The Good Place Wiki
The Good Place Wiki

Michael is a principal character in The Good Place and is played by Ted Danson.

Throughout the Series[]

Season 1[]

Michael is first introduced as the architect that constructed the Good Place neighborhood that Eleanor, Chidi, Jason, and Tahani reside in. When terrible catastrophes occur, Michael has no idea what is causing them and scrambles to solve the problem, enlisting Eleanor to help.

At some point he kicks a small cute dog towards the sun. He comes to the conclusion that he is the problem and decides to leave for retirement; upon hearing what retirement means, Eleanor feels immense guilt and confesses that she is what’s causing the problems, and that she doesn't belong here.

Upon learning this, Michael contacts Trevor from The Bad Place so that he can come take Eleanor; when Trevor arrives, Chidi pleads with Michael so that Eleanor can stay. Michael refuses to let Eleanor leave with Trevor, so he decides to bring in Shawn, another Immortal Being who acts as a Judge to settle disputes between The Good and Bad Place.

After Shawn arrives, Eleanor steals his train and leaves for The Medium Place with Jason and Janet. Michael, along with Chidi and Tahani, pleads their case as to why Eleanor should stay in The Good Place; unfortunately, Shawn rules that despite the good she has done and how much she has changed, it doesn't change the fact that she was a bad person in life.

Shawn sets a deadline for Eleanor to return, or Chidi and Tahani will go to The Bad Place in her and Jason's stead.

Eleanor and Jason return but miss the deadline by a few minutes. Shawn states that The Bad Place is owed two people and gives Eleanor, Chidi, Jason, and Tahani thirty minutes to decide which two should be sent to The Bad Place.

After they argue among themselves, Eleanor comes to the realization that they are already in The Bad Place.

Michael confesses that Eleanor is right and the whole thing was a trick to get Eleanor, Chidi, Jason, and Tahani to torture each other.

After getting permission from Shawn to try again, he wipes their minds and starts the whole thing over again, but not before Eleanor writes down a note and stuffs it inside Janet.

Season 2[]

After rebooting his neighborhood and erasing the minds of Eleanor, Chidi, Jason, and Tahani, Michael tries again, but Eleanor figures out on the first night that she is in The Bad Place. Michael erases their minds again and reboots his plan a third time, lying to his boss Shawn that he is still on attempt number two. Eventually, Eleanor once again figures it out, forcing Michael to erase and reboot. He does this over 800 times until eventually the other demons involved in his plan get sick of it and, led by Vicky, blackmail him into letting them take control of his neighborhood.

After Vicky's coup, Michael joins up with Eleanor, Chidi, Jason, Tahani, and Janet, promising them that in exchange for not erasing their minds and rebooting one more time so that Vicky can take over, he will help them get into the actual Good Place so that he can avoid retirement. He begins to learn about ethics, taught by Chidi. It is difficult for him to understand the concepts, owing to the fact that he is an immortal being whose only purpose is to torture humans. Chidi tries to help him understand, asking him if he can die.

He says he can "die" under rare circumstances. He is then told to contemplate the possibility of nonexistence, but this backfires, and Michael gets a severe case of depression, followed by a midlife crisis, which nearly blows the group's cover till he is calmed down. He eventually gets better at his ethics lessons and but still mocks them occasionally.

He confides to Eleanor that he finds it hard and wonders how she was able to improve so much. Eleanor states that when whenever she did a bad thing, she’d hear a little voice telling her it was wrong. When she would do good, it would go away, and she would feel better. Michael takes comfort in this. Later, Shawn finds Michael's record of events that happened in his neighborhood. Michael had actually made up all of the events, which Shawn did not know.

They destroy the neighborhood, and Michael roasts Chidi, Eleanor, Tahani and Jason. But, Michael hides some clues in the roasts which helps the four come up with a plan to not get caught. They also throw a party, and during this party, Michael frames Vicky. Shawn then encases her in a cocoon. Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, and Jason escape by hiding under a train. He also admits that he was worried about the group because they’re his friends which is a new feeling for him.

Afterward, Michael creates a hot-air balloon to take them to The Good Place, but then after several failed takeoffs, he reveals that this is a fake. In truth, Michael knows no way to get in. He lied when he said he could do it but believed he could find a way. This failure and lie are causing him guilt for the first time. He says that the only way to get into The Good Place is to go to the judge, who lives in a portal in the middle of The Bad Place. Then, the individual must convince the judge to get them to The Good Place.

Then, Michael takes a train to get them to The Bad Place and to the portal. The five come up with a plan to disguise themselves and get to the portal while Michael gets special pins to get them into the portal with Janet. But they get caught, and they tried to escape. Tahani, Chidi, and Jason were able to get into the portal; Eleanor was not, as Michael had failed to retrieve the fourth pin. After that, Michael sacrifices himself to get Eleanor to the judge. He gives her his pin and says that he has finally solved the trolley problem. He says that the answer is to sacrifice himself.

