We love This is Us like we love any other cathartic, if mawkish, piece of fiction: it gives us that extraordinary cry, that deep emotional release, that makes everything better. Sometimes you just need a good tear-fest to get out all the feels, and This is Us manages to give us this gift week after week, often even more adroitly than the standard drama and tragedy are able to do. It’s today’s Shakespeare, giving us all a break from the everyday drudgery with a glimpse into someone else’s story.
Jack and Rebecca Pearson make that story so delicious to follow because they’re an attractive and highly flawed couple who still manage to be deeply in love after raising three children, living through lower middle class means, and sacrificing many of their own dreams to keep their family afloat. In short, they represent the dream that many of us continue to cling to despite the hurdles, new and old, that make that dream hard to reach for many. They are each other’s person in a way that many hope to be, whether someday or even after decades of marriage. In witnessing the aching beauty of their romance, we have to admit that much of what we learn about the Pearsons isn’t always pretty. In fact, despite us swooning over both of them, we often find ourselves scolding some of their actions as well. No marriage is perfect– and certainly not one in a TV drama!
Here are 20 Wild Revelations About Jack And Rebecca’s Relationship In This Is Us.
20 Jack Wouldn’t Talk To Rebecca About Vietnam
The Pearsons seem to have the perfect marriage on the surface, and we may assume that they just talk to one another about everything. The two have plenty of secrets between them, however, including the details about Jack’s service in Vietnam, which he refuses to reveal to his wife. Even at the beginning of their relationship, Jack warned his soon-to-be girlfriend that he didn’t want to share these troubling memories with her because he doesn’t want them to touch his time with her.
For many couples, this could be a point of contention, especially for those who want to know everyone about one another. Everyone deals with trauma differently, and Rebecca learns to respect Jack’s wishes to refrain from discussing his heartbreaking past with her.
19 Rebecca Married Jack’s Best Friend
Had Rebecca married anyone other than Jack’s best friend, long after her husband had passed on, her children might have been warmer toward the newcomer to the family. Okay, who are we kidding? Nobody measures up to Jack Pearson– even those who never got to meet him, as we’ve seen the spouses of the Big Three commiserate over. When Rebecca reconnected with Miguel over Facebook and decided to marry him, it stuck a wedge in between her family members.
Miguel did promise Jack that he’d look after Rebecca and the kids if anything happened to him, after all, and he was a big help once Jack was gone. Still, seeing that Rebecca did eventually marry him was a surprising moment for viewers.
18 Jack Makes Huge Decisions Without Her
All married couples know that you don’t make big decisions without consulting one another. Sure, you can order what you want at the drive-thru and decide what brand of jeans you’re getting, but you shouldn’t go buying cars or houses without discussing it as a team. Although the Pearsons give us all appearances of being a team most of the time, Jack routinely makes big decisions without his wife’s input.
Depicting Rebecca as being just pleased as punch when Jack makes all of these life-changing choices without even running them by her first demonstrates that they’re not all that perfect, even when they seem to be.
17 They Took A Road Trip Together When They Barely Knew Each Other
When Jack and Rebecca took their Los Angeles road trip together after only knowing one another for about a week, it came as a huge surprise. Who does that? Even if it was the 1970s, there were plenty of creeps in the world. There were enough serial criminals running around for Rebecca Malone to know better than to travel across the country in a car alone with someone she barely knew.
It’s meant to be an outrageous trust exercise that gets us in the gut, proving how they trusted one another so quickly and were meant to be, but in all honesty this is one of the worst lapses in judgement we’ve seen on the show.
16 Jack Fell In Love At First Sight
He’s such a romantic that it shouldn’t be such a surprise when Jack Pearson falls for young, aspiring singer Rebecca Malone, soon to become Rebecca Pearson. It’s one of the most adorable moments in the show, as older men in the bar nudge one another and comment on how obvious it is that this young man is head over heels for the girl on stage.
Their romance didn’t blossom much the rest of that night on their bad first date, but they did manage to prove that opposites can attract, love at first sight is possible, and one good line might get you a second date and a first kiss, all in one episode. It’s no wonder people are hooked on this show.
15 Their Timeline Doesn’t Always Work
Like many TV shows, This is Us has a few continuity issues that don’t really match up with the Pearson’s timeline. That beloved Jeep Grand Wagoneer the family prizes so much, for example, weaves in and out of the timeline, showing up as a purchase after Rebecca receives her moon necklace, despite it being purchased before she received it. There are also green trees in the middle of Pittsburgh at Christmastime.
