Over the past six years, “This Is Us” has captivated hearts all over the country. The drama tells the interwoven stories of Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Jack (Milo Ventimiglia), their three kids, and a complex thing called life. NBC quickly renewed the series for an additional two seasons in 2017, and now—after shedding more than a few tears—it’s in its final season.

Best ‘This Is Us’ episodes Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

By weaving through time, fans get to experience the heartache and happiness of each and every character during pivotal moments of their lives, and it all starts with one incredibly significant birthday. “This Is Us” flashes back and forth between beautiful moments that remind viewers of one thing: family.

Stacker put together a ranking of the top 25 “This Is Us” episodes, looking at IMDb data based on user ratings with ties broken by votes. Unlike the all-too-common heart-wrenching and unexpected endings to each episode, there are no surprises on this list. Grab a box of tissues, and keep scrolling to reexperience the best “This Is Us” has offered us over the years.

#25. Number Three

Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

– IMDb user rating: 8.9

“This Is Us” momentarily turns into the Randall Pearson show when this episode hits pause on everything other than one character. After only a short amount of time, Randall and Beth have taken in Deja. When Shauna demands her daughter back, things get complicated and fans cry along with Randall and Beth as they struggle to say goodbye.

#24. A Father’s Advice

Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

– IMDb user rating: 8.9

This season premiere picks up right where the show left off, addressing the rocky waters in Jack and Rebecca’s marriage. Fans finally get an answer as to how Jack died, but may not find much satisfaction in it.

#23. The Pool

Best ‘This Is Us’ episodes Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

– IMDb user rating: 8.9

A hot summer day sends the Pearson family to the community pool, where each member of the Big Three deals with something different. Randall tries to make friends; Kevin feels neglected; and Kate is abandoned by her friends. Kids may be mean, but Jack and Rebecca do their best to save the day.

#22. Storybook Love

Best ‘This Is Us’ episodes Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

– IMDb user rating: 9.0

Two dinners, set decades apart, carry the action in this episode. In one, Rebecca and Jack attempt to have the “perfect” dinner in their new house, and in the other, Rebecca and the kids try to make it through a single meal without the balancing presence of their late father and husband. The idea that nothing is ever going to be perfect, and that accepting imperfections opens us up to joy, is a major theme.

#21. Birth Mother

Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

– IMDb user rating: 9.0

“Birth Mother” is exactly what it sounds like—an entire episode devoted to the life story of Randall’s birth mother, Laurel. From her troubled childhood to her post-birth overdose recovery to her eventual death from cancer, the episode finally gives viewers the answers they’ve been wanting about the mysterious woman.

#20. Jack Pearson’s Son

Best ‘This Is Us’ episodes Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

– IMDb user rating: 9.0

The loss of Jack affects each one of the Big Three. Kate, Randall, and Kevin remember their father in a difficult moment. Randall struggles to keep up with his own expectations from his perfect life when the pressures of his job and his sick father come into play. For once, Randall allows himself to break down and receives comfort from an unexpected source.

#19. The Big Day

Best ‘This Is Us’ episodes Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

– IMDb user rating: 9.0

It’s all about the past in this episode. Rebecca is extremely pregnant and has forgotten Jack’s birthday. Fans see an expansion of the scene that kicked off the series during the pilot. Fans learn more about Dr. K., the birth of the triplets, and the firefighter who brought Randall to the hospital.

#18. In the Room

Best ‘This Is Us’ episodes Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

– IMDb user rating: 9.1

The new Big Three make their arrivals earthside in “In the Room.” Ellie safely delivers Kate and Toby’s baby just as Kevin arrives on time for Madison’s delivery of their twins. Meanwhile, Rebecca reflects on a conversation she had with Jack about how their family will always be together even as they grow and change.

#17. Strangers

Best ‘This Is Us’ episodes Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

– IMDb user rating: 9.1

Season four’s premiere introduces us to a host of new characters: Cassie, a veteran dealing with mental health struggles; Malik, a young man trying to create a better life for his family; and a grown-up baby Jack. The episode largely works to provide some backstory for the characters, who will go on to become regulars on the series throughout the following season.

#16. What Now?

Best ‘This Is Us’ episodes Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

– IMDb user rating: 9.1

Kevin’s play premieres, and in the past, Rebecca leaves to go on tour. Big things happen for both generations of the Pearson family, but the main event is a funeral, which drudges up a lot of tears as Kate remembers her father.

#15. Last Christmas

– IMDb user rating: 9.1

Best ‘This Is Us’ episodes Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

Flashing between the Christmas Eves of 1980 to 2017, the Pearson family always seems to endure an eventful holiday season. Kate’s appendectomy leads to an unexpected encounter with an old friend in the hospital. In the present, William rekindles a relationship that throws everyone back at home for a loop. To top it all off, Rebecca’s mantra (“Nothing bad happens on Christmas Eve”) comes to a crashing halt when Toby drops to the floor.

