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Top 10 This Is Us Moments That Made Us Ugly Cry

VO: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
You KNOW we wear our best waterproof mascara when we watch this show. For this list, we’re looking at the most devastating scenes the show has served up so far. We’ll be discussing major plot elements of the first two seasons of the show, so a spoiler warning is in effect. Our list includes Dr. K.’s Story, The Funeral, Kevin’s Breakdown, Kevin Runs to Randall, The Fire Montage, and more! Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 This Is Us Moments That Made Us Ugly Cry.
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Top 10 This Is Us Moments That Made Us Ugly Cry


You KNOW we wear our best waterproof mascara when we watch this show. Welcome to MsMojo and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 This Is Us Moments That Made Us Ugly Cry.

For this list, we’re looking at the most devastating scenes the show has served up so far. We’ll be discussing major plot elements of the first two seasons of the show, so a spoiler warning is in effect.

#10: The Martial Arts Class
"The Trip"


Randall Pearson’s adoption experience is a storyline that runs throughout the show. When he’s a child, Jack and Rebecca struggle to offer him the type of community he needs as two white parents. They sign him up for a martial arts class that is run by a black man because they’ve been told he needs black male role models. In this poignant scene, a class ritual calls upon Jack to do push ups while Randall is on his back. When he can’t do them any longer, Randall is carried in turn by the other men in the room in an important lesson about community, support and accepting help when you need it.

#9: Dr. K.’s Story
"The Big Day"


We meet Dr. Katowski in the very first episode of “This Is Us.” At that time, though he makes a big impact, we don’t know much about his life. Later in the first season, when “the big day” is revisited, we learn that Dr. K’s wife passed away more than a year previously and that he still hasn’t come to terms with her death. Seeing him talk to her out loud is completely heartbreaking, and realizing that he kept all of her things completely intact since she died is even more so. Luckily, the Pearsons unwittingly gave him the push he needed to move on.

#8: Kate's Miscarriage
"Number Two"


Throughout this entire episode, we know that Kate has lost the baby, so seeing her and Toby prepare to become parents is difficult to watch. Her refusal to grieve and Toby’s efforts to avoid having that package be delivered are an interesting juxtaposition. When Rebecca arrives to offer her support, it’s a bittersweet moment considering the conflict they’ve already had over Kate’s pregnancy. Seeing Rebecca break down in a grocery store after her own loss puts it all into perspective, reminding us that people aren’t always able to share their grief with family and friends, but that it’s still very much there.

#7: The Funeral
“The Car”


Okay, you know we’re leading up to the big stuff here and we’ll of course be getting to the fire eventually, but the episode following Jack’s death was almost just as heartbreaking. The Pearsons are preparing for Jack’s funeral and we’re simultaneously seeing flashbacks to Jack buying the family Wagoneer years earlier. We also see Dr. K. attempt to comfort Rebecca in another tough moment. Rebecca brings the kids to Jack’s favorite tree after the funeral, and makes a quiet pledge to her husband that they’re all going to be okay. If you were able to get through this episode with dry eyes, we salute you.

#6: Kevin’s Breakdown
"Number One"


This season two episode is all about Kevin, and we get a lot of insight into how he became the person he is. We see the injury that effectively ended his football career, and the tender moment with his father when Jack gave him his Vietnam pendant. In the present, Kevin is struggling with substance abuse and is on a bender when he makes an appearance at his old high school. After having a one night stand with an old classmate (and misusing her prescription pad), he realizes that he left his pendant there, and has a full breakdown on her front lawn when she won’t let him back in to find it. It’s heartbreaking.

#5: Rebecca and Jack Losing the Third Baby
“Pilot”


From the very first episode, we knew this show was going to yank at our heartstrings. We were already weeping for these characters we barely knew when Dr. K. delivered the devastating news that Rebecca and Jack had lost the third triplet in childbirth. His speech about turning the sourest lemon into lemonade has become something of a cornerstone of the show, and Milo Ventimiglia’s performance in that scene is simply outstanding. When Jack later has to deliver the news to Rebecca, the audience is devastated all over again.

#4: Kevin Runs to Randall
"Jack Pearson's Son"


From the outside, Randall has got his life together as an adult. He’s got his big house and fancy car, and of course his incredible wife Beth and their two daughters. Internally though, he’s just as much of a mess as his siblings, and we get to see the full breadth of his anxiety in this episode where he suffers from a breakdown. We’ve seen that Kevin and Randall’s relationship can be a tenuous one, but in Randall’s moment of need, Kevin is the one who realizes something is wrong and runs to be by his side. Seeing Kevin put his brother’s needs above his own is as heartwarming as Randall’s breakdown is heartbreaking.

#3: William’s Death
"Memphis"


Almost from the moment we meet William, we know our time together is limited. He states right out the gate that he’s dying, and as much as Randall and Beth try to help by seeking out the best doctors, ultimately there’s nothing anyone can do to stop the inevitable. In thisepisode, Randall and William go to Memphis together and we also get to see flashbacks to William’s younger years and his own struggles with his mother’s death. Seeing Randall call William “dad” in his dying moments is almost too much to watch. Beth’s tribute in the following episode shows she can be just as vulnerable as her husband, even if she is “the head”.

#2: The Fire Montage
“Super Bowl Sunday”


This was the episode that we were all anxiously waiting for, the one where we’d finally find out exactly what happened to tear the Pearson family apart. The episode opens with a bang, with their family home already engulfed in flames. You can’t help but be on the edge of your seat even though you know how it all turns out. Seeing Jack get his whole family to safety feels like a huge relief until you realize...wait...isn’t he not supposed to make it out alive? When he runs back in to get the family dog and keepsakes we all held our collective breath...only to see him confusingly come back out safely again.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Randall Confronting Rebecca

"Pilgrim Rick"

The Vietnam Episode

“Vietnam”

Deja Goes Home With Her Mom

"Number Three"

#1: Jack's Death
“Super Bowl Sunday”


What else could our number one moment be? We found out part way through season one that Jack had died years earlier, but that didn’t make it any easier when it finally was revealed. The creators of the show took an interesting approach, not letting Jack go out in a (literal) blaze of glory but rather in a quiet moment in a hospital room when no one saw it coming. This shocking turn of events meant that we were surprised, even though we knew it had to happen. Seeing it all through Rebecca’s eyes and then watching as she completely broke down was almost too much to handle. We were right there with her.
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