The Internet is full of lies... and things The Simpsons didn't do before reality.
Many sites list an episode from The Simpsons featuring grease theft as the show predicting the future - but the episode was inspired by the fact that thefts of grease were already happening.
Lard of the Dance
Season 10 episode 1.
Originally show 23rd August 1998.
After finding out from Apu that grease can be sold for profit, Homer and Bart set out to steal grease from Krusty Burger and Bart's school.
On the season 10 commentary, Ron Hauge said that the idea came from Jace Richdale who'd read about grease theft in a magazine.
The Simpsons episode may have inspired other to try it, but it wasn't until 2007 when a new biofuel law caused prices to skyrocket, and lead to an corresponding increase in thefts... and reporting on such thefts. Of course, the facts aren't important to people making lists like these:
- Buzz Feed: "21 Times "The Simpsons" Bizarrely Predicted The Future."
- Mental Floss: "5 Real Life Events Predicted by The Simpsons."
- Ranker: "14 Simpsons Jokes That Actually Came True."
Not to mention 99% of new stories about grease thieves which also act like The Simpsons invented grease theft.