Warning: This post contains spoilers for the Nov. 20 episode of This Is Us.
If there’s anything we know about Randall Pearson, it’s that he loves Thanksgiving. So when the festive episode of This Is Us aired on Tuesday night, we should’ve guessed that his character would shine. While adult Randall, played by Sterling K. Brown, has fans swooning over his shirtless early morning teeth brushing, teenage Randall, played by Niles Fitch, has us tearing up over his impressive college essay. Can someone get this kid a scholarship ASAP?!
The episode “Six Thanksgivings” brings the entire family together in ways we didn’t expect. In the present day, Zoe and Kevin join the table via FaceTime from Vietnam, and we are introduced to Miguel’s kids. In the past, we see how William first connects with Jessie and how Jack forms a connection with the Vietnamese woman and her son. All of these outstanding and tear-jerking storylines strewn throughout the episode are tied together when teenage Randall reads his college essay out loud to his family.
In the beginning of the episode, we see Randall struggling with the essay prompt. The question asks about the one person who’s had the biggest impact on his life, and despite Kevin and Kate urging him to choose the firefighter who found him as a newborn, Randall can’t discredit all the other incredible humans who mean so much to him. He reads:
“Now you might say, ‘Randall, most of these people are essentially strangers,’ but everyone starts off as an essential stranger. I was left at a fire station by my birth father, and then I was found by a fireman, who took me to a hospital, where a doctor showed me to my father, who showed me to my mother. My story is unique, and I feel like it’s like that for everyone. Strangers can be your most impactful people. Acquaintances can be your most impactful people. Family can be your most impactful people. And that’s why I can’t pick the person who’s had the greatest impact on my life and why I think your question is flawed. But if you insist on me answering, if it’s the only way I can gain entrance into your storied university, I choose the fireman.”
I’m no college admissions expert, but the stack of tissues on my floor after that scene should guarantee an automatic acceptance. Watch the moment Randall reads his insightful and profound essay, and see how This Is Us fans reacted to the heartwarming clip ahead.