And in a very early episode ("Bart Gets Hit by a Car"), Satan informs Bart that he isn't due in Hell until the Yankees win the World Series, which, according to the Devil, is in 100 years. The Yankees won in 1996 and several years after.
In the episode "Lemon of Troy", Bart mentions the film Rocky VII: Adrian's Revenge. Then came Rocky Balboa (which technically would be Rocky VI).
Homer and Moe have a falling out when Moe steals the recipe for the "Flaming Homer" and markets it himself. The secret ingredient? Krusty brand non-narcotic cough syrup. Fast forward several years, and we now have Sizurp, a cocktail made by mixing cough syrup with alcohol.
In "Bart to the Future," Lisa has become President and comments that she's the first "straight female President of the United States"; later on, after a scandal comes up, Lenny remarks "Don't blame me, I voted for Chastity Bono!" This whole train of thought either becomes hilarious, harsh, or very dated now that Chastity Bono has become Chaz Bono.
The season 11 premiere, "Beyond Blunderdome," featured Mel Gibson being loved and adored by everyone and Gibson hating it, and Gibson creating a bloody, violent controversial movie that ruins him and alienates his fans, which is what most people feel about The Passion of the Christ and news of Gibson making anti-Semitic and sexist remarks. The scene that really drives the Hilarious in Hindsight point home is when he tells Homer he got pulled over by a cop and the cop didn't give him a ticket. Gibson got in trouble for drunk driving in 2006.
Season four's "The Front" had an animator (who resembles then–showrunner Al Jean) tell his partner (who looks like Mike Reiss) that he's going to quit writing cartoons and create a sitcom about a sassy robot. Then, along came Futurama, which has a sassy robot (Bender), but neither Jean nor Reiss had anything to do with that show (it was David X. Cohen and Matt Groening, along with some Simpsons writers who were hired between seasons 7 to 22: Ken Keelernote He's the writer who made the much-maligned "The Principal and the Pauper", Jeff Westbrook, J. Stewart Burns, Dan Vebbernote Vebber is also credited as a producer, Bill Odenkirk, Josh Weinstein, Patric Verronenote Verrone only wrote one Simpsons episode: the season 17 episode "Milhouse of Sand and Fog," where Homer catches chickenpox from Maggie and Milhouse's parents reunite after years of being divorced, and Brian Kelley). In fact, as of 2012, Al Jean is still a showrunner on The Simpsons, a position he's had since the show's 13th (2001-2002) season.
In "Itchy and Scratchy Land", Homer and Marge go to a 70s nostalgia bar, where Marge points out how the bartender looks like John Travolta. The bartender, who is indeed Travolta, mutters "Yeah, 'looks like'." Right around the time the episode originally aired, Travolta made his comeback with Pulp Fiction
"Holidays of Future Passed" had the fictional assumption of Michigan being under sharia law (with Milhouse forced to wear a full-body burqa because of how ugly he is); now funny since some commentators have claimed Michigan is under sharia law due to its large Muslim population. In fact, officials from Michigan have spoken out against The Simpsons calling attention to this.
In "Bart Star," Homer is depressed over Bart leaving the football team. He asks for beer with Skittles in it from Apu, who tells him that such a product only exists in his dreams (but gives him a six-pack of Duff and a bag of Skittles just because). Fast forward 15 years, and there is now Skittles-flavored vodka available (also, thanks to this episode, people really have tried to put Skittles in beer to make the fabled drink, and in season 10's "Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo," there were cases of Skittlebrau at the 33-cent store).
In "Blame It On Lisa", Bart says that the family going to Brazil means that they've been on every continent until Lisa reminds him that there's still Antarctica...which (ten years later) would be where the family ends up (after Bart confesses to his viral pandemic scam) as seen in the episode, "A Totally Fun Thing That Bart Will Never Do Again."
