5 Amazing TV Arcs That Actresses' IRL Pregnancies Gave Us
Creative minds stop at nothing.
The personal lives of actors on TV shows are running hand-in-hand with the lives of their characters, which may unfold at a different pace or imply a different development.
So when a cast member on the set turns out to be pregnant, the showmakers have to get creative to incorporate this happy real-life event into the fictional plot. In some cases, these mental exercises yield amazing results.
Here are five great TV storylines that we wouldn't have if the cast members weren't pregnant.
The Surrogate Bid
When Lisa Kudrow announced she was pregnant in the fourth season of Friends, the creators made the decision to write her pregnancy into the plot. But since Phoebe had to remain unchanged, single and childless for future episodes, the idea of a surrogate pregnancy for her brother was born.
And it led to some of the best gags and scenes. Just think of the birth episode. Isn't it one of the funniest in the show?
The Hot Dog Eating Tournament
Both Cobie Smulders (Robin) and Alyson Hannigan (Lily) were pregnant in Seasons 4 and 5 of the sitcom. While the creators opted to cover their growing bellies with strategic camera angles, bulky bags and stunt doubles, there were some creative choices as well.
When Hannigan had to take maternity leave, the writers had Barney tell Lily such a dirty joke that she left the gang for most of the season. And at one point, in a flashback scene, we see Lily win the hot dog eating competition and end up with a huge belly that in real life was occupied by a baby.
The Undercover Prison Stint
The show did a genius job of incorporating Melissa Fumero's (Amy) pregnancy into the Season 3 plot. Amy had to go undercover in a prison to get close to one of the inmates and get information out of her. So she posed as a pregnant criminal. When you watched those episodes, could you even imagine that the bump on Amy's belly was not a pillow, but a real pregnant belly?
The Addition To The Family
Holly Marie Combs was pregnant during Season 6 of Charmed, and the writers eventually wrote it into her character Piper's second pregnancy with another character, Chris, whose time traveling future self had been present since the last few episodes of Season 5.
It was a pretty brilliant twist that paid off a nearly year-long mystery about the enigmatic new character who, with more and more curious teases and hints, clearly had personal ties to the Halliwell family.
The Alien Abduction
Gillian Anderson got pregnant early on in the show, already in Season 1. And it basically shaped The X-Files as we know it. We're not talking about Scully's famous trenchcoats to hide her bump (although they are a big part of the show, let's be honest), but the decision to have Anderson’s character abducted by aliens.
It tied Scully into the mythology by making it personal to her and giving her her own stake in it.