Michael Schur's The Good Place is one of the most original television comedies of the past decade. After Eleanor, played by Kristen Bell, finds herself in the afterlife, she realizes ending up in "The Good Place" wasn't just a stroke of luck: it was a mistake. However, by the end of Season One, audiences learn Eleanor isn't in the Good Place at all, but rather a special corner of The Bad Place, where she's been condemned - with three other characters - to endure psychological and emotional torture for eternity.
Alongside Chidi, Jason, and Tahani, Eleanor hatches plan after plan to convince her demonic host Michael and his android assistant Janet they all deserve a spot above, not below. Each character's strengths and flaws are exposed by their journies not just through the fantastical depths of Hell, but through the ancient bureaucratic systems that maintain the great beyond. They struggle to retain their humanity and to do the right thing, complicating the barbaric plans of the demons around them in the meantime. This list digs into the worst thing each main character from The Good Place did during the show's four seasons.
10 Eleanor Treats Ethics Like A Colossal Joke
Eleanor undergoes a massive positive transformation throughout the course of the show, but her biggest mistake is not taking ethics seriously from the beginning. Part of Michael's elaborate torture plan involves convincing Eleanor she's responsible for all the bad things happening in the Good Place due to lying about belonging there.
Eleanor lived her life selfishly and amorally, and when she first arrives in the afterlife, her negative traits are on full display. Her "soulmate," Sengalese ethics professor Chidi, attempts to guide her through philosophical moral lessons, but she disregards their relevancy. It's only once she realizes what's really going on that she starts to change her tone and her behavior.
9 Indecisive Chidi Keeps Breaking Hearts
At first, it seems unlikely an ethics professor like Chidi would end up in The Bad Place, but once this overthinker discovers he's been condemned, it's obvious his indecisiveness landed him on the wrong side of the tracks. Every time Eleanor, Chidi, Jason, and Tahani figure out Michael's scheme, he erases their memories and starts over. Through hundreds of bouts in the fake Good Place, Chidi and Eleanor develop an on-again/off-again romance.
In Season Three, when the four are sent back to Earth to prove their worth, Chidi falls for neuroscientist Simone. He spends the season wrapped up in wishy-washy emotions, vacillating between Eleanor and Simone. While he ends up reviving his relationship with Eleanor by the end of the season, Season Four welcomes a return to his squirrelly behavior. It's not Chidi's fault his memory is constantly erased, but every time he gets a fresh start, he keeps making the same mistake.
8 Jason Throws A Molotov Cocktail Anytime He Has A Problem
"I went to Lynyrd Skynyrd High School in Northeast Jacksonville, which was really just a bunch of tugboats tied together." Dopey Jason can't help it if his origin story is pretty lame, but his tendency to freak out over the slightest inconvenience is his biggest problem.
Jason pulls some pretty shady moves, both before and after his death. From his thieving days with his bro Pillboi to his misguided pursuits through the hereafter, Jason consistently botches his own destiny. This trait comes out when he decides to engage the killswitch on Derek, the lover made for Janet, the AI guide Jason is convinced he's in love with.
7 Tahani Struggles With Her Younger Sister's Success
Jason and Tahani have a strange sexual relationship when he's not pining for Janet, but this beautiful British socialite is too focused on her own inflated ego to invest time in anyone else. While she defines herself as a philanthropist, it's clear Tahani is really just an image-obsessed debutante who lives in the shadow of her famous sister, Kamilah. In fact, it's a giant statute of Kamilah that kills Tahani.
While Tahani finally makes up with Kamilah in Season Four, she spends most of the show consumed by jealousy, which she disguises under an excess of self-flattery. "I would say I outdid myself, but I'm always this good. So I simply did myself," she muses in Season Two.
6 Simone Overintellectualizes Her Death
This Australian neuroscientist is brought to the Good Place in Season Four by head demon Shawn, who hopes her presence will complicate the success of Michael and Eleanor's experiment to prove the point system used to decide who belongs where is unfair. Simone is an intelligent woman, but her mental faculties often affect her ability to think outside the box.
In order to make the experiment a success, Eleanor convinces her love, Chidi, he belongs with Simone. Simone, who thinks she's in some coma-induced dream, refuses to accept her death. Simeone believes that everything has a logical explanation. As she tells Chidi in Season Three, "Science is all about getting answers." Unfortunately, in the afterlife, logic isn't always the answer.
5 Brent's Misogyny and Entitlement Know No Bounds
Brent, one of the four test subjects chosen for the experiment in Season Four, is the symbol of toxic masculinity. He brings with him to the afterlife a legacy of abuse toward women and non-white people. He believes he's struck gold when he arrives in the fake Good Place, using Janet as his personal assistant and toy.
As the action of Season Four evolves, Brent remains convinced the world revolves around him. As he says in one episode, "I don't belong in the Good Place. I mean, obviously there's a place better than this. I belong there. In the Best Place." This racist butts heads with everyone around him, but he must understand the error of his ways if the experiment is going to be a success.
4 John Is A Gossip Queen
John is one of the Season Four test subjects, and he is Tahani's foe. This former gossip columnist used his voice to slander famous people like Tahani while he was alive. A dramatic, frivolous pop culture hustler, John reflects Tahani's worst qualities.
Tahani works hard to get John to look past the one-dimensional nature of celebrity. However, John doesn't budge so easily. "So, wait, what about you, huh? You died in Canada? That is so weird and embarrassing. That's like the nip slip of dying," John teases Tahani. John ran a blog called The Gossip Toilet, and in the afterlife, it's going to take some divine intervention to clean up his pottymouth.
3 Michael Wants To Climb The Demonic Bureaucratic Ladder
The architect of the Good Place, Michael, portrayed by Ted Danson, is an ancient demon who wears a human disguise. Michael's desire to please his bosses with his unique psychological torture scheme demonstrates he's a bit of a bootlicker. In his defense, spending millennia enacting the same suffering to condemned masses can get boring.
However, Michael's motivation throughout the series is to bamboozle management and become the master planner of his sphere. He gains the attention of Judge Gen in the Neutral Zone as his plan unfolds. While he displays signs of human emotions as the show progresses, Michael's job is to manipulate reality, meaning his reactions are unreliable.
2 Janet Tries To Pretend She's Human
Janet is the infinite encyclopedia of all that lives and dies made flesh. This chirpy and helpful assistant guides humans through the Good Place. Janet has different forms: Good Janet, Bad Janet, and Neutral Janet. As just Janet, her role for the humans navigating their insane circumstances changes.
Janet, who knows everything in the universe, has a strange relationship with Jason, the resident human schmuck. Their romance creates a lot of problems, and Janet's attempts to find her own agency and consciousness outside of her purpose comes with mixed results. Ultimately, the pair is able to figure out a dynamic that works for them.
1 Trevor Designs The Most Hideous Sweaters Imaginable
Demon Trevor loves torturing humans, but his worst act is designing "The Brain-y Bunch" sweaters in Season Three. He's sent to Earth by Michael's boss, Shawn, to disrupt the Good Place architect's attempt to give Eleanor, Chidi, Jason, and Tahani a second chance at life.
In order to win over his new companions, Trevor whips up these hideous sweaters. Fortunately, Judge Gen throws him into a void later in the season.