It’s one thing to build a real-life Simpsons house as a publicity gimmick. It’s another to figure out what to actually do with it afterwards. Mental Floss published a fantastically detailed history all about the infamous “real-life Simpsons house,” a perfect replica of 742 Evergreen Terrace that was built for a 1997 promotional giveaway but which now (mostly) functions as a regular home. The cartoonish exterior of the Nevada tract home was repainted to appease the local homeowner’s association and the interior has been modified to be as livable as possible. The only downside is that overexcited Simpson fans still sometimes see the property as their own personal playground. As the house’s current owner explains, “We’ll be sitting watching a movie and someone will be yanking on the door. We’re vigilant about keeping the doors locked.”

Photo: David Waite (Getty Images)

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The Mental Floss article digs into the impetus for the project (The Simpsons was in a bit of a publicity slump at the time), the logistics that went into actually building the house, and the weird trajectory the property has had ever since then. The person who technically “won” the house via the Pepsi-sponsored giveaway never actually claimed their prize. The back-up winner was initially thrilled but eventually decided to take a lesser cash prize (still $75,000) rather than the $150,000 house itself. But one thing the Mental Floss article makes clear is just how much loving work went into the initial project:

Construction was only part of the illusion. To get that lived-in look, a Hollywood production designer and photographer named Rick Floyd came in and accentuated the home with details that would impress the critical eye of series creator Matt Groening and die-hard fans alike. Floyd hung corn cob-patterned curtains in the kitchen; Bart’s bedroom closet held a row of identical shirts and shorts; mouse holes were painted on the walls near the floor; Lisa’s saxophone leaned against her bed. He even painted an oil stain in the driveway, a nod to Homer’s lack of automotive maintenance. He also flagged down a vehicle he saw while driving and offered the surprised owner $700 for it. Painted purple, it was a perfect match for the Simpsons’ iconic wheels.

You can read the full article on Mental Floss.

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