Shawn then catches him. He scolds him and then sentences him to eternal damnation. Bad Janet then shows Michael Good Janet as a marble. Michael's punishment is to be in an unmarked room with only New Yorker magazines for entertainment. Then, Bad Janet reveals herself to be Good Janet in disguise. The two of them escape and meet up with Eleanor, Tahani, Chidi, and Jason in the portal with the judge.

Afterward, Michael tries to convince the judge, Gen, that the four belong in the Good Place. But, she will not be convinced, since she thinks that the only reason that they improved is that they thought that there was a "moral dessert." Michael comes up with an insane plan to save them; he wants to restart their lives from the day that they died. This is to prove that they could improve themselves without knowing what happens in the afterlife.

After restarting Eleanor, he shoves her out of the way when she is about to be run over by a row of shopping carts. She then becomes a better person for a while, and Michael is satisfied. But then she starts to fall back into her bad habits, so Michael decides to take action. He poses as a bartender and he tells her about what they owe to each other, leaving Eleanor to search up "What We Owe to Each Other" online. This leads her to find Chidi's video about ethics, which inspires her to visit his university in Australia.

Season 3[]

After sending Eleanor to Australia, Michael proceeds to manipulate Chidi into starting his thesis on a study of near-death experiences and their effect on morality. This allows him to manipulate Tahani and Jason into joining the study and going to Australia as well, reuniting the group. All of this travel to Earth was very much against the rules, achieved through lying to the Doorman, although Michael is also friendly with him and brings him a gift as thanks when he believes his work is complete.

However, his frequent travel to Earth allows Trevor to sneak down as well and infiltrate the study group. Michael goes after him to try and fix the problem, but both are finally caught by the Judge. She threatens to retire Michael and marbleize Janet as punishment, but the Doorman helps them escape, and the two flee to Earth.

Michael and Janet spend a year observing the humans, manipulating events to keep them together and make their lives as easy as possible in hopes of paving their way to the Good Place. Eventually, however, the study ends and everyone prepares to go home. Distraught at the potential loss of the group, Michael tries to intervene and is caught and identified by the humans as the man who separately got all of them to convene in Australia. He briefly attempts to spin another lie, and even considers killing them all to save their souls, but is eventually forced to reveal the truth about their former existence in the afterlife.

With the humans now doomed to the Bad Place for this knowledge, Michael prepares to return home and face his retirement. He and Janet write a manifesto detailing their experiences and beliefs in hopes that some other immortal will eventually read it and be able to make the changes they could not. However, Eleanor convinces the group to stay together and try to save other peoples' souls instead.

Michael travels to Florida with Jason to help PillBoi, and then reveals to Eleanor that her mother is alive and accompanies her to make peace. He also tells her about her past relationship with Chidi. He then convinces the group to go to Canada to meet Doug Forcett in hopes that he'll have some wisdom about morality to share, but he turns out to be a miserable doormat desperately trying to make everyone else around him happy in order to avoid the Bad Place.

After this encounter, Michael finds the humans being attacked by a group of demons led by Shawn. He and Janet join the fight, defeating Shawn, but there are too many demons to be overcome. Janet brings the group to her void to escape.

Following an ominous comment made by Shawn, Michael takes this time to go to the Accounting department in the afterlife, pretending again to be a Good Place architect in order to learn more about their system and investigate their records. To his immense anger, he discovers that no humans have been accepted to the Good Place for the past 531 years. Janet convinces Michael that he is, at this point, the only person with both the desire and the potential ability to do anything about this, so he leads the group in fleeing through a mail chute to the mailroom of the real Good Place.

Once again pretending to be a Good Place architect, Michael presents the Good Place's leading council with the evidence he's gathered. He believes it proves that there's been demonic sabotage to the system. The council is wishy-washy in their response and refuses to even consider taking immediate action, to his frustration. Tahani then helps him realize that there has been no sabotage - the points system is inherently flawed, and the rise of globalization and industrial capitalism has simply made it impossible for any human to be ruled "good enough". Michael immediately turns himself over to the Judge in order to force a meeting, where he argues that their system is inherently unjust and must be changed. He convinces her to allow another experiment, where Michael and the group will attempt to prove that other humans could change for the better after their deaths just as the original four did.

Right before the start of experiment, Shawn calls Michael to show him that he's created a skinsuit identical to Michael's own appearance, currently being inhabited by Vicky. Once the experiment fails, Shawn plans to use the skinsuit to convince the humans that Michael ultimately turned on them and is personally torturing them for the rest of eternity. This launches Michael into such a severe panic attack that Eleanor is forced to take over his role and introduce herself as the fake Good Place architect, with Michael as her assistant. Because of this, she also loses the possibility of renewing her relationship with Chidi when he asks Michael to erase his memories to avoid contaminating the experiment. Michael, unwilling to admit the real reason for his panic attack, claims that he was only worried about the experiment.

