This Is Us: The 10 Best Family Relationships, Ranked
This Is Us: The 10 Best Family Relationships, Ranked

This Is Us depicts the lives of the extended Pearson family across generations. But which relationship among family members is the series’ best?

As a multigenerational family drama, This Is Us is known for its depiction of complex, loving, one-of-a-kind relationships between members of the extended central Pearson family. Across all six seasons of the show, viewers have grown incredibly invested in this one family and all that they have been through together, from the earliest generations of Pearsons to the ones who are still far off in future timelines.

With so many relationships depicted across this complex family tree, it’s clear that not every family dynamic is going to be as interesting or as beloved as some. There are relationships that have survived the entire series, while there are others that have fractured and changed with time. But in all, the series is definitely going to be remembered for creating these incredibly dynamic relationships.

 

Jack And Nicky

 

This Is Us: The 10 Best Family Relationships, Ranked
This Is Us: The 10 Best Family Relationships, Ranked

The relationship between brothers, Jack and Nicky Pearson, is one of the most heartbreaking storylines depicted in This Is Us. As children, older brother Jack is fiercely protective of his younger brother Nicky, who is gentler and weaker in many ways and frequently a subject of torment from their abusive father.

The two are incredibly close in their youth, but everything changes when Nicky is drafted into service in Vietnam. Jack follows after to keep an eye on his little brother, but their bond is irrevocably shattered when a tragic accident in Vietnam results in a young boy dying on Nicky’s watch. Jack can never forgive his brother for this, and the two lose touch for the rest of their lives.

 

The Big Three (Kevin, Kate, Randall)

 

This Is Us: The 10 Best Family Relationships, Ranked
This Is Us: The 10 Best Family Relationships, Ranked

The relationship, known as “The Big Three,” is one of the most important dynamics in This Is Us. However, their dynamic has had plenty of ups and downs over the years. The Big Three were maybe closest as young children, even with all their different experiences and differing relationships with their parents.

As they grow into their teenage years, their bond becomes a little more fractured, with Kevin and Randall often at odds, especially after Jack’s passing. But now as adults, the Big Three are as close as they have ever been – maybe even codependently so, as their closeness often creates conflict in some of their relationships (most notably Kate and Toby’s marriage).

 

Rebecca And Kate

 

This Is Us: The 10 Best Family Relationships, Ranked
This Is Us: The 10 Best Family Relationships, Ranked

Another relationship that has had many highs and lows is the mother-daughter bond between Rebecca and Kate. When Kate is a little girl, she and Rebecca could not possibly be closer, with Rebecca lovingly doting on her “bug.”

As Kate grows into her teenage years, their connection becomes more contentious as Kate starts to act like a typical surly teenager. But following Jack’s death, Kate is there for her mother every step of the way, and, as adults, the two become the best of friends, with Rebecca even trusting Kate to be her medical decisionmaker as she faces her Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

 

Kevin And Nicky

 

This Is Us: The 10 Best Family Relationships, Ranked
This Is Us: The 10 Best Family Relationships, Ranked

By connecting with Nicky, the uncle he never knew, Kevin is able to correct one of his father Jack’s biggest mistakes and forges one of the series’ most endearing relationships in the progress.

When Nicky first appears in the series, he is in pretty bad shape emotionally and struggling with his addiction. However, he and Kevin soon help each other with their recovery, attending AA meetings together and confiding in each other in many ways. Kevin doesn’t have many friends outside of his family, but Nicky might just be one of the best friends he has of all of them.

 

Jack And Marilyn

 

This Is Us: The 10 Best Family Relationships, Ranked
This Is Us: The 10 Best Family Relationships, Ranked

Another family relationship that the series is all the better for is the bond between Jack and his mother, Marilyn. As a child and a teen, Jack is his mother’s biggest protector against his abusive father. He always intervenes when things are getting hostile, and promises his mother that he will never be like his father.

