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27th Sep 2016

‘The Simpsons’ predicting celebrity deaths is starting to get a bit creepy

What do they know that we don't?!

Matt Tate

Golf fans were saddened to hear that legend of the sport Arnold Palmer had died at the age of 87 on Sunday night.

It was no surprise to see countless tributes pour in for the seven-time major winner, but a lot of people were left open-mouthed at a purely accidental nod from The Simpsons.

Hours after the world learned of Palmer’s death, the debut episode of the enduring cartoon’s 28th season aired, and in it there was a joke about the golfer.

In the scene Homer tells Marge that he and Carl were planning to fill separate water guns with lemonade and iced tea, the plan being to “Arnold Palmer” Lenny when he walks in.

When it was clear that Marge didn’t seem immediately impressed with the prank, Homer explained the reference: “Arnold Palmer was a golfer, and he made up this drink where it’s not a full glass of lemonade or a full glass of iced tea.”

Of course production on the series had finished way before the iconic sportsman passed away, and there was nothing The Simpsons could do to avoid the coincidental scheduling. Show runner Al Jean tweeted just after his death had been announced, and confirmed when asked that it would have been too late to pull the joke.

What fans did find eerie, though, is that Homer talks about Palmer in the past tense. The internet has for a long time been brimming with conspiracy theories about The Simpsons predicting the future.

As far back as the year 2000 the show foresaw Donald Trump’s presidency bid, and other episodes seemingly predict the ebola virus outbreak and the horse meat scandal long before they became a reality.

There’s also a rather more tenuous theory that Springfield’s residents prematurely forecasted the death of Harambe the gorilla.