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Hilarious In Hindsight / The Simpsons

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  • The season 11 premiere "Beyond Blunderdome" had Mel Gibson (voicing himself) and plays on the idea that he is so admired by the public that it makes him uncomfortable. With The Passion of the Christ and news about his alcoholism and his anti-Semitic and sexist remarks, it looks as if Mel's got his wish. It's both funny and depressing.
  • In the "Treehouse of Horror III" short "Clown Without Pity", a naked Homer runs screaming from his bathtub to escape a harpoon-wielding demonic Krusty the Clown doll and passes by Patty, Selma, and Marge as they have lunch together. Patty puts down her fork and says, "There goes the last lingering thread of my heterosexuality." Years after this throwaway joke in a non-canonical Halloween episode, Patty came out of the closet and revealed that she was a lesbian all along, rather than being heterosexual, but celibate since she thinks all men are as stupid and crass as Homer and will never have a real man like the actor who plays MacGyver. Notably, in "Homer's Phobia", once Homer learns of John's sexuality he says "Now we can never say only straight people have been in this house", Patty had been visiting for years by that point.
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  • In "You Only Move Twice" Homer is disappointed when his Benevolent Boss, Hank Scorpio, gives him the Denver Broncos as a gift instead of the Dallas Cowboys. The Denver Broncos are seen practicing on the Simpsons' front lawn, and are portrayed as bumbling and laughably bad at football. Since this episode aired, the Broncos have had 4 Super Bowl appearances and won 3 of them, one of which, Super Bowl XXXIII, was the subject of season 10's "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday". In fact, the Broncos' would win their first championship only a little over a year after "You Only Move Twice" aired (and their second a year after that). Meanwhile, the Cowboys haven't reached their conference championship.
  • In the Season 2 episode "Three Men and a Comic Book", Homer and Bart discuss how The Cosby Show was being taken off the air to keep it from becoming stale, and joke about how they would "run that sucker into the ground" if they were in Cosby's position. More than 30 seasons later, The Simpsons is still on the air.
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  • Matt Groening criticized the episode "A Star is Burns" because he promised his sitcom would be different from others and one of the sitcom conventions he hated is the crossover episode that plays out like a 20-odd minute advertisement for another show, even removing his name from the credits in protest. Since then, The Simpsons has had crossover with The X-Files ("The Springfield Files"), two Jay Sherman cameos ("Hurricane Neddy" and "The Ziff Who Came to Dinner"), a 24 crossover ( "24 Minutes"), a The Terminator parody featuring the characters from Futurama and a special guest appearance on Family Guy where the Simpsons bond with the Griffins.
  • The 1996 episode "Two Bad Neighbors", in which former president George H. W. Bush moves next door to the Simpsons, includes a scene where Homer tries to trick Bush into opening his door by propping up two cardboard cutouts of his sons Jeb and "George Bush, Jr." According to the Season 7 DVD Commentary, the writers (and the mid-90s audience) had no idea at the time that there actually was a George Bush, Jr., and figured that Homer was just being stupid by making up a name on the spot. And yet, they somehow knew who Jeb Bush was.
  • In the old Konami arcade, one of the enemies are donuts in the Dream Land level. Cut to the Season 9 episode "Simpson Tide", it begins with Homer's dream he's on the Planet of the Donuts.
  • In "Homerpalooza", when Homer is worried about being out of touch with the current music scene, he revisits his old favorite record store (Good Vibrations, since renamed to Suicide Notes). When he mentions the Us Festival being sponsored by "That guy from Apple Computers", the Gen X cashier holds up a music CD and sardonically asks "What computers?" When the episode aired in 1996 Apple was at its lowest point and seen as a dying company, but mounted a comeback the next year with iMac, as well as massive success with iTunes, iPod, iPhone, and more, eventually becoming one of the world's most valuable and ubiquitous companies.
  • In "Lisa's Sax", a parody bumper for The WB had Michigan J. Frog lamenting on how nobody watches the network. In 2006, The WB went off the air and merged with UPN to form the CW.
  • "The Trouble with Trillions" had Homer, Burns and Smithers landing in Cuba at the same time Fidel Castro is considering the possibility of abandoning Communism. About fifteen years later, Cuba and the U.S. restored diplomatic ties, with many pointing that socialism in the island may have its days counted once the embargo is lifted.
    • The fact that Castro took the trillion dollar banknote while leaving the trio to their fates contrasts with many Cuban exiles and Tea Party supporters who have decried the detente as the deal was ambiguous regarding any important changes to Cuba's political system.
