Simpsons, The Easter Egg - Street Names

You may notice that some of the characters in The Simpsons are named after streets in Oregon where Matt Groening was brought up eg Flanders, Terwilliger, Lovejoy

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Contributed By: 007 on 12-09-1999
Reviewed By: Webmaster
Special Requirements: Good eyes, american map
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First off...Springfield does not represent any one particular state's Springfield. My parents lived in Portland and were close friends with Matt groenings family during his childhood. Ive met him before briefly, ive seen his old house, which looks very similar (not 100% the same, but same era/design) to the simpson's. Matt has admitted in a Large newspaper interview in both "The Register Guard"(Eugene, OR) and "The Oregonian"(Portland, OR) that If he had to pick one Springfield, it would be Oregons, because most of his stories started out as personal situations that had happened to him or close ones during his childhood in Oregon. But remember, it does NOT mean that the simpsons live in Springfield OR. Springfield Oregon is one hour from the ocean, one hour from the high desert,45 minutes from the cascade mountain range, and is surrounded by miles of forest. Springfield is also the suburb and sister city(border is so close to another city that you dont know when one starts and the other ends) to Eugene Oregon. Matt based that shelbyville episode on a friends personal account in the Eugene/Springfield metro area. But he couldnt use Eugene because it was too uncommon of a name, thus he picked shelbyville due to its wide use. The two cities each have their own river running through them(Eugene, Willamette river/ Springfield, McKenzie river) and the city in both the show and real life is located in a valley (Willamette valley in real life) so that narrows the choices for a springfield out. So with such easy access to all types of landscapes it makes it even easier to base his stories on Springfield. A few things I can think of off the top of my head are that the state flag in "the simpsons" is a flag with a beaver on it...Oregon is "the beaver state"....Every once in a while there seems to be several hippies around springfield, im not sure but i believe one episode is fully devoted to lisa having a crush on a fellow "tree sitter",I dont know about Springfields hippy situation, but Eugene Oregon is considered the hippy capital of the US. Ken Kesey lived here, the greatful dead would come every tour year even if they hadnt scheduled tour dates for anywhere in Oregon. Eugene is also the meth capital of the US, it has more marijuana per capita than even Humboldt county California now. Also, the episode where the Simpsons house sit for flander's beach home is based on a small Oregon beach town name Florence Oregon. Its always been considered a mini version of Eugene due to its largely laid back and hippy community. If you ever go there check the people out, theyre all similar to the group of people lisa meets and hangs out with. There was another episode that matt based on a personal account but i cant remember it right now. As for the handful of episodes that pan out over a giant map of the US...if you notice, the landmarks arent in correct order(its purposely like that so you DONT know where they are) st louis's gateway arch was just the closest by coincidence. Remember that Matt spent his first few years of his childhood in Portland first, then lived in the Eugene/Springfield area for a brief amount of time before moving on to southern california. So some episodes that dont seem to fit even in the Eugene/Springfeld area always end up working out if you base it on Portland. Portland is a huge international seaport city and a few episodes involve seaports or boardwalks. Matt also said in one of his interviews (somewhat jokingly) about how he disliked illinois(I cant remember specifically why..anyone else read it?) and its Springfield would be the last out of all states if he could choose. So if you want to base an episode on a certain location..it will almost certainly be either: A-Eugene/Springfield Oregon-(Based on his later childhood) B-Portland Oregon-(based on his childhood...usually earlier) C-Southern California-(based on personal accounts later onm in his life as an adult) but thanks to the convenience of the cartoon Springfields location being unknown..he can mold whatever situations he encounters from anyplace into it...because hey...the simpsons Springfield doesnt exist!
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AEGelfand writes:
I don't know what state the Simpsons live in, but it must be west of the Mississippi River because the local radio station is KBBL and radio stations east of the Mississippi start with a "W", not a "K".
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Pumpkingrrl writes:
Actually, it's been confirmed that there were 2 versions of the "Behind the Laughter" episode, one saying Missouri and one saying Kentucky.
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paulkennett writes:
In the episode where troy mclurre and thelma try to have a baby troy is talking to his manager about names and he says whate about a state? then he asks "oregon?" just thought i'd add that.
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dude writes:
Maybe we'll never know were exactly the Simpsons live. There are several clues, and they all lead us to the wrong step. It's just one of the mysteries that help keep the show interesting. Some people say they're from Missouri, others from Kentucky, but the truth is, we'll never really know. They even tried to tell us where they're from in one of the episodes. Do you remember the episode where Apu had to take the test to become a legal American? Homer tried to tell him where Springfield was located on the map, but he wasn't pointing anywhere near Springfield. Then Lisa showed up to tell him where Springfield was really located, but Bart got in the way, keeping us from seeing. What I'm trying to say here is that we'll never really know where the Simpsons live, even if we think we do.
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Viper2591 writes:
I have another piece of information to add to the pile. When Homer takes the job at the company of the super villain (his name and the town escapes me), they are riding to the town (which Homer earlier declares to be upstate) they ride through a Redwood Forest and discuss the amount of sawdust they contain. I live in Northern California (the only place in the world containing redwoods, except for southern Oregon in some cases). Now if they moved upstate and there are redwoods, put two and two together.
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Did anyoen see the recent episode where someone asks lisa.. where do you live? and she says " its a little hard to find out but if you add up all the clues its kind of easy" or something to that extent.
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lindseylou - Although which state they live in has yet to be 100% verified, I am theorizing that the Simpsons live in Missouri, and here is the evidence I am submitting: Exhibit A: During the "Behind The Sitcom" scandal-type show, they twice refer to the Simpsons as a "Missouri Family", once at the beginning and again at the end. ---- Exhibit B: During another episode (I don't know the title or remember what it was about), Principal Skinner states that the school was "Voted the worst school in all of Missouri (Or something along those lines), and so it was moved brick by brick to here (Here referring to Springfield)." Now this tells that the school was moved, but it doesn't necessarily mean that it has been moved out of state. ---- Exhibit C: During the X-Files type episode where Homer sees the alien which turns out to be Mr. Burns, there is a scene where Mulder and Scully are talking, and Mulder says that "There has been another alien sighting in the heartland of America (Or something along those lines)." The only two Springfields I know of in the heartland (AKA the Midwest) are in Illinois, and Missouri. Using the other two exhibits to reinforce this one, it points more towards Missouri. I'm not saying 100% that they DO live in Missouri, it is just a theory based on what I have collected so far as described above (And my current knowledge of states which have cities named Springfield).
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lindseylou writes:
Comment to cdogg...its an ongoing joke about which Springfield they actually live in. One episode Marge is on the phone and she's giving her address. She says, "Springfield...oh hiya Maud" because her neighbor walks in. Another episode where Homer is teaching Apu about America he points to a map and says, we live here but Bart's head pops up to obscure the view. You may know this already and I'm not trying to call you out. Just thought I'd point that out.
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Eddie Lewis writes:
Texas to Massachusetts is no where near 4000 miles. By the way, I thought he said two thousand. Any way, on one of the recent episodes Marge said, "Branson, Missouri? That's 1000 miles away!" Now, get a map and a compass. Find out what Hank said(2000 or 4000 miles). Set the compas to that far according to the map's key. Put the point of the compass on Arlen, Texas, and draw a circle. Now set the compass to 1000 miles according to the key. Put the point on Branson, Missouri, and draw a second circle. There will be two points where the circles intersect. The Simpsons should live near one of these circles.
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GreenWitch writes:
On a more recent episode (Where Artie Ziff makes a reappearance and offers Homer a million dollars for a weekend alone with Marge), it is stated that Homer has gone to the Oilfields of West Springfield (I think it was West...). Anyway, Lisa is horrified because that area of springfield is "Three times the size of Texas", and it pans out to show a Texas-shaped area marked as Springfield. So I think it makes it pretty obvious that there is no real Springfield, the writers will likely continue to throw out contradictory information just to keep us on our toes.
