‘This Is Us’: The Clever Way Producers Taught Baby Jack to Pretend He Was Choking

Although This Is Us centered around the three Pearson siblings this week, Toby (Chris Sullivan) and baby Jack (Wells & Poppy Barnes) also had a nice amount of screen time.

While Kate (Chrissy Metz), Kevin (Justin Hartley), and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) bonded at the family cabin, the baby gave Toby quite a scare. Let’s take a look at how that whole choking scene was made to look so real and scary.

[Warning: This Is Us Season 4 spoilers ahead]

Chrissy Metz, Chris Sullivan and Wells Barnes
Chrissy Metz, Chris Sullivan and Wells Barnes | Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

What happened with Toby and baby Jack while Kate was away on ‘This Is Us?’

Kate was visibly worried about leaving her baby with Toby even though he is the father of their child. Many new mothers have anxiety about leaving their child with a caregiver for the first time, even if it is the other parent. However, Toby convinced her that everything would be fine.

When Toby and Jack sat down to have something to eat, many viewers were already worried. Maybe it was because of all the mom worries from Kate. She did explicitly point out the list of foods that they are sure Jack is not allergic to. Then, Toby decided to introduce something new — scrambled eggs. 

Eggs are sometimes questioned as food that a child might be allergic to, so fans gut instinct was that Jack might have an allergic reaction. Instead, the baby starts choking. Toby is mortified and pounds on Jack’s back. He even tries to give the young child CPR. Luckily the food comes out, and the baby is fine. 

Was the baby really choking on ‘This Is Us?’

Twin babies portray baby Jack on the show. If the baby has a hat on, it is probably the young girl who is acting — Poppy Barnes. The producers need to cover up all of her cute little locks. 

During the choking scene, it was Wells Barnes playing Jack. The twin’s parents — Stacey and Matthew Barnes — often post photos and videos of the twins acting on This Is Us. They posted a photo this week of Wells with his eggs, and many fans commented about how worrisome that scene was.

Other fans asked how they made the baby look like he was choking. 

“A little vinegar in your eggs, and you’ll be making horrible faces too,” the parents responded to the question.

It turns out; the baby could not tell that anything was different about his eggs until he put it in his mouth. Cue the extreme faces. Then the producers can also sub in the ‘jelly baby‘ that is made in the exact likeness of the Barnes twins as needed.

What did fans think of the Toby and baby Jack scenes on ‘This Is Us?’

“That scene scared me so much,” wrote one fan on Reddit. “I’m so happy baby Jack is ok.”

Viewers were relieved that baby Jack is fine and that Toby was able to bond with his son, finally.

“I’m glad we got to see Toby hit the acceptance stage; his storyline with baby Jack was basically “the stages of grief” condensed,” added another Redditor. “Obviously, grief doesn’t actually work in real stages (you bounce between the various stages often), but it’s good to see he turned the corner for now.”

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Is this the wake up call Toby needs? #ThisIsUs

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Other fans agreed that it was also a sigh of relief to see Toby learning to play with Jack and accepting the baby’s disability.

“YES! Me too,” agreed yet another viewer. “It was basically from that point onwards me bawling for the rest of the episode. What a beautiful moment for Toby and Jack.”

To see more of those Barnes twins playing baby Jack, catch This Is Us on Tuesdays at 9 pm ET on NBC.

Read more: ‘This Is Us’: Who Plays Baby Jack? Get the Scoop on the Twins and the ‘Jelly Baby’

‘This Is Us’: The Shocking Way Toby (Chris Sullivan) Lost All of That Weight in Real Life