Season 4[]

The experiment goes poorly, as the Bad Place repeatedly attempts sabotage and Eleanor has been thrust unexpectedly into a leadership role. When she begins to seriously doubt herself, Michael has a heart-to-heart with her where he reminds her that she outsmarted him 800 times, leading to his own improvement, and that as a regular human she is perhaps best suited to understand and help other humans. This helps her bounce back and regain control of the experiment, sending everything along a better path.

Michael later helps Eleanor devise tortures for Chidi when he is too complacent about being in the Good Place to properly help the other humans. He does express concern about how far she's going, though Chidi himself is the one to help Eleanor realize that she's acting out her own frustrations.

Later, the demon Glenn sneaks into the fake Good Place. He claims that he is there on his own, having decided that he doesn't want the experiment to be sabotaged because he's only willing to torture humans who truly deserve it; in order to help, he's come to tell the humans that Michael is actually Vicky in the fake Michael suit.

Michael's earlier lie about the reason for his panic attack is revealed, causing Eleanor to doubt his trustworthiness. Janet creates a "demon lie detector" to see if Glenn is telling the truth, but it causes him to explode. Eleanor tries to convince Michael to remove his skinsuit to prove that he's truly himself, but he eventually has an emotional breakdown, admitting that his true demonic form is a 6000-foot-tall fire squid. He considers himself disgusting, and believes that no one would want to be his friend after seeing what he really looks like. In order to save the experiment, he prepares to blow himself up with the lie detector instead so that the humans don't have to worry about it, but Jason realizes at the last moment that Janet is the true impostor. Eleanor then accepts his selflessness as proof that he is both the real Michael, and ultimately dedicated to them despite his occasional lies and secretiveness.

Michael and Jason then travel to the Bad Place to rescue the real Janet. Pretending to be Vicky in the Michael suit and Glenn in a new Jason suit, they infiltrate a torture convention. Michael, finding old mementos of his time as a Bad Place employee, expresses deep regret and shame over his past. They then manage to convince Shawn to hand Janet over to them under the guise of preparing to torture her, only to have the ruse revealed on the convention stage in front of a crowd of demons by Vicky, who arrives in the actual fake Michael suit. Vicky tries to break Michael down by reminding him of how awful he was, and maybe still is deep down, which seems to be effective, but she oversteps by implying that he secretly still wants to return home and go back to his old ways, whereupon he promptly blows her up. He then delivers a passionate speech to the audience about how humans are capable of change, and implores the other demons to consider changing themselves as well. Jason, Janet, and Michael then escape together. On the ride back, Jason tells Michael that what really matters is the person he is now; his guilt is normal, but he shouldn't allow shame to eat away at him.

Michael then holds the Bad Janet who was impersonating Janet captive in Janet's void for six months, regularly visiting her and keeping her up-to-date on current affairs in an attempt to rehabilitate her. Bad Janet is negative about the potential of humanity, but Michael expresses that he believes that being a "good" person isn't a realistic goal; what matters is simply being a person who tries every day to be a little better than they were before. He then explains that he's realized that keeping her captive is wrong of him, and he releases her as part of his own commitment to self-improvement, giving her a copy of his and Janet's manifesto as she goes.

As the experiment comes to a close, Simone's deductions come close to wrecking the whole thing. Michael comes up with a plan to drop Brent into a sinkhole, hoping the other three humans will come together to save him and prove their improvement; however, only Chidi does so. Chidi then realizes that he is in the Bad Place. In one last effort to make Brent re-evaluate his behavior, Michael reprises his past role as a Bad Place architect together with Eleanor, convincing the two humans that they are being tortured in a version of Michael's original neighborhood experiment. The experiment ends as Brent begins to finally apologize to Chidi.

Michael then presents his final summation to the Judge, showing that all the humans, even Brent, were able to make improvements on themselves once given some help, including the humans the group helped during their time on Earth. With this, he finally convinces her that the point system is unjust and wins his case. However, she decides to remedy this by erasing all humans, living and dead, from existence and starting fresh with the next sapient species to evolve. Janet steals her reset button before she can do so, supported by a newly formed union of other Janets led by Bad Janet, who was moved by Michael's manifesto and shared it with the others. Michael then restores Chidi's memories so that he can help the group come up with a new afterlife system to propose to the Judge in place of a total reset.

