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The problem is, if all you care about in the world is the velvet rope, you will always be unhappy, no matter which side you’re on.
—Tahani to John[src]

Tahani Al-Jamil is a principal character in The Good Place, played by Jameela Jamil.

Tahani Al-Jamil

Tahani is Pakistani-English. She was born in Pakistan, raised in high society England, and consequently was very well educated. In both her life and afterlife she is regarded as highly intelligent, a brilliant conversationalist, and a wonderful hostess. She is exceptionally attractive and very fashionable. As she explains when initially introducing herself, the name Tahani means "congratulations" and Al-Jamil means "beautiful" in Arabic—so her full name actually means "Congratulations Beautiful."

One of her most impressive achievements was raising sixty billion dollars for a non-profit organization. She claims to have attended an English finishing school, the Hertfordshire School for Expressionless Girls, before studying at Oxford University and the Sorbonne in Paris, France.

In The Good Place, she is seen as an overly good person, which makes Eleanor Shellstrop insecure. She frequently name-drops celebrities, implying each one has a personal connection to her.

Life

She goes along with everyone else to appeal to the judge through the Bad Place. With Michael, she tries to help Janet to act like Bad Janet, to no success. When she comes across her mannequin in the Bad Place, she comments on Elon Musk's underwater Mansion and ends up saying exactly what the Bad Place is using to make her look bad.

After they get chased by demons, Tahani reached the judge's chambers to plead their case. While the judge refutes them, Tahani is able to convince her to listen to them as the Judge is enamored by Tahani's accent. The Judge issues challenges to all of them to prove that they belong in The Good Place as they have genuinely changed during their time in the Fake Good Place. Tahani's challenge is to walk through a hallway to the end through a red door. The hallway contains rooms with people Tahani knew in her life, all saying what they really thought about her. She resists most of it but gives up on the last door where she sees her parent's name. She enters and is still mocked and put down by her parents. She realizes that no matter what she does they are never going to change and so, she leaves finally having let go of her need for their approval. However, this meant that she failed her test and hence did not earn her rightful place in the Good Place.

After Michael miraculously appears and talks to the Judge, Tahani and Eleanor have a heart to heart about the changes that they have gone through. Tahani confesses that any progress she has made is due to the love and friendship of Eleanor. She is rebooted and sent back to Earth and Michael saves her life by pushing her out from underneath Kamilah's statue.

Season 3

At the beginning of season 3, Michael goes to Earth and alters the timeline so the four humans didn't die, anonymously saving Tahani from being crushed by the statue of her sister, Kamilah, at her induction party into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Everyone around her thought Kamilah saved Tahani's life, and applaud and glorify her, angering Tahani. After nearly dying, she has an epiphany, and decides to become a monk. This starts out very well, and she spends a good amount of time there unbothered, only to be discovered by the press. They convince her to re-enter mainstream society, and she decides to write a book called "Get Out of the Spotlight" about the importance of good acts towards others, as well as her own life and experiences.

This brings her back to the fame-hungry person she was before, and she has several press conferences, signings, and other events based around the book. Michael, in the guise of a greedy businessman, attends one of these events, and helps Tahani realize that she became the person she was before through likening himself to her. She finds out about the social experiment happening at St. John's University in Sydney, Australia, and drops everything to go there and be part of it.

There, she meets Eleanor, Jason, Chidi, and Simone, who are also part of the experiment. She begins work on the experiment with the group and grows very close to them while being watched by Michael and Janet. However, the demon Trevor is sent by the Bad Place to interfere, and attempt to breakup the group, which includes trying to steer Tahani and Jason into hooking up. this, however, doesn't go well, considering the two remain friends, and Jason helps a drunk Tahani home to her apartment. Trevor stops attending group meetings (The Judge flung him into a void), leaving the rest of the group, including Tahani, confused as to what happened to him. They later disregard any notions and continue work on the experiment, which lasts for a year after this.

Michael and Janet continue monitoring the group and making attempts to keep them together, such as getting Tahani to meet her ex-boyfriend Larry Hemsworth, the least famous of the Hemsworth brothers. When the two become engaged and throw a going-away party, Chidi suggests that the group disbands in order for Chidi and Simone to study new participants. Eleanor angrily acts out because of this, much to Tahani's dismay. Eleanor apologizes to everyone, including Tahani, and the four forgive each other and agree to an annual reunion.

Michael and Janet decide to erase this and go back to the Judge's office and reset the timeline, opening a portal which the four notice. With their cover blown, the two come clean to the humans, revealing their prior experiences in the Afterlife, and explained the Jeremy Bearimy timeline. However, them learning of the Afterlife and Point System means they are doomed to go to the Bad Place, as all their actions would have the selfish motivation of avoiding getting into the Bad Place.

Tahani reacts to this by trying to make good decisions that will help others, donating $2 million to Sydney Opera House anonymously, and handing out money to people on the street with Jason. Eleanor later gathers the six of them, including Tahani, together, and they decide to use their knowledge to help as many people as possible get into the Good Place.

Tahani marries Jason in order to transfer half of her wealth to him and breaks up with Larry. The two of them (along with Michael) go to Jacksonville, Florida, to help Jason's father Donkey Doug and his friend Pillboi. They concluded Donkey Doug was a lost cause and tried to save Pillboi by tricking him into working at a nursing home so he would avoid committing crimes. The three reunite with Eleanor, Chidi, and Janet in Budapest in order for Tahani to make amends with her sister, Kamilah, at her art exhibition.

