01x03 - Tahani Al-Jamil

So Aristotle was Plato's student.

And Aristotle believes that your character is voluntary, because it's just the result of your actions, which are under your control.

For example, right now, you have made the insane choice to ignore the person who is literally trying to save you from eternal damnation.

No, yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm listening.

Uh, I just... are we sure we should be paying attention to these guys?

It's like, who died and left Aristotle in charge of ethics?


[knock at door]

Uh, coming!

Uh, we're just... kissing.

And groping?

[mouths] What?



Hi. What brings you here?

You know, I was just, uh, in the neighborhood.

[giggles] Do you get it, Eleanor?

Because, you know, we're all in the same afterlife, so, you know, I'm always in the neighborhood.

Do you get it?

And I do, and it's delightful.

Anyway, this is for you.

Just a housewarming plant.

It's a little reminder that if there's ever anything that you need, I am right next door.

How could I possibly forget?

Have a great day, Tahani!

Oh, all right.

[door slams]

Ugh. Tahani.

[British accent] Welcome to the neighborhood.

Even though we all arrived here at the same time, here's some dirt I put in a bowl because I'm amazing.

I thought it was kind of a nice gesture.

Oh, Chidi.

It's a total con. I see through her little act.

Her act of being a nice person who brings you gifts?



I'll... I'll remind you that you're trying to learn how to be a good person.

Maybe you should return the favor and bring her something.

Oh, so now I'm supposed to be nice and make friends and treat her with mutual respect?


That exactly what she wants me to do, Chidi, wake up!

That... that's what everyone wants everyone to do.

Hello, Chidi.

No frozen yogurt for you this morning?

Oh, uh, no, just, uh, doing some reading.

Ugh, been there, brother.

Workin' hard or hardly workin', am I right?

Hump day.

Uh, sorry.

Janet's functioning as my assistant, but she's a little stiff, so I've been trying to get her to be a little more casual and conversational.

I'll have what she's having.

It's a work in progress.

Listen, Chidi.

I've been studying your file.

You're a very interesting case.

You essentially only did one thing while you were on earth.

You thought and wrote about ethics.

Yes, I spent 18 years working on my manuscript called "Who We Are and Who We Are Not... colon...

"Practical Ethics and Their Application in the Modern World... semi-colon... a Treatise..."

Yes, yes, yes, that's the one.

That's the one.

I think you should experience new adventures.

You know, do things that you haven't done on earth, right?

So why don't we meet tomorrow and try out some new hobbies.

Uh, why not?

I'll... I'll see you guys tomorrow.

Not if I see you first. Where's the beef?


I don't know.

Hump day.


Hello, Eleanor.

Jianyu, darling, look, it's Eleanor from next door.

Is he asleep?

Yeah, there's really no way to tell.

Come on in.

What brings you to our home, my dear?

Well, I'm simply repaying your kind gift with a housewarming gift of my own.

Fresh pears.

It's a plant, just like your gift, but you can actually eat them.

So maybe it's a better gift.

Who's to say?

That's so kind.

However, in, um, Chinese culture, pears are actually a symbol of bad luck.

And... and I wouldn't want to offend Jianyu, so I'm afraid I'm gonna have to throw these in the garbage.

But do come and sit down.

We haven't even had a chance

to discuss all of the mayhem in our neighborhood yet.

It's so disconcerting.


What do you think is causing it?

Oh, I'm sure I don't know.

But we must keep our heads up.

In fact, tomorrow I'm actually going door-to-door to make sure that every single person in this entire neighborhood is keeping calm and carrying on.

'Cause I think that helping others will make me feel like I truly belong here, you know?

Here's a brainstorm, why don't I go with you?

I mean, I would love to do my part to help the neighborhood, not to mention, get a little bonding time with you, lady.

Oh, hurrah!

Such fun.

I'm telling you, Tahani's out to get me.

What are you talking about?

This note was slipped under my door yesterday.

It has to be Tahani.

She just said to me, "I want to feel like I truly belong here."

Well, where have I seen the word "belong" recently?

Oh yeah, kaplow!

I really don't think she's the type of person who would write this.

She is that kind of person and she did write it.

