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This Is Us fans noticed something interesting about the actors who play the “Big Three” in season 5 — they’re growing up. Fast. That prompted a discussion among fans about how the show will address the kids’ rapid aging.

Milo Ventimiglia as Jack, Mandy Moore as Rebecca, Mackenzie Hancsicsak as Kate, Parker Bates as Kevin, Lonnie Chavis as Randall on This Is Us
Stars of ‘This Is Us’ | Maarten de Boer/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

The ‘This Is Us’ child actors are changing so much

During This Is Us Season 5 Episode 3, titled “Changes,” the story involves a flashback to the “Big Three,” Kate, Kevin, and Randall, as they navigate puberty. Kate reads into her former boyfriend wanting to be part of her group class project, while her project-mate attempts to pursue Randall. Meanwhile, Jack helps Kevin bulk up for the football team.

Fans of the show noticed that, true to the teen storyline the show highlighted, the actors who play the roles, Mackenzie Hancsicsak, Parker Bates, and Lonnie Chavis are really growing up fast. Chavis’ voice was also noticeably deeper than it has been in the past.

Fans voiced confusion about the kids

It’s always challenging when child actors go through significant changes during a show, especially if a series needs their character to remain younger. In this case, the show is delving into the Big Three teen years, so the actors definitely fit the roles.

Many fans wondered, however, what happens if the show requires a flashback to when the kids were younger.

In one Reddit discussion, a fan noted how the kid actors are growing up, writing, “I feel like everyone has the same opinion that these kids that play Kate, Randall, and Kevin all look SO much older, and now I feel like it’s weird because they are getting a bit too close to looking the same age as the older actors of the characters (the teenagers).”

The Redditor asked, “Do you think they will start to use just one set of actors (the kids or the teenagers) from now on? Or keep using both even though they look near the same age but nothing alike?”

Another fan helped to sort things out, pointing to how the show’s stories are appropriately aged to the actors. “The older actors are playing 20 year olds now, so they will have different stories,” the Redditor explained. “Kate has whatever bombshell story they’ve hinted at already and Kevin will cheat on and break up with Sophie. Although I’m not sure what they can do for Randall, since he was doing well in college and in a stable relationship with an awesome girlfriend when he was 20.”

One fan noted, “You mean, the Littles are becoming the Middles? Hopefully, we’ll see the Middles as they get older, too!”

Still another Redditor predicted, “I think the ‘middle’ children age group of actors are going to have to be gone soon, unfortunately.”

The show already shot scenes of the Big Three for the series finale

The show’s creator definitely considered how the young actors might change over the years and brilliantly accounted for it. Knowing that kids don’t look young forever, the show filmed the actors when they were younger — and that footage will be used in scenes for the series finale.

E! News reported in 2018 that This Is Us creator and executive producer Dan Fogelman shared his plan during the For Your Consideration panel. Fogelman explained how they were handling the kids growing up, sharing, “I’ve already shot pieces of the final scene of the series.”

“We’re pretty far out. Our writers and I are kind of to the end. We know where it ends and we have a path for each season of the show. We’ve always had a plan,” he continued. “We didn’t want to get stuck. We had the kids and the timelines and had to have a plan.”