Matt Groening Causes Much Ado About Nothing

Even people who don't watch The Simpsons probably know they live in Springfield. And they also probably know that the state Springfield is in has never been named.

Big fans such as myself can even recall the many jokes made about that fact, and can recite all the various features of the city and its surroundings that make its actual existence essentially impossible in the real world. Recently, Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons, was giving an interview about the show. In it, he mentioned that the name Springfield came in part from a city in Oregon, and that he also named it Springfield because of how common the name is for cities in the United States.

This isn't that surprising. A lot of the names in The Simpsons come from in and around Portland, Oregon, where Groening is from. You can drive around Portland and find street names that you will recognize from the show. It also isn't a big deal. Groening is simply saying that part of the inspiration for naming the city Springfield is that he was aware of a city named that in Oregon.

Inexplicably, on the internet this became "The Simpsons live in Oregon!" It was even teased on a commercial for a local news broadcast in Los Angeles. Now, obnoxious commercials and idiocy from local news organizations, isn't surprising, but this whole "news" story has gotten my goat a bit. I don't like the spreading of misinformation. So, to be clear, if it really needs to be cleared up, the Simpsons do NOT live in Oregon.

The Simpsons don't live anywhere, really. They live in the United States, and so in theory they live in a state, or the District of Columbia, but in practice they don't live anywhere. They live in a cartoon world of the United States, where West Springfield can be bigger than Texas and where mountains and gorges and forests are plentiful. Also, lemon trees. The Simpsons could live anywhere. They could live in a state that doesn't have an actual Springfield. They aren't bound by the realities of geography.

The Simpsons' Springfield may have been named, in part, for a city in Oregon, but that is not where the Simpsons live. They don't tangibly live anywhere, and they probably never will!

By Chris Morgan

About the author

Chris Morgan has written for an abundance of websites. He once cowrote a show for The Second City in Detroit. It was closed soon after. He has a podcast: He wrote a novel:

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