She wants everybody to think she's such a perfect princess just 'cause she's tall and glamorous and has cappuccino skin and curves everywhere... and now I'm complimenting her.

And kind of turned on.

The point is, she straight up sucks, bro.



Typical Tahani.

Brings us a faulty plant so she can brag about being a better gardener.

No, I think this is another way in which your negative actions affect this world.

This plant represents your relationship to Tahani, so when you're mean to her, it starts to wilt.

Well, then this plant is doomed, because tomorrow, I'm going with her and I'm gonna prove to you and to everyone that she is secretly a two-faced, calculating, phony bench.


Hmm. Yeah.

Truth hurts, doesn't it, plant?

So all I want to do is just check in, see how everyone's holding up.

Just bring some cheer to these extraordinary people.


So tell me about yourself.

I mean, I want to hear it all, girlfriend.

The good, the bad, the really bad, the embarrassing, the humiliating, just... let's bond!

Okay, well I was born in Pakistan, raised in London, schooled in Paris, but I think the primary reason that I'm in the Good Place is that I raised quite a lot of money for non-profit groups.


Did you ever, uh, skim a little off the top for yourself?

Gracious, no, no!

Every penny was accounted for.

And as I raised nearly $60 billion, there was quite a lot of pennies.


But I also dabbled in some other professions.

I was a model, a museum curator, an "It Girl," and... oh, I was Baz Luhrmann's muse for a while.

That was quite fun.

Modeling? That's a crazy life.

Want to tell me about that rock bottom you probably hit?

Oh, I didn't really do it for long.

Couture just doesn't fit my body.

I'm cursed with ample bosom.

And yet you soldier on.

Oh, this is silly... so "Tahani" means "congratulations" in Arabic.

And "Al-Jamil" means "beautiful,"

so my full name altogether means...

"Congratulations, Beautiful."

Thanks, Eleanor. You big flirt.


Hey, babe, got you coffee.

Oh, great.

Oh, Andy's Coffee, uh, we shouldn't go there.

Everybody's boycotting.

Yeah, I know that one guy found a scorpion in his latte.

I don't really care, though, 'cause it's so close to here.

No, no, no, it's because he's sexually harassing people.

Look, a journalist went undercover for an interview and recorded him.

Here, watch.

Here's the thing, sweetheart.

You're very qualified, but you're also what we call in the coffee shop game a, uh, "dog-face."

You're a three, and you have to be a nine to work here.

It's just math.

So I didn't get the job?


No, dog-face, you didn't get the job.

All right, I'll check your references.

Just to be nice...

Hey, my breasts!

I'll check 'em. Oh, they're good. Honk!

I mean, this guy's a monster, we can't support this guy.

Okay, hey, you're not better than me just 'cause you won't support a guy who grabbed a boob once.

No, I'm just saying we shouldn't go there.

We can get coffee somewhere else.

Did you know your left reference is a little bit bigger than your right reference?

It's not a bad thing, it's just... it's a thing.

This is the perfect hobby for you, Chidi.


Your neighborhood stretches way beyond what you've already seen.

And you can map it, revealing all of the mysteries, like an explorer.

I see how that might be fun.

Uh, but, uh, exploring makes me nervous.

I have what doctor's call "directional insanity."

I once got lost on an escalator.

So not exactly Christopher Columbus.

Fun fact: Columbus is in the Bad Place because of all the raping, slave trade, and genocide.

The fact that it makes you nervous is exactly why you should do it.

You know, get out of your comfort zone.

Become a trail-blazer.

Fun fact: all deceased members of the Portland Trail Blazers basketball team are also in the Bad Place.


Yeah, sorry about this.

I steered her away from colloquialisms and into "fun facts" and trivia tidbits.

I thought it'd be more in her wheelhouse.

Fun fact: a "wheelhouse" is a part of a boat.

Okay, thank you, Janet, thank you.

Fun fact: Janet is me.

All right, let's forget about exploring.

Plenty more ideas for hobbies.

Let's walk back to town, shall we?

Wrong way.


Well, Glenn, we just wanted to make sure you were all right.

Tahani, you're too sweet.

Isn't she just the nicest person?


That is what a lot of people are saying.

Oh, everyone I know is saying that.

Yeah, it's just a big neighborhood full of enormous mansions and people who love Tahani!

