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Character page for The Good Place.

WARNING! Only spoilers for season 3 are marked! Beware of major spoilers!

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Neighborhood 12358W

Humans

    General 
  • Aesop Amnesia: Justified; as Chidi lampshades in "Dance Dance Resolution," they're being tortured but they can't learn from their mistakes because their memories keep getting wiped. It's finally averted in the season three finale where Chidi sacrifices his memories to keep the new neighborhood experiment intact, but everyone else remembers their friendship.
  • Character Development: An interesting case where the development gets erased, redone, and explored down a different path. But despite all that Michael does in season two to keep them apart and keep them static, the four humans manage to encounter each other and motivate each other with their friendship.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Quite literally; it's revealed that Michael specifically selected these four humans to toy with each other and torture with their petty flaws and insecurities destroying any chance of a happy afterlife. He then toys with them for three hundred years in Earth time until their truce in season two.
  • Fatal Flaw: Each character has one, and most of these flaws literally got them killed. Eleanor was the exception in that she has those flaws, and is probably the worst of the group starting out, but they didn't lead to her fatal accident in the grocery store parking lot.
  • In Spite of a Nail: As Michael smugly tells Trevor in season three no matter what Michael or anyone does, the team's group friendship manages to overcome their flaws gradually over time.
  • Locking Macgyver In The Store Cupboard: Michael realizes that he did this in hindsight; by putting the other humans with Chidi, an ethics professor, he motivates them to improve on their ethics and morals.
  • The Power of Friendship: Despite their hangups and fights, in most reboots and in the alternate timeline Team Cockroach or The Soul Squad would rally together and become better people.
  • Screw Destiny: In season three, after learning they are condemned to going to the Bad Place, Eleanor convinces everyone that they should do as much good as possible to help everyone else get to the Good Place. They also do what they can to help Michael when he schemes to keep them out of the Bad Place.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: The season three finale is the only time they're given a break from being tortured as part of an experiment to recreate Michael's neighborhood. Big difference from the season one finale, where they were still unknowingly trapped in the Bad Place, or season two where they're all given a second chance at life but lose their memories and Character Development. Also, the memory wipes are optional this time, and Chidi is the only one who sacrifices his memories to make sure the experiment goes well and that they all aren't sent to the Bad Place.
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    Eleanor 

Eleanor Shellstrop

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shellstrop_eleanor.jpg
"I wasn't freaking Gandhi, but I was okay. I was a medium person. I should get to spend eternity in a medium place! Like Cincinnati."
Portrayed by: Kristen Bell, Noelle E. Parker, Avery Hayes (young)

"What are you talking about? It is so easy to live with a lie. I once pretended to have a terminal illness to meet Scott Wolf at a Sunglass Hut. Victimless crime."

Our Hero, relatively speaking. Initially believed to be an activist lawyer who got innocent people off of death row and one of the best people accepted into the Good Place, she is quickly revealed to be not who she says she is. Actually a saleswoman from Arizona who sold fake medicine to the sick and elderly and self-professed "medium" person, Eleanor attempts to hide her secret and become someone worthy of staying in the Good Place.


  • Abusive Parents: The lousy example set by her parents undoubtedly set Eleanor on a path to the Bad Place pretty early on.
  • Anything That Moves: There doesn't seem to be any person Eleanor would not be willing to sleep with for any reason.
  • Appropriated Appellation: After Michael says he thinks of humans as "cockroaches, or dung beetles, any little thing that crawls around in its own filth," she dubs the group Team Cockroach.
  • Berserk Button:
    • She lashes out at someone for asking, "Why are you like this?"
    • People taking the moral high ground. As in, not trying to take the high ground over her specifically, but in general, since it hits her insecurities and makes her lash out, as shown with one of her boyfriends in life.
  • Bi the Way: Eleanor has dated men and her official love interest is Chidi, but she's also shown interest in several women, such as Tahani, Vicky as Real Eleanor, Simone, Rihanna, and Janet. In a discussion with Janet, they refer to Eleanor's past lovers as "exes". It's not treated as a big deal.
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: The season two finale reveals she died on her birthday.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Eleanor is/was this, especially in her adult life. She was determined enough as a teen to work two jobs while attending high school and appears to have put herself through college. She even got a full-time job offer at a successful company, but she blew it off in favor of a commitment-free, morally dubious sales job and appears to have had zero ambitions before she died. In the afterlife, she's smart enough to get a B+ on a college-level essay on moral particularism (only slightly lower than the highly educated Tahani's grade) but she's so committed to being a self-absorbed slacker most of the time, she's almost on the same level as Jason.
  • Character Development: She actually starts to change under Chidi's tutelage, thereby ruining Michael's plan for an innovative Bad Place, which depended on her being a Static Character forever. In season 2 she's matured from a selfish person who cares about no one but herself to being the only one who passed Gen's test of character...and then lies about it when she found out everyone else failed.
  • The Cynic: When she was living, she believed that the world was so full of bad things and people that even trying to do anything good was pointless. Although under Chidi's influence she softens into the Knight in Sour Armour, her basic cynicism enables her to see through the Masquerade. Repeatedly.
  • Emancipated Child: She legally emancipated herself from Doug and Donna when she was only fourteen years old. They didn't put up a fight, and seemed happy to be rid of their responsibility towards her.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • She briefly hesitated over blowing off house-sitting for a friend because she didn't want to leave her friend's dog to starve. Her solution was to leave all the food out, which led to said dog getting morbidly obese but still alive.
    • No matter how she mistreats or insults Chidi, she insists that he is a good person with no ulterior motives. She asks outright why Chidi was sent to the Bad Place, since compared to her he never did anything wrong.
    • She tells off her mother for arriving drunk to Doug's funeral and insulting him; she doesn't say it, but she wants the space to grieve the only father she knew.
    • While she could be mean to kids outside of her family, she is remarkably kind to the kids who are related to her. She took a cousin on a nice outing for a churro dog, and on meeting her stepsister Patricia, told their mother Donna to make sure that she didn't fork up Patricia's life the way that Donna messed up Eleanor.
  • Evil Can Not Comprehend Good: When she was alive, she couldn't fathom people being genuinely nice and altruistic and always assumed they had some ulterior motive.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Eleanor uses her neglectful parents and broken home as an excuse for her bad behavior. While her parents are genuinely awful, painfully self-absorbed and completely immoral, she eventually realizes that her past doesn't make her actions any better.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: In life, she was this with the co-workers she drank with. She didn't really like them, either; she was only tagging along for the drinking, not the friendship. Even among her social circle she was either too much of a jerk for some and too nice for others.
  • Good Feels Good: Eleanor is very excited when she realizes that she's started doing good things because she wants to, not just as a ploy to get to stay in the Good Place. When she gets a second chance at life, it starts out this way but starts falling apart after about half a year, until Michael secretly guides her toward Chidi.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: A little when it comes to Chidi.
  • Has a Type: Eleanor has a thing for mailmen, particularly if she can get them to take their shirt off in front of her.
  • Hate at First Sight: A key part of Michael's plan is that Eleanor will hate Tahani the minute they meet, for no real reason. This part is mentioned to consistently work during their stay in the Bad Place. While initially averted when they meet in series 3, where their first meeting goes much better, Eleanor still takes joy in taunting and mocking Tahani when she can.
  • Heel Realization: Eleanor was so self-absorbed that she never realized just how much of a jerk she was and thought of herself as a mildly good person. When she is confronted with her past actions, she finally realizes just how nasty and selfish she was.
  • It's All About Me: When she was alive, this was her defining personality trait.
  • Jerk-to-Nice-Guy Plot: Invoked. While an unrepentant jerk while alive, Eleanor attempts to become a better person in order to become deserving of the Good Place. Also the plot of "Somewhere Else," where she gets saved from death at the last minute and she tries to become a better person.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Eleanor is quick to point out everyone's flaws, suggesting that everyone is not as good as they seem - especially Tahani. She adds how it makes no sense to only pick the "best" people rather than have a place for "people who weren't terrible but not perfect."
      Eleanor: What, one in a million gets to live in paradise and everyone else is tortured for eternity?
