Did 'The Simpsons' Predict the Ukrainian Refugee Crisis?

A number of social media users are claiming that The Simpsons predicted the Ukrainian refugee crisis back in 2011.

In the season 23 episode, "The Falcon and the D'Ohman," two moments show that the animated series possibly predicted such a humanitarian crisis involving the country, which is currently seeing millions fleeing after Russia invaded.

Twitter user @esau7 shared two screenshots from the episode that show a cityscape of a rundown neighborhood in Springfield named "Little Ukraine," while later in the episode a poster of an atomic bomb explosion with the caption: "Don't Do This" is shown hanging in a locker room.

Newsweek can verify that these moments do indeed occur in the episodes with the respective timestamps of 10:26 and 17:02.

The episode's synopsis reads: "Homer tries to befriend the new security guard at the nuclear power plant, who for some unknown reason isn't interested and keeps having flashbacks to his violent past as a government agent."

The references to Ukraine and the threat of nuclear war bear an eerie similarity to current events as more than 1.5 million residents of Ukraine have left their homes looking for safe refuge outside its borders, mostly in neighboring places like Poland, Hungary, Romania, Moldova and Slovakia.

The United Nations estimates their numbers will likely top 4 million over the forthcoming weeks and months.

"At this rate, the situation looks set to become Europe's largest refugee crisis this century," U.N. refugee agency spokesperson Shabia Mantoo told Newsweek.

Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin has Russia's strategic nuclear weapons forces on high alert, which has sparked fears of nuclear escalation in the ongoing conflict.

The Simpsons has a long history of predicting world events such as Donald Trump's presidency, Super Bowl champions and the ebola outbreak.

The Simpsons
The Simpsons, season 23 episode, The Falcon and the D'Ohman. Disney Plus

This revelation comes just weeks after The Simpsons' showrunner Al Jean responded to viewers saying an earlier episode from 1998 predicted the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

The episode in question is called "Simpson Tide" and it followed Homer Simpson joining the U.S. Navy and accidentally firing a sub captain out of a vessel into Russian waters.

This leads to Russia revealing that the Soviet Union never truly dissolved and shows troops descending on streets, the Berlin Wall shooting up from the ground and Lenin coming back to life and punching his way out of his coffin.

"Very sad to say this was not hard to predict," Jean said of the prediction.

He later told The Hollywood Reporter: "In terms of predictions, there are two kinds we have: the trivial, like Don Mattingly getting in trouble for his hair in Homer at the Bat. And then there are predictions like this.

"I hate to say it, but I was born in 1961, so 30 years of my life were lived with the specter of the Soviet Union."

He added: "So, to me, this is sadly more the norm than it is the prediction. We just figured things were going to go bad."

Jean said that "historical aggression never really goes away, and you have to be super vigilant.

"In 1998, when this clip aired, it was maybe the zenith of U.S.-Russia relations," he explained. "But, ever since [Russian president Vladimir] Putin got in, almost everybody has made it clear that he's a bad guy and bad things are going to happen."

The Simpsons creators have also released a commissioned image of the show's titular family showing solidarity with Ukraine in their war with Russia.