CLAIM

The Simpsons correctly predicted various incidents that took place during Super Bowl LI.

MIXTURE

RATING

MIXTURE

WHAT'S TRUE

At least one scene from an episode of The Simpsons appeared to predict pop star Lady Gaga's halftime show during the 2017 Super Bowl.

WHAT'S FALSE

A few images showcasing these "predictions" from The Simpsons were either doctored or came from unrelated episodes.

ORIGIN

On 5 February 2017, rumors appeared that the popular animated television series “The Simpsons” had once predicted Lady Gaga’s halftime performance at Super Bowl LI, comparing a scene on the animated show to her descent to the stage on the field to kick off her show:

lady gaga super bowl

The still from the television show is real, and was taken from a 2012 episode of “The Simpsons” called “Lisa Goes Gaga”:


Of course, there are a few problems with this prediction. For example, “The Simpsons” version of Lady Gaga was not performing at the Super Bowl. Also, as with other predictions from “The Simpsons,” the show was actually spoofing a previous event, not attempting to predict a future one.

In this case, the series was gently mocking Lady Gaga’s visually arresting (and occasionally outlandish) stunts during concerts (the singer performed a similar one in 2011, when she ziplined into a concert on “Good Morning America”) and showed the singer in several outfits similar to ones she had already worn:

lady gaga

Some people also claimed that the show had predicted the light display at Super Bowl LI, which was not accurate:

simpsons
The cowboy hat in the bottom right corner of the graphic did not come from the  same episode of “The Simpsons,” but in one from 2005 called “Homer and Ned’s Hail Mary Pass” in which characters Homer Simpson and Ned Flanders planned a Super Bowl halftime show. The cowboy hat image is real, as are the fireworks — but but fireworks were invented long before they appeared on that 2005 episode.

Additionally, Lady Gaga’s show did not feature a giant cowboy hat, and the lights display at Super Bowl LI was created with drones (filmed earlier in the week) rather than fireworks.

One last rumor that circulated after the 2017 Super Bowl was that “The Simpsons” actually predicted the game’s final score:

simpsons score
This is a doctored image. The real scene did not show the Atlanta Falcons or the New England Patriots on the scoreboard, and did not show the final score at 34 to 28. The real imageis from season 28’s episode “The Town“:

scoreboard
As spooky as the predictions may seem at first glance, a closer look shows that it they are actually nothing more than a combination of digital manipulation, wishful thinking, and keen observations.

Sources:

Liptak, Andrew.   “The Super Bowl halftime show drones weren’t flying live.”
    The Verge.   5 February 2017.

Locker, Melissa.   “The Simpsons Totally Predicted Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl Performance.”
    TIME.   6 February 2017.