A successful TV show is bound to run into a few pregnancies throughout the filming of multiple seasons. Producers and writers are sometimes able to have the pregnancy added into the script, which never fails to creates a little bit added drama for the show.
Alternatively, a cast member’s pregnancy can also throw a wrench into the plans the writers had, and they are forced to hide those beautiful growing bellies however they can fathom. Rather than recasting characters, which just might be illegal, these 19 TV shows found funny and somewhat random ways of hiding a cast member’s pregnancy without getting their character pregnant, too.
1. New Girl
For the first four episodes of season five of New Girl, Zooey Deschanel was pregnant with her daughter. The staff had to find ways to hide her growing belly and they chose a hilarious way to hide it. In season five Zooey’s character; Jess, falls down a set of stairs. Due to her injuries she got to cruise around on a scooter and spent a lot of time in bed. In turn, covering up her baby bump. Then, for Zooey’s maternity leave, they had Jess go off to jury duty and left Megan Fox to keep things interesting during her absence.
2. How I Met Your Mother
How I Met Your Mother aired for nine seasons so there was bound to be a chance to hide some baby bumps. One of the most noticeable “hidings” that brought a laugh to audiences on HIMYM was of Alyson Hannigan. Directors didn’t bother to hide her bump and instead featured her character Lily winning a hot dog eating contest — thus explaining her slightly swollen belly. Genius!
3. 30 Rock
30 Rock chose one of the most hilarious ways to hide Jane Krakowski’s pregnancy by dressing her in a dog suit. Of course, it would be too easy to just give her an oversize handbag or hide her belly behind a large lamp.
4. Parks and Recreation
Amy Poehler’s character Leslie Knope dressed in a whole lot of pant suits on Parks and Recreation so it was absolutely no problem covering up her burgeoning bump in season three. The was also most often seen sitting behind tables and desks — keeping the bump from being exposed.
5. The X-Files
Angela Faye Kinsey is best known for her role as Angela Martin on The Office. Her character is an overly uptight, crazy, cat loving accountant who cheats on her fiance with her ex. Instead of upping the ante on the show with Angela’s affair by giving her a baby (they do that later), writers chose to hide her real-life pregnant belly strategically behind walls and other objects rather than write it into the script.
On season eight of Frasier, the writers disguised Jane Leeves’s pregnancy by writing in an eating disorder (binge-eating) for her character, Daphne Moon. Instead of having Daphne take a maternity leave, she went to a “health retreat” for her disorder and lost 9lbs 12oz while there, which just so happened to be the weight of her daughter.
8. Desperate Housewives
Marcia Cross was able to have her pregnancy added into Desperate Housewives (sort of). In true DH fashion, Marcia’s character, Bree faked a pregnancy for her teen daughter, Danielle when she learned she was expecting. Bree and her husband had Danielle sent away so nobody would know, and tried to pass the baby off as her own. Kind of… desperate, huh?
9. House of Lies
In season 2 of House of Lies, Kristen Bell’s pregnancy was able to be hidden behind wardrobes, over-sized bags, and fancy camera angles. Even so, the poor woman had to film some steamy scenes with Adam Brody while seven months pregnant. (He described them to E! as “three-person scenes.” LOL.) Thankfully, producers were able to edit out her tummy with some CGI tricks or that could have majorly confused viewers.
10. Mad Men
January Jones started her season five filming of Mad Men while eight months pregnant. Instead of writing her pregnancy into the show, writers had her character Betty gain a ton of weight due to a thyroid tumor. January had to endure seven hours of makeup and padding just to look fat instead of pregnant!
11. Grey’s Anatomy
Grey’s Anatomy has had to hide its fair share of pregnancies on the show. Seven, if we’ve counted correctly, but really… who can keep track at this point? For Jessica Capshaw’s pregnancy, writers chose to hide her burgeoning belly the old fashioned way, behind various objects rather than write it into the script.
12. The Nanny
The Nanny chose to hide Lauren Lane’s pregnancy behind oversized objects and plants on set throughout filming. When they could no longer hide her belly, the opted to send her character; C.C. Babcock to “the place” after an emotional breakdown.
13. Modern Family
Poor Julie Bowen was terribly afraid that her pregnancy would eliminate her from being cast for Modern Family. That said, she started out shooting the pilot pregnant with twins and so the writers opted to hide her character midsection behind cereal boxes and laundry baskets while she lost the baby weight.
14. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Melissa Fumero spent the majority of season three of Brooklyn Nine-Nine hiding behind large bags, gift baskets and oversized trench coats to conceal her pregnancy. While producers did a pretty good job, there are still some scenes where you think you may see a little hint of a bump. Oh well, worse things have happened.
15. Breaking Bad
Throughout the early seasons of Breaking Bad, viewers are bound to notice Walt’s wife, Skyler’s pregnancy. While Skyler wasn’t pregnant in real life, Betsy Brandt, who played Marie Shrader definitely was. They used her belly for a lot of the close up’s of Skyler’s pregnant tummy, meanwhile put Marie in a lot of large jackets to conceal the growing baby bump.
Wouldn’t it really throw a wrench in things if Olivia Pope was knocked up by Fitz in early seasons? Obviously this couldn’t be the case — the whole show would be different — so producers had to find clever ways to hide Kerry Washington’s preggo belly during filming. They chose to do it the classic way: behind lamps, mugs, tables, large jackets… the list goes on.
Throughout season three of Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s character Elaine can be seen hiding behind large boxes and thick winter coats to hide her growing baby bump. It would have been even more hilarious if writers opted to throw in some pregnant Elaine dance moves, but sadly they missed that opportunity.
The cast of Friends went through many trials and tribulations throughout their run. Thankfully, writers were able to write in Lisa Kudrow’s pregnancy into the plot line. During season 5, Lisa’s character, Phoebe volunteered as surrogate for her brother and ended up carrying triplets for them. Staff had to pad her already pregnant belly to look like she was carrying more than just one baby. That way, they could show the pregnancy without showing Phoebe trying to deal with raising babies.
19. The Americans
Kerri Russell and Mathew Rhys not only play a couple on the hit show The Americans, but they are a couple in real life, too. Throughout season four, producers and writers had to hide Kerri’s growing belly while filming behind coats and scarves.