[both laughing]

Eleanor and I just want to see if there's anything we can do to help you.

Oh, Tahani, you are so thoughtful.

Despite all the chaos earlier, we simply couldn't be happier.

Oh, I'm so glad to hear it, Cualli.

Please take a maple butter scone.

I made them fresh this morning.

Oh, they look a bit b*rned.

But they're not.

Hmm. Oh, fork, that's good.

Extra, extra!

Read all about you.

Chidi, this is the perfect hobby for you.


Well, obviously, I like to write.

But I don't love deadlines.

I prefer to take my time with things.

Yes, I know.

Uh, you never even named your dog, did you?

When it ran away, you posted signs saying, "responds to long pauses."

Look, Chidi, I'm just trying to find you a hobby... the hat... that will bring you a positive experience.

What do you say?

I'm loving that hat on you.

It would look even better on my floor.

What is happening now?

I suggested she be friendlier; she seems to have slipped right into overt sexuality.

I got something you can slip into.


Janet, no!

No, Janet.

Oh, Jianyu, darling, would you like some tea?

That nod meant no, apparently.

Well, it was nice to get out and meet all of our wonderful neighbors.

They all truly belong here.

Oh, yes they do, cutie-pants.


Well, I should really be going. I have to begin my 12 step Korean skincare regiment, but, uh, I'll see... oh, no, no, no.

Please stay and enjoy the evening tea.

I'll see you soon.


"The Diary of Tahani Al-Jamil."

Okay. Arc welding.

You could learn sculpture, you can make furniture, you can get your hands a little greasy, you know, and you make things.

This equipment is very scary!

Don't be a baby. It can't hurt you.

Watch, I'll blowtorch your face off.



This whole thing is stupid.

Oh, brother.

I told her to be less flirty and now she's cruel and distant, apparently.

I just can't get this right.

Thank you for trying to find me a new hobby.

Um, but I just want to be an academic.

I want to keep working on my manuscript.

Chidi, here's the thing... see, I read your whole book, all 3,600 pages of it.

It's, um... how shall I put this?

It's a mess, dude.


She's right.

You see, Chidi, I can read the entirety of the world's literature in about an hour.

This took me two weeks to get through.

I mean, it's so convoluted, I just kept reading the same paragraph over and over again, trying to figure out what the heck you were saying.

Oh, no.

I mean, on page 1,000, you start section two with the sentence, "Of course, the exact opposite might be true."

You're a brilliant guy, Chidi.

But you just kept revising and rewriting and adding words to your title.

I think you just twisted yourself up into a knot.

I have a very bad stomachache.

Hey, man.

[door closes]

What's wrong?

Am I a good teacher?

Am I clear? Do I make sense?

Yeah, you're a great teacher.

I'm super ethical now.

What's that?


Nah... don't worry about it.

I stole Tahani's diary.

So I could see if her handwriting matches the note and also read about all the mean and terrible things she's definitely done so I can prove she's actually evil.

[fire crackling]


What do you think that means?

You stole Tahani's diary.

I know I broke some ethical rule, but I had good reason.

Eleanor, in order to be a good person, you have to do good things.

And not stealing people's stuff, that is just a basic kindergarten rule.

I mean, do I also have to tell you to not throw sand?

First of all, throwing sand is an excellent way to put out a vodka fire.

Why would you even know that?

Second of all, I know that it may not be nice, but neither is pretending to be 100% perfect, like Tahani does.

She wrote that note.

No she didn't!

You did!

I was hoping you would come to this conclusion on your own, but, obviously, no one here would ever threaten you.

That note is the Good Place manifesting your own guilt.

Like with the plant, or when you literally made giant shrimp fly through the air.

I wrote myself the note.

And as it turns out, I do belong here.

Because I'm just as good as everyone else.

No, no, no.

No, you don't belong here.

And in this place, everyone is better than you.

It has been proven by an infallible formula.

Tahani might be a little British and condescending at times, but she devoted her entire life to helping other people.

She's a good person.

Accept that.

Hey, babe.

Great news, I got us tickets to the Coyotes game.


But, ooh, yikes.

Turns out two of the players have DUIs.

Guess we can't cheer for that team.

