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30 Days of Thanks 2020: ‘This Is Us’

If you love family tradition as much I do, then This Is Us is the show for you. It’s especially poignant in that everything the Pearsons hold dear from lemons to football goes back to their late, beloved patriarch Jack Pearson. And in the Thanksgiving episodes from season one (Pilgrim Rick) and season four (So Long, Marianne) we find out how Jack played a huge role in making the holiday special for both his children and his brother. So keep reading for our This Is Us 30 Days of Thanks 2020 article!

Thanksgiving Dad Is A Hot Dad

In season one we learn Randall is Mr.Thanksgiving. Waking up early to the sounds of Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al” and rousing his household to assist in preparation for the feast! Along with issuing a series of bizarre orders. Kevin is reminded to pick up hot dogs. Beth to plug in the VCR. A long hike. Plus a viewing of Police Academy 3. And Randall and Kevin take turns each year playing a character named Pilgrim Rick. Why? Because of an eventful Thanksgiving from their past.

On their way to Rebecca’s parents’ house (listening to Paul Simon’s album Graceland) the tire blows out leaving them stranded. During their long walk to civilization, Randall announces he’ll never celebrate Thanksgiving when he’s older. No one, especially Rebecca, enjoys Thanksgiving with her family, but Randall especially has a hard time. His grandparents exclude him in favor of Kevin and Kate.

This Is Us

Image via NBC

They learn the car can’t be fixed until morning. So Rebecca calls her mother to ask if someone can pick them up. An argument ensues and Rebecca tells her they aren’t coming. The Pearsons end up at Pinewood Lodge. Which is run by a creepy guy named Pilgrim Rick. A four-star resort it’s not. But Jack comes through with the save. Scrounging together a dinner of cold hot dogs, cheese slices, and saltine crackers which they warm-up using the overheating furnace. Jack amuses his family by telling stories wearing Rick’s pilgrim hat, finding a movie for them to watch, and later using Kate’s unraveling sweater. They each take turns tugging the yarn and saying what they’re thankful for. As everyone is falling asleep, Randall tells his mother he’s changed his mind. He wants every Thanksgiving to be like this one for the rest of his life.

The Past Is Never Forgotten

In season four, This Is Us adds to the Thanksgiving traditions by introducing a new face to the Pearsons family dinner table. Jack’s presumed dead brother Nicky. Nicky is understandably uncomfortable around his newfound family. It would appear that Jack erased his little brother’s existence. But on a road trip back to New Jersey with Randall to retrieve Pilgrim Rick’s hat, Nicky learns that nothing could be further from the truth. Upon arriving back in Philly, Nicky surprises the family with five pounds of shrimp and the story of his last Thanksgiving with Jack. After bailing on their family dinner and winning big betting on the Cowboys, the brothers dined on shrimp, vowing to make it a part of every Thanksgiving after Nicky returned from Vietnam. My wish is in a future Thanksgiving episode we see that Randall has incorporated this tradition into his holiday prep.

This Is Us

Image via NBC

I hope this reminds you of your own holiday traditions. Maybe even inspires you to dust off a few from years past. But minus the angst of the Pearson clan. What did you think of the Pearson family’s holidays? Did you prefer one episode over the other? Find and follow us on Twitter @capeandcastle to share all of your Thanksgiving and This Is Us thoughts with us! Be sure to also check out our site for more articles on all things Disney and beyond! Plus, you can keep up with our 30 Days of Thanks 2020 and check out our articles from last year’s event as well! Happy holidays everyone!

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