25 Actors Whose Pregnancies Were Hidden On TV Shows

Table of Contents

Jess being sequestered for jury duty on New Girl was a clever way to hide Zooey Deschanel’s pregnancy.

1.

First, while starring on Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus was pregnant twice, once during Season 3 and then in Season 8. Instead of writing them in, the writers hid both of Julia’s pregnancies with oversized clothing, large bags, and more.


NBC

During her second pregnancy, Jerry Seinfeld actually pitched that they create a storyline where Elaine “gets fat.” Julia recalled, “The second time I was pregnant, I was about three or four months into my pregnancy, and Jerry, I remember vividlypitched to me, ‘Hey, how about this for this season, how about we write it in that Elaine just gets fat?'” Julia said she burst into tears because she was so self-conscious about her pregnancy weight.

2.

During This Is Us Season 5, Mandy Moore hid her first pregnancy on screen. In fact, the series took advantage of the multiple timelines and had less scenes of older Rebecca once Mandy was very pregnant.


NBC

“There may be a brief period or window where you don’t see a lot of old Rebecca on the show, because she would have some really complicated explaining to do,” creator Dan Fogelman explained at the beginning of Season 5. Meanwhile, Mandy said she would be carrying a lot of laundry baskets, larger purses, coats, etc, in order to conceal her pregnancy.

3.

One of the most notable hidden pregnancies on TV was when Phylicia Rashad was pregnant during The Cosby Show Season 3. Instead of making Claire pregnant, the series hilariously hid Phylicia behind large objects and had her in bed for a few episodes.


NBC

The Cosby Show hid Claire behind a giant bear at one point and even raised the kitchen counter so it would hid her growing baby bump. Eventually, Claire is bed ridden due to her bad back, and the show actually scooped out part of the mattress so viewers wouldn’t see Phylicia’s bump.

4.

During Grey’s Anatomy Season 6, Ellen Pompeo was pregnant with her first child, so Meredith was put on bed rest after giving her father part of her liver.


ABC

Ellen only took four weeks off after giving birth to her daughter before returning to work on Grey’s Anatomy.

5.

When Jessica Capshaw was pregnant with her first child, Grey’s Anatomy decided to send Arizona to Africa for a few episodes, which led to her breaking up with Callie.


ABC

In 2012, Jessica was pregnant again, but this time Grey’s just used some clever techniques to hide her pregnancy.

6.

Julie Bowen was very pregnant with twins when Modern Family filmed their first episode. So, if you go back and watch, you’ll notice Claire carrying a large laundry basket, hiding behind cereal boxes, and more.


ABC

“I was pregnant with twins, and I kept thinking they weren’t going to hire me,” Julie recalled while looking back on her auditions for Modern Family. “They kept bringing me in over and over and sort of staring at my humungous belly, and I thought, ‘I’m never getting this job.'”

7.

During the final season of Friends, Courteney Cox was pregnant with her daughter. The show already had a storyline where Monica and Chandler have trouble conceiving and ultimately decide to adopt, so they simply hid Courteney’s pregnancy.


NBC

Courteney opened up about suffering multiple miscarriages during Friends, including one just before filming the episodes where Rachel gives birth to Emma in Season 8. 

8.

Kerry Washington was pregnant twice during the run of Scandal, and both times Shonda Rhimes and the writers chose to hid it on screen. So, you can watch Olivia Pope standing behind lamps, holding large purses, wearing big coats, and more.


ABC

Speaking about hiding her second pregnancy on screen, Kerry said, “You could play a really fun game for the first five episodes of [Season 6] ‘find the bump.'” Kerry was also very grateful for the crew that took such good care of her while she filmed during her pregnancies.

9.

When January Jones was pregnant during Mad Men, the writers gave Betty Draper a storyline that involved her gaining weight.


AMC

While Betty’s weight gain was used to hide January’s pregnancy, she revealed that she was only actually pregnant “under the fat suit for one episode.” The storyline was met with criticism from both fans and critics.

10.

Shelley Long’s pregnancy was hidden during Cheers Season 3 as the writers elected to not make Diane pregnant. In fact, during the same season, Rhea Perlman was pregnant too and they wrote that into the series.


NBC

Shelley and Rhea’s children were actually born during the same week in 1985. Instead of having both of their main female characters pregnant, Cheers only wrote in Rhea’s pregnancy and then used classic sitcom tricks to hide Shelley’s pregnancy.

11.

Mindy Kaling hid her first pregnancy during the final season of The Mindy Project with some clever wardrobe tricks. Mindy actually filmed the entire last season pregnant.


Hulu

Mindy tweeted, “I shot the entire last season pregnant and Salvador Perez hid it so well! As did Michael Spiller and our cinematographer, Marco Fargnoli. The finale I was almost 7 months along and it was a heat wave. See if you can tell…”

12.

Alyson Hannigan was pregnant twice during How I Met Your Mother. While her second pregnancy coincided with Lily being pregnant, her first pregnancy was hidden and was shown once during a hilarious hot dog eating contest scene.


CBS

During Season 4, Alyson was pregnant with her first daughter and the show elected to simply hide it on screen. In a classic TV fashion, Alyson was seen wearing sweaters, carrying large bags, and more.

13.

