Some of these would’ve just been better off writing the baby into the show.
Getting pregnant is a natural part of life for many people. But when an actor gets pregnant while playing a character who isn’t meant to be pregnant, TV show writers have to develop a creative way to incorporate the pregnancy into the show (or decide not to) to keep the flow going.
Sometimes, they come up with super creative ways or even simple ways that work for both the TV character and the pregnant actor. But sometimes, those attempts to hide a pregnancy either fall short or are just plain out bad.
So, here are 15 ways TV shows hid an actor’s pregnancy from super well to super terrible.
First, When Lisa Kudrow got pregnant during Season 4 of Friends, the writers decided to include her pregnancy in the show. Phoebe soon became a surrogate for her brother, Frank, and Alice.
In Season 2 of Grey’s Anatomy, Chandra Wilson’s pregnancy was written into the show. Not only did they include her pregnancy, but they also gave us the scene with George and Bailey which is one of the most iconic scenes in the entire series.
When Jessica Capshaw from Grey’s Anatomy was pregnant during Season 7, instead of writing it into the show, they sent Arizona off to do some work in Africa, which ultimately led to her and Callie breaking up.
Alyson Hannigan was pregnant during Season 4 of How I Met Your Mother, but instead of writing it into the show, they had her character participate in a hot dog eating contest where she ate 29 hot dogs, and her baby bump served as her food baby.
During Season 3 of Desperate Housewives, Marcia Cross became pregnant with twins and was put on bed rest by her doctor. Since she couldn’t travel to set, the showrunners just packed up the set and filmed in her house.
Holly Marie Combs was pregnant during Season 6 of Charmed, and instead of using any gimmicks, they simply decided to write it into the show.
Kerry Washington, who played Olivia Pope on Scandal, was pregnant during Season 3, which resulted in her baby bump being hidden behind large objects like oversized purses and strategically placed lamps.
When Sarah Jessica Parker from Sex and the City got pregnant, the show simply shortened the season.
In Season 5 of New Girl, when Zooey Deschanel got pregnant, they added Megan Fox as a temporary new character while Deschanel went on maternity leave.
On Friends, when Courtney Cox got pregnant during the final season, it wasn’t written into her storyline as Monica was infertile, but they hid her baby bump as best they could.
Julie Bowen was actually pregnant with twins during the very first episode of Modern Family. They didn’t use any over-the-top tactics to hide her pregnancy either.
When Ellen Pompeo from Grey’s Anatomy was pregnant in Season 6, they decided not to write it into the show. Instead, she rested in bed for a few episodes after having surgery from giving her father part of her liver.
When January Jones from Mad Men became pregnant, the writer’s decided to go with the old “Let’s make her overweight” trick. The show focused on Betty’s obsession with her weight gain when she was diagnosed with a tumor on her thyroid that later turns out to be benign in Season 5.
When Jane Leeves’ from Fraiser was pregnant during Season 8, the show decided to tap into Hollywood’s longest-running, unfunny joke by making her character Daphne get sent to fat camp.
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