Follow TV Tropes


WMG / The Good Place

Go To

    open/close all folders 

    Confirmed (SPOILERS

There are separate good places and bad places based on how good someone is.
It makes since because there ARE multiple Good Places.

Eleanor is not the only one who doesn't belong in the Good Place
She's just the only one to be honest about it.
  • Confirmed in episode 3.
  • And confirmed even harder in episode 13.

Related to the above, none of the humans truly belong in the Good Place
The "accountants" simply include a "grace note" to give some of them the boost they need.
  • So far, Michael is adamant that a person must be exceptionally good in order to get into the Good Place and the system has never failed until the events of this series.
  • Confirmed in episode 13, since the four main characters really are in a Bad Place.

The Good Place is a lie!
It's all actually just part of The Matrix. It's a version of the 1st "perfect" matrix. And Eleanor is the human who's going to break down the victim's ease to show them that their world is a lie.
  • Confirmed in episode 13, when they all start fighting, leading Eleanor to figure out that their neighborhood is actually The Bad Place, and Michael designed it so Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, and Jason would psychologically torture each other for all of eternity.

It wasn't a mistake.
Eleanor was brought to The Good Place as an experiment to see if a selfish person could be turned good after their death. This would explain why her "soul mate" is an ethics professor i.e. the perfect person to accomplish a task like that.
  • Jossed. It genuinely was a mistake because two women named Eleanor Shellstrop died in the exact same accident and there was a mix up within the Celestial Bureaucracy when their cases were being processed.
  • And then sort of confirmed. It wasn't a mistake because this is really a Bad Place, and all four leads deserved to be there.
  • And by the end of Season 3, it really is used as an experiment to test this notion, with the leads re-creating the neighborhood with new subjects and removing the malice from its challenges.

'The Good Place' is not the only good place.
The Good Place was specifically designed to house the people who can only be happy by knowing how much better they are then everybody else, that is why that are all told that a perfect system calculated their life scores and told that only the people with the very highest scores get to go and not to think about everybody else. The rest of the good people live in another place that is not to restrictive but has all the same benefits.
  • Michael, in the pilot, says that there are multiple Good Places, each one uniquely designed according to their architects' visions.

The other "Eleanor Shellstrop" isn't actually.
First of all, the Bad Place said that yes, they had been looking for an "Eleanor Shellstrop", but why would they be if they already had one? Second, they didn't leave the other Eleanor when originally leaving the Good Place; they only brought her out after Michael changed his mind and decided to keep Eleanor. (Of course that would be a very bad sort of thing to do and thus be in character for the bad place (to try to keep both Eleanors), but this is just a possibility.)
  • They'd be looking because Alt!Eleanor would have said she didn't belong almost right away, assuming the process is even remotely similar to the Good Place. They would have known they had the wrong person but probably not worried too much about getting Alt!Eleanor to the Good Place only getting Prime!Eleanor to the Bad.
  • Confirmed. She's a demon named Vicky who Michael hired to guilt trip Eleanor even more.

Michael was just trying to help out his fellow demons
He looked really bored doing his job before becoming his Architect, so it's no stretch to imagine all non-Architect demons feel the same way. His set-up allows them to go crazy and have fun like the higher-ups do, however, and Michael in his twisted way was just hoping to alleviate their boredom for some time.
  • Confirmed. Michael thought that the tried-and-true system was getting stale and wanted to give his co-workers a chance to try something new. But by Chapter 16, we see that the other demons are getting fed up with his bumbling and constant resets of the system and just want to go back to what they'd been doing before Michael came up with his grand idea.

At some point, there will be a huge chase scene between the group and the demons.
All of the demons in the "Good Place" will try to stop the team from escaping on the train, leading to a huge escape sequence where the characters rush to escape.
  • Partial. The train was a ruse to lure the demons away. The humans weren't on the train.
  • Confirmed (ish), in "Rhonda, Diana, Jake, and Trent", as the humans try to get to the portal leading to the Judge.

Michael will end up working with the four
Shawn said Michael will be in really big trouble if the plan fails again, so if it does fail, Michael may have to work with the four to make it seem the plan is still working, or some other scheme to keep Michael from 'retirement' and the four from nasty torture afterlife.
  • Shawn may get tired after seeing Michael fail, but the failure may prod Shawn into thinking that he might be able to make it work by adding a 5th member to the Four-Man Band. After Shawn's plans fall apart just like Michael's, Shawn tries another reset but it doesn't fully take, leading to Michael using his Architect & Janet hacking powers to create an afterlife outside the Good, Bad or Medium place.
  • As of Chapter 16, Michael is forced to team up with the four humans because he has a demonic mutiny on his hands, and they do indeed pretend the torture is working as a team.

Vicky will be a Spanner in the Works, and Michael will be forced to remove her.
She's not fond of being Demoted to Extra, and will begin trying to force herself into the main plot in order to make a bigger role for herself. This will eventually be what leads the four humans to realizing the truth again again. This will lead to Michael taking her out of the situation, either by firing her or straight-up killing her. Either way, he'll explain her absence as her being someone who slipped through the system and was sent to the Bad Place immediately, therefore causing Eleanor and Chidi more panic about their siutation.
  • Confirmed in a way in the 3rd episode of Season 2. Vicky forms something of a daemonic union, with her as leader. She then blackmails Michael into wanting some control. Shawn is the one who removes her in the end, though.

There will be a "failed iterations" montage.
Michael will be shown to be getting worse and worse at suppressing the big four's memories due to his increasing desperation and Evil Cannot Comprehend Good. Thus, a long, hilarious few-minute montage of Eleanor or the others Spotting the Thread until it ends on Michael in his office screaming in hopeless frustration after something hilariously minor tipped off Jason.
  • Confirmed...right down to Jason managing to get it one time from some pretty ridiculous details...though Michael's reaction was a bit more depressive & understated than angry, but still, a Doug Forcett-worthy guess.
  • There was even a scene of Michael's hopeless frustration, though that involved less screaming and more I Need a Freaking Drink (one iteration had him surrounded empty take-out boxes and whiskey bottles, ranting in front of a thoroughly confused Eleanor [who just had her memory wiped for the 108th time]).

Part of their second lives will be Team Cockroach trying to save the people closest to them
Team Cockroach will have to reach out to the people who made them who they are in order to prove they've really changed: Eleanor to her parents, Tahani to her sister, Jason to his partners in crime and Chidi to...?
  • Mostly confirmed. Eleanor reached out to her mother, Tahani reached out to Kamilah, Jason reached out to Donkey Doug and Pillboi. Subsequent events prevent Chidi from getting a chance to do the same before they go into Janet's void, however, and the next time he sees Simone, it's a major blow to the group's new plan.

A season finale will involve someone getting kicked out
What better way to shake up the status quo but have someone kicked out of The Good Place? Perhaps expose the black heart underneath their good deeds giving them a 1 way trip to the bad place?
  • Disproven in episode 13. The entire neighborhood is actually the Bad Place.
    • Unjossed and confirmed later, when the whole gang return to Earth, getting "kicked out" of the Bad Place.
  • Kind of done in Season 3, where Chidi elects to have his memories rebooted again because Simone is part of the new neighborhood experiment and he would have to work with her and risk blowing it. Thus, Season 4 is set up with the main cast mostly all on the same page, but Chidi being alone in set back to square one as he is introduced for the first the afterlife.

Bad Janet has replaced Good Janet
When the Bad Place sent Chris in as a mole, they knew or wanted him to get caught so the Bad Place could send a train. When Good Janet went to remove the trespasser, she was replaced by a Bad Janet, who, like Good Janet, was rebooted multiple times to make her advanced enough to be capable of acting like Good Janet without melting down.
  • Confirmed in "Tinker Tailor Demon Spy".

Glenn will defect to Michael's and the humans side
Think about it. Glenn is the butt of verbal abuse from Shawn, and not in the "fun" demon kind of way,and if you watched The Selection, he was the only demon who had reservations about using underhanded tactics to get the experiment to fail.
  • Partially confirmed in "Tinker Tailor Demon Spy". Glenn decided that Shawn had gone too far and decided to inform the group about Shawn's meddling. Glenn's turned to goop before we get to see if this was a one-off or if he'd turn against the Bad Place.

Season 4 will happen in The Real Good Place
  • It will feature Team Cockroach trying to escape paradise because humans are fickle, and even a real heaven will become boring to them since it lacks the challenge, and therefore purpose, that 'The Good Place' gave them. Leading them to discover either that Good Is Not Nice. They'll try to return to the original Good Bad Place. This would tie back to Michael's Season 1 comment about Frozen Yogurt "It's very human to take something good, and ruin it just a little bit, so you can have more of it."
  • Eventually confirmed. Team Cockroach makes it to the Real Good Place at the very end of Season 4 and discover that it's actually a bit of a bummer. Instead of returning to the Good Bad Place, however, they decide to enact reforms to make life in the Good Place more meaningful.

Michael will become the new head of the Good Place.
  • It's been proven that the Good Place members are completely and utterly incompetent and indecisive to do anything constructive on humanity's behalf. Meanwhile, Michael, the Ascended Demon, knows when to lie and cheat when needs to, and because he's come to appreciate humans, he can use those tricks towards a good cause. He'll essentially replace Judge Gen as the equivalent of God of the Celestial Bureaucracy. Fittingly, since his human form can be considered to be a modern take on the classical depiction of God.
  • Confirmed. Michael signs a contract tricking him into running the Good Place and he eventually rises to the occasion.