    • When Chidi is down after being told his 3600 page book on ethics is a mess, Eleanor points out how "I get bored halfway through a text message" so even being able to write something so thick is an achievement to be proud of.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Eleanor is shown to be a flagrantly selfish and hedonistic person, but she does eventually admit to having felt some guilt for shirking her trash duties, and she's the only one who finds it wrong that people who weren't perfect but weren't utterly terrible are sent to a place of eternal torment after they die. Deep down, she is capable of great selflessness and compassion. Her confessing to not belonging in the Good Place to protect Chidi is her most heroic act yet.
  • The Lad-ette: In many ways, she's written like a stereotypical uncouth man. She's also fond of women's MMA.
  • Lazy Bum: As part of the "brilliant, but lazy" thing noted above. Michael notes that in life, if the going got tough for Eleanor, she gave up, to the extent she just abandoned her car the minute the low gas light came on, or in another instance frequenting a coffee shop owned and operated by a pervert simply because it was closer to her apartment.
  • Loners Are Freaks: From what "Someone Like Me as a Member" reveals, when she was alive, she disliked making any emotional or social connections with others to the point she quit a high paying job for the con job she had before she died because it was required she play games with her coworkers to form bonds. She also announced at a high school she transferred to when she was younger she didn't want to be friends with anyone and refused praise from another loner who respected her actions.
  • Lying to Protect Your Feelings: Just as Gen tries to tell that Eleanor was the only one to pass her test and earn the right to the Good Place, Eleanor steps in and lies about her failure, so nobody would feel guilty about sending her to the Bad Place.
  • Magnetic Hero: Surprisingly. She is able to convince everyone on Team Cockroach, even Michael, a bonafide demon, to work together to get them into the Good Place, and eventually, to change the system altogether.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Eleanor's the Masculine Girl and Chidi's Feminine Boy. Chidi is a nerdy, polite, well-mannered and slightly timid and neurotic intellectual who loves French poetry while Eleanor is a hyper-sexual, alcoholic, foul-mouthed, strong-willed and uncouth Lad-ette who says "man" a lot. These two care and support each other despite their obvious differences. Funny thing is that when they shared a house together in Episode 5, they acted like a stereotypical husband and wife but with the stereotypical gender role expectations reversed, where Chidi complains that he has to do all the chores while Eleanor is a slob.
  • Meaningful Name: One possible etymology for the name Eleanor comes from the life of Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, who was christened "Aenor" after her mother and then dubbed "alia Aenor," "the other Aenor" in her native Occitan. Eleanor is also "the other Eleanor." She also shares her medieval counterpart's political savvy, flair for the dramatic, and talent for survival. Less historically, the name "Eleanor" contains all the letters required for "learn", which she most definitely does.
  • Messianic Archetype: As insane as it sounds, she essentially served as this. She was the being that managed to convince Michael of the capacity for goodness in every humans, which led to the team finguring out and attempting to fix the rules that had doomed every human soul for over half a century to The Bad Place, essentially making her the savior of the souls of humanity.
  • Minor Living Alone: She got herself emancipated at the age of fourteen, and from then on lived by herself. It's not clear if she continued going to school or had to drop out, but she mentions having to pretend to be older to get a job. The sad part is, she probably was better off this way than she was with her parents.
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: She told off her drunk mother for turning her dad's funeral into a "roast" when she just wanted some space to grieve.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: After time is reset so that none of the main characters ever died in the first place to see if they would change their ways without the goal of a reward, Eleanor does indeed start to make an effort to be a better person after surviving the incident at the supermarket. However, her honest persona starts to have negative consequences, such as confessing to her roommate that she was the one responsible for tearing her dress and the "dress bitch" shirts resulting in the loss of her friendship and leaving an apology note on a car she ran into resulting in her receiving a lawsuit from the owner.
  • Not So Different: In "The Trolley Problem", she notices that she and Michael have a disturbing amount in common. This is after she realizes that Micheal is actually a demon.
  • One Steve Limit: Played with. The pretense of her being in Neighborhood 12358W is that she died alongside another woman named Eleanor Shellstrop in the same accident, and when Vicky shows up they start referring to her and our Eleanor as "Real" and "Fake" Eleanor, respectively. In the end, though, Eleanor is the one and only.
  • The Paranoiac: Her cynical personality leads her to mistrust people, thinking they're silently judging her when they are (probably) doing no such thing, such as thinking various Rite-Aid employees were judging her purchases, or that Tahani is out to get her.
  • Parental Neglect: Much of her behavior is explained by a flashback revealing that Eleanor's parents were truly horrible people, total deadbeats who didn't even know her birthday and blew her college savings on bail money and various idiotic schemes.
  • Perverse Sexual Lust: In Season 3, a review of Attempt #445 shows that Michael knows that she has frequent sex dreams about Sam The Eagle from The Muppets, which Eleanor simply responds that she finds his authority reassuring.
  • Pintsize Powerhouse: It is frequently noted that Eleanor is quite short and petite. However, in the third season Bar Brawl she effortlessly knocks out the demon Vicky with one punch, and this is after Vicky had taken multiple blows from Janet with much less effect. Evidently, Eleanor knows a thing or two about bar fights.
  • Proud Beauty: Eleanor will occasionally comment about how attractive she is, even when not appropriate.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: She would never admit it, but Eleanor's taste in men tends to go towards the Nice Guy Understanding Boyfriend who put up with a lot from her. She realizes in season one that she fell in love with Chidi, who risked his stay in paradise to help her reform. Eleanor is heartbroken to learn that Michael erased one reboot where Chidi returned her feelings and they admitted they loved each other. While alive, she dated Sam long enough for him to support her at her dad's funeral, and her issue with Sam was that he worried about hurting others with ethical choices. Sam was especially patient when Eleanor's drunk mother showed up and made a scene while emotionally abusing Eleanor.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Played it, Eleanor certainly has a colorful vocabulary. However, since the supernaturally enforced rules of the neighborhood forbid profanity, she just constantly talks about "forking benches" and such.
  • Snake Oil Salesman: Eleanor worked as a telemarketer selling fake medicines to sick seniors.
  • Spanner in the Works:
    • Eleanor, to the shock of everyone (including herself), genuinely reformed under Chidi's tutelage. This completely ruined Michael's plans and forced him to bring in Shawn to try and get things back under control. She also always figures out that she, Chidi, Tahani and Jason are all actually in The Bad Place, being used to torture each other.
    • In the second season, it doesn't matter what new tricks Michael comes up with to make the four humans think they're in the Good Place, most of the time it's Eleanor who figures out where they are. After it happens more than eight hundred times, Michael is forced to team up with them as the only way to break the eternal stalemate.
  • Stepford Snarker: At one point, she is called out for constantly mocking others as a way to distract herself from the emptiness inside her. She admits this is a fair observation.
  • Street Smart: Eleanor doesn't fall easy for traps and has shown an ease to figure out when people are lying to her or plotting against her, she's a very good judge of character and capable of detecting small things that can be used as hints to figure out something when others are talking.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Will often turn to a convoluted and very specific example from her own life when emphasizing a point, and will then proceed to deny that it's based on a true story. Eventually she starts admitting when they're based on actual events.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Tomboy to Tahani's Girly Girl. Tahani is warm-hearted, has a feminine fashion sense, and a social butterfly while Eleanor is a more blunt Lad-ette.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Eleanor doing this deliberately, in the hopes of becoming the kind of person who deserves to be in The Good Place, is half the premise of the show. She succeeds to the point that she's willing to go to The Bad Place to spare those she feels are genuinely more deserving of paradise. It's only really started to stick in the season three finale, because for once her memories aren't wiped and she pulls herself together to pose as the architect of the Fake Neighborhood.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: She really loves shrimp. Her Apology Gift from Michael is even an Infinite Shrimp Dispenser (a soda machine with shrimp in place of ice, with various dipping sauces).
  • Tsundere: Towards Chidi, no matter what iteration, as Mindy lampshades.
  • Undignified Death: Eleanor's memory of her own death was erased because it was "traumatic and embarrassing". She bent over to pick up a bottle of "Lonely Gal" margarita mix in a parking lot, and a long column of shopping carts plowed into her. She was carried into the street and struck by a billboard truck advertising an erectile dysfunction pill. Funnily enough, the first EMT to arrive was an ex-boyfriend of hers...
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: She's selfish, angry, spiteful... but it's not entirely unjustified and she does start trying to be better.