After the Good Place representatives refuse to provide any real help, the six are forced to think of new systems themselves. Michael proposes admitting most dead humans to a Medium Place, with only exceptional outliers going to the Good or Bad Places. Shawn rejects this idea, even after Michael and the humans agree to let him torture them in exchange. They then come up with the idea of replicating the experiment on a larger scale: each dead human will be subjected to personalized tests of moral development, and will be rebooted as many times as they need until they pass the test (possibly never passing it). In each successive try, they will retain some of what they have learned in the form of a "little voice in your head". Shawn also rejects this plan. Michael has a personal chat with him, threatening to just give up and see him again when a new species evolves and comes to the afterlife, but Shawn finally admits that he had also become bored of torturing humanity, and has been enjoying the conflict with Michael. Michael points out that, whether a new system is implemented or humanity is erased, their conflict will end, and that this is proof that demons as well as humans are failing to thrive under the current system. Shawn then backs the plan, which convinces the Judge to accept it.

Michael introduces the new system to the other demons, most of whom have difficulty adapting. Vicky, however, shows skill at designing new afterlife environments and teaching the other demons. Michael's pride and sense of purpose are threatened by Vicky's skill, and he attempts to exclude her from the project, until Janet and Tahani persuade him that his ego is less important than improving the afterlife. Michael then allows Vicky to stage a coup against him to assume leadership of the project. He then tells the humans that, for their efforts in reforming the afterlife, the four of them have been accepted to the real Good Place. As there is no place left for him in the Bad Place, he joins them, in spite of his own anxieties about being smited or thrown out for being a demon.

His fears do not come to fruition; the angels accept Michael's plea to work with them instead, and then trick him into signing a contract to take over as the new Head Architect of the entire Good Place before fleeing. It is then revealed that an eternity of perfection has led to boredom and misery for the human residents; try as they might, the Good Place committee were unable to remedy this dilemma, and washed their hands of the whole situation by passing the buck to Michael. Eleanor proposes a solution to the ennui plaguing Good Place residents: Michael creates a door that will allow people to exit the Good Place and peacefully end their existence. Knowing there is a potential end to eternity makes the residents of The Good Place appreciate being there again. Michael then takes his place as the new Head Architect, creating ideal homes for each of his friends.

As time passes, Michael works on a committee with Shawn, the Judge, and Chidi to implement the new system and iron out the kinks. Eventually, everything settles and begins to work as intended, so well that the committee dissolves. Over the time this took, his own human friends begin to move on from the Good Place. Lost without a continued purpose to work towards and distressed over their leaving, Michael attempts to exit the door with Eleanor, but finds that he cannot because he is an immortal. Eleanor persuades the Judge to allow him to become human and live a life on Earth. On Earth, he makes friends, adopts a dog named Jason, and learns to play the guitar. Eleanor, finally content, exits. Pieces of her soul drift down to Earth and inspire a man to return wrongly delivered junk mail to its intended recipient, Michael. He thanks the man and tells him to "Take it sleazy."

Powers & Abilities[]

  • Immortality: As an Immortal Being, Michael cannot die. The only known way he could be killed is by the "Eternal Shriek".
  • Extra-Dimensional Vision: Michael can see in 9 different dimensions.
  • Aura Reading: Michael has the ability to read auras and energy fields. Which allows him to see different traits and certain information about objects and other people.
  • Memory Manipulation: Can erase the memories of any deceased human.
  • Reality Warping: Michael at will can alter the reality of the afterlife to anything he desires, however this is most likely restricted to just the neighborhood he himself has created. He later creates The Last Door when he becomes the Architect of The Good Place.
  • Simulation Projection: Michael is able to construct any type of artificial simulation he desires no matter how complex.
  • Artistic Talents: Michael was shown to have notable artistic talents in the episode "The Trolley Problem", where he had drawn a detailed but gory drawing of his solution to the infamous trolley problem in approximately a minute.
  • Molecular Combustion: Michael can also speed up molecules to the point they explode. He uses this first on a vase as a demonstration to Chidi, and then on the motorcycle Jason wished for.

After becoming human, Michael loses all of his powers.


  • Michael once stated that he can read the entire world's literature in about an hour.
  • He claims to have existed since the beginning of time.
  • Michael has owned two pets in his life: his childhood pet, Korzoff the ten-headed dog-spider, and a dog named Jason, named after Jason Mendoza.
  • He is a fan of the sitcom Friends.
  • He may be named after the archangel St. Mikael (and potentially show creator Michael Schur).
  • His natural demon form is 6,000 foot tall giant fire squid covered in teeth. This form ceased to exist after Michael became a human, as his human form became his true and only body.
  • Michael is the only Immortal Being who has ever become a human. In order to allow this, permission had to be gained from Judge Gen.
  • After becoming human, Michael is given a last name, Realman.
  • Upon learning about morality, Michael fell into nihilism briefly.
  • Michael has stated to have always wanted to get junk mail, hence him thanking the mailman at the end of the show.