The real Good Place is in fact empty because the forked up way the system judges humanity
Let's face it; if your nationality automatically determines your place in the afterlife — according to Michael all French people end up in the Bad Place, there's no forking chance anybody can be good enough to get in.
  • Seemingly confirmed in "Don't Let The Good Place Pass You By" as Shawn is confident he'll see the main four's friends and families in the Bad Place, which clues Michael in that something is very wrong.
    • Shawn's dogged pursuit throughout the third season strongly suggests Michael, Janet, and Team Cockroach are going to uncover and possibly fix fundamental flaws in the afterlife judgement system. It wouldn't make sense to chase them so aggressively if they didn't present a severe threat to the status quo - like, for example, proving that the judgment system is enormously biased toward the Bad Place. Or the team's experience with post-mortem moral improvement might prove - if presented to the proper authorities - that condemning anyone to eternal torment is wrong.
    • Partially confirmed as of Season 3's Janet(s). People have gotten into the Good Place before... but the last one was over 500 years ago.

    Jossed (SPOILERS

Eleanor is in a coma.
Those are her memories, and she will be a lawyer: it just happens after she wakes up, having been changed by her time in the good place.
  • Jossed. Everyone really is dead. By the end of the series we've seen the deaths of numerous characters.

It wasn't a mistake. And it's not just Eleanor being tested.
Related to the above, an element that presents a test to everyone in the Good Place is the supposed relegation of 99.9% of other people to a Hell whose exact nature if kept ambiguous (in a way that is deliberately suspicious) and which is revealed to anyone who asks in the way Eleanor did to be an eternity of unending torture. A good person, especially someone as good as the people selected to be in the Good Place are supposed to be, should have a huge problem with this. In fact, it's even possible that Michael himself is being tested, given that the Good Place is his first run at creating a dimension himself, and the "Powers That Be" decided to test him by misleading him as to how many people are damned.
  • Disproved. It's not a test, and Eleanor, as well as Chidi, Tahani, and Jason are really all in the Bad Place.

The real Eleanor will enjoy The Bad Place.
It would help to alleviate the Fridge Horror inherent to the idea of a person ending up in eternal torment after a lifetime of misanthropic escapades and magnanimous behavior. Eleanor (and at least some others like her) will use The Bad Place as a chance to cut loose, whether that simply means taking more time to enjoy themselves (if there's any truth to the above) or embracing their inner psychopaths. When we inevitably encounter her, she will balk at the idea of entering The Good Place and choose instead to remain where she is.
  • Alternately the real Eleanor will want to do the same thing she did in life, saving innocent people from punishment
  • Partially disproven in episode 13; While she did offer to go to the Bad Place in the place of someone else, towards the end of the episode it was revealed that she's really an agent of the Bad Place who's working with Michael to torture them all.

The Bad Place is the land of the living
Michael says that every religion got about 5% right, and Hindus and Buddhists are two of the first ones he mentions. Both faiths that believe in reincarnation and seek release from the cycle of death and rebirth.
  • Jossed. The Bad Place is described pretty unambiguously as a Fire and Brimstone Hell, with the exception of Neighborhood 12358W, which is a false paradise.

The Good Place is actually Purgatory.
Everyone who's sent there are people who are not terrible, but have some noticeable flaw (Chidi's circular logic, Tahani's self-obsession, Eleanor's extreme selfishness). Being told this is the place for people who are the best of the best is a way to encourage them to improve.
  • Relatedly, it's Purgatory for Michael too, although he doesn't know it. His flaw is perfectionism, and his unrealistic expectations would likely make any Heaven he's in charge of either break down from trying to function under far too many rules or turn it into a ghost town because no-one would be "good enough." The "flaws" in the Good Place, including Eleanor, were put in place to intentionally contribute to the breakdown of Michael's too-exacting Heaven, hopefully teaching him that "good enough" is preferable to an unrealistically perfect idea.
  • This troper came to make the same WMG. Everyone has something that needs to be fixed, even if they aren't "bad" people. Episode 4 gave us some idea of this with Chidi's life's work apparently being an insanely confusing and rambling Door Stopper that even a supernatural being couldn't make heads or tails of—he tried to make a difference, but apparently wasn't able to do so. Rehabilitating Eleanor is his test.
  • It's clearly far from perfect, and responds directly to people's moral behavior or lack thereof. It certainly *acts* more like a world designed to teach people how to be better, rather than directly rewarding everyone. It's also possible that some of the "people" there aren't really humans and are there to be part of the learning experience...
    • Disproven. In episode 13, it's revealed that they are all actually in the Bad Place. Their flaws are what got them there.
  • Although this is technically jossed, it's still SUPER insightful and prescient to the future developments of the show, to the point that if this neighborhood had been created with a different cast of characters with all the same flaws following the series finale, it would have been exactly right!

The people on the other end of the mistaken identities can't die.
A bit further out there than most of the theories, but the people whose lives got people like Eleanor into the Good Place don't actually have a place in the afterlife now, instead of being stuck with the "proper" one for their counterpart. And thus, they are now immortal.
  • Jossed — there is no mistaken identity, it was all a convoluted torture for Eleanor and Jason.

Everyone in the main cast isn't suppose to be there.
It's not that they're necessarily bad people, but there's a dissonance between what Michael says and even someone like Tahani who - while good - still has some less desirable traits. And Chidi, while a nice guy, did only one (notable) thing - write an ethics book which was never published.
  • Partially confirmed. In episode 13, it's revealed That neighborhood 12358W is actually a Bad Place neighborhood. They don't belong in Good Place, and they are all really in the Bad Place.

Eleanor will start her own "Mediocre Place".
A mediocre place already exists.

The mistake was an elaborate con by The Bad Place to destroy all existence
That by creating a unique ethical dilemma by trying to undermine the premise of the good place, they would prove God wrong, and thus unmake the universe.Disproved in episode 13. Neighborhood 12358W is a bad place neighborhood created to torture them.

This particular neighborhood IS the Mediocre Place.
It's just the first one and Michael doesn't know. The powers that be wanted to see both if people could improve if surrounded by positive influences and if a Mediocre Place, i.e. a place for neither the saintly nor the sinners, would even work to begin with.
  • Jossed. There's a separate Mediocre Place, and anyway, Neighborhood 12358W is The Bad Place.

The Medium Place will look like Cincinatti.
That's where Eleanor said that people who aren't good, but aren't terrible should go.
  • Jossed. it's a regular house in the middle of the desert

The "Medium Place" is also part of The Bad Place.
With the revelation that Michael and Shawn are also Bad Place agents, suddenly there's no reason to believe that the train can actually go anywhere else — after all, why allow the damned to escape? Furthermore, there wasn't the slightest intimation that a Medium Place existed until 1) Eleanor had repeatedly expressed her feelings that she had been sent to one instead, and 2) Janet had been rebooted. Clearly, Michael (thinking one step ahead) took the opportunity to upload some inaccurate data to Janet's database, then quickly throw together an extremely simple "mini-neighborhood" consisting of a single house in a vast desert.
  • Note that when Eleanor and Jason do get to the "Medium Place," they end up at each other's throats over whether to stay or return to Neighborhood 12358W — something which Michael could have reasonably guessed might happen, especially after Eleanor fessed up. It was just a matter of waiting for all the pieces to fall into place.
  • If the bad place had created a false "Medium Place" they would have used Micheal in the orientation video. Seeing as we see an never before seen woman acting as Trevor counter part to the "Bad Place" instead of Michael. Then it leans towards the medium place being genuine.
    • Jossed In season two , where not only is it real. But Eleanor and Chidi have visited it over a dozen times in order to escape the Bad Place. As well as to plan ways to escape. Each time fails and sooner or later they end up back at Mindy's door.

Tahani's death will be a bigger mystery in season 2
We never saw how she died and now that the show has taken a somewhat darker turn, maybe her death was darker compared to the others' deaths.
  • Jossed, we see how she dies in episode four. More embarrasing then mysterious. She is killed when her sisters Statue falls on her crushing her to death.

Mindy St. Claire will play a bigger part in the second season
  • She has a pretty important role in the 3rd episode of Season 2. As to if that's a "bigger" part, that might be still up for question at this stage.
  • Jossed, it was about the same. She does get her cocaine, though!

Chris Baker the sexy mailman at the end of the finale is a human
And may join the group on their journey.
  • Jossed

Tahani is in on the whole Bad Place thing
We never saw how she died. Seems pretty suspicious. Or, alternativly-

We never saw how Tahani because she hasn't actually died yet.
  • Jossed and jossed. We have now seen how Tahani died.

Shawn knows Michael's failed
Michael's can barely hide how guilty he was when not telling Shawn after the first unauthorised reboot, its now been over eight hundred reboots, assuming that Shawn checks in for regular progress reports, their is no way he hasn't realised Michael is lying to him. However, entirely by accident Michael's effectively created his own perfect psychological hell so rather than retiring him, Shawn's decided to take a leaf out of Michael's own book, and instead turned this project into his punishment. Michael's trapped trying to fix a situation which isn't working (which Shawn probably even has a hand in), having to deal with the angry demons, and always in terror of Shawn finding out.

Its effectively the same situation which Michael put the group through in season one. What better twist is their than discovering he's as trapped and tortured in his own creation as the others? The season might even end with Michael realising this only for Shawn to simply wipe his memory and carrying on the eternal loop.

  • Seemingly jossed. Michael and his experiment were being honored in the Bad Place for innovation by the time Shawn realizes what Michael had done.

The Good Place experiment will become The Good Place for TGP Gang.
They will never reach The Good Place. Instead, all their actions will result in the neighborhood becoming a real Good Place neighborhood, perhaps by decree from up high.

