+20 votes
in General Factchecking by Genius (36.2k points)

The Simpsons predicted the Apple Vision Pro.

by Newbie (320 points)
This claim seems to be misleading since the Simpsons tend to talk about societal trends in their episodes a lot. Since this particular episode came out in 2016, this was the same year that the Oculus vr set came out as well making it most likely that the show was making fun of the idea of the oculus and not predicting the future of the apple vision pro.
by Novice (710 points)
This claim falls under both the misleading, satire, and both misleading/ false I would assert. First based upon my research, it is true that there are parallels between events in Simpsons show in relation to real-life, specifically American life examples. Yet, the article shares how many of the connections are coincidental along with reflecting a pattern of human behavior; rather than specific events. Although the show has clever references, there is not a hidden message here. I think people exaggerate claims. Their motivators could be possibly fear or getting attention. This claim could be framed as a "conspiracy theory", so that could be relative to the intended audience but I don't think there's intended agenda.


11 Answers

+3 votes
by Novice (950 points)
selected by
Best answer

This is false. While the Apple Vision Pro is the most modern iteration of the virtual reality headset, the first VR headset was created in 1968, and the concept itself dates all the way back to Stanley Weinbaum's 1935 story "Pygmalion's Spectacles." The Simpsons were not the first to imagine a world where people frequently use VR headsets. The Simpsons often get credit for predicting world events due to the large quantity of episodes across 35 seasons and their willingness to lampoon current events. 

History of VR – Timeline of Events and Tech Development – VirtualSpeech

List of Episodes | Simpsons Wiki | Fandom

by Novice (780 points)
I like your fact check. It was helpful that you linked the episodes and history of VR for reference.  The fact that you mentioned how the Simpsons have always gotten credit for predicting things in the past reinforces the claim that it is false.
by Apprentice (1.1k points)
Great fact-check. I think the sources you added are key to your answer of the claim being false. The list of episodes was really interesting to look at because when looking at the other source you added, the history of VR, you can see where this line up and in this case it didn't.
by Apprentice (1.0k points)
I found your fact check to be very helpful and informative! I like how you were able to provide us with a background of VR headsets and debunk the false claims. I do appreciate the links to the the timeline of VR it gives us a better idea where it comes from.
ago by Novice (610 points)
Your factcheck gave great insight into the phenomenon of the Simpsons predicting events. The news source that the claim was made on was Reddit which relies a great deal on opinions and is not a reputable news source.
+10 votes
by Newbie (340 points)

According to USA today, while it may seem like The Simpsons have a track record of "predicting" the future in cases such as this one, former Simpsons show runner Bill Oakley said that the show largely plays off of the satirization of world events, and the history is always repeating itself. Overall the claim seems to be just a fun rumor  or trend, but not entirely true.


by Novice (680 points)
This is a good fact check. The Simpsons have been known to predict things but typically these predictions come from situations/information that is obvious will lead to these outcomes.
by Novice (600 points)
I always enjoy the claims about the Simpsons predicting things, but it seems sometimes people try to stretch the truth to make a story. In this case it seems as if they had a similar thing happen in their show, but that is going to happen when there is hundreds of episodes.
by Novice (720 points)
This is a great fact check because it both address the facts of the situation, as well as the humane tendency to overdramatacize situations. This fact does a great job of addressing this "satirization of world events, and the history is always repeating itself", and debunks this as a fun rumor.
by Novice (730 points)
I like this fact check. You were straight to the point and I find that you summarized the claim very well. With that being said, I think it could be good to do a little bit more extensive research. Maybe finding examples similar to these, and them being debunked could further strengthen your response. Regardless, good job!!
by Novice (590 points)
This fact check deserves praise for its careful consideration of both the situation's facts and the tendency for people to embellish. It debunks this as a silly rumor by skillfully examining the propensity to ridicule current events and the idea that history will always repeat itself.
+7 votes
by Novice (700 points)
Although The Simpsons have accurately forecasted future events numerous times, they are not predicting the future. The predictions often act as satire, and any portrayed events that transpire are purely coincidental. Furthermore, according to Collider, the Simpsons writing staff makes use of common patterns in human behavior. Even though many of The Simpsons episodes include items or events that mirror reality, these predictions tend to be mocking humans "lousy" decisions.

