News

10 Times This Is Us Broke Our Hearts This Season

The saddest moments from the first season of the emotional NBC series.

by | March 14, 2017 | Comments

This Is Us (Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

This Is Us should actually be called This Is Us Crying. It’s got a proven track record of getting emotional every week, and it keeps fans coming back. Viewers want to be moved, and even if it’s brutal, it means the characters and the storytelling work.

No, you’re ugly crying!

In anticipation of the season finale, Rotten Tomatoes looks back at the most heartbreaking moments in the first season of This Is Us.


10. WILLIAM’S POSTCARD

William (Ron Cephas Jones)’s funeral was an emotional episode. It turns out William touched everyone, from addicts in his support group to the mailman who wasn’t in direct contact with the family so his reaction to the news was fresh. The late William Hill took one of his last moments on the road to Memphis to send thanks to a person who did the heavy lifting of taking care of him in his final months. Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) received William’s postcard after the memorial. His final note, “to the daughter I never had,” gives William the legacy of redemption he so craved at the end of his life.


9. THE MEAN KIDS AT THE POOL

Kids can be so cruel. Nine-year-old Kate (Mackenzie Hancsicsak)’s friends told her to stop playing with them because they were embarrassed by her weight. They didn’t even tell her to her face. They wrote a letter and draw a picture of a pig. Every kid has been picked on at some point so it’s painful to relive that through Kate’s suffering. It’s gotta be especially brutal for any parent to imagine their children being hurt that way.


8. JACK’S DAD

The Pearson family keeps getting bigger but it’s not always in a good way. When money got tight, Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) sucked it up and asked his dad for help. But something was very wrong because Mr. Pearson Sr. doesn’t even know Jack has a family. Jack was protecting them from his abusive father. Imagine how bad it would have to be if Jack would rather tell him he’s relapsed as a gambling addict than introduce his dad to three grandchildren.


7. TOBY’S HEART ATTACK

This Is Us (Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

This was scary. Right before Christmas, Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan) broke up. They got back together. but make-up sex gave Toby a heart attack! (It wasn’t the holiday cheer.) After his intimate encounter with Kate, he collapsed in the living room right before the end of the episode, and then it was a month before This Is Us came back. Fortunately, Toby survived, but that was one tough Christmas. Don’t they know the holidays are already stressful enough for everyone?


6. RANDALL FINDS WILLIAM’S LETTERS FROM REBECCA

This Is Us - Sterling K. Brown (Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

It took Randall (Sterling K. Brown) nearly 40 years to work up the courage to find and confront his father, William. Just as he was getting to know him, Randall found letters from Rebecca (Mandy Moore) in William’s home. They’d corresponded his whole life. Randall forgave his mother, but the thought of all this lost time was too much. A nice postscript to this moment was when Rebecca confessed to Randall after William’s funeral. It’s one thing to admit she was scared to lose him to a new father, but Rebecca went further to apologize for depriving him of time. Randall replying that he got enough to know he loved William was sure a silver-lining way to look at a tragedy.


5. THE FIREMAN’S MARRIAGE

Even the minor characters get emotional gut punches on This Is Us. In the flashback to the day before the triplets’ birth, the fireman (Brian Oblak) who brought Randall to the hospital got a whole story. His marriage was in so much trouble, he was willing to adopt the abandoned baby to save his marriage. His wife refused and Randall’s adoption is Pearson family history. But the gesture may have still saved his marriage. Please, This Is Us, show the happy fireman in 2017!


4. DR. K AT HIS WIFE’S GRAVE

Dr. K (Gerald McRaney) had to deliver the worst news parents could hear after he delivered the triplets, one of whom did not survive. When This Is Us showed the day before the birth, it went deep into Dr. K’s life. He was a widower himself, fighting his kids over the family house. But when he got the call to the ER, he was at his wife’s grave pouring his heart out. McRaney broke down so hard at the tombstone, getting called to the ER might’ve actually saved him.


3. WILLIAM’S FAREWELL

This Is Us had been preparing Randall, and fans, for the death of his estranged father William. By the time they reconnected, William already had terminal cancer. No one expected it to come so soon though. Randall took William on a road trip to Memphis, but William didn’t make it back. They had to say their goodbyes in a hospital on the road. William left Randall with some parting wisdom (roll the windows down, let someone else make the bed…), and Randall’s solo return home was so stoic, he looked exactly like it feels every time you have to put on a brave face during a crisis.


