This Is Us Producers Address Pregnancy Test Gaffe, Citing 'Zoom Editing' amid COVID-Era Filming

Jen Juneau
·3 min read

This Is Us producers are owning up to a mistake in the last episode that had some fans scratching their heads.

In the November episode — the last one before the NBC drama's winter break — a teenage Kate Pearson (Hannah Zeile) took a pregnancy test that turned positive, setting off a barrage of questions about her immediate future as well as the present day, as the adult Kate (Chrissy Metz) strived to bond with the pregnant mother of a baby she is hoping to adopt.

But eagle-eyed fans noticed a snafu in the scene: Kate was holding a box that clearly read "OVULATION TEST" on the packaging. (Ovulation tests are often used to help women get pregnant, letting them know when they are about to ovulate and therefore, the best times to try to conceive.)

"Not to be THAT guy but Kate's pregnancy test on This Is Us was in an ovulation test box and those are VERY different products," one user tweeted.

Another tweeted directly at Sterling K. Brown, who plays Kate's brother Randall on the show, "Help! A This Is Us fan page over on Facebook is wondering this. Was the test teen Kate was holding supposed to be an ovulation or a pregnancy test?"

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Producers of the show addressed the incident in a conversation with Entertainment Weekly, revealing that it was an honest mistake that came as a result of difficult filming and editing conditions amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"It'll be good to put it to bed because our fans are so awesome and pick up on every little hint," said executive producer Isaac Aptaker. "As soon as we saw that people were misinterpreting, of course it drove us crazy. So let the record officially show: That was [meant to be] a pregnancy test box."

Aptaker called the gaffe "a casualty of how absolutely impossible it has been to make television this year."

"Despite the dozens of people who stared at that scene countless times before it went to air, we were all just so fried from all of the COVID [filming conditions] that we missed that one," he added.

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Executive producer Elizabeth Berger told EW that the mistake "can [be chalked] up to Zoom editing."

"Usually we're all in a bay together looking at these giant monitors. And this is the one where we were like, 'Ah, if we had just been there, someone would have seen it!'" she continued. "But everyone is just working so hard around the clock under these crazy circumstances."

"And every once in a while, you're going to have an ovulation test when you wish you had a pregnancy test box," Berger said.

This Is Us returns Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.