1. 2001: 24 Predicts The First African-American President
Back in 2001, when 24 aired, Jack Bauer had to save the presidential candidate, David Palmer. He was running as the first African American president, which was long before Barak Obama announced his campaign in 2008.
After Barak Obama won the 2008 election, some analysts put part of his win down to the "Palmer effect." They said that depicting a competent black man in charge helped create the public acceptance needed for him to win the election.
2. 2000: The Simpsons Predicts President Donald Trump
Springfield is almost like a crystal ball on its own because there is a whole list of things that The Simpsons has accurately predicted. The most popular prediction they made was Donald Trump winning the 2016 presidential election.
In the episode, "Bart To The Future," Bart travels into the future where Lisa is the president following Trump. Lisa says, "As you know, we've inherited quite a budget crunch from President Trump." They also predicted that Trump would bankrupt America which hopefully won't come true.
3. 2011: Contagion Predicts The Covid-19 Pandemic
In 2011, Gwyneth Paltrow starred in the movie Contagion about the global spread of an unknown virus originating in China. Sounds eerily familiar, right? The movie shows how the virus is spread through touching surfaces or other people, and it has terrible consequences.
In 2020, we are living in the Contagion reality with the coronavirus pandemic. It's almost as if the exact plot of the movie has come to life; however, that movie was only an hour and 45 minutes long while this year seems never-ending.
4. 2003: Friends Predicts Facebook
Mark Zuckerberg didn't launch Facebook until February 4, 2004; however, a year earlier, the idea was presented on the hit sitcom Friends. In the 2003 season, Ross shows Chandler a new website launching for college students to post what they are doing. The idea sounds pretty familiar.
In Chandler's snarky manner, he replies, "Oh, great, a faster way to tell people that I'm unemployed and childless." Friends might not have come up with the idea, but they definitely predicted how the website would make us obsessed with other people's lives.
5. 2013: Arrested Development Predicts The US-Mexico Border Wall
If you haven't watched the news in the past four to six years, you might be unaware that Donald Trump's biggest campaign promise was to build a wall across the US-Mexico border. Despite his enthusiasm, Trump was not the first one to come up with this idea.
The popular show Arrested Development was the first to develop the outline for the wall and what it would look like. In the show, Geroge Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor) attempted to bribe a politician for public support of the idea. Maybe Trump was watching and thought it would be a good idea for a future campaign.
6. 2013: 30 Rock Calls Out Harvey Weinstein
In 2017, when many women began to come forward with allegations of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein, it shocked the world. However, those who pay close attention to Hollywood realize that subtle hints and nods to Weinstein's behavior have been laced throughout many different TV shows and films.
In the hit sitcom 30 Rock, Jane Krakowski's character, Jenna Maroney, made two references that alluded to Weinstein sexually harassing and assaulting her. Her character said, "I'm not afraid of anyone in show business; I turned down intercourse with Harvery Weinstein on no less than three occasions."
7. 2015: Parks And Recreation Predicts The Cubs' World Series Win
Parks and Recreation is arguably one of the top sitcoms, and it also predicted the ending to the 108-year long championship drought for the Chicago Cubs. In the final season, an episode is set in the future, where Andy and Tom visit Chicago.
While they are there, Tom's girlfriend Lucy says, "Everyone is in a great mood now because of the Cubs winning the World Series." According to the show's timeline, they are talking about a 2016 win, which is the year the Cubs managed to claim the championship. The show wrapped a year before the Cubs won.
8. 1967: Star Trek Predicts The 1969 Moon landing
When Star Trek originally aired in the '60s, it didn't get the respect it deserved, but the show with futuristic aliens and fictional galaxies managed to predict the future or real humans. In a 1967 episode called "Tomorrow is Yesterday," the Starship Enterprise jumps back in time to the year 1969, where they pick up a significant radio transmission.
On the transmission, the crew hears NASA talking about preparation for blastoff at Cape Kennedy that would be mankind's first landing on the moon. Either the writers made a lucky guess, or they were fortune-tellers. Whatever the case may be, two years after the episode, the first moon landing took place in real life.
9. 2006: Scrubs Predicts The Whereabouts Of Osama Bin Laden
After a ten-year search for the head of al-Qaeda, Navy SEALS found and killed Osama Bin Laden in Northern Pakistan. After confirming his death, a 2007 clip from the show Scrubs went viral because they predicted Bin Laden's whereabouts four years before he was captured.
The Janitor, played by Neil Flynn, in the episode "His Story IV" said, "We should be looking for Bin Laden in Pakistan." Intelligence agencies must have taken his advice eventually because four years later, they found him.
10. 1962: The Jetsons Predicts Cleaning Robots
In The Jetsons, there were so many futuristic devices that no one thought would come to life back in the '60s. From flying cars to robots, these wonderous creations were a dream. However, some of those devices have come to life like cleaning robots.
The show features Rosie the housekeeping robot and one that looks like the modern-day Roomba. While these seemed impossible to create back in the '60s, they are part of our everyday lives in the present.
11. 1996: Cable Guy Predicts Smart TV
Today, it is hard to find a television that isn't a Smart TV. Well, there was a time where this wasn't the case, and the idea of being able to do everything from shopping to gaming with friends worldwide was a futuristic thought. However, Cable Guy might have predicted Smart TV.
In the 1996 film starring Jim Carrey and Matthew Broderick, Carey says, "Soon every American home will integrate their television, phone, and computer; You'll be able to visit the Louvre on one channel or watch female wrestling on another. You can do your shopping at home or play Mortal Kombat with a friend from Vietnam." This idea doesn't seem very crazy today.
12. 1973: The Six Million Dollar Man Predicts Bionic Body Parts
In The Six Million Dollar Man, astronaut Steve Austin is left injured after a crash. After assessing his injuries, scientists rebuild him with bionic parts. The 1973 show was way ahead of its time, but they gave people the push to seek this technology.
Bionic parts have become more accessible for amputees, and technology continues to advance in this field. In England, scientists attempted to build a bionic man like the show, and they did it for a sixth of the cost. The six-foot robo-man named Rex is made out of an array of artificial limbs and organs from around the world.
13. 2015: Legends of Chamberlain Heights Predicts Kobe Bryant’s Death
As if 2020 wasn't already off to a rough start, we had to mourn the tragic loss of legendary basketball player, Kobe Bryant. He and his daughter, along with some of her teammates, passed away in a helicopter crash, but this wasn't the first time people had heard about this disaster.
In a 2015 episode of Comedy Central's Legends of Chamberlain Heights, there was a scene where Bryant crashed his helicopter. After the tragedy, the showrunners removed the clip out of respect for Kobe's family, but the eery scene had already been shared all over the internet.
14. 1968: The Year Of The Sex Olympics Predicts Reality TV
Before there was Keeping Up with the Kardashians or Real Housewives, there was a time when reality TV didn't exist. The BBC mini-series, The Year of the Sex Olympics, showed a regulated society that controlled the government and media known as the High Drives.
The High Drives keep the poor powerless and obedient by showing continuous televised pornography. The community came up with the idea to start a reality show starring real people on a deserted island. This concept was long before the first reality TV series, so maybe someone took a note from this show.
15. 1990: Dick Tracy Predicts Smartwatches
From the comic strip to the live-action movie, Dick Tracey is known for his all-in-one spy watch that can do anything. The character was created long before real smartwatches existed, so did he inspire or predict this invention?
While it's hard to say, the idea of smartwatches was probably inspired by all the spy movies and shows that featured this futuristic technology. Since the idea first appeared in a 1940s comic strip, it is possible that companies like Apple were trying to bring the spy watch to life.
16. 2007: Family Guy Predicts The Death Of Antonin Scalia
Family Guy isn't afraid to push the limits of raunchy comedy, and a 2007 episode called "Meet the Quagmires" was no exception. The episode featured the Grim Reaper sharing the news that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had been killed in a hunting accident with Dick Cheney.
The joke was at the expense of Cheney because he did accidentally shoot a friend the year before; however, it had nothing to do with Scalia. Ten years after the episode aired, Scalia passed away after a day of quail hunting. Although it wasn't exactly as the show predicted, the joke was eerily similar to real life.
