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The Best Big Three Moments On This Is Us Ranked

This article contains spoilers for "This Is Us." 

NBC's "This Is Us" has been a beloved family drama ever since its premiere in 2016. The show shocks audiences with its flashback and flash forward twists, revealing in the pilot that the main characters are related and we were watching the story of a family unfold. Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore star as Jack and Rebecca Pearson, a couple who meets in the '70s, marries and has kids in the '80s, and raises them to teens in the '90s. Decades later, their kids, Kevin (Justin Hartley), Kate (Chrissy Metz), and Randall (Sterling K. Brown), live apart but remain close. Randall is a successful businessman but as a young Black boy adopted by a white family, his search for his biological parents kicks off some underlying traumas. Kate struggles with weight issues, and Kevin, a handsome and successful actor, lives a rather empty life.

There are tons of other characters that come into and leave their lives, but the Pearson siblings are called the "Big Three" of 'This Is Us." Family patriarch and all around super dad Jack coins the term, making little onesies for them with the labels, and even makes up a chant for them, which we'll get to later in this list.

"This Is Us" is one of those relatable but heartbreaking shows with a zillion touching moments, most of which revolve around the Big Three. Here are the Big Three's best moments on "This Is Us," ranked.

14. Kate's Bachelorette Party

In Season 2, Episode 16 of "This Is Us," appropriately titled, "Vegas Baby," Kate and Toby head to Las Vegas to celebrate their bachelor and bachelorette parties. In flashbacks, Jack and Rebecca celebrate various anniversaries. Their first year finds Rebecca giving Jack a sketch pad on which he'll doodle his future home designs while he rents them a whole bowling alley. Their fourth sees Rebecca getting Jack an engraved hammer, while Jack goes even bigger getting Rebecca a grand piano. The kids watch the next anniversary with curiosity, thinking that because Rebecca wants something low key, their parents are heading for divorce. It frames how they view marriage and the ups and downs of partnership.

Toby and Kate have their own separate bachelor and bachelorette parties. Kate, along with Madison and Beth, hit up "Magic Mike Live," a male strip show. Kevin, Randall, and Toby try to enjoy the night out with some of Toby's other friends who came along for the ride, but end up being largely forgettable characters. Kevin and Randall are, of course, distracted by their own issues, sobriety and parenting, respectively, all of which leaves Toby feeling kind of left behind. So when the whole gang converges and Randall fights with Beth, Kate feels like she's losing her brother again. But Randall affectionately tells her, "You will never lose me, not even if I tried." It's more of a Kate and Randall moment, but it's quality nonetheless. 

13. Reconnecting after a fight

Season 4, Episode 5, called "Storybook Love," revolves around two separate dinners had by the Pearson family. The first is with Jack and a pregnant Rebecca, planning their first dinner in their new home. Their journey is reflected in the other dinner, which happens after Jack's death and features the introduction of the Pearson triplets' significant others. Both dinners are set up in courses: Hors d'oeuvres, salad, entrée, wine, and pizza.

In the later dinner, Kevin has just married Sophie, Randall brought Beth home for the first time, and Kate's jerky boyfriend, Mark, also shows up. Oh, and Miguel has started hanging around a lot, too, causing a bit of conflict among the kids and their mom. Of course, the Big Three rag on each other about their various partners. Kevin gets a knock for marrying so young. Kevin calls Mark too old for Kate. And poor Beth gets caught up in a hot sauce drama that catches her good intentions off guard. But in the end, the Pearson Big Three have a sweet teenage talk about it, and make up after the fight, over pizza. 

12. Kate's wedding

The finale of Season 2 of "This Is Us" is called "The Wedding" and revolves around that very event between Kate and Toby. But it also features a wedding making its way into Kate's dreams now and again. Leading up to her big day, Kate had been having dreams of what would have been Jack and Rebecca's 40th anniversary, with a Jack gone gray awaiting an older Rebecca to walk down the aisle, ready to renew their vows. But Kate being able to mourn her father and move on is what needs to happen in order for her to place another man on the top pedestal in her life. 