Perhaps the most glaring continuity error happens during an episode where Jack’s father is watching a political summit on TV. The Moscow summit, a real part of history during which the first SALT agreement was signed, occurred in May of 1972, but the scene takes place at Christmastime.
14 Jack Immediately Loved Randall, But Rebecca Needed Convincing
When Dr. K. introduces a distraught Jack Pearson to the unknown baby brought in by Joe, the firefighter, it’s pretty much love at first sight again. Jack’s dealing with new fatherhood and Rebecca’s poor health from a complicated pregnancy, but he knows that adopting Randall is a good decision almost immediately.
Rebecca, on the other hand, needed some convincing, even after Jack made his case to his wife. It wasn’t until Bec had met and “discussed” the matter with baby Randall himself, the first of many deep chats the two share, that she made her decision. It’s a bit ironic since over the years Rebecca does favor Randall to the point where the Big Three assume that he’s their mother’s favorite child.
13 Jack Boxes Behind Rebecca’s Back
There are plenty of things that Jack and Rebecca do without telling one another, from helping their kids skip school to talking about military service to a child without delving into it with a wife. Whether or not these are okay or not is up to you to decide, but one of the many things that Jack ends up doing that he keeps from Rebecca is boxing.
Jack boxes in order to avoid drinking, which seems like abandoning one addiction for another to some fans. It also insinuates that he uses violence to cope with violent behavior, which isn’t healthy but does fit Jack’s story, given that he was never taught healthy coping behaviors in his violent home. Eventually Jack does get help from AA with Rebecca’s support.
12 Rebecca Stopped Jack From Living A Life Of Crime
Bec and Jack’s meet-cute in a bar where she’s singing “Moonshadow”, capturing his heart forever, didn’t begin in such a romantic place. A desperately broke Jack was casing that very bar for a robbery, a plan he failed to execute upon meeting the beautiful singer with the equally pretty voice. In this way, Bec sort of fulfills the woman-saving-the-bad-boy trope, which is a little irritating, but it’s even more irritating the Jack lied to his wife about the whole thing, telling her that he had a blind date that he skipped in order to be with her instead.
Of course, Rebecca might not have wanted anything to do with him had she known the truth, but the story does continue to perpetuate the troubling idea that some lies between spouses are okay.
11 Jack Is Jealous Of Ben And Resents Bec’s Dream
After witnessing Jack’s behavior in each season of the show, it’s hard to reconcile the idea of him being insecure enough to fulfill the jealous husband trope, but that’s exactly what happens when Rebecca wants to tour with Ben and it’s obvious that Ben has feelings for her. He is her ex, after all, and plenty of famous singers have left their spouses while on tour.
Still, Jack makes it clear that he doesn’t trust his wife, following her on tour and makes a complete buffoon of himself while inebriated, which leads to their separation. Naturally, it doesn’t last for long, and the two are back together, working things out just in time to receive a certain kitchen gadget as a gift from well-meaning neighbors.
10 They Both Made Sacrifices For Their Marriage And Family
One of the things we love so much about Bec and Jack is that they both put their family first, which they’ve proven over and over again through sacrifices that they make for one another and their children. Even when one of their dreams rises back up again, tantalizingly drawing them away from one another, they still always come back. They put their commitment to one another and family before their personal opportunities, whether it was Jack hoping to get out of a desk job or Bec hoping to travel on the road as a singer.
That doesn’t mean that it’s always a good idea to stifle your dreams for others; many a father or mother has languished from unfulfilled dreams left behind. However, m most good parents do understand the cost of a healthy, thriving family, which often includes a dream or two.
9 Jack Ruins Anniversary Presents For Every Husband, Ever
Everyone who watches This Is Us can cite at least one time the show moved them to tears, but there are also plenty of husbands out there cursing Jack Pearson for ruining every anniversary, ever, due to his incredibly creative and personal gifts. Jack is so thoughtful and romantic that he even Bec feels pressured. She struggles every year to come up with something as grand and moving, and ultimately falls short.
The fact that even Bec can’t match his gift-giving skills should give other husbands and wives out there some feelings of consolation. Besides, think of all of the writers drumming up ideas behind Jack’s gestures. If you had a team that big on your side, you could probably come up with some impressive anniversary ideas, too!
8 They Didn’t Have A Big Wedding
Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore have such great chemistry on screen together, so it’s no wonder that the romance of their characters is a central focus of This is Us. We swoon over their whirlwind cross-country road trip, their grand gestures, their everyday struggles, and tender moments. Given that society tends to equate romance with big weddings, their tiny nuptials came as a big surprise to many fans.