17. 2001: The Lone Gunmen Predicts 9/11
Six months before the horrifying attacks of September 11, 2001, an episode of The Lone Gunmen shows an aircraft crashing into the World Trade Center. The episode centers around the government's plan to hijack a plane, crash it into the Twin Towers, and then let anti-American terrorist groups take credit.
Unfortunately, months later, two planes were hijacked and crashed into the towers killing thousands of people. There were many predictions of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, including an eerie 1994 Vice article showing Beevis and Butthead dressed in turbans flying planes into the Twin Towers. It is chilling how many references were made to this day, long before it happened.
18. 1965: The Thunderbirds Predicts Skype
In the '60s action series, The Thunderbirds, the show follows an ex-astronaut billionaire and five sons who protect the planet from danger. The show had a lot of futuristic technology for the time, but there was one thing that looked particularly familiar in today's era.
The show had a communication device that worked like a phone, but with a TV screen. About fifty-something years later, we are using the same idea in the form of Skype, Facetime, and Zoom to communicate face-to-face with people worldwide.
19. 1993: Demolition Man Predicts The Imprisonment Of Scott Peterson
Set in 2023, Demolition Man predicts how we will live in the future. In the 1993 film, there are many technological and news predictions like Arnold Schwartzaneggar getting into politics and Wesley Snipes becoming a convict. Although the technology still hasn't come to life, other things have been spot on.
In one scene, the police pull up a list of death row inmates, and Scott Peterson is on that list. Eleven years later, the real Scott Peterson shocked the world after he murdered his wife and unborn child, and ended up on death row in California. While it may have been a random name selection, the movie seemed to get every other thing correct.
20. 1984: The Terminator Predicts Military drones
In 1984, when The Terminator was released, the thought of an unmanned aircraft sounded impossible. Today, drones are widely used by the military, police enforcement, delivery companies, and everyday people.
The military began using reconnaissance drones in the early '80s, but it wasn't until the "war on terror" that the army would fulfill The Terminator prophecy. In the 2000s, military drones had weapons on board like the ones in the film.
21. 1997: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Predicts Google Glass
The Star Trek franchise made a few different accurate predictions besides the 1969 moon landing. In the 1997 sequel, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, made the successful prediction of Google Glass. In the seasons involving the Dominion War, the characters used a visual display device that was substituted for the viewscreens found onboard.
Years later, Google introduced a similar looking pair of reading glasses that allowed more efficient productivity and linked other smart devices and programs. While this was an innovative idea, the product was discontinued a year after its release.
22. 1998: The Simpsons Predicts The Mass Of The Higgs Boson
The writers of The Simpsons must have a secret time machine because there is no way they can make such accurate predictions. Before its discovery in 2012, scientists spent decades searching for the Higgs boson particle, which helped explain how everything in the universe has mass.
However, all they needed to do was watch one 1998 episode of The Simpsons. In "The Wizard Evergreen Terrace," Homer becomes an inventor, and he is pictured in front of a blackboard with complex math equations. The equation predicted the mass of a Higgs boson years before scientists figured it out. Most of the writers for the show are mathematicians, so this was not too much of a shock.
23. 1987: Second Chance Predicts Colonel Gaddafi’s Death
In the short-lived '80s sitcom starring Matthew Perry, the show predicted that Colonel Gaddafi would die in 2011. Although the show only ran for one season, it made some bold, long-range predictions. In the episode, the date is June 29, 2011, inside the office of Catholic St. Peter.
Catholic St. Peter evaluates those who recently died and deciding if they should go to heaven or hell. Colonel Gaddafi appears in his office, saying, "It is impossible for me to be dead." After the machine judges him, he is sent to the underworld. Twenty-four years later, the real Colonel Gaddafi was killed in October 2011. Pretty creepy, right?
24. 1990: Quantum Leap Predicts The Super Bowl XXX Game
Some people get lucky by guessing the winner of the Super Bowl, but it is almost impossible to guess the exact score. In an episode of Quantum Leap in 1990, the time-traveling scientist leaps six years into the future to 1996, and watches the Supr Bowl.
In the episode, he mentions that the Pittsburgh Steelers are three points behind. Well, six years after the episode aired, the Steelers made it to the Super Bowl, and at one point in the game, they were losing to the Dallas Cowbosy by three points.
25. 1969: Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In Predicts The Fall Of The Berlin Wall
In the popular comedy showcase Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, the show had a running segment called "News of the Future." The show wasn't actually reporting on the future, but in one instance, their predictions were spot-on.
In one episode, they joked, "There was dancing in the streets as East Germany finally tore down the Berlin Wall." This was during the height of the Cold War, and nobody thought the Berlin Wall would fall. They predicted its destruction would be in 1989, which was just one year shy of the actual date.
26. 2015: Mr. Robot Predicts The Ashley Madison Hack
The show, Mr. Robot, was praised for many things, including how hacker culture was depicted on screen. In the show's pilot, hackers go after the fictional conglomerate E Corp and their consumer's data. Just a few weeks after the premiere, the cheating site Ashley Madison was hacked.
The Ashley Madison hackers leaked user data all over the internet. The show gave away the hacker's plans before anyone knew what was going to happen. The show's creator almost cut the scene, but later decided to leave it as if the universe wanted the series to parallel real life.
27. 1969: Monty Python Predicts Furry Fandom
In Monty Python's Flying Circus, John Cleese and his fellow castmates were always dreaming up ridiculous plotlines that would never happen in real life. In one episode, men dressed up as mice and went to parties to eat cheese and squeak.
It seemed absurd in 1969, but flash forward to 2018, where there is a "furry" subculture. People dress up as animals with human personalities and characteristics. While they are dressed in these costumes, they walk and talk like humans to bring the character to life.
28. 2002: Minority Report Predicts Personalized Advertising
In Steven Speilberg's 2002 film Minority Report, Tom Cruise stars in this futuristic world. In one scene, he is walking through the mall, and advertisements are calling him out by name. This was long before targeted ads were a thing, and no one believed this is how the future would look.
Today, these advertisements are all over the internet because advanced technology helps advertisers track our online behavior so that the right ads can find us. It is only a matter of time before offline technologies are developed to target us.
29. 2010: Tangled Predicts Covid-19
In the movie Tangled, Rapunzel has been in isolation since she was born, and she still manages to find a husband from the comfort of her tower. Much like the rest of us in 2020, Rapunzel practices social distancing like a pro, so maybe we should all take notes.
During her 18 years of being locked in a tower, she cooks, cleans, paints, and reads. It is not much different than the reality we have been living during the coronavirus pandemic. After she gets to leave the tower, it is like discovering a whole new world, and that is what most of us will feel like once this is over.
30. 1949: Merrie Melodies Predicts The Collapse Of The Twin Towers
While this might be a bit of a reach, some people think Merrie Melodies was one of the many early predictors of the 9/11 attacks. In an episode, Charlie Dog says he doesn't want to go back to the city in a scared manner.
During his lengthy explanation about why he wants to stay in the countryside, he points to the sky and says, "It's the towers! They're falling." some people believe this was a reference to the Twin Towers in New York.
31. 2002: Die Another Day Predicts Active Camouflage
Although Die Another Day is considered to be one of the worst Bond movies, there is something the movie got right. At the time, people criticized the unrealistic notion of an invisible car, but it is not such a far fetched idea.
In recent years, many militaries have been working on active camouflage systems for tanks and other vehicles. Also, there are cars with mirrored exteriors that look sort of invisible. It is possible that this technology could be mainstream one day.
32. 1997: The Chris Rock Show Predicts OJ Simpson's Book
Years after OJ Simpson got away with killing his wife; he gave an interview discussing the murder of Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman. A year later, Simpson came out with a book titled If I Did It: Confessions of a Killer.
Surprisingly, this wasn't the first mention of an OJ Simpson tell-all book. On the pilot episode for The Chris Rock Show, Rock made a joke about a fake instructional video by Simpson called "I Didn't Kill My Wife." Maybe Simpson got the idea for the book from the show.
33. 2011: Black Mirror Predicts Piggate
People have joked that we are currently living in one long episode of Black Mirror because this year has been so confusing and horrible. However, in the pilot episode of the show, it revealed some information that no one expected to come to light.
In the episode "The National Anthem," the Prime Minister is forced to perform sexual acts with a pig to get a kidnapped family member back. Interestingly, four years after the episode aired, the real "piggate" came to life. In an unauthorized biography about the former British PM, David Cameron, it claimed that he put his private parts into a dead pig's mouth as an initiation task during university.