by Novice (660 points)
a lot of the predictions and a lot of the show is meant to be satire and almost just makes fun of where weve gone as a society. the "predictions are just guesses and is to be seen as humerous. just like in the simpsons when the man runs into the pole wearing the vision goggles, its supposed to just be dumb
by Novice (540 points)
I like the way you fact-checked this claim. You made sure to clarify that these predictions are only coincidental and there is no real evidence to support The Simpsons' predicting the future. This claim is satire.
by Novice (520 points)
Labeling this claim as satire is a great way to explain the conspiracy theory that The Simpsons can predict the future. I have seen these claims before with other subjects and have thought them to be interesting and entertaining, knowing there is no factual evidence that the creators can time travel or predict the future. This fact check did a good job of putting the theory in its place. Emphasising that there is no evidence to support this claim.
by Novice (680 points)
I agree with your points on this fact check! The term satire is a great way to describe the conspiracy theory that the Simpsons has predicted the future.
+8 votes
by Apprentice (1.1k points)
The reddit post shows a clip from the TV show, The Simpsons, in which it shows what life would be like with Apply Vision Pro googles, supposedly.  The Simpsons has made a name for itself to predict future events through their TV series, which is why this clip makes people think that The Simpsons have worked their magic again.  However, the showrunner for The Simpsons, Bill Oakley, states in an USA Today article, "It is just that we were satirizing real-life events from years before."  The episode aired 2016, but it wasn't put out to predict the future around Apple Vision Pros, rather it was to make fun of current society where things like, Virtual Reality headsets were becoming more popular.

USA Today: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2024/02/05/apple-vision-pro-goggles-predicted-by-the-simpsons/72484881007/
by Apprentice (1.4k points)
I liked that you labeled this fact-check as satire rather than just true or false. I think this is a strong fact-check overall. I thought the reference to the USA Today article was very smart and well executed.
by Apprentice (1.0k points)
This was a well-written fact check that addressed the situation and helpfully marked the whole statement as satire. The source is credible and your use of it made sense and helped the explanation along, which was also good.
+2 votes
by Apprentice (1.0k points)
While the Apple Vision Pro does hold certain similarities to this particular episode of The Simpsons, so does every single virtual reality headset ever made. They have held a similar physical appearance since 1991, when the Sega VR was announced. After digging a little bit more into this claim, I found that this particular Simpsons episode was released in October 2016, just seven months before the Oculus Rift was made available to the consumer public. While the Oculus wasn't the first of its kind, it was the first headset created for a casual user experience.

With this information in mind, I can confidently say that this statement is not false, but exaggerated/misleading. The Simpsons did not directly predict the Apple Vision Pro, as the Vision Pro is (physically) not far off from the Oculus Rift and the show's producers were likely expressing their fear of the device that was released in 2016, not the one from eight years in the future.

Exaggerated/ Misleading
by Novice (600 points)
This is a really good response as I like that you used past episodes to prove the trend of the Simpsons predicting the future. I also like how you said it's exaggerated/misleading instead of false. The provided link provides great, insightful information, further backing up your claim. Great work!
by Novice (680 points)
I agree with your point that while we cannot say that this claim is entirely false. Brining up the points that the the VR is similar to other systems. I also agree that the point is misleading.
+3 votes
by Apprentice (1.2k points)
This claim is a false statement. Over the many years that the Simpsons has been airing episodes, there have been many coincidences with the parodies they've created and real-life events. It has been an ongoing joke online that the Simpsons creators are "predicting" the future when it's no more than a funny coincidence and overlap between life and the jokes they have created. In this particular coincidence, the shown episode was making fun of the increasing popularity of virtual reality headsets that happened a few years ago. The ironic humor just happens to match up with the likeness of what Apple Vision Pro users look like today. Though the Simpsons have a history of making similar coincidences like this, the creators of the show are not exactly "future predictors".