The gang will choose to stay in The Bad Good Place.
They will decline going to The Good Place. Instead, they will decide that they actually like life in The Bad Good Place - barring the threat of eternal damnation - and turn it into a Pretty Okay Place.
  • As of "Best Self," the neighborhood has been decommissioned and destroyed.

The gang will find a way of returning to Earth..
And find out that they've been gone for centuries. This could be interesting because it could analyze the idea of the legacy of these characters and how they'll react to how others have treated their deaths.
  • Well... they do but only because Gen and Michael arrange for them to have a second chance at life.

Tahani's ticker tape machine wasn't moving because she'll be stuck in a hospital until Chidi and Eleanor come to visit.
She'll also realize that her family haven't visited her at all, having disowned her for embarrassing herself.
  • Tahani's parents are already dead (their will was discussed in a flashback), and Kamilah doesn't care about Tahani one bit. She's probably not expecting visitors.
  • Potentially Jossed: Tahani escaped death because Michael shoved her out of the statue's way, like with Eleanor and the stack of carts. It's unlikely she'll end up in a hospital.
  • Jossed for real; she was fine afterwards.

In Tahani's second chance at life, she will be disabled.
Building on a previous WMG about her being stuck in a hospital, she could have survived the statue falling on top of her but with serious injuries, for example forcing her to use a wheelchair or some walking aid. It's a bit of Actor-Shared Background too, since Jameela Jamil had a walking impairment for a time after an accident and she's an advocate for the disabled community.
  • Just like that previous WMG, potentially Jossed. Michael shoves Tahani out of the way before the statue crushed her.

Leslie Knope is in the actual Good Place.
  • Because why wouldn't she qualify?
    • Jossed. Nobody has gotten into the good place for over 500 years.

The Good Place will be Not So Good for modern souls
  • The fact no soul has entered the Good Place for 512 years means it will be lacking luxuries that modern day souls would have on Earth. Team Cockroach may even comment that Michael's version of the Good Place was actually better than the actual Good Place.
    • Considering that you can wish for whatever you want in the Good Place, this is definitely Jossed!

There is no real Good Place.
  • Or at least it's not an eternal reward for good behavior the way we've been led to believe. It would be far more in line with the show's themes thus far if it was revealed that there is no point at which you've "won" at being a good person, that being good is an active choice you have to keep making, and that goodness is something you should do simply because it's right, not because you'll be rewarded for it. Additionally, after almost 3 seasons it's starting to get conspicuous that the only evidence we have of the Good Place's existence is the word of Michael and the Judge and the fact that Janet exists, all of which could easily be misdirects. Shawn's certainty that everyone the Soul Squad tries to help will go to the Bad Place anyways is also a strong hint that no one gets into the Good Place, which could be because it doesn't exist.
    • The later episodes seem to make it very clear that there is a Good Place, since there's an administrative center for it populated by ridiculously good employees.
    • Team Cockroach eventually earn their places in the Real Good Place.

Gen knows about Michael's interfering on Earth
She's basically omnipotent - the real reason she imposed those rules was to test if Michael has changed too, seeing as he's putting himself on the line to push Team Cockroach together to become better people.
  • Additionally, she's Simone. Simone is just as quirky and off-kilter as she is, not to mention both are notably attracted to Chidi - and Gen is offscreen for most of the episode, supposedly watching her shows, the perfect cover to secretly go to Earth and observe the group up close.
  • Confirmed on the first point. Gen finds out about Michael and Janet's interference and is going to have Michael retired and Janet marbelized, but they decide to make a run for it. Simone is a real human, though, and Gen has to be convinced to visit Earth for the first time by the gang when the new chance falls through.
  • Jossed, actually. The WMG is that she knew all along. She didn't, the rules were real, she only found out later he was interfering and was furious about it.

Michael's counterpart in the actual Good Place will be played by:

Blake Bortles will make an appearance.
  • Either Jason meets him on Earth but doesn’t realize who it is, or he will be in the Good or Bad Place.
    • Bortles did say in a Reddit AMA that the show tried to book him as a guest star, but he couldn't fit it in his schedule at that point.


    Season 1 WMG 

Michael is Satan
.Related to the last part of the above, Michael is presumably an angel or some equivalent, but his name might be deceptive in terms of which angel he is. Specifically, he may be a Fallen Angel by the end of the series. As of right now, he's just been granted a greater responsibility/power, and while grateful, implies that he feels this wasn't soon enough. Despite being charged with watching over humans, he doesn't really seem to "get" them, both in terms of physiology and morality. And he's already done some literal dog-kicking, in addition to being perfectly okay with what he understands as a system wherein everyone, except for a ridiculously select few, is guaranteed an eternity of torment.
  • Partially confirmed in episode 13 when it's revealed that Michael is really a Bad Place architect, and they are all in the Bad Place, in a neighborhood Michael designed to look like the Good Place, where they are meant to psychologically torture each other for eternity.

The Bad Place is actually pretty cool.
Considering that only the "best of the best" get into The Good Place, that some incredibly noble people failed to make it in, and that most artists and musicians of note are excluded offhandedly, The Bad Place is where all of the most "fun" (read: amicable, outgoing, open-minded) people in history inevitably end up. The soundbite Janet played is intended to mislead; there may be stretches filled with the worst of the worst, the psychopaths, the people who are only interested in harming others or themselves, but the rest of the place would logically range from chill hangouts to roaring parties. There is the possibility of entities existing to actively make the place unpleasant, but given Michael's disposition and Eleanor's affect on The Good Place, chances are that the only people there with any real power are...well, the people!
  • This "Good Place" certainly does have its fair share of elitism, what with almost everyone humble-bragging about what amazing works they did to get there.
  • Alternately, the audio clip could have been a really wild rave.

Tahani is Eleanor's actual soulmate.
They have a better chemistry than Chidi. And in some ways, she's a reflection of Eleanor as a good person - extravagant, lavish, and so on. After all, her house is extremely opulent.

Theodore Roosevelt is having the time of his afterlife in the Bad Place.
People have been shown to be able to affect their environment with just their will, at least in the Good Place, and TR basically willed himself out of having asthma when he was alive. Imagine him hunting demons and protecting the people who still ended up in the Bad Place despite doing good with their lives.

There's The Good Place and then there's The Great Place.
The Great Place is heaven (or whatever).

Chidi and Tahani are soul mates.
They were meant to be a pair from the beginning, but the accidental presence of Eleanor and Jason split them up.

Eleanor and Jason's professions have something to do with them getting into the good place.
Eleanor and Jason both made their living selling fake drugs (him to teenagers, and her to old people). Maybe that was a factor in whatever mistake the celestial bureaucracy made that let them in.

    Post-Season 1/Season 2 WMG 
Michael is show creator Michael Schur.
Each episode begins with the title card "The Good Place by Michael Schur". Considering that the Neighborhood is a Bad Place named "The Good Place", it's reasonable to suspect that Michael, who is the puppet master of the events of the series, is actually show creator Michael Schur.

The Bad Place is a combination Hell and Purgatory
Based on CS Lewis' The Great Divorce; it's outright impossible to get into a Good Place the first time round, so the Bad Place is actually meant to include a system where selfish but not irredeemable and good but flawed people can overcome their darkness and move on are paroled and can get out. Problem is, the demons who run the bad place are, well, demons, and they find it more fun to torment the flawed but otherwise okay, so they've started preventing the system from working. The Bad Place itself remembers its purpose, however, and hides ways to complete its function from its erstwhile owners.
  • Zig-zagged. Within the show's internal logic, those who get sent to the Bad Place are supposed to be doomed to spend an eternity being tortured with no hope of salvation. However, the four human protagonists are in a unique position where the demon who's supposed to be torturing them has screwed up so badly that he needs their help in order to survive himself and he uses the possibility of taking them to the Good Place as a bargaining chip to gain their assistance. With that possibility being on the table, they all begin studying ethics to try and improve themselves so that they may somehow improve their chances of actually being accepted by the Good Place when they arrive.

Janet is actually God/The Boss
Janet is beholden to neither the Good or Bad side. She appears to be the only one who knows about the Medium Place. She injects her own chaos into the proceedings repeatedly (and not just by "falling in love" with Jason), and she delivers Eleanor's message to herself, which could be a sign that, reboot or not, Janet retains her memory. Indeed, it could be that Janet's role is deeper, not only working to help the four "real" residents to grow, but also to help the architects/demons to grow in their roles as well.
  • Alternatively, Janet is Metatron, the voice of god. She speaks the truth like the voice of god would but she doesn't seem to have enough power to be God.
  • Semi-jossed in that "Janet" is simply the name of the program both the Good and Bad Places use (Michael even mentions stealing a Janet from the real Good Place to use in his fake Good Place).

