of the series' accidental prescience, and it's hard not to assume there will be many yet to come, given the show's record to date. How they do it is anyone's guess, but according to executive producer and co-showrunner Matt Selman, an upcoming episode will give viewers some insight into the show's spooky sixth sense.   

Simpsons showrunner teases conceptual explanation

In a recent interview with Deadline, Matt Selman spoke at length about what the upcoming 34th season of "The Simpsons" has in store for fans. "It's probably the best 34th season of any show you've ever seen," the showrunner joked, before revealing that this latest installment of the Springfield narrative will include two Halloween episodes, an anime spoof, a full-length twist on Stephen King's "It" starring Dan Castellaneta's Krusty the Clown as the story's terrifying antagonist, a guest appearance from Melissa McCarthy, a storyline that sees Homer end up in a conspiracy cabal, and more. 

Out of all of Selman's scintillating sneak peeks, however, there's one that will undoubtedly intrigue the series' most fervent fans just a little bit more than the others. "We have another crazy conceptual episode that explains how 'The Simpsons' know the future," he told the outlet, adding "It's a conceptual episode with lots of crazy stuff in it, but it does an explanation of how 'The Simpsons' can predict the future."

Selman stopped short of explaining the episode's actual plot, so audiences won't know until it airs if he was referring to an in-universe explanation of the series' real-world impact or a fourth-wall-breaking exploration of the writers' approach to these things. Since he managed to drop the word "conceptual" twice, one thing's for certain: the next chapter in the country's longest-running scripted series will offer us if nothing else — and as "The Simpsons" so often does — something completely new. (And, potentially, something that hasn't even happened yet).