    Chidi 

Chidi Anagonye

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/anagonye_chidi.jpg
"You know the sound that a fork makes in a garbage disposal? That's the sound that my brain makes all the time."
Portrayed by: William Jackson Harper, AJ Hudson (young)

"Okay, sure, but philosophy is about questioning things that you take for granted, and I, I just don't think that you're doing that."

A moral philosophy professor from Senegal and Eleanor's soulmate. Well, for the Eleanor who is supposed to be there. Roped into keeping her secret, Chidi becomes the mentor to this not awful (but definitely not great) person by teaching her how to be good.


  • Adorkable: He definitely has these moments. Chidi is more awkward than smooth, especially once his indecisiveness comes to light. Doesn't stop him from being a Clueless Chick Magnet.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Unnecessarily stresses over decision making all the time, to the point it has negative effects on his relationships with other people, making it likely he suffers from some sort of anxiety disorder.
  • Black and Nerdy: A moral philosophy professor from Senegal who is neurotic, bookish, not good with confrontation, and considers rowing out to the middle of a lake while reading French poetry to be his idea of a good time in paradise.
  • Brick Joke: A running gag is Chidi's obsessive concern with the unethical production of several foods. He is particularly convinced that the reason he was sent to the Bad Place was because he used almond milk even though he knew it's bad for the environment. As it turns out, small innocent actions with negative consequences just like those are exactly the reason no one has made it to the Good Place in centuries.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: For all his flaws, Chidi is a rocking awesome ethics professor. He manages to reform Eleanor in several hundred reboots in teaching her to be a good person, and it wasn't just because she fell in love with him during several of those; much later, he succeeds in reforming Michael, who is a demon, from someone who is an Affably Evil sadist into a literal Noble Demon that breaks the rules to save his friends' souls. As we see on Earth, his students like him and highly respect him.
  • Butt-Monkey: Bad things often happen to him for the sake of comedy.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "I have / am getting a stomach ache."
    • "I am vexed, [addressee]! Vexed!"
    • A drawn out "what?"
  • Character Development: More than anyone else on the show, Chidi's development is of a "three steps forward, two steps back" type thanks to his indecisive nature. Time and again he tries to become more decisive, and he even has long stretches where he succeeds... but then, when one of his decisions turns out to be wrong or have negative consequences, he tends to lapse back into indecisiveness for fear that he'll make another wrong choice. His development comes to a head in the Season 3 finale, as he makes the decision to willingly give up memories in order to ensure the success of the experiment, a choice that is no doubt the most decisive decision he's made in his entire life.
  • Character Filibuster: Once had an online lecture on Kantian philosophy that lasted three hours.
  • Clark Kent Outfit: Chidi is a nerdy professor and dresses like one most of the time, but Eleanor mentions that he is "surprisingly jacked". This is confirmed in Season 3 when he rips off his shirt during a breakdown and is shown to be quite well-built, more than characters of his archetype in fiction usually are anyways.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: Amusingly enough, he has had several different women vying for him at some point in the story (Vicky was faking it as part of her act, though her fixation on torturing him definitely raised some eyebrows), and he doesn't usually realize it until they spell it out for him. Notable because this doesn't tend to happen to characters of his archetype.
  • The Conscience: To Eleanor, since he is the one teaching her about ethics and how to be a better person. Eleanor even asks herself "What would Chidi do".
  • Cool Teacher: He's very patient with his students, both in the afterlife and in the real world. As he points out, ethics is the only thing he's certain about because he's taught it for decades. In fact, his students are genuinely worried when he seems to have a nervous breakdown and tells them to embrace nihilism.
  • Cunning Linguist: Chidi speaks half a dozen languages in addition to his native French, including Latin, "just in case it comes back."
  • The Ditherer: Chidi is the "can't see the forest for the trees" variant of this trope and this flaw is what got him sent to the Bad Place, due to how miserable it made everyone around him.
    • He possesses an immense amount of knowledge but it is all in constant conflict in his head, leading him to be unable to make even the simplest of decisions (such as choosing between a dry-erase board and marker or paper and pen).
    • His indecision is actually what killed him; he was hit by a falling AC unit while he was too busy making a decision.
    • This is such a defining part of his character that Gen, the all-powerful judge, tests him by telling him to choose between two hats. He spends 80 minutes preoccupied with deciding which choice is the right one, failing because he didn't realize that the point of the test was to make a simple choice.
  • Doorstopper: Chidi's life's work is a 3600 page monstrosity that attempted to encompass the entirety of human morality and ethics. Unfortunately, he contradicts himself so much that not even Michael, a near-omniscient supernatural being, can make sense of it.
  • Fatal Flaw: He is an extremely nice guy but his obsession with always doing the most ethical thing has ruined his life and poisoned his relationships with other people. He also spends so much time debating the rights and wrongs of a situation that he never makes any decisions, so he either lets the decision time out or he lets others decide for him, and even then he can't make it concrete.
  • Heel Realization: Chidi realizes how much his obsession and indecisiveness over doing the right thing led to him hurting everyone in his life and got him sent to the Bad Place.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: He's shown to be fond of dogs on multiple occasions, and mentions having had one as a kid that he really loved. When breaking up with Simone, he seriously considers giving her a dog as he does so just to lighten the blow, and in a flashback, we see him unable to choose between two adorable puppies.
  • Heroic BSoD: In season 3, after he learns about his death, time in the Bad Place, and resurrection - and discovers that that knowledge dooms him to the Bad Place again because of the moral deserts problem, he loses morale entirely and embraces nihilism for the rest of the day.
  • Innocently Insensitive: For Chidi, the road to He... er, The Bad Place, was literally paved with good intentions. He cared about the people around him and only wanted to live a moral life, but his tendency to overthink and obsess about taking the right path led to him being so indecisive that he hurt everyone around him.
  • Ironic Name:
    • His given name means "God Lives". On one hand it's fitting for a moral philosophy professor that finds that the afterlife is real. However, in a show about what happens to you after you die, God is non-existent as a character. In fact, it's implied in-universe that there is no God, at least not as understood in modern Abrahamic religions, or any other religion for that matter (the closest thing so far would be Gen, referred to only as "The Judge").
    • And in Season 3, when a resurrected Team Cockroach accidentally find out about the afterlife and are automatically disqualified from their last shot at getting into the Good Place, Chidi, taking it the worst out of everyone, ends up reciting everyone's favorite Nietzsche quote:
      Dealer: Hey, do you wanna talk to God?
      Chidi: "God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. Who will wipe this blood off us? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent?" Friedrich Nietzsche, 1882.
      Dealer: I just try'na sell you some drugs, and you made it weird! *runs off*
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Chidi is a variation. While he knows a lot about morality and ethics, he is unable to present a concise, decisive view about his knowledge, having learned so much that he can't keep his thoughts straight. His 3,600 page book is a total mess where Chidi repeats himself, goes off on tangents and quite often contradicts what he just said. Chidi is naturally thrown to realize his life's work is worthless.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Chidi's the Feminine Boy to Eleanor's Masculine Girl. Chidi is a nerdy, polite, well-mannered and slightly timid and neurotic intellectual who loves French poetry while Eleanor is a hyper-sexual, alcoholic, foul-mouthed, strong-willed and uncouth Lad-ette who says "man" a lot. These two care and support each other despite their obvious differences. Funny thing is that when they shared a house together in Episode 5, they acted like a stereotypical husband and wife but with the stereotypical gender role expectations reversed, where Chidi complains that he has to do all the chores while Eleanor is a slob.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • 'Chidi' means 'God lives' in Igbo, a language spoken in Nigeria, where Chidi was born before he moved to Senegal. This is even directly stated in the show. Fitting for a show set in the afterlife.
    • 'Anagonye' comes from three separate Igbo words that combine to mean 'to build from the ground up,' which Chidi does by giving Eleanor and later all of Team Cockroach entry-level ethics lessons to help improve her non-existent morals. Also, though pronounced differently, it has the word 'agony' in it, which handily describes his secret-keeper situation.
  • Morality Pet: He helps Eleanor change for the better no matter the circumstance. Eleanor, who will otherwise insult him and other people, keeps emphasizing that Chidi is a good person and he deserves better than what he got. Taken Up to Eleven when he gets Michael, a literal demon, to pull a Heel–Face Turn through his ethics lessons.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Very rarely the case due to his personality, but apparent when he takes off his shirt, due to his rather impressive figure underneath.
  • Nerd Glasses: Thick black rectangular ones, just to mark that he's the resident professor. Also possibly counts as Purely Aesthetic Glasses, since he can't possibly be in need of them in the afterlife.
  • Nervous Wreck: Doing anything immoral, no matter how slight, turns Chidi into a wreck. He obsessed over a white lie he told his coworker for three years.
  • Nice Guy: Like many of those in the Good Place, Chidi is kind and morally upstanding. Though initially conflicted about whether or not he should help Eleanor stay, he decides go through with it even though it puts himself in extreme danger as well. Michael even notes that he was the closest of the main four to getting into the real Good Place. Not actually close, but closer than the other three.
  • No Sense of Direction: He claims to have what doctors call "directional insanity". Apparently he once got lost on an escalator.
  • Non-Action Guy: Despite being surprisingly jacked, he's not good at physical fighting. In the season 3 fight scene he spends his time getting dragged around, while the others get hits in on the demons.
  • Obliviously Evil: In life, Chidi really tried to be a good person, but as Michael pointed out, his rigidity and indecisiveness made everyone around him suffer.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Chidi (blue) is level-headed and an ethics professor, while his soulmate Eleanor (red) is feisty and all over the place.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Savvy Guy to Eleanor's Energetic Girl. She's generally perkier and more adventurous, while he's more of a straight-laced intellectual.
  • Secret Keeper: He's the first person Eleanor confesses to that she's not the person everyone else thinks she is. Since she made him promise not to betray her, he can't tell anyone else, so he tries to help her learn how to be a good person worthy of staying in the Good Place.
  • Shirtless Scene: Gets shirtless in "Jeremy Bearimy" after embracing nihilism.
  • Skewed Priorities: His inability to make a decision sometimes leads him to prioritize the trivial over the important. He missed his mother's back surgery because he was already committed to helping his landlord's nephew set up a new phone.
  • The Smart Guy: Chidi is the one who uses his knowledge about ethics to guide Eleanor during her quests.
  • Spanner in the Works: No one expected Chidi to be as good of a teacher as he turns out to be. Eleanor genuinely turns over a new leaf and consequently completely screws up Michael's evil plan and forces him to bring in Shawn to try and salvage the situation.
  • Straw Nihilist: Chidi starts talking like this after he has a breakdown due to having learned about the afterlife. This includes quoting Friedrich Nietzsche's "God is dead" speech, and telling all his students to become nihilists.
  • Token Good Teammate: He's the most unambiguously nice of the main four, has no corrupt and selfish motives, and his indecision was rooted in good intentions. On the other hand, Chidi saw what his obsessive indecisiveness did to the people around him yet made no effort to change.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Like Tahani. By the standards of the Celestial Bureaucracy, he's a bad person, and therefore in the Bad Place. He had accepted the idea that they were in the Good Place because it validated his concept of himself as a good person.
  • Understanding Boyfriend: He's this with Eleanor after they actually fall for each other. A shining example is when she has a breakdown because their relationship seems too perfect, and he sits by her and gently assures her not to worry about the future too much.
  • Uptight Loves Wild:
    • Chidi is a sophisticated and pragmatic ethics professor with a sense of perfectionism when it comes to morals who wants a stable life and dreams of meeting his soulmate but in the "Good Place", he ends up with the wilder and more impulsive Eleanor but despite her many flaws, he is very caring and loyal towards her.
    • He also plays the Uptight to the more relaxed Simone.
  • Will Not Tell a Lie: He wants to be unrelentingly honest because it's the ethical thing to do, which causes problems when the team has to lie their way through a Bad Place event.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: In at least one reboot and in the alternate timeline, he and Eleanor became a serious couple, and Eleanor admitted that she loved him. Michael undid the first relationship while taunting Eleanor and Chidi that their love wasn't real because he orchestrated it, and in the second Chidi willingly sacrifices his memories so that his previous relationship with Simone won't affect the experiment involving her soul in the fake neighborhood.

    Tahani 

Tahani Al-Jamil

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/al_jamil_tahani.jpg
"I would say I outdid myself, but I'm always this good. So I simply did myself."
Portrayed by: Jameela Jamil, GraceAnne Pullappally (young)

"You know, this really reminds me of my time in Vietnam, picking up mortar shells with my godmother, Diana. Doesn't really matter what she's a princess of. It's not really important."

A wealthy British socialite and Eleanor's next-door neighbor.


