predictable prizes

The Simpsons Keeps Predicting the Future: This Time It’s a Nobel Prize Winner

Possible Nobel Prize winners, Simpsons style. Photo: MIT/Twitter

A 28-year-old show is likely to have its share of culturally resonant moments, but The Simpsons has truly seemed to wrap its monkey’s paw around an odd prescience from time to time. First there was the whole “predicting a Trump presidency” thing back in 2000, then the “(sorta) predicting Arnold Palmer’s death” thing this year, and of course there’s the “America will love dumb dudes and underappreciate hard-working women” thing, perpetually happening in the show, in our presidential campaign, and — you know — in life. Now, The Simpsons has also predicted the winner of a Nobel Prize. No — not Bob Dylan — who among us could have predicted that? Instead, Bart’s best bespectacled pal Milhouse Van Houten pegged MIT economics professor Bengt R. Holmström as Nobel-worthy back in 2010’s season-22 premiere, a fact MIT delightedly tweeted today after Professor Holmström up and, well, won the Nobel Prize in Economics. The oh-so-brief and specific text-based joke is classic high-brow Simpsons writing room: Something a Harvard grad wrote for an MIT professor to appreciate. And, hey — let’s spare a thought for the young Mr. Van Houten, who doesn’t often get to enjoy success in his small, yellow life. Everything’s coming up Milhouse, indeed.

The Simpsons Predicted a Nobel Winner in 2010