'Pokémon Go' 'Simpsons' Meme: No, a 'Simpsons' episode didn't predict 'Pokémon Go'

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Pokémon Go's origins are an unusual story. It started off as an April Fool's prank in Google Maps, and although this failed to materialize into an actual in-game event, portions of the community chose to celebrate it with an homage to the original April Fool's prank. However, another prank about Pokémon Go has been floating about since the game's release, claiming that cultural touchstone The Simpsons managed to predict Pokémon Go before it was ever released.

It's not true of course, but Pokémon Go-Simpsons hoaxers have constructed a pretty convincingly edited photo trying to prove otherwise.

Pokémon Go Simpsons meme: Retouched image from an old Simpsons episode sparks a rumor

This rumor that has been around since July 2016, according to Snopes, and is largely based around a single image.

This image forms the basis for the rumor that the Simpsons "predicted" 'Pokémon Go.'Source: Snopes
This image forms the basis for the rumor that the Simpsons "predicted" 'Pokémon Go.'  Snopes

It's a pretty convincing fabrication, but according to Snopes, that's all it is. The actual image is from an episode of The Simpsons where Homer goes to sleepaway rock 'n' roll camp titled "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation":

This is the untouched image that the hoax photo is based on, which is from an episode of the Simpsons where Homer goes to a sleep away camp.Source: Snopes
This is the untouched image that the hoax photo is based on, which is from an episode of the Simpsons where Homer goes to a sleep away camp.  Snopes

It's likely that whoever made the photoshop was riffing on the Simpsons did it meme. It's a pretty old meme at this point that basically just points out the outsized footprint on popular culture The Simpsons has had, along with its sometimes weird prescience when it comes to predicting current events. The actual "The Simpsons did it" quote comes from an episode of South Park:

Source: SUBCRIBE/YouTube

The phrase itself has spawned a Tumblr and a subreddit, so you can check those out as befits your internet tastes. Although The Simpsons has predicted a lot of things, Pokémon Go wasn't one of them, so if you see that image floating around: It's a hoax. Nothing more.

More Pokémon Go news, updates, tips and tricks

Check out Mic's Pokémon Go guides on how to get stardust, how to determine how long it will take you to reach level 40, the kind of Pokémon you get from 10km eggs, how to create new PokéStops, how to maximize your chances of catching Pokémon and how PokéStops distribute Pokémon eggs. Also check out how to catch Gen 2 baby Pokémon, our analysis of post-balance update Chansey and Rhydon and everything you need to know about finding the long-awaited Pokémon Ditto.