Welcome to Wednesday.
Let’s get weird together.
Each week we collaborate with the awesome weirdos over at Weird Portland United to bring you the best of Portland’s weird — and today’s no different. Here’s a link to our full list of Weird Wednesday stories that’ll be sure to keep you entertained, informed, and inspired.
As for today, well, it’s going to get pretty yellow around here — because we’re diving into the overwhelming number of coincidences and references “The Simpsons” make to Stumptown.
So without further ado, grab your skateboards — let’s get into it.
📸: Gif courtesy of Giphy
🍩 Hi-diddly-ho — where to find Portland’s Simpsons landmarks
It’s not a secret that Simpsons creator Matt Groening grew up in Portland. And while he’s never verbally stated that the show is based on those memories, the amount of overlap, references, and easter eggs in The Simpsons is too much for coincidence.
Groening grew up on Evergreen Terrace and went to school at Ainsworth Elementary and Lincoln High School (if you look carefully on the sidewalk you’ll find a drawing of Bart Simpson that Groening did, marking it Class of 1972).
It just takes one casual drive through town to see some very familiar Simpsons character names — Lovejoy, Burnside, and of course, NE Flanders. In fact, this past year, the city opened the Ned Flanders Crossing for pedestrians and cyclists.
Bart’s friend Millhouse’s last name is Van Houten, and guess what avenue you’ll find by the same name around University Park.
One of the show’s antagonists Sideshow Bob’s last name is Terwilliger — a reference to the dicey Terwilliger Curves, which is considered to be one of Oregon’s most dangerous stretches of road. Which, you know, is pretty fitting for a character out to kill Bart all the time.
In one particular episode of The Simpsons (“Marge the Lumberjill” from season 31), you can see a whole slew of Stumptown references — from a character’s socks being the same pattern as the famous Portland Airport carpet to two dogs named Nike and Swoosh (obviously headquartered here), and Marge all snugged up in a Pendleton wool shirt. You also get glimpses of the Portland International Airport, a VooDoo Doughnut sign, and the White Stag sign.
And while the appeal of the city of Springfield in the show is that it’s very much your “Everytown, USA,” we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Oregon’s own Springfield to the south of us.
Whether these references are intentional or coincidence, it’s clear that Stumptown rubbed off on Groening, and the same is true for all of us. Did we miss a Simpsons reference in our city? Hit reply to this email and share your stories with us.
Thank you to our Bridgeliner Unabridged members. Stories like these are made possible with your membership and support.