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TV Shows That Unknowingly Predicted The Future

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Ross, Joey and Chandler discuss the future

The writing teams behind your favorite shows have to work pretty darn hard to come up with the riveting story lines that keep you hooked and tuning in week after week. Sometimes, while trying to accomplish this, they actually unknowingly predict the future. Read on and find out which of your favorite shows foresaw what had yet to come.

1. Star Trek Predicted The Moon Landing

Back in 1966, television writer and producer Gene Roddenberry changed the landscape of Sci-Fi and pop culture forever when he introduced the world Star Trek . He painted the picture of an ideal future where humanity worked together as a single unit and explored the universe. His creation eventually resulted in him being deemed a visionary and with episodes like 1967’s “Tomorrow Is Yesterday,” isn’t hard to see why.

Star Trek creators predict the future.

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The episode saw the Enterprise crew travel back in time to 1969. While there, they pick up a radio transmission from NASA that mentions astronauts making preparations for mankind’s first moon landing. Oddly enough, two years after the episode aired, we actually managed to accomplish our first real-life moon landing. Talk about a strange coincidence.

2. Friends Foresaw The Arrival Of Facebook

Friends is by far one of the most quotable shows to ever hit prime time television. “We were on a break!”, “How you doin?” and “You’re my lobster” will forever be associated with the 1990s sitcom. At the tail end of the show’s run in 2003, the writers took their genius to a whole new level and actually predicted the future. It all started with what seemed to be a typical exchange between Ross and Chandler.

Ross, Joey and Chandler discuss the future

NBC Newsmakers/Getty Images

Ross was telling Chandler about a new website designed specifically for college students. In his exact words, he described it as a place to “post messages for people, let everyone know what you’re up to.” Chandler replied by saying, “Oh great, a faster way to tell people that I’m unemployed and childless.” One year later, the world would be introduced to Facebook.

3. The Six Million Dollar Man Saw Bionic Limbs Coming

If there was one show that was the talk of the town back in the 1970s, it was The Six Million Dollar Man. The lead character Lee Majors was unlike anything anyone had ever seen. With his bionic arms and legs, he was able to run at amazing speeds and lift objects like tanks. He was also able to see long distances with his bionic eyes.

The future is predicted with the six million dollar man's bionic limbs

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This all seemed like pure science fiction 40 year ago, but today bionic limbs are completely within the realm of possibility and The Six Million Dollar Man totally called it. Okay, so people with bionic limbs aren’t exactly punching through walls or running at super speeds, however, these once limited individuals are now able to function on a normal level and that’s pretty astounding.

4. The Twilight Zone Predicted Automation

Over its six-year run, The Twilight Zone made a lot of chilling predictions about the future. That said, none of them rang more true than their take on automation. Back in 1964, an episode titled “The Brain Center at Whipple’s” was aired and the plot absolutely astonished audiences. The episode is centered around a businessman named Wallace A. Whipple who replaces all of his workers with machines.

The Twilight Zone foresees the future of factory workers

CBS Television/Wikimedia

He justifies his decision by saying, “Two of those machines replace a hundred and fourteen men who take no coffee breaks, no maternity leaves, no vacations with pay!” In the end, Whipple is also replaced by a machine. While the idea of automation seemed far fetched in 1964, automation has been taking over production lines for decades now.

5. Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In Foresaw The Fall Of The Berlin Wall

Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In was a beloved sketch comedy show that ran from 1968 to 1972. One of its most popular recurring segments was called “News of The Future.” While all the news was purely satire, there was one instance when they actually unknowingly predicted the future.

Laugh-In skit predicts the future.

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In a broadcast set in 1989, they reported the following, “There was dancing in the streets today as East Germany finally tore down the Berlin Wall.” Take note, this was said smack in the middle of the Cold War and even a notion of the Berlin Wall falling seemed unreal. However, two decades later the wall would be torn down and their prediction was only one year off. 

Sources: BestLifeOnline, Cheat Sheet

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