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A Bundle Of Problems: 7 Silly Ways TV Shows Covered Up Real-Life Pregnancies

By Nadia Chaudhury | Seriously Random Lists | April 16, 2014 | Comments ()


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Gaining Weight
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.

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Bizarre Circumstances
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.

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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.

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Vasectomies Gone Wrong
Christa Miller as Jordan Sullivan, Scrubs
The writers explained Jordan’s second pregnancy (to coincide with Christa’s third pregnancy) with a fumbled vasectomy snip job.

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.

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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.

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Surrogacies
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.

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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.







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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • jp

    and courtney cox was a much larger monica in the final episodes of friends

  • jp

    triplets not quintuplets on friends

  • DaddyD

    Patricia Heaton was pregnant twice during the run of "Everybody Loves Raymond", during which, she routinely carried baskets of laundry piled high in front of her, or sometimes boxes. During those season, they also found more reasons for her to be sad, so she could sit on a couch or bed and hug a pillow. Wardrobe bhelped out by giving her a really oversized bathrobe, and short jumper dresses with leggings. If she had to be seen in a full body shot, she was always in a long button-down shirt and stood only in profile (mostly at the kitchen sink).

  • Guest

    I remember when actor portraying Cece on The Nanny was pregnant, Cece made a comment about the ridiculousness of hiding an actress behind things like potted plants while she was holding large posters under her arms. It was charmingly meta.

  • profession: none, or starlet

    I can't help but feel this list is missing Angel's solution to Charisma Carpenter's pregnancy, i.e. "impregnate character with strange ultra-rapid-growing goddess/demon". And then put her in a coma. And then kill her.

  • e jerry powell

    What was she "expecting," a Volkswagen?

  • kinoumenthe

    Wasn't Archie Panjabi pregnant during one season of The Good Wife ?
    I mean the concealed on screen type.
    I can find no info about it, but I recently rewatched the whole run and I remember wondering about that at some point, because of her wardrobe and the angles.

  • Leigh

    What about Debra Messing on Will and Grace? I guess they did the binge eating/getting fat, and sort-of hid it with pillows and bigger shirts, but really during most of it she looked obviously prego.

    (And I would also add Emily Deschanel as Temperance Brennan to Just Plain Pregnant.)

  • Haystacks

    One of my favorite was Cece on "The Nanny". They just completely ignored it until they had her say “I can’t believe what they get away with on TV these days. I was watching this rerun of Seinfeld, and Elaine must have been, I don’t know, 12 months pregnant, and they didn’t even acknowledge it, they just kept hiding her behind these huge props.”

  • annie

    I was totally going to mention this! And in that same scene, she just picks up random huge props like a potted plant or a poster or something. It was so charmingly meta.

  • Kala

    I was wondering if CeCe would be on this list. She had a solid season of clutching on to enormous tote bags. If memory serves, they also tended to stick her behind large ferns as well.

  • Debra Kessing

    the Nanny was a very clever comedy and the main cast was perfect for their roles. CeCe & Niles (especially Niles) got all the best lines !

  • Repo

    HIMYM had so many awesome strategically placed pillows and oversize purses combined with bulky jackets.

  • chanohack

    I really enjoyed watching them get creative with things Lily could reasonably be holding.

  • Didn't they just end up putting Cobie Smulders in a lot of maxi dresses?

  • abell

    Hey, hey, hey, does anyone not know the difference between peanut butter and jam?

    Do you want to?

  • abell

    emmalita upvoted this, which I'm taking as a yes. You all can blame her.

    The difference between peanut butter and jam is I can't peanut butter my cock up your ass

  • emmalita

    It had to be offensive enough for Lily to leave for however long she left. And that did it.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Remember on Cheers when they wrote in Carla's pregnancy but she refused to admit it? Good times.

  • No mention of Gates McFadden on STNG? First they hid it with her lab coat, and then they filmed her standing behind various objects in the medical bay. No one was fooled. She didn't appear in the last few episodes of that season.

  • eag46

    And on Deep Space Nine, when Nana Visitor was pregnant with her son by Alexander Siddig, her character ended up becoming a surrogate for another character's baby. Never mind that she played a Bajoran and the other character was human.

  • idiosynchronic

    That was a drinking game for us in the dorms when those episodes were first run!

  • TacoBellRey

    One of my favorite TV moments was a pregnant Christa Miller raging down the halls of the hospital to "Isn't She Lovely". https://www.youtube.com/watch?...
    Also, a nice dig at Tom Cruise at the end.

  • NateMan

    I've had the hots for Christa Miller since The Drew Carey Show. She's so damned funny.

  • DominaNefret

    I recently started rewatching Scrubs from the beginning, and it has been such a marvelous experience.
    I've seen it through several times before, but this time feels different, like I am watching it with a more mature and discerning eye, and it actually seems BETTER than all of the other times. I really think it is one of the best shows ever made.

  • TacoBellRey

    Me too! I'm on season six right now. I never notice how many little celebrity cameos they've had, like Ryan Reynolds or John Ritter as J.D.'s dad.

  • Debra Kessing

    gods I miss Scrubs !!! I loved Jordan.

  • Belladonna Took

    Yes, an alien abduction is the best way to deal with an actress's pregnancy. :) And wasn't it triplets with Phoebe. I believe one was named Frank Jr, Jr.

  • Debra Kessing

    it was in X Files !

  • mairimba

    Frank Jr Jr., Leslie, and Chandler. But only if Chandler promised not to change his own name.

  • Aaron Schulz

    Chanandler Bong?

  • Mrs. Julien

    Miss Chandandler Bong.

  • Yup.

    And Chandler was a girl.

  • Berry

    Oh God, kindergarten flashback.

  • Alicia

    If all of the above are silly ways to deal with an actress's pregnancy, what's a "smart" way to do it?

  • Jericho Smith

    Chastity belts for actresses. Nip this thing in the bud before it becomes an issue. Although it will mess with the auditioning process in Hollywood.

  • Rudra Banerji

    i'm going to admit this - I watch Hart of Dixie. They had Jaime King be sent away to take care of her grandmother and appear on video chat after the baby was born. During the pregnancy, it was a lot of sitting, props, and costume changes.

  • Berry

    The best thing part about that was GFY's pregnancy hiding prop tally. Their Hart of Dixie recaps are always good, but that bit was inspired.

  • PerpetualIntern

    They're doing it for Kerry Washington now. They're calling it wombouflage. It's pretty awesome.

  • Three_nineteen

    They did the same thing to Rosalee on Grimm. She went to take care of a sick aunt, and there were a lot of phone conversations.

  • DominaNefret

    I did not know that! It does explain so much.

  • Monica

    Oh that explains so much!

  • Mrs. Julien

    Why do I know that Phoebe has just told Rachel she has decided she is going to keep one of the triplets and Rachel has just said, "Oh my god, I'm going to be on the news"? The answer, of course, is that it was Fonzie's half-birthday and such an auspicious date is not easily forgotten, nor would one want it to be.

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