As a poster (Ondre Lombard) pointed out in SNPP, he once inserted onto a fake Season 8 listing for the Simpsons an episode called "Homer the Hippie". Two seasons later, we have "D'oh-in' in the Wind", which is about Homer becoming a hippie. The reviewer even commented on how eerie it was and jokingly demanded royalties in the event the episode is syndicated.
This website shows correct predictions made by the year 2010 from the 1995 episode "Lisa's Wedding," including: the appearance of a Kindle-like device (it's actually an Apple Newton Message Pad on the show), public school classrooms being overcrowded (and most public schools using corporate sponsorship from junk food companies to get fundingnote On the show, the class is being taught by a film sponsored by Pepsi), soy-based snacks being popular, The Rolling Stones still together and playing music, Jim Carrey still acting in movies (Hugh and Lisa go to a classic showing of Jim Carrey films), picture phones (these days, it's in the form of webcams and Internet connection), and video games in which the players use their bodies to move their avatars (Nintendo's Wii and Wii U consoles and Microsoft's Kinect).
Samsung did release a watch phone in 2014. It's more like a bluetooth though that synchs through the Galaxy.
"The Ziff Who Came To Dinner" opens with the Simpsons at a movie theater and Lisa says that The Wild Dingleberries Movie is a movie version of something you get on TV for free (but they stretched out the plot and added a wildebeest from the 'hood). The Simpsons Movie is not only the same thing (a movie version of a cartoon you can see for free on television at home with a stretched-out plot, only instead of a wildebeest from the 'hood, it's a pet pig Homer keeps named Spider Pig and then renamed Harry Plopper), but also has a similar complaint by Homer.
Near the end of "Black Widower", Sideshow Bob vows he'll be out of prison "as soon as the Democrats are back in power". A mere nine months after this episode first aired, Bill Clinton (running as a Democratnote Many more liberal Americans, especially visible figures working in media, would accuse him of acting too much like a Republican for them.) assumed the presidency, and nine months after that, Bob would be paroled from jail in the episode "Cape Feare."
In the episode with the Radioactive Man movie, the director tells his crew that he wants to stay as far away from the campy 1970s version of Radioactive Man (which is similar to the campy 1960s Batman with Adam West and Burt Ward as Batman and Robin, even though the only TV version of Radioactive Man that aired was the 1950s serial that shamelessly plugged Laramie Cigarettesnote Similar to the 1960s ads for The Flintstones that plugged Winston Cigarettes, back when advertising cigarettes on TV was legal, though considering how campy the 1970s version was, it was probably branded an Old Shame, canceled after a season [or after the episode with The Scoutmaster], and never seen on TV again). Two years later, we got Batman & Robin, which was derided for being too campy for it's own good.
In "Homer the Whopper", a poster in the background reads Star Wars Episode VII: The Apology. In 2012, Disney purchased Lucasfilm and plans have been announced for the sequel trilogy, with Episode VII targeted for release in 2015.
As discussed in the DVD commentary, the students striking because of budget cuts in the school on the season 15 episode "The President Wore Pearls" is similar to the Occupy Movement. Bonus points for a cameo by Occupy booster Michael Moore.
In "The Trouble with Trillions" Homer has to get a trillion-dollar bill back from Mr. Burns for the IRS. In January 2013, President Obama said he would authorize the minting of a one-trillion-dollar coin to bypass the debt ceiling.
"Angry Dad: The Movie" is about Bart's animated short winning an Oscar. Two years later, the Simpsons theatrical short The Longest Daycare would be nominated for an Oscar.
''Who Shot Mr. Burns? - Part 1": Abe Simpson moved into the Simpson household because of the damages the retirement home suffered from Burns' actions. Upon seeing his gun, Marge said he didn't want weapons in the house. Abe then asked what they'd do if a bear showed up. Springfield faced that exact problem in "Much Apu About Nothing", and fortunately somebody had tranquilizer darts.
"You Only Move Twice" has two:
The school Bart and Lisa goes to has a website. In 1996, this was seen as cutting-edge - it's now commonplace.
