The Simpsons Predicted Austin Mayor's COVID-19 Trip Scandal

Over the course of its more than 30-year history, The Simpsons has often made jokes that ultimately become bizarre realities in unexpected ways, with the latest instance of one of these predictions coming true being the actions of Austin, Texas Mayor Steve Adler being showcased by Springfield's Mayor Quimby in a 1993 episode. Last month, Adler shared a video on Facebook encouraging Austin residents to stay home in hopes of slowing the coronavirus pandemic, only for this video to actually have been recorded while he was on vacation in Cabo San Lucas. In Season Four, Episode 21 of The Simpsons, Mayor Quimby shares a video encouraging Springfield citizens to stay home, only for his broadcast to be interrupted by a man using a steel drum, showing that he was in the Bahamas.

While this "prediction" could surely be brushed off as a vague coincidence, what makes the similarities so strange is that Quimby is issuing these orders as the town of Springfield is facing an epidemic.

“We need to stay home if you can," Adler shared in his original video. "This is not the time to relax. We are going to be looking really closely ... We may have to close things down if we are not careful."

The Austin American-Statesman broke the story about his actual whereabouts earlier this week, resulting in Adler issuing an apology.

“I regret this travel,” Adler's statement reads. “My fear is that this travel, even having happened during a safer period, could be used by some as justification for risky behavior. In hindsight, and even though it violated no order, it set a bad example for which I apologize.”

This isn't the first time this year that this episode, "Marge in Chains," earned renewed interest, as its overall depiction of a flu that originated in Asia taking a devastating toll on the community already earned comparisons to COVID-19. Additionally, one scene sees the release of killer bees, and with "murder hornets" being another bizarre event unfolding in 2020, audiences were shocked by the number of specific coincidences.

Other unexpected The Simpsons predictions that have come to light in recent years is the election of Donald Trump as president as well as 20th Century Fox ultimately being purchased by The Walt Disney Company.


Co-writer of "Marge in Chains" Bill Oakley previously noted to The Hollywood Reporter that the concept of the epidemic was inspired by the Hong Kong Flu in 1968, with this explanation of how the virus landed in Springfield merely being a reference to that event. He also noted that one reason there have been so many "predictions" coming true is that the series has been on for so long, history has already repeated itself in a number of ways.

New episodes of The Simpsons air on Sunday nights on Fox.