16 years ago, creators of ‘The Simpsons’ cartoon predicted Donald Trump’s emergence as president of the US in one of their episodes, ‘Bart to the Future’ from Season 11.
The episode showed Bart Simpson imagining his coming years and his sister, Lisa Simpson taking over as “America’s first straight female president” from an outgoing President Trump.
Speaking to her team in the oval office, Lisa says; “we’ve inherited quite a budget crunch from President Trump.” She then asks how bad things have got, and told the country is broke, as the previous regime invested in the nation’s children but “created a generation of ultra-strong super-criminals”.
Show creator, Matt Groening has however, said the team predicted that Trump would be president back in 2000 – but (Trump) was of course the most absurd placeholder joke name that they could think of at the time, and that’s still true.
While speaking to The Hollywood Reporter earlier this year, Simpsons writer, Dan Greaney said that the episode was meant to show a vision of the country ‘going insane’.
In his words:
“It was a warning to America, that just seemed like the logical last stop before hitting bottom. It was pitched because it was consistent with the vision of America going insane.
What we needed was for Lisa to have problems that were beyond her fixing, that everything went as bad as it possibly could, and that’s why we had Trump be president before her.”
Though it may have seemed an implausible fantasy back in 2000, 16 years later, the world awoke to discover that Groening’s ‘insane’ vision of a future America had in fact become reality as Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in the US elections to become President of the United States.
Images from this cartoon – of Trump at the presidential podium and descending an escalator in Trump Tower – have, wrongly, been circulated on social media as part of that 16-year-old prophecy.