- ❝ If there were an answer I could give you to how the universe works, it wouldn’t be special. It would just be machinery fulfilling its cosmic design. It would just be a big, dumb food processor. But since nothing seems to make sense, when you find something or someone that does, it’s euphoria. ❞
- —Janet to Eleanor[src]
Janet is the source of all information and knowledge for humans within The Good Place, and she can also provide them with any object as requested. Janet has a boundless void into which she often retreats.
Janet was (presumably) created by the beings who refer themselves as "The Makers of Light, Darkness, and Everything in Between", with the explicit purpose of serving as a basic operational mainframe for both the Good Place and Bad Place. This specific Janet was initially supposed to serve in a Good Place neighborhood before being stolen by Bad Place architect Michael to operate his neighborhood.
Janet is used primarily as a personal assistant by the residents of the Good Place. Most people summon her by saying 'Hey, Janet' or ‘Janet‘. she will then appear with a cheerful bing noise to help you with any request.
She is able to instantaneously retrieve/create any requested object.
Janet also doubles as an accessible database, as she reportedly has all the knowledge of the universe, and she is 100% confidential, as nobody, including Michael, can retrieve what a user does with Janet.
The only forbidden information she retains is about the Bad Place. Janet is only permitted to play a brief audio clip of what is happening there at the moment of when you ask.
She is used by Michael to get four presents for Tahani, Eleanor, Jason, and Chidi, as an apology for torturing Chidi.
Janet by default has a cheery disposition. She is always courteous and non-judgmental by design. It is impossible to insult her as she cannot feel sad. The only exceptions to these are when she is asked to alter her personality or when she is murdered/reset. If Janet's kill-switch is approached she will begin begging for her life, only to remind whoever approached her kill-switch and desisted upon her beg for mercy that she is neither human nor capable of actually feeling anything. However, the Janet we see in the show has shown the development of emotions which is unheard of in Janets, and unique to her. The current canonical explanation for this is that every time a Janet reboots, she is slightly improved. This particular Janet has been rebooted approximately 828 times, and by her words "maybe the most advanced Janet ever." It is her hypothesis that she picked up emotions along the way, including love, which was discovered when Janet began developing feelings for the resident Jason Mendoza.
Powers & Abilities
- Teleportation: Janet is able to teleport anywhere in her neighborhood in an instant either at will or when she is called.
- Omniscience: Being an anthropomorphized database of information, Janet has all possible knowledge that both humans and Eternal Beings possess. While on Earth, her omniscience ceases to update, but she retains full knowledge of the entire universe prior to stepping between worlds.
- Summon and retrieval: Janet can create/retrieve any item anyone desires at any time in an instant. Janet has even shown the ability to create other sentient beings but only Michael's Janet has been able to do this. Michael stated that this shouldn't be possible for the average Janet. It appears that gaining this ability is a side-effect of having been rebooted so many times.
- After... Summoning: As shown in Chapter 29, when Janet tries to summon things on earth, it isn't possible for Janet to summon them. Instead, those items will be summoned after going back to the afterlife in which all of the items summoned will appear.
- Reality Warping: Janet is responsible for building and maintaining the neighborhood she resides in and at will can alter anything within her neighborhood.
- Compulsory Truth: Janets cannot lie. Only Michael's Janet is capable of lying after being rebooted 802 times.
- Operating the Train: The only way in and out of a neighborhood is by the train, which only Janet can call and operate.
- Walkie-Talkie Protocol: Two Janets can be linked together to serve as a long-distance address system. This is seen in Chapter 12 when Shawn uses Bad Janet in Neighborhood 12358W to transmit a message to Eleanor and Jason in The Medium Place through Good Janet. It is, therefore, one of the few special abilities which Janet retains when outside her neighborhood.
- Physical Strength: This may not actually be a special power, however, Janet is shown to have great physical strength, as evidenced by the way she lifts and throws Shawn in Chapter 25.
- Molecular Combustion: Janet can also speed up molecules to the point they heat up and explode. She only uses this once to destroy the mailbox in The Good Place to prevent anyone from following them from Accounting.
- Janet is neither a human nor an Eternal Being, but rather an anthropomorphized vessel of knowledge; akin to an Artificial Intelligence. Furthermore, she is not a robot, nor is she a girl, and she politely points these out whenever anyone mistakes her for being either one. However, Janet uses she/her pronouns.
- Janet states that there have been 25 versions of Janet, the first having supposedly had a click-wheel. This means Janets are upgraded similar to a computer program. She also refers to herself in the third person when discussing herself as if she is an object.
- When Janet is away from her designated neighborhood she loses all of her normal abilities. She retains her knowledge of the universe, however, it stops being updated.
- She can also alter her own appearance; she usually does this when rebooted, though she can do so at any time. In Existential Crisis she temporarily appears in different clothes and with blonde hair, in a form which Michael calls "Jeanette".
- In the episode Dance Dance Resolution, Eleanor refers to her as "Busty Alexa" while trying to remember her name. Alexa is the name of Amazon's intelligent voice-controlled personal assistant, similar to Siri.
- Janet is activated by pressing her nose for three seconds.
- In the episode Janet and Michael, it is said that in case of continued malfunction, holding down Janet's nose and inserting a paper clip into a small hole behind her left ear will cause Janet to rapidly collapse in on herself until she is a marble and can either be launched through an inter-dimensional suction tube, or eaten as a mid-day snack. This is also show in chapter 23 "Best Self" when Michael turns Bad Janet into a marble.
- Marbleization can be reversed. In chapter 43 ("Tinker, Tailor, Demon, Spy"), it's revealed that the Bad Place marbleized Good Janet and replaced her; in the next episode Jason and Michael rescue de-marbleized Janet from the Bad Place.
- Although the character is named simply Janet, sometimes she is referred to in articles about the show as Janet Della-Denunzio. The reason for this is that when the show was first announced, the press release claimed that D'Arcy Carden would be playing "Janet Della-Denunzio, a violin salesperson with a checkered past". This turned out to be a big lie.
- As stated by Janet, she is very high in potassium, like a banana.
- During their stay at The Medium Place Janet and Jason attempt to have sex but they are very unsuccessful. This strongly implies that Janet has no genitals, she seems to simply be woman-shaped.
- Janet is often confused about human culture and their customs.
- When Janet was rebooted the first time, she mistook any requests. Hence, she always gave people cacti.
- However, when Michael asked Janet for a personality change to be friendlier, and Janet "slipped straight into overt sexuality", she said to Chidi Anagonye, as a reference to Michael's wording "I got something you can slip into...", implying vaginal presence. She could have also been talking about any other orifice she may or may not have. The most likely explanation is that she was simply being sexual, even though she can't have sex.
- TV critics regularly describe her as the show's breakout character.
- She is the only main character not to appear in every episode.
- She does not have skin.
- Her body temperature is in the range of 99 trillion degrees Fahrenheit.
- When the series was first announced, it was claimed that she was going to be "Janet Della-Denunzio, a violin salesperson with a checkered past". Obviously, this wasn't true though several sites still say she plays Janet Della-Denunzio.
- She has a Bad Place counterpart, Bad Janet, who is very rude and vulgar.
- At the end of the series it is left unclear what happens to Janet, but we can assume that she continues to serve in the good place.