The series will end with Jason, Tahani, Eleanor, and Chidi all making it into the actual Good Place.
Their actions will convince a higher authority (let's assume that there is at least one being who is above Shawn in the celestial hierarchy) that they are, if not perfect, then at least capable of being better than they were in life and that they deserve a spot in The Good Place. Given The Reveal, we have no reason to believe that anything Michael said about the selection criteria for The Good Place is the truth, which means that it may actually be possible to change one's ranking, in spite of what he told Tahani.
  • To add to it, everyone will demonstrate their development of having overcome their literal fatal flaw.
    • Chidi will find his actual soulmate and, without hesitation or rigidity, confess and act on a declaration of love.
    • Tahani will see her sister do something amazing and feel no need to respond; indeed, it may also come after an incredible act of charity and instead of wanting to talk all about it, she quietly accepts no praise.
    • Eleanor will stand against The Bad Place for a bunch of Good Placers she hasn't even met yet. Or maybe even helping a bunch of people in the Bad Place reach the Good Place. Maybe even deciding to stay behind (wherever they are) to help more out - becoming the saver of people that "Real Eleanor" allegedly was.
    • Jason will give up a chance to be a literal heavenly DJ to stay quiet and actually help someone out.
    • Very insightful! By the series finale, they do all do some variation of this: Jason inadvertently but happily being a monk, Tahani being an afterlife architect working behind the scenes, etc

Alternatively... when all is said and done, Chidi and maybe Tahani will make it into the actual Good Place, but Jason and Eleanor won't.
Even if they do grow substantially as people, Jason and Eleanor are still total screw-ups relative to the other two, and it would be unsurprising if they were still denied entry based on the lives they lived as mortals.

But what if Michael was telling the truth about every major religion getting the afterlife "about 5% right," something he had no real reason to lie about? In that case, reincarnation might be a part of the whole process, with The Bad Place-but-actually-it's-Purgatory just being another step on the journey to enlightenment and subsequent entry to paradise. Thus, the series will end with Eleanor and Jason being reborn, with the promise that the four of them will meet again sometime down the eternal line.

  • Or, it's possible that Chidi will temporarily give up his chance at The Good Place on the condition that the four of them meet on Earth in the next go-around, so that they can help each other live better and more thoughtful mortal lives.

12358W is The Bad Place for Michael in addition to the four humans. And this isn't the first time Eleanor's figured it out.
Perhaps he's a fallen Good Placer. Or perhaps he failed as a Bad Placer. Either way, he's suppose to be tormented just as the human four. After all, when you're a... whatever he is, there's not much to torment you with except failure and repetition. So every time Eleanor (or one of the others) figures it out, it gets reset. But wait, wouldn't Michael remember and just get better? Why would Trevor and Shawn act like this is the first time? Because, unbeknownst to him, his memory gets erased too so he makes the same mistakes over and over.
  • In Season 2 Episode 3 Chidi & Eleanor actually come up with the idea to make Michael think he's in the bad place too. Their plan fails, but that doesn't mean it can't be true.
  • From what we've seen, Michael's story mirrors the human one: he's got to keep up appearances and lie to people with more power than him, under the threat that there are worse places he could be. He has to live in the town and endure all the anxiety and psychological torture that comes with it. He's dependent on other, possibly dumber demons not blabbing and ruining everything. Michael can't even leave without Janet's help.

1235W isn't the bad place for Michael... yet.
After seeing how badly, and how many times, Michael screwed up his experiment, he really will be retired. But instead of the usual "burning on a thousands suns" deal, the boss will see how unhappy Michael is and decide that his punishment is to continue the project forever (or at least, until he finally breaks that thousand year mark).
  • As of mid-season 2, 1235W has been destroyed.

The scoring system is much more generous than we've been led to believe.
Practically goes without saying, but it's worth laying out. Barring bizarre edge cases like Mindy St. Claire (or, on the flip side, someone who spent most of their life doing good deeds except for one extraordinarily heinous action), the threshold for being put in the Good Place is something more like +2000 points or so — high enough that nobody's likely to get in by a fluke, but not so high that it's reserved for the greatest of saints.
  • As has already been pointed out, if the requirements to get into the Good Place were actually that high... nobody who deserved to get in would feel comfortable being there, because they wouldn't be able to stand the thought of "pretty good, but not good enough" people not making it in.
  • For Neighborhood 12358W to run smoothly, Eleanor, Jason and Tahani must believe that the standards are absurdly high. For the former two, it's so they can't make excuses about "probably being good enough" or anything like that, allowing them to half-ass their deception or otherwise get too complacent. As for Tahani, this is specifically required for the neighborhood rankings, which are otherwise pointless; if she was just in a neighborhood with Good Enough People, she might question how she's so low-ranked to begin with, which might in turn lead her to the conclusion that it's because of self-serving intent, only for her to wonder if THAT shouldn't have disqualified her altogether.
  • Jossed. It is, or rather, was, actually even less generous than we've been led to believe.

Tahani's sister also died
Whether or not she's in the good place or the bad place, Tahani will find out that her sister is dead and finally find some form of closure with her sister and her parents.
  • Or she isn't dead but a demon will impersonate her in order to torment Tahani. Tahani will figure out that the demon isn't really her sister and discover This Isn't Heaven
  • Seemingly Jossed.

God will appear
Or at least a character that basically represents God.

Case 00002 will be the key to getting out
Shawn gives Elanor the case number of 00003. We know that there was a long trial leading up to the creation of the Medium Place. We have some reason to believe that the medium place is real, since Janet is a real Good Janet. That leaves one case with unknown details. A giant Checkov's Gun
  • Alternately, the case number was simply made up by Shawn as part of his "all-knowing judge" act.
    • No, Shawn is actually an all-knowing judge. He is actually (and literally) Michael's boss, the one that gave him the go-ahead to proceed with this whole project.
  • I think this already happened. We know the judge is real. I think case 00002 was Mindy. Judge Gen said, upon their arrival, that she hadn't had any cases in like 30 years, and Mindy said nobody had said anything to her in like 30 years. Mindy's placement was a compromise after the 2 sides had been bickering. The judge would have ruled over this. The timeline fits (assuming the reboots all took place on parallel temporal planes). When the first fake Good Place was close to falling apart, and they got Shawn to play the judge, they used the real case number system because lies work better when they're close to the truth (a rule Michael used other times as well). Mindy helped the team several times, and ultimately helped them figure out a solution to escaping (the fact they were basically winning because they kept breaking the system), and by giving Elanor the sextape that ultimately made her realize she loved Chidi. Case 00002 really was the key to getting out, because she gave Elanor a means of escaping in the form of the knowledge that they were winning. Vicky was just a spanner in the works that made it all moot by causing a team-up.
  • Case 00001 was probably the first mortal to die, and therefore the precedent setter for all Good/Bad place rulings, Mindy being a fluke was case 00002 because of her middling status, which still would hold that Elanor would be case 3.

The Four are all in the closet as a part of their torment "Good Place v1.0" didn't last long enough to really bring to the fore
Elanor's case is obvious. She's clearly sexually attracted to Tahani and Vicki, but it's only near the end that she seemingly realizes she might "legit" be into Tahani. Tahani may also reciprocate those feelings, as shown by how touchy she is with Elanor - she boops her, and nobody else. As well, her profession of "you love me!" towards Chidi went to peculiar lengths to avoid indicating that she really has feelings for him, nor did she ever seem concerned with aught but the societal expectations pushing her and "Jianyu" together. Chidi, similarly, never expresses sexual interest in any of the women who throw themselves at him. Jason doesn't know how to have heterosexual sex. Why are they in the closet? Elanor is just averse to all of her natural feelings of affection, starting with her broken family, and then moving on to friendship and women. Tahani is a presumably muslim woman obsessed with her parent's approval. Chidi is, similarly, likely from a religious background that harshly condemns homosexuality, and obsessed not with doing the right thing, but simply never doing the wrong thing. Jason is just so that dumb and lacking in self-awareness that it never occurred to him. This is meant as torture, both because "The Good Place" has such a focus on romantic fulfillment they will never truly feel in their "soulmate" pairings, but also because all of the same-sex pairings are so incredibly ill-suited to each other.
  • Kristen Bell has stated that she hoped that Eleanor would be canonically bi, so it's a possibility.
  • Jason also had no issue with marrying his male best friend to escape from being arrested and Janet technically isn't female, hinting at Janet being nonbinary. This could mean he's bi/pan.
    • Jason and Pillboi's plan on getting married to avoid having to testify against each other (in the hopes of staying out of jail) has nothing to do about their sexuality or views on nonbinary relationships and is to illustrate that the two are Too Dumb to Live, don't understand the nuances of the trouble they're about to get into, and that Jason, had he survived the hare-brained heist, would have most definitely ended up in prison.
    • Plenty of dumb people are homophobic. The point about Jason having no issue with the idea of marrying Pillboi indicating he's cool with same-sex pairings still stands.

Eleanor will discover that one of her friends or her parents are in the afterlife.
And there will be a discussion about how much Eleanor's changed and how the people you surround yourself with affect you.

One or more of the main four's deaths were caused by Michael
He had a perfect plan to create a Bad Place where the human souls would torment each other, but the only hang up was that one or more of them hadn't died yet. So he secretly organized events that would cause these perfect candidates to die and enter his domain. Chidi and Eleanor's deaths could both be chalked up to Final Destination-esque coincidences, and we haven't even seen Tahani's. Jason's is the only one where it was directly caused by human stupidity, which would probably be a punchline to the entire plot. This could also be the four's best chance at getting out—if their deaths were caused by a higher power then their entire sentencing could be pronounced void and they'd either get to go to the real good place or get another chance at life.

Michael wasn't lying about how the Good Place/Bad Place system worked
Maybe he exaggerated some points and left a few parts out, but what he said was true for the most part. Maybe even the people he listed actually are in the Bad Place, maybe the rules and guidelines for getting in are true. When the group finds out about this, it could get them to realize that even the actual Good Place is messed up and a new system is needed.
  • Confirmed! Well done.

At some point in the show, the characters will venture to Cincinnati
Referencing how Eleanor wants that city to be the Medium Place.

There is a real Jianyu
Maybe he'll be the one to help Jason change himself.