When Toby forgets to bring an old T-shirt of Jack's to the wedding, Kate has a bit of an existential crisis. She had always imagined Jack walking her down the aisle, so him not being able to fulfill that duty makes her even more sad than usual. She takes the urn with Jack's ashes on a drive and stops at their spot by the cabin, the stump in the woods. She tells her dad, "I've been holding on to that feeling of you next to me," she says. "But Dad, I'm getting married today, and I've got to make room for Toby. I've got to let go a little now." Kevin and Randall find her and the Big Three have their own moment of letting go of a bit of their dad and helping Kate move on.

11. Family day at rehab

The Season 2 mid-season premiere picks up after a set of traumatic events. Kate had a miscarriage and Randall's foster child, Deja, returned home to her mom. So when the two siblings arrive at Kevin's rehab center for family day, they're already reeling with their own emotions and pent up frustrations. So there's no doubt that some of their own issues are going to come into play, even if the day is supposed to be about Kevin and his recovery. Rebecca joins in as well, but obviously this is about the Big Three.

Toby, Beth, and Miguel also attend, but when the therapist suggests they sit out for a bit, that trio rightfully heads to a bar. In the therapy session, Kevin explains that he always felt like the "fifth wheel" of the family (which is where the episode gets its title) when it came to Kate's closeness with Jack and Randall's closeness with Rebecca. He tried to fill this void with things like football and acting, but eventually he filled it with drinking. When Kevin forces Rebecca to admit that Randall was her favorite, she explodes, saying, ""He was easier, and he didn't recoil when I touched him. And he didn't abandon me and move away after his father died." After the fight, the Big Three have their own moment of making up, and heartbreaking flashbacks show just how left out Kevin always felt. 

10. Kate gives birth

Season 3, Episode 15, titled "The Waiting Room," finds basically the entire Pearson clan gathered in the hospital, waiting for Kate to give birth after she goes into early labor. This is a bottle episode, with no flashbacks or flash forwards, sticking to the tense environment of the waiting room with the fate of Kate and the baby in a bit of danger. So, this episode is already a bit of an emotional roller coaster before the Big Three has their moment.

Kevin is in the middle of a relapse so he's "not at his best self" as Randall describes him. Kevin tries to throw his money around and demand a better doctor, but just ends up embarrassing himself. Randall is having his own issues with Beth, and the two can't keep their own tension from spreading throughout the room, especially when Randall tries to control Kevin.

The Big Three don't really get to be together during this episode, but with Kevin and Randall both trying to protect and do what's best for Kate, their intentions and presence are strong. When Toby finally arrives with the news that the baby has been born, the family can relax a bit, even though Kate and Toby have preemie on their hands, which is only the start of a stressful time for parents in that situation. But the final moments, where Kate proclaims that she wants to name the baby Jack, makes the episode come full circle.

9. Saving Kate at the cabin

Season 4, Episode 14 has two moments on this list, the second of which ranks higher in terms of touching moments between the Big Three. This one in "The Cabin" revolves around teenage Kate and her boyfriend, Mark, whom she met while working at the music store. Mark isn't exactly a great guy. He's kind of mean to Kate, drinks too much, digs on the things she likes, and makes jabs about her weight. But like many insecure teenage girls, Kate puts up with it, believing that he's the best she's going to get.

So when Kate and Mark head up to the Pearson family cabin, something seems off. Rebecca, Randall, and Kevin drive up after her, with Randall and Kevin arguing about how they shouldn't have let her go, how Kevin is never there, how Randall is too hard on him. Meanwhile, Rebecca just trying to make it up to the cabin in the snow storm. When they finally arrive the next morning, it's revealed that Kate and Mark had gotten into a fight, Mark locked Kate outside in a blizzard, and she cut her hand while breaking the window trying to get back in. Rebecca's fierce mama bear reaction, combined with the brothers' absolute death stares at Mark, is enough for Mark to finally get the hint and leave for good. Kate collapses into Rebecca's arms, crying, and the kids have a protective moment with each other as well.

8. Kevin helps Randall

Season 1 had the tough but great job of introducing us to how the Pearson family dynamic worked and what issues would be pervasive in the long run of the series. One of those recurring issues has been Randall's anxiety, which he's learned to deal with in later seasons but was a definite crutch earlier in the series before he started getting help.