  • "Bart Star" has the family buying Bart's football gear at a store called Sportacus. This was eight years before LazyTown premiered. In the same episode, the "WHO ARE WE? WILDCATS!" cheer is made funnier by making just a minor switch to "WHAT TEAM?"
  • "That '90s Show", an episode aired in 2008 and set in the early 1990s, has a scene where Homer and Marge divide their belongings. The joke is supposed to be that Homer keeps all the stuff that ends up being worthless by the 2000s: "I'll keep the LPs, and you take the CDs. I'll take the typewriter, you take the computer. I'll take the Enron stock, you take the Microsoft stock." Except that in 2008 vinyl records were already making a comeback among the music cognoscenti, and online streaming was well on its way of replacing CDs as the main form in which people consume digital music. A few years after the episode aired, those LPs would probably sell for a lot more than the CDs.
  • In "Homie the Clown", Homer (dressed as Krusty) presents an award for "Cable's Most Promising New Series", which goes to reruns of Starsky & Hutch. During the late 1990s, pay TV became increasingly prominent in American homes and "premium" cable networks like HBO and AMC began producing high-profile series at the same time these became more affordable, eventually becoming as big as the over-the-air networks.
  • Similarly, in "Secrets of a Successful Marriage" has Homer blaming his not visiting museum on "those TV networks pushing one good show after another". The joke when this first aired was that the first half of the 1990s were a low point for TV. Nowadays, it is about an overload of acclaimed shows, to the point one can barely keep up.
  • "Bart to the Future" features Lenny saying he didn't vote for Lisa, but Chastity Bono. Who we know better now as Chaz Bono. Retroactively, this means Lenny might be starting to forget some things at his age.
  • In the 2011 episode "A Midsummer's Nice Dream" Bart doesn't know who Beavis and Butt-Head are. Their show was revived that same year.
  • The announcement that Harry Shearer leaving the show in 2015 (actually, he returned for two more seasons) became quite ironically hilarious considering they did a gag about the subject, with another VA replacing Shearer as Ned Flanders, over a decade prior in "Homer to the Max". The comment "they don't have to pay the actors squat" is just the icing on the cake, as there is speculation that money had something to do with Shearer deciding to leave. note 
  • In "When Flanders Failed" Flanders accounts having his house and assets repossessed by "nice" people who were only doing their job. This seems like a standard Extreme Doormat disposition from the character, until "I Married Marge" features the Simpsons couple having a visit from a repo man who genuinely is cheerful, affable and apologetic about collecting their possessions ("Repossessing is the hardest part of my job").
  • In "Homer Goes To College", when Homer is told he has to go to college to keep his job, Bart sarcastically asks "Barber or clown?", angering Homer. Later, in "Homie the Clown", Homer actually goes to clown college and becomes a Krusty the Clown impersonator, and he would later become a barber in "Homer Scissorhands."
  • Toward the end of "The Great Louse Detective", Sideshow Bob resorts to killing Bart, but can't do it, because he's grown accustomed to the boy's face, and because he feels that Victory Will Be Boring if he kills Bart, as described in his Villain Song. Nearly 13 years later, in the Treehouse of Horror XXVI segment "Wanted: Dead, then Alive", Bob finally seems to have gotten over the epiphany by killing Bart; but after a few days, he recalls the notion that Victory Is Still Boring without Bart around, so he decides to prolong his victory by creating a Reanimator machine and bringing his Arch-Enemy Back from the Dead before going all Emperor Joker on Bart in a Death Montage.
  • The final segment of "Treehouse of Horror XVII" called "The Day the Earth Looked Stupid" was set in the 1930s. The ending shot showed a ruined Springfield set to "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire". Two years later, Fallout 3 (set in a futuristic world if it was imagined by people in the 1930s) was released and used the same song for the intro and slowly pans out to show a ruined Washington D.C. similar to the former.
  • In 2005's "Don't Fear the Roofer", while Homer is describing why he likes hanging around Ray Magini, he states that they finish each other's sandwiches.
  • In the 1992 episode, "New Kid on the Block", Homer sues seafood restaurant, The Frying Dutchman, for false advertising after getting kicked out for eating too much at the all-you-can-eat buffet. Ten years later, a man named Bill Wisth pickets a seafood restaurant for kicking him out when takes advantage of their all-you-can-eat policy. Many comments on YouTube and news websites made comparisons to the episode.
  • In "Lisa on Ice", Springfield Elementary's auditorium is called the "Butthead Memorial Auditorium", named by Springfield's students, much to Principal Skinner's frustrationnote . This scene became funnier when, in 2016, an online survey to name a new UK research ship led to the winning choice "Boaty McBoatface".
