The Good Place (2016– )
2 user 5 critic

The Trolley Problem 

Chidi and Eleanor tackle a famous ethical dilemma, leading to a conflict with Michael; Tahani confides in Janet.


Dean Holland


Michael Schur (created by), Josh Siegal | 5 more credits »





Episode complete credited cast:
Kristen Bell ... Eleanor Shellstrop
William Jackson Harper ... Chidi Anagonye
Jameela Jamil ... Tahani Al-Jamil
D'Arcy Carden ... Janet
Manny Jacinto ... Jason Mendoza
Ted Danson ... Michael
Dominic Burgess ... Henry
Emma Vivien Garcia ... Birdie


Chidi is finding that Michael still can't seem to grasp the concepts taught in the human ethics classes. The latest example is in the ethical dilemma of the trolley problem - if you have no other other choice, do you kill one person or five? does it change if you know the people? would you sacrifice one to save five? etc. - where Michael would try to kill all six people if he could, and do it as brutally as possible. In Chidi addressing the issue with Michael, Michael thinks he knows why he just isn't getting it and shows Chidi and Eleanor how he can learn. What Michael shows them has consequences both for Chidi and for Michael, the latter due to the intent. Meanwhile, Jason wants Tahani to talk to someone about why she feels so reluctant to tell the world that the two of them are together as a couple. Who Tahani turns to is the ever knowing Janet. Janet helping Tahani and Jason with this issue has unintended consequences. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

19 October 2017 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (5.1)



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In season 2 episode 1 The Good Place: Everything Is Great! (2017) the wall outside of Michael's office had changed from "Everything is fine" to "Everything is good". In this episode it has changed back to "Everything is fine". See more »


When Michael is forced by Chidi to write "People = Good" on the chalkboard, it is clear the previous times it was written were not done by him (or specifically Ted Danson, the actor who portrays him) because the handwriting is dramatically different. See more »


Chidi Anagonye: But philosophy is about questioning things that you take for granted, and I... I just don't think that you're doing that. I mean...
[holds up Michael's homework assignment]
Chidi Anagonye: [reading] "I personally know that Victor Hugo is in the Bad Place being tortured. He's a real wuss, too. If one of the lava monsters even gets near the guy, he's like, 'Sacre bleu, I peed in m' pants'."
Michael: I don't know what you want from me. That... that's exactly what he said.
See more »


References Strangers on a Train (1951) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

the food is words..
15 June 2019 | by Arth_JoshiSee all my reviews

The Good Place

Michael Schur, the creator, of this PG-13 hellish facade, has a similar concept to those yogurt shops that his world is surrounded by, a bit questionable and a whole lot of fun. The bumpy ride of this train has had its ups and downs, but its potential always outweighs the inadequacies with a soothing mellow tone. The writing is not consistently of A grade quality. Especially, when it has to stroll its viewers for few laughs or tears. The storytelling, that is, the arc or the trajectory of these characters that they are following so hastily is clearly impressive. And the credit goes to the creator whose vision has always stood by him.

Despite the precarious detours, cliched emotional conflicts and seen-this-seen-that flips and turns, the storytelling is thoroughly engaging and catchy. So what is it that makes this under-funded (looking at the production set pieces and visual effects) cheesy teaching-to-the-choir philosophy lectures entertaining? It is the bold decisions that those same writers keeps making. Bold as in, not that they aren't aware of where this might go but it certainly is jaw-dropping, but bold as in, they are challenging themselves immensely.

While as far as the locations are concerned, all they have done smartly is kept the options finite and boundaries shorter in order to break them further as they advance in the series. The challenge is to actually weave out a profound piece of ethical note from the day-to-day conflicts of these characters. Which is how they usually showcase the human-ness of them, no matter how spooky the situation is, or whether they are at The Good Place or the bad place, they would always fight for better sprinkles in their yogurts.

The Trolley Problem

The great philosophical question is.. well, not answered but definitely staged on screen practically, which obviously is funny. And what's exciting is, they managed to cross that boundary over smoothly with only a couple of conflicts.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed