The Good Place is a forking good time. Created by television comedy legend Michael Schur (credits include The Office, Parks and Recreation, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine), the show features a newly imagined afterlife: the Good Place and the Bad Place. While the concept of someone accidentally being sent to the Good Place is creative enough, the show takes it a step further.
In the expansive universe of The Good Place, one of the most important and powerful characters is Janet. She’s fun, has some wonderful character and personality development, and pretty much knows anything about everything in the universe. No big deal. Here’s everything you need to know about Janet.
12 Where is Janet from?
Presumably, Janet was created by “the Makers of Light, Darkness, and Everything.” The Janet we know was originally programmed to serve one of the neighborhoods in The Good Place. It’s revealed in season two that Michael is actually an architect for the Bad Place and stole Janet for use in his neighborhood.
11 What is Janet?
Janet is the source of all information in her neighborhood. She also contains all knowledge in the universe and is more than happy to answer anyone’s questions. Janet actually doesn’t have a defined gender, but presents as a woman. As Eleanor says, she’s essentially a Busty Alexa.
Any and all user inquiries remain confidential between Janet and the user. Even Michael can’t ask her or know what Eleanor does or asks Janet, which becomes a plot point in the first season’s finale.
Due to her “programming,” Janet does not have the ability to lie. It’s not a problem unless you need your Janet to lie to save four human souls from an eternity of torture in the Bad Place. But really, what are the odds of that?
10 How is Janet?
By function, Janet has a cheery disposition. Meant to serve in a Good Place neighborhood, she is always courteous, helpful, and non-judgmental of any questions or requests. Typically, Janets do not feel emotions and therefore, don’t have the capacity to become upset, sad, or insulted. As the show goes on, our Janet actually does end up developing emotions and the ability to love.
9 Why is Janet?
Due to the sheer amount of reboots Janet undergoes in the second season, she is possibly the most advanced Janet ever. Each reboot results in Janet being slightly more improved than before, gaining more knowledge and skills to enhance her pre-existing power.
This Janet is the most unique among the Janets as each reboot enabled her to develop and feel emotions. She’s been rebooted over 800 times, forced to each time Michael reset the neighborhood. Fortunately or unfortunately, this allows Janet to fall in love with Jason.
8 Hey, Janet!
Janet can be summoned from almost anywhere by just calling for her. Typically, characters say “Hey, Janet!” and after a charming little ding!, she appears. Once she’s dismissed, she makes a little boop boop noise. When she’s not needed, she retreats to her void until someone else calls for her.
7 Stuff Janet Does
Janet has many powers and abilities including teleportation, omniscience, reality warping, Walkie-Talkie Protocol, summoning and retrieval, and compulsory truth. Our Janet gains the ability to lie after being rebooted over 800 times as part of her functionality improvements. On Earth, she proves to have excellent fighting skills and superhuman strength.
However, when taken out of her neighborhood, Janet loses her powers. She does retain her omniscience. On Earth, she still has extensive knowledge of the universe, but being outside of any Place, she’s essentially stopped updating the information.
6 Stuff ONLY Janet Does
Any information about the Bad Place remains strictly confidential and for Janet only. She can only play an audio clip of what’s currently happening in the Bad Place. And only Janet can call and operate the train, the way in and out of neighborhoods. Even Michael and Shawn are unable to do so, though Bad Place Janet can. Because she’s a Janet. But in leather.
While Janet is affected by neighborhood resets, objects in her possession don’t disappear like humans’ memories. Eleanor stuffs a note into Janet’s mouth so she can find Chidi after the first neighborhood reset. And it works!
5 Other Janets!
There are different versions of Janet for each place in the afterlife. Michael steals Janet from the Good Place to bring authenticity to his Bad Place neighborhood. The Bad Place has its own Janet, complete with bad manners and a leather wardrobe.
Those were the two Janets believed to be in existence until the gang visits the accountants in the Neutral Zone. There, we meet the Neutral Zone Janet. She’s not bubbly and kind like Good Place Janet, but she’s not sour and rude like Bad Place Janet. She’s just...well, Neutral.
4 Rebooting the Janet
Every Janet has a kill switch in their neighborhood. This Janet’s is on a beach and very obvious to find. Shutting down Janet is necessary for resetting a neighborhood or allowing humans to do stuff behind the architect’s back. Rebooting a Janet, also known as murdering, isn’t necessarily a good thing and leaves the neighborhood vulnerable, so she has a failsafe.
Whenever someone approaches the killswitch, Janet begs for her life. She’ll make false claims about having a family to support, about people she loves, and generally being upset enough to urge someone to stop. Once they do, she reminds them that it’s impossible to actually kill her and that she is incapable of feeling.
3 Killing the Janet
There is a way to kill Janet. In the event that Janet malfunctions or can be considered a danger to the neighborhood, she can be deactivated. Michael and Janet debate this for a short amount of time as Janet malfunctions due to her feelings towards Jason.
If you hold down Janet’s nose and insert a paperclip into the small hole behind her left ear, she will collapse into a marble which can either be launched into the inter-dimensional void or consumed as a snack. Michael does this later to a Bad Place Janet, but simply puts marble Janet in his pocket.
2 Janet’s Love Life
In one reboot of Michael’s neighborhood, Jason marries Janet. At the time, Janet hasn’t fully developed emotions yet, so she goes along with it as part of her neighborhood assistance protocols. She does end up falling for Jason and in retaliation to being dumped, creates Derek, the artificial boyfriend.
She later dumps Derek, but gives him to Mindy St. Clair in the Medium Place as a thank you for housing various resets of Eleanor.
1 The Soul Squad
Janet’s best friends are Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, Jason, and Michael. She became a crucial factor in assisting them by showing the humans the existence of the Medium Place, going to Earth with Michael to push the friends together, and hiding the humans in her void for a short amount of time. Her personality and uniqueness can be chalked up to the people she surrounds herself with. And yes, she is the very best version of herself.