Because of the reset, Chidi and Tahani are now soulmates
It would make sense for Michael to do this to get Eleanor away from Chidi
  • Jossed, the whole concept of soulmates is kind of a mess now, since Tahani is deeply in love with Chidi, Eleanor might be in love with both Tahani AND Chidi, and Chidi just can't decide between the two.

One or more of characters will get promoted/climb the celestial hierarchy
Maybe even one of them will become an architect of their own realm.
  • I figure that if they do get promoted, they'd get jobs matching or making fun of their personalities.
    • Eleanor could be the architect for the Medium Place
    • Chidi could decide on who gets to go to which afterlife
    • Jason could act as an assistant for Janet or maybe take over the Bad Place
    • Tahani would become an architect and plan out how the afterlifes function
  • Confirmed. Tahani becomes an architect.

Michael only pretends to be bad.
His real goal is to create "medium" neighborhoods for "medium" people, and he actually risks himself in order to do so. His "bad" neighborhood is obviously not as bad as other "bad" neighborhoods.
  • Alternatively, he might be even worse. He has stated he was getting bored with "classic" torturing, so he built his fake Good Place so he could try subtler, more psychological methods of torturing.

Tahani will realize she doesn't belong and confess
Confronted with how much her ego is at odds with her persona, she'll come to the conclusion that she wasn't meant to be there. If and when Michael announces that somebody might belong to the Bad Place, expecting Eleanor to admit her presence again, Tahani will stand up instead and screw up his plans even more.
  • Might be confirmed in the future, but Jossed for now, as Michael's plans are already so screwed up that he's forced into working with the very people he intended to torture for a thousand years.

There really IS a Medium Place, but it's not the one that Eleanor and Jason 'escape' to.
Assuming, due to the principle that the best lie is one that contains truth, that how Michael explained the system is really how it works (seemingly supported by Shawn's threat to subject him to the Eternal Shriek, and the Bad Place sounds when they're talking), it makes sense that a situation where a person's score doesn't relegate them to one or the other - not necessarily Mindy's supposed situation, but people who are inoffensive while also not actively being good, that sort of thing - would come up, and probably a lot, not just the once - it served Michael's narrative to present it as a binary...Eleanor thinking she deserved the Medium Place would have stopped her really going into his scenario if she knew one existed. The Medium Place is also not the 'tainted reward' that Mindy's MP was presented as, as that would ultimately be a Bad Place, just more of a Michael-style one. The actual Medium Place would be more or less like the real world - except without all the best and worst people. Just a bunch of people inoffensively going about their business without ultimately making an impact one way or the other.
  • Seemingly jossed...Mindy's a bit too forthcoming when they return to be in Michael's employ.

Michael isn't, despite his belief, the first to try to innovate the Bad Place, he was preceded by...
Pip, from A Nice Place to Visit. It never caught on because it was a lot of work to create a whole Bad Place just for one person.

There is an actual magic wizard in the gear Jason gave to Eleanor
More accurately a mischievous divine entity from the Good Place steering things to humiliate Michael and maybe free the four from their torment.
  • She certainly did get out of giving a speech after she asked it for help.

If Janet isn't secretly God already, she will eventually become god-like
Janet said every time she's rebooted she gains new knowledge and abilities. With well over a hundred resets under her belt, our Janet will become far more powerful than ever intended. Maybe powerful enough to help the main four escape the Bad Place for good, or restructure the afterlife entirely.

Vikki will end up actually being Chidi's soulmate and they will end up being each other's final test before getting to the Good Place.
For Chidi, it will be a true test of being able to teach ethics to an essentially unethical being and also making a definitive choice, while for Vikki, it will probably something very contrary to her nature as a demon such as self-sacrifice or even self-punishment for the sake of ensuring others might be well.

Michael is really a Good Placer who has had his memory erased and turned into a Bad Placer.
Perhaps he did something he felt was necessary but broke the rules. As a result, he had to be tormented as well by being forced to serve in/for the Bad Place. The whole Good Place experiment is his subconscious way of trying to reconciling his hidden desire to make people happy with the need to torment people.

Tahani and Eleanor really are soulmates (again).
Repeat of pre-Revelation for sake of spoilers. Tahani at her core wants to help people, even if it isn't always for the most alturistic reasons. This might be why the one iteration where they were matched up failed; believing Eleanor to be her soulmate would make her quite determined to prove and help Eleanor discover the secret. Chidi is the easier match up because of his indecisiveness - it makes him naturally harder to convince for Eleanor.

Vicky will take over as the Big Bad of Season Two
She's already formed a demonic union with herself at the top, is blackmailing Michael to let her run the show, and forcing him to form an alliance with the group. Plus lets face it, Michael is simply to likable to be the overall antagonist of the series, while Vicky is just selfish and vain enough to root against. So the groups main problem (for at least the rest of the season) will be figuring out how to deal with Vicky.

Tahani is a plant
Her backstory is just a little too overblown, as she seems to have met practically every famous person alive and done hundreds of important and influential things, and her sister is somehow even more incredibly perfect to the point where the Hall of Fame broke its rules just to admit her because she was just that amazing. And being crushed by a solid gold statue of her sister after years of trying to live up to her seems just a bit too ironic. The last person who was this perfect was Real Eleanor and that was intentional, so it follows that Tahani is actually The Mole for Shawn or someone even higher up, sent to observe the experiment without Michael's knowledge.

Tahani will get into The Good Place by saving her sister from The Bad Place.
Given her sister's characterization prior to her death, Tahani's sister can't possibly be in The Good Place. Thus Tahani will discover that for all the fame, fortune, and glory that her sister had, she too didn't get into The Good Place. Tahani decides to rescue her sister - first for her usual selfish reasons but eventually because she'll realize that her sister was, at least compared to her, a better person. This will be something that will ultimately contribute to Tahani actually getting into The Good Place.

Michael is not an Architect.
Shawn is actually the Architect of the neighborhood. Michael thinks he's an Architect (with all his memories faked), but he's just another human who is being tortured. That's why everything keeps falling apart.

Michael has already been retired
One possibility: everything that's been going on is really just how it feels to have your soul disintegrated and placed on various burning suns etc. While each molecule of his soul burns on a different sun, what he experiences feels a whole lot like trying to carry out a plan that has failed 802 times already. Maybe in the same way that fro-yo can taste like a full cellphone battery? Better possibility: he's experiencing the retirement equivalent of his plan, ie., the Architects have come up with a better way of retiring Architects, involving psychological torture such as he's currently experiencing. Maybe he has even figured this out in the past and been reset.

That other Janet seen from the opening of "Janet and Michael" will become important
They'll probably end up ratting Michael out to the Good Place.
  • It looks as though the other Janet was just the next one in line and hadn't been activated yet. Also, if that Janet were going to "rat out" Michael, wouldn't "our" Janet have done that? More generally though, "our" Janet coming into conflict with other Good Janets seems quite possible.

In the final episode, everyone will end up in the real Good Place.
Not just our four humans, but everyone. Janet is apparently already the most advanced Janet in existence, she's connected to the universal mainframe, she gets more powerful each time she's rebooted, and her purpose is to make humans happy. Eventually she will gain both the conscience and the power to emancipate everyone from the Bad Place.

Season 3 will include A Day in the Limelight episode for Shawn.
Maybe it will show why he's so emotionless.

In the final episode, everyone will create Purgatory
It could be that while it's decided they're better people than when they first died, and Micheal is a better demon than before his Bad Place, they're still not good enough to get in The Good Place. But after finding out it's possible to become better after dying, the four humans, Micheal, and Janet are put in charge of creating their own place to help other people that were bad on Earth become better in the afterlife. It could be called the Getting Better Place.
  • Or perhaps simply, "The Better Place". This forms a double meaning: not just a place to become better, but also for when people on earth refer to deceased loved ones as being "in a better place".
  • Kind of confirmed! They create afterlife tests designed to make them better and better until they qualify for the Good Place.

The season premier names will engage in Serial Escalation.
Going from "Everything is Fine" to "Everything is Great," to possibly things like "Everything is Awesome" and "Everything is Fantastic," and so on. The last season premier, or possibly the Grand Finale, will be called, "Everything is Perfect."
  • So far confirmed, as season 3's premiere was "Everything Is Bonzer", an Australian-ish escalation from Great.

Jason emphatically ends a story with "it was all just a dream" in "Best Self." Given how on the money his prank show/human zoo guess turned out to be last season, this could be the plot twist for season 2.

There really is a demon called Trent who looks exactly like Chidi.
And at some point, William Jackson Harper is going to have a lot of fun playing him.

Eleanor passed the test whereas the other three didn't
Gen's test caught Chidi (he took too long to choose a hat), Tahani (she stopped to talk to her parents), and Jason (insulted the judge) in the trap, but Eleanor never did anything wrong and Gen never told her she failed. The only reason she didn't end up in the good place was that she agreed they'd all take it as a team.

There really is a demon called Trent who looks exactly like Chidi.
And at some point, William Jackson Harper is going to have a lot of fun playing him.E
Vicky will come back as underling of Shawn's.
Shawn wants things kept under wraps and so will enlist Vicky (willingly or otherwise) to track down our merry little band.
  • Confirmed.

    Post-Season 2/Season 3 WMG 

Michael is Jesus in Purgatory
This WMG is traditionally a meme, but in this case their is actually evidence to support it.

Michael uses his birthday as his pin number, and we see that that is 0000. The joke would at first appear to be that Michael is an eternal demon that has existed since the beginning of time.