And, Cobie Smulders was pregnant during Season 4 of How I Met Your Mother, so her pregnancy was hidden on screen. In fact, Alyson and Cobie were pregnant at the same time.


CBS

Similar to Alyson, Robin wore a lot of larger tops, hid behind things, and the show used the gang’s iconic booth at MacLaren’s Pub to conceal Cobie’s real life pregnancy.

14.

Melissa Benoist was pregnant with her first child in 2020, so Supergirl had Kara trapped in the Phantom Zone to accommodate Melissa’s maternity leave.


The CW

Melissa’s pregnancy was hidden during the end of Season 5, and at the beginning of the final season, Supergirl was trapped in the Phantom Zone, which allowed Melissa to miss a few episodes. 

15.

Melissa Fumero was pregnant twice during Brooklyn Nine-Nine. During Season 3, the show hid Melissa’s pregnancy until Amy went undercover as a pregnant woman in a prison.


NBC

While Melissa’s first pregnancy was hidden on screen, her second pregnancy was written into the series. The creators and Melissa actually discussed Amy being pregnant in Season 7 before Melissa found out she was pregnant. Stephanie Beatriz’s pregnancy was also hidden on Brooklyn Nine-Nine during the final season.

16.

Jane Leeves was pregnant twice during Frasier. While her second pregnancy was written into the final season, her first wasn’t and the writers gave Daphne a storyline where she gains weight instead.


NBC

In Season 8, Daphne begins gaining weight and becoming addicted to food. The episode was literally called “Hungry Heart.” Then, she leaves to go to a spa in order to lose the weight and she returns after Jane gave birth IRL. The storyline was seen as cringeworthy at the time and is still awful to go back and watch.

17.

Gillian Anderson was pregnant during The X-Files Season 2, which is why Scully was kidnapped and abducted in the episode “Duane Barry.” Then, a few episodes later, she mysteriously reappeared in a hospital.


Fox

The first person on The X-Files who knew about Gillian’s pregnancy was David Duchovny. Gillian said that she “confided” in him first because she was “terrified” of telling the producers.

18.

When Zooey Deschanel was pregnant during New Girl Season 5, Jess ended up being sequestered for jury duty for several episodes.


Fox

Also, during Season 6, Zooey and Hannah Simone were pregnant, which is one of the reasons the show came back later for the final season.

19.

Amy Poehler’s second pregnancy was coincided with Parks and Rec Season 3. Although Leslie would have children later in the series, the series elected to hide Amy’s real life pregnancy in 2010.


NBC

In order to accommodate Amy’s pregnancy, the series actually wrapped Season 2 and went straight into filming Season 3 so they could make a September premiere date and have some episodes banked for when Amy had to go on maternity leave. However, when they were filming Season 3, Episode 4 NBC announced they wouldn’t return until January 2011. 

20.

Lauren Lane, who played C.C. Babcock on The Nanny, was pregnant during most of Season 5. Instead of writing in her pregnancy, the writers gave C.C. a story arc that involved her gaining weight and dealing with her mental health after Fran and Max got engaged.


CBS

Having C.C. spend time in a psychiatric ward was how the writers explained Lauren’s absence after giving birth. Also, during the same season, Rachel Chagall, who played Val, was pregnant too.

21.

The Walking Dead star Christian Serratos was pregnant during Season 8, so the series had Rosita carry larger guns, did closeup shots of her face, and hid her behind objects.


AMC

This was actually the third time The Walking Dead hid an actor’s pregnancy on screen. Sonequa Martin-Green’s and Alanna Masterson’s pregnancies were hidden using similar tactics in 2015.

22.

Ginnifer Goodwin was pregnant twice while starring as Snow White on Once Upon a Time. While her first pregnancy was written into the show, her second pregnancy was simply hidden onscreen.


ABC

When Ginnifer was pregnant during Season 5, Zelena and Belle were already pregnant on the show, and Emilie de Ravin was pregnant IRL, too.

23.

Debra Messing was pregnant during Will & Grace Season 6, so the series hid Grace behind large items and had her bed ridden with food poisoning at one point.


NBC

In the beginning of the season, when Grace had food poisoning it was actually because Debra had severe morning sickness and they filmed those quick scenes at her actually house. Then, toward the end of filming Season 6, Debra was ordered to stay in bed by her doctor, so Grace was absent from the final few episodes of the season. 

24.

When Lesley Ann Brandt was pregnant while filming Lucifer, the writers simply wrote in that Maze was off on a bounty-hunting spree, which explained her absence at the beginning of Season 3.


Netflix

Lesley was actually pregnant for “about half of the second season,” which included the episodes at the beginning of Season 3 that were originally supposed to be part of Season 2.

25.

And finally, in 1996, Hunter Tylo was cast on Melrose Place as Taylor McBride, however after she announced she was pregnant, she was recast with Lisa Rinna, and fired from the series.


Ron Galella Collection / Getty Images / Fox

Hunter didn’t even get a chance to film episodes as Taylor before the series pivoted to recasting and firing her. Producer Aaron Spelling argued that her pregnancy made her unable to play the “sexy” character. Hunter’s case went to court and she was awarded $4.9 million by jurors who agreed that she was wrongfully terminated. Melrose Place star Heather Locklear even testified at the hearing.

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