Exaggerated/ Misleading
by Newbie (460 points)
This is a great fact-check! I like how you were not only thorough but also concise and got straight to the point. However, I think it may be beneficial to point out specific evidence like quotes from the article you've provided to further support your claim.
+1 vote
by Novice (910 points)

The claim for this Fact Check is that the simpsons predicted the apple vision pro in one of their episodes. The clip attached shows the episode in question with characters from the simpsons walking around with VR type devices. 


The Episode in Question “Friends and Family” Season 28 episode 2 appeared back in 2016 and seems to depict Apple Vision pro. In Reality 2016 was the commercial release for the oculus, and in the years prior had other VR headsets come out for commercial release in between 2014 and 2016. As well as in 2014 we saw the facebook purchase oculus and the first mainstream light was shed on VR as a whole. This episode of “The Simpsons” was not predicting the Apple Vision Pro but just commenting on VR in the mainstream in a satirical way. 



Link to Oculus and VR history 



News about Facebook acquiring Oculus. 





by Apprentice (1.1k points)
I did not know of this information. If the advertisement was around this episode then the show could've used the ad in their show. Did the ad affect the shows output? Or do you think the show already had this episode and it was just unfortunate timing?
+2 votes
by Apprentice (1.1k points)
I agree with this claim. After checking reddit it appears the Simpsons had an episode air depicting characters wearing googles. These googles are very similar to the new apple vision goggles which allow users to see things, play games, etc. After doing further research I found that this episode aired in 2016 way before the apple product was released. This is not the first time the Simpsons have predicted something before it happened. Super bowls, presidency's and more have been predicted by the television show. I would say that having over 700 episodes allows the show to have some overlapping when it comes to predicting events, so I believe that this is a coincidence and a funny one at that.

Sources: https://www.reddit.com/r/BeAmazed/comments/1ajaf60/the_simpsons_predicted_the_apple_vision_pro/

by Genius (36.2k points)
Did you check whether VR headsets were released prior? It seems the concept has been around for decades, which would make the claim false, right?
+2 votes
by Novice (660 points)
New York Post talks about how one of the staff members and even a writer themselves talks about the possible predictions they have been making in the writing of the show. he states, "If you write 700 episodes and you don't predict anything then your'e a bad writer." it goes to show that the show, which is mostly satire and for comical relief, was written to make fun of a lot of the topics, celebrities, and our society as a whole. The apple Vision goggles arent exactly a beneficial advancement in our day and age and although it is a technologic improvement, the episode of the Simpsons that sort of mirrors the vision goggles truly shows you the humor behind why the Apple Vision goggles, which are 3k i might add, are humorous. These predictions are either educated guesses or extremely coincidental and a guess at how the world would be constructed 10 or even 25 years from now.

by Apprentice (1.1k points)
Overall, I agree with your fact check and find all the statements to be useful. I think it would be helpful to add a specific statement saying whether the statement is true or false to make sure readers are not confused on where you stand with the issue. I think it could also be useful to incorporate some of the other predictions the Simpsons have made, for readers who dont know about the extensive correct predictions of the show.
by Apprentice (1.2k points)
Why did you tagged this claim as satire rather than false or misleading? In your fact check you share that New York Post talks about the writers talking about their predictions to show that the show is satire, but does that make the claim satire? We already know that The Simpsons is a funny cartoon show, but that doesn't mean the person who made the original claim made it as satire. I personally would have tagged this as misleading or false.
+1 vote
by Newbie (320 points)

I would say that this claim is misleading. Even though it seems like the show predicted the vision pro, this episode came out in 2016 which was right around the time that the oculus goggles were invented. According to Snopes, "By 2016, when the “Friends and Family” episode aired, companies such as Oculus had introduced their VR headsets to the market, so the concept of people using such devices was not a novel prediction by "The Simpsons."" The Simpsons is also known for its satirical takes on society, which often gets confused with them predicting the future. For example, they made an episode of Trump being president before he was elected. People thought the writers were time travelers when in reality they made the episode after trump announced he was running, this is just another case of the writers being smart when it comes to pop culture. 

Did 'The Simpsons' Predict Apple's Vision Pro? | Snopes.com

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