Eleanor, I...

You know what?

Instead, let's just stay in, watch a Roman Polanski movie, listen to R. Kelly, and eat Chik-fil-A.

Does that sound good?

There's bad stuff everywhere, man.

It's impossible to avoid.

Yeah, but shouldn't we just try?

Shouldn't we just try to do the right thing whenever we can?

Why? It's so much harder to live like that.

And it's not like someone's keeping score.


Look, I know you're gonna break up with me, okay?

I'm not an idiot.

I read your emails to your dad.

Have fun being so amazing and perfect until you die.

And by the way, I'm talking really fast because I still go to Andy's Coffee, and I got a full punch card, bro.

Good people make me insecure.

When I'm around someone who I think is better than me, I try and drag them down to my level.

That's why perfect Tahani is like my kryptonite.

Well, even admitting that is an important step.

And also, maybe don't listen to me.

I would love not to listen to you.

Wait, what?

Basically, my life's work is 3,600 pages of garbage.

Even Michael couldn't understand it.


What does Michael know?


That's my point... he knows everything, and it was too convoluted, even for him.

Michael does not know everything.

Michael does not know I'm not supposed to be here.

You wrote 4,000 pages on one of the most complicated subjects in the world.

I mean I used to get bored halfway through writing a text message.

Be proud.

I want to broaden my horizons

and try new things, and I will.

But even though I might have gotten lost in the weeds, I loved writing this book.

And I want to try again.

So... will you be my advisor?

Chidi, all I want is for you to be happy.

So if spending eternity getting blunt feedback on your circular, rambling ideas will make you happy, then of course I will be your advisor.

Let's throw that monstrosity in the trash and start over.

Aren't there maybe some parts worth salvaging?

Honestly, man, I don't even know.

I mean, that thing is unreadable.

I literally learned what headaches were because that thing gave me a headache.


There you go.

New beginnings! Well done.


[gentle knocking]


Oh, hello, Eleanor. Hi.

Sorry, I was just cleaning up.

You okay?

Do you want to... talk about it?


It's Jianyu.

I just can't seem to connect with him.

I know that he took a vow of silence, but he won't even talk to me, his soul mate!

And I adore talking.

I know. You do.

Eleanor, you don't know what it's like to be in paradise and feel like there's something just not quite right.


I may not know exactly what you're feeling, but I do understand.

And you deserve to be happy, because... you are an impressive, thoughtful, and special person.

Not to mention... you have a rockin' bod.


I mean, Jianyu may be mute, but he's not blind.


You two belong here.

And you belong together.

And you have all of eternity, so there's plenty of time for things to change.

Oh, thank you.

I really needed to hear that. Come here.

Ugh, of course your hugs are amazing.



Stupid ledge.

Ugh, stairs.

Everyone here is really into hugging.

Looks like someone learned something.

Well, it's 'cause someone else is a really good teacher.

Eleanor, hello.

How are you, my dear, sweet bestie?

Never better. What's up?

Well, Janet has been acting as my assistant.

It's not what she was designed to do.

Didn't go great.

But now I'm back to normal.

It turns out that the best Janet was the Janet that was inside Janet all along.

She was feeling a little lost, so I gave her a self-help book to restore her confidence.

Now I'm living my truth and creating my bliss.

Anyway, um, look, Michael asked me if I would serve as his assistant, but I'd quite like to focus on my relationship with Jianyu.

So I recommended you for the job.


Eleanor, you and I could work side-by-side to figure out what's going wrong with this neighborhood.

Will you help me?

How could I say no?

Yeah, hurrah!



What now?


Relax, Eleanor.

You sent this to yourself.

This is your own guilt manifesting itself.

I've been waiting for you.


You talk now?

You sent me these threatening notes?

What the fork, man?

Some Buddhist monk you are.

You don't belong here.

Admit it.

Okay, you're right.

I don't belong here.

Michael made a mistake.

But I'm trying, dude.

I'm really trying to be a good person.

And I think I'm changing for the better, so just please, please don't rat me out.

Don't worry, I won't.


Because I'm not supposed to be here, either.

I don't know how I got here, I have no idea what's going on, and I am freakin' out, homey!

You got to help me.

I'm scared!