Danny Harkins, Cracked.com: Sci-fi visionaries like Jules Verne and Gene Roddenberry get all sorts of credit for predicting the future via fiction. But you know who doesn’t get credit? Weekend at Bernie’s. As it turns out, lots of movies turn out to be prophetic, seeing even the most ridiculous plot points turn into real headlines months or years later.
#7. Office Space: While Idiocracy is often cited as the under-appreciated Mike Judge film that is most likely to come true, Office Space already has. After performing poorly at the box office, Office Space became a massive hit on DVD, inspiring many a wage-slave to rip their apron off and tell their boss to kindly go fuck himself.
The films protagonist, played by Ron Livingstone, takes office rebellion a little further than that and decides to rip off the company he works for. His scam involves stealing fractions of pennies from financial transactions that would usually automatically be rounded up to the nearest whole dollar. The idea is that the company would never miss such small amounts but that over a long period of time the pennies would add up.
The Real Life Event: Michael Largent, a 22-year-old who had presumably never seen the second half of Office Spacee where the scheme goes to shit, decided that this sounded like a pretty neat idea. In 2007, Largent used an automated script to open up 58,000 accounts with online brokerage firms. Once the account was opened, the firm would send micro deposits of a few cents to verify that it had opened properly. Soon Largent had gained $50,000 as well as the attention of the FBI.
Largent was bad at choosing source material. He stole the idea for his criminal conspiracy from a comedy about a failed crime, and opened his accounts under the names of cartoon characters including Hank Hill and Rusty Shackelford. He was eventually caught when the Patriot Act required the brokerage firms to take a closer look at the identity of their customers, and they presumably noticed one of them was named Spongebob.
Largent later said “that he needed the money to pay off debts” and stated that this was “one way to earn money,” proving that he was unskilled at generating aliases and defining the word “earn”. Instead of following the plot of a carefree comedy, Largent wound up spending his best years imitating the darker, more prison-rape themed scenes from Shawshank Redemption. Speaking of which…