  • Abusive Parents: Her parents heaped praise on her sister, while barely acknowledging any of her accomplishments, and belittling those they do. And they topped it all off by misspelling her name as "Tahini" ("like the sauce") in their will.
  • The Ace: During her life, she raised $60 billion for non-profit groups and also worked as a museum curator, a fashion model, an "It Girl" and was Baz Luhrmann's muse. She frequently name-drops extremely famous celebrities as friends or people she's influenced, and when she does so in front of a truth-testing device, it confirms it as true.
  • Always Someone Better: In spite of seeming to be almost insufferably perfect, she developed a deep inferiority complex because her sister Kamilah was even more successful and multi-talented, and her parents very openly played favorites.
  • Ambiguously Bi: She dates Jason in season two, but she sometimes gets quite affectionate with Eleanor, as well, and doesn't seem to mind the fact that Eleanor openly has a thing for her. The two were even made soulmates in at least one of the reboots, and from what little we saw, Tahani didn't seem averse to the idea of a female soulmate.
    Eleanor: (translating Tahani's name) "Congratulations, beautiful."
    Tahani: (smiling) Thanks, Eleanor. You big flirt.
  • Attention Whore: Tahani's many accomplishments were born from her insatiable desire for praise and recognition. She falls victim to this even when she knows the demons are using it to try and torture her.
  • The Beautiful Elite: Born into a wealthy English family, Tahani had access to the finest fashions and regularly mingled with high-name celebrities; to the point her diary includes a foreword by Kylie Minogue and Malala Yousafzai.
  • British Stuffiness: Her plummy British demeanor is often Played for Laughs.
    Tahani: As us Brits are fond of saying: try your best to hide your sadness!
  • Broken Ace: Tahani is a mess of self-esteem issues and is unable to handle being anything less than the best. She also hides her disappointment in being unable to connect with her soulmate Jianyu. And then there's her family...
  • Butt-Monkey: A Downplayed example. While lauded by most everyone in the Good Place, Michael (who's consistently nice to everyone) often is frustrated by her narcissism and puts her down a lot.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: She calls out a hypothetical version of her mother and father in "Burrito," pointing out what lousy parents they were to her, and how doing everything they'd never approve of is what's finally made her happy.
  • Combat Pragmatist: When dragged into a brawl with demons, all of whom are skilled fighters, and many of whom are much bigger than Tahani (making physically overpowering them nearly impossible), she grabs a pool cue, boasting twelve years of fencing experience... and promptly beans a demon over the head with the stick, forgoing any flashy display of her skills in favor of just hitting him as hard as she possibly can.
    Tahani: Obviously, I'd never do that during a competition. That'd be a three-tenths deduction!
  • Conspicuous Consumption: She apparently wears bras made of gold.
    Tahani: Darling, do you remember all the rules about what can and cannot be worn inside an MRI? More specifically, what if one's brassiere is very thin, but also very pure gold?
  • D-Cup Distress: Lampshaded by Tahani herself.
    Tahani: Couture just doesn't fit my body. I'm cursed with ample bosom.
    Eleanor: And yet you soldier on.
  • Desperately Craves Affection: Tahani is always fishing for compliments and praise from people due to being denied from her parents.
  • The Fashionista: Tahani is always seen wearing elegant semiformal outfits and cares about designer fashion, and when the neighborhood in emergency mode magically puts everyone in bright blue-yellow striped outfits her clothes is the first thing that reasserts itself as things go back to normal, in an apparent act of pure will on her part. That's right, Tahani's fashion sense is strong enough to warp reality.
    Tahani: That was my first time as a Fashion Don't, and I did not care for it!
  • First World Problems: Because she's a wealthy Brit she's rather out-of-touch. In the first season, she mentions her Bad Place torture would be being forced to wear a knockoff handbag and drink tap water. In the second season, she thinks her version of the Bad Place would be an eternity spent in the Swiss Alps during the off season, emphasizing "off season" as if she was disgusted. Chidi (in the first instance) and Eleanor (in the second) react with disbelief.
    Chidi: That's what you think Hell is?
  • Freudian Excuse: Growing up with parents who refused to show affection or praise for anything while lavishing it on her sister, who was always the center of attention and actively contributed to Tahani's feelings of inferiority, would leave anyone with a serious complex.
  • Heel Realization: She eventually realizes that all the good acts she's performed were rendered meaningless, because she only did them for praise and recognition, rather than because they were good deeds. Happens again a season later when the Bad Place is torturing her by making her throw unsuccessful parties, and she realizes that it's working, which makes her realize that she's a frivolous, prideful person.
  • History with Celebrity: Exaggerated to the point of parody. Tahani namedrops her famous friends and acquaintances constantly. To start with, she can apparently count Princess Diana, Paul McCartney, and Maggie Smith among her godparents.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: In Michael's second attempt, Tahani gets a unique punishment fitting for the Bad Place: She must live the humble life she claims she always wanted, living in a crappy shack of a home, eating bad food and dressing in cargo pants. Her every attempted protest is cut off by Michael saying this is meant to be the humble and caring woman Tahani claimed to be so she has to bear it.
  • Humiliation Conga: The events leading up to her death were pretty bad, even by the standards of this show. First, she got an interview about an upcoming relief trip to Haiti she was taking... except all the interviewer wanted to talk about was Kamilah, even referring to Kamilah as an only child to Tahani's face. We then find out Kamilah was being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (they decided to just waive the 25-year waiting period, because, naturally, Kamilah's album was that good), and Kamilah didn't even invite Tahani to the party. So, Tahani decided to dress up as a waitress and confront Kamilah. Kamilah mocked Tahani in front of all her friends, and said Tahani was just embarrassing herself, as always. When asked if that was really how she thought of Tahani, Kamilah simply said that she doesn't think of Tahani, period. Then Tahani turned around and saw a gold statue of Kamilah. This proved to be the straw that broke the camel's back, and Tahani had a Freak Out! and began to try and tear the statue down, in full view of the crowd, and succeeded... by bringing it down onto herself. To make matters worse, she died in Cleveland.
  • I Am Very British: She keeps her posh British accent in the afterlife, and Eleanor mocks it a few times.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: Ultimately, this is the crux of her problems. Even though she had many friends and admirers, lived an incredibly exciting life, and has a list of accomplishments that most people could never dream of achieving a fraction of, Tahani wasn't ever really happy. All she wanted was to gain the same level of recognition and appreciation that Kamilah got, especially from their parents. It's hard not to wonder if Tahani would've turned out this way if her mother and father had raised her with love and affection. Towards the end of season two, Tahani begins to make steps towards growing out of this issue. She breaks up with Jason so she can learn to stand on her own two feet, and finally accepts that her parents would never treat her well, no matter what she did — and that's their problem, not hers.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Tahani is always praising herself, to the point of annoying Eleanor and Michael. She is thrown for a loop when she discovers she's second-to-last in the rankings of everyone in the Good Place and puts herself in danger by abandoning the curfew Michael set up to fix the sinkhole to help them out. The fact that all her charitable works were done in the name of self-aggrandizement rather than altruism got her sent to the Bad Place.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Has a habit of doing this, talking to Eleanor about "belonging" in the Good Place while unaware she doesn't, and throwing a happy retirement party for Michael before learning that retirement for Architects is not pleasant and that the pinata she made of him happens to be in extremely poor taste.
  • Ironic Death: It's finally revealed in "Team Cockroach" she died crushed under a massive gold statue of her sister. She's most upset about the fact that it happened in Cleveland.
  • It's All About Me:
    • Downplayed. Most of her warm philanthropic appearance is a front and she greatly values surface gloss and receiving praise, but she is capable of acknowledging other peoples' feelings (even if it takes her a bit of a run-up).
    • A recurring problem for Eleanor and Chidi in season 1 is Tahani trying to force "Jianyu" to break his vow of silence, not caring about his apparent view on the matter. When it looks like he has started speaking, Tahani leaps to the assumption that Eleanor and Chidi did this as a surprise for her. After that, she assumes she and Chidi are soul-mates, declares her love for him, and never once considers he doesn't return the feelings (as Eleanor points out, her declaration is more telling him he loves her than anything else).
  • Jerkass Has a Point: The way everyone ignores her in order to gush about her sister Kamilah would give most people a serious complex. And despite her selfish motives, Tahani did accomplish some truly remarkable things through hard work and dedication yet everyone was always fixated on Kamilah. Plus Kamilah is a very callous and self-centered person as well.
  • Jerkass Realization:
    • In the first season finale, it finally hits her that she's in the Bad Place because all her "charity work" was just for attention and her own ego rather than helping others.
    • In "Team Cockroach", Michael shows Tahani that she died by accidentally crushing herself beneath her sister's statue, in a juvenile attempt to deal with her envy, rather than going to Haiti to help with the relief efforts like she planned. It makes Tahani truly realize that all the good things she did while she was alive were just for the attention and an attempt to measure up to Kamilah. Breaking down at the fact she wasted her life, she now wants to learn to be the woman she always believed she was.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: She grew up very wealthy but with parents and a sister who showed her zero affection or kindness.
  • Meaningful Name: Lampshaded by her. In Arabic, Tahani means 'congratulations' and Al-Jamil is 'beautiful', so her full name means 'congratulations, beautiful'.
  • Ms. Vice Girl: As condescending, arrogant, and shallow as she is, Tahani's too kindhearted to really qualify as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, and she did do a whole lot of good. Yes, her motivations were corrupt, but she still helped a lot of people when she was alive.
  • Nice Girl: Played with. One has to be one by default to get into the Good Place, and Tahani raised millions for charity on top of that. Eleanor initially suspects this to be a front, but finds that while Tahani is obliviously condescending and self-absorbed, she is genuinely well-meaning, compassionate and sweet. However, she is still a bit too snobbish and Secretly Selfish to be a truly straight example.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Early on, aside from the many innocently insensitive comments she makes, Tahani has a habit of "booping" Eleanor on the nose, which Eleanor really doesn't like.
  • Not So Different: Both she and Eleanor just wanted to be loved by their parents and the actions they took because of that lack of love drove them to the behavior that sent them to the Bad Place.
  • Opposites Attract: With Jason in season 2.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: While considered one of the most talented and sophisticated people in the Good Place, Tahani all through her life was constantly outdone by her sister Kamilah. It got so bad that a reporter interviewing Tahani about her accomplishments starts asking questions about Kamilah instead and completely forgets about Tahani, to the point where she mistakenly identifies Kamilah as an only child! It's indicated the only reason her death is memorable at all is because she was crushed by a gold statue of her sister. In Cleveland.
  • Parody Sue: Tahani is initially presented as one when her many achievements are first detailed, but it's subverted when it is revealed that she is incredibly spoiled and self-centered. All her efforts were just a way to show to her parents that she was just as good as her younger sister Kamilah, who is the real Parody Sue and who outdoes Tahani in every possible area.
  • Pungeon Master: Enjoys naming her baked goods and desserts with themed puns. For example, at Michael's retiring party she had on display 'Retire-Mint' chocolate cake and 'Flan Voyage', and made donut holes when Michael and Janet were attempting to fix the giant sinkhole.
  • Rightly Self-Righteous: Much to Eleanor's chagrin, Tahani is a genuinely nice and caring person even if she can be a little condescending and boastful.
  • Running Gag: Tahani drops names at least thrice per episode, mentioning places she visit, things she did and how she is related to several celebrities.
  • Secretly Selfish: The many good deeds she performed in her life were negated by the fact that she only did them to gain attention and try to outdo her sister.
  • Sheep in Sheep's Clothing: Tahani is more than a little self-righteous and obliviously condescending, but otherwise every bit as kind as she appears, despite Eleanor's suspicions.
  • Shipper on Deck: In Season Three, she encourages Eleanor to confess her feelings for Chidi.
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: As Eleanor's plummy, seemingly perfect, upper class neighbor who is more than a little boastful and self-righteous, Tahani really gets on Eleanor's nerves. Turns out to have been invoked, as Michael expected that they'd grate on each other.
  • Skewed Priorities: Tahani has a tendency to latch on to pointless details. For example, when Eleanor explains what's going on with the Good Place, Tahani's only response is when Eleanor states Chidi doesn't love her.
  • Slave to PR: Ultimately, Tahani's philanthropy and good deeds were all to look good and outdo her younger sister.
    Tahani: I was supposed to be in Haiti being photographed helping people...
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Played for laughs. Tahani mourns not being able to wear haute couture because of her large cup size, and her pores are so miniscule that that leave-on face masks don't stick to her skin.
  • Socialite: She was this in life; she spent her days mingling with the upper class and raising money for charity.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Zigzagged. Though Eleanor believed her to be a rich Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, Tahani reveals herself to be kind and generous who used to her wealth to benefit the needy and all sorts of charity groups. Though it turns out that Eleanor wasn't entirely wrong; Tahani did those things to inflate her own ego, which is why she's in The Bad Place.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Is acknowledged by everyone—including Eleanor, who calls her a "sexy skyscraper" despite herself—to be very attractive, and at one point Eleanor acknowledges that Tahani "has legs for days." Jameela Jamil was a former model and is the second tallest member of the main cast; Tahani is taller than Jason and Chidi.
    Tahani: I'm just a girl, towering over a boy, asking him to admit he loves me.
  • Stepford Smiler: Her flashbacks make it clear that, for all her wealth, sophistication, and fame, she was not a happy person. Of course, looking at her family and the way everyone treated her in comparison to Kamilah, it's not hard to see why. It gets better in the afterlife, when she meets the others.
  • Successful Sibling Syndrome: Suffers from this due to living her entire life in her sister Kamilah's shadow.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: By the standards of the Celestial Bureaucracy, she's a bad person, and therefore in the Bad Place. She had accepted the idea that they were in the Good Place because it validated her concept of herself as a good person.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Girly Girl to Eleanor's Tomboy. Tahani is warm-hearted, has a feminine fashion sense, and a social butterfly while Eleanor is a more blunt Lad-ette.
  • The Un-Favourite: All but outright stated to be the case. Her parents had unrealistic expectations for Tahani, unfavourably comparing her to Kamilah. When they died, they even misspelled her name in the will, calling her Tahini ("Like the sauce.").
  • Upper-Class Equestrian: Tahani mentions that of course she had a stable full of horses growing up, but they were only ever used to pull carriages and perform in horse ballets (dressage). Nevertheless, this helps establish her as posh and upper-class.
  • Upper-Class Twit: A spoiled but good-natured and intelligent version, but on occasion Tahani shows it, such as her idea of Hell, or considering marrying a duke "dallying below my station", or showing disdainful or dismissive attitudes towards working class type occupations ("I'm not a factory worker.").
  • Uptight Loves Wild: In Season 2, she's the "uptight" to Jason's "wild".
  • Wealthy Philanthropist: Born into an uppercrust British Pakistani family, she seemingly got into The Good Place by raising plenty of money for humanitarian causes.
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: Ultimately all her issues stem from never winning her parents' approval. In "The Burrito", she faces off against her parents one last time during her test, and finally gets closure, realizing she will never gain their approval over Kamilah, and she is better off not trying.

