Since the final episode of Season 5, viewers of This Is Us have known Toby and Kate would be getting divorced. But the how, when, and why of it all have mostly been unknown until the more recent episodes. But even still, it’s still a long way from spring of 2022, when Toby gives up his San Francisco job to live with his family again, to June 2026, the estimated timeframe of Kate’s second wedding. This timeline for Kate and Toby’s divorce will help fans make sense of it all, even if I had to do some crafty math and guesswork.
Warning: Spoilers for This Is Us Season 6, Episode 12 follow. Despite Kate and Toby reaching closer to their marriage’s proverbial cliff’s edge in show’s the current timeline, it’s not like they collapsed right away. Toby is already once-divorced; Kate grew up with her parents’ love story in front of her. It takes them almost a year and a half from their reconciliation attempts in 2022 for Kate to finally see they are officially over.
But that was only the beginning of April 12’s twisty-turny episode. Let’s wade into the wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey ball of stuff (that’s the official name, look it up) and untangle this gordian knot of a divorce.
Assuming the April 12 episode’s opening scene is in the immediate present, it was April 2022 when Toby announced he would take a lower-paying job and move back to Los Angeles, and Kate applied for Sheila’s old job. Within weeks, he was back in L.A., Kate got hired, and the two of them started seeing a marriage counselor, Diane, putting their best faces on for the world.
But it doesn’t last long. The next time viewers saw Kate and Toby at Diane’s, it had been six months since they started therapy, putting this scene around October 2022, and Kate was running late from meeting with Jack’s new teacher. Though the show doesn’t state it outright, this looked to be the first time the two of them finally got real in front of Diane, and it wasn’t pretty.
The next point in time is February 2023, aka Big Three II Turn Two. Toby was downright nasty to Kate, and she started wondering to Kevin how much longer she could deny the inevitable.
It turned out the answer was about six more months. The episode established it was August 2023, because Toby said they’d been in therapy for 16 months. Diane (who is apparently a terrible therapist) told them to try and have a nice dinner together as a couple. It will be the evening forever known as the Divorce Dinner, as Toby, spontaneously and out of seemingly nowhere, spewed years of built-up resentment over Jack Pearson’s memory.
It will surprise no one that there was no coming back from that. After Toby used her father’s name in vain, Kate declared their marriage was over.
Here’s where dates get messy and I’m going to employ some guesswork. Toby moved out soon after their Divorce Dinner, likely around early fall 2023, into a nearby apartment. The two went through mediation, working out custody and division of assets. But Toby hoped that somehow he could still save their marriage, finally breaking in early June 2024, begging Kate to give him one more chance. It was Toby and Kate’s last kiss. She said no.
On June 5, 2024, Toby and Kate officially divorced.
As Kate wrapped things up with Toby, she got a text with an invite from Phillip asking her to go out to karaoke. It is not their first date, though — that came later; judging by their conversation ahead of the Mariachi interruption, it was likely during the next school year.
Once again, exactly how much time elapses between Kate and Phillip’s first date and the proposal is hard to say, but I’m going to make some educated guesses. Jack and Hailey are now old enough to have new elementary school-aged actors playing them, so let’s say the proposal happens in the fall of 2025 or so. Football has started, per the TVs in the bar at Phillip and Toby’s meeting. The engagement party is in October because the election is only a few weeks out, and Randall is comfortably ahead in the polls for his senatorial race.
The series then jumps ahead to 2027. Toby accepted the marriage was over, bought a house, and met a lovely lady. By February 2027, when The Big Three II turned six, he’d gotten comfortable with Kate’s new marriage. And in the jump everyone’s been waiting for, Jack Jr.’s career takes off in the late 2040s, where everyone is a happy, blended family.
This Is Us: The Final Season continues with new episodes every Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC and streaming the next day on Hulu.