Heartbroken viewers watched in horror during a scene on the latest episode of “This Is Us.” As flames spread through the house Jack shares with his wife, Rebecca, and their three children, his memories — one by one — went up in a puff of smoke.
According to Country Living, the culprit was the fictional family’s Crock-Pot, which their neighbor, George, gave them years ago— along with a warning:
“You gotta fiddle with the switch, but it works.”
— This Is Us (@NBCThisisUs) January 26, 2018
Fans wiped away their tears, then rushed to their kitchens to unplug their Crock-Pots:
— ShantillyLace? (@shantel575) January 24, 2018
What I learned from tonight’s episode of @ThisIsUsNBC — it’s probably time for me to ditch this 50-year-old #crockpot handed down from my parents. #ThisIsUs @ThisIsUsWriters ? pic.twitter.com/0U3POfi0GP
— Jenny Price Smith (@madisonjps) January 24, 2018
The scene caused viewers so much angst that the show’s writer and producer, Dan Fogelman, chimed in to calm their nerves:
Taking a moment to remind everyone that it was a 20 year old fictional crockpot with an already funky switch? Let’s not just lump all those lovely hardworking crockpots together. #ThisIsUs
— Dan Fogelman (@Dan_Fogelman) January 24, 2018
Fans responded to his tweet:
— Sarah Chang (@LoveChang26) January 24, 2018
I have a ton of appliances I USED to keep plugged in – my coffee pot, my toaster, my crock pot. You never unplug your fridge or microwave…wouldn’t think to do so with others. I do now!!!
— Jen Shetler (@Jen_Shetler) January 25, 2018
The demise of jack and crock pot
— The DTR Blog (@thedtrblog) January 26, 2018
I have a CrockPot from 1984, one from 2994, and one from a yard sale. I was a careful user before Tuesday, and I will continue this while hating what this storyline!
— Ginger Carter Miller (@GingerCM) January 25, 2018
I blame the old man ???? thrownhat away !!!! Lol ?
— Gul ( Gia ) (@Giagul) January 25, 2018
— Molly Kleeman (@KleemanMolly) January 25, 2018
Why? Why did it have to be the crock pot??
— Xiangyun Zhang (@NinjaXiangyun) January 26, 2018
I think that we should all take this opportunity to throw out our 20 year old #crockpots and buy new ones! I just realized mine is from 1990! let’s support the crockpot before #SuperBowl #ThisIsUs #buyanewcrockpot
— SophiaTarlas (@SophiaTarlas) January 26, 2018
Crock-Pot also issued a statement about the episode:
— Avery Cotton (@WFLAAvery) January 24, 2018
The statement read, in part:
Crock-Pot understands the concerns brought up by last night’s episode of ‘This Is Us,’ and we too are heartbroken by the latest development in Jack’s storyline. However, it is important that our consumers understand and have confidence that all Crock-Pot slow cookers exceed all internal testing protocols and all applicable industry safety standards and regulations as verified by independent third-party testing labs. For nearly 50 years with over 100 million Crock-Pots sold, we have never received any consumer complaints similar to the fictional events portrayed in last night’s episode. In fact, the safety and design of our product renders this type of event nearly impossible.
The company followed up by sympathizing with fans about Jack:
We totally get it! Last night’s episode was ?, & we’re still not over it either! We want to assure you that we’re committed to safety & you can continue to use our products with confidence. We test our #CROCKPOT rigorously before they hit shelves. Pls DM us with any questions.
— The Crock-Pot® Brand (@CrockPotCares) January 24, 2018
Crock-Pot heard from some loyal users:
I cried when the house went up in flames, but that being said, I’m still using mine this weekend!!
— Elena (Nena) Johnson (@Texas2Maine) January 26, 2018
Used mine Tuesday and using it again tonight. I own three of them. No worries, CrockPot!
— Sari Emmert (@sariemmert) January 25, 2018
Though Crock-Pot probably never expected to be defending its product to fans of a TV show, but the situation does raise appliance safety awareness in the end. So, maybe there’s a bright side for devastated fans after all.