Skip To Content

    Just 10 "30 Rock" Jokes That Predicted The Future

    We knew they were funny, but apparently Tina Fey and company also had a crystal ball?

    We hope you love the shows and movies we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of revenue or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh and FYI — platform, prices, and other availability details are accurate as of time of posting.

    1. The rise of TikTok and downfall of Quibi (Season 1, Episode 18: "Fireworks")

    A man speaking and the caption text "He pioneered the concept of ten second internet sitcoms"
    NBC

    Devon Banks is the perfect foil for Jack — young, smart, and tech-savvy in a way the more traditional Jack just isn't. In his first appearance, he wows all the higher-ups with the idea of 10-second internet sitcoms. This episode premiered in 2008, a full four years before Vine hit the market, giving us six seconds of comedy to watch on your phone, and eight years before TikTok did the same thing but in 15–60 second increments. And, Quibi? Well, we know how that one worked out. Banks truly was a visionary!

    2. Deepfakes and Rogue One (Season 2, Episode 1: "Seinfeld Vision")

    A black and yellow logo of the words Seinfeld Vision
    NBC

    Jack discovers that NBC can use archival tape of Seinfeld to digitally insert Jerry Seinfeld into basically whatever show they want — Law and Order, Heroes, even Deal or No Deal. And now we have that technology! Besides the creepy deepfake of Bill Hader transforming into actors he's impersonating, the Star Wars prequel Rogue One featured a digital appearance from an actor that appeared in the original trilogy, who died in 1994.

    3. Incomprehensible God-related TV shows (Season 7, Episode 1: "The Beginning of the End")

    Two men looking at each other with the caption text "Let us pray"
    NBC

    In the final season, Jack comes up with increasingly ridiculous TV shows, in an effort to "tank" NBC. One of them, God Cop, stars Jack himself as a cop who is also God, which raises the questions "why" and "how." But in 2018, CBS came out with their own, actual version, God Friended Me, where a man receives a friend request from God. It was canceled after two seasons, which is honestly impressive.

    4. The idea (and failure) of a Janis Joplin biopic (Season 3, Episode 18: "Jackie Jormp-Jomp")

    A woman singing into a microphone with the caption text "We're all here at Woodstocks"
    NBC

    Jenna's ill-fated quest to star in a biopic of Janis Joplin continues through a large portion of Season 3 of 30 Rock before Jack eventually shuts down the project. In real life, both Michelle Williams and Amy Adams were set to star in biopics of the singer, though Adams' project (just like the one in 30 Rock!) didn't have the rights to much of the music. And also just like Jenna's project, both movies have murky futures — the Adams version has been shelved and there's been no word on the Michelle Williams version since they announced a 2019 release date that clearly did not come to pass.

    5. Voice-activated TV (Season 5, Episode 13: "¡Qué Sorpresa!")

    A man in a suit with the caption text "Because your remote control was your own voice?"
    NBC

    Jack's pitch for a voice-activated television fails spectacularly because it responds to the voices on the TV as well as the people trying to control it (changing the volume, turning to an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians when someone says "crap". But both Siri and Alexa can control our TVs with ease now. I don't know how they don't react when contestants on the Great British Bake Off worry about keeping the "volume down" on their over-proofed dough, but I'm glad they do.

    6. A pandemic and vaccine rationing (Season 3, Episode 8: "Flu Shot")

    A woman speaking with the caption text "But this flu shot rationing is baloney"
    NBC

    Okay, so yeah, it's just the flu! But the limited number of flu shots available in this episode foreshadows what's probably gonna happen when a COVID-19 vaccine is available: The "important" people (Jack and the actors) get shots first while the crew gets sick and suffers. Liz refuses on moral grounds and then secretly caves because she wants to go on vacation. It's all there, folks!

    7. The movie Harriet (Season 7, Episode 9: "Game Over")

    A woman in old timey clothes holding up a T-shirt, with the caption text "Also, I want to wear a t-shirt, promote my website"
    NBC

    It would have been even more perfect if Octavia Spencer had also starred in the real-life Harriet, but as it is, 30 Rock's parody of the biopic is pretty spot-on, even though it happened nearly six years before the movie came out. If only Cynthia Erivo had also wanted to wear a shirt to promote her poker website.

    8. Shady political dynasties (Season 7, Episode 4: "Unwindulax")

    A man in a suit with the caption text "I'm Garrett Romney, Mitt's my dad"
    NBC

    Season 7 spent quite a bit of time on the 2012 election, and a lot of the wild, unthinkable political shenanigans they joked about are now just everyday 2020 realities. In this episode, Jack's super PAC deals directly with a candidate's kid, and they joke about how technically it's not allowed. Well, surprise, surprise, now PACs can do basically whatever they want, and Don Jr., Eric, and Ivanka constantly blur the lines between campaigning, fundraising, coordinating, and working in the White House. Oh how naive we were.

    9. Donald Trump, sort of (Season 5, Episode 7: "Brooklyn Without Limits")

    A man in front of an American flag with the side text "I believe we are all being held in slavery by big government" and credits at the bottom.
    NBC

    Okay, maybe this one is a stretch. I'm just saying that Steve Austin here (played by John Slattery) is an out-of-nowhere political contender, capitalizing mostly on name recognition (though in his case it's coincidental) and outlandish statements that are later edited into coherence. I'm not saying it's a perfect parallel to our current president, but it also isn't not that.

    10. And clear dishwashers (Season 7, Episode 13: "Last Lunch")

    Amazon, NBC

    In the final moments of the final episode, Jack has a major brainstorm: clear dishwashers. So you can see your dishes being cleaned! Well, my friends, let me give you one of the perks of existing in the future: Clear dishwashers exist and you can buy one on Amazon.

    There are tons of things you can watch on Peacock for FREE(!!!), but if you want even more content, you can sign up for Peacock Premium for $4.99 a month or Peacock Premium Plus for $9.99 a month after a seven-day free trial.

    TV and Movies

    Get all the best moments in pop culture & entertainment delivered to your inbox.

    Newsletter signup form