- ❝ Every day you teach me something new about art and history and why you shouldn't eat everything that smells good because sometimes, it's candles ❞
- —Jason's vows to Tahani[src]
Jason Mendoza is a failed DJ from Jacksonville, Florida who earned money by selling fake drugs to college students. He was best friends with a guy named Pillboi, and often talked about his dream of making it big as a DJ.
Jason often tells bizarre and disturbing stories, about his past nonchalantly, such as how he went to school in a junkyard that was really just a bunch of tugboats tied together on land.
He would eventually die during a botched robbery, suffocating after locking himself in a safe.
Though he initially pretends to be the silent monk Jianyu Li, whom he was mistaken for, he eventually reveals himself to Eleanor and everyone else.
Jason is best characterized by his oblivious and childlike nature, with him rarely ever fully understanding the situation he's in, an example being how for a while he thought The Good Place was a prank show.
Like Eleanor, Jason was generally not a good person when he was alive, mainly due to his ignorance and impulsiveness.
Jason is also capable of being quite selfish, immediately celebrating when Chidi and Tahani were set to go to The Bad Place in his and Eleanor's place, even going as far as to try and thwart Eleanor's plan to save them with a Molotov cocktail.
Despite his flaws, Jason does have a good side, and it can be argued that most of his negative qualities are the result of his ignorance rather than malicious intent.
Due to possibly never truly grasping the gravity of his situation, Jason is unwaveringly optimistic and upbeat, always keeping a positive attitude whether warranted or not.
He has also been shown to be kind, to those such as Tahani, able to cheer her up and show empathy.
Jason Mendoza was mistaken for Jianyu Li, a Taiwanese monk. When he arrived in the Good Place, he was asked by Michael if he would like to continue the vow of silence he took while he was alive.
He nodded that he would like to, confused at what was going on. But this proved to be a problem with Tahani Al-Jamil as his soulmate, as she kept pressuring him to speak. Jason sat behind Eleanor during the orientation video that Michael showed to the residents.
Later that day, Tahani threw a party at their house. There, Eleanor (while drunk) told him that she didn't belong in the Good Place. The next day, Jason slipped a note under the door of her house that said "you don't belong here."
The day after that, he sent her another note that instructed her to meet him that night. Eleanor meets Jason and he explains his actual identity. Eleanor starts helping Jason connect with Tahani without revealing his true identity and Jason begins taking ethics lessons as well.
To avoid Jason revealing his identity to Tahani, Chidi tags along on a couple's spa retreat and helps Jason connect with and cheer up Tahani. When Michael announces his retirement, Jason helps Tahani throw Michael a party and later inadvertently causes Chidi to reboot Janet, as Jason followed Chidi and Eleanor to the beach. After Eleanor gives herself up Jason avoids detection by continuing his silence. Once they think Eleanor is leaving, Jason goes with Tahani to Eleanor and Chidi's house to say goodbye to her.
During Michael's negotiations with the Bad Place group, Jason is around and helps out with random things, which leads Tahani to realize that he's not Jianyu. Jason finally starts talking about who he is and Tahani's disappointed. Jason's sad and afraid he'll go to the Bad Place, so he asks Janet to cheer him up and she brings him food he likes, causing Jason to feel that he loves Janet and ask her to marry him. Janet brings Eleanor and Tahani invites to the 'wedding' and they witness Jason's EDM wedding march-scored, nude pic/bortles shoutout-vowed ceremony.
Jason, thinking Michael is Janet's Dad, confesses his real identity to Michael. Michael tries to deduce his character by giving him the same test Eleanor got, with all of Jason's answers proving him a Bad Place candidate. After Michael reminds Jason how he died, Jason calls Janet and tells him they can't be together because he's dumb. When Michael wants to reboot Janet, she brings Jason (and Eleanor) to The Medium Place to escape being separated. While there, Janet and Jason spend their time trying to figure out how to have sex.
After they get the message through Janet that Chidi and Tahani will be sent to the Bad Place in their stead, Eleanor tries to convince Jason that they should save their friends, as Janet will only bring the train back to the neighborhood if Jason agrees. After Eleanor explains how rotten her parents were to her and how this is a chance to do something right for both her and Jason, he relents and they return to save Chidi and Tahani. Shortly after, Shawn gives them half an hour to decide which two of the four of them will go to the Bad Place and Eleanor realizes they are in the Bad Place.
In Attempt #2, Jason is paired with Luang, another monk having taken a vow of silence, as his platonic soulmate.
Jason is soon unhappy with the arrangement and ends up connecting with a newly rebooted Janet, having an exchange similar to their first one where Janet helps Jason and he hugs her, prompting her to ask him why he hugged her. Eleanor's note helps her figure out they're in the Bad Place in two days and Jason reveals his true identity just before Eleanor's second epiphany.
The following attempts always end up with Eleanor's epiphanies, except one time where Jason, to the astounded horror of Michael, is actually the one to figure it out. At Attempt #802, Michael actually asks Jason for advice and casually mentions that they're in the Bad Place.
Simultaneously, Chidi and Eleanor overhear some of the demons talking about how they're in the Bad Place, tell Tahani and try to formulate a tactic to somehow fight Michael. Eleanor taunts him with the fact that she always finds out and Michael tells the humans he wants to team up with them.
- ❝ Yo, you should listen to me, I came up with hundreds of plans in my life and only one of them got me killed ❞
- —Jason to Eleanor
- ❝ I wasn't a failed DJ, I was pre-successful ❞
- —Jason to Michael[src]
- ❝ It doesn’t matter if you know things, it matters what’s in your heart ❞
- —Jason to Janet[src]
- In Mandarin Chinese, "Jianyu Li" (监狱里) means "in prison" or "in jail"; Mandarin is the official language of China and Taiwan.
- Jason is Filipino, and thinks the bad place created by Michael is racist for thinking he was Taiwanese.
- Jason's DJ name was Mr. Music the DJ
- Jason is a big fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars American football team. He yells "Bortles!" (as in Blake Bortles, the team's star quarterback) before throwing Molotov cocktails
- In Season 2, Jason mentions how Tahani taught him to not to eat candles because they smelled good.
- Jason thinks penguins are mythical animals.