Hank Scorpio gives Homer the Denver Broncos, instead of the Dallas Cowboys like he wanted. Whatever Homer did, it worked - the season after that they won their first of two straight Super Bowls. Meanwhile, the Cowboys went on a long, long streak of not living up to expectations.
The scene took on a new light after the 2014 Super Bowl where the Seattle Seahawks outright brutalized the Broncos 43-8.
Part 1 of "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" features a Take That against Comedy Central, where some of the Springfieldians are horrified at how Smithers has been reduced to watching it after Mr. Burns previously fired him. Sister series Futurama eventually wound up moving to the channel after it was Uncancelled. It's also doubly fitting for fans of the Comedy Central seasons who were upset at the channel for cancelling Futurama again.
In the episode "Brawl in the Family" the Republicans meet to talk about what to cut from the budget. Krusty mentions cutting PBS funding because "those lousy Muppets are taking up his airtime". It stopped being funny when Mitt Romney announced he would cut PBS's funding if elected President, and Big Bird appeared in an Obama ad (after news hit about his appearance on Saturday Night Live) attacking Romney for it. Romney lost the election, thus making it Hilarious in Hindsight.
In the 2005 episode "Future-Drama" we see a billboard eight years in the future (2013) that says give apes the vote. In the real 2013 there are progressive groups fighting to give chimps the same rights as humans.
The ending to "Adventures in Baby-Getting", which involves Homer's donated sperm resulting him in having hundreds of children, is eerily reminiscent of Delivery Man.
In the 2003 episode "Tis The Fifteenth Season" there's a Christmas version of the novelty song "Convoy." In 2006 Paul Brandt recorded "Christmas Convoy."
In "Bonfire of the Manatees", Homer watches a football game between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks. They would compete against each other in Super Bowl XLVIII
In the fifth and eighth seasons, we saw that Flander was a kid in the 1950s or early 60s and his parents were beatniks, thus putting him around his late 30s or early 40s in age. In the season 10 episode "Viva Ned Flanders" it's revealed he's really 60 years old. The show is still on in the 2010s, thus making Flanders born in the 1950s and the jokes in those episodes are still relevant and throwing the Negative Continuity out the window.
In "Treehouse of Horror XIX", the last episode aired before the United States presidential election of 2008, Homer tries to vote (six times in all) for Barack Obama and his votes are instead counted for John McCain (and in "Adventures in Baby-Getting," the last episode aired before the 2012 contest, there's a special opening where Homer tries to vote for Mitt Romney, but the vote is placed for Obama). Then, along came news reports of voting machines doing the same for bothcandidates for the 2012 election.
A season two episode of South Park had Stan complaining that independent movies were all about "Gay cowboys eating pudding." Less than a decade later, Brokeback Mountain depicted the "gay cowboy" part of it, but sadly not the pudding part. When Parker and Stone heard about it, Parker said, "If there's any pudding eating in it, maybe we'll sue."
The episode "The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs" (where Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny write what's in essence intentionally awful vulgarly erotic book after finding Catcher in the Rye boring and being angry that it's not the controversial book they thought it was, then pin the blame on Butters to avoid being disciplined) doesn't seem so absurd now thanks to the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey (and its sequels, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Free).
Also, the clumsily-written, heavily homoerotic novel Mr. Garrison wrote when he got fired for being a teacher (as seen on the season four episode "Cherokee Hair Tampons"note the one where Kyle is suffering from diabetes-related kidney failure and Stan tries to convince Cartman to donate one of his kidneys becoming a bestseller is funnier now thanks to the Fifty Shades books.
In "The Passion of the Jew", Mel Gibson is portrayed as an insane lunatic that loves torture. The tapes to his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva makes this exaggeration even funnier (or more disturbing).
In said episode, the main issue was Family Guy planned to show Mohammed uncensored in the face of Islamic death threats and everyone in town burying their heads in the sand rather than deal with the problem. Years later, a similar incident happened on the South Park two-part episode "200" and "201."