Late in Season 1, Randall is still working his high demand job, but the pressure is mounting. His relationship with his biological father, William, is hurting because of William's failing health, and Randall's stress and anxiety cause him to botch a big presentation. Randall has a breakdown at work. Meanwhile, Kevin is back to "trying things out" with his ex-wife Sophie, and is about to star in a play. But when Kevin gets the call from Randall and Randall sounds the way he does, in mid panic attack and unsure of how to come out of it, Kevin drops everything and runs to Kevin. Maybe it's that Miguel had mentioned that Kevin is actually so much like his father Jack, from his mannerisms to his devoted personality that makes Kevin want to dive in and really be more like his father. So what would Jack do? Kevin abandons his play and his co-star and heads to be by Kevin's side. It's a Big Three moment without Kate, but the bond between Kevin and Randall here is a super important one.

7. The chant

This next entry is another early in the series moment that really told the audience how close the Pearson Big Three really are. After the surprising twist ending of the pilot episode of "This Is Us," where we learned that Jack and Rebecca are actually the parents of Kevin, Kate, and the adopted Randall, the series second episode moves on to how their lives have been shaped by their childhood experiences and how they act as adults as a result.

This Big Three moment comes after Kevin has to crawl back to the network big-wigs at an industry party. He brings Kate and new boyfriend Toby along. Kate gets a bit drunk and she and Kevin call Randall. When Kevin says to Randall, "I was not a very good brother to you, was I?" Randal responds, "No, you weren't, but you've still got time." Then Randall starts the Pearson Big Three chant. Invented by their dad, Jack, the chant goes like this: Kevin says, "First came me and dad said, 'Gee!'" Kate says, "Then came me, and mom said, 'Whee!'" And Randall says, "Then came me and they said, 'That's three!'" And they all shout, "Big three! Big three!" The chant has popped up in a number of episodes since this early one, and the cast members have even performed the chant on various talk shows and public appearances. The chant solidifies their connection and is a reminder when in troubled times to always consider themselves the Big Three. 

6. The new big three

Kevin, Kate, and Randall are always going to be the original Pearson Big Three. Their adulthoods were always going to be shaped around the fact that they were raised as triplets, their lives intertwined forever and their childhoods molded by being together. So when a new Big Three arrives, they know exactly how to handle it and what's in store for the new trio.

The new Big Three isn't exactly the same, however. In Season 5, Episode 8, called "In the Room," Kate and Toby await the birth of the daughter they're about to adopt, while Madison and Kevin await their twins. With COVID-19 fully at play, Madison is alone in the hospital, waiting for Kevin to arrive from a film set, while Toby has to wait outside that hospital where he has a nice encounter with a man supporting his COVID-sick wife. Madison hops on a video call with the other Pearsons, surprised that they would not consider her family, while Toby learns a valuable lesson in the parking lot. The night caps off with the birth of Hailey Rose Damon, adopted by Kate and Toby, and Nicholas and Frances "Franny" Pearson, the twins of Kevin and Madison. The new Big Three are cousins, but sharing the same birthday will be a big element of their lives, no doubt. Hopefully, Hailey's older brother Jack doesn't feel too left out.

5. Kevin's wedding

Season 5 and the birth of Kevin and Madison's twins led up to a few weddings at the end of the season. The first was an adorable one between Jack and Rebecca, set up by their kids in order to have them make up from a fight. The second was in a shocking flash forward that showed us Kate getting married again, though not to Toby, but in some sort of renewal to her British music teacher boss, Philip! But the big wedding that takes up most of the episode is Kevin and Madison's.

The flashbacks here also visit Madison's family, her mother's abrupt departure, and her father's poor relationship skills, which are probably what leads Madison to have an eating disorder and have problems in her own relationships. In one flashback, her dad tells her not to be choosy about boys, that she should take whatever she can get. This mentality is probably what leads to her accepting Kevin's proposal to begin with. But eventually, Madison comes to her senses. She can't marry someone who's not in love with her, she says, and calls off the wedding to Kevin. 

Thankfully, Kate and Randall are both there to help Kevin through his tough moment. And even Rebecca has her own method of getting Kevin out of his funk: She wants Kevin to build the house Jack designed for them by the cabin. The Big Three (and their mom) came through for Kevin in a tough time.

