You don’t need to read Nostradamus to learn the future. Just flip on your TV set.
We’re not sure how or why, but TV shows, books, and pop songs predict events that come to pass with eerie regularity. Here are our favorite examples:
1. Mark Twain foresaw the internet way back in 1898.
In the American author’s short story “The London Times of 1904,” Twain imagined a device called the telelectroscope that allowed instant communication across any distance.
“The daily doings of the globe [were] made visible to everybody, and audibly discussable too, by witnesses separated by any number of leagues,” Twain wrote. “Day by day and night by night, he called up one corner of the globe after another, and looked upon its life, and studied its strange sights, and spoke with its people, and realized that by
Twain’s only mistake is that he failed to predict the constant trolling.
2. A 2006 episode of 30 Rock predicted the invention of the KFC Double Down.
In the episode, Tracy Jordan markets a product called the “Tracy Jordan Meat Machine,” which pressed one piece of meat between two others, thereby saving consumers from “suffering through the bread part of your sandwich.”
3. Chris Rock might have inadvertently given O.J. Simpson the title of his memoir.
On a 1999 episode of the Chris Rock Show, the comedian imagined a video about Simpson’s case that he jokingly titled, I Didn’t Kill My Wife! But If I DID, Here’s How I’d Do It.
In 2007, Simpson published a bizarre memoir titled If I Did It. Is this a coincidence, or is Simpson just a big Chris Rock fan?
4. Actor Christopher Reeve played a character who uses a wheelchair in a film that came out two days before the tragic horseback riding accident that left Reeve paralyzed from the neck down.
The HBO film was called Above Suspicion. Reeve played a police officer, paralyzed by a shooting. The film aired on May 25, 1995. Two days later, Reeve was flung from his horse, destroying his first and second vertebrae. He used a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
5. A 1979 film called “Real Life” foresaw the era of reality television.
The Albert Brooks mockumentary featured a film crew that kept trying to incite drama in their subjects. The exact same thing would later make a lot of reality TV producers very rich indeed.
6. Singer Jackie Wilson belted out a line about how his “heart is crying” and instantly suffered a heart attack.
In 1975, when this bizarre event occurred, Jackie Wilson’s song Lonely Teardrops was a big radio hit. There’s a line in the song in which Wilson sings, “My heart is crying.”
Just as he got to the line in the song during a 1975 concert, Wilson had a sudden heart attack. He collapsed in front of the microphone. The audience thought it was part of the show for a few long, awkward moments.
7. A 2000 episode of “The Simpsons” depicted a future in which Donald Trump was elected president.
The idea was laughable to the show’s writers, but who’s laughing now?