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‘This Is Us’: Will Kate and Toby Divorce Because of Long-Distance? Series Creator Drops New Clues After the Season 6 Premiere

How will long-distance impact the divorce of Toby and Kate in ‘This Is Us’ Season 6? Series creator Dan Fogelman and actor Chrissy Metz reveal what’s next for the couple and hint why they break up in the new season.

Many This Is Us fans were devastated to learn that Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan) break up before the end of the series. In the fifth season finale, Kate married her coworker, Phillip (Chris Geere), in a flash-forward. Now, the sixth and final season will reveal the real reason why KaToby split. And while some viewers believe there could be cheating involved, the NBC series has hinted that the couple’s current living situation is putting a strain on their relationship. So do Kate and Toby divorce because of long-distance in This Is Us Season 6? Here’s everything we know so far.

[Warning: This article contains spoilers from This Is Us Season 6 Episode 1, “The Challenger.”]

What happened to Kate, Toby, and Phillip in the ‘This Is Us’ Season 6 premiere?

Headshot of Chris Sullivan as Toby, Chrissy Metz as Kate, Chris Geere as Phillip from ‘This Is Us’ Season 6
Chris Sullivan as Toby, Chrissy Metz as Kate, Chris Geere as Phillip from ‘This Is Us’ Season 6 | Joe Pugliese/NBC

Given Kate and Phillip’s wedding in the This Is Us Season 5 finale, many fans braced for the downfall of Kate and Toby in the season 6 premiere. But the change wasn’t quite as drastic as some feared. 

Previously, Toby got a job that required him to fly to San Francisco from his home base in LA three times a week. Then in the premiere episode on Jan. 4, the Big Three celebrated their 41st birthday, and fans could see the toll Toby’s absence had on Kate. 

The assistant music teacher spent the first half of her day without her husband. However, it seemed like the only thing Kate wanted was for Toby to make a big grand gesture by being there to celebrate in person. 

Of course, Kate did get that “grand gesture” moment when Phillip brought her to school so their students could sing her a song for her birthday. She also celebrated with her family before learning even more devastating news about Rebecca (Mandy Moore). But luckily, Toby eventually showed up, bringing some light back into Kate’s life – until he leaves again.

‘This Is Us’ creator reveals what’s next for Kate and Toby in new season 6 episodes

Following the This Is Us Season 6 premiere, creator Dan Fogelman explained Kate and Toby’s arc in the first episode and hinted at the reason why the two will eventually be on the brink of divorce in the future.

“It’s not just that he missed the birthday,” Fogelman told Entertainment Weekly. “It’s going to be what comes next, and the fights that will brew out of distance.

He continued, “You’re not fighting just about distance, you’re fighting about he’s no longer tucking in the kids the way that kids want to be tucked in because he doesn’t know how their schedules have changed, and then he feels that he’s being judged for being a bad father when he’s really just trying to support his family by killing himself flying home on the weekend.”

Chrissy Metz hints when the Toby and Kate divorce arc could start on ‘This Is Us’


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In a separate interview with Entertainment Weekly, Metz also confirmed that the long distance “plays a huge factor in the relationship” between Kate and Toby in This Is Us Season 6. That said, the actor suggested that “neither one is right and neither one of them is wrong” in the divorce.

“It’s just people grow apart,” Metz said. “What is so cool about Kate and Toby is that neither one can really blame [the] other.”

Meanwhile, both Fogelman hinted the road to Toby and Kate’s breakup will build slowly in the first few episodes. But Metz teased that there will be a “turning point” for the couple midway through the final season. So get ready.

“The episode that I got to co-write, which is [episode] 9, which is Kate’s episode — that’s going to be a massive turning point for Kate and Toby,” Metz said.