But time did not begin at 0000, even young-earth creationists put the earth at being 6000 years old, (and thus, beginning at 4000BC). 0000 Would have been 2018 years ago, at the birth of christ. Which seems like quite the coincidence considering the time-scales involved.

We also know that Michael is not in The Good Place. And we see from the events of the show that he can become a better person/demon after he starts teaming up with the humans. Which makes one wonder if torture was ever really his goal in the first place. (At a minimum he is very bad at it).

So the theory is that Michael is Jesus, he has just spent the last two thousand years in The Bad Place/Purgatory being tortured by having torture the very people he died for, and helping to design their punishments. Then the demons decided to move away from traditional torture and into something more psychological, rather mirroring Michael himself, they pretend to promote him to Architect and put him in charge of his own Bad Place Neighborhood, (which his innate nature has him warping to try and make it good) arranging it so that he will spend an eternity trying to either torture people, or trying to save them and failing again and again.

Everything we have seen in the show is just a part of that. Including the good/bad/medium places, and the trial and everything else. It is all designed to torment Michael as much as possible, and this will be revealed in Season 3 when Team Cockroach fails utterly and they are either put back into a place where Michael is somewhat in charge but can't help, or Michael himself has his memory wiped like he wiped the minds of the humans. Like the montage of fake Good Place neighborhoods at the beginning of season 2, season 3 will contain a montage of scenarios Michael gets put through involving Team Cockroach to torture him.

The series' afterlife is alike to the one Aeneas visits in the Aeneid.
Everyone keeps a part of their old life, including perhaps Michael with desk work and so on, and everyone might be cycling through trying to learn to be better people even if they're not conscious of it, and "move on," either to the Good Place or possibly reincarnation.

It's not exact (there's apparently AI, for starters), and maybe they'll be more vague about it all in the end, since they're saying a most religions were a certain percent right, and using terms like "Good Place" and "Bad Place" in the first place instead of directly stating any particular mythos or religion.

(Acknowledging here that while the Aeneid expresses ancient Greek mythos specifically, other cultures had and have similar underworlds too.)

Another reason to consider the possibility is Michael's description of his retirement sounding similar to various ancient civilizations' gods' eternal punishments (Prometheus, Loki, etc.), if with more suns involved.

Michael will neither end up in The Good Place nor ever become an architect.
He will be given a choice to become a Good Place architect but it cost him immensely to do so - perhaps having to be reborn as a non-demon. He will decline... not because he doesn't want to but because he will choose to continue to help others on Earth to change their lives before death, understanding that as a demon-turned-good, he alone in the Celestial Bueracracy is uniquely suited to that kind of task. Perhaps he will even become the head of his own department responsible for that.

The Bad Place is actually the medium place, the real bad place is much, much worse
Early in the series, Michael said most religions got it 5% right. Given how from what we've seen of The Bad Place, it's actually quite a lot like Earth or perhaps a Lighter and Softer version of Hell, with some Cartoon Violence style tortures mentioned (but rarely seen on screen) with most of what we see being the Cool And Unusual Puishment variety of torture. The so-called Medium Place of Mindy St. Clair is just her own medium place (which is why it's accessible by train). Ancient Greek religion held that there's the land of the gods upon Mt. Olympus, there's Hades, where normal people went, kind of a neutral place with punishments for the less virtuous but generally a lot like an underground Earth, and Tartarus being most analogous to Fire and Brimstone Hell. They tell the people that they're in The Bad Place so that they don't get curious and somehow end up a Spanner in the Works for whatever tortures take place in The Bad Place. Most likely the real bad place is reserved for the truly horrible like Adolf Hitler, Ted Bundy, Osama bin Laden, John Wayne Gacy, and other truly reprehensible people that deserve a punishment a bit more "creative" than warm beer, boring magazines, and slow internet. And the tortures they receive would be too horrifying and nightmarish for a lighthearted comedy like The Good Place. Cerebus Syndrome would be an understatement.

If characters in The Bad Place can change and become good, then characters in the Good Place can change and become bad
This might come about if one or most of our protagonists actually do make it to the Good Place. Maybe the people who were already there start to question the whole system. If these guys who were pretty horrible on Earth are able to make it into the Good Place, quite some time after they died, the people who were always in the Good Place might get jealous, and perhaps they'd start some kind of coup, and try to form an alliance with Shawn or Trevor to get rid of the people who were once from the Bad Place.
  • This would be amazing. It would be not only funny and interesting but provide further proof to the higher-ups of the afterlife that it is possible for people to change after death, for the better and for the worst.

Eventually, we're going to see Kamilah again... in the Bad Place.
Oh, come on. If Tahani, who is, condescending as she is, a genuinely kindhearted individual, can get sent to the Bad Place, then Kamilah is definitely there. Maybe she's seen the error of her ways, maybe not. Maybe she and Tahani will reach some sort of understanding, maybe not.
  • Kamilah having to take good person lessons alongside her sister would be an interesting storyline... And let's be real, Tahani may have resented her sister, and Kamilah may have been a massive bitch, but Tahani would not want her little sister to spend eternity in the Bad Place. Given the opportunity, she'd give Kamilah a chance to become better so she could get into the Good Place, too.

In the real Good Place, you can curse all you like.
If the person listening to you doesn't like cursing, they'll hear you say "fork" and "bench" and the like. If they don't mind it, however, they'll hear the real word. It seems like a pretty decent compromise that would make things a lot less frustrating for residents like, say, Eleanor. (I mean, there must be some Good Place residents who like to curse as much as she does.)
  • Seemingly Jossed by the Season 3 finale, although this could easily be a trick.

The Addams Family has been to The Bad Place.
It's why Gomez is so enthused by Morticia speaking french.

Alternatively, they are the reason why french things get you sent to the bad place.

Team Cockroach will lead an uprising, using knowledge that humans in the afterlife can hurt demons.
We've seen several instances where the humans were able to hurt the demons in one way or another. Granted it was mostly emotional pain, but as Shawn said, emotional torture can achieve the effects of their squiglyest eyeball corkscrews. This system is unjust to the point that maybe the humans will conclude that revolution is the most ethical option, and use these instances to help:
  • The point where JASON figured out they were in the bad place. That hurt Michael.
  • We've seen that introducing concern to demons can emotionally torture them, as demonstrated after the train reveal.
  • In her crowning moment of awesome, Janet kicked Shawn to the point he was unconscious.
  • In one reboot, Michael was having an emotional breakdown due to them constantly defeating him, and he just admitted the entire plan to Elanor.

Jason is actually aromantic.
  • His relationships with Janet and Tahani both came out of nowhere after he had a pleasant conversation with them or they were nice to him. This suggests a hard time understanding romantic attraction, which is a common trait for aromantic people.

Elanor will figure out they're all dead.
We saw in the flashbacks in the season 1 finale that the people more or less die in batches. That means that our 4 characters probably all died within a few minutes of eachother. A near death experience isn't exactly something one forgets. We can see Chidi was changed by his experience, because he actually was able to commit to working on things like public seminars. Eventually, Elanor and Chidi will figure out they nearly died at nearly the same time. If they are able to meet up with Tahani and Jason, they may figure out that the 4 of them all nearly died at the same time. Then Elanor will crack it. She's savvy enough to know that 4 people who all know eachother having a near death experience before they meet on the same day isn't very likely. She'll have another revelation moment in the season 3 finale: They're all dead and this is an afterlife. The entire world will break down revealing it's all just a room in Jen's complex in the neutral area. Through a window, we see Jen, and hear her over the intercom: "Really Elanor? Really?" Michael will be all "Don't worry. It stops getting to you around the 400th attempt." to Jen.

Trevor was trying to sabotage the experiment in iteration 1
Trevor told Elanor that she would never belong in the good place, and as a result, she'd never be happy there. He pointed out that while she would be tortured in the bad place, she'd wouldn't have to live with the misery of being surrounded by people who are better than her. Later in the "Holy motherforking shirtballs" scene, one of the signs that they're in the bad place is that she is surrounded by people who are better than her. Was this a subtle hint?

Also, when he was persuading Elanor to go to the Bad Place voluntarily, the reason he gave was that she wouldn't have to spend every day where she didn't belong. Suggesting that every day was miserable for her.

The other demons with Trevor had Jason pump the keg, which was how Tahani initially figured out Jianyu wasn't who she thought, which helped drive the eventual breakdown of version 1.

My theory is that Trevor was trying to sabotage the project for some reason, but didn't want to get caught at it. His response was to introduce a subtle hint that they were in the bad place so Elanor would eventually figure it out on her own, and she did figure it out on that iteration.

Not only was Michael's plan doomed to fail, but it was doomed to change him too
Michael's idea was simple on paper: If bad people encounter each other, they'll drive each other crazy. While that sounds easy enough, it's forgetting some key details about human behavior. Humans are fundamentally social creatures. Even though disguised, the demons are acting as pretty much near perfect, which is almost jarring and close to unnatural. It stands to reason that even if the Cockroach Club didn't fully realize that their neighbors were demons, they would always gravitate to the few people they realized weren't 100% perfect, even though things would be rocky at first. And, given that FOUR mistakes in The Good Place would be highly unlikely, Eleanor (and at times Jason!) would always realize something is wrong. That said, it may not have been impossible for Tahani or Chidi to realize the truth, but it was less likely given that they certainly felt they were good people, albeit for bad intentions and poor execution. But back to my point: When you include people who are AWARE they are not good people, the more likely they'll realize they're not in The Good Place.

