'The Good Place' Fan Theory Predicts There Is No Good Place

Diply 2 Oct 2018

No matter how much people talk about The Good Place, there aren't enough people talking about The Good Place. Thankfully, someone laid out an amazing fan theory about the show, which means that I finally get to write about The Good Place.

This theory comes to us by way of a Redditor named dontmakenosnense, who posted it to the Fan Theories subreddit.

Please note, this theory absolutely spoils Seasons 1 and 2 of The Good Place, so proceed with caution.

The basic principle of the theory is simple: In The Good Place, there is actually no such thing as "The Good Place."

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But wait, what? How is that possible? I mean, it's right there in the name of the show.

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We already had our minds collectively blown at the end of Season 1 when we found out that our cast of characters wasn't already in The Good Place.

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But this theory takes things a step further and suggests that The Good Place doesn't even exist. Seen through the lens of the theory, it seems that the show may actually be avoiding talking about specifics of The Good Place on purpose.

As fellow Redditor Androidconundrum pointed out, "Nothing so far has confirmed its existence."

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But why would anybody even talk about The Good Place in the first place, then?

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The theory puts forward the idea that The Good Place is actually just an invention of The Bad Place, and is further torture for the people (ie. pretty much everyone) who end up in The Bad Place.

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As far as psychological angst goes, it makes a certain amount of sense for The Bad Place to invent a so-called Good Place in order to make people feel even worse about where they ended up.

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Plus, one of the most awful feelings in the world is actually losing hope. So by inventing a Good Place, it keeps a glimmer of hope alive in the people who are being tortured for all eternity that — just maybe — things could actually be better.

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The Good Place, dontmakenosnense suggests on Reddit, is a taunt, and that the Bad Place wants "everyone [to be] tortured with the idea that if they had been just a little bit better, they could've ended up in paradise."

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So the lie creates hope, but it also makes sure that the residents of The Bad Place ultimately feel responsible for being there, and torture themselves — along with the variety of creative punishments they'll be on the receiving end of.

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Okay, so it's a fun idea, but what evidence does this theory have to support it?

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It's easy to speculate in fan theories like this, but this one actually holds up to some scrutiny.

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To start with, everything we've heard about The Good Place is that the threshold for getting into it is actually kind of ridiculously high.

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dontmakenosnense points out that Michael (Ted Danson) makes a lot of jokes about the kinds of people who have ended up in The Bad Place, but never actually mentions anyone who's in The Good Place.

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The next piece of evidence against there being a Good Place is that nobody seems to know how to get there.

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There are ways to get to The Bad Place (by train, for instance), but even Michael has to admit he doesn't know of any way to get to The Good Place, confessing that he was lying when he said he did.

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Even Janet (D'Arcy Carden) — who is supposed to possess the entirety of the history of knowledge in the entire universe — doesn't have a clue how to get there. 

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Could it be that there's no way to get there because there is no "there" to get to?

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dontmakenosnense elaborates that Mindy St. Claire (Maribeth Monroe)'s Medium Place is supposed to be halfway between The Good Place and The Bad Place.

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If that's the case, then why would there be a direct path (or railway) from The Bad Place to The Medium Place, but there doesn't seem to be any way of getting from The Medium Place to The Good Place?

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Speaking of Janet, the theory admits that the very existence of there being "Good Janets" suggests that there must be a Good Place, right? 

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Maybe so, but dontmakenosnense also noticed that the Good Janets might be a hint in favor of the theory instead.

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When Michael stole the Good Janet (our Janet), from The Good Place's storage facility, it wasn't actually in the Good Place. 

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It was in the neutral administrative space. If Bad Janets are stored in The Bad Place, then why wouldn't Good Janets be stored in The Good Place?

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The beginning of Season 3 has, so far, corroborated the theory.

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dontmakenosnense points out that Shawn (Marc Evan Jackson) has been increasingly sporadic in his attempts to reclaim the four main characters for The Bad Place.

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Sure, Shawn could just be annoyed that the experiment he set in motion is getting so out of control, but it could also be that he's scared the biggest lie The Bad Place has is about to be revealed.

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It is later revealed that Shawn is Michael's direct superior and another demon of The Bad Place, though he initially presents himself as a stern Good Place Judge who reverts into a pupal state whenever anyone expresses emotion — so obviously it's a big deal when he starts getting irritable.

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The theory even imagines how the big reveal would happen.

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At the end of Season 3 (or maybe 4), dontmakenosnense believes our four heroes would finally have done the impossible and earned their way into The Good Place...only to open the door and step into absolutely nothing.

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The theory certainly keeps with The Good Place's willingness to shift its mythology with big reveals, and the cliffhanger ending it proposes is exactly what we would expect from a season finale.

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Unfortunately, when a fan theory is thisgood, it can be tricky to let go of our expectations if this isn't actually how things go down. I guess what I'm saying is that if this theory isn't true, then we really are in The Bad Place.

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