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IanBradly- There is also a Shelbyville in Illinois, not far from Springfield (I know because I've been there)
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AWaltK writes:
For what it is worth... I loved in Portland, Oregon. I had read that Matt grew up near the Washington Park Zoo... roar of the loins at night (Matt remembers). I would say that if he heard them at night... they could not be very far away. He lived somewhere up in the west hills of Portland.
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Pumpkingrrl writes:
Homer's Drivers License lists his home state as NT, not TN.
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Alm0nd writes:
OK, here is how it is. Springfield is one of the most common city names in America. There are more Springfields than just about any other city (except Fairview I THINK). That is the reason Groening picked it. It is NOT a certain state, it's supposed to be Springfield, USA. The show has played with our minds on which state it is, with the Homer teaching Apu thing and such, but it's really not supposed to be anything. Hope this helps.
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cdogg81 writes:
Actually the some names of the simpsons are from portland oregon. Like quimby, terwilliger, flanders, kearney, lovejoy, probably more also. There is also a town in oregon thats a dump called springfield, but there are tons of towns called springfield in the US. Also in matt's cartoon there are many references to his boyhood home.
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bjr1822 writes:
I will add also that there are many references that place Springfield in the vicinity of New York, of which Massachusetts is not too far away. References to Batavia, NY (I live in the next town over), New York city, and other things that I can't remember right at the moment unfortunately, also place it here. But there is just as much evidence to the contrary. I think the writers just like playing with our heads big time :) I think Springfield is supposed to be a little bit of everything to everyone.
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seenemall writes:
They live near the beach (they drove there) They live in a state that allows gambling (capital city) They live within 2000 miles of Arlen, Texas (football episode) They live in Arizona (they are banned from every other state except North Dakota, but that state smells funny) Every single state has a town/city named Springfield. Basically, there is no definite place, other than Springfield, USA! It is an unending argument!
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Wonderman writes:
"Kearney" is the FIRST name of one of Jimbo Jones' little henchman. He's the one who's bald and shaves.
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--Add on to what I said above-- There is another piece of "evidence" I forgot to include which leads me to theorize the Simpsons live in Missouri. During the episode where Lisa is camping out in the tree to keep it from being cut down, there is one scene where she looks out and says "Wow, what a view (Or something alone those lines)." The view then moves to show numerous well-known American landmarks in the distance. The very first one seen (The one closest to where Lisa is) is the Arch over St. Louis, and St. Louis is in Missouri.
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I realize that we are not debating which Springfield this is, but as long as we are on the subject, I do not think that it is a real Springfield. In the episode in which the Springfield children are on a football team, characters from "King of the Hill" make an appearance. On of them says something to the effect of, "We came 1000 miles for this?" "King of the Hill" takes place in Arlin, TX, which is supposed to be Arlington, TX. I live in northeast Texas, and I do not know of a Springfield anywhere near here. Also, Marge's sister is named "Selma," not "Thelma."
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IanBradly writes:
Take a look at Springfield, Kentucky on a map. Not too far from it lies a Shelbyville.
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TheTizMan writes:
You know, it's kind of funny how there seems to be just about everything near by this Springfield. For instance, on the episode where the Simpson family are house-sitting for Mr. Burns there are international waters right there. There are many other instances. This further blurs the distinction of where in America they are.
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Poodle writes:
Hey guys I was watching the episode where lisa wins some competition and they go to Washington...its one of the earliest episodes...anyway, it pans across the map, with each state have its name abbreviated. Anyway, it fades before you can see the abbrev for the simpson's state, but i thought i saw a TN. So i got an atlas and looked at tennesee, and saw that there is a springfield there, and near it is shelbyville. I think there is another state in which this occurs, but near it is also Knoxville... ie Fort Knoxville? Sound familiar?
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rintaro writes:
I'm sure I do not need to point out the obvious clues which point to the fact that the Simpsons live in Denmark.
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eye writes:
The Simpsons live on Evergreen Terrace, which is the college Matt G. went to up in Washington state.
