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If I don't write my book of essays now, that means all the damage I got, isn't good damage. It's just damage. I have gotten nothing out of it, and all of those years, I was miserable for nothing. I could have been happy this whole time and written a book about girl detectives and been cheerful and popular and had good parents, is that what you're saying? What was it all for?!

Diane to Princess Carolyn




Good Damage is the tenth episode of Season 6 of the Netflix original series BoJack Horseman, and the 70th episode overall. It premiered with the rest of Part 2 of Season 6 on January 31, 2020.


Diane's depression lifts, but she's still struggling to write her memoir. Reporters Paige and Max pay Penny a visit.


In Chicago, Diane and Guy are watching a Chicago Baby Humans game. Guy tells Diane she should try a Chicago style baked potato. She then questions why everything has to be "Chicago style" as it's obvious they are in Chicago. Guy insists again for her to just try it.

Diane notices the fork and knife are individually wrapped in plastic and goes on a rant about the plastic industry and how the Baby Humans are owned by the CEO of Plastico and therefore they are complicit in the money-laundering scheme that is also killing the planet. She accepts this by saying what are they going to do about it as she shrugs and smiles.

Diane is seen on her antidepressants and appears to be much calmer and content with her everyday life. However, she is seen still struggling to get a start on her memoir.

Later, Guy comes into their bedroom and says good morning and asks if she wants to go to the museum. Diane says she'd love to, however, she needs to start working on her book. She tells Guy she'll go with him next time. Guy then says he will play video games all day and gives her a kiss before leaving the room. Diane then stares at her laptop screen with tension on her face.


Diane's struggle with writing

Diane's writing process is shown through crude sketches in her imagination. Diane introduces herself to the readers and says she is a young girl living in Boston. She makes notes of where she needs to fix things later. Diane imagines her father saying he is unsupportive of her. She flashes back to high school and her high school bully Krissy Keating. She makes a mental note to see if she can use Krissy's real name.

She imagines BoJack telling her to put him in the book because he gave her a salad bowl. Todd appears reminding her he broke the bowl and to answer her phone. Mr. Peanutbutter reminds her he fixed the bowl with gold because he read an article about the Japanese art of Kintsugi. He says the bowl kept falling apart and Diane says that the bowl falling apart is similar to their marriage falling apart. BoJack's voice tells her he is calling her and to answer her phone.

Diane snaps out of her daydream and answers the phone. Diane answers the call at a mall food court and BoJack invites her to his showcase for his students at the end of the semester. BoJack tells her it probably won't be very good but he wants to pack the house with familiar faces. She tells him she will be there.

BoJack then asks how the book is coming along. She replies that she is working on it at the mall. He questions why she's at the mall, and she explains it's the only place she can sit for ten hours and get work done. Diane says she has many stories to tell but she is not sure what the book is yet. BoJack questions if she's written any stories about him and Diane replies she feels she has written about him enough. BoJack protests that no one else is as good at it and Diane says she is sure someone will rise to the occasion.

In New Mexico, the reporters Max and Paige are outside of Rattlesnack's Diner. Paige is updating her fiancé, Baxter, on their progress on their Penny Carson crusade. She tells him they have tried contacting three out of four people living in New Mexico named "Penny Carson." Paige states would love to go on their honeymoon with him but she cannot as she and Max are hot on the trail of their story. Max sees Penny waitressing at the diner through the window and points her out to Paige. Paige tells Baxter they have found their deer.

Back at the mall, Diane is once again seen attempting to start the draft of her books through the sketches. She has trouble sorting out her ideas. She then gets distracted seeing two women walk into a trendy clothing store called Trauma that is having a spring sale. Diane is seen in the fitting room trying on a yellow tube top which does not fit her. Diane peeks out the door and asks a sales associate if they have a larger size. The associate tells her they don't use clothing size numbers at Trauma. Diane gets frustrated with this and puts her own shirt back on.

Diane then gets a call from Princess Carolyn who proceeds to tell her Birthday Dad is a huge hit and about the successes of her company. Diane asks if Princess Carolyn just called her to brag and Princess Carolyn says she called to question her on how her book writing process is going. As she is walking out of the store, Diane replies she's still trying to figure out what her book is, exactly. Princess Carolyn questions what Diane thinks the book is about and Diane tells her it is about good trauma.

Princess Carolyn tells her she needs to have something ready for the publisher, as it has been six months.