    Jason/Jianyu 

Jason Mendoza/Jianyu Li

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mendoza_jason.jpg
"I'm ranking my favorite The Fast and the Furious movies. You said you wanted to know who I am, and this is the best way to get to know me."
Portrayed by: Manny Jacinto

"Yo, you should listen to me! I came up with hundreds of plans in my life and only one of them got me killed."

A Buddhist monk and Tahani's soulmate who took a vow of silence during his time on Earth, and continues to do so in the Good Place. Or so the other characters believe. In actuality, he's a "pre-successful" DJ and small-time criminal from Florida. Also quite possibly one of the stupidest people who has ever lived.


  • Achievement In Ignorance: During "Janets", Jason figures out how to use his temporary Janet powers with ease, while Eleanor has repeated problems with them.
  • Affably Evil: Not "evil" exactly, but he's a lot more outwardly friendly than his criminal past would suggest.
  • Asian Airhead: A rare male example. Jason is so very dumb. For starters, he thinks the Good Place might be an alien zoo or a highly elaborate prank show. Also mispronounces ethics as "ethnics." He only avoided giving himself away immediately by pretending to be silent, and as soon as he starts speaking again he almost ruins his and Eleanor's chances of staying in the Good Place. He also thinks penguins aren't real.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Jason has the attention span of a goldfish, which is not helped by his lack of intelligence. At one point, Eleanor gets him to stop hindering their discussion by having Janet give him a sparkler to play with.
  • Berserk Button: Although Jason is normally too goofy and self-absorbed to get truly upset or angry, he does get very irritated when Tahani keeps calling him Jianyu long after he's stopped hiding his real identity.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: He sees no problem with committing robbery and other serious crimes, but he has an extremely strong moral objection to lying or pretending to be someone else, to the point that he still struggles with it even if it's the only way to avoid eternal damnation.
  • Brainless Beauty: Jason is definitely not the brightest of people, but as Eleanor notes multiple times, he's pretty easy on the eyes. In fact, his combination of good looks and earnest innocence eventually gets him caught in the center of the show's first legitimate Love Triangle.
  • Calling Parents by Their Name: As part of their carefree Floridian nature, Jason refers to his dad by his name Donkey Doug. He tries calling him Donkey Dad during a father-son bonding moment but the two of them decide it doesn't sound as nice.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Played for laughs. Yells out "BORTLES!" (referencing Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles) when he throws a Molotov in both his flashback and in "Mindy St. Claire". Gets a Call-Back in "Rhonda, Diana, Jake, and Trent" when posing as "Jake Jortles" — he yells "JORTLES" instead.
  • Catchphrase: "Aw, dip", used in moments of realization. "The Ballad of Donkey Doug" suggests he got it, and "BORTLES", from Donkey Doug.
  • Celeb Crush: Apparently thinks Ariana Grande is the sexiest woman alive. He also wishes they were related.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Molotov Cocktail-making. Introduced in the fourth episode of Season One, used to stall a room full of demons chasing Team Cockroach in the eleventh episode of Season Two. Also used as a Failed Attempt at Drama at the end of 'Mindy St. Claire.'
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Has only the vaguest idea what's going on around him at any given time.
  • Combat Pragmatist: When the going gets tough, Jason doesn't waste any time before starting to chuck pool balls at his opponents' heads.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Though he's usually spouting nonsense, Jason has occasional moments where something he says becomes relevant later in the episode or season.
  • Culture Equals Costume: He's a Buddhist monk, and thus wears their traditional robes around the Good Place. Justified (since they're not supposed to really have worldly possessions). Once the truth about him comes to light he starts dressing like a bro, although he does put on the robes when fooling the demons.
  • The Ditz: Jason is really, really stupid. After several weeks in the Good Place, he thinks they might have been abducted by aliens, he doesn't see why he should make an effort to avoid going to the Bad Place even after having it explained to him multiple times, and once he does understand, he assumes that Chidi's "ethnics" class works like regular school, complete with football and a prom. He got really, really lucky that he didn't say anything before Michael asked him if he wanted to continue his vow of silence. That gave him an excuse to just hunker down and hide for a few weeks. (In hindsight, since Michael knew who he really was, this was Jason falling for a Batman Gambit).
  • Dumbass Has a Point:
    • In Chapter 13, when they're arguing about who should go to The Bad Place, Jason points out that he's the only one who hasn't been causing problems for anyone since they all came to The Good Place.
    • Jason also realizes he was right that this "heaven" was a prank show, and Eleanor high-fives him on it.
    • In one of the many "reboots" of Neighborhood 12358W, it was Jason who figured out they are actually in the Bad Place. The idea that even Jason was able to outsmart him made Michael very frustrated.
    • Every once in a while he comes up with a helpful insight, but these moments are buried deep within rambling stories about the stupid things he got up to when he was still alive.
      Jason: ...I framed one innocent gator dealer to save a 60-person dance crew.
      Chidi: Shockingly, that is a relevant example of the Utilitarian dilemma. Well done.
    • In Season 3's Chapter 11, he manages to explain to the judge how difficult it can be for humans to make good decisions while also juggling the problems of normal life.
  • Everyone Has Standards: When trying to save him from damnation, Jason rather bluntly explains that giving Donkey Doug money wouldn't help his situation, as he'd just spend it all.
  • Fail O'Suckyname: His stage name was "DJ Mr. Music." DJ Music for short.
  • Fanboy: Of the Transformers movies, or at least the first one (since it's the only one he references). Also, Pokémon. Michael's idea of a gift for him is a Pikachu balloon, which he's overjoyed to see.
  • A Fool for a Client: He would represent himself in court, against the advice of the judge... and get immediately convicted.
  • Good Is Dumb: Played with. While super-friendly, Jason is a very childish petty criminal ruled by his impulses and inability to think through the consequences of his actions; he can also be incredibly selfish. All things considered though, Jason is the nicest of the four, if only because his dumbness gives him a sort of innocence, as Eleanor notes, calling him the nice one of the group.
  • Hanlon's Razor: He's an illustrative example; he's a career criminal, but not with any malice or disregard towards anyone, he's just too dumb to know any better.
  • The Heart: The most sincere and heartfelt of the Good Place crew, in spite of his impulse control and general stupidity. Before his death, he managed to use this ability to command and encourage a forty person dance crew/petty criminals through sheer charisma.
  • The Hedonist: Jason is primarily concerned with his own instant gratification and amusement. Exploited by Michael as part of the Ironic Hell — he could theoretically have everything he wanted at his fingertips in the Good Place, but has to keep up the facade of being a humble Buddhist monk with no earthly desires or possessions.
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures: Is believed to be Taiwanese, when actually he's a Filipino-American from Florida.
  • Insistent Terminology: He prefers to call himself a "pre-successful" DJ rather than a "failed" DJ.
  • Interspecies Romance: Jason, a human in the afterlife, with Janet, a... something. She's definitely not human, in any case.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While he was a robber, drug dealer and serial vandal who tried to cheat his way through life, once he ends up in the afterlife, Jason does become a slightly better person and his negative actions are limited mostly to his general stupidity.
  • Kindhearted Simpleton: Played with. Jason is extremely dumb and definitely the nicest of the four, but he is still categorically not a good person — not only did he commit several crimes in life, but he is also ruled by his impulses and can't often see when he's being selfish.
  • Loser Son of Loser Dad: As it turns out, Jason's father is a dim-witted criminal, and in a more horrifying twist, Jason is the more intelligent of the two.
  • Magical Asian: Being a wise Buddhist monk, he dispenses powerful truths and sage advice without saying a word. Except not.
  • Manchild: When he shows Eleanor and Chidi his "Budhole," Eleanor comments the decor — the game consoles, the posters of cars and bikini-clad models — is like "12-year-old boy meets... 13-year-old boy." Jason generally has an immature and child-like mind. It's revealed that he and Jianyu have the same IQ, only Jianyu stopped learning at age eight.
  • Meaningful Name: His fake name, "Jianyu", has multiple possible meanings. "Build the universe" or "build the world" could just be a reference to Michael constructing the Good Place, or even a hint about the "Jianyu" identity being fabricated. Another, even more interesting, translation is "prison", hinting both at Jason feeling imprisoned by pretending to be Jianyu and at the real nature of The Good Place.
  • Mistaken for Profound: All of his "wisdom" is actually just him staying completely silent and letting people come up with their own answers. He's actually a complete idiot who's bluffing his way through the whole thing. Ironically, when he does try to give advice after his cover is blown, it often ends up being helpful in spite of being ridiculous nonsense.
  • Not Quite Dead: The real Jianyu isn't dead, he just achieved such a deep level of meditation that he was mistaken for dead, leading to Jason being mistaken for him. Though given The Reveal of Chapter 13, it's unlikely there even is an actual Jianyu.
  • Only in Florida: He's from Florida, and does a lot of weird things. When just hearing he's from Florida, Shawn says he must belong to the Bad Place.
  • Opposites Attract: With Tahani in season 2. Tahani was a cultured, educated, wealthy philanthropist in life while Jason was an unintelligent, uncouth petty criminal.
  • Pair the Dumb Ones: Zigzagged. While Jason is literally Too Dumb to Live, his girlfriend Janet is The Omniscient, knowing everything. That said, Janet is also frequently inept at social cues and generally cheerful at inappropriate times due to her programming to always be positive.
  • Patriotic Fervor: A city-specific example. He loves his home city of Jacksonville, for reasons no one else can figure out.
  • The Pollyanna: As Tahani points out, so many aspects of his pre-death life are deeply disturbing; his father was a ludicrously idiotic criminal, his mother was a criminal, his "school" was a bunch of tugboats, where lessons consisted of selling porn mags, and one of the teachers was arrested for having sex with Jason... and yet Jason never seems to be bothered by any of these things.
  • Properly Paranoid: Unlike the others, he was the only one suspecting that The Good Place was a "prank show"; he points out that heaven is racist for assuming him to be Taiwanese when he is Filipino, for example, and is vindicated when Eleanor finds out in the first version of the Neighborhood that they're in The Bad Place.
  • The Quiet One: He's a Buddhist monk who is continuing his vow of silence. Somehow, he is able to make his feelings known anyway. It turns out this is just how he maintains his bluff. When he finally breaks his silence, he reveals he's actually a Filipino DJ who, like Eleanor, was sent to the Good Place in someone else's place.
  • Seemingly Profound Fool: Subverted. Things like his calming touch on Michael appear genuinely wise, until we learn Jason's true nature. Then, when we learn who Jason is, it looks like this is what's happening when, for example, he pricks his finger on a cactus and Michael manages to convert that into a parable. Then, when we learn the true nature of the Good Place, it becomes clear that everyone except maybe Chidi, Eleanor and Tahani already knew he had nothing to offer in the wisdom department and the poetic reinterpretations of his semi-random actions were just a way of keeping the charade going.
  • Spanner in the Works:
    • Jason is so dumb that not even Michael could anticipate that he would fall in love with Janet and cause the interface to genuinely fall in love with him in return.
    • In Michael's second attempt, he blows his cover within a single day, throwing Michael's plans off and forcing him to start from scratch again.
  • Stupid Crooks: Part of his backstory is committing TONS of ill-conceived and/or impulsive crimes, one of them resulting in his death. The guy is basically the "Florida Man" meme if it genuinely was all done by one person.
  • Too Dumb to Fool: In the second iteration, he ruins Michael's plans within a single day because, separated from the others, he's too stupid to realize he's supposed to be hiding the fact that he doesn't belong.
  • Too Dumb to Live: He died during the execution of a badly-planned robbery that involved him being locked in a safe. He forgot to put in air holes, thinking just wearing a snorkel inside would help him breathe, and suffocated after doing a number of whippets inside.
    Jason: I'm just a dope who died in a safe with a snorkel...[beat] who's only now realizing why that didn't work!
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Jalapeno poppers.
  • Uptight Loves Wild: In season 2, he's the "wild" to Tahani's "uptight".
  • Walking Spoiler: It's hard to talk about Jianyu when he's actually an amateur DJ named Jason and, like Eleanor, is also unworthy of being in the Good Place.