And even later, Family Guy did an episode called "Turban Cowboy." While it didn't have Muhammad physically depicted, it did center on Peter converting to Islam and it was criticized on Wikipedia for mocking the Islamic faith.
The two episodes in which Osama bin Laden gets shot in the head by a U.S. soldier ("Osama bin Laden Has Farty Pants" and "It's a Jersey Thing") became a lot funnier now that that has become a reality. Normally this would be Harsher in Hindsight, but it's okay because of the target. To further add much deserved insult to injury, Comedy Central ran an Osama mini-marathon before the May 4th episode.
In the Season 2 episode "City on the Edge of Forever" (which spoofs Clip Show episodes by twisting events of previous episodes — and even one scene of the episode itself — and ending each clip with at least one character eating ice cream), the last clip shown was the scene from "Cartman's Mom is Still a Dirty Slut" where Cartman's father was revealed, only instead of the father being revealed to be Cartman's mom (who is revealed to be a hermaphrodite), it was instead John Elway of the Denver Broncos. Then came Season 14, where Cartman's biological father was retconned into being a Denver Bronco.
"Medicinal Fried Chicken"'s plot about medical marijuana being legalized (while fast-food places like Kentucky Fried Chicken are being outlawed in low-income areasnote despite that Colorado has no low-income areas) becomes this after marijuana became legalized in Colorado on November 6, 2012.
All the times Kyle told Cartman not to call his mom a bitch become funnier once he actually did it himself in "Fun with Veal".
"Follow That Egg!" becomes weird to watch after Colorado legalized same-sex marriage in 2013.
In Korn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery, Cartman expecting and preparing for Christmas as early as during Halloween is played for laughs. These days, in many places around the world, Christmas shopping season and preparations begin even earlier.
In "Peterotica", one of Peter's many erotic stories is, in the tradition of porn parodies, "Harry Potter and the Half-Black Chick". Three years later, the film version of Half-Blood Prince featured a scene not from the book in which Harry flirts with a light-skinned African girl.
Then there's the fact that the episode centered on Peter writing erotica in his style (with very clunky and unsubtle prose) and becoming popular for it, despite the quality. Like the South Park example above, this is funnier thanks to the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy (and all the praise and criticism attached to the series).
The first banned episode "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein" (the episode where Peter takes in a Jewish man who helps him manage the family's money, and Peter taking Chris to Vegas to get a quickie bar mitzvah) becomes laden in Fridge Logic now that "Family Goy" revealed that Lois' mother was Jewish, not Protestant, and had to hide her true religion so Carter could join a country club that doesn't allow Jewish people.
The Thanksgiving episode in which Joe's long-lost son comes back from the Iraq War (and most of the episode consists of the characters arguing about the moral and ethical stance of why America had any business in the country) goes from being "We're Still Relevant, Dammit" to an Unintentional Period Piece thanks to the Iraq War ending a month after the episode's premiere.
"Don't Make Me Over" is a double whammy. Not only did the show predict that Jimmy Fallon would come back and host an episode of Saturday Night Live, but Seth MacFarlane, for all the times he's made fun of Saturday Night Live and the stars who became famous because of SNL, hosted an episode (the first episode of season 38) and showed off his vocal and musical talents in the monologue (doing an entire conversation with himself as Peter, Stewie, Brian, and Quagmire, and singing about his many voices).
A pre-9/11 episode of Family Guy had one scene where Osama bin Laden attempts to board an airplane by distracting security by singing "I Hope I Get It" from A Chorus Line. This one's kind of a cross between a Hilarious in Hindsight moment and a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment. On the one hand, the scene isn't all that funny thanks to 9/11, the fact that security is tighter because of 9/11 and other terrorist attacks at airports (the shoe-bomber incident), and the fact that Seth MacFarlane would have died on the plane that crashed into the Twin Towers had he not missed the flight entirely due to a hangover and bad information he got from his travel agent. On the other hand, Osama bin Laden singing "God, I Hope I Get It" takes on a new, more darkly hilarious context now that bin Laden has been caught and killed.
