Created By: SNES on January 11, 2010
Troped

Pillow Pregnancy

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Trope
Seen It a Million Times. Rolling Updates. Description is Up for Grabs.
Who is the one person no one ever questions or suspects of anything? A pregnant woman! Many have picked up this handy little fact and seen its potential for whenever you need to get away with something. But real pregnancy is messy and takes too long. Not to worry! There is a simple trick to getting the full effect of being pregnant without having to go through all the trouble of actually becoming pregnant:

Step 1: Stuff a pillow up your shirt.

Congratulations! Now everyone who sees you will conclude that you are in some late stage of pregnancy and won't question or harass you about anything! Also quite useful if someone actually thinks you are pregnant when you really aren't, although they may get curious when the natural follow up never happens.


Examples:

Advertising
  • In a Mentos ad, a man and his date skip out on a restaurant bill by pretending she just went into labor and rushing to their motorcycle. Turns out she just had a motorcycle helmet under her dress.

Anime and Manga
  • In the first episode of Cowboy Bebop, a woman fakes a pregnancy by stuffing drugs up her dress. Yes, you heard right. She smuggles drugs in a fake belly.
  • In the "Escape From Pain" episode of Trigun, Milly smuggles a teenage girl under her coat.

Comics
  • In one FoxTrot strip, Jason and Marcus have pillows under their shirts. At first they're bugging people with "I think we ate too much Halloween candy" and then when that doesn't get a reaction, it's "I think we're pregnant."

Film
  • Julia Roberts' character in Ocean's Twelve is coerced into doing this so she can pretend to be Julia Roberts...wait...
  • Angelina Jolie's character in the movie Taking Lives, though she uses a more convincing prosthetic to fool Ethan Hawke that she's 8 mos. pregnant with his child, so that he'll think she's unable to fight back when he attacks her. In the end, she shoots him dead, and then finally removes the prosthetic to show the audience that she had been faking her pregnancy for 9 whole months, simply to bait him.
  • The in the film The Cooler, Mikey and Charlene make use of this trope. They extract money from Bernie, and later Charlene attempts to stop a fight by pretending to go into labor.

Literature
  • Short story "Golden Girl" by Ellis Peters (Edith Mary Pargeter). While a pregnant woman is taking a sea voyage, the ship is damaged and starts to sink. After the woman puts on a life jacket, one of the ship's officers drops her into the sea so she can be rescued by nearby boats. Much to his surprise, she sinks straight to the bottom. It turns out that she had been smuggling 30 pounds of gold bars in the padding under her maternity smock.

Live-Action TV
  • On Friends Monica has decided to shoplift a blue sweater as her "something blue" and "something borrowed." She shoves it up her blouse and has a quick maternal moment.
  • Lindsay Lohan's execrable film Labor Pains featured the main character doing this with one of her couch cushions, in front of a room full of baby shower guests who until that moment had thought she was genuinely pregnant.
  • Subverted in the Drew Carey Show What's Wrong with this Episode," where Kate and Lewis both (supposedly) have a Pillow Pregnancy, but in reality Kathy Kinney is actually pregnant, and is pulling a Hide Your Pregnancy.
  • An episode of Kenan & Kel has them attempt to speak to someone in a hospital. To get in they use this trope to disguise Kel as a pregnant woman going into labor. This finally leads to the line;
"Congratulations, you've given birth to a lovely fluffy cushion."
  • This occurs in an episode of Operation Repo in which a woman fakes being pregnant, even going so far as to fake going into labor, in order to keep her car from being repossessed. When her ruse was found out, the Repo team was not happy.
  • In the "Harlem Globetrotters" episode of TV Funhouse, the team accidentally travels back to the first Christmas, where they decie to play Mary, Joseph and some others in a game of basketball for who gets the Inn, vs. who sleeps in the barn. Naturally, the Globetrotters PWN the Bethlehem players-- until Baby Jesus is born, who then begins defeating the Globtrotters with his miracle-powers. Meadowlark then gets one of his brilliant ideas, and takes a hint from Mary by pulling a Pillow Pregnancy with the ba basketball under his shirt, in order to sneak past and score the winning basket.

Web Comics
  • In Errant Story, Meji once snuck out of a guarded city by pretending to be pregnant... her 'belly' however, actually contained her snarky, flying cat familiar, Ellis... while Ian dressed like a priest and convinced the guards to let her through by pretending to be the father, doing a cover-up.