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    Michael 

Michael

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/michael_40.jpg
"You humans have so many emotions! You only need two: anger and confusion!"
Portrayed by: Ted Danson

"There's something so human about taking something great, and ruining it a little, so you can have more of it."

The architect of neighborhood 12358W and an otherworldly being who loves humans. When the first neighborhood he ever created is thrown into chaos by Eleanor's presence, he attempts to maintain morale and good cheer despite the ever-growing list of problems that threaten his perfectly designed harmony of the Good Place.


  • Actor Allusion: In the Season 2 finale, Michael goes undercover as a bartender.
  • Adorkable: Is giddy at the prospect of trying out suspenders and excitedly throws Eleanor a "paperclip shower."
  • Affably Evil: When it is revealed that he is actually a demon (or whatever Bad Place employees are). His polite and fun-loving mannerisms are the only elements of his true personality that shine through.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: He's some kind of higher entity who is not quite used to having a human body.
  • Arc Villain: For season 1. Michael is a Bad Place architect posing as one from the Good Place, and has designed his neighborhood to look like the Good Place, but is really a Bad Place neighborhood designed to force Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, and Jason to psychologically torture each other for all eternity.
  • Ascended Demon: By the end of season two, he's genuinely become a noble, kinder person who's willing to sacrifice himself for the safety and happiness of his new friends. Considering it goes against a demon's very nature to be good, that says a lot about how far he's come.
  • Author Avatar: Is one for showrunner Michael Shur, someone who devising awkward and dramatic scenarios for the only few characters that matter (team Cockroach) while rendering everyone else (the other Good Place citizens who turned out to be other demons) and everything else (Janet and the "Fake Good Place") to plot devices to drive the story (to cause team Cockroach to torture each other).
  • Badass Fingersnap: Clicks his fingers to use his powers in various ways.
  • Bad Liar: It turns out his inherent ability to lie well was part of his demon powers. The second he sets foot on Earth, he starts to lose it — after spending a year down there, his lies are comically transparent.
  • Becoming the Mask: He is a demon who decided to pose as a Good Place Architect that cares about the souls so he could witness the torture firsthand. He didn't account for Chidi truly reforming Eleanor, or for all of them to rally around him as their friend before Eleanor figured out they were in the bad place. By Season Two, Chidi kicking him out of ethics class for torturing him has some emotional impact, and Michael realizes that he truly wants to save them.
  • Beleaguered Bureaucrat: Works himself into a frenzy trying to keep control of all the chaos that Eleanor accidentally causes. The majority of his efforts outright fail to help the problem, which just makes him more panicky. At the end of the first season, this is revealed to have been an act, but the second season opens with him scrambling to prevent Eleanor and her friends from figuring out his secret and ruining his real plan.
  • Benevolent Boss: For a demon, he's actually quite benevolent to his subordinates as long as they're not incompetent.
  • Big Good: He's the designer and in charge of maintaining the neighborhood, so he initially comes across as this. Subverted, since he's actually a demon. Double Subverted after he Took a Level in Kindness in Season 2. By the midpoint of Season 3, he's the only member of the entire Celestial Bureaucracy who cares enough about humanity to do something about how horribly broken the system for judging people has become.
  • Bloody Hilarious: In "The Trolley Problem", Michael decides to take Chidi's thought experiment, The Trolley Problem—about whether to run over one person with a trolley or five—and do it for real. Chidi gets covered in blood and gore as he runs people over. Repeatedly.
  • Brought Down to Normal: After escaping to Earth in Season Three, he loses all his powers. While it's unclear if he's mortal now, or if he can get hurt, he can't just fix things with the snap of a finger anymore, either.
  • Buffy Speak: Resorts to this to describe concepts he's unfamiliar with, such as as 'presents' ("Opposite-tortures") and 'guilt' ("after-sad").
  • Character Development: From a malicious demon unquestioning of his role as a torturer in season one, to a frustrated and conflicted ethics student in early season two, to his current role as a devoted advocate and protector to the four humans.
  • The Chessmaster: In season 1, he knew exactly what he was doing in order to screw with the humans' heads under pretense of being nice. In Season 2, after his reformation he rigs up a plan to fool Shawn and the rest of the demons despite having zero time to prepare, banking on his knowledge and familiarity with the demons and humans alike. And it works perfectly despite being somewhat complicated and relying on the everyone involved to do fairly specific actions. Does a much more subtle repeat in "Somewhere Else" where with about two sentences he is able to get a pre-Character Development Eleanor who has lapsed back heavily into her bad ways to fly to St. John's University to find Chidi.
  • Complete Immortality: He was born at the very beginning of time, and retirement will consist of spending eternity being tortured after having every ounce of his body split and individually placed upon a single sun. Despite this, he'll still be alive and conscious through all that.
  • Complexity Addiction: All of his ideas involve an intricate sequence of steps where every single moment must go according to plan over the course of eternity. Unfortunately, the universe doesn't work like that and he's frequently forced to do damage control.
  • Consummate Liar: Michael is a fantastic liar and manipulator, able to lie and fake emotion more or less flawlessly.
  • The Dandy: His wardrobe consists almost entirely of colorful suits. You might assume this is just part of his persona, but he appears genuinely insulted when Vicky claims he can't pull off his bow ties.
  • Didn't See That Coming: What ultimately threw a wrench in his initial plan for his experiment of an 'innovative' Bad Place is that he didn't expect that Chidi could succeed in actually getting Eleanor to change for the better.
  • Dimension Lord: Of the neighborhood, Michael built it and can alter it as he sees fit. Such as creating thousands of new frozen yogurt flavors, several of which embody concepts (like "mother's love" and "full cell phone battery"). He definitely has his limits, as seen when things start to spiral out of control. He also has the ability to wipe memories and reboot the neighborhood.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: In Season 2, he realizes that he can't go through with destroying Janet, as he genuinely considers her his friend. Later in Season 2, he actually breaks down when confessing that he wasn't sure if the humans were safe or not. By Season 3 he openly states that the four humans are the only thing he cares about in the entire universe.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: It's implied in Season 3 that he was fine with being a demon and torturing people because that's how the universe dispenses justice in the afterlife to people who deserve it. The other humans admit that he may have a point when they learn that their flaws landed them in the Bad Place. Post Heel–Face Turn, doesn't react well on realizing that no one has entered the Good Place for 521 years due to the system being rigged unfairly, and it's implied that if he had learned this while evil it would have broken him.
  • Everyone Has Standards: He's a very nice dude, but even he has limits.
    • He's very annoyed by Tahani's condescending attitude and will take pot shots when it gets too much.
    • Chidi's dithering gets on his nerves very quickly, to the point he openly chews him out of it.
  • Evil All Along: It turns out he's been the chessmaster of the main cast's personal hell since the start, engineering many of the crazy happenstances as torture for Eleanor, Jason, Chidi and Tahani as entertainment for the cosmic entities running the Bad Place they're actually in.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: The one flaw in his master plan to torment the main four was that he never imagined that Eleanor could learn to be good. Her confession threw a wrench in the whole setup. Later in Season 2, he starts taking ethics lessons from Chidi, which is a struggle because, well, as a demon he's not naturally good; when Chidi has him read "Les Miserables" he concludes everyone in the book deserves to go to the Bad Place.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: In "The Trolley Problem", he thinks it's funny to force Chidi into Sadistic Choices where multiple people are in mortal danger and he has to choose to let at least one die in order to save the others.
  • Evil Laugh: Lets out a horrifying laugh after Eleanor figures out his game.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: In "Dance Dance Resolution", the heroes kept figuring out that they were actually in the Bad Place (minus that one time when Michael accidentally sat on the reset button).
  • Fallen Angel: As of Season 3, he appears to be turning into an inversion. He goes from a demon that tortures humans to a supernatural being that saved the lives of four humans so they get another shot at ascending to the Good Place, and then descended to Earth to help save their souls himself. When that falls through, he instead helps those humans save the souls of other people instead. He could be seen as rising from Hell, behaving increasingly less like a demon and more like an actual angel.
  • Fatal Flaw: His perfectionist nature — he doesn't deal well with unexpected events in his plans.
  • For the Evulz: Why he decided to "innovate" with a true Ironic Hell; he and his fellow Bad Place demons were getting really bored with the typical Fire and Brimstone Hell and wanted to try something new and more personal.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: He's a demon who wears thick black glasses.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes:
    • After a few hundred reboots, all his fellow demons in the fake Good Place have gotten pretty sick of his shit. (The other demons in the rest of the Bad Place don't know about the reboots yet, though, so they like him fine.) By the end of the second episode of the second season, they're threatening mutiny.
    • When he first joins Team Cockroach, they don't like or trust him at all, and only ally with him because there are no other options. They start off keeping him at arm's length, and are quick to assume the worst of him (which, to be fair, is reasonable considering he tortured them for three hundred years). This slowly changes, however, and by the end of the season he's part of the family.
