Eleanor Shellstrop believed that she was a bad person who accidentally ended up in the titular Good Place, but the very first episode dropped several hints that it was actually the Bad Place. This twist wouldn’t come until the end of season 1 when Eleanor finally had her “holy forking shirtballs” moment. On her first day in Michael’s fake Good Place, she had been too concerned about anyone finding out her secret to realize that even Chidi, Tahani, and Jianyu (Jason) didn’t belong in the Good Place either. Still, she would have noticed the signs if she had been paying attention.
The end of The Good Place season 1 saw Eleanor and the other humans realize that they were in the Bad Place and that Michael had been making them torture one another from their first day in his neighborhood. Of course, Chidi and Tahani were all too ready to believe that they had earned paradise, so they weren’t willing to acknowledge that their misery indicated that they had never been sent to the Good Place. It took Eleanor to become a better person for her to recognize the deception, and by that point, she (and viewers) could look back and see all the blaring clues in episode 1.
When Eleanor arrived at the Good Place, Michael held a seminar to welcome all the new residents (which turned out only to be the four humans). During his speech, the demon in disguise explained the afterlife point system. People who did good things during their time on earth earned positive points, while bad deeds earned negative points. Michael told the group that those who weren’t quite up to snuff would be sent to the Bad Place – but he pointedly told them not to worry about the details. Naturally, he wouldn’t want questions about the Bad Place getting in the way of his Good Place plan.
This was confirmed later when Eleanor asked Janet what the Bad Place was like, to which she replied that that was the one topic she wasn’t allowed to answer any questions about. These comments from Janet and Michael might as well have been blaring red flags that the details surrounding the Bad Place would eventually be important in The Good Place. However, since Eleanor knew she didn’t deserve to be in the Good Place, she might have realized that the elusiveness indicated that she already was in the Bad Place.
4 Chidi Shouldn’t Have Gotten A Stomach Ache In The Real Good Place
Chidi spent his entire life struggling through every possible decision to ensure he would end up on the right side of ethics. Unfortunately, his indecisiveness hurt the people around him, so despite his best efforts, he still wound up in the Bad Place. However, when Michael told him he had made it to the Good Place, he had no reason to think otherwise. For a few short moments, he believed he was in paradise. He was thrilled to meet his soul mate, and everything was going great – until Eleanor told him there had been a mistake and that she didn’t belong there.
Having promised Eleanor that he wouldn’t keep her secret, Chidi found himself in an ethical conundrum, which meant that he immediately got a stomach ache. He recognized that this was strange and yelled out in despair that even in a utopia, he still had a stomach ache. In reality, this should have tipped him off that something was wrong, but he was too focused on the issue at hand to think about it much further. Additionally, that would have meant admitting that he hadn’t been as good a person as he believed, and that’s a lot to ask of anyone.
3 Michael Appeared When Chidi Mentioned His Name
It’s no surprise that Michael had some special abilities in his neighborhood, even if he had really been a Good Place architect. However, a few of his appearances in The Good Place episode 1 seemed to nod at the fact that he wasn’t what he appeared. These kinds of hints weren’t ones that Eleanor and the other humans could have picked up on. Instead, they are the kind of details that audiences will notice on their second time watching and chuckle with the realization that the big secret had been right under their noses.
An example is when Michael appeared at Eleanor’s shortly after Chidi complained of his stomach ache. At the sight of the architect, Chidi said, “Speak of the devil,” which turned out to be far more literal than he realized. Michael was secretly part of the Bad Place crew and, therefore, a demon – or devil. Once audiences know this, Chidi’s comments become a subtle nod at the Good Place season 1 big plot twist.
2 Tahani & ‘Jianyu’ Wouldn’t Have Been Soul Mates In The Good Place, Either
Tahani was devastated to learn that her soul mate, a Taiwanese monk named Jianyu, was a DJ and party boy named Jason. They came from very different backgrounds and could never have been considered soul mates by any stretch of the imagination. However, even Jianyu wouldn’t have been a good match for Tahani. The aristocratic socialite loved nothing more than gossip, and the monk was supposed to have taken a vow of silence.
This caused Tahani an increasing amount of distress over her time in the fake Good Place, but she really should have realized from day one that something was wrong. Michael had paired Tahani with a silent monk to torture her – and it was successful. She spent her days desperately trying to get him to open up, and since Jason was trying to protect his identity, he refused. It clearly wasn’t paradise for either of them.
1 Chidi & Tahani’s Superior Attitudes Showed They Deserved The Bad Place
It didn’t take long for Eleanor to realize that she wasn’t anywhere near the other residents of Michael’s fake Good Place. The demons were disguised as humans who had done remarkable things in their lives, such as saving entire animal species or curing villages of deadly diseases. They were out of her league, which was precisely the point since Eleanor hated nothing more than being around people who were better than her. In a way, being in any form of Good Place would be torture for the self-proclaimed Arizona trashbag.
Chidi and Tahani never guessed for even a moment that they weren’t in the Good Place – and this was exactly why they deserved to be in the Bad Place. Tahani knew in her heart that she had corrupt motivations for raising all the money for charity, and Chidi recognized that the people around him were hurt by his indecisiveness. Still, they both believed they had earned their place. This was especially frustrating with Chidi, who knew that Eleanor didn’t belong. Though he promised to help her, he treated her as if she was less than – when really Chidi and Eleanor had both been fooled in The Good Place.