4. The time capsule

Juxtaposed against the tense situation with Kate and her boyfriend, Marc, Season 4, Episode 14 also has a more touching moment between the Big Three. In their early teen years, the family arrives at their brand new cabin and Jack decides he's going to make them a time capsule to dig up on their 18th birthday. Kevin puts in a picture of him and Sophie, Kate puts in her M.A.S.H. paper game, and Randall, after having a whole anxiety attack over what to put in, eventually puts in a piece of the family photo puzzle. 

In the present, Kate, Kevin, and Randall arrive at the cabin for a weekend away after some big events. Randall is reeling after his home break in, Kate is reluctantly giving Toby a chance for some alone time with Jack, and Kevin has just had an affair of sorts with Kate's best friend, Madison. The Big Three are all in different states of disarray, but when they try to do the family photo puzzle, Randall remembers where the missing piece is: in the time capsule. Digging up the box, the trio finds its treasures, along with the drawing Jack did of the house he wanted to build, as well as a cassette tape of Jack's voice talking about the capsule itself. The Big Three get to sit and listen to their dad's voice talking about their mom in one of the sweetest Big Three moments of the series.

3. Meeting Uncle Nicky

For much of the first few seasons of "This Is Us," the relationship between Jack Pearson and his little brother, Nicky, was a mystery. Their younger years, shown in flashbacks, show just how abusive their dad was towards both of them, though more so toward Nicky. Jack and Nicky were both sent to fight in Vietnam, with Jack basically trying to protect his little brother the whole time, but Nicky growing more and more despondent. The audience was under the impression that Nicky had died in Vietnam, but Kevin and Zoe's trip to Vietnam uncovered a hidden secret: not only did Nicky survive, but Jack knew about it.

So in Season 3, Episode 11 when the Big Three finally meet their Uncle Nicky, there's a lot of baggage to unpack. They learn about Nicky's past in Vietnam, how he accidentally killed a child, his return to the U.S., his own alcoholism and how he communicated with Jack when they were kids. Their trip to visit Nicky is tinged with betrayal; their dad knew Nicky was alive and didn't tell them. Nicky has to tell them the horrific story of what pulled him and Jack apart. At the same time, the Big Three have to inform Nicky how and when Jack died. The moments are incredibly sad, but the Big Three learning that they have a new family member is somewhat of a consolation, especially considering how much Nicky becomes involved in their lives in the later seasons.

2. Jack's funeral

Season 2, Episode 15 of "This Is Us," appropriately titled, "The Car," explores the Pearson clan through the lens of their family car, a Jeep Grand Wagoneer. The car is featured throughout various flashbacks in the episode, including when Jack first buys the big family vehicle, through Rebecca's use of it in the future. But the most poignant moments of "The Car" come in the aftermath of Jack's funeral.

The previous episode was a traumatic one, and tough to follow, which is why the stability of the Wagoneer setting the stage makes it a bit easier to get through. The whole family attends Jack's funeral, with Miguel and Randall saying some nice words. But the Big Three (including Rebecca) moment comes afterwards. The foursome drives out to Jack's tree to have some alone time together before scattering some of Jack's ashes. Rebecca tells Kate that Jack's death wasn't her fault. She tells Randall and Kevin that they don't need to step in and take Jack's place. The Big Three have a moment of realizing their mother is going to be alright, she can drive herself over the bridges she needs, and that they still have each other. Sure, Jack's death is something that they will all have to deal with in their futures, but this moment was about having faith in their mom.

1. The Pool

Another early in the series episode features one of the Pearson Big Three's best moments. Season 1, Episode 4, called "The Deep End," finds the Pearson family heading to the pool on a hot summer day after the air conditioning goes out. Rebecca learns a few lessons in parenting a Black child when she encounters a group of Black moms. They're both a little judgmental towards each other, but in the end, Rebecca humbly asks for some help. Meanwhile Kate's friends write her a mean letter criticizing her weight with a cruel drawing of a pig. Then, Kevin almost drowns in the pool, and he yells at his parents for being too concerned about Kate's eating and Randall's race to notice him.

But the touching moment comes towards the end of the episode when the Big Three, or the Big Five, rather, can finally all relax together. You see, pretty much everyone in their neighborhood had the same idea to go to the pool, so they couldn't all find seats together. The final moments of the episode see the family all squished onto a lounge chair, snuggling and tired out after a long day at the pool.