  • In "Deep Space Homer", Homer regrets not going to the mall to meet Mr. T. Come LEGO Dimensions, where Homer can finally meet B.A. at long last.
  • In "Helter Shelter", while the Simpsons home is being fumigated, Lisa proposes that they stay at a youth hostel, to which Bart objects with "I do not want another lecture from a German backpacker about how we don't appreciate the national park system." Later, in "The Heartbroke Kid", the Simpson family turn their home into a youth hostel for German backpackers, and they are indeed subjected to nonstop lectures about America's inadequacies. And they did this so they can pay for Bart's therapy at a fat camp.
    German Backpacker: Problem number 35 with America: No universal healthcare. Number 36: No metric system. What is this, the time of Charlemagne? Answer me, answer me now!
  • This show managed to predict what would happen in Lady Gaga's 2017 Super Bowl Halftime Show.
  • In The Simpsons Arcade Game, whenever any family member loses a life, they fly back in wearing their own respective superhero costume. Homer's costume (consisting of bright blue, long-sleeved tights, a red cape and his underwear worn on the outside) looks suspiciously similar to the one he would sport as his alter-ego, The Pie Man, in "Simple Simpson" (only he wears white underwear instead of gold.)
  • In "Boy-Scoutz 'n the Hood," Martin Prince plays the My Dinner with Andre arcade game, the gameplay of which is limited to watching lengthy conversations and using the joystick to select dialogue choices. Nowadays, such a game doesn't seem so far-fetched.
  • In "The PTA Disbands", Bart discovers that for years, he's actually been drinking "Malk" instead of milk. Malk now actually exists. It's almond milk.
  • In the "Treehouse of Horror VIII" segment "Fly vs. Fly" Bart puts Snowball II and Santa's Little Helper into the teleporter and it comes out with Helper's head on one end and Snowball's head on the other.
  • In "I Am Furious (Yellow)", Stan Lee unsuccessfully attempts to turn into the Hulk, claiming that he actually managed to do it once before. 11 years later, one of his powers in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is to Hulk Out.
  • The season 5 episode "Bart Gets Famous", released in 1994, has Bart earn his 15 Minutes of Fame after embarrassing himself on live TV, with the one-liner "I didn't do it" becoming a Memetic Mutation that even got turned into a hit novelty rap song. Fast-forward to 2016, and a teenage girl named Danielle Bregoli becomes famous after embarrassing herself on Dr. Phil, with the one-liner "catch me outside, how 'bout dah!?" becoming a Memetic Mutation that even got turned into a hit novelty rap song.
  • The picture above comes from near the end of the 1998 episode "When You Dish Upon a Star", showing the exterior of 20th Century Fox Studios with the notice "A Division of Walt Disney Co." on their famous searchlight logo. In 2017, it was announced that Disney would acquire 21st Century Fox (which was completed in early 2019), whose assets include the studio and The Simpsons itself.
    • Pretty much every single one of the Take That! jokes aimed at Disney that have been on the show over the years (up to and including several urban legends about Walt Disney in the character of Roger Myers, Sr.) are now this because of the purchase, as the acquisition of 21st Century Fox can be seen as karma for the Disney digs and the digs in question can now be seen in the same light as the show's Biting-the-Hand Humor jokes at Fox.
  • In "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy," one of Lisa's friends exclaims that there's something wrong with her talking Malibu Stacy doll, which erroneously says "My Spider Sense is tingling! Anybody call for a web-slinger?" Hank Azaria speaks this line, who went on to voice one of Spider-Man's most popular villains on another Fox animated program not long after.
  • The Season 21 premiere, "Homer The Whopper" manages two:
  • In the Season 21 episode "Boy Meets Curl", Homer, Marge, Principal Skinner and his mother Agnes form a mixed curling team that was chosen to play and win the gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, putting Sweden at second place and Russia at third place. Eight years later, the U.S. would actually win the gold medal in curling at PyeongChang in South Korea at the 2018 Winter Olympics, and while they did put Sweden in second place with the silver medal, the only difference is that Switzerland was put in third place with the bronze medal instead of Russia.
  • "Chief of Hearts" has Chief Wiggum mentions that Ralph worries about Superman deciding to kill everybody.
  • The 2007 episode "Husbands and Knives" features a cameo from comic book writer Alan Moore, who gets angry about a Watchmen spinoff called Watchmen Babies, which was apparently produced by DC Comics without his involvement. Starting in 2011, DC actually did bring back the cast of Watchmen for several stories done without Moore's involvement or permission. And in 2019, they released a literal Spinoff Babies version of Swamp Thing (which Moore made famous) called Swamp Kid.