2. INTRODUCING TOBY TO JACK

This Is Us (Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

When Kate offered to introduce Toby to her father, everyone was really hoping to see Ventimiglia in old-age makeup. Instead, in one of the show’s most emotional twists, it was Jack’s urn. That makes it a little easier to swallow that Rebecca remarried. They may not have divorced. She just became a widow. Still, losing Jack was a huge blow, compounded by the game This Is Us is playing. They haven’t exactly said when Jack dies. Maybe they’ll say in the season finale, but maybe not. The waiting is even harder. When Kate flashed back to Jack’s funeral, the kids seemed older, perhaps teenagers, so maybe there’s hope Jack can make it to the ’90s.


1. LOSING THE THIRD TRIPLET

THIS IS US - Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia (Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

There’s nothing worse than losing a child. The Pearsons had to go through it twice. In the very first episode, only two of the triplets make it, inspiring Jack to adopt Randall. Then, the episode “The Big Day” culminated in the same birthing scene, but showed he more detailed conversation of Jack having to tell Rebecca they lost one.


Which moment from This Is Us’s first season made you cry the most? Did we leave one out? Tell us in the comments!

The season finale of This Is Us airs Tuesday, March 14 at 9/8 C on NBC

Tag Cloud

Christmas Syfy Family news boxoffice series spinoff Paramount Plus DC Comics miniseries golden globe awards indie streaming movies legend crime unscripted strong female leads Amazon Studios See It Skip It Pop Lionsgate CNN diversity psychological thriller X-Men cops name the review obituary Cartoon Network LGBT Netflix true crime Winners 99% worst movies Vudu Fox News Rocketman Cosplay Academy Awards BET football pirates of the caribbean trophy saw Comedy Central Avengers halloween tv NBC Nickelodeon Tags: Comedy biography basketball Turner summer TV Winter TV FOX Logo National Geographic dramedy Valentine's Day Rom-Com adenture BET Awards Black History Month a nightmare on elm street spain BBC cats BBC America 21st Century Fox Mindy Kaling CW Seed Horror GIFs witnail golden globes Instagram Live cancelled HFPA james bond monster movies versus sequels The CW FX on Hulu First Look comiccon space jurassic park australia 1990s royal family mockumentary FX Schedule hidden camera international 72 Emmy Awards comics TCM young adult Creative Arts Emmys Image Comics singing competition batman rom-coms book nfl Tubi Classic Film directors olympics TNT Food Network Marvel movie Television Academy nature TCA Winter 2020 IMDb TV italian dark 2019 Awards talk show Certified Fresh critic resources 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Grammys independent cancelled TV series Spring TV Tomatazos Set visit Amazon Prime Video documentaries travel Heroines Trophy Talk TLC posters IFC Films spanish language comic book movie RT History interviews Brie Larson Writers Guild of America Best and Worst Podcast ITV reviews VICE critics ViacomCBS kong black godzilla 71st Emmy Awards genre First Reviews YA Film rotten WGN video Fox Searchlight docuseries crime drama composers sequel feel good Election reboot OWN Thanksgiving technology crime thriller Character Guide based on movie 2015 Rocky boxing Marvel Studios DirecTV ABC werewolf Star Wars 2018 cancelled TV shows PlayStation transformers Western Ovation remakes dreamworks serial killer razzies Mary Tyler Moore crossover worst joker 94th Oscars social media Wes Anderson Lucasfilm stop motion Reality dragons Calendar Oscar Disney+ Disney Plus adaptation marvel cinematic universe stand-up comedy APB period drama BBC One festival laika mob CBS All Access archives teaser A24 Box Office History Marathons Infographic Best Actor Summer Endgame new zealand Quiz franchise tv talk rt labs critics edition fast and furious Pride Month blockbusters target justice league Broadway MGM Universal science fiction SXSW 2022 TruTV gangster Paramount Pictures IFC 90s zombies war Columbia Pictures