Chrissy Metz as Kate, Chris Sullivan as Toby in 'This Is Us'

This Is Us Just Confirmed A HUGE Fan Theory About Kate & Toby

A lot can change in five years.

by Ani Bundel
Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Since the first season of This Is Us, Kate's main storyline has been her relationship with Toby Damon. But viewers haven't always been fans of the pairing. In the early going, Toby was accused of being overbearing and manipulative, with critics arguing Kate should dump him. Instead, they got married in a Season 2 finale wedding. However, when Season 3 premiered, the flash-forward to 2034 hinted the relationship wouldn't last. Now it seems Kate and Toby's divorce on This Is Us has been confirmed.

Warning: Super spoilers from the This Is Us Season 5 finale follow. Ever since the flash-forward in which Randall invited an (evidently) single Toby to see Rebecca in her final days, fans have been looking for clues about what happened with him and Kate. The immediate assumption was that Kate and Toby would divorce at some point. They’ve always had communication issues and both have been prone to making bad choices in handling their mental health. Their struggle to conceive showed fissures in their relationship and then Toby’s initial inability to bond with Jack due to his son’s disability was a massive red flag.

But despite their arguments, Toby and Kate seemed to be in it for the long haul. By the time they decided to adopt Hailey, fans were convinced the initial guess of divorce was incorrect. Moreover, Kate still hasn’t turned up in the 2034 flash-forwards. So, many fans stopped believing Kate would leave Toby and started theorizing Kate would die, thus leaving Toby to raise their kids alone.

Ron Batzdorff/NBC

But the latest flash-forward in the Season 5 finale, to 2026, proved fans were right the first time: Season 6 will be This Is Divorce. This time, the clues add up far more than they did in earlier seasons. With Toby landing a job with a San Francisco startup, he and Kate will attempt a partial long-distance relationship. He’ll be gone three days a week while she stays full-time in Los Angeles.

For those who don’t live in California, this isn’t like Randall suggesting he commute to Philly while Beth and the girls stay in the Pittsburgh suburbs. That was a haul (four hours each way), but the kind of thing where he could go in the morning, stay in the city for a night, and then be back home by the following afternoon. San Francisco to Los Angeles is twice that commute, an eight-hour drive one way. The East Coast equivalent would be driving from Washington, D.C., to Toronto, Canada. It would be more accurate to compare it to Kevin and Sophie trying to do the NYC/LA thing, and audiences know how that turned out.

Toby and Kate are already back to struggling to communicate with each other, as evidenced by Toby’s klutzy comment that “he loves his kids, but” and Kate’s negative response. And judging by the flash-forward at the end of the Season 5 finale, it looks like time and distance aren’t going to be on their side. Unless the scene was somehow a huge misdirection, in 2026, Kate is getting married to Phillip, aka her grumpy fellow teacher at the music school who encouraged her to keep her job when Toby wanted her to go back to stay-at-home mom life. How those two end up getting together — and how, exactly, Kate and Toby end up splitting up — remains to be seen in Season 6.