Robot 6

Matt Groening finally reveals the location of Springfield

For nearly a quarter of a century, we’ve been been plagued by one nagging question: Where, oh where, is Springfield (“Meanest Town in America”)?

The town’s location has been a recurring joke, with viewers teased repeatedly by the writers of The Simpsons. But now, at long last, the mystery has been solved, by none other than creator Matt Groening. In an interview with Smithsonian magazine, the cartoonist finally reveals Springfield (pop. 30,720) is in his home state of Oregon.

“Springfield was named after Springfield, Oregon,” he says. “The only reason is that when I was a kid, the TV show Father Knows Best took place in the town of Springfield, and I was thrilled because I imagined that it was the town next to Portland, my hometown. When I grew up, I realized it was just a fictitious name. I also figured out that Springfield was one of the most common names for a city in the U.S. In anticipation of the success of the show, I thought, ‘This will be cool; everyone will think it’s their Springfield.’ And they do.”

Asked whether he’d ever divulged that tidbit before, Groening says, “I don’t want to ruin it for people, you know? Whenever people say it’s Springfield, Ohio, or Springfield, Massachusetts, or Springfield, wherever, I always go, ‘Yup, that’s right.’”

(via Gawker)

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12 Comments

That doesn’t mean that’s where it is! He just said it was name AFTER Springfield, OR.

Adelaide James

April 10, 2012 at 2:55 pm

To add to what Fred10 said… the show goes out of its way, each time it implies a location for the town, to not suggest that same location twice. In other words, the location of Springfield changes throughout the show’s run (thereby really driving home that idea that everybody gets a chance to think it’s THEIR Springfield, which is precisely what Groening intended and is talking about above).

It’s no surprise that it’s named after the town in his home state.

sorry to break it you guys but this is not a secret. Oregon has always been considered the most likely springfield location. think about it almost every characters last names is are streets in Portland Oregon and he grew up in springfield you do the math.

I read somewhere that the guy who runs the Android’s Dungeon in the show as based on a real guy who ran a comic book store near Portland. Somebody went into the store talking about how he wanted to be a comic book artist and the guy said ‘YOu will never BE a comic book artist.” Just like the guy on the show said stuff.

yeah, especially considering MANY of the characters are named after streets in Portland ~ I didn’t know it until once driving there i saw like 5 streets with Simpson’s last names in like 8 blocks (Terrrwilliger and Burns-side to name 2 i recall OTTOMH)

I agree, not a surprise at all. Morgan Spurlock’s 20th anniversary documentary broke down the Portland streets as others mentioned. Although my favorite running gag was probably in the movie, when Flanders pointed out the adjoining states, which are clearly nowhere near each other. :-)

Even though it comes from Groening’s mouth, I still don’t buy it. The Simpson’s “Behind the Laughter” special specifically referred to them as a “Kentucky family”, and if you look at a map of KY, there is a Shelbyville very close to Springfield, KY.

Dustin, I believe that there were a few different versions of the “Behind The Laughter” special. The original airing used Kentucky. When I saw the episode, again, in syndication it was Missouri.

Groening had already stated as much in an interview years ago.

When Homer’s phone number was revealed to have a 636 area code, that pegs it as St. Charles county, just west of St. Louis MO.

Adam: metro St. Louis *did* have their own crisis with area codes, but our “sticky wicket” area codes are 636 and 314, not 939. Also, Springfield, MO, (which does exist, and is Brad Pitt’s hometown!) is definitely not in the 636 area code.

Interesting how MG’s words are actually quoted but even Robot 6 is falling for the desperate attempt of the headline writer trying to get hits.

Say it with me, people: Springfield is a microcosm of the United States.

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