  • The Gadfly: Many of his goofy conversations and Oblivious Guilt Slinging with the residents seem, in retrospect, to be his subtle way of mocking and harassing them.
  • Grumpy Old Man: He dislikes his "millennial" co-workers (they've only been torturing people for a thousand years) claiming they have no work ethic.
  • Heel–Face Turn: After the humans keep figuring out that they're actually in the Bad Place, he teams up with them in the hopes of covering his ass. The influence of Eleanor and Chidi then sows the first seeds of genuine morality, and he finds himself growing genuinely fond of Janet and his former victims.
  • Hero Antagonist: His investigation into what's causing the disruptions in the Good Place leads straight to Eleanor. But then he decides to fight to keep her in. Ultimately subverted. He isn't and never was a hero.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Sacrifices himself, letting himself be captured by Shawn to let Eleanor get to the Judge.
  • Hidden Villain: Again, that season one finale reveal. It's not just a surprise that he's the bad guy, it's a surprise that this show even has bad guys!
  • Hollywood Mid-Life Crisis: Parodied. In "Existential Crisis", Michael developed a fast one after Eleanor told him to ignore his existential dread by pretending to be fine. It included even a Mid-Life Crisis Car, getting a tattoo ("It's 'Japan' in Chinese!"), and Janet posing as his Trophy Wife.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: After he teams up with the human cast, Eleanor remarks several times upon his increasingly human-like attitude and behavior. Eventually, they collectively him an "honorary human", much to his delight.
  • Humiliation Conga: Is subjected to one in "Dance Dance Resolution", when the humans are able to realize they're in the Bad Place... for over 800 attempts.
  • I Hate Past Me: By season three, Michael is not proud of his past actions. He avoids showing Eleanor too much of the past reboots because he hates the way he acted.
  • Immortals Fear Death: Chidi tries to give him perspective on mortality by asking him to seriously think about what it would be like to die, or "be retired". He utterly freaks out at the notion.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Especially after the first time he has to reset everything. Shawn has absolutely zero faith in him, all the other demons at his command question his plans (especially Vicky), and he doesn't even make it one day before Jason blows his cover and Eleanor realizes they aren't in the Good Place. He's much more competent when he allies with the humans.
  • Insistent Terminology: He's actually not a demon (and the Bad Place workers actually consider it racist), but since there's no other term that comes close he lets it slide.
  • Intrigued by Humanity: In season one, he says he is endlessly fascinated with human culture, which is why he went against the rule that architects are not supposed to live in the neighbourhoods they design. He also kept a collection of mundane human objects (a tape dispenser, a slingshot, wax lips, a cheese grater, an eraser and a paper football.) This turns out not to have been part of the act; he admits in season two that he's always wanted to know what it's like to be human, and he geeks out over activities such as riding a bus and buying a gumball while visiting Earth during season three.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He evolves into this over the course of season two. He's still got an edge to him, and is essentially the Token Evil Teammate, but he truly cares for the rest of Team Cockroach, and shows a lot more vulnerability and moments of kindness. And compared to the rest of the Bad Place, he's practically a saint.
  • Kick the Dog: Michael literally kicks a dog into the sun, thinking it was A Glitch in the Matrix. Moments later, a woman asks if anyone's seen her dog. Michael brings it back good as new, thoughtlessly telling her owner that it's basically just a simulation of a dog and doesn't really feel pain, or love.
  • Large and in Charge: He's the head of the neighborhood and played by 6'3 Ted Danson.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Team Cockroach as a whole, including Janet (so much as she can be called "living"), functions as this for him. They're the only true friends he's ever had, and the only things he cares about in the universe. By the end of Season Two, he is absolutely dedicated to getting them into the Good Place for real — and perfectly willing to risk the wrath of Gen to do so.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Subverted. He tries to be a Manipulative Bastard, but the unpredictability of the humans in his experiment is such a Spanner in the Works that ultimately Failure Is the Only Option.
  • Meaningful Name:
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Zigzagged. On the one hand, he likes torturing humans and messing with the main four just for kicks. But his personality is vastly different from his co-workers, and he seems aghast that they don't respect his seniority or authority:
    Vicky: Yeah but, I don't think you can pull it off. You can't even pull off those bow ties.
    Michael: [touches bow tie] That was very mean. But I'm gonna move past that, in the name of unit cohesion.
  • Nice Guy: His initial persona as an angelic emissary trying to make the afterlife perfect. Turns out he's actually Affably Evil. Even after he's revealed to be a demon working for the Bad Place, he still manages to come across as fairly likable.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: As a new and original form of torture, he brings together four souls whose personalities are so perfectly out of sync that they'll torment each other for all eternity...and they proceed to make each other into better people.
  • Nobody Poops: He doesn't need to excrete any waste and often forgets that its something that humans have to do, such as when he forgets to include bathrooms in an architectural blueprint he was working on.
  • No Social Skills: No human social skills, at any rate. Initially, Michael is perfectly charming, if a bit bumbling and insensitive, when dealing with humans — but that's an act. If he's not torturing them, lying to them, or lying to them in order to torture them, he absolutely flounders. He gets somewhat better with Team Cockroach, though he still thinks it's appropriate to propose killing them all as a solution to a problem.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: While a cosmic being capable of building an entire dimension, Michael admits that this is his first real assignment and often implies that he's actually quite low on the celestial hierarchy.
  • Not So Different: From Eleanor. She correctly deduces his behavior is him lashing out because he's insecure.
  • Our Angels Are Different: A Good Place architect seems to be, more or less, an equivalent of an angel, and he certainly seems to style his role of one as such, putting on a gentle, naive facade.
    • Come season 3, however, and you have him rescuing humans from death to give them a second chance at life, constantly intervening in their lives to try and nudge them toward the good path, and then helping said humans help as many people as possible cross into the Good Place: He's essentially an angel in everything but name.
  • Parental Substitute: In season 3 he becomes a father figure to Eleanor, which is lampshaded.
  • The Perfectionist: Michael is such a perfectionist that the very thought of something messing up the perfect afterlife that he created drives him crazy. An attitude later validated after Shawn threatens Michael with "retirement" or similar punishment if the second attempt at his innovative torture town fails. And after he gets in way too deep with his 800 subsequent tries.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!:
    • In Season One, he tells Trevor to fork off — even if Eleanor doesn't belong in the Good Place, she's his friend and he's keeping her. Subverted, as this was part of the act.
    • Later played straight, when he starts working with Team Cockroach to try and get them into the real Good Place. At first it's to save his own hide, since he knows Shawn will not be happy if he finds out about the resets, but over time, he grows to care for the group. By the midpoint of Season Two, he's fully changed sides and is now actively working against his boss to help the humans.
    • In total defiance of Gen, he pops down to Earth multiple times to guide Team Cockroach into becoming better people. To say the results vary is a massive understatement.
  • Shipper on Deck: He gradually comes to root for Chidi/Eleanor.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Most of the demons he has to work with are morons, Attention Whores, completely impossible to work with, or some combo thereof. The audience may find themselves feeling a bit bad for Michael!
  • Time Abyss: He appears to be literally as old as the time itself, given that he lists his birthdate as "0". He also mentions that he's "been around for some time... all of it, actually."
  • Token Evil Teammate: Throughout the first half of season two.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In Season 2, he only sides with the four main characters out of convenience, due to being blackmailed by Vicky, but after a while he starts to care about them and do some genuinely good actions in order to help out, despite still mocking their human limitations sometimes.
  • Troll: Many of the tortures he inflicts seem to be inspired purely by a desire to mess with people.
  • Unreliable Expositor: The audience has been trusting him as completely as the cast, and everything we think we know about this world and how it works comes from him. As the "architect" of this "neighborhood," it means even things we saw that he didn't tell us were arranged by him as part of his experiment. Even more than this being The Bad Place, knowing that Michael is the villain changes absolutely everything. Almost everything you ever thought you knew about the show's universe - big or small, comedic or serious - was said or arranged by him to torture just these four! Now watch it all again with that in mind.
  • Villain Has a Point: All the humans concede that he was right about why Tahani and Chidi ended up in the Bad Place. And while torturing Chidi during "The Trolley Problem," he makes the point that it's not so easy to sacrifice a life when you're actually at the controls and have to make the choice.
  • Walking Spoiler: Episode 13 makes talking about him at all basically impossible without spoiling The Reveal.
  • What Is This Feeling?: Has difficulty understanding and expressing the odd, human emotions he's starting to feel, such as concern for others, or guilt.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: He's a demon with hair as white as snow. Subverted as he learns more about ethics and becomes a somewhat more moral individual.

