The Simpsons Predicted Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin Sunglasses

Vox’s Max Fisher reminds us that there’s at least one segment of America that saw this whole Vladimir Putin thing coming a long time ago:

The rapidly worsening tension between the United States and Russia, not to mention Russia’s invasion and annexation of part of Ukraine, has got lots of people talking about a new Cold War. That’s overstating things, but it’s true that US-Russia relations are at their worst since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and Russian foreign policy is at its most aggressive. Even Russia hawks did not foresee things getting quite so badly, quite so quickly.

But someone did: the writing staff at The Simpsons. An old episode, “Simpson Tide,” predicted the return of the Soviet Union and a new Cold War way back in 1998, when Boris Yeltsin was president and relations were good. The show began with Simpsons patriarch Homer Simpson joining the Navy, ending up on a submarine that accidentally gets into a shooting match with a Russian sub, and wandering into Russian waters in what is taken as an attempt to defect.

Here’s the clip, which I’m sure every fan of the show is quite familiar with:

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Dave D says:

    Just yesterday I jokingly said “must crush capitalism.” It is a May Day tradition.