Simpsons creator Matt Groening spills Springfield secret

Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, stands between Bart and Homer Simpson in a file picture 14 February 2012 Matt Groening says he wanted his viewers to think of Springfield as a town they knew

Related Stories

The creator of the iconic cartoon sitcom The Simpsons has finally revealed the inspiration behind the show's fictional town of Springfield.

Matt Groening told Smithsonian magazine he based the town on Springfield, Oregon, but since it is such a common US place name he knew many would think it was their own Springfield.

The Springfield question is one of the best-kept secrets in TV history.

The Simpsons is the longest-running animation on US TV, on air since 1989.

Characters in the show have often joked about hiding Springfield's real location.

"In anticipation of the success of the show, I thought: 'This will be cool, everyone will think it's their Springfield.' And they do," Mr Groening said.

There are thought to be at least 34 towns or cities called Springfield in the US.

Springfield, Wherever

Mr Groening also said he was inspired by the TV show Father Knows Best, which was set in a place called Springfield.

But the Springfield in Oregon is just 100 miles (160km) south of Portland, the city where Mr Groening grew up.

The Simpsons has sometimes given false answers to the question of Springfield's true location, leaving open the possibility that Mr Groening's latest comments are a continuation of the joke.

"Whenever people say it's Springfield, Ohio, or Springfield, Massachusetts, or Springfield, wherever, I always go: 'Yup, that's right,'" Mr Groening said.

In one episode, Marge and Homer Simpson's precocious daughter Lisa points to Springfield on a map, but the audience's view is obscured by Bart Simpson's head.

It appears that the town of Springfield, Oregon, has known of its connection to the sitcom since 2007, when Mr Groening visited before the release of The Simpsons Movie.

"Oh, okay, we knew that," a community relations manager told the Associated Press when she heard about Mr Groening's latest comments.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Entertainment & Arts stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Cerro RicoSatanic mines

    Devil worship in the tunnels of the man-eating mountain


  • Nefertiti MenoeWar of words

    The woman who sparked a row over 'speaking white'


  • Oil pumpPump change

    What would ending the US oil export ban do to petrol prices?


  • Brazilian Scene, Ceara, in 1893Sir Snapshot

    19th Century Brazil seen through the eyes of an Englishman


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • SailingGame on

    BBC Capital discovers why certain sports seem to have a special appeal for those with deep pockets

Programmes

  • European Union's anti-terrorism chief Gilles de KerchoveHARDtalk Watch

    Anti-terrorism chief Gilles de Kerchove on the threat from returning Islamic State fighters

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.