This Is Us fans don’t miss a trick when it comes to details, but did producers? Superfans of the hit NBC drama noticed something unusual when Kevin Pearson (Justin Hartley) returned to the site of his Pittsburgh-area family home, a home that was gutted by fire in 1997.
In the scene from the episode “Number One,” an adult Kevin stands outside the rebuilt dwelling as he imagines the Big Three as children playing football with their parents Jack and Rebecca (Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore) on the front lawn. In a brief flashback to the burnt out house, the red Pearson mailbox still stands with the house number “1920” stamped on the front.
But the new owner of the property interrupts Kevin’s nostalgic trip. When the man who owns the rebuilt house (played by Andy Forrest) opens the door and asks Kevin if he can help him, the house number next to the door still says “1920.” But when Kevin looks back a few seconds later the number is changed to “1646.” It then goes back to “1920.” The back-and-forth is so brief that only the most eagle-eyed viewers noticed it. But there are a lot of eagle-eyed This Is Us viewers, as you can see from the reaction below.
This Is Us producers are usually meticulous when it comes to detail. So fans want to know: Was this a foreshadow, a zoning issue, a clue, or just a continuity error? Earlier in the “Number One” episode, a teen Randall Pearson (Niles Fitch) is filling out a college application for Harvard University. But a close look at the application shows that Randall’s full address is not filled in, just the state of Pennsylvania and “U.S.”
But in a previous episode of This is Us, viewers are given a full view of the Pearsons’ address—and it doesn’t include a 1920 or a 1646. In the episode “Déjà Vu,” a teen Randall posts a newspaper ad looking for his biological parents. He gets a response, and viewers can clearly see the envelope is addressed to Randall Pearson at 34153 Forest Road, Bethel Park, PA 15102. The scene took place during the same era as the house fire, so the Pearsons did not move before the house fire took place. Interestingly, in other This Is Us scenes set in that era there is no number on the Pearsons red mailbox.
This Is Us producers have not yet explained if the Pearsons’ ever-changing house number was intentional or an editing error. But the show’s crew has addressed a few minor gaffes in the past, including a noticeable one from the Season 1 episode, “The Big Day,” in which a very pregnant Rebecca purchases Twinkies and banana muffins at a liquor store. In 1980, the year the episode was set, Pennsylvania state liquor stores didn’t sell snacks. At the time, This Is Us set decorator Beth Wooke told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that there was “so much discussion that there were no snacks in liquor stores,” but that the plot of the episode took priority.
“It’s more about the story and driving the story forward,” she said. “It’s not about what’s right, it was about the story. I do get fixated on little details like that and they drive me crazy, but I just have to hope only Pittsburghers know those things.”
This Is Us fans have also noted continuity errors on the show, including the fact that William (Ron Cephas Jones) once said his father taught him to play the piano, yet a flashback scene revealed that his father died when he was just a baby.
You can see the gut-wrenching reveal of the Pearson house fire below.
This Is Us airs Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
[Featured Image by Ron Batzdorff/NBC]