Five Shows Other Than ‘The Simpsons’ That Never Reveal Where They Take Place

Green Acres is the place to be, but where is it?
Five Shows Other Than ‘The Simpsons’ That Never Reveal Where They Take Place

According to a cursory Google search, there are a grand total of 67 places in America known as Springfield. Yet, The Simpsons doesn’t take place in any of them. While Matt Groening named the town Springfield after Springfield, Oregon, the state where the Simpsons live has never been revealed on the show. 

The Simpsons is far from the only show to do this, however. A number of other shows have kept their exact setting a secret, too, usually in an attempt to make it seem like “Anytown, USA” and keeping it relatable to everyone. Here are five such examples, not including the disaster-prone hometown of Homer Simpson

The Wonder Years (1988)

The Wonder Years was incredibly specific about when it takes place — in 1968, just following the assassination of Robert Kennedy — but the where is never mentioned. While you can spot New York and California license plates throughout the series, and Fred Savage’s Kevin Arnold is a Jets fan, neither state is ever officially confirmed as the setting.

Batman (1966)

Batman has always been the protector of the fictional Gotham City, but for most of the character’s history, they never say where Gotham resides. Apparently, the comics eventually revealed that it’s in New Jersey; that said, in many other pieces of Batman media, it seems to take the place of Manhattan. The original Batman TV show with Adam West suggested that Gotham was the substitute for New York City by using the Big Apple for its backdrops, yet in an early episode, Cesar Romero’s Joker says, “Gotham City’s having a power outage just like New York!” This must mean that New York City is a separate place, so where, exactly, is Gotham? It’s a riddle even the Riddler can’t solve.

The Powerpuff Girls (1998)

At the beginning of every episode of The Powerpuff Girls, the narrator proudly announces that the show takes place in “The City of Townsville,” which, like many superhero-protected cities, is a big metropolis constantly under siege by villains. Despite the city being so central to the show, the creators go out of their way to conceal which state it belongs to. For example, in one episode, the coordinates for Townsville are given as 32 degrees latitude by 212 degrees longitude, but longitude only goes up to 180 degrees!

Gilligan’s Island (1964)

The whole point of Gilligan’s Island is that you don’t know where it takes place, regardless of the fact that the Harlem Globetrotters managed to find the island by accident in 1981. Much like The Powerpuff Girls, the show uses impossible coordinates to disguise the location, stating in one episode that the island is located at 140 degrees latitude by 10 degrees longitude, but latitude only goes up to 90 degrees. 

Despite this, the castaways were eventually found in the 1978 TV movie Rescue from Gilligan's Island, but just a year later, they decided to return to the island in The Castaways on Gilligan’s Island to build a resort where the aforementioned Harlem Globetrotters crashland in 1981 and end up fighting robots. It’s weird. 

Petticoat Junction (1963) and Green Acres (1965)

The classic 1960s sitcoms Petticoat Junction and Green Acres both take place in the rural town of Hooterville. As for which state Hooterville is in, the best guess is Missouri, as an episode of Green Acres says that Hooterville is 300 miles from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. The problem is, it doesn’t specify in which direction. In the 2006 book Prime-Time Television: A Concise History, Hooterville is described as “a place simultaneously Southern and Midwestern, but in a vague sort of way.” The especially frustrating thing about this is that, in the opening theme to Green Acres, it says, “Green Acres is the place to be.” But if you never tell us where it is, how are we supposed to get there?

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