We have a treat for all you Simpsons fans! You see, our very own Gonzo Green whom you might be familiar with from his DVD reviews, recently wrote his first editorial! You might remember a couple weeks all the hoopla around The Simpsons and whether or not the show is based in Oregon. Welp, turns out Gonzo knew all along and from the sounds of it, this one’s been peculating for a while
Alright, listen up, Simpsons spazzes. At long last, Matt Groening revealed the deeply-held secret of which state Springfield is located in… or did he? According to some early sources, Simpsons creator Matt Groening stated that Springfield is based on a city in Oregon, most-likely his hometown of Portland. But soon after, Groening reiterated that Portland was an inspiration for Springfield, and not the actual location. Well fuck that noise. Springfield has always been in Oregon and if you’ve learned differently, well, you’re about to get schooled, sucka!
Look, I don’t brag much. And there are very few things I can honestly say I really excel at. But Simpsons knowledge and trivia is one where I have yet to meet a worthy adversary. Believe me, many have tried, but all have failed. Some of my friends may recall certain arguments, especially one on a city bus in a foreign country that got quite heated. But I digress. Despite numerous claims by various pedestrian fans, the Springfield of The Simpsons is not in Massachusetts, or Illinois, or Missouri. It’s in Oregon, and if you think otherwise you’re fucking wrong. You just haven’t realized it yet.
You know what? Let’s not go right for the ol’ jugular here, and instead work from the ending backward. Tarantino-ing it. So, what do we know? First, Springfield is in a climate that regularly experiences generous snowfall in the winter (see Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire, Bart Gets an “F”, Mr. Plow, Skinner’s Sense of Snow, Grift of the Magi, etc). This eliminates the extreme southern states. Second, Springfield is clearly on the ocean, evidenced in episodes like Lisa Gets an “A”, Insane Clown Poppy, Boy-Scoutz ‘n The Hood, and The Mansion Family, clearly showing Springfieldians being able to reach international waters from Springfield Harbor (also seen in Bart the Fink, among others). In addition, there is a strong indication in Simpson Tide that Springfield is on the west coast because of the map shown while Homer is temporarily appointed Captain of a naval submarine.
When Homer abruptly changes course, the vessel clearly heads northwest (according to the compass Homer crashes into) entering what is marked as “Russian Waters”. This could only be accomplished from the west coast, specifically the northwest.
I’m not going to put too much stock in this map and do anything like analyze the shape of the coastline to determine the state, but it’s at least on the west coast. This automatically eliminates every state save Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California. Anyone who has seen The Simpsons Movie knows that they made a big deal about relocating to Alaska, thus making Springfield’s home a different state than the land of the midnight sun.
Speaking of land, episodes like El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (featuring Homer’s peyote-like chili pepper trip) show that Springfield’s state must have desert terrain, as all three continental west coast states have. This only adds to the western US theory.
Also, although Hurricane Neddy featured a typically east coast weather phenomenon, Homer does state that there’s no previous record of a hurricane ever hitting Springfield. Even if the records only go back to 1978 when the Hall of Records was mysteriously blown away. This stretches the limits of nature a bit, but hurricanes occasionally strike the Californian coast, so this isn’t too far out. If anything it at least confirms that Springfield is near a coastline.
Still need more proof? In Viva Ned Flanders it is shown that Las Vegas can be driven to in a reasonable amount of time. Again assuming Springfield is on the west coast, this points to a Northern California/Southern Oregon location. Also you may recall that Los Angeles is a short plane trip – with Mel Gibson – away from Springfield (Beyond Blunderdome) and New York City is an impossibly-long bus ride (The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson). Especially when you have to transfer in Atlanta twice.
If I wanted to get really nerdy I could get into how Springfieldians tend to support college or minor league sports teams, in lieu of a professional one. The most famous of which is the Springfield Isotopes, a minor league baseball team featured in episodes like Dancin’ Homer, Wild Barts Can’t Be Broken, and Hungry, Hungry Homer.
Speaking of that last episode, where Homer goes on a hunger strike in an attempt to stop the team from moving to Albuquerque, did you know there really is an Albuquerque Isotopes minor league team? Seriously! Not only that, but the last team to play in Albuquerque was the Albuquerque Dukes, who later moved to… get this: Portland, Oregon. You can’t make this stuff up. Anyway, this lack of a professional sports allegiance, and thus a dependence on minor league teams, would also suggest Oregon as a location since Washington and California both have their own MLB and NFL teams.
There’s probably even more “hints”, but this is all I can recall off the top of my head. If this is all added to the fact that Groening was born and raised in Portland, it seems to solidify the argument.
(On a total side note: has anyone noticed the number of jokes made at the expensive of Albany, NY? Probably not, I only noticed because it happens to be my hometown. If you don’t believe The Simpsons have something against Albany, watch 22 Short Films About Springfield, The Old Man and the Lisa, and Homer to the Max.)
Look, in the end does all this really mean the Springfield of The Simpsons is really in Oregon? Or even in the Pacific Northwest? No. If Matt Groening says there is no real state for The Simpson’s hometown, then that’s the law, because Groening is God (In the Simpsons’ world, at least). All I’m saying is that through 23 seasons of geographical cues based on a mixture of subconscious/conscious influence by the creator, ALL the major signs just happen to point to the one place where myself, other die-hards, and even Groening himself knew The Simpsons came from all along. And you can take that to the bank [of Springfield].Tweet