Woody Goodman is introduced in "Normal Is the Watchword", the first episode of the second season. He meets Veronica Mars during a tour of Shark Field on an ill-fated field trip that ended in several students' tragic deaths. At first it seems that he is a genuinely good person who is trying to make Neptune safer by running for the Balboa County Supervisor's office. The position is historically referred to as the "Mayor of Neptune", since it is stated in the series that Neptune is in fact an unincorporated community. In "Driver Ed", Goodman asks Keith Mars, Veronica's father, to join his campaign by running for sheriff. Keith agrees to run, but eventually loses to Don Lamb.
To drum up some publicity, Goodman hosts an essay contest where the winner would get to spend some time as his assistant and push the detonator on Shark Field to implode it and make way for a new stadium. Logan Echolls wins the contest. Goodman, realizing that Logan's reputation might tarnish his own, pulls back on the amount of publicity, but still allows Logan to detonate Shark Field. Goodman's lack of concern over a motorcycle found chained inside Shark Field indirectly causes a biker gang leader named Thumper's death when he is crushed to death following the implosion.
In "Look Who's Stalking", Goodman calls Keith Mars, asking for help. He had woken up in a motel room with an unconscious member of his campaign staff and needs Keith's help in getting her to the hospital. Goodman does not want to take the chance of being seen dropping the girl off at the hospital, as this would hurt his marriage and the incorporation vote. Keith agrees, and drops her off at the hospital. When Keith is photographed carrying the unconscious girl out, Goodman lets him take the fall. Keith tells the truth to the news media and the stories are printed before the incorporation vote, defeating it. From this point on, Goodman and Keith become rivals.
In the episode "Happy Go Lucky", when Veronica is inside the Goodman home while studying for finals with Goodman's daughter Gia, she searches through his computer. Veronica and Keith had been suspicious of Goodman ever since he received the threatening DVD in the mail. In the computer she finds an anonymous email containing a sound file of two boys talking about outing him as a child molester. Veronica eventually figures out that the two boys talking are actually Peter Ferrer and Marcos Oliveres, who both died in the bus crash.
In "Not Pictured", Goodman becomes one of the prime suspects in the bus crash and flees Neptune. Keith eventually catches up with him, tasers him and brings him into custody. Goodman admits to being a child molester, but he denies any involvement in the bus crash. It turns out that the bus crash was orchestrated by Cassidy Casablancas, another little league player whom Goodman molested. In a final move of revenge against his abuser, Cassidy detonates a bomb in the plane that was flying Goodman back to Neptune. The plane explodes, killing him.