In New Mexico, the reporters are seated at the diner. Penny approaches them and gets ready to take their order. They tell her they want information and question her about Sarah Lynn. Penny asks if this has anything to do with BoJack. She then tells Max and Paige she hasn't seen BoJack or Sarah Lynn in years. They try to press her further but Penny leaves the diner and drives away. The reporters also leave and tailgate after her when they realize their lead is escaping.

In Chicago, Diane tries to narrate her first draft to Guy but gets frustrated and apologizes saying she knows it isn't good. Diane confesses to him because of her medication she can't remember what order the events in her life took place and everything seems foggy also, she keeps getting distracted. Guy points out that her medication has helped her mood improve significantly. She admits that is true and he does have a point. Guy encourages her to stick with both the writing and the fog of her memory as she leaves the room.

Diane then once again is seen trying to sort through her childhood memories at the mall. In particular, she tries to remember the times her father was abusive towards her but her memory is still foggy. Out of those memories pops out a fictional character named Ivy Tran who is a teenage detective who solves mysteries in the mall. Diane then snaps out of her fantasy and looks at her computer and realizes she has written about Ivy Tran, Food Court Detective.

At home, Diane shows the story to Guy and he tells her it's fun and he likes it. Diane tells him her book is supposed to be a profound treatise on damage but she can't even access her damage due to the medication. Guy reminds her she had trouble writing the book back when she was depressed and she's having trouble now. He suggests that maybe she just doesn't want to write the book.

Diane counters she wants to but it's hard. She says she is not going to be writing The Mall Mysteries of Ivy Tran. Guy then tells her to come on and think about it.

At the pharmacy, Diane goes to pick up her medication. She then gets a call from Princess Carolyn who tells Diane she's been pitching her book and everyone is excited about the movie adaptation. However, she needs to send Princess Carolyn some pages. The pharmacist calls out Diane's last name but she has left without picking up the medication.

In New Mexico, Penny goes back to her parents' house. She walks into the kitchen and nervously tells her mother Charlotte she just wanted to drop by and see her. Penny starts to tell Charlotte what happened at work when the reporters barge into the kitchen. The reporters introduce themselves and say they think BoJack may have played a role in the death of Sarah Lynn and they are looking for information. Charlotte sternly asks them to leave. Penny finally admits Sarah Lynn and BoJack came to Oberlin College and she saw them there before Sarah Lynn died.

The reporters then ask if Sarah Lynn and BoJack were intoxicated. Penny retorts by asking is there ever a time BoJack is not intoxicated. Paige then asks if Penny would be willing to go on the record. Charlotte cuts in and says Penny won't. Penny then asks Paige if she thinks BoJack got Sarah Lynn drunk. Paige then presses Penny by asking her the same question. Charlotte tries to stop Penny from saying anything else to the reporters.

Penny says she's not a little kid and they should tell the reporters about Maddy. Paige questions her on who Maddy is. Penny tells her Maddy was her high school best friend. She goes on to narrate how BoJack was living with her family and he went to prom with her and her friends and he bought them alcohol which is how Maddy got alcohol poisoning.

The fact BoJack was living in the Carson family home catches the attention of Paige. Just then Penny's father Kyle walks in the kitchen and asks if they are having a party. Charlotte lies and says Max and Paige are from the refrigerator repair company who are just leaving as their refrigerator is working fine. As she and Max leave, Paige then hands Penny a business card and tells her to call if she is willing to give any information.

In Chicago, Diane is sitting in bed trying to work on her book. She tells Guy his whistling is distracting her from work and she couldn't sleep last night. He then encourages her to keep going with her work. Guy later returns and asks her how her progress was on her work. Diane questions what he means. Guy then says he thought she was going to write today. Diane looks out the window and realizes it's night time. Diane says she was thinking her thoughts and then bursts into tears. She then heads to the bathroom and vomits in a plant.

Guy then tells her maybe she should stop for the day and try again tomorrow. Diane then says she has got to get back to work. She once again tries to sort through her thoughts but gets overwhelmed and starts breathing heavily. Guy then comes into the kitchen and asks her what's going on. She responds that her chest feels heavy and then breaks down and admits to Guy she stopped taking her medication. He asks her why.

She tells him she is terrible and breaks down crying saying she deserves this. Guy then tells her she is going through withdrawal. She then asks if she is going to need to be on drugs forever. Guy tells her to take her pills again and when she feels better they can think of a different strategy.

Later, when Diane has started taking her medication again Guy asks her how she's feeling. She tells him she feels a little better. Diane then apologizes for being stressed and says maybe she should call Princess Carolyn and ask for more time. Guy tells her before she does that he has to tell her something. He makes her promise she won't be mad. He then confesses he sent Princess Carolyn the Ivy Tran pages as Diane receives a phone call from Princess Carolyn.

