The Simpsons in Springfield, Oregon
D'oh! Springfield, Oregon is the real inspiration behind the Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation's show "The Simpsons".
Created by Matt Groening in 1987, "The Simpsons" is one of the most watched and longest running shows in recent television history.
The obvious connection is Matt's own story. He grew up in Portland, Oregon (just two hours north of Springfield) with parents Homer and Margaret Groening and his sisters Lisa and Maggie. We've heard the brothers are represented by Bart, a play on the word "brat." Additionally Portland's street names match character names used in the show, including Flanders, Quimby and Kearney.
Matt was very familiar with Eugene - Springfield. A former mill town, Springfield struggled with its "other side of the tracks" identity in the shadow of the more visibly cultured and economically advantaged Eugene (i.e. Shelbyville). Principal Skinner may have gotten his name from Eugene Skinner, the founding father of Eugene.
Comparisons between "The Simpsons" Springfield and Oregon's Springfield are easy to find. With a little bit of imagination you might just see Homer walking down Main Street.
WELL, WHAT ABOUT SPRINGFIELD, VERMONT?
When Vermont won the "USA Today The Simpsons Movie Challenge" (based on viewer votes for the best video submission), Matt signed "To the Real Springfield," on the Springfield, Oregon participant plaque.
Then in 2012 the "Smithsonian" reported that Matt had named Springfield, Oregon as the true city behind the show. He immediately took it back, however; in 2014 both he and the Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation supported the installation of a large Simpsons mural in historic downtown Springfield, Oregon. Yeardley Smith, the voice of Lisa Simpson, attended the dedication. That's all the evidence we need...
But if you want to check it out for yourself take the Unofficial Simpsons Tour!