11 Times We Sobbed Like We Were Part of the 'This Is Us' Family

Liz Alterman | Mar 9, 2017 TV
Image: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

This Is Us
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard people talking about NBC's hit series This Is Us -- or you are one of those people. The thing almost everyone references is the crying. As in, "This show will make you cry, like you haven't cried since your childhood pet died!" And it's not just one episode. It's every episode. Of course, there are plenty of happy moments, too, but, oh, the weeping will definitely blow your annual tissue budget!

As the show's inaugural season heads toward its finale (Tuesday, March 14, at 9/8C), let's look back at those tender moments that had us bawling like the Big Three as babies.

Warning: Spoilers ahead. If you haven't watched the series yet, you may want to bookmark this for later or fire up On-Demand tonight. (You won't regret it!) 

  • Father/Son Initiation


    Dad Jack Pearson (played by Milo Ventimiglia) proves he's got what it takes to always be there for his adopted son, Randall. He'll "hold him up," no matter what comes his way. We wept as Jack showed his tireless devotion to his boy. Yet, our hearts broke for a young William (Jermel Nakia) as Rebecca (Mandy Moore) crushed his dream of meeting his young son. 

  • Painting of Life


    Up until this beautiful talk between Kevin (Justin Hartley) and his adorable nieces, Tess (Eris Baker) and Annie (Faithe Herman), we thought the former Manny was just another pretty face. But the goofiest Pearson shows the depth of his character when he talks about life in all its colorful, connected beauty. So poignant.

  • The Art of Making Lemonade


    This show ripped our hearts out right from the very first episode. This devastating but also life-changing conversation between ob-gyn Dr. K (portrayed by Gerald McRaney, who plays the role with such grit) and Jack is what inspires the Pearsons to adopt Randall. 

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  • A Mom's Words for her Unborn Children


    In the middle of Jack's birthday, Rebecca takes a second to reflect on how amazing her children's father is and shares her fears about falling short of being the "perfect mom" her babies may be dreaming of. When she says, "I will protect you fiercely," moms everywhere know exactly how she feels. Her words about Jack melt your heart, because damn, they're so true. He is "so perfect."

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  • A Secret Pact


    Whether he's in the present day or struggling in the 1970s, we adore William and want the world for him, especially after all he's lost. We also ache for Rebecca, who wants so desperately to connect with the newborn that she brought home. Knowing that she lost one son already, we can see how desperate she is not to lose another. Devastating performances by both Nakia and Moore.

  • Magic Shirt


    Seeing Jack's sensitive response to the bullying young Kate (Mackenzie Hancsicsak) faced at the hands of the mean girls at the pool brings tears to our eyes -- especially when he tells her she's always a princess to him. Not all fathers would be as sweet and caring as Papa Pearson. 

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  • Saying Good-Bye


    Seeing Randall (Sterling K. Brown) say good-bye to William (Ron Cephas Jones) only a few short months after they met was beyond heartbreaking. When William says, "Roll all your windows down, Randall, crank up the music..." -- cue the ugly crying. And when Randall uses what Jack taught him to help his father, well, there are no words for that beautiful circle of life.

  • Jack Pearson's Son


    Long after Jack's gone, his legacy lives on in his children. Even though it's opening night, Kevin knows exactly what he needs to do, and we've never liked him more. He's there for his brother when he needs him most and it gives us all the feels.

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  • A Startling Discovery


    Who could resist weeping along with Randall as he comes to terms with the fact that his adoptive mother and his birth father knew each other when he was just a boy, meaning he missed decades of potentially spending time with his dad? Brown does an amazing job of conveying the sense of heartbreak and betrayal his character is feeling as he realizes the woman he's loved since birth and the man he yearned to know have been keeping a secret from him.

  • Beth's FUN-eral Toast for William


    Even though Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) claims to be angry with William for leaving, she honors him in the best possible way by celebrating his most "endearing" qualities. We cried as if we were right there in the Pearson living room. We miss him, too, Beth!

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  • Kate Lets It All Out


    As much as we knew it was coming, no one was ready to see Jack's funeral. Until we actually saw the Pearsons standing graveside, we were able to believe that maybe Jack had lived longer than we'd feared. Seeing him "Vogue" with young Kate as adult Kate (Chrissy Metz) remembers the good times just before the bad makes us realizes how much grief this poor woman is carrying. 

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