She refuses Tahani's apology, leading her to grab a sledgehammer and attempt to vandalize Kamilah's exhibition. The police intervene, and Tahani is detained at the exhibition. While lamenting as to why people like Kamilah and her simple paintings so much, she realizes that Kamilah's inspiration was they parents mistreating the two of them and constantly pitting them against each other. The two share an emotional reconciliation, hugging and making up. Kamilah gives credit to Tahani as co-creator of the exhibit, and she prepares to go to Arizona and reunite with the rest of the group.

They meet up right after Eleanor's reconciliation with her mother, and they all decide to go to Canada to find the "blueprint for humanity", which they believe could help the largest amount of people get into the Good Place. that blueprint was none other than Doug Forcett, a former stoner who realized how the Point System worked through a hallucination from Shrooms, and strived to be a better person to get into the Good Place, being one of the best people alive at the time.

While Janet and Michael meet with Doug under the guise of newspaper interviewers, Tahani and the others wait at a bar. They are ambushed by demons, led by Shawn, who wish to kidnap them and take them back to the Bad Place. Michael and Janet arrive and start a bar fight with the demons. Janet takes the humans to her void, which reduces their bodies to atoms, killing them once again.

While in the void, they all turn into Janet lookalikes, which puts a lot of strain on Janet and her void. Michael tells them to stay there while he investigates the Accounting Department to see if there are any flaws in the system, as Shawn had told him that everyone would go to the Bad Place, including Doug Forcett. While in the void, Tahani and Jason access Janet's memory and find out about Jason's romantic history with Janet. Eleanor later nearly causes the void to collapse, but Chidi re-stabilize her and Janet's void. They are ejected from the void and sent to Accounting, where Michael and Janet are. Michael grabs the Book of Dougs, a book containing the Point totals of everyone with the name Doug (including Doug Forcett) and takes Tahani and the others through a pneumatic tube, which takes them to the Good Place.

Having finally made it to the Good Place, albeit stuck in the correspondence center, they are met by a Good Place postal worker named Gwendolyn, whom Michael lies to, saying the four humans won a contest to get there. Michael goes to meet the Good Place Committee to convince them that there is a problem. Meanwhile, Tahani tries to get Jason and Janet to feel more comfortable around each other and come to terms with their romantic feelings for each other, inadvertently making the situation worse multiple times. In the end, the three make up and proclaim their love for each other, which causes Michael to realize that the system isn't flawed, but that Earth is too flawed for anyone to be a good person without countless unintended consequences, resulting in losing points even when good acts are committed. Tahani and the rest of the Soul Squad leave to meet with the Judge at the IHOP: the Inter-dimensional Hole of Pancakes.

At the IHOP, they meet with the Judge, and a Niednogel perches on Tahani's shoulders. The others warn her not to touch it, and the Judge changes the scenery so it looks like an actual IHOP. The Niednogel looks like a scarf, although she is still warned to not touch it. She and the others help convince the Judge to go to Earth and see how hard it is to be a good person there. She leaves and comes back shortly after, saying "Earth is a mess y'all!" and organizes a meeting with Shawn. They all agree to attempt to repeat the experiment with 4 humans from the Bad Place, and have their points calculated over the course of a year. After the 4 new humans are sent to the New Neighborhood, they all realize that the four new humans were sent to torture them individually, with Tahani being tortured by a gossip columnist named John Wheaton, who constantly criticized Tahani in his column, "The Gossip Toilet". When Chidi reveals he wants his memory erased, Tahani and the others, especially Eleanor, react negatively to. After Chidi gets his memory erased, Tahani and the others braced themselves for the next year.

Season 4

In the final episode, after reconnecting with her parents and sister, Tahani decides that she has exhausted all her possible activities and achievements in the Good Place and decides to walk through the arch and end her journey. Chidi, Eleanor, Janet and Michael celebrate her last party with her, organised completely by herself. However, Tahani realises that there is more to do in the afterlife and decides to become a Good Place architect.

Following her internship under Glenn and Beadie, Tahani is a soon-to-be-certified architect who promises to design Mindy St Claire's test under the new afterlife system. It is assumed that she is an architect and has not walked through the arch to end her existence yet.

Trivia

  • At one point during her life, Tahani was Baz Luhrmann's muse.
  • Maggie Smith is her god-mother.
  • Paul McCartney is her godfather
  • Tahani was once asked by Anderson Cooper to co-host Anderson Cooper 360.
  • Prior to meeting Eleanor Shellstrop, Tahani had supposedly never heard of Wal-Mart.
  • It's possible that she may have unknowingly crossed paths with Chidi Anagonye while studying at the Sorbonne, as Chidi was a tutor there for a time.
  • In the original casting announcement, the character was named Tessa.
  • On the surface, Tahani appears to be a good, almost perfect person, if not a little self-involved. It is because of her strong desire for attention and approval from her parents that caused her to do all her good acts with the wrong motivation, landing her in The Bad Place.
  • Her first name means Congratulations, and her last name means Beautiful in Arabic
  • She died being crushed by a statue of her sister.
  • She is the only human left from the original four who has not walked through the final arch in the Good Place and instead wanted to become an architect like Michael
  • As a request from Eleanor, Tahani would be the architect to design Mindy St. Claire's afterlife test.
  • She is also the only one in the group who never figures out that they are in the Bad Place.
    • This is at least in the reboots that were seen, but Michael does comment that Eleanor is the one who always figures it out (except the time where it was Jason)

Photos

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References

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