C. Molly Smith
Updated Oct 03, 2017 @ 4:10 pm

There are a lot of theories out there about how Jack died on This Is Us. The Season 2 premiere suggested that he could have died in or as a result of a house fire, but some Redditors think there’s a more complicated explanation. The latest to catch our eye?

Jack died as a result of a washing machine on This Is Us.

Crazy, we know. But stay with us, because this potential explanation actually makes a ton of sense. The theory arrives from Reddit user ashelizabethmoon, who reminds readers of this ‘lil comment made by creator Dan Fogelman.

And ashelizabethmoon is betting that this whole washing machine thing is one example of how something small (a household appliance malfunctioning) can turn into something monumental (that malfunctioning leads to a house fire, which leads to Jack’s death).

Ashelizabethmoon reminds us that Kevin tells Rebecca that the washing machine is possessed when he moves into the basement so he doesn’t have to share a room with Randall in Season 1, Episode 7, “The Best Washing Machine in the World.” Okay, so we know that the washing machine isn’t getting a gold star anytime soon for being a rockstar household appliance.

And with context clues, we know that this washing machine trouble happens around the time of Jack’s death: “This scene takes place the night of the football game where Randall and Kevin get into a fight, which is also the day Rebecca first met up with the band. This means the washing machine was malfunctioning around the relevant time frame,” ashelizabethmoon writes.

“It is reasonable to assume that fixing it was not Rebecca’s priority given that she was reigniting her music career, and Jack began drinking again at this time. It is also reasonable to assume the family’s focus was not on the washing machine once Jack returned home to work on recovery.”

Ashelizabethmoon also asks us to imagine the power of the sweet washing machine-related scenes (like Jack promising to buy Rebecca a washing machine) juxtaposed with scenes surrounding the house fire. * Cue the waterworks *

Okay, so we’re getting warmer. And ashelizabethmoon has a lot more where that came from.

The Redditor points out that Kevin has a cast at the time of Jack’s passing. So Kevin was likely not living in the basement because it would be too difficult to make it up and down the stairs. And Randall likely didn’t move into the basement and give Kevin the room they used to share, because the pair really aren’t getting along at this time. But there’s another sibling at play here…

And wait, there’s MORE.

In Season 1, Episode 11, “The Right Thing to Do,” we see that Jack hasn’t finished working on the house — which needed a LOT of work — by the time Rebecca goes into labor. Translation: “This means there might have been electrical or other problems in the basement, which were not finished in time and either overlooked or forgotten about,” ashelizabethmoon. “Faulty wiring + a defective washing machine sure seems capable of the damage to the Pearson’s home.”


As for Kate, maybe she didn’t use the washing machine correctly in some shape or form, and that’s why she blames herself for her father’s death. Whatever the case may be, we’re now convinced that a washing machine mishap is a very plausible, potential explanation for how this house fire was started.

We doubt we’ll find out the *exact* circumstances surrounding Jacks’ death anytime soon, but we’ll be looking for clues to support this washing machine theory in the meantime.