A City Hall ceremony doesn’t sound all that romantic, but between their flower crowns, besotted looks, and obvious adoration for one another, how could it have been anything but perfect for the Pearsons? It might be a big surprise at first, but in the end, it does feel right for them.
7 Jack Drinks Behind Rebecca’s Back
Plenty of wives and husbands have hidden secret vices behind their spouse’s back, and while many couples can relate to it, that doesn’t make it a trait of an exemplary marriage. In fact, it’s often a trait of a failing one, particularly if the spouse being lied to is fed up with the behavior. Luckily Jack’s lies and addiction do not end their marriage, but they certainly come close when Bec gives him an ultimatum and he promises to be a 12 for her.
The pair struggle to come to terms with Jack’s addiction over the years, and all three children prove to also have traits of an addictive personality as well, which often serve as the majority of the show’s conflict.
6 Everyone Acts Like Jack Can Handle Anything And Rebecca Can’t
When Jack passes away, a huge deal is made over the fact that he was the one who held the family together, not Rebecca, and how she’s going to struggle so hard without him. Jack was an addict who kept so many decisions out of the hands of his wife and worked while Rebecca was home parenting three kids in diapers, but he was the “strong one.”
We’re not buying it, especially given that it was Rebecca who had to live without her husband, not vice versa. That is probably the biggest proof of strength we’ve seen in the series, aside from the family handling the loss of one of their triplets while simultaneously caring for their other three children.
5 Jack Said Bec’s Name During Cardiac Arrest
As Jack suddenly passed away before our eyes, many of us wondered if he uttered Rebecca’s name as cardiac arrest took him from his family forever. We thought we heard him say it as she’s at the vending machine, completely unaware that he’s leaving from this earth. Milo Ventimiglia, who plays Jack, has confirmed the detail.
“It’s so human, so simple, just the disbelief. And if you caught this, when she’s at the vending machine, you hear Jack say ‘Bec?’ I had recorded a lot of different versions of that, some that were a little more ethereal like I was whispering. You’ll have to ask Dan, but my belief is that it’s a presence. That was Jack saying ‘Bec?’ She turns her head and everything.”
4 Rebecca Met Randall’s Father And Never Told Jack
There are many secrets between the Pearson patriarch and matriarch, but this one might be the worst. When Rebecca Pearson met with her adopted son Randall’s biological father, William Hill, we think that she will eventually tell Jack. She has to, right?
Not only does she meet with William on more than one occasion and not tell her husband, but she doesn’t tell Randall, either. This leads to much of the tension within the first season as Randall meets, lives with, and eventually must say goodbye to William. It’s almost unforgivable that Bec wouldn’t tell Jack about the man who not only helped name their son, but also helped give him life in the first place.
3 Jack’s Christmas Present Caused His Demise
Those red dish towels that Jack gave Rebecca hid many things. They obviously hid the pretty bracelet, which was her true Christmas gift that year, but they also carried a much darker surprise for the Pearsons: the end of their beloved husband and father, Jack. Leaving the towels next to the crock pot, another gift from the Pearson’s moving neighbors, sure didn’t seem like a dangerous act; how many of us have done the same?
It was the fire started with those very towels that took Jack’s life. We’re used to seeing so many beautiful gifts exchanged between the Pearsons, from Bec’s annual birthday dance to the famous moon necklace that reminds us of the night they met, but it was an absolute surprise to see one of those gifts cause Jack’s demise.
2 Their Fist Date Was A Flop
After so many episodes where Jack Pearson adorably woos his wife on a budget, and Rebecca Pearson charms the pants off anyone who meets her, seeing their actual first date was certainly jarring. While Jack falling head-over-heels for his wife-to-be while she sang was expected, their rainy failure of a first date was not.
Awkward didn’t even begin to describe the Pearsons’ flopp first date. Between the clumsy conversation, Jack’s almost empty wallet, and the inclement weather, their relationship seemed to be doomed from the start. Luckily when Jack told Rebecca that she felt like home to him, the line resonated with them both.
1 Jack Passed Away While Rebecca Ate Chocolate
Finding out how the Pearsons lost Jack was seasons in the making, with so many red herrings offered and guesses made. Now that we know, many fans tear up when they use a crockpot– and possibly a vending machine. As Rebecca, convinced that her husband was recovering in the capable hands of his doctor, bought and ate some chocolate from the hospital vending machine, she was given the news of his premature departure.
We watched her continue to chew, not believing the news, convinced that they had the wrong person, since Jack had just seemingly been fine moments earlier. Many of us revisited our own moments of tragic loss with her as the truth set in and her world came crashing down.
What else did we learn about Jack and Rebecca in This is Us? Let us know in the comments!