supernatural 2017 toronto Comics on TV Acorn TV know your critic Crackle romantic comedy breaking bad king arthur all-time Epix robots AMC Plus 4/20 binge comic books TV movies The Walt Disney Company The Witch vs. christmas movies Emmys disaster President facebook Chilling Adventures of Sabrina mission: impossible Disney Anna Paquin satire screenings Dark Horse Comics Elton John Hallmark Christmas movies kaiju Holiday Exclusive Video Lifetime Christmas movies Sundance TV game show movies Comic Book TV One hist Fantasy ratings canceled TV shows slasher Paramount Network zombie summer TV preview Spike Focus Features scary American Society of Cinematographers hispanic heritage month scene in color action-comedy Tokyo Olympics 20th Century Fox BAFTA Sony Pictures films DGA aapi PaleyFest festivals SXSW E! SundanceTV Black Mirror television police drama Ellie Kemper Walt Disney Pictures toy story Chernobyl Action spanish AMC 2020 Shondaland Warner Bros. parents Best Actress deadpool Binge Guide suspense Crunchyroll The Arrangement cinemax asian-american VH1 new york Interview Photos Prime Video cooking Ghostbusters Kids & Family Arrowverse Peacock HBO 73rd Emmy Awards universal monsters south america The Academy cancelled television art house TCA Alien CMT spider-verse SDCC Holidays indiana jones streamig dceu Animation natural history San Diego Comic-Con Musical Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Oscars Film Festival Britbox broadcast venice LGBTQ Disney Plus superhero lord of the rings vampires thriller biopic YouTube Red nbcuniversal live event Countdown classics Esquire dexter harry potter obi wan WarnerMedia Trivia Extras french Trailer game of thrones Country Sneak Peek Showtime MCU halloween Polls and Games elevated horror sopranos finale slashers Disney streaming service popular discovery Pacific Islander summer preview FXX children's TV TV revenge Biopics Comedy die hard 93rd Oscars Pirates Red Carpet docudrama Legendary quibi YouTube Premium Tumblr YouTube Netflix Christmas movies mutant Disney Channel video on demand Opinion ESPN Toys Pet Sematary wonder woman Nominations Starz TV Land MTV Premiere Dates rt labs Rock trailers child's play mcc Martial Arts Apple TV Plus spider-man free movies book adaptation Year in Review Neflix Hallmark adventure Sci-Fi black comedy screen actors guild latino hollywood doctor who Bravo cults Spectrum Originals New York Comic Con NYCC 2021 concert TBS USA Network marvel comics high school anime Sundance Now ID twilight foreign aliens japanese king kong 2016 what to watch Fargo fresh best Television Critics Association anthology The Purge Mystery Superheroe Emmy Nominations psycho Hulu Amazon Prime Baby Yoda USA chucky El Rey TCA Awards Paramount green book Tarantino medical drama Superheroes Apple dogs Freeform Drama Mudbound Discovery Channel ABC Family historical drama renewed TV shows TV renewals Fall TV rt archives streaming HBO Max Reality Competition cars women comic book movies RT21 kids Star Trek live action Amazon politics romance OneApp Hollywood Foreign Press Association Stephen King Awards Tour Sundance award winner Best Picture DC Universe Captain marvel sag awards Travel Channel PBS sports Universal Pictures Apple TV+ Mary Poppins Returns superman Shudder dc GoT comedies documentary ABC Signature Turner Classic Movies animated Adult Swim Lifetime 79th Golden Globes Awards theme song CBS VOD jamie lee curtis Mary poppins cartoon Super Bowl new star wars movies leaderboard debate Musicals blockbuster Watching Series 24 frames A&E Funimation japan ghosts Pop TV Video Games Cannes hispanic TCA 2017 political drama Women's History Month casting Masterpiece telelvision E3 Comic-Con@Home 2021 Pixar Best Director Song of Ice and Fire HBO Go blaxploitation Music scary movies Nat Geo 45 sitcom heist movie TIFF Hear Us Out criterion GLAAD The Walking Dead Teen prank NBA scorecard South by Southwest Film Festival richard e. Grant spy thriller emmy awards DC streaming service stoner zero dark thirty rotten movies we love 007 comic canceled Marvel Television MSNBC