Just For Fun: Separate Simpsons Geography Thing
"Look at that, you can see the four states that border Springfield: Ohio, Nevada, Maine, and Kentucky!"
Where the Hell Is Springfield?
+ Rule of Funny
+ Geographic Flexibility
+ Rule Of Funny
+ Negative Continuity
= Separate Simpsons Geography Thing (and did we mention Rule of Funny
Springfield contains constantly-relocating buildings (the parking lot of Springfield Nuclear Power Plant moving next door to the Simpsons' house suddenly, or Marge looking out the kitchen window at apparently the same angle and seeing different buildings in the same episode
), but the town also shifts constantly between being landlocked or coastal. In one episode all the townspeople were trapped when the "only bridge out of town" was destroyed (the international airport being across the river). The Movie
provided a convenient forest right outside the Simpsons' house for them to escape into (it appears in some other episodes too).
Despite being described as a tiny "jerkwater burg", Springfield has multiple elementary schools, two multiplex cinemas, several universities, an army base, a naval reserve base, an Air Force base, a television studio, a Spanish-language TV station, its own radio market (its jazz station being the most powerful in the US, boasting a broadcast range of a whopping 23 feet), "Area 51-A", the international airport (receiving direct flights from Bombay at 15-minute intervals, plus many other destinations here
), a transit system including buses, streetcars, elevated tracks, an abandoned monorail, and two subways (one operational, one abandoned), football, baseball, and basketball stadiums (Springfield was awarded an NFL franchise, and the Basketball stadium was quickly turned into a honey bee sanctuary on opening day), a hockey rink, a Popsicle stick skyscraper, at least two mental hospitals, a house of ill repute, several shopping malls, a dozen correctional facilities, a Friendly Neighborhood Chinatown
, Tibettown, Greektown, Little Italy, a Russian district, a Gayborhood
, and a Jewish neighborhood; more factories, retail outlets, eateries, museums, theme parks and night schools than most states, as well as vast expanses of desert, lakes, large river (with a dam), forests, chasms, swamps, farmland and blasted heath, and three gigantic mountains that turned up one episode but aren't even visible in the skyline at any other time... The town is also proud to be home to a mountain of burning tires that's continuously burned longer than any other tire fire in the world.
The City of Springfield was moved several miles, lock, stock and barrel, when the entire previous city location had been filled with garbage, and later was completely rebuilt
in yet another location known only as "The Outlands". Nobody seems to know just where in America Springfield is
, least of all the people who live there. There are 121 towns named Springfield
across 34 states in real life.
Technically speaking the geography of the city fits much more with Springfield, Oregon with its proximity to Eugene, Oregon (Shelbyville), which is closest to Groening's home city of Portland, Oregon. The irony of Springfield being an incredibly common name for a city is one thing, but the proximity of ocean, rivers, mountains, fields, lakes, large universities, etc, in addition to a giant pulp mill used by Weyerhauser in precisely the same location looking east. Groening stated in an April 2012 interview
that Springfield is indeed named after Springfield, Oregon.
This has been lampshaded
in the show for comedic effect:
Now, back you go to Geographic Flexibility
or Where the Hell Is Springfield?