‘This Is Us’ Fans Are Devastated There Won’t Be a Thanksgiving-Themed Episode This Year

This Is Us Season 5 won’t return until January 2021, and many fans are heartbroken. Every year the Pearson family delivers a traditional Thanksgiving episode complete with Kraft cheese hot dogs and a Pilgrim Rick hat.

However, this year, it doesn’t look like Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) will be returning in a traditional flashback. Uncle Nicky (Griffin Dunne) won’t bring the shrimp cocktail, and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) will likely be most upset by the lack of Thanksgiving tradition in 2020.

'This Is Us' Mackenzie Hancsicsak as 8-year-old Kate Pearson
‘This Is Us’ Mackenzie Hancsicsak as 8-year-old Kate Pearson | Ron Batzdorff/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

‘This Is Us’ won’t return until Jan. 5, 2021 — Here’s Why

NBC gave no explanation for the long This Is Us hiatus. However, Mandy Moore quickly responded to her despondent fans about why the series won’t return until Jan. 5, 2021. The coronavirus (COVID-19) strikes again.

“I’ve seen online that folks were a bit bummed out about that—I appreciate that, we all appreciate that you’re bummed out,” Moore explained in an Instagram Story. “But we just started production back, and it has been such a break-neck pace.”

'This Is Us' Mackenzie Hancsicsak , Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Parker Bates, Lonnie Chavis
‘This Is Us’ Mackenzie Hancsicsak , Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Parker Bates, Lonnie Chavis | Ron Batzdorff/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

This Is Us halted production in March 2020 due to COVID-19 and did not start up again until Sept. 24, 2020. They typically begin filming in July, so the entire cast and crew are behind schedule. 

“I believe I saw on Twitter tonight that [series creator Dan Fogelman] said our post team literally just locked in tonight’s episode last night,” she continued. “So, we have to get caught up. We are literally in the middle of filming, almost at the end of filming, the fifth episode, which would be airing next week. So, we need to catch up. So, we’ll see you in January.”

Fans are ‘disappointed’ about the lack of a Thanksgiving episode

This Is Us fans expressed their frustrations about the long break on social media.

“I’m more disappointed that there will be no Thanksgiving episode than I am about the big break,” one fan wrote on Reddit. “Thanksgiving episodes have been traditional on this show, and I always look forward to them.”

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Other fans agreed that the long-standing Thanksgiving tradition would be tough for This Is Us to skip over. 

“The Thanksgiving episode every year is a big one,” added another fan. “If you think about it, every year something dramatic happens. Lots of families aren’t getting together this year; maybe we’ll see a nod to it when they do return.”

Some fans are hopeful a ‘This Is Us’ Thanksgiving-themed episode will air in January 2021

Although a few fans thought it would be “lame” to have a Thanksgiving-themed episode in January, that might be the case. 

“I’m pretty sure their original plan was to air a few episodes in December, but they felt they couldn’t keep up with the pacing, so they decided to take a break,” one viewer wrote. “Like someone else said, they’re not gonna rewrite the episodes just because they’re taking a break.”

Viewers think it would be very 2020 to air a Thanksgiving episode in January.

“Additionally, I don’t find it too lame to have a thanksgiving episode in January or February,” the viewer continued. “It’s just what’s coming with the situation we’ve all been dealing with. It’s whatever. Would it be more magical and meaningful to air it in November? Sure! But I think there’s too much story to tell between where we left off and Thanksgiving to just skip over it.”

Here’s hoping for Thanksgiving in January when This Is Us returns on Jan. 5, 2021.