Western Animation
  • In an episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Katara dons this guise to pretend to be "Sapphire Fire" (Sokka's "wife" and Aang's "mother").
Community Feedback Replies: 29
  • October 30, 2009
    Nate the Great
    Wouldn't Pillow Pregnancy be a bit simpler?
    • On Friends Monica has decided to shoplift a blue sweater as her "something blue" and "something borrowed." She shoves it up her blouse and has a quick maternal moment.
  • October 30, 2009
    Prfnoff
    The pillow method is used by Barbra Streisand as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl for the number "His Love Makes Me Beautiful," though she's only acting in a Show Within The Show (which admittedly wasn't supposed to have a pregnant bride).
  • October 30, 2009
    Machiavellienne
    Lindsay Lohan's execrable film Labor Pains featured the main character doing this with one of her couch cushions, in front of a room full of baby shower guests who until that moment had thought she was genuinely pregnant.
  • October 30, 2009
    Rainbow
    In one Fox Trot strip, Jason and Marcus have pillows under their shirts. At first they're bugging people with something like "I think we ate too much Halloween candy" (I'm probably paraphrasing it) and then when that doesn't get a reaction, it's "I think we're pregnant."
  • October 30, 2009
    Frodo Goofball CoTV
    In a recent ad, a man disguised as a woman sneaks food into sporting events by pretending to be pregnant.
  • October 31, 2009
    foxley
    Jessica's Alba's character does it in the movie P.U.N.K.S..
  • November 5, 2009
    SNES
  • November 6, 2009
    Arivne
    Literature
    • Short story "Golden Girl" by Ellis Peters (Edith Mary Pargeter). While a pregnant woman is taking a sea voyage, the ship is damaged and starts to sink. After the woman puts on a life jacket, one of the ship's officers drops her into the sea so she can be rescued by nearby boats. Much to his surprise, she sinks straight to the bottom. It turns out that she had been smuggling 30 pounds of gold bars in the padding under her maternity smock.
  • November 6, 2009
    KirkSkywalker
    • Angelina Jolie's character in the movie Taking Lives, though she uses a more convincing prosthetic to fool Ethan Hawke that she's 8 mos. pregnant with his child, so that he'll think she's unable to fight back when he attacks her. In the end, she shoots him dead, and then finally removes the prosthetic to show the audience that she had been faking her pregnancy for 9 whole months, simply to bait him.
    • Subverted in the Drew Carey Show What's Wrong with this Episode," where Kate and Lewis both (supposedly) have a Pillow Pregnancy, but in reality Kathy Kinney is actually pregnant, and is pulling a Hide Your Pregnancy.
  • November 12, 2009
    SNES
  • November 13, 2009
    Cidolfas
    In the first episode of Cowboy Bebop, a woman fakes a pregnancy by stuffing drugs up her dress. Yes, you heard right. She smuggles drugs in a fake belly.
  • November 13, 2009
    Bisected8
    An episode of Kenan And Kel has them attempt to speak to someone in a hospital. To get in they use this trope to disguise Kel as a pregnant woman going into labour. This finally leads to the line;
    "Congratulations, you've given birth to a lovely fluffy cushion."
  • November 14, 2009
    Grain
    The in the film The Cooler, Mikey and Charlene make use of this trope. They extract money from Bernie, and later Charlene attempts to stop a fight by pretending to go into labor.

    Just saying the name of the film is a spoiler, since there's only one "pregnant" character in the whole thing.
  • November 15, 2009
    Arivne
    @Grain: As pointed out in our Spoiler Policy:

    "Spoiler tagging the name of the work is worse than useless."

    The reason is that if you can't see the name, it's impossible to know if you should read the spoilered text or not.
  • November 15, 2009
    Professor Thascales
    In Lisa Goldstein's A Mask for the General, Layla Mac Kenzie shoplifts a bag of flour by making it look like she's pregnant.
  • November 15, 2009
    SNES
    @Professor Thascales - Is that a book?
  • January 3, 2010
    SNES
    Bump?
  • January 3, 2010
    DannyV_El_Acme
    Been Caught Stealing by Jane's Addiction, of course!
  • January 4, 2010
    BlackDragon
    In Errant Story, Meji once snuck out of a guarded city by pretending to be pregnant... her 'belly', however, actually contained her snarky, flying cat familiar, Ellis... while Ian dressed like a priest and convinced the guards to let her through by pretending to be the father, doing a cover-up.
  • January 5, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    ...You're telling me Glee hasn't made it into this trope as yet?
  • January 5, 2010
    TBTabby
    • In a Mentos ad, a man and his date skip out on a restaurant bill by pretending she just went into labor and rushing to their motorcycle. Turns out she just had a motorcycle helmet under her dress.

    • In the "Escape From Pain" episode of Trigun, Milly has a teenage girl under her coat.
  • January 5, 2010
    fhqwhgads
    My mom always smuggled popcorn and candy into movie theaters this way.
  • January 7, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    This occurs in an episode of Operation Repo in which a woman fakes being pregnant, even going so far as to fake going into labor, in order to keep her car from being repossessed. When her ruse was found out, the Repo team was not happy.
  • January 10, 2010
    SNES
    Anyone think this is ready for launch?
  • January 10, 2010
    Ezekiel
    In the first episode of Cowboy Bebop, the "pregnant woman" was actually one of the bounty hunters' targets.
  • January 10, 2010
    KirkSkywalker
    In the "Harlem Globetrotters" episode of TV Funhouse, the team accidentally travels back to the first Christmas, where they decie to play Mary, Joseph and some others in a game of basketball for who gets the Inn, vs. who sleeps in the barn. Naturally, the Globetrotters PWN the Bethlehem players-- until Baby Jesus is born, who then begins defeating the Globtrotters with his miracle-powers. Meadowlark then gets one of his brilliant ideas, and takes a hint from Mary by pulling a Pillow Pregnancy with the ba basketball under his shirt, in order to sneak past and score the winning basket.
  • January 10, 2010
    Minzoku
    edit: I can read XB
  • January 11, 2010
    Arivne
    Thirding Pillow Pregnancy.

    @SNES: It's been on YKTTW for more than two months, you have plenty of examples, and three agreements on the name, so you've more than satisfied the Three Rules Of Three. I think you're ready for launch.
  • January 11, 2010
    greylag2
    I Thought It Meant the reproductive cycle of pillows. I'd better go check that my pillows aren't reproducing; brb...
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