  • In The Movie, Bart puts a large bra on his head and says "Look, I'm the mascot of an evil corporation" as he now resembles Mickey Mouse. As of 2019, Disney now owns Fox, made even funnier as the Disney website has a picture of Bart showing off their many properties. And later in a special video, when the show will be added to Disney's streaming service, Bart tries to refuse of putting on the mouse ears.
    Bart: I don't wanna. I'm not gonna. You can't make me!
    Homer: Put on the ears, boy!
    • It gets even more hilarious in a later promotion for Disney+, in which Bart is forced to be dressed in a Mickey Mouse costume, and has the last laugh by mooning the camera right as the flash goes off.
  • In the episode "One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish", Bart asked Moe for a Seymour Butts. There is a porn actor/director with the name, Seymore Butts!
  • The basic plot of "Marge Gamer" is Marge entering an MMORPG world and encountering Bart there. And then we have Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks?.
  • The B-plot of the season 18 episode "The Haw-Hawed Couple" involves a Harry Potter spoof with an ending that Homer doesn't want to reveal to Lisa, and in the process claims that the characters "went to Star Wars Land and fought star wars". About thirteen years later, Disneyland opened its official immersive "Star Wars Land", Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, to compete with rival park Universal Studios' Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which was itself built a decade after the episode aired.
  • The 43rd issue of the Simpsons comic book featured a story where proposals were given for Itchy and Scratchy character Poochie to star in his own show. One proposed show was a spoof of Muppet Babies (1984) where infant versions of Poochie and the rest of the cast were looked after by a man named Manny. In the 2018 reboot, the episode "Mister Manny" would have a man named Manny come over to temporarily watch over the Muppet Babies in Nanny's stead.
  • In The Heartbroke Kid, Gil's pitch to Skinner was that kids can give him a list of snacks and he will go and buy it for them (a day later). He basically just described a less efficient version of delivery services like Postmates or Uber Eats in 2005.
  • At one point in "My Sister, My Sitter," Bart pulls a prank pretending to be an ambassador from Ghana. 23 years later, people from Ghana would pull their own large-scale act of trolling.
  • From "Homer The Smithers":
    • Upon being Driven to Suicide, Smithers exclaims, "I don't deserve to live on your planet anymore!" Then along comes the Futurama episode "A Clockwork Origin", and with it Prof. Farnsworth's line, "I don't want to live on this planet anymore."
    • Homer tries to make his boss some breakfast, but all his efforts result in things catching fire. So he settles for ordering donuts from a local eatery, which he tries to pass off as his own cooking. Sounds like a predecessor to the now memetic "Steamed Hams" sketch from "22 Short Films About Springfield."
  • "Treehouse Of Horror VII":
    • "Citizen Kang" ends with Kang, who was impersonating Bob Dole, winning the election, possibly a Take That! at how President Clinton's chances for re-election were considered slim due to his popularity being low at the time this episode was producednote . Clinton ended up winning the election in a landslide, partly because of Dole's many faux pas during the campaign.
    • In "The Genesis Tub, The tub ships that attack Bart look a lot like the Planet Express ship from Futurama.
    • In "The Thing And I", we see that a beloved Simpsons character is actually an impostor and the "true" counterpart returns. Sounds similar to the infamous "The Principal And The Pauper", only with the opposite ending. Matt Groening even argued that episode would have worked better if it were a "Treehouse Of Horror" story.
  • "The Fat And The Furriest" has a scene where Homer watches a VeggieTales video where the characters retell the story of Moses. Six years after the episode aired, a VeggieTales video based on the story of Moses called Moe And The Big Exit was released, but it wasn't a straight adaptation like the parody, but rather one placing the story in a Western setting.
  • As documented in this video, a bootleg DVD set of the show opened with the Buena Vista Home Entertainment logo, a company that's a subsidiary of Disney, who now owns The Simpsons.
  • In HOMR, Homer invested in a company that specializes in animation that projects motion capture onto the character in real time. The joke being that the technology was Awesome, but Impractical at the time but we're seeing this type of technology in late 2010 with the existence of virtual youtubers like Kizuna Ai and hololive.
  • The cold opening of Treehouse Of Horror XVI has Kang and Kodos waiting for the Treehouse Of Horror to start, only for it to be interrupted by the World Series. Guess what caused the delay of Treehouse Of Horror XXXI?


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