‘This Is Us’: Fans Have Disturbing Theories About What Happened with Teenage Kate and Her Boyfriend that Caused Her Weight Gain

Every week This Is Us makes us cry. This week is no different. Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Kevin (Justin Hartley) send a baby gift to adult Kate (Chrissy Metz) that has us in tears. Meanwhile, a family dinner during the Big Three’s teenage years has us grabbing the tissues while they reminisce about Jack (Milo Ventimiglia).

Midway through the episode, teenage Kate’s (Hannah Zeile) new music store friend shows up on her doorstep. At first, it seems romantic, but later on, we sense something is amiss with the relationship. Fans have a few disturbing theories that we know are going to have us sobbing when This Is Us returns next week. WARNING: SEASON 4 Spoilers

Teenage Kate Hannah Zeile
Teenage Kate Hannah Zeile | Ron Batzdorff/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

‘This Is Us’ Fans think Marc might have abused Kate in some way

At the end of This Is Us’s episode, Storybook Love, adult Kate finds a picture of her younger self with her music store, boyfriend, Marc (Austin Abrams). As she is looking at the picture, Rebecca (Mandy Moore) tells Kate that she wanted to believe they were all happy at that time, but she didn’t see what was happening. 

This ominous comment from Kate’s mother leads fans to believe that something scary happens with Marc.

One user on Instagram believes, “That Marc guy kind of looked like a potential abuser…and I have a feeling that’s what happened to Kate. But then she held the picture of him not in a hateful way, so maybe he wasn’t a bad guy?!”

Most fans are torn over whether or not Marc could be abusive to Kate.

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Another fan contemplates, “Some have suggested him dying, but Rebecca said something about thinking the kids were happy, which leads me to believe he was controlling and abusive.”

One Reddit user has a very intricate theory, “He’s 23 dating a 17-18-year-old. While not all age gaps are bad, Kate is already in a vulnerable state, doesn’t have much or any experience in relationships, and is much younger than him, which creates a huge power dynamic. Add to the fact she never gave him her address, and he decided to randomly show up, (which she called creepy before romantic). Kate said he was her friend, and instead of playing into that, he decided to tell everyone they were dating when she was hesitant. Kevin called him creepy, which seems like good foreshadowing.”

It is fascinating that Kevin does not like Marc right from the very beginning. It does seem to indicate something terrible happening. Many fans are in agreement that Marc abuses Kate.

Marc may have died after Kate fell in love with him

Other fans are not so sure that the ominous tone indicates abuse. One fan on Instagram writes, “I think he killed himself.”

The fact that Kate still has the picture and holds it somewhat affectionately seems to show us that it was not a dire situation. If Kate was somehow abused by Marc, many fans think that Rebecca would not have kept the picture. 

A Reddit user agrees, “Everyone is saying abuse with Marc. I got a totally different vibe. I assumed he died or overdosed from drugs. I’m curious to see what comes from their story.” 

It is possible that something tragic happens to Marc, which is just what Kate does not need at this time in her life. She just lost her father, and now the very first person she gets close to also dies. That would be enough to send anyone into a downward spiral. 

Whichever theory it is, fans are positive that this traumatic event causes Kate’s weight gain

Reddit and Instagram users both feel the same about this angle. No matter what the trauma is surrounding Marc, it is the reason Kate begins to gain weight.

“Whatever it ends up being with Marc, I think it catapulted Kate’s weight gain. My theory is he either died/committed suicide, or he was abusive/assaulted her. I’m leaning more towards the first. I feel like if he abused or assaulted her, Rebecca wouldn’t have kept the pictures,” wrote another Reddit fan.

The same fan continued, “If Marc died, that would be the deaths of two people closest to her that she went through in a short period. We already know Jack’s was traumatic and that she felt guilty for it, so I wonder if Marc’s death was also traumatic (like suicide or overdose). Her boyfriend and dad dying within a year of each other would more than enough to cause people to binge eat and gain weight.”

Another Reddit user believes, “I think Kate’s boyfriend is abusive. And that’s when she really gains weight. So she can try and avoid that treatment from someone again if she ‘isn’t attractive.’”

All theories point to trauma for teenage Kate on This Is Us. Catch the latest episodes on NBC at 9 p.m. on Tuesday nights.