The Simpsons' Springfield named for Springfield, Oregon

 Simpsons Images 3 3E Springfield Panoramic

In the new issue of Smithsonian, Matt Groening reveals that the Simpsons' home of Springfield was named for the town in Oregon: 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.

"Matt Groening Reveals the Location of the Real Springfield"


  1. When we heard this on the radio this morning the first thing my wife said was, “That must have been a really long drive to the World’s Fair in Knoxville.” 

    That’s the sort of comment that, if I needed it, would remind me why I married her.

  2. It was already explained in the Simpsons movie – Springfield is near the Four Corners, where Ohio, Nevada, Maine, and Kentucky meet.

  3. While it was named for Springfield, OR, that doesn’t mean it is Springfield, OR. Of course that hasn’t prevented anybody from using completely inaccurate headlines like “Matt Groening Reveals the Location of Springfield”.

    1. I’ve seen enough episodes to know that The Simpsons’ do not live in a W. Oregon climatic zone.

      Springfield, Midwest.

  4. I won a long standing bet today… I live right next to Springfield,Oregon in Shelbyville and it IS a strange land over there… 

  5. Oh wow, being from Portland, I just always knew this was the case and I thought Groening confirmed this long ago.

  6. “In anticipation of the success of the show, I thought, “This will be cool; everyone will think it’s their Springfield.” And they do.”
    I like The Simpsons, but I’m very, very much a casual viewer. However, “in anticipation of the success of the show”? I doubt Groening and Co. in 1989 could have even *imagined* how successful their short skits on The Tracy Ullman Show would become.
    Methinks he was just tired of trying to find a suitable answer to the question.

    1. I agree that he couldn’t be certain the show was going to be successful, but I was in college when it first aired. The night of the Christmas special (which I think served as a pilot episode) every dorm’s TV room was packed, as was the student union which had a big screen television. During a commercial break I went to the bathroom and passed several rooms that had televisions, all tuned to the same thing.

      If that was any indication then Groening and Co. had reason to believe they had a hit.

      1. Anecdotal evidence to be sure, but the show’s intent has always been about the gags, humor, and theme of each episode; that it took place in “Springfield” doesn’t matter and it never did. I think the show’s intent was to represent “Anywhere, USA”, except Anywhere sucks as a town name.

        I doubt Groening & Co. really cared or gave serious thought to the “where exactly” portion of the Springfield Equation.

        1. The point of the story isn’t that Groening modeled one Springfield after another, just that he needed a name and took it from a town in Oregon.

          I don’t quite understand why so many people continue to deny the connection when the man himself confirms it. It’s not that big of a deal, certainly not to anyone who knows Portland and Oregon. Terwilliger, Lovejoy, Flanders, Quimby–Groening has used a number of pretty locally well-known PDX streets for characters names. That ‘Springfield’ comes from Eugene’s ugly sister is no surprise.

  7. (i dont know why)Im slightly bothered by this and I dont know how to express myself.
    I guess It doesnt matter much now that the Simpsons has been awful for like 14 seasons or more.

  8. What I don’t get is what in the world Groenig is talking about.  Springfield Oregon is not next to Portland.  It’s next to Eugene, a hundred miles away.

    1. Groening has lived in LA for decades. Anything within a 90 minute drive is considered “next to”.

        1. Not when you’re a UO student in a rush to get back to home in Portland. Or in a rush to get away from home in Portland, for that matter.

  9. I still favor the One Springfield Theory, which postulates that there is only one city/town named Springfield, period. (Yes, including the one that has Lincoln’s house and tomb in it.) 

  10. I don’t understand why everyone thinks this is news. The Wikipedia article has had this piece of information for years.

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