Yet, as the longest-running sitcom in U.S. history, the timeless series often turns out to be in line with “imitation art” moments that occur years after the broadcast.
This week, for example, social media users could not help but marvel at the latest match between Vice President Kamala Harris’ attire at the inauguration and Lisa Simpson’s attire in a 2000 episode.
In Bart to the Future, Lisa takes over the presidency and asks about the current viral line. “As you know, we inherited a lot of the budget crisis from President Trump.”
In the episode, Lisa wore a purple jacket and pearls. At Wednesday’s opening, Harris was wearing a purple jacket and pearls. When Harris served immediately after Donald Trump’s presidency, viewers easily made comparisons.
The similarities with the inauguration did not stop for Simpson’s fans. Actor Tom Hanks appeared as host during a virtual concert Wednesday night aimed at preserving the theme of President Joe Biden’s national unity during the crisis.
In The Simpsons’ 2007 film, Hanks in a cameo role offers a new Grand Canyon in Springfield, Simpson’s hometown.
“Hello. I’m Tom Hanks. The US government has lost its credibility, so it’s part of mine,” he said.
At the end of the scene, he says, “If you’re going to choose a government you can trust, why not?”
Speculation about the show’s predictable abilities is nothing new. Fans say the show envisions, among other things, the attack of tiger Siegfried and Roy, smartwatches, “murder hornets” and the purchase of 20th-century Disney Fox.
The longevity of the show and the exhaustion of possible sitcom scenarios are even mentioned in other comedies, including the episode “South Park”, “The Simpsons Already Did It”.
Asked in 2016 to predict Donald Trump’s presidency so far, writer Dan Graney told The Hollywood Reporter: “It was a warning to America.”
“And it just seemed like the logical last stop before you hit rock bottom. It was set because it was in line with America’s vision of going crazy,” he added.