One of the greatest mysteries and longest-running in-jokes of the Simpsons is the fact that the show hasn’t revealed exactly “which” Springfield the show takes place in. There are many states with a Springfield, and multiple locations that could—at first glance—be represented in the cartoon. However, many longtime fans of the Simpsons believe that the show definitely takes place in Springfield, Illinois. Are these diehard fans right? Take a look at the following facts and judge for yourself!
It’s on the map
During the opening for the episode ‘The Ziff Came to Dinner,’ the couch gag includes a panning shot which begins inside Homer’s DNA and continues to zoom out until we see the family on the couch, their house above them, the town of Springfield, a map of the United States, and beyond—as the shot zooms out to reveal the map of the United States, the center of the screen is clearly shown in the middle of Illinois.
The real life Springfield, Illinois is near towns named in the show
In the show, the closest towns to Springfield are called Shelbyville and Ogdenville. The actual town of Springfield, Illinois is very close to a town called Shelbyville and a town called Ogden.
Krusty the Clown and Bozo the Clown
It’s obvious that Krusty the Clown’s show is essentially a parody of the immensely popular Bozo the Clown show. Bozo the Clown originated in—and was filmed in—Illinois. Clown shows weren’t limited to Illinois, of course, but in the context of many other details that suggest the show takes place in Illinois, it doesn’t appear to be a coincidence.
Illinois has the most nuclear power plants in the USA
The state of Illinois has more power plants inside its borders than any other state. The fact that the show’s Springfield has a nuclear power plant would not be out of place in the state of Illinois, although the real life Springfield does not have a plant.
The grave of Adlai Stevenson II is in Springfield
The grave of Adlai Stevenson II, a popular former governor of Illinois who died from a heart attack in the 1960s, is shown in the Springfield cemetery during on episode. The actual grave of Stevenson is, however, technically located in Bloomingfield, not Springfield—but what other reason would the shows writers have for putting the grave of an Illinois governor in the town?