No power plant, no Krusty Burger – but this is the real home of the Simpsons

Oregonians delight as Groening finally reveals that of 38 US Springfields, he was thinking of theirs

From Springfield, Ohio, to the city's namesakes in West Virginia, Vermont and Illinois, one familiar exclamation resounds: "Doh!" After 23 years, the creator of The Simpsons has finally broken his silence and revealed that the real-life inspiration for the animated series is Springfield in Oregon.

One of the best-kept secrets in television history was finally spilled by Matt Groening when he disclosed that the model for his fictional city of corrupt politicians, idiot cops and lovably dysfunctional families was the Springfield in the Pacific North-west state.

The location of the longest-running sitcom in the US had been a recurring joke on the show. In one episode, Lisa Simpson points to Springfield on a map, but the camera view is blocked by her brother Bart's head. False clues inserted by Groening prompted several of America's 38 Springfields to claim to be the "real" home of Homer Simpson.

Now Groening has revealed that he always had in mind the Springfield 100 miles south of his home town of Portland, Oregon. "Springfield was named after Springfield, Oregon," Groening, 58, told The Smithsonian. "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."

The cartoonist also knew that Springfield was a common city name in the US, giving his fictional creation an everyman quality. "In anticipation of the success of the show, I thought, 'this will be cool; everyone will think it's their Springfield'," he said. "And they do."

Asked why he had refused to identify his inspiration until now, he added: "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'."

The denizens of Springfield, Oregon's ninth-largest city with a population of 60,000, adopted a blasé attitude to the revelation. "Oh OK, we knew that," Niel Laudati, the city's community-relations manager, said.

The animated Springfield is not always a flattering portrayal of American values. "We don't dwell on the bad stuff," Mr Laudati said. "Obviously we don't have a nuclear power plant. What we do have are a lot of blue-collar working families that go to church every week and eat dinner together. That is accurate."

The signs were always there, locals said. The downtown district houses a statue of an unnamed man astride a horse, just as the fictional Springfield features a memorial to founder Jebediah Springfield.

The Springfield city council website announced the news: "Simpson creator reveals this is the REAL Springfield in Smithsonian Magazine... although he also told us in 2007."

Groening visited the city on a tour before the release of the 2007 film The Simpsons Movie and signed a plaque: "Yo to Springfield, Oregon – the real Springfield!". But he admitted saying that to all the Springfields.

News
Alex Salmond said he accepted 'the democratic verdict of the people'
newsSNP leader says Scotland must move forward as 'one nation'
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
footballToure's lack of defensive work is big problem for City
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Head of Marketing - London

£60000 - £85000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Interim Head of Marketing / Marketin...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Digital Project Manager

£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: A Digital Project Manager is needed to join an exciti...

Paid Search Analyst / PPC Analyst

£24 - 28k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Paid Search Analyst / PPC...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week