Simpsons creator Matt Groening let Smithsonian magazine in on the secret: Homer’s hometown is named after Springfield, Oregon. Why? Groening grew up in Portland watching Father Knows Best, which was set in Springfield.
As a kid, he just assumed it was the same Springfield near his hometown in Oregon. He didn’t realize the city in Father Knows Best was fictional until years later.
He also figured out that Springfield was one of the most common names for a city in the US. Groening explains, “In anticipation of the success of the show, I thought, ‘This will be cool; everyone will think it’s their Springfield.’ And they do.” Turns out, Groening signed a plaque in 2007, “Yo to Springfield, Oregon—the REAL Springfield.”