Shelbyville (allegedly formerly known as Morganville) is a town next to, and somewhat similar to, Springfield. They are treated as twin cities, though there is an intense rivalry between the two, dating back to their founders. Shelbyville is to the west of Springfield. Despite the rivalry between the two, it shares many parallels with Springfield and its inhabitants.
History and rivalry with Springfield
The city of Shelbyville was founded by Shelbyville Manhattan in 1796, who held the belief that people should be allowed to marry their cousins, a practice fellow explorer and founder of Springfield Jebediah Springfield disallowed. As a result of this disagreement, the two founders and their party split into separate groups, and went their own ways; since that time, the populaces of Springfield and Shelbyville have held a strong rivalry. The battle continues until this day, with a group of Shelbyville kids stealing the Springfield Lemon Tree.
According to Lisa Simpson, Springfield built a mini-mall that was purposely larger than a mini-mall Shelbyville built. After Shelbyville made the world's largest pizza, Springfield burned their city hall. According to Homer they swore they would spike Springfield's water supply, but assumed they didn't have the guts to do so. They did spike the water as Marge hallucinated the walls melting and a cooked chicken departing after claiming it was "overdone" after drinking a glass of water, and implied this was not the first time she had this hallucination. The rivalry is well-known even among outsiders; the town was manipulated by a slick-talking salesman, who convinces the residents of Springfield to spend a large sum of money on a monorail system they don't need by musing that the idea might be better suited for Shelbyville. (Mayor Quimby quickly tells him that the Springfield residents are twice as smart as the people of Shelbyville, so if he will just tell them his idea, they will vote for it.)
According to Abe Simpson, Shelbyville was called "Morganville" during the 1910's, which, he elaborates, was when "Nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em" and men tied onions to their belts, "which was the style at the time".[Note 1]
According to Lou, Shelbyville apparently possessed at least one McDonald's fast food restaurant, as he visited it one Friday night.
"Song of Shelbyville"
The Simpsons once visited Shelbyville and attended a play entitled "Song of Shelbyville". The play featured a parody of Springfield residences as uncultured hicks, and when Lisa objects to this portrayal, the crowd started pointing at the family and made a noise that Marge called "hate-hoots". Springfield then proceeded to build an expensive concert hall in another effort to avoid being outdone by Shelbyville. (This effort, like the monorail, went horribly awry.)
The city had been destroyed twice. The first time by the Springfield residents directly by toppling the dismantled Sun Blocker into the city. The second time was by a nuclear bomb going of by a presumed terrorist attack or nuclear meltdown (although Springfield was initially concerned with the latter instance, they quickly were relieved when Jack Bauer informed them that the epicenter of the explosion was in Shelbyville). Although it was rebuilt after they destroyed the Sun Blocker, it is unclear if it was rebuilt after the nuclear explosion (presumably from their nuclear power plant).
Landmarks and features of Shelbyville include: its own nuclear power plant, owned by Aristotle Amadopolis; Shelbyville Elementary School; Shelbyville High School (which competes against Springfield High School in student debate competitions); a "Speed-E-Mart" convenience store; local bar "Joe's Tavern (where "Fudd Beer" is served, despite having been recalled after a large number of hillbillies went blind); Shelbyville Theater District; and yellow-colored fire hydrants. Most of these features, and the people staffing them, strongly resemble Springfield's (a Scottish woman who resembles Groundskeeper Willie works at Shelbyville Elementary, for instance).
Other features include at least one mini-mall, a zoo, a Best Western hotel, a city dump, and natural landmarks "Rolling Rock" (a giant boulder rolling between two steep cliffs) and Shelbyville Falls, a waterfall.
Shelbyville also has a large monument to the town's founder, Shelbyville Manhattan, similar to Springfield's statue of Jebediah Springfield. However, unlike Springfield's more noble statue, Shelbyville's monument shows the founder with two women, possibly his cousins.
Shelbyville, like Springfield, also has a nuclear power plant. Though the Shelbyville Nuclear Power Plant is smaller with only one reactor and cooling tower. Also, in a view of Shelbyville from the hill of the city limits, three factory smokestacks can be seen in the place of where the two cooling towers would be seed in Springfield. Although, this place is never viewed up close.
Suburbs of Shelbyville
- Downtown Shelbyville
- Manhattan Square
- Rolling Rock
- Shelbyville Bluffs
- Shelbyville Heights
Shelbyville's sports teams include the Shelbyville Shelbyvillians (minor league baseball), the Shelbyville Visitors (minor league hockey) and the Shelbyville Sharks (American football). Once a year, the annual "Pigskin Classic" football game is held between the Shelbyville Sharks and Springfield's football team, the Springfield Atoms.
Shelbyville beat out Springfield in the bid for the Olympics, after Springfield's chances for earning it were spoiled by ethnocentric comedy by Bart Simpson. Springfield's little league baseball team, the Iso-Tots, was once beaten in a championship by Shelbyville's team.
The people of Shelbyville are not much smarter or less quick to anger than the people of Springfield. On some occasions, Shelbyville has been shown as the more culturally sophisticated of the two cities with a better public school system and hospital, demonstrated by Abe Simpson saying, "I'm going to a better place. Shelbyville Hospital!" Ironically, though Shelbyville residents enjoy portraying Springfield residents in a backwards and less intelligent light as hicks and backwater folk, their founder's legalized practice of cousin partnering is a "hick" stereotype practiced only by one known family of Springfield, the Spucklers.
Behind the laughter
- Shelbyville was ranked 10th in "The 10 Best Dystopias" in the December 2005 issue of Wired magazine.
- Although it is possible that it was based on Shelbyville, Illinois, it could also be based on Eugene, Oregon, given Eugene and Springfield are considered twin cities.
- Due to Abe's senility, and the fact that he was telling a random story that never went anywhere at the time, it is unknown if this is true.