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A Niednagel in the 10th Dimenson and more in 'The Good Place'!

By Dan Hamamura | TV | January 18, 2019 |

By Dan Hamamura | TV | January 18, 2019 |


Welcome to another week of The Good Place, where, kind of like the Interdimensional Hole of Pancakes, there is no time, nor the present.

By which I mean, holy cow, what a bizarre, guest-filled, whiplash of an episode. And by guest-filled, I mean, so many favorites returned! Gen! Derek! Shawn! Mindy! I guess that’s it. But that’s a lot of comedic firepower for one episode!

Anyway, let’s see if we can find a few hidden jokes/callbacks/random references in this episode:

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… who is that?


Upon first viewing, there’s clearly a man going flying through the background. And hey, cool! Some dude is being flung through Ihop.

But something about it felt… familiar.

Unfortunately, the image is much too small to tell who it is, but I have a couple of theories:

Theory 1: It’s Trevor!

Remember what happened the last time Michael was in between dimensions?



It does seem possible that Trevor is still flying somewhere, and the scream initially made me think of Trevor, but the clothing looks a little too light compared to what he was wearing last we saw him.

Theory 2: It’s a setup for [REDACTED]!

Actually, let’s come back to this theory in a moment.

The Tenth Dimension!


I don’t really have a joke here, I just love how weird and… 90s FMV video game-y it feels. Or maybe… did anyone else get screensaver vibes?

(Side note: remember screen savers? I mean like, when you had to buy screen savers? Anybody buy those ones from Berkeley Systems with the flying toasters? Those were fun.)

Of course, our people had their own theories of what it looked like: to Tahani, it seemed like a particularly unpleasant Diane von Furstenberg pattern. To Jason, of course, it’s clearly a bad salvia trip in Pillboi’s broken hot tub.



Hey, it’s a Niednagel! Which, apparently, is some sort of interdimensional slug.

It also happens to be the name of the show’s VFX Producer, David Niednagel, and (as listeners of The Good Place: The Podcast know), a term used by the crew to describe the process of adding VFX to a scene, meaning in this instance:

Niednagel niednageled a Niednagel onto Tahani’s shoulders.

That is a factually accurate statement.

Those are some… fancy syrups?


Even though Gen makes the Ihop looks like an Ihop, my favorite never remarked upon touch has to be the fluorescent syrups, the only real strange bit in an otherwise vaguely normal-looking setting.

Schurniverse Alert!


Pretty strong Schurniverse link here, with reference to Food And Stuff, as well as Snerling. And Douglas Lerpiss may very well be related to Dennis Lerpiss, owner of the Pawnee VideoDome.

More Like Ted Dancin’, Amirite?


Yes I’LL SEE MYSELF OUT SHORTLY, but remember this?

Turns out no good deed is left unfilmed, and then put onto television for millions to enjoy.

Theory 2 Time!


Okay, so now, this could be the reason we saw some unknown person go flying past earlier in the Ihop - as a setup to this punchline, when Chidi took a wrong step and sent himself flying through space/time (he’s tiny and above their heads there in the picture).

Possible? Yes. Probable, even. Except… that person was tiny because of distance, not shrunken like Chidi was here…

Oh, and also, this is where we got the title of the episode, Chidi Sees the Time-Knife! Because, well, whilst flying, he saw the Time-Knife. Duh. We’ve all seen it.

Maximum Derek






Well, maybe not. He is still Derek, after all.

Aaaaaand… We’re Back!


I’m not going to lie, seeing the familiar neighborhood pop up definitely made me think about how re-using standing sets is a vital tool for shows to stay fiscally responsible just how much I missed it, and filled me with a warmth that I wasn’t expecting.

Also, fun fact: they low-key turned everyone’s favorite insult, “basic”, into a positive thing in the sweetest way possible.

Neighborhood Punnery!

Being back in the neighborhood, of course, means fun names again. Unlike the other, torturous versions, there doesn’t seem to be a specific unifying theme just yet, although it is trying to be cheery, I suppose?

I see some classics…



…and some new shops, as well.


(It’s hard to read because it’s so small, but FOOT LAGER is… special.)



This last one obviously isn’t hidden, but it could not go without comment, as after D’Arcy Carden’s tour-de-force as everyone, Ted Danson gets a moment to have his own doppleganger fun, playing Vicky (wearing a Michael suit), which I would like more of, please and thank you (especially if it means more Tiya Sircar in the future as well).

Only one more episode left this season! How much are they going to resolve? Will we already know one of the new people we’re about to meet next week? What will happen to Janet (which is, of course, the couple nickname for Jason and Janet)? What is Mike Schur going to do to fork with us until the show comes back in eight months? And as always, what jokes did you love that I didn’t cover, either because they were pure, actual jokes, or because I just straight up missed them?

Header Image Source: NBC