A Bundle Of Problems: 7 Silly Ways TV Shows Covered Up Real-Life Pregnancies
January Jones as Betty Draper, Mad Men
January Jones’ pregnancy was revealed on the show with Betty Draper’s thyroid tumor and binge eating, which led the actress to add to her baby bump with a padded suit.
Jane Leeves as Daphne Moon, Frasier
Daphne soothes her stress by binge eating to account for the weight Jane Leeves gained during her first pregnancy. She later disappears to attend a weight spa. When she comes back, it’s revealed she lost 9 pounds and 12 ounces, the weight of her real-life baby.
Alyson Hannigan as Lily Aldrin, How I Met Your Mother
Lily’s baby bump, while more temporary than the previous two examples, is still on full display as she celebrates her two wins as hot dog eating champion, showing off that food baby.
Jane Krakowski as Jenna Maroney, 30 Rock
Because of the gas leak and her usual need for attention, Jenna believes she’s actually pregnant, which left Jane free to flaunt her stomach for an episode. When the gas wears off, so does the belly (at least, in frame).
Katey Sagal as Peg Bundy, Married…with Children
Katey Sagal’s first pregnancy was written into the show, but after she unfortunately lost the child during filming, the plot was repositioned as just a dream Al Bundy had.
Marcia Cross as Bree Van de Kamp, Desperate Housewives
Marcia’s twins-baby bump were written into the show as a fake pregnancy hoax.
Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey, Grey’s Anatomy
In order to hide Ellen’s pregnancy, Meredith donated part of her liver to her father, which required a whole lot of bed rest.
Sending Them Away
Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully, The X-Files
Is there a better way of writing around a pregnant actress playing an FBI agent on a sci-fi show than by having her abducted by aliens? (No.)
Alyson Hannigan as Lily Aldrin, How I Met Your Mother on this list for the second time
Lily leaves for four weeks because she’s so offended by Barney’s dirty joke about the difference between peanut butter and jam, obviously.
Sarah Wayne Callies, Prison Break
When Sarah becomes pregnant, her character, Dr. Sara Tancredi, is missing, then is discovered to be dead (decapitated at that), and then becomes missing again.
Melissa McCarthy as Sookie St. James, Gilmore Girls
Sookie’s husband Jackson supposedly had a vasectomy after the couple’s second child, but when Melissa became pregnant again, it turns out he never actually got around to it.
A Change of Style & the Right Props & Framing
Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, Scandal
As Olivia, Kerry is always shot holding notepads and oversized purses, or wearing giant coats, or with really awkward framing behind desks, chairs, sofas, etc., so her figure never really appears on the screen.
Parminder Nagra as Neela Rasgotra, E.R.
The doctor dons baggier-than-usual scrubs during her actual pregnancy.
Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City
Carrie started wearing flowy or empire-waisted dresses to cover her stomach.
Angela Kinsey as Angela Martin, The Office
“Angela” was hidden by her desk or seen peeking over the high cubicle walls during Angela’s pregnancy.
Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Friends
Instead of having Phoebe become pregnant on her own, it was decided, through a convoluted revelation, that she would carry her brother and his wife’s quintuplets.
Jaime Pressly as Joy Turner, My Name is Earl
To avoid jail time, Joy becomes a surrogate for her newly-discovered half sister, just in time for Jaime’s real pregnancy.
Kaitlin Olson as Dee Reynolds, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
When Dee suddenly shows up pregnant because of Kaitlin’s real-life pregnancy, it turns out she’s carrying the baby for a transgender woman.
Just Plain Pregnant
Jennifer Garner as Sydney Bristow, Alias
Jennifer’s pregnancy (with Ben Affleck!) was worked into the show as a surprise for Sydney in the last season. The writers brought in another spy to deal with the more strenuous tasks and stunts.
Lucille Ball as Lucy Ricardo, I Love Lucy
Lucille’s second pregnancy was written into the show as Lucy’s first. The show wasn’t allowed to use the word “pregnant,” so the characters had to say that Lucy was “expecting.”
Jenna Fischer as Pam Beesly, The Office
Similar to Lucille, when Jenna became pregnant with her first child, the Halperts were soon expecting their second child. Except by then, “pregnant” wasn’t a blacklisted word.
Jennie Garth as Kelly Taylor, Beverly Hills 90210
Kelly was pregnant with Brandon Walsh’s baby when Jennie was actually pregnant. In the end, Kelly miscarried on the show (Jennie thankfully didn’t).
Nadia Chaudhury used to think, when she was very, very young, that hospitals were only for delivering babies. So, when she watched I Love Lucy and saw Ricky in a hospital gown, she thought he had a baby.