And what about Michael? This is were Chidi is the spanner in the works. Including someone who studied morality and ethics meant that there was a much higher chance for the Cockroach Club to improve and adapt to their circumstances—much like humans are apt to do. This is a fact that was neglected by Michael and the other Immortal Beings, as the idea is that in The Good Place you can't get better and in The Bad Place you're too late to improve. However, Michael observed countless times where the Cockroach Club sought to improve themselves to better their circumstances. They have also used their improvements to welcome him as a friend—the demon who is supposed to be torturing them for all eternity. Which now leads us into Season 3: Without the promise of The Good Place and their forced/shared camaraderie, can these four still be good?

Kamilah is in the bad place.
Unlike her sister who tried to do good works for selfish reasons, Kamilah is in the bad place for her heinous treatment of her sibling. though her life was quite accomplished, the stain of sibling rivalry and selfish oneupsmanship set her on a one way ticket to the bad place along with her neglectful parents.

Vicky and Shawn will return.
Even if Janet and Michael locked him in that room, the other demons are bound to notice their boss is missing and eventually find and let him go. Then he'll figure Vicky was framed and release her from the Goo.

That Michael is cheating in the experiment obviously isn't going to go unnoticed for long. But to prevent it being cancelled and them being thrown into the bad place, he'll instead agree to a compromise, which will involve Shawn sending Vicky to act as the team's devil on the shoulder against Michael's efforts.

Simone is an angel.
So far she has come off as a very kind, intelligent person who works for and wants the best for others. Unbeknownst to everyone, she is an angel from the Good Place who has gotten wind of the project and has gone to Earth to investigate, and she's actually rooting for Team Cockroach.

The main cast won't be eternally damned after all.
  • Spoilers for "Jeremy Bearimy" incoming:

So by the end of the episode, the main cast now knows about The Good Place and The Bad Place, which means they can never actually go to The Good Place, since any good deed they do would be born out of a corrupt motivation. But by the end of the episode, they've decided to do good and help others even knowing this. And since they don't expect to ever receive a reward, their motivations aren't corrupt anymore. Thus, they will earn the points needed to get into The Good Place.

When the group finally returns to the afterlife, Janet will have a meltdown.
Remember how, at the end of "The Brainy Bunch," all the things she tried to summon while on Earth suddenly appeared at once, and even Janet herself couldn't stop this? Presumably, when she goes back to the afterlife, her knowledge updates all at once, too — that is, everything she missed while she was on Earth. The first time, she was only gone for half a day... but imagine the sheer overload that will happen when her knowledge from the past God-knows-how-many years suddenly updates all at once. After all, even when she's rebooted intentionally, it takes a couple days to reupload everything. Having it all suddenly hit at once probably won't be good for Janet.

Doug Forcett will go to The Bad Place
Doug is shown to be a good person, but like Tahani, his motivations are also shown to be corrupted, because nothing he does is to be a genuinely good person, it's all to gain points for The Good Place.
  • of now.

Doug Forcett is a megademon, tarantula squid, or some other rogue afterlife entity
The accuracy of Doug's predictions of the afterlife are absurdly improbable, making it possible he actually had firsthand knowledge of it, and his pitiable life serves as a demonstration of the unfairness of the whole point system. Doug could be aiding or guiding the Soul Squad to change the system in much the same way Michael initially tormented Team Cockroach. Also, the episode that foreshadowed his appearance by reminding the audience of his picture also brought up the idea of higher beings controlling the afterlife.
  • Jossed. He's totally human. With a score and everything.
    • Not completely. He knows way too much to have lived a normal existence. Maybe he had some near death experience or was visited by an angel or demon.

Doug Forcett might have gotten a slightly higher score if he could have worked utilitarianism better
  • By giving his shoes and kowtowing to the demands of the pesky neighbor, for example, he might have empowered his ego and allowed him to do more bad things. Any number of his decisions could have backfired in this manner.

The system is being manipulated...but not by the Bad Place
The beings in charge of the Good Place just don't like humans very much and are doing their best to keep them out of their hair. And the whole 'purity of motive' aspect is part of this.

The real Good Place is culturally stuck in the late 15th century.
If nobody has really gotten into the Good Place in 500 years, it makes sense for everyone who is there to be pretty isolated from modern culture. Cue Fish out of Temporal Water jokes when the protagonists get to interact with people there.
  • This would make sense, but what little we've seen of the Good Place, so far, has been more in the style of the 18th or 19th century US.

Eleanor and Chidi will break up rather quickly
Chidi's objections in the most recent episode, while they were quashed in the moment, will prove to have significant reach as the two realize that the experiences they had in this timeline are wholly distinct, and don't have the same chemistry in this version of reality. This will lead Eleanor to spending more time with Tahani and trying a relationship with her. Whether or not this ends the same way will depend on how much their individual experiences lead them.
  • They're still together, and even working through some problems like Eleanor's insecurity about being in love, so they probably won't break up too quickly if they even do.

    • Confirmed, but not at all in the way the WMG implies; Chidi's memory is wiped, making the breakup more one of necessity

The theory of the Bad Place tampering with the point system is a subtle metaphor for the investigations against Donald Trump.
The theory of the Bad Place hacking the point system to get more people into the Bad Place parallels to the theory that Trump tampered with the 2016 election results (with Russian interference) to get himself into office. Michael finds it ridiculous how the Good Place's response is to spend hundreds of years just to put a committee together to investigate the issue- much like how many believe much of Trump's behavior during his presidency is blatantly illegal, and he should be taken out of office right away and that the investigation is too slow. This same episode also has a Take That! against America's detainment of refugees (something Trump is infamous for), and Michael Schur is generally very Democratic. As for the possible reveal that the point system is so broken nowadays because of how complicated the world has become, that could represent how the election system (particular the electoral college responsible for Trump's victory) is so heavily criticized by the left, or that it's simply the major shifts in political climate that brought Trump into office.

    Post-Season 3/Season 4 WMG 

The person who made it into The Good Place 521 years ago is a total jerk by today's standards
  • There's no way the points system is fixed, given that actions related to new things (The Bachelor, the Cleveland Browns, etc.) are given point values. Thus it makes sense that as certain actions have become more frowned upon, their point values have been changed. The person who most recently got into the Good Place therefore may have been fair for his day, but might still believe in things like the patriarchy, etc. This will lead to a philosophical discussion about moral relativism.
    • It's worth remembering that none of the point totals from the first season can be trusted. Michael could have been using real point totals to sell the illusion, but they could just have easily been Blatant Lies.

Season 4 will reveal that Eleanor also fell in love with Tahani in some reboots.
  • For whatever reason, Michael chose to only reveal the instances in which Eleanor fell in love with Chidi. In the upcoming season, he'll have a change of heart, brought on by Eleanor's feeling of loneliness, and show Eleanor her relationships with Tahani, leading Eleanor to try a relationship with Tahani once more.
    • Well there was attempt #218
      • If nothing else, having to deal with the whole Chidi situation would be a good prod to bring them closer together.

Janet will become a Parental Substitute for Eleanor as well.
  • Part of Eleanor's journey is her finding social bonds - familial, platonic, and romantic. Janet, as with Michael, is best suited to be the same kind of parental figure as Michael to Eleanor as Janet has a maturity and knowledge Eleanor can rely on.

    • Unlikely, since Janet also sees Michael as a father figure.
Eleanor will come to realize that while Michael might be a father figure, he's still imperfect.
  • While she is aware that he's got flaws, Eleanor doesn't really see him as a flawed individual. He's still this all-powerful, all-knowing figure much like a child sees their parent. Part of her arc as the architect in S4 is coming to realize - really realize - that Michael shouldn't be put on a pedestal because it's unfair to him (and a byproduct of her own faults). Part of that will be a shift from her constantly looking to him to fix everything to learning how to fix things herself (at the least, the things that she is more than equipped to fix herself),

Shawn will get a chance to torture the humans with Vicky in the Michael suit... but it'll backfire.
Contrary to what Shawn thinks, the humans aren't stupid. (Well, okay... let's leave Jason out of this.) Furthermore, Vicky isn't nearly as good an actress as she thinks she is (especially not when she gets to write her own material), and the humans know Michael way better than Shawn and the rest of the Bad Place crew does. So it probably wouldn't take too long for Vicky to fork up enough to trip an Out-of-Character Alert.

The person picked by the bad place to torture Eleanor will be her father.
We've not seen Eleanor's father at all yet, but given how much we know about her messed up relationship regarding family and fear about turning into her parents, it could be that having him around will totally freak her out and she may not even believe he can be improved, but it will also give her an opportunity to grow as a person and learn about forgiving bad actions, something that will play into how they get the Good Place to re-evaluate the points system.
  • Wow... that's... wow. Are you sure you're not a Bad Place architect because that'd be brilliant (read: really evil) as a means of forking up the experiment and torturing Eleanor.
  • But if he's an analogue to Eleanor as well as a torturous presence, then maybe he will be the first to improve or seek help. So far, the Shellstrops have a good track record for personal growth. But on second thought, Doug Shellstrop would recognize his daughter, and wouldn't his memories of Eleanor be too intertwined with the rest to be erased?

Janet is going to realize she's being tortured by Derek's presence.
While she's not a human, the seeds of trouble between her, Derek, and Jason are already being sown in Season 3, so it makes sense that if this experiment is unfortunately also torturing its administrators, Janet would be tortured by the only other comparable being, the son/rebound that she's not sure how to deal with due to her feelings for Jason. The Bad Place has certainly suffered a lot at the hands of her meddling, particularly from the brawl where she dispatched most of their demons herself, so they'll probably make sure Derek is around a lot.

