The Simpson family has resided in the American town of Springfield for nearly three decades. But despite millions of fellow Americans watching their lives every week, nobody has ever figured out where their “Springfield” actually is. The town name is extremely popular in this country and the family’s creator, Matt Groening, has never quite revealed its true location.
So by this point, with “The Simpsons” entering its 28th season and still officially maintaining the mystery, any clue as to where the real Springfield is could be noteworthy.
During a press conference call promoting the series’ new season that began last Sunday, a reporter from MyNewYorkEye bluntly asked executive producer Al Jean, “Where is Springfield? Do you want to tell which state Springfield is in?”
Jean began his answer by saying the team behind “The Simpsons” could never actually reveal that, but then continued with a hint that was more or less an admission.
“I would say just judging by the street names and locations, it’s closer to Springfield, Oregon, where Matt Groening is from, than any other Springfield,” said Jean.
If you still have any energy left after waiting for an answer over the course of all these years, begin to !!!!!!!!!!
The Simpsons basically live in Springfield, Oregon.
Groening has actually said in the past that the Springfield in the show was named after Springfield, Oregon, but didn’t go so far as to admit “street names and locations” were, as well.
In 2012, Smithsonian Magazine titled a piece “Matt Groening Reveals the Location of the Real Springfield.” Here’s part of the piece that gets into the Oregon connection:
OK, why do the Simpsons live in a town called Springfield? Isn’t that a little generic?
Springfield was named after Springfield, Oregon. 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.
You’ve never said it was named after Springfield, Oregon, before, have you?
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.”
This article led to quite a bit of backtracking from both Groening and Jean as they then claimed the location of the town still remained a mystery. The show responded to the article with a chalkboard gag where Bart Simpson repeatedly wrote, “The true location of Springfield is in any state but yours.”
Jean told TV Guide at the time that Smithsonian Magazine “misinterpreted something [he has] heard [Groening] say for at least 10 or 20 years.” Jean continued, “He was inspired by growing up in Portland, but it’s really an every town. It’s really funny. Matt grew up in Oregon and parts of ‘The Simpsons’ were definitely inspired by his childhood. But there is no specific state that Springfield is in, and we will never reveal that secret.”
Further trying to dispel that Groening revealed the location, Jean reminded TV Guide readers that “The Simpsons Movie” hinted that the town's true whereabouts are geographically impossible.
“In the movie we say [Springfield] borders on Ohio, Nevada, Maine and Kentucky,” said Jean. “So good luck finding that state. When you do, you’re a true ‘Simpsons’ fan.”
For what it’s worth, Ohio has a city named Oregon. The state of Oregon does border Nevada. The city of Portland, Oregon, was named after the city of Portland, Maine. And there is an unincorporated community that calls itself “Oregon” in Kentucky.
In a way (however tenuous), all of those named states from the movie have geographical connections to Oregon. “The Simpsons” Springfield = Springfield, Oregon. The homepage of the official website for the Oregonian city even claims, “Yes, this is the ‘real’ Springfield from ‘The Simpsons.’”
Of course, even if this is true, Jean and Groening will likely never fully admit it. Jean continued his answer about Springfield, Oregon, during the press conference by saying, “But the great thing about [the show’s city] is it’s universal. I grew up in Michigan, and I can totally relate to it. Anybody, wherever you’re from, has a Springfield near them.”
The people of Oregon are just especially close.
Here’s a walkthrough of Universal Studios’ recreation of Springfield:
UPDATE: HuffPost reader Andrew Stebbins wrote us to note another instance the show hinted at the true location of Springfield. In the fourth season episode, “Selma’s Choice,” the show flashes a Springfield driver’s license with the zip-code 90701. That’s the area code for Artesia, California.
Further complicating matters though is that there actually is an Oak Grove Drive just on the outskirts of Springfield, Oregon.
Here’s the license: