It's no secret that the first season of This Is Us left us sitting in puddles of our own tears by the time the credits rolled, week in and week out. Seriously, if you told us the NBC show had helped end California's drought, we'd believe you. (This is why we are not scientists.)
From Rebecca's tragic delivery in the pilot to the heartbreaking shouting match between her and Jack in the season finale, the first season of NBC's runaway hit was so chock full of moments that had us reaching for the tissue box that at times it was almost too much to bear. The keyword there being almost, of course. When a show hurts this good, there's no looking away.
With season one officially over and the long wait for season two begun, let's take a look back at the moments that gave us all the feels. Get your Kleenex box now.
14. William "Meets" Jack
Randall's two dads never came face-to-face while they were both living (Randall's dream is another story), but when William paid his respects to Jack for raising Randall, well, we just about lost it. William's death was a big deal, and it's easy to forget about this moment from "Memphis," but the quietness of it made it all the more poignant.
13. Beth Says Goodbye
Beth is the character we know least about, except for the fact that she's Randall's rock, so when she revealed just how much William's death affected her and gave a teary speech we weren't prepared for it. But it's This Is Us—we should always be prepared to feel something.
12. Jack in Vogue
Is there anything cuter than watching Jack attempt to vogue to Madonna just to make his sad daughter smile at her birthday party? No. But is there anything sadder than seeing Jack realize that dad can no longer fix everything as his kids start to grow up? No. Seeing Jack realize he can't protect Kate from heartbreak knocked the wind out of us just as much as it rocked him.
11. Kevin's Big Cry
Whether it's because he is actor or the other siblings just seem to be going through more intense crises, Kevin doesn't get as many emotional scenes, serving more as a (well-needed) comic relief at times. That's why his unexpected connection and breakdown at a stranger's wake had an impact: it gave Kevin depth and offered viewers insight into the wounded son hiding in the manny's body.
10. Kate's Pool Day
Pearson family pool day wasn't particularly easy on anyone, least of all poor Kate. Already feeling self-conscious in her form-fitting bathing suit, the young girl was later shunned by her friends by way of a cruel note. Our hearts broke as she read it, pig illustration and all.
9. Jack's Funeral
It was the moment fans have been waiting for/dreading: The first glimpse of Jack's funeral. While that in and of itself was a heartbreaking image—Rebecca standing with her teenaged kids, a photo of Jack happily next to his casket—how viewers got there is another wallop. Kate experienced a breakdown at weight-loss camp, letting her pain out. And that pain stems a lot from her childhood and father's death. Excuse us, pass the tissues please.
8. Dr. K's Graveside Breakdown
AKA the moment that solidified guest star Gerald McRaney his Emmy win. We didn't expect Dr. K to steal the show when we flashed back to the events leading up to Rebecca's troubled delivery, but there we were, sobbing as the good doc told his dearly beloved—and recently deceased—wife that he wasn't sure he could go on living without her anymore just before he got the page to head in to the hospital. The third baby may not have made it, but Rebecca's water breaking just may have saved a life that day. And no, we're not crying again, you are.
7. Greeting From Memphis
As if Beth's goodbye speech at William's funeral, where Randall's wife shared how angry she was that she didn't get to say goodbye, wasn't sad enough, along came a piece of mail in the episode's final minutes to give her the closure she needed. Beth may have seen herself as William's friend and the filler of his prescriptions, but as the postcard from Memphis revealed, to him, she was the daughter he never had. And now we need a hug.
6. Jack's Encouraging Words
Watching Jack encourage Randall to embrace his gifted mind, regardless of how different it may make him, was another potent reminder of what a fantastic father he was. There were many more moments to come between father and adopted son where they made the tears flow freely, but this early example holds a special place in our hearts. Jack Pearson: (potentially) lousy husband, but stellar father.
5. Brotherly Love
As children and as adults, Kevin and Randall were never really friends. They seemed to love and resent each other in equal measure, each harboring respective jealousies that have ate away at their relationship over the years. Which is why seeing Kevin blow off his huge stage debut in order to help an unraveling Randall spliced together with a teenage Kevin ignoring a distraught Randall was so powerful and redefined the meaning of bromance.
4. Rebecca Learns the Awful Truth
The moment that Jack learned that the third baby didn't make it in the pilot is one of the most iconic and heartbreaking moments in This Is Us' history (and—spoiler alert!—rightly ranks at the top of this list), but it came along with a second gut punch that proved that Mandy Moore was more than capable of doing some emotional heavy lifting of her own. Watching Jack break the terrible news to his disbelieving wife left us with a sting that still lingers.
3. The Push-Ups
Confession: Just thinking about this scene of Jack doing push-ups with Randall on his back at karate in order to prove he's "willing to hold him up" no matter what (as Rebecca watches on with so much affection) leads one unnamed member of the TV team to cry on the spot.
As if Jack's determination (and that damn background music) wasn't enough to do you in, little Randall affectionately pushing Jack's hair out of his eye damn-near shattered our hearts into a million tiny pieces. (And the videos of the cast doing the push-up challenge with each other helped put it back together.)
2. Dr. K's Lemonade
When Jack was removed from the delivery room, we knew that not all was well with Rebecca and the triplets. But that didn't prepare us for Dr. K's blisteringly heartbreaking speech to Jack about what the light that can come out of loss, if only you let it. This scene was a damn masterclass in acting thanks McRaney and Milo Ventimiglia's knockout work. We've watched it so many times and our eyes never stay dry.
1. William's Death
We may have known this one was coming since the premiere. Hell, even the opening moments of "Memphis" clued us into the fact that William probably wasn't making it out of the episode alive. But nothing could've prepared us for the moment our suspicions became a reality and Randall soothed a terrified William as he transitioned from this life to the next. If you weren't an absolutely blubbering mess while William encouraged his son to roll his windows down and let someone else make the bed for once, there's something wrong with you.
Which moment from season one had you crying the hardest? Let us know in the comments below.
This Is Us will return for season two (and three!) on NBC.
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