The neighborhood experiment, if successful, will become part of the official afterlife judgment process.
This will immortalize Michael's neighborhood, shifted to good alongside him, and it and probably many copies will be used as a test before any human is placed in the afterlife. They have to live in the neighborhood for a while so their true character and potential for change can be observed, and then they will be chosen for the Good and Bad Places, likely with some reform within those areas as well so their destinations are fair.

They will fail to redeem all four humans.
  • Instead, they’ll redeem Shawn and he’ll concede.

They will have to torture the four humans to redeem them.
  • In order to see that the humans can be good, Eleanor and the others will have to put them through tortures, like they experienced, to help the humans unite and support one another
    • Basically confirmed in "Help Is Other People", when Chidi guesses they're in the Bad Place, and Michael and Eleanor, in a last ditch effort to get Brent to change, pretend he's right (acting exactly as Michael did when Eleanor figured it out at the end of Season 1)

Brent is Trevor
After watching Brent's interview, it seems like he could be a middle-aged version of Trevor. Maybe he came back from the abyss somehow?

Simone will go through all of the Five Stages of Grief throughout the final season.
At the end of Season 3, Simone believes that she isn't actually in Heaven and that she is actually just suffering from a classic "light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel/near-death experience" scenario, being a neuro-scientist (and possibly an atheist) as the reason. While at first this seems like a joke, the first two episodes of Season 4 has her walking around, repeatedly ignoring conduct and acting out of line under the continued delusion that everything she is experiencing is her suffering from a coma-based brain-damage dream.

This, my friends, fits perfectly within the first stage of the Five Stages of Grief (usually when confronting death); Denial.

While Chidi seems to be helping her death with this denial For Happiness, it is likely that it will slowly dawn on her that she really is dead, the steps taken to process it being the other four stages (Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance).

Janet will become "God" and Derek will become "Satan".
Each time Janet is killed she comes back stronger than before. She has the ability to create anything from nothing, even creating the current "Good Place", as well as the people in the Good Place with the help of Derek. Overtime this will lead her to becoming "God" of her own version of the Good Place where Team Cockroach and their friends will remain. Meanwhile, Derek will become the equivalent of "Satan". He was created by Janet but was rejected by her later on. He wants to get back with his mommy-girlfriend and will do anything, even sabotage her new version of "Eden" (the Good Place she created). Ostensibly, each time he is killed he will come back stronger also. His jealousy will lead him to be the renegade "angel" to Janet's "God".

Matt from Weird Sex Things is rigging the experiment to go well
  • Matt has incentive to have the experiment to be successful so that he won't have to continue the job that literally makes him want to commit suicide. Therefore, it's likely that he's been giving the test subjects more points than they deserve so that he can do this job for eternity instead. The Soul Squad will discover this and have to decide whether to confess to the Judge that, if the scores had been calculated correctly, the experiment would have been a failure—and thus condemn humanity forever to the Bad Place.

Gen is secretly having the accountant keep track of not just the test subjects' points, but also Tahani's, Jason's, Michael's and Janet's.
  • Gen has already affirmed that Eleanor can change, now she wants to see if that's changed for the rest of the Soul Squad.

Shawn and the other Bad Place demons will have their minds wiped and be placed in the neighborhood.
  • They want to see if Michael is an anomaly so they'll test if other demons can change under these circumstances.

The experiment will repeat billions of times.
  • The Soul Squad are the only people proven to cause change in humans, they'll have to repeat the process for everyone who's ever died.

Gen’s Earth redo thingy is actually in Derek’s void
  • Think about it. Gen doesn’t know about Derek and Good Janet could’ve easily decided to hand it over to Derek after the shuffle ended.

    Nonseason / Meta Guesses 

Gilligan's Island was an early version of the Neighborhood.
Building off the fan theory that G.Isle was a form of purgatory or hell, and that each islander represents a deadly sin, it stands to reason it was an early neighborhood, also predicated on those trapped on the isle exist to torture each other.

The series happens in the same universe as Dead Like Me
This is merely what happens after the reapers pop a soul out of a body and show them Their Lights. since in DLM the crew focused on 'external influence' as a cause of death, the deaths described in TGP sync up with the similar somewhat cartoonish causes. Elenor being carried into the street by shopping carts, Tahani being crushed by her sisters statue, Jason locking himself in a safe, and Chidi getting crushed by an AC unit, Wouldn't a girl being decimated by a falling toilet seat from MIR be in step?
  • The Doorman's affection for Frogs is also a connection to Dead Like Me; Frog was given a jar, the jar contained Death in it. Though Frog did a good job watching over the jar and kept it safe, Toad came by and accidentally broke the jar by being careless with it, releasing death upon the world. mighty odd coincidence that The Doorman likes frogs so much.

The real Good Place and angels
At some point we will see the real Good Place, or at least meet some of its architects and higher-ups. The theme of Good Is Impotent will prevail, for a few reasons:
  • Some angels love the bureaucratic minutiae and following the rules— Lawful Good to an extreme.
    • Confirmed.
  • Some angels are just as bad as demons when it comes to lording it over humans— like Smug Straight Edge, they get an active kick out of knowing sinners are suffering. After all, heaven and hell are only two sides of one philosophical coin.
  • Some angels are genuinely well-meaning, but their love for the universe knows no bounds—literally. They can take so much joy in the beauties of the cosmos that they can spend whole millennia watching nebulae explode. They love God's creatures so dearly, they couldn't pick between two ants fighting— let alone two humans squabbling. (Chidi will empathize with these angels a lot.)
  • And none of these angels (or else a select few) can imagine what it is to be human, with sadness, bad decisions, anger, aches and pains, you name it, so angels have a hard time imagining why anyone would sin.

For the Accountants, Christopher Columbus' expeditions were the Moral Event Horizon for humanity.
  • "Janet(s)" reveals that nobody has gotten into the real Good Place for 521 years. From the perspective of 2018, that puts the last person to get into the Good Place to have died in 1497. Now recall that Janet made an offhand comment in Season 1 about Christopher Columbus being in the Bad Place due to having instigated genocide in the Americas. While Columbus famously came to the Western Hemisphere in 1492, he was very much still exploring (and committing atrocities) five years later. It's not impossible that Janet's comment could be Chekhov's Gag and the Accountants felt that the start of transatlantic conquest and colonialism was the downfall of all humans' destinies.
    • Possibly confirmed to some degree as part of the reason no one has gotten in is that the world is so intricately connected that many actions have bad consequences. Connecting the West and Eastern hemispheres was certainly a huge paradigm shift for humanity.

Jason is a furry
  • He probably is not a part of the Furry Fandom or anything. But he does cite and his first kiss being with "The sexy mouse robot in the Chuck E. Cheese band" and that Tahani is "so pretty, like Nala from The Lion King."

There is a Disco Place
In addition to the Good Place, the Bad Place, the Medium Place, Accounting, there's a Disco Place. THERE must be a reason for Disco Janet.

The main characters are modeled after those in The Wizard of Oz
Particularly in season 1, before the big twist is revealed.
  • Eleanor simply wants to find a way to belong there, i.e. she wants a home. She is Dorothy.
  • Jason is the Scarecrow: he is extremely dumb, but capable of insight at times, so he needs a brain.
  • Tahani is the Tin Man: for all her great works, she was not truly doing any of it to benefit others, and needs to become more selfless: she needs a heart.
  • Chidi is easy: he requires courage. He is the Cowardly Lion.
  • Michael is the Wizard: secretly a fraud all along (but maybe not as terrible a person deep down as his deception makes it seem).
  • Janet is Glinda: She appears whenever she is needed to provide the characters with assistance.

Jason is Florida Man
Due to his essence disintegrating across the universe in the finale, not only is Jason hypothetically Florida Man, every act attributed to Florida Man was in fact inspired by him.

The entire afterlife was designed by a race of (Now gone) Sufficiently Advanced Aliens
  • It seems oddly technological (the Janets, The viewscreens everywhere), some of the creatures (especially Michael) seem more like Eldritch Abominations than anything else (he casually mentions he can see in 9 dimensions, and eventually says his true form is a 6000 foot tall fire squid), The "Jeremy Bearimy" thing is basically saying afterlife time is incomprehensible to human minds, and the entire points system seems like it was designed by creatures who barely understand human conceptions of morality, which would also explain why it stopped working.
    • Just because it's technological doesn't mean it isn't the afterlife. Although beings that don't understand humans is, well, understandable. The entire basis of the show is basically "a poorly coded heaven".

The fate of those passing through the arch at the end varies from person to person
  • We only see what happens to one character (Eleanor, who turns into a bunch of spirit mote things, which can somehow positively influence people). Maybe it's different for each person, based on what they want (some just cease to exist, others reincarnate, others might become some fictional character they liked in life in a Parallel Universe, others might have some fate that's not even imaginable to humans in their current state, but still presumably a good thing.)

The Good Place takes place (heh) in the same world as Scott Pilgrim.
There is a literal Subspace Door snuck in as an easter egg, which leads me to believe that The Good Place is perhaps set in Subspace. The people in there could leave anytime they wanted to, but are either unaware of the existence of Subspace (remember, not everyone knows about it) or just didn't catch the door.

"Michael Schur" is actually our Michael
He wanted people to be kind to each other and earn points (also honoring the memory of his friends), but obviously he can't just tell people about the Good Place—even if they believed him, they'd lose points because their motives weren't altruistic. So instead, he created a comedy about his experiences, hoping it will inspire people to become better!

Shawn's natural form is some sort of bug monster
That would explain why he constantly cocoons people, as no other demon does this.