    Janet 

Janet

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/janet.jpg
"Hi! I'm Janet!"
Portrayed by: D'Arcy Carden

"I mean, it does matter if I know things, because I'm an informational delivery system, and I don't have a heart. But thanks!"

A walking talking user interface for the celestial mainframe, providing the neighborhood's residents with information about the afterlife and indulging their various requests as long as they are allowed by the neighborhood's rules.


  • Action Girlnote : Beats up Shawn and throws him into a wall to help Michael escape from the Bad Place. Even when she's depowered on Earth she can still take out half a dozen demons by herself, and then she gets her powers back and starts telekinetically throwing them across the room.
  • Adorkable: At times. Her open-mouthed glee at being able to pat her own head and rub her stomach at the same time come to mind.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot:
    • Played for laughs. She gets rather glitchy after she's rebooted.
    • Later when she helps Jason and Tahani as relationship therapist, since she subconsciously remembers being married to Jason and she glitches whenever she attempts to lie about being happy. Then promptly subverted when she willingly offers herself up to be turned off and replaced before her lie glitches hurt people.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: She's programmed to beg for her life if anyone presses her kill switch. As soon as someone balks, she reassures them that she feels no pain.
  • Alien Catnip: Magnets cause her to act drunk. She even gets a hangover afterward.
  • Benevolent A.I.: A being with most, if not all the knowledge of the universe, Janet just wants to be as helpful as possible.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: When Trevor tries interfering with the humans, Janet tries summoning various items to see if they can injure and / or kill him. Only the fact she lacks her powers prevents anything happening.
  • Big Red Button: In order to reboot her, one must push a big red button on an isolated beach.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Not an alien. Janets are sexless, genderless, human-shaped vessels of knowledge. They can summon anything they imagine or are asked for into existence, have a body temperature measured upward of several million degrees, don't experience the passage of time but do use it as a lotion for their skin, don't need to eat, get drunk near magnets, and aren't supposed to have blood (having blood is a sign a Janet is glitching). Also, shining a light in one ear causes it to come out the other refracted.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Along with Michael, being on Earth removes her powers. She's still insanely smart and apparently still has the capacity to remember everything she learns, but she can't just instantly absorb new knowledge anymore, nor can she summon things... much to her frustration. Like Michael, it's unclear if she's effectively mortal now, though.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Being on earth negates her powers, but she still has complete knowledge of (and seemingly perfect memory of) the entire universe up to the point she entered Earth, which she's able to use to put together incredibly advanced sci-fi devices. She also retains all her knowledge of how to fight, allowing her to easily beat up a room full of angry demons.
  • Brutal Honesty: When Michael announces he's leaving the Good Place, Janet bluntly says it will not affect her in any way. Which is true, since she's an anthropomorphized construct with no real emotions.
  • Came Back Wrong: Every reboot she goes through adds another layer to her programming. In one reboot, she somehow bonded with Jianyu in a way no one could have anticipated and the two of them end up getting married. Michael finds this development to be so abhorrent that he decides to go reboot Janet again to try and fix things. And as of "The Trolley Problem", she's accidentally developed the ability to willfully lie (due to being rebooted 802 times) which causes potentially-catastrophic glitches throughout the neighborhood as lying fundamentally goes against her programming.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Her attempts to act human can come across as this.
  • The Cutie: Always friendly and glad to help. Every time she is updated, which is compared to a birthday, she likes to take a piece of birthday cake and smash it around where her mouth is.
  • Death Is Cheap: Though she is accidentally "killed" by Chidi when he presses her deactivation button, she comes back to life a few hours later as an updated version. Though as Eleanor, and Janet herself points out she is an anthropomorphic construction of information who wasn't born to begin with so therefore she can't technically die.
    • In "Dance Dance Resolution", each neighbourhood reset requires Michael to reboot Janet, thus resulting in (at least) 801 more iterations of this trope.
  • Dissonant Serenity: She always speaks in a friendly, upbeat tone, even when giving bad news or noting unpleasant facts.
  • Easily Forgiven: Justified in that she's a construct and technically not human, but Janet gets along well with Michael, considering that he kidnapped her from the Good Place and has rebooted her eight hundred times.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: She's the neighborhood's interface with the celestial mainframe. That said, she's not entirely a non-sentient construct in human form in the sense that she does have some sense of 'selfness' and even emotion at times, same as a sentient being.
  • Great Big Book of Everything: She can access information about everything in the universe.
  • Grew Beyond Their Programming: Given the above-mentioned growth with each reboot, she ponders that she might be the most advanced of her kind to ever exist after it's happened more than 800 times, and indeed comes off as far more human-like. The biggest change is that she is now able to feel emotions, and develop genuine attachments and affection for others. She even figures out a Loophole Abuse in her own programming.
  • Hammerspace: She either has access to one or is at least partially made of one, considering she pulls her user manual out of her nose and seems to be able to create objects out of thin air.
  • Have You Tried Rebooting?: If Janet glitches, or needs to be taken offline for a while, you can simply turn her off and back on again. It then takes her a few days to fully reboot.
  • Insistent Terminology: Whenever someone refers to her as virtually anything, she'll quickly counter that she's not one, such as a robot or a girl.
  • Logic Bomb: Parodied. She is often compared to a robot, and becomes extremely confused that Chidi decided to come alone to the couples' spa, even saying "DOES NOT COMPUTE" over and over. Though she was just joking.
    Janet: (in a robotic voice) DOES NOT COMPUTE! DOES NOT COMPUTE! (laughs) I'm just kidding. I mean it doesn't compute, but I'm not gonna explode or anything.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • She can side with the humans and Michael when they team up, because she was made to make humans' lives easier and tend to their needs. Eleanor, Jason, Chidi and Tahani are the only real humans in the "Good Place", so she can help them instead of everyone else.
    • While she technically Cannot Tell a Lie, her primary directive is to ensure the happiness of the humans under her control. Since there are actually only four humans residing in the Neighborhood, she is allowed to deceive the non-humans if it helps the humans.
  • Meaningful Name: 'Janet' comes from 'Jeanette'/'Jeanne', which means 'God is gracious.' Makes sense for a being designed by the Good Place to be forever courteous and all-providing for those in the afterlife.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She usually leans more towards pretty and modest, but Janet occasionally indulges in this via some of her outfits.
  • Nice Girl: Er, not a girl. (Nice Sort-of-a-Person?) Semantics aside, Janet is extremely kind, bubbly, and always ready to help out, to the point that even trying to be rude is against her very nature.
  • No Biological Sex: Janet is confirmed to be sexless and genderless. She physically resembles a human woman, but will always politely chime in with "Not a girl!" if someone calls her one. Given that she's a physical manifestation of all the knowledge in the universe, and the body is probably to make things more convenient for the humans she helps, it makes sense that Janets don't really have or need genders. She's fine with people using "she/her" pronouns to refer to her, though.
  • No Social Skills: Janet's very nice and polite, but tact is apparently not part of her programming, and she often drops some pretty harsh truth-bombs without any sort of attempt to take the edge off. While on Earth, she sees no problem with cheerfully informing a total stranger that the woman he thinks is his aunt is really his mother, leading Michael to quickly drag her away.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Both in-universe and out-of-universe. She always appears and disappears via jump cut, usually appearing directly behind whoever called her.
  • The Omniscient: She's designed to know literally everything, right down to the smallest detail. A person cannot pick up a sandwich without Janet knowing about it instantly.
  • Only Friend: To Michael, after god-knows-how-long working together on their fake Good Place.
  • Perpetual Smiler: Always has a smile on her face, which often crosses into Dissonant Serenity territory when she spouts horrific facts about the Bad Place (such as Columbus being there because of the raping, pillaging and genocide he committed) or when she tells Eleanor how she can be killed.
  • Physical God: Janet knows everything and can create anything at any time. Seemingly her only limitation is not being able to lie, though the latest version has found a way around that.
  • Resurrection Sickness: After being killed and subsequently rebooted, she spends a few days having to relearn all the knowledge of the universe. Initially she can only say her name and "hello", and spontaneously generates cacti.
  • Robot Girl: Subverted/defied. While she is like a walking, talking, infinitely more helpful version of intelligent personal assistant programs like Siri or Alexa (even lampshaded as Eleanor calls her "Busty Alexa" at one point), she's neither a robot nor a girl (rather, a genderless interface for the celestial mainframe). Jason or the other characters repeatedly refer to her as one and/or the other, and Janet always has to correct them.
    Janet: Not a robot.(...) Not a girl.
  • Running Gag: Interjecting to deny whatever label or emotion is ascribed to her in casual conversation.
  • Shipper on Deck: Seems to approve of Chidi and Simone, having determined their hypothetical offspring would be incredibly attractive.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: After marrying Jason once, she retains this toward him through all subsequent reboots, even though neither of them remember it.
  • Spanner in the Works: Eleanor stuffed a letter to herself in her mouth, knowing it wouldn't go anywhere. She was right.
  • Stepford Smiler: Despite not remembering her romance with Jason, she's still subconsciously attracted to him and her conflicting feelings about seeing him with Tahani start having dire effects on the whole neighborhood.
  • Super Strength: She is capable of lifting and throwing Shawn across the room with a single hand.
  • Three Laws-Compliant: While she is not a robot, she still follows her own version of the Three Laws. She will try to preserve her own existence but this is trumped by her having to follow the instructions of the residents of the Neighborhood. However, her primary objective is to ensure the happiness of the humans under her care so she is allowed to deceive the non-humans running the Neighborhood.
  • Token Good Teammate: She is actually the only genuinely good part of Neighborhood 12358W, having been kidnapped by Michael from the real Good Place to sell the illusion that the residents are not in the Bad Place.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: After each reboot, she shows up with a different attire and hairstyle, though this is downplayed since they all usually consist of an uniform-like blouse, vest and skirt combo. The trope is particularly present in "Dance Dance Resolution", where hundreds of resets imply hundreds of styles, of which a handful are shown on-screen.
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