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Trivia / The Good Place

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  • Acting for Two: D'Arcy Carden normally pulls double duty as Janet and Bad Janet. This is taken Up to Eleven in "Janet(s)", where all four humans take on Janet's appearance. The actual cast did several run-throughs of each scene so Carden could study all their performances. And on top of that, we are also introduced to Neutral Janet in the same episode.
  • Acting in the Dark: Of the actors, only Danson and Bell knew of the first season's revelation beforehand so it would not affect the acting. Schur and Bell recorded the collective reactions of William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, Manny Jacinto, and D'Arcy Carden when they found out about the twist.
    Schur: Their performances were going to be exactly what they should be without knowing it, so it didn’t seem like there was any actual benefit to telling them outside of, like, friendship.
  • Actor-Shared Background:
    • Jameela Jamil, who plays event planner Tahani Al-Jamil, actually owns and runs an events management company, Wait, with the specific intention of providing accessible live entertainment to disabled people. So there's that.
    • Manny Jacinto was a competitive hip hop dancer, like his character Jason Mendoza.
  • Author Appeal: Many of the seemingly minor things that can get someone sent to the Bad Place are actually the personal pet peeves of creator Michael Schur and the writing staff. These include:
  • Billing Displacement: When the show was brought to UK television on E4 in December 2018, the advertising prominently featured Tahani, played by Brit Jameela Jamil, with even the longest trailer never featuring Jason or Janet, and only being introduced by Michael. Some trailers only starred Tahani, though most had Eleanor and Tahani, which played into a Meaningful Release Date; the show premiered ten years from when Jamil interviewed Bell in her early years working at E4.
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  • The Cast Showoff: Manny Jacinto gets to show off his dance moves in the season 3 premiere.
  • Casting Gag: A very subtle one, but still. In season 4 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine (another Schur production), Gina has a near death experience and mentions that she met God, whom she describes as an ethnically ambiguous woman. In season 2, the Ambiguously Brown Maya Rudolph plays the Top God, the All-Knowing Judge.
  • The Danza:
    • Jameela Jamil, who plays Tahani, has almost the same surname as hers: Al-Jamil. This is at least partly unintentional, as Tahani's name is used as a characterisation element and plot point.
    • Bambadjan, played by Bambadjan Bamba. Interestingly, both have repetitive names.
  • Fake American: Canadian actor Manny Jacinto plays Floridian Jason Mendoza (aka Jianyu).
  • Fake Nationality: William Jackson Harper, an American, plays Chidi Anagonye, who was born in Nigeria and raised in Senegal.
    • Kirby Howell-Baptiste, who is English, plays Simone Garnett who is Australian.
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  • Hide Your Pregnancy: Maribeth Monroe was pregnant during season 3, which is why Mindy St Clair only appears in one scene in "Chidi Sees the Time-Knife". Luckily Mindy's 80s wardrobe includes a boxy jacket that disguises her belly.
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: D'Arcy Carden (Janet) and Kirby Howell-Baptiste (Simone) appeared in the recurring cast of the HBO series Barry before the latter's introduction in Season 3.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: For all the characters visiting and disliking Arizona, Michael's fascination with it makes some sense, since Ted Danson is from Flagstaff, Arizona.
  • Money, Dear Boy: Downplayed example, but Manny Jacinto and D'Arcy Carden both admit they were "broke" as their main reasoning for taking their roles, but that the script and cast was good enough that they would have taken it regardless
  • Name's the Same: Vicky is not the first TV character named Vicky who pretends to be a sweet and loving person but is actually a sadistic torturer.
  • Outdated by Canon: Fics of Vicky returning, usually because Michael felt sorry for her, became outdated with her reappearance in season 3.
  • Playing Against Type: Deliberately done with Ted Danson being revealed as evil in a shocking twist. Michael Schur even described the reasoning behind his casting: as soon as you see him, you start thinking things are going to be okay, even if you've just died.
  • Production Posse: With Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which are both Michael Schur productions.
    • Several actors that have had roles on either or both shows appear on this one in some capacity, including Adam Scott (Trevor), Marc Evan Jackson (Shaun), Kristen Bell (Eleanor), Jason Mantzoukas (Derek), Maribeth Monroe (Mindy), Jama Williamson (Val), Dax Shepard (Chet), Mike O'Malley (Jeff), and and Maya Rudolph (Gen).
    • The series also shares a bunch of writers with Parks & Rec, and directors with both shows.
  • Real-Life Relative: Chet, one of the Bad Place demons introduced in "Rhonda, Diana, Jake, and Trent", is played by Bell's husband Dax Shepard.
  • Re-Cut: Each season, extended cuts of every episode were put on Hulu. Netflix and iTunes however only have the broadcast editions.
  • The Red Stapler: Sales of T.M. Scanlon's philosophical text What We Owe To Each Other spiked after it was used as a recurring element in the show.
  • Relationship Voice Actor: The Japanese dub has a very interesting one regarding with The Legend of Zelda franchise, as Eleanor's voice actress, Saori Seto, voiced Princess Zelda in Hyrule Warriors (plus Sheik), while Yu Shimamura (Tahani) also voiced Zelda, albeit in both The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: The events of the Season 1 finale turn the first season into one of No Exit, which was cited as an inspiration for the finale.
  • Throw It In!: Many of the bits were ad-libbed. In the gag reel, we see Manny giving different answers for what Jason's vanity plate said, and D'Arcy giving many misidentifications of a basketball, Adam Scott giving variations on how he'll excrete his meal, and Manny giving different guesses on how he died.
  • Underage Casting:
    • Leslie Grossman (Donna) is only nine years older than Kristen Bell (her daughter, Eleanor).
    • Kamilah is Tahani's younger sister. Though their behavior and, often, their wardrobes make their relative ages believable, Rebecca Hazlewood is nine years older than Jameela Jamil.
  • Word of God:
    • After letting some fans wallow in confusion for several months because they came up with so many different theories, Michael Schur revealed that at the end of Season 2, the four were returned to life in a new timeline rather than resetting the universe, being in a simulation, or having them mindwiped in a new area of the afterlife.
    • After fans expressed confusion over Michael and Janet not saying Doug Forcett's motivations were corrupt over his attempts to gain points, a podcast after the relevant episode aired explained that Doug's points aren't invalidated as he doesn't unequivocally know that's how the system works, unlike the Soul Squad who know it as a 100% fact and thus can't earn more points to save themselves—Doug believes it, but they know it.


Example of: