This Is Us is all about the little details, but even the most eagle-eyed viewers of the hit NBC drama may have missed this one. In the Season 3 premiere, “Nine Bucks,” there was a nod to one of the sweetest — and most memorable — scenes from the show’s first season.
In the Season 1 episode, “The Pool,” Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) famously gave his “magic” spring break shirt to his young daughter, Kate (Mackenzie Hancsicsak), after she was teased by a gang of mean girls at the community swimming pool. As he tried to cheer up his little girl, Jack told her that her mom Rebecca (Mandy Moore) wasn’t a fan of the bright green Daytona Beach spring break T-shirt in the decade after he wore it on their first date, but that the shirt magically makes “your enemies see you exactly as you want to be seen.”
“I was wearing this shirt the night I met your mom. And she thought I was the handsomest man in the world,” Jack told his daughter before giving her the special shirt.
Flash forward to the This Is Us Season 3 premiere, where viewers finally got to see Jack and Rebecca’s first date, an ill-fated trip to a carnival. According to E! News, if you look closely you can see the top of Jack’s famous green shirt underneath his plaid flannel.
The inclusion of Jack’s beloved Daytona Beach tee is a sweet detail that This Is Us showrunner Dan Fogelman remembered to include nearly two years later. Of course, this isn’t the first time Jack’s favorite shirt has been mentioned since the Season 1 episode. On the Season 2 finale, “The Wedding,” Jack’s shirt was supposed to be Kate’s “something old” at her wedding. Yes, Kate had planned to pin her late father’s favorite shirt to her wedding dress for her nuptials at the family cabin, but her flustered groom, Toby (Chris Sullivan), forgot to bring it from home. Kate had to settle for hiding one of Jack’s old screwdrivers in her floral bouquet instead.
While Kate walked down the aisle without her father’s precious spring break tee, This Is Us star Chrissy Metz later shared a photo on Instagram to show that her character’s wedding day manicure featured her late father Jack’s initials on her pinkies. Kate’s light blue manicure included a small “J” and “P” in gold polish.
“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue,” Metz captioned a close-up shot of her hand. “When we were planning Kate’s wedding look, I knew I wanted to do something special. Honoring the beautiful relationship Jack and Kate always had, I decided to have his initials close to my heart. The nail color was my something blue.”
You can see Jack telling young Kate about his “magic” shirt in the This Is Us scene below.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.