34. 2016: Black Mirror Predicts Insect-Size Autonomous Drones
Like The Simpsons, Black Mirror has predicted many things. In the season three finale, there is an unsolved murder that is linked to social media and insect-like Autonomous Drones. The government claimed to be using them to help bee populations, but that was a lie.
In 2017, similar drones came to Japan without all the government secrets and Twitter deaths. The Japanese insect drones were used as pollinators and work just like bees with artificial hairs.
35. 2005: Spooks Predicts the London 7/7 Attacks
The spy-drama Spooks made a spooky prediction in 2005. The show featured some eerie foresight into the July 7 London bombings even though it was filmed months before these attacks. In the show, the counter-terrorism unit managed to foil the terrorist plans.
A month after the episode was filmed, terrorists attacked the London transportation system, and unlike the show, they sadly succeeded. The July 7, 2005, bombings killed 52 people and injured many more. The episode eventually aired, but with a disclaimer at the beginning.
36. 2008: Breaking Bad Predicts A Chemistry Teacher Making Drugs
In Breaking Bad, Walter White must figure out how to help his family with money after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. The chemistry teacher turns to making meth as a way to save for when he is gone.
A year after the show wrapped in 2014, an Oregon chemistry teacher was arrested for making and distributing meth just like Walter White. Maybe he didn't watch the whole show to realize it was not a fool-proof plan.
37. 1990: Total Recall Predicts Self Driving Cars
In the movie Total Recall, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, there is an automated taxi service with the driver Johnny Cab. It is essentially a self-driving car with a chauffeur, which Arnold's character used to get around the city.
While self-driving cars didn't come out for two more decades, it was interesting to see this technology in the early 1990s. Now we have vehicles like Tesla and the Google autonomous car, which use this technology minus the creepy robot chauffeur.
38. 2009: Family Guy Predicts Bruce Jenner’s Gender Transition
When Caitlyn Jenner announced that she was coming out as transgender, it shocked the world. However, the raunchy cartoon, Family Guy, predicted this transition with a lucky guess. In one episode, Stewie and Brian talk about the former Olympic athlete.
In the episode, Brian says, "Bruce Jenner is a man." Then, Stewie replied, "No, Brian. That's what the press would have you believe, but he's not. Bruce Jenner is a woman. An elegant, beautiful Dutch woman." This aired six years before Caitlyn announced her transition.
39. 2011: Person of Interest Predicts The Edward Snowden Case
In the second season of Person of Interest, the show follows an NSA whistleblower who reveals government secrets. It shows how the government is watching everyone in the post 9/11 world.
After the show aired, real-life NSA employee, Edward Snowden, leaked classified information about the American government spying on citizens. Maybe the writers knew what was happening, or they just assumed this would eventually come to light.
40. 1982: Blade Runner Predicts Digital Billboards
When Blade Runner came out in 1982, it showed what the future could possibly look like in 2019. Now that 2019 has come and gone, we know what the movie got right and wrong about the future, starting with digital billboards.
From Manhattan to Tokyo, digital billboards are all over the place in the present day. You can walk through Times Square, and you will be overwhelmed by all the lights and moving pictures on the billboards. It's almost as if the movie predicted the future.
41. 1962: The Jetsons Predicts A Flat-Screen TV
While The Jetsons takes place in the year 2062, many of the technologies have come true since the show was on TV in 1962. The futuristic cartoon featured cleaning robots, flying cars, and flat-screen TVs. At the time, no one could have imagined a TV so thin and sleek.
Today, we have TV's that are so thin, people from the past would never believe they are real. The show got so many things right about the future, but we are still waiting for flying cars to avoid traffic jams.
42. 1995: The Net Predicts Online Identity Theft
In the 1995 hit movie The Net, starring Sandra Bullock, she discovers the world of identity theft and government secrets. In the '90s, identity theft was laughable, and few people thought that was a real possibility.
Sandra Bullock's character was onto something because today, we are all too aware of the dangers of identity theft. People have lost millions of dollars due to this problem, and as technology advances, we have more access to people's information.