Princess Carolyn tells Diane over the phone that she loved the Ivy Tran pages and she sees merchandise potential and she pitched it to a few studios. Diane protests saying that's not the book she wanted to write. Princess Carolyn says she's hearing a "maybe" as she hangs up.

Guy then asks if they will have a "Boston-style fight" which Diane smiles at.

In her imagination, Ivy asks Diane why she is so sad all the time. Diane says she doesn't know. Ivy says Diane should be fun and popular just like her. Diane says it's not that easy. Ivy replies, "Yeah I know but wouldn't it be nice if it was?"

At Wesleyan, Diane is seated next to Todd who is holding Ruthie for BoJack's showcase. Diane asks Todd where Princess Carolyn is. Todd replies Princess Carolyn said they should save her a seat. Todd then asks Diane about her book. Diane says it's a funny story. Todd replies he loves when stories start like that and she should put this story in her book.

BoJack then comes out and introduces the show.

In New Mexico, Penny comes home again and tells Charlotte she needed to get something. Charlotte follows Penny up to her old bedroom. Penny pulls out the group photo from her high school prom night from a box under her bed and tells her mother she tried to throw it out but couldn't. She says she kept it because she thought she looked nice but that isn't the only reason she kept it.

Penny says they should tell their story because BoJack is still out there and it might help other people. Charlotte tells her she has no control over the story once it is out in the open and all of their past mistakes are exposed. She tells Penny to give it a couple of days to think it over and then she can call the reporters. Penny tucks the prom photo into her purse and tells her mother she has to go. After Penny leaves Charlotte is seen dialing a number on her phone.

At Wesleyan, the showcase is over and the audience applauds. Princess Carolyn tells Todd it's time to go and she heads outside. Diane goes after Princess Carolyn and says she appreciates that she is trying to help but she does not want to write a middle-grade book. Diane then says that if she doesn't write her book all the damage she got wasn't good damage it was just damage. All those years she was miserable would have been for nothing. Diane says that all those years she felt the abuse and neglect made her special somehow. Diane says she wanted to write the book to help other little girls like her feel less alone.

Princess Carolyn says maybe the other middle-grade book can accomplish the same goal, and she could visualize Ruthie reading a book like that when she's older. Diane finally agrees to finish writing the Ivy Tran book.

Todd heads outside with Ruthie and sees BoJack talking to Charlotte on the phone. He tries to congratulate BoJack on the showcase but BoJack who is hyperventilating in a panic then faints. Todd yells out his name.


Actor Character
Will Arnett ... BoJack Horseman
Amy Sedaris ... Princess Carolyn
Alison Brie ... Diane Nguyen
Paul F. Tompkins ... Mr. Peanutbutter
Aaron Paul ... Todd Chavez
Diedrich Bader ... Judah Mannowdog
Paget Brewster ... Paige Sinclair
Maya Erskine ... Ivy Tran
Ilana Glazer ... Penny Carson
Max Greenfield ... Maximillian Banks
Ed Helms ... Kyle Carson
Randall Park ... Moose
Lakeith Stanfield ... Guy
Olivia Wilde ... Charlotte Carson


  • This episode reveals it has been six months since Diane first started working on her book:
  • Diane's fictional character Ivy Tran seems to be modeled after one of the sales associates at the trendy clothing store Trauma.
  • When Princess Carolyn considered getting Sofia Coppola to make a version of Robin Hood from Maid Marian's point of view, Judah said she was working on a version of Peter Pan from Wendy's point of view. Coincidentally, a Peter Pan film from Wendy's point of view was being made around the time of the episode.
  • This episode is stylistically similar to the Season 4 episode Stupid Piece of Sh*t in terms of Diane's writing process, and intrusive thoughts, being shown in the form of crude drawings.
  • This is the first appearance of Penny Carson since That's Too Much, Man!, and the first major appearance of Charlotte Carson since Escape From L.A. This episode is also their and Kyle's, final appearances in the show. Trip's voice is heard, but he is not shown on screen:
    • Penny is revealed to have moved back to her home state and is a waitress at Rattlesnack's Diner on Route 64, and she now styles her hair down in a similar fashion to bangs instead of upwards.
    • It's also revealed Penny suffered from anxiety and panic attacks after her prom night incident with BoJack, and she didn’t tell her mother about BoJack coming to Oberlin until she told Paige and Max about it.