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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke February 27, 2020

D’oh, ‘The Simpsons’ didn’t predict the coronavirus

If Your Time is short

  • An image from the show was altered to read "corona virus."
  • The image originally said "apocalypse meow."

"The Simpsons," Fox’s long-running, animated TV show, has famously predicted the future on several occasions. In season 11, for example, President Lisa Simpson has inherited a "budget crunch from President Trump." 

But what about the coronavirus? A Feb. 20 Facebook post appears to show stills from a 1993 episode of the show in which both Homer Simpson and Principal Skinner are sick; another image shows a broadcaster reading off a piece of paper while the words "corona virus" and a cat appear on a screen behind him. 

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) 

Featured Fact-check

Most of the images are actually from an episode about the "Osaka flu" — a factory employee coughs into a package bound for Homer back in Springfield and he gets sick.  

But the image of the cat behind the broadcaster seems to have been altered from how it originally appeared in an episode about "housecat flu." On the show, the text doesn’t say "corona virus" but "apocalypse meow." 

Eat our shorts: We rate this Facebook post Pants on Fire.


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D’oh, ‘The Simpsons’ didn’t predict the coronavirus

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