'This Is Us': The 13 Most Devastating Moments of the Season, Graded
By Philiana Ng and Desiree Murphy
This Is Us isa tearjerker.
After a season filled with laughs, ugly cries and devastating twists, NBC's breakout hit gave audiences everything it could handle. And while each episode had its tissue-reaching moments, there were a dozen or so that measured heads and shoulders above the rest.
ET compiled all the moments from the first season that gave us the most satisfying cries -- and which one absolutely broke us. See them all below, graded, naturally, on a scale of 1 to 10 tears.
1. When Jack and Rebecca learned they lost the third baby. (Episode 1)
This was the moment that started it all. When Jack is delivered the upsetting news that the third triplet died and Dr. K gave his defining “lemonade” speech (the catalyst for The Big Three), you can’t help but shed a few tears and immediately get invested in the story of the Pearsons. But Rebecca’s devastation upon finding out about the third baby is just as gut-wrenching.
2. When Rebecca told William he couldn’t see Randall. (Episode 3)
Throughout the season, we learned that Rebecca and William actually knew each other long before Randall decided to find his birth father. It seemed as if the two were starting to build a strong connection, until Rebecca shattered that plan by telling William she was cutting the cord on their communication.
There had been questions about Jack’s fate, but it wasn't until Kate revealed Jack’s urn to Toby that we got the shock to the system that he was really dead.
4. When Rebecca told Jack they had to be "enough" for Randall. (Episode 9)
In fear of Randall abandoning her if she were to introduce him to his birth father, Rebecca decided on her own that she and Jack will keep William from meeting him (Jack never knew Rebecca had contact with William). She told Jack the two need to be "enough" for Randall, and treat him the same as Kevin and Kate.
5. When Jack did push-ups with Randall on his back. (Episode 9)
During Randall's karate initiation, Jack metaphorically proved to his 9-year-old son that he's his foundation, and will carry him through all of life's obstacles, no matter how big or small.
6. When Dr. K visited his wife’s grave site. (Episode 12)
After delivering the show’s seminal moment (so far) with the lemonade speech in the first episode, Dr. K quickly became a fan favorite. This episode, charting the lead-up to the birth of The Big Three, explored his grief over losing his wife just months prior.
7. When we saw Jack’s funeral for the first time. (Episode 13)
The footage of Jack’s funeral was brief, but showed roughly when he passed and how deeply affected the Pearsons were. In the present, it also came at a crucial crossroads for Kate, whose memories were opened up during a pound class at weight-loss camp. Knowing that Jack died when Kevin, Kate and Randall were teenagers, though, made every pivotal life moment they experienced all the more bittersweet.
8. When Kevin abandoned the opening of his play to support an overwhelmed Randall. (Episode 15)
The loss of Jack is distressing, but falling in love with William and learning about his life story -- cut short by cancer -- made seeing his final breath even more unbearable. We’ll just leave it at that.
10. When Beth delivered William’s eulogy (and received his postcard). (Episode 17)
When Beth first discovered William had left for Memphis without telling her he knew he wasn't coming home, she was a little disheartened, until she received a personal message written on a postcard from him in the mail a few days later. And while that moment had us in tears, her speech at the family's "fun-eral" about William was full-on waterworks.
11. When Kate broke down and Randall was there to support her. (Episode 17)
As the family was sharing stories about William during his eulogy, Kate broke down in tears as memories of her own father's funeral played back in her head. Randall ran outside to comfort her, a moment that truly melted our hearts, too.
12. When Randall dreamt that Jack and William met each other. (Episode 17)
This wasn’t the first time Randall saw visions of his late father, Jack, but it was the first moment he dreamt of his two dads meeting -- following William’s heartbreaking death. Though it’s a happy vision Randall had, the visual of Jack and William together, laughing it up like old pals and sharing their cherished Randall stories just about broke us.
13. When Jack gave his final speech to Rebecca. (Episode 18)
We never want to see Jack and Rebecca apart, but Jack’s final monologue to his wife after they decided to separate showcased just how complicated love and marriage is. “You’re not just my great love story, you are my big break,” Jack confessed to his one true love, harkening back to their wedding vows. “And our love story, I know it may not feel like it right now, I promise you it’s just getting started.” Excuse us while we grab all the Kleenex.
This Is Us returns this fall on NBC.
For more on the breakout freshman hit, watch the video below.