“The point is, you're cool, dope, fresh, and smart-brained,” Jason Mendoza once told Tahani, and he wasn’t wrong. It was one of the first moments on The Good Place where we got to see Jason’s kind, compassionate, and, at times, wise side on full display.
The statement was also an accurate description of his character.
While Jason might not always be “smart-brained,” he’s had his fair share of moments that prove there’s a certain level of intelligence tucked away under his ridiculous and childlike exterior.
He may not seem all that complex on the surface, but Jason is television proof that one person can have brains and lack brains, simultaneously.
Jason’s best known for going on wild tangents, acting on impulse, and telling out-of-this-world stories, but if you listen closely, sometimes he has some good, even smart, ideas, and appears to be more aware than he lets on.
Here are a few times Jason proved that he was smart-brained.
Helps Tahani Build Confidence
The first example still holds. On The Good Place Season 2 Episode 5, Tahani is being tortured by the demons and even though she knows that they're going to plan an event that’s bigger and better than hers, she still feels disappointed once her event is upstaged and no one attends her party.
Jason sticks around to console her and reminds her that she's awesome.
They’re both 8s, and according to Jason, 8 is the highest number on the scale of 1-13. Yeah, we have to take accept his great moments with a grain of salt.
A Perfectly Timed Molotov Cocktail
Jason’s solution to nearly every problem that has presented itself on Earth and in the afterlife is to throw a Molotov cocktail.
In his words: “Anytime I had a problem and I threw a Molotov cocktail, boom, right away, I had a different problem.”
On their way to meet the judge, the foursome, along with Michael and Janet, stop in the Bad Place and entertain a cocktail party while donning disguises.
Jason has absolutely no trouble fitting in with all the demons, but when they're finally recognized and cornered, his go-to idea of throwing a Molotov cocktail actually works (the only time it ever did!) and distracts the demons long enough for Eleanor, Chidi, Michael, Janet, and Tahani to escape and make it to the judge’s chambers.
Not a Girl
On The Good Place Season 4, Bad Janet was sent to the Medium Place to sabotage the group’s experiment.
Knowing that the Bad Place has an evil plan in motion, Jason recognized that Janet was an imposter after saying, “Just know that I’m here for you, girl,” to which she replied, “Thanks, Jason,” instead of Good Janet’s usual response of “not a girl” when referred to as "girl."
Jason shares his findings with the team and saves Michael's life in the process.
The two embark on a trip to the Bad Place to save Janet, which is where Jason assures her it’s them by calling her “girl.” Attention to detail is totally Jason's thing.
Gives Romantic Advice to Chidi
Jason continues to surprise us up until the final few episodes including this stellar moment on The Good Place Season 4 Episode 11. When Chidi worries that he and Eleanor are too different and that she'll get bored of him in the afterlife, Jason tells him that opposites attract.
When Chidi tells Jason that he needs to believe that because he’s dating the complete opposite in Janet, Jason pretends to be hurt by the comment.
Later, Chidi tries to cheer Jason up by giving him some sound advice including “she knows and loves you, and that’s all that matters,” which evokes a laugh from Jason who admits he tricked Chidi into giving himself and taking his own advice.
Jason then compares his relationship with Janet to the Montagues and Capulets, which surprises Chidi. “I read some books, jeez,” Jason hilariously quips.
This Is the Bad Place!
Usually, Eleanor was the one to figure out that they were in the Bad Place, but the realization came to Jason at one point in time.
"Yo, yo! Homies, check it! There's something messed up with this place. We keep fighting with each other, none of the TVs get the NFL RedZone channel, my soulmate doesn't even know who Blake Bortles is.
"I know this sounds crazy, but I think we're in the Bad Place,” he says as Michael throws his hands in the air and exclaims, “Jason figured it out?!"
Earlier in The Good Place Season 1, Jason, who was still pretending to be the silent monk Jianyu, admitted that he knew something odd was going on and compared it to an “alien zoo or prank show,” which was close enough.
New Dance Crew
While Jason’s dance crew stories are hilarious, they’re not just there for entertainment.
Michael reaches out to Jason for advice after Vicky stages a coup and becomes the leader of his neighborhood, and Jason convinces him to “find a new dance crew,” which ultimately brings Michael closer to the humans.
Jason is responsible for a huge turning point in the series.
Without his advice, there’s a chance Michael would have never become their friend and remained a lost and confused demon for all of eternity.
Looking For Purpose
Before Michael intervened on Earth, Jason was the only human who maintained the drive to improve his life on Earth after death because he didn't want to waste the second chance he'd ben given.
He even swore off committing felonies.
Michael assumed Jason would be the easiest to convince about going to Australia to lead a dance group, but Jason denied him because he realized there’s more to life than “amateur street dance competitions.”
Eventually, Michael was able to convince him by offering to introduce him to a group of people who might help him find purpose and meaning in life.
We’re Not Quitters
When last-minute problems arise in the final hours of the neighborhood experiment to determine the fate of humanity, Eleanor suggests that they let the clock run out.
However, Jason comes through with a football analogy that makes sense and convinces them to bring their A-game in the final moments thus saving the experiment.
We’ll let him explain: "In football, trying to run out the clock and hoping for the best never works. It's called 'prevent defense.' You don't take any chances and just try and hold on to your lead. But prevent defense just PREVENTS you from winning! It's always better to try something."
Jason with the wisdom, everyone.
Jason is a glass-half-full kind of dude.
He didn’t think of himself as a failed DJ but rather a “pre-successful” one.
We all need that kind of optimism in life.
The Trolley Problem
And lastly, Jason proves he has a firm grasp of the trolley problem when he provides a hilarious yet fitting anecdote from his dance crew days.
As Chidi attempts to give a lesson on utilitarianism, Jason interjects and offers the perfect explanation about Sheila, a woman who was going to get married to Donkey Doug (his dad).
“It would’ve broken up my whole break dancing crew, and Donkey Doug was our best pop-and-locker. So I hid a bunch of stolen boogie boards in Sheila’s garage and called the cops. I framed one innocent gator dealer to save a 60-person dance crew,” Jason explained.
“Shockingly, that is a relevant example of the Utilitarian dilemma. Well done,” Chidi admits. See, Jason does pay attention.
Ah, Jason. We'll miss you bud.
What are some of your favorite Jason moments?
Share them with us below as we wait for the end of this brilliant comedy.
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