‘All in the Family’: Archie Bunker Correctly Predicted this Ronald Reagan Event in 1976

by Matthew Wilson
Photo credit: CBS via Getty Images

Sometimes pop culture is eerily accurate in predicting future events. For one, Archie Bunker correctly foresaw Ronald Reagan‘s future. During a 1976 episode of “All in the Family,” Bunker successfully predicted Reagan would win the presidency in 1980.

During the Dec. 1976 episode “The Baby Contest,” Bunker had an exchange with his son-in-law Mike “Meatball” Stivic and wife Edith about politics. Bunker told Mike, “You’re gonna get Reagan in 1980, wise guy!”

In response, Mike questioned Bunker’s political choices. “Archie, [to Archie] in the last election you didn’t like Carter, you didn’t like Ford so he wrote in Richard Nixon.”

Reagan could count on Bunker’s vote in the election. When his wife Edith questions if he really voted for Nixon, Bunker revealed that the actor turned politician had his support. “Of course not. I wrote in Reagan!”

So, did Bunker have a crystal ball? Sometimes, pop culture can accurately predict the future. For instance, viewers have long thought the writers of “The Simpsons” to be time travelers, given some of their predictions. But the most likely case, there was simply so astute observation on the part of an “All in the Family” writer. At the time, Reagan had ran a failed presidential campaign in 1968 and again in 1976. It’s likely he was in the public conversation with already rumblings of a 1980 election run. So it’s not a completely out-there guess.

Archie Bunker Participates in Politics

As for the episode itself, Archie Bunker and the gang lampoon politics while getting into a few antics. Bunker and Barney Hefner get into a rivalry over who has the cutest grandchild. Both Bunker and Hefner enter their grandchildren into a local beauty contest to decide the winner. Bunker ignores protests from his family who finds the idea silly.

But both Bunker and Hefner end up disqualified from the competition. It turns out that both men were trying to rig the competition with phony votes. Bunker and Hefner figured their opposite would resort to underhanded tactics to win the beauty competition. As a result, they decided to cheat themselves as well. Both cast votes in the name of a local judge, who it turns out was in prison. So the contest quickly banned both Bunker and Hefner for deceit.

So perhaps, Bunker probably wouldn’t be the best candidate to run for office himself. But he certainly has an eye for the future with Reagan winning the 1980 election.