This question may seem a bit random and maybe even outrageous, but if you're a long-time Pasadena resident and a huge fan of The Simpson's, you can't help but notice the many subtle and not-so-subtle similarities between the fictional hometown of America's favorite family and the City of Roses.
Perhaps the first landmark that comes to mind when comparing the two cities would be "Suicide Bridge". The bridge in The Simpson's made its first memorable appearance in the 1990 episode, "Moaning Lisa". It wasn't until the 19th season that the bridge appears with the name "Suicide Bridge", apparently having been named after Governor, Chester L. Suicide. Though Pasadena's infamous bridge is officially named Colorado Street Bridge, it is widely and historically known as "Suicide Bridge", due to the many people who have chosen this particular location to jump to their death.
Another pretty subtle similarity between the two iconic cities are their local stadiums. Even though both could be considered fairly small cities in size, they seem to both have huge stadiums that often host major events. Another interesting fact is that despite both having this major venue, neither city has a professional football team. Those following local politics in Pasadena should let that set in for a moment...
I know that by now, some of you may be thinking that these are relatively common-looking structures and that there a probably a bunch of towns across America that have both a historical bridge and major stadium. However, the striking resemblance between Pasadena, California and Springfield goes much deeper. So deep, it's almost scary.
Though maps of the fictional town of Springfield have appeared frequently in some form or another throughout the series, in a 21st season episode entitled, "Postcards From The Wedge", a map is shown of Springfield's Subway System. If you notice, the map is almost an identical animated version of an actual map published by Pasadena Transit, which was formerly Pasadena ARTS. Notice that not only do both cities look like they could be just about the same size in square-miles, where the animated map shows Springfield's River is exactly where Pasadena's Arroyo would be. Coincidence? What are the odds?
Still not convinced that the city that hosts the world-famous annual Tournament of Roses, may very well be the model for the location of the nation's longest running animated series and sitcom? For all The Simpson's viewers that remember when the monorail came to Springfield, you may also remember that there was an ad in that episode that showed this building. As you can see below, The Simpson's had to have used this building as a model for this shot. The actual building is known as the "Parsons" building and is located right in the heart of Pasadena, California. Mind you, all these images are actual screenshots from real episodes of The Simpson's as well as real photos from landmarks found thought the city of Pasadena.
There are probably many more references, but here's one more interesting sequence way back from season six in which "Pasadena" was actually mentioned by Mr. Burns as he requests a package be sent to "Pete Porter". Though Homer clearly fails at the task by delivering the package right back to Mr. Burns, it could very well be a hidden joke that they are already in Pasadena. This show is absolutely known for its multiple levels of subliminal messages, so you never know. What we do know is that Pasadena is absolutely more than just games and roses, and The Simpson's are more than just a cartoon. What do you think?