No, 'The Simpsons' Did Not Predict the 2022 Super Bowl

The Simpsons has developed a reputation for being a pop culture version of Nostradamus, seeming to predict future events like the election of Donald Trump as president and the emergence of smart watches.

Now, thanks to a post that is doing the rounds on Twitter, Homer and friends appear to have done it again. The NFL Memes account shared a post that appeared to portray the long-running show predicting a Cincinnati Bengals victory when they take on the L.A Rams on Sunday.

The post said to "Bet the house on the Bengals," and featured three images: One showing a group of Bengals cheerleaders, another showing Homer with "Go Bengals" written on his belly and a third showing a news report from within the show featuring an orange football helmet and a white one, and the words "BENGALS win SUPER BOWL !! Cin 34 LA 31" superimposed on top of it.

As with many so-called "Simpsons predictions," however, this one is a mixture of coincidence, misunderstanding and deliberate deviousness – in short, The Simpsons has nothing to say about the winner of the 2022 Super Bowl.

'The Simpsons' Super Bowl 2022 Prediction Meme Explained

Most of these images come from "Lisa the Greek," Episode 14 of Season 3 of the show, which aired in January 1992. In that episode, the Cincinnati Bengals are one of the teams in the Super Bowl, and Homer keeps being told by people that they are a definite to win the game. After Lisa chooses the other team, however, he bets on them and wins $50.

The team that the Bengals are playing in that episode? The Miami Dolphins, not the L.A. Rams. So, already, the meme is doubly wrong: The Rams do not appear in the show, and the Bengals actually lose the game.

That the meme was not a 100 percent genuine Simpsons moment should maybe have been made clear by its final image, in which the superimposed text was clearly crudely added on later.

The images are also not from the same episode. The "Go Bengals" Homer image is from Season 16, Episode 8, "Homer and Ned's Hail Mary Pass."

the simpsons 2022 super bowl predictions
A football-themed couch gag on "The Simpsons." Though the sport has featured many times on the show, it has not yet predicted a Super Bowl. Fox

The show has previous in incorrectly predicting Super Bowls. In 1999 episode "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday," the show saw the San Francisco 49ers winning in Miami. But when that situation came true in 2020, the team lost to the Kansas City Chiefs.

The simple fact when it comes to many of these Simpsons "predictions" is this: The show has made so many episodes, and made its way through so many plots, that some moments are bound to seem to reflect later events—and when they do not, you can take a random selection of images from the show and use them as "evidence" that it pretty much predicted anything.

For example, one 1993 episode saw Mayor Quimby pretending to have canceled a trip to the Bahamas to deal with a pandemic in Springfield, while fielding calls on a beach. This was widely reported as having predicted Senator Ted Cruz's trip to Cancun amid a weather crisis in Texas, even if there are substantial differences between the real and fictional versions.