#14. Songbird Road: Part One

Best ‘This Is Us’ episodes Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

– IMDb user rating: 9.2

One of Jack’s biggest secrets—his brother Nick and the incident that irreparably fractured their relationship—is the episode’s sole focus. Upon realizing their uncle isn’t actually dead, as they’ve been lead to believe, the Big Three set out to unravel why their father would lie and get the details about what went down in Vietnam.

#13. Her

Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

– IMDb user rating: 9.2

So much of the Pearson family’s identity is centered around the myth of Jack, and the great husband and father he was. However, the family’s true heart, as demonstrated by this episode, is Rebecca. Through present-day storylines, as well as flashbacks and flashforwards, we see just how instrumental the Pearson matriarch is in keeping the family together.

#12. The Car

Best ‘This Is Us’ episodes Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

– IMDb user rating: 9.2

Rebecca’s car is practically a member of the family, and fans know plenty of pivotal moments that back that up. It’s in that car, on the way to a funeral, that the Pearson family recounts loving memories that become even more important to them.

#11. The Fifth Wheel

Best ‘This Is Us’ episodes Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

– IMDb user rating: 9.2

A family therapy session escalates from civil to chaotic when Dr. Barb opens up a can of worms. It’s intense, but exactly what fans would expect from this mid-season premiere.

#10. Number One

Best ‘This Is Us’ episodes Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

– IMDb user rating: 9.2

Not only are fans not afraid of crying, the characters shed a good amount of tears as well. In this episode, Kevin hits rock bottom and breaks down in the company of an ex. His internal struggle is emphasized, with fans able to connect with his story more closely.

#9. Pilgrim Rick

Best ‘This Is Us’ episodes Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

– IMDb user rating: 9.2

Odd Thanksgiving traditions are explored in this holiday-themed episode. The ones in question—as well as strange food choices—all originate from a flat tire and a strange motel. Thanks to Jack, the Big Three go from hating the holiday to loving every second of it.

#8. Don’t Let Me Keep You

Best ‘This Is Us’ episodes Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

– IMDb user rating: 9.3

In “Don’t Let Me Keep You,” Jack deals with the grief of losing his mother, and comes to terms with the fact that their surface-level relationship will no longer have a chance to grow or heal. This season six episode is emotional but in a quiet way. There are no major twists or dramatic turns, just a collection of small moments and unresolved hurt—the type that often makes real life heartbreaking.

#7. So Long, Marianne

Best ‘This Is Us’ episodes Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

– IMDb user rating: 9.3

This Thanksgiving-themed episode sees all the Pearsons, as well as their long-lost uncles and birth mothers, gathered together to celebrate the holiday. There’s the typical family drama, but the crux of the storyline is the confirmation of Rebecca’s upcoming dementia diagnosis, which comes near the close of the hour.

#6. Pilot

Best ‘This Is Us’ episodes Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

– IMDb user rating: 9.3

In the first episode of “This Is Us” we’re introduced to the Pearson family over the course of two 36th birthdays. In the past timeline, Jack is turning 36 and preparing to welcome his premature triplets into the world. In the present timeline, Kate, Kevin, and Randall are taking stock of their lives, wondering how they got to where they are, and searching for answers about their pasts.

#5. Strangers: Part Two

Best ‘This Is Us’ episodes Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

– IMDb user rating: 9.4

The season four finale—a partner episode to the season four premiere, “Strangers: Part One”—introduces us to a handful of new faces who will play an instrumental role in the story of the Pearsons. Through these new characters we learn Kevin is set to become a father, Rebecca has agreed to a medical trial to help combat her dementia, and Kate and Toby have decided to expand their family.

#4. That’ll Be the Day

Best ‘This Is Us’ episodes Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

– IMDb user rating: 9.4

This episode tells the story of Jack’s last day, and how life in the Pearson household was before he died. Kate prepares for an audition; Randall invests in his new girlfriend; and Kevin is devastated about his football injury. When Jack and Rebecca try to round up the kids to watch the game, things don’t go as planned.

#3. The Cabin

Best ‘This Is Us’ episodes Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

– IMDb user rating: 9.5

The Big Three gather at the family cabin on a “sad retreat,” musing on the various ways their childhoods, and their parents’ relationship, shaped them into the adults they are today. While Jack’s presence permeates throughout the episode, as usual, this is one of the first times the crew openly discusses how Rebecca is truly the glue of their family.

#2. Memphis

Best ‘This Is Us’ episodes Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

– IMDb user rating: 9.5

Randall and William take a road trip to Memphis, where Randall learns about his biological father’s past. Beth initially objects, claiming Randall shouldn’t be far from home with the state of his mental health. With his psychiatrist’s approval, however, Randall joins William on a trip they’ll never forget.

#1. Super Bowl Sunday

Best ‘This Is Us’ episodes Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

– IMDb user rating: 9.7

It’s no surprise this episode ranks #1. Some members of the Pearson family have not yet recovered from a sudden fire as a result of a faulty smoke detector. However, one thing is for sure: Jack was a hero who loved his family unconditionally.


David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply