Simpsons Springfield secret revealed

After 23 years of being coy, the creator of The Simpsons has revealed the inspiration for the fictional town of Springfield. Turns out it’s a place called Springfield, in Oregon, near the ultra-hip city of Portland where Matt Groening grew up.

Talking to the Smithsonian magazine, Groening revealed that he nicked the idea of using Springfield as his location from a 1950s American domestic sitcom called Father Knows Best, but he was also keen to create an American Everytown.

"I also figured out that Springfield was one of the most common names for a city in the US," he said. "In anticipation of the success of the show, I thought, 'This will be cool; everyone will think it's their Springfield.' And they do."

Simpsons nerds claim to have worked out the secret long ago simply by knowing about Groening’s childhood and checking an atlas. The fictional Springfield is near the sea, mountains and forests, suggesting the Pacific north-west, but that is complicated a little by episodes that also place it close to the desert and the Mexican border.

The rest of the show’s names weren’t quite so well-disguised. It’s common knowledge that the members of the Simpson family are named after Groening’s own family, with Homer Marge, Liza and Maggie drawn from his parents and siblings. He changed his own name to Bart for the show, because he thought it sounded funnier when yelled by an irate father. The Simpsons’ Evergreen Terrace address is the same as Groening’s childhood home


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