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kystral writes:
They do say in several episodes that Springfield is in the Midwest, but there are not just two Springfields in the Midwest. I know of Springfields in Indiana, Missouri, Illinois, and Ohio and I'm sure that there are more than those. Also, the Behind the Laughter episode did say that the Simpsons live in Missouri, but the next time I saw that episode the line had been changed to say that they live in Kentucky. Apparently they wanted to mess with people's heads by telling people they lived somewhere then contradicting themselves.
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navybeen writes:
Another reason it might be Springfield, Missouri: in the episode with Aerosmith, Steven Tyler remembers an incident from the last time they were in Springfield, and someone tells him "No, that was in St. Louis." But, on the other hand, if you're looking for a place close to the beach, where you can drive to New York City and back in less than a day, in a state that has legalized gambling, it must be Springfield, New Jersey.
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Big Dog writes:
Kearny not only shaves despite being in elementary school......he also has a son who sleeps in a drawer.
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psycho1 writes:
I live in Illinois and not even ten miles away from our capitol of Springfield lies Shelbyville, i am not even kidding. Also in the MENSA episode whichever that one may be Springfield replaces spot 299 of 300 in the top 300 cities, it replaces east St. Louis Illinois, so i have give two viable pieces of evidence to match your two definite pieces, your third could go either way, i wholeheartedly believe that the Simpsons reside in Springfield Illinois
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BuffMcGee writes:
Well The Simpsons do NOT live in a real city or state, THEY LIVE IN SPRINGFIELD,USA NOWHERE ELSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Living very near Springfield, Tennessee, I can give you a little tidbit: The people from Shelbyville on the show have funny hick (if I may use that term) accents... And the people from Shelbyville, TN are kind of a joke around here for their accents. They pronounce their own town as "Shebavul". Hope that was interesting, at least.
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Matt writes:
I say it's Mass... In the recycling episode, Lisa congrats Burns on selling his slurry company, and he says "Don't congratulate me, congratulate Bay State Fish Concern". Mass is the Bay State... Would also explain the beach, snow, NY references, hurricane.. One (overall) bug though..in the episode from this past season whey they follow each of their days (the one where Marge slices Homer's finger off), Lisa gets dropped off at West Springfield Elementary School. The boy she meets says the mistake is understandable (that they look the same), as all the schools in the area were built from the same plans. Which makes no sense if the "regular" Springfield Elem was reassembled from Missouri.
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GoBaNaNa writes:
I've just got some stuff to add to the list for which state its in. My best guess would be Ohio because when Marge is ordering stuff for the egg painting set (super-bowl episode) she says Springfield then begins to say Ohio but instead says "Oh hi o Maude" as Flanders' wife walks in. Also when Mr. Burns' son is asking the train conductor he's chasing what state springfield was in, he begins to say something but is muted by the train whistle. What State? I still don't know.
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Cool Chick writes:
Sideshow Bob's real name is Bob Terwilliger...
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emerald writes:
Who exactly is this Terwilliger character that people keep talking about? I've never heard of him on the Simpsons.
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emerald writes:
Thanks Cool Chick.
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Craig writes:
I want to say that I have found out something. I live in a Springfield in England and if the Springfield I live in didn't exist, neither would the ones in america. Because when people emigrated from my springfield to USA they named small villages after it, and soon it became a popular name. I also agree with the other guy who said it's just springfield,USA. As I said before, it's such a popular town name that it was probably the first one that popped into Matt G's head. I have now settled this argument so there shouldn't be any more discussion on it, thank you goodbye.
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Royboyto69 writes:
If you guys don't know this but they already gave it away (i wish they didn't) in the " Behind The Simpsons" episode they say towards the end of the episode "this northern- kentucy family....."... if you don't believe me go download it somewhere ( maybe KaZaA if you have it )but i wish they would of left it a mystery or something.
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Christine writes:
Where in the Simpsons is there a last name "Kearney"?
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Marcus writes:
I bet the Terwilliger characters were names after the Dr. Terwilliger character in the Dr. Seuss movie "The 5000 fingers of Dr. T"
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jujumantb writes:
the name Lovejoy is actually the name of a famous real reverend who was killed, if i remember right, during the abolitionist movement so i don't believe it had anything to do w/ a street name ;)
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