When Jack becomes an adult and marries Rebecca, he and his mother begin to have a different relationship, consisting of weekly phone calls now that she has finally left his father to start a new life on her own. Even though they were not as close as they once were, Jack and Marilyn still share some of the series’ most poignant moments together.

 

Kevin And Randall

 

This Is Us: The 10 Best Family Relationships, Ranked
This Is Us: The 10 Best Family Relationships, Ranked

Few Pearsons have had as many difficult periods as brothers Kevin and Randall have had. As a child, Kevin resents Randall for many reasons, due to feeling like their parents prefer Randall and give him special treatment. As teenagers, this resentment only grows, particularly as Randall thrives academically.

But as adults, these two finally become the best versions of themselves in their relationship together. Even though they have their fights still, including over Rebecca’s medical care, they are there for each other in ways they never had been before, including the heartwarming moment when Kevin abandons a premiere of his own play to be there for Randall when he is having a panic attack.

 

Rebecca And Randall

 

This Is Us: The 10 Best Family Relationships, Ranked
This Is Us: The 10 Best Family Relationships, Ranked

This Is Us is often at its best when it includes a little “R&R time.” Randall and his mother, Rebecca, have one of the most loving relationships in the series – something that is made all the more apparent by just how painful it is when the two are at odds. When Randall learns that Rebecca hid his biological father from him his entire life, it is one of the most devastating decisions in the entire series.

But for much of the duration of the series, at any time of their lives, Randall and Rebecca are each other’s biggest supporters. Rebecca believes in Randall in everything he does, and Randall is always there to ensure his mother’s health, happiness, and safety, no matter what it takes.

 

Jack And Kate

 

This Is Us: The 10 Best Family Relationships, Ranked
This Is Us: The 10 Best Family Relationships, Ranked

Kate might grow to become best friends with her mother as an adult, but, in her youngest years, she is always a daddy’s girl. Jack and Kate have one of the most adorable relationships in the series, with Jack doing everything he can to make his “Katie girl” feel happy and comfortable in her own skin – especially when she starts to feel self-conscious about her weight.

As Kate grows into her teenage years, Jack begins to struggle with his alcohol addiction more, leading to the two to have some incredibly painful and emotional scenes. Following Jack’s death, Kate blames herself for much of her adolescence and young adulthood – a fact that only makes their earlier scenes all the more tear-inducing in retrospect.

 

Jack And Randall

 

This Is Us: The 10 Best Family Relationships, Ranked
This Is Us: The 10 Best Family Relationships, Ranked

Randall has struggled with perfectionism and anxiety for his entire life, but few have ever seen through him as clearly and been able to help him as conclusively as his father, Jack. Jack is the only one who is able to get Randall out of his own head in his youth and adolescence, often encouraging the young boy to just sit and breathe with him.

As Randall grows older, Jack remains one of his biggest supporters, wanting nothing but the best for him and truly believing that the sky is the limit for his son. Following Jack’s passing, Randall struggles to understand his place in the family without his father, but a key moment in his adulthood features a vision of Jack telling him, “The moment I saw you, I knew you were my boy. You weren’t a choice. Randall, you were a fact.”

 

William And Randall

 

This Is Us: The 10 Best Family Relationships, Ranked
This Is Us: The 10 Best Family Relationships, Ranked

This Is Us has shown many different kinds of family love over its six seasons, but it’s not hard to feel like the series truly peaked with its depiction of the relationship between Randall and his biological father, William, in season 1. After not knowing his father his entire life, Randall finally finds William in the series’ pilot episode just as William learns he has been diagnosed with cancer.

Randall goes above and beyond to make life better for William, allowing him to stay in his own home and helping him secure treatments and medications. But it’s on a trip to William’s hometown of Memphis, in the aptly named episode “Memphis,” that the immensity of their love for one another is truly put on display, making William’s subsequent passing all the more tragic.

 

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