In "Back to the Pilot", one of the things Brian and Stewie see in the (CGI) future is that Cleveland Brown is back, with Stewie noting that things didn't work out in Virginia. This is even funnier now that The Cleveland Show has been cancelled and Cleveland will be returning to Quahog.
A scene from "Airport '07" features an "edited-for-rednecks" version of Cosmos where Carl Sagan's words are covered up with religious references. It either becomes this or a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment after a Fox affiliate in Oklahoma "accidentally" covered up a mention of evolution on Seth MacFarlane's reboot of the series.
The opening from from "I Take Thee Quagmire" where Peter correctly guesses a Wheel of Fortune puzzle despite little help from the "letters" he picked becomes this after a real Wheel contestant made a correct guess with only two letters to help him in March 2014.
Batman Beyond had a scene in which Terry tried to remember all of the U.S. presidents. He recites them up until Clinton (the current president at the time of the show's production), and then draws a blank. All he can remember is that the president after Clinton was "the boring one" (implying that Al Gore was supposed to be President after him). Depending on political leanings, this is either very funny or very depressing, since Gore never did become President as expected.
An episode of Justice League begins with Wonder Woman walking into the cosmetics section of a department store, and questioned a woman for wanting to cover up her "natural beauty" with makeup. Now, MAC cosmetics has a Wonder Woman collection, complete with large promotional displays of Wonder Woman fighting "Medusa's drab rays".
The 1938 short Porky in Wackyland has a weird dog and cat hybrid appear, and it has a startling resemblance to the lead characters of the Nickelodeon series CatDog.
The 1943 Looney Tunes short "Tortoise Wins by a Hare" features the news headline "Adolph Hitler Commits Suicide" (which would be a reality a mere two years later). Now, generally something like this would be a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment, but considering how Hitler was, it's safe to put it here.
In the 1943 short "Porky Pig's Feat", Daffy and Porky are imprisoned in their hotel room (for not paying their bill), and Porky wonders aloud what Bugs Bunny would do in a situation like this. Daffy eagerly chimes in, "Yeah, Bugs Bunny—my hero!" Later on, Daffy would be rewritten by Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng into being jealous of Bugs' success, so YMMV on whether this is funnier in hindsight or Harsher in Hindsight.
In "Daffy Duck in Hollywood", he makes a bizzare, edited film that heavily resembles today's Youtube Poop videos.
Consider the lyrics of "The Presidents Song" from Animaniacs, the version on the Variety Pack album:
"Now in Washington, D.C. There's Democrats and the GOP "But the one in charge is plain to see It's Clinton, first name Hillary!"
These lyrics were revised from the version of the song used in the show; as clearly audible (and visible) here, the lyrics are "But the ones in charge are plain to see/The Clintons, Bill and Hillary!" It still works, more or less.
There was also a MAD cover with the Clintons dressed up as The Flintstones, and these lyrics:
"Clinstones! Meet the Clinstones! They're America's First Family! From the town of Li'l Rock - And the one in charge is Hillary!"
An episode of Animaniacs opened with Saddam Hussein speaking out to his subjects (who are all shown in silhouettes, waving plungers in the air) just before falling through a trap door and ending up in Hell. Well, they got the falling-through-a-trap-door-to-his-death part right. All they were missing was the noose.
Also at one point, Satan (voiced by Ron Perlman) gets his horns caught in the ceiling and mutters about how he should've gotten them trimmed. Ron would later go on to play Hellboy.
Another Animaniacs episode opened with the Warners running away from their watertower, which was about to explode. Yakko then says that he and his siblings would be back, rebuild, and make a brand new water tower that would be exactly like the old one. They are, they have, and they did!
"Till All Are One": In Transformers Animated, Elita-1 has the power to download every Cybertronian's special ability, indeed.
In a later episode, the oil-guzzling Constructicons actually do ingest a bit of Bumblebee's motor oil after they find a trail made by his leaking tank. Apparently he tastes even better than their usual fare, so it's possible that Bumblebee just settled on the first blood-analogue he could find for his dramatic statement.
It also serves as a sort of retroactive Reverse Funny Aneurysm moment when you consider two things:
1. Before this episode, Beast Wars introduced Tarantulas, who at least once tried to drain the mech fluids of a Maximal in a vampiric manner. and 2. During that same time, a cartoon called Vanpires aired, about - you guessed it - mechanoid vampire cars that drained the motor oil from helpless vehicles.
From Beast Wars: During the episode "Call of the Wild", the Maximals have been taken over by the primal instinct of their beast modes, and the Predacons are hunting them down. Now look at the following quote and try to not think about Sarah Palin. However, not all will find this as amusing, given that it involves "hunting/poaching" animals, shooting wild wolves from helicopters with rifles.
Terrorsaur: Huntin' from the air with automatic weapons! Now that's a sport!
Also from Beast Wars, Blackarachnia once made an annoyed off-handed remark that almost seems to foreshadow a certain infamous director.
Blackarachnia: What is it with guys and high explosives?
In "Double Jeopardy," Rattrap is suspected of being a spy and sent on a mission to prove his loyalty. When he gets attacked by Terrorsaur while his coms are open, Rhinox turns to Dinobot and says "I told you he wasn't a Predacon clone." At the time it's a throw-away line, but by the end of the series, there have been multiple Dinobot clones, and none of any other character, which makes it quite a bit funnier that he's the one who came up with that theory.
In the American Dad! episode "Daddy Queerest", a drunken Stan mistakes Nelson Mandela for Morgan Freeman. While it is somewhat funny due to Mandela's and Freeman's similarities in appearance, it becomes Hilarious in Hindsight thanks to the movie Invictus and Freeman's role as Nelson Mandela.
In the Futurama pilot, the suicide booth Fry uses is promoted as "America's favorite suicide booth since 2008". At first it was just a silly side comment, but now it's funny (in a dark kinda way) since 2008 was the year the suicide machine was invented, and the year the American economy tanked, which would be reason enough for anyone (particularly stock brokers and those who work with money on the savings and investments scale) to be Driven to Suicide.
In Season 1's "When Aliens Attack," Fry accidentally spills soda on a TV switchboard and scrambles an airing of the Ally McBealExpySingle Female Lawyer. Cut to Omicron Persei 8, where Single Female Lawyer gets cut off due to technical difficulties and an announcer says, "We now bring you eight animated shows in a row" (which would be impossible, if the signal from Earth's FOX station is out), causing an alien to get frustrated and shoot his television. Now that it's over a decade later and FOX now has a Sunday-night lineup called "Animation Domination" (which consists of The Simpsons, Bob's Burgers, and three Seth MacFarlane cartoons [now down to one since The Cleveland Show has been canceled and American Dad! is moving to TBS in late 2014, while Family Guy was renewed for another season]), this joke still plays quite well today. However, in November 1999, when the episode first aired, this would have counted as more of a joke about FOX airing animated shows because there were just three cartoons total on FOX Sunday nights: Futurama, The Simpsons and King of the Hill.
In The Fairly OddParents, at the end of an episode, a button is pressed that would blow up the planet. It ends up blowing up Pluto, but it's okay because "no one cares about Pluto." In 2006, Pluto was demoted to a dwarf planet, much to the shock and disappointment of people who grew up being taught that Pluto is a planet just like Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
In the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "The Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past From The Future", at one point, Shake mentions, "Have you seen that the interest rates for mortgages are really low right now?" This was in 2002, years before "Credit Default Swap" became a household name (and later, one of the reasons why the current economy is in the tank).
The Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "It's Way Ed, in which the Eds try to come up with some wacky fashion trends with random everyday objects these days wouldn't be out of place in Lady Gaga's wardrobe.