Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Good Place, annotated: “Jeremy Bearimy”

Manny Jacinto (left), Jameela Jamil
Photo: Colleen Hayes (NBC)

In addition to being one of the best shows on TV, The Good Place is a dense knot of running jokes, visual humor, references to dense philosophy tomes, and breadcrumbs for later episodes. In order to help you keep it all straight, The A.V. Club will be annotating the show’s third season. Catch something that we didn’t? Email us at youforkingmissedit@avclub.com.

Read our recap of “Jeremy Bearimy

But first, let’s hear from you, the readers

Caitlin Boon and Tom Melly emailed to point out the thematic fit of Eleanor’s summarized reading material in “The Snowplow”: An oft-cited precedent to The Good Place, No Exit is about three damned souls whose eternal punishment is one another.


Rachel Anderson caught the latest chapter in the Morgan Sackett political saga on the superboard: “The first article in the Local News section of the Superboard is “Rep. Sackett indicted on 231 counts of fraud.” The accompanying picture is of executive producer Morgan Sackett.” And in other, cuddlier news, a koala exhibit has become infested with other koalas.


“Almost 300, actually”

A nearly precise answer to the question “How many years on Earth might pass in the span of 802 afterlife reboots?”: Prior to introducing the loopy timeline that made season three possible (and gave “Jeremy Bearimy” its title), Michael reveals that Team Cockroach spent the equivalent of three centuries in The Bad Place.


Swanson Safe Company, part II


It’s a good thing the study is pretty much kaput, because Jason has nearly no reaction to being in such close proximity to the very brand of safe (“You know, for things”) that almost killed him (and, in another timeline, led to an irritated message from a representative of the Swanson Safe Company).

“So you just take care of yourself? You don’t owe anything to anyone else?”

“Jeremy Bearimy” eventually demonstrates just how much Eleanor, Tahani, and Jason soaked up in their ethics classes with Chidi, but beforehand, there’s this incredulous little nod to contractualism from the bartender serving up free, fake-birthday margarita’s at Drinking Nemo (see below).


“Why do I always have a stomach ache?”

Chidi’s generalized distress localizes once more in his abdominal region. Though, to paraphrase Eleanor, this one’s on him: Did you see what was in that chili?


UPDATE: Thanks to our friends at io9 for pointing this one out: Chidi’s physique wasn’t a surprise if you think back to the first season and Eleanor realizing that she might be in love with her “surprisingly jacked” soulmate.


Visual gags

Bad Place visual aids


Michael and Janet give the humans a crash course on The Good Place, The Bad Place, and their time together in The Bad Place through the use of diagrams drawn on the backs of Tahani and Larry Hemsworth’s bon-voyage photos. Look closely at the one between Janet and Chidi and you’ll find the basic system requirements of Michael’s experimental neighborhood: 802 reboots, 322 “people” (four actual people, 318 demons), and an abundance of restaurants serving only frozen yogurt, kebabs, and clam chowder.

Drinking Nemo


Pixar’s beloved undersea adventure from 2003, Finding Nemo, takes place specifically under the seas of the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef and a natural wonder that’s at risk of being as dead as that fish whose spine is spearing the garnish in the Drinking Nemo logo.

Chidi’s T-shirt


Featuring the five “W”s of getting buzzed on a few glasses of Chablis: “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” and “wine.” Proof that the “wine mom” phenomenon has made its way Down Under, where the Sheilas kick back with a nice Shiraz (emphasis on the flat “a” sound).

Names in the credits

The Good Place wastes no opportunity to make a joke: Wait until this week’s end credits to learn the names of otherwise nameless supporting characters like Waomi Natts, Mylie Kinogue, Gel Mibson, and other transpositions of noted Australians. There’s a power couple (Nicole Mankid and Eeth Kurban) and some tennis players (Gvonne Eoolagong, Cat Pash, and Lod Raver) in the mix too, plus an encore to one of “The Snowplow”’s longest-fused jokes: In the tradition of barista Ken Garoo (thanks for catching that one, Architeuthis Ex Machïna), “Jeremy Bearimy” gives you taxi driver Mark Supial.



“God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.”

Learning the truth about the universe sends Chidi scrambling in the direction of Friedrich Nietzsche, specifically the German philosopher’s famed “Parable Of The Madman,” which Professor Anagonye thrusts on some poor unsuspecting schmuck who just wanted to sell him some drugs.


“Rule 2: No more Spider-Man movies. There’s way too many Spider-Man movies”

To date, there have been six theatrical, feature-length films starring Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s web-slinging superhero, and that’s not counting Peter Parker’s appearances in Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, the fourth Avengers movie, and the upcoming sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far From Home. Please do not tell Eleanor about this December’s Into The Spider-Verse, which is a movie with way too many Spider-People.


“All my life, this money has been a weight around my neck—like the Heart of the Ocean necklace my friend James Cameron once gave me”

Rose didn’t drop it into the ocean at the end of Titanic—the director held onto the prop and gave it to Tahani Al-Jamil.


“You put the Peeps in the chili pot and eat ’em both up / You put the Peeps in the chili pot / And add the M&Ms”

Chidi’s classroom recipe borrows its melody from Harry Nilsson’s “Coconut,” the faux-calypso Nilsson Schmilsson single that is, coincidentally, about a stomach-ache remedy. (The A.V. Club’s Australian contacts confirm that, yes, you can acquire Peeps in Australia to put in your chili and then eat them both up. But Chidi’s final line of “Jeremy Bearimy” suggests that you should not.) (UPDATE: Actually, we totally misheard this secondhand info, and our two points of Australian reference said Peeps are not for sale in their home country. We regret the error, but do not regret advising against the ingredients of Chidi’s chili.)



Megan Amram, chin guitarist


“Jeremy Bearimy” writer, Emmy nominee, and compulsive food-punner Megan Amram plays the violin-sawing beneficiary of Jason’s random cash drop. And there’s every reason to believe that’s her playing the first movement of Vivaldi’s “Spring” in “Jeremy Bearimy”—viewers of An Emmy For Megan and Amram’s Instagram followers with both be familiar with her musical accomplishments.


Jeremy Bearimy


The show isn’t going to just drop a brain-melting, non-linear timeline on us and not return to it, right? We need to at least celebrate Janet’s birthday, which is somewhere around the “e” in “Bearimy.”



Or if you prefer, you can break yourself trying to decode the names of the grocery store where Chidi stocks up on lecture supplies and the bank where Tahani tries to transfer her entire fortune to Jason. They’re simply too prominently displayed to be nothing, though that’d be perfectly in line with the philosophy of the FN who gets a shoutout in “Jeremy Bearimy.” BNG’s the real toughie—FNB could just be “First National Bank,” or it could be the full name plus middle initial of Fred Booth, the man whose wallet Eleanor finds. But that character is played by an actor named Ben (no middle initial given, but maybe it’s N?) Geuren. Surely, the most logical and sane conclusion to this mystery is to watch for all future recurrences and variations of FNB and BNG on the show, like The Good Place’s very own Lost numbers.


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About the author

Erik Adams

Managing editor, The A.V. Club