‘This Is Us’: Why We Never See Toby and Kate Actually Go to Work

One of the biggest mistakes in TV sitcoms and dramas is that they don’t always give viewers a glimpse at what the characters do to earn their money. On a show like NBC’s This Is Us, there are at least major attempts to show life as it really is, including problems found in certain jobs.

However, not all of the characters are seen working in their specific careers. While audiences have certainly seen a lot in how Kevin (Justin Hartley) navigate his acting career, Toby (Chris Sullivan) and Kate (Chrissy Metz) haven’t really been explored in what they do to earn any money.

Despite being a middle-class couple, it’s not completely clear what either of them does in their day jobs, other than a few scant clues. Sometimes not focusing on those aspects is better off so other elements of the characters can shine through.

What exactly does Toby do for his career on ‘This Is Us’?

Chrissy Metz as Kate, Chris Sullivan as Toby on NBC's 'This Is Us.'
Chrissy Metz as Kate, Chris Sullivan as Toby on NBC’s ‘This Is Us.’ | Ron Batzdorff/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

A Reddit user recently fielded the question of how Toby and Kate manage to afford to live in L.A., plus having proper medical care after the IVF birth of their son. As usual, many people piped in to halfway answer these questions, even if there isn’t anything official yet on the show to confirm one way or the other.

Toby seems to work in the realm of IT for some kind of tech company, according to sharp-eyed fans who answered the Reddit thread. Despite being hard to catch, there have been a few scenes showing Toby working with clients for a company he either works directly for or owns himself.

It seems doubtful he’d own his own IT company or the two would probably be much more financially sound than they let on. Unless Kate is the real moneymaker in the family. Nevertheless, there hasn’t been much available on what she’s currently doing as part of her regular job, outside of one past clue.

If Toby really does own his company, he might have to be away from home more often than he wants to be, hence perhaps the theory of their marriage unraveling becoming true.

Does Kate still work as an assistant on ‘This Is Us’?

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One thing missed by more casual This Is Us viewers is Kate once worked as an assistant for Kevin, no doubt paying her very well. She apparently isn’t doing this in the current timeline of the show. Not that she probably didn’t maybe make a barrel of money from doing this considering Kevin is no doubt a millionaire.

Some fans assume she probably set aside a huge amount of savings from her job as Kevin’s assistant. What isn’t known is what she’s doing in the present time. Kevin fired her during the first season, leading Kate to do some personal assistant jobs for others. Who those others are isn’t known, though.

In many ways, this trajectory is one close to Metz’s real past career life working as an in-demand talent agent. No doubt the writing team threw that in there to add a little bit of real life.

Of course, viewers have seen Kate pick up a few singing gigs along the way, yet hardly enough to pay any bills since it’s not steady.

It may not matter when other character attributes take precedence

Fans of popular shows are always asking more detailed questions about characters to help satiate curiosity. The bigger picture will probably say: It doesn’t matter since other plot points will be the main focus, including the child’s background.

For Kate and Toby, it’s not necessarily important to their trajectory to know what they do in their careers. Their relationship (and Baby Jack) are the real arc to these characters.

Viewers will have to get used to not knowing everything about their favorite TV characters, only because the writers know it won’t enhance the story. This isn’t new in the world of TV, no matter if it still drives people crazy that struggling, middle-class characters can somehow afford expensive apartments.

This Is Us is still realistic enough about family issues where it won’t leave any major logic on the table on how the Pearsons live.