It’s the cartoon comedy believed to have predictedDonald Trump’s presidency, the Ebola crisis and Bengt Holmström winning the Nobel Prize.
Now fans believe The Simpsons may have hinted at a greater cosmological link between physicists Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein, almost two decades before Hawking would die on the day that his German counterpart was born.
The eerie link was uncovered this weekend as producers aired the 1999 episode – entitled They Saved Lisa’s Brain – in which Hawking stars, as a tribute to his death on Wednesday 14 March.
Prediction? Fans have spotted that Stephen Hawking nods to Albert Einstein an episode of The Simpsons which aired in 1999, 19 years before the physicist would die on the latter German scientist’s day of birth
The scene features Hawking – who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) when he was 21 – performing in a rap called ‘A Brief History Of Rhyme’ – a play on his famous volume of work.
With turntables fixed to his wheelchair, his animated character is also kitted out with a gold chain, which features formula made famous by Einstein, E = mc2.
The reference was a direct nod to Einstein, which would become all the more pertinent 19 years on, when Hawking died on the day of Einstein’s birth.
‘Guess what?’ one fan wrote on Twitter on Sunday night. ‘The Simpsons did it again!’
‘If you recognize the Emc^2… you know it was by Einstein who was born in March 14, WHICH is also the death of prof. Hawkings… the Simpsons did it again!’
Link: Fans have already tied together Wednesday 14 March as the date of Hawking’s death (left) and the day that Albert Einstein was born (right) but did The Simpsons predict their greater link years ahead of time?
In loving memory: The crossover was discovered on Sunday night, when producers aired the episode They Saved Lisa’s Brain (pictured), in tribute to his death last week
Hawking’s homage to Einstein may not have initially come as a surprise to most, because they are both among the greatest physicists of all time.
Yet on Wednesday, the day of Hawking’s death marked 139 years since the birth of Einstein – who died in 1955 at the age of 76 – and this overlap between the two gifted minds was considered quite a coincidence among science fans.
Furthermore, the similarity between their birth and death dates is perhaps more pertinent than ever, owing to Hawking’s belief that time is relative.
Subtle nod: The necklace that Hawking is seen wearing in a rap battle features the formula made famous by Einstein, one viewer observed
There were many other spooky coincidences with the date of Stephen Hawking’s death.
Including the numerical date 3/14, which is significant because 3.14 are the first three digits of pi – a bedrock of geometry, and that the day was also the 300th death anniversary of Galileo Galilei.
Fans were particularly touched that Hawking’s episode – which originally aired in 1999 – was put back out on Sunday night in the US, to remember him.
In the episode, Hawking saves Lisa from the power-hungry Springfield chapter of Mensa in a special wheelchair, complete with an Inspector Gadget–style retractable helicopter attachment and a spring-loaded boxing glove.
Comments flooded in beneath the tribute from the end credits, which was posted by The Simpsons’ Executive Producer Matt Sellman on Sunday and simply said ‘In loving memory of Stephen Hawking’.
Respectful: Viewers were delighted to see the episode again, calling it ‘classy’ and ‘nicely done’
Special: Tweets flooded in following the episode, as fans shared their praise for the cameo
Special man: American animator best known for directing numerous episodes of the TV series, David Silverman paid tribute on Wednesday, when he died
Fans said it was ‘Nicely done,’ ‘Awesome and class,’ and ‘ ‘A lovely moment at the end of an exceptional episode. Bravo.’
‘Wasn’t expecting this and it was nice to see,’ another said, while another added. ‘Amen. He will be missed’
Yet it’s not the first time The Simpsons has seemingly predicted a significant event, years ahead of its time.
The Simpsons have also eerily predicted the Arab Spring, the FIFA soccer scandal, Greece’s economic crisis and the discovery of the Higgs-Boson particle.
Major events: It’s not the first time the cartoon is seen to predict the future, perhaps the most famous which was when creators appeared to foresee the presidency of Donald Trump (pictured)
The show also showed Siegfried and Roy’s tiger attack and Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl performance long before they became real-life cultural events.
But one of the most famous, involve The Simpsons accurately predicting the fact that then-reality TV personality Donald Trump would become president of the United States
Back in 2000, the show made that prediction during the ‘Bart to the Future’ episode.
Trump was later referenced in another clip called ‘Trumptastic Voyage.’
The iconic cartoon’s creator, Matt Groening, said: ‘Trump was of course the most absurd placeholder joke name that we could think of at the time, and that’s still true. It’s beyond satire.’
Crisis: The Simpsons also appeared to predict the Ebola crisis and Bengt Holmström winning the Nobel Prize
Dan Greaney, a writer for the Simpsons, also told The Hollywood Reporter that the clip had a dark message behind it.
He said: ‘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.’
The cartoon foretold a Trump presidency in a surreal episode where Bart is given a window into the future – and found a country brought to its knees by financial mismanagement and a crime wave ushered in by Trump.
The episode’s alternate universe reveals that Trump, who will be 84 in 2030, left the country in an impossible amount of debt, and reliant on foreign aid from Europe and China.
Another eerie moment: Recently it was revealed that an episode predicted Walt Disney Co. took over 21st Century Fox Inc, 20 years ago
The most recent prediction involved an episode from almost 20 years ago that predicted Walt Disney Co. took over 21st Century Fox Inc.
The November 8, 1998 episode titled ‘When You Dish Upon a Star’ of the show accurately predicted that one day Disney would take over Fox.
In February, it also came to light that The Simpsons predicted the USA would win curling gold and Sweden silver in Winter Olympics Curling, as part of an episode that first aired EIGHT years ago.
The prediction features in the ‘Boy meets Curl’ episode, as Homer and Marge lead Team USA to victory.
THROUGH THE YELLOW CRYSTAL BALL: OTHER WORLD EVENTS ASTONISHINGLY PREDICTED BY THE SIMPSONS
A Trump presidential campaign will hardly be the first event The Simpsons apparently predicted from afar.
The show has called world events correctly before, in fields as diverse as politics, medicine and theoretical physics.
In 1997 an episode apparently predicted the Ebola outbreak in early 2015 which devastated West Africa.
Uncanny: In a 1997 episode of The Simpsons, the show’s creators appear to hint at the African Ebola epidemic that broke out in 2015
In the episode Lisa’s Sax, a sick Bart is given a book to read to keep him occupied at home. However, despite her intentions to soothe her son, Marge hands over a volume entitled Curious George and the Ebola Virus.
The cover features a sicken monkey – the animal which carries Ebola. Frames of the cover are followed moments later by Bart gesturing to a drawing of piled-up bodies.
A 1998 episode – The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace – got science buffs talking years later, when it emerged Homer Simpson had produced a decent approximation of a theory related to the Higgs-Boson ‘God particle’.
One experienced particle physicist said that a complicated equation Homer scribbled on a chalkboard seemed to pre-empt the discovery by experts at CERN.
And Matt Groening’s gang also apparently foresaw the political downfall of Syria, brought about by the Arab Spring.
A 2001 Simpsons episode – New Kids on the Blecch, shows clips of a war in an unspecified Middle Eastern country.
Some of the U.S. enemies depicted in the show were using a jeep branded with a flag used by nobody at the time it was aired – but which more than a decade came to be used by a rebel group in Syria.
The show has also successfully called the 2015 FIFA soccer scandal during a 2014 episode titled “You Don’t Have to Live Like a Referee”.
Greece’s economic crisis was also predicted on The Simpsons in the January 2013 episode titled ‘Politically Inept, with Homer Simpson’.
The show has also predicted Siegfried and Roy’s tiger attack, Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl performance and MIT’s Bengt Holmström winning the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2016.