Follow TV Tropes

This entry is trivia, which is cool and all, but not a trope. On a work, it goes on the Trivia tab.


Hide Your Pregnancy

Go To
"Captain, lieutenant, can you please help Natalie with her little habit of moving behind belly-concealing objects every time I turn to talk to her directly?"

When an actress gets pregnant, oftentimes it's written into the show as the character getting pregnant. However, sometimes, the writers decide not to include the pregnancy, either because there's no way it can be written in convincingly, it doesn't fit with the storyline, it doesn't fit with the character, or it's just that Status Quo Is God. In this case, the camera crews commonly resort to various tricks to avoid the actress' bump being noticed, such as:

  • The actress suddenly wears lots of loose, baggy clothing and heavy overcoats to conceal the bump. This can be very conspicuous if the character normally wears revealing or form-fitting clothing, as if she just woke up one day and decided to dress like Annie Hall.
  • The use of Scenery Censors: for example, she carries lots of paper bags in front of her belly or stands (as pictured) behind chairs, countertops, or other objects that block the view of her below her midsection. The secret is to not let the camera linger on her long enough for viewers to notice.
  • She sits down a lot. In the late stages of pregnancy, this often entails some sort of blanket over herself to hide the bump. Or if she's lying in bed, a hole will be cut in the middle to keep her midsection level under the blanket. Such "supine shots" are filmed for prolonged periods, with no direct views of her ever getting up or sitting down.
  • The camera crew just makes sure to never get shots below her upper chest.
  • The camera shoots her from far away if they need full body shots.
  • She suddenly wears black. Lots and lots of black... without any evidence of a funeral or a Matrix in sight. Black helps hide the shadow that the actress' suddenly much larger stomach casts, as well as its shape. This is usually done in conjunction with the other points on this list.
  • The excessive use of body-doubles for all-revealing body shots with the face conspicuously obscured – after which the camera will flash conveniently back to the actress with her face showing and body obscured.
  • Then there’s the attempt of wearing high heels etc. to make her look more height–weight proportionate; this succeeds only in making her appear as "the Elephant in the Room" by towering over all else around her with her increased size. When she walks, she typically also becomes a lumbering hulk, lurching and teetering around on the heels like Frankenstein's Monster due to her increased height and decreased balance.

Of course, since a baby bump is not the only physical change that occurs to a pregnant woman, just the most immediately obvious, efforts might not be totally successful. A petite, skinny actress whose face and breasts suddenly fill out would be a notable change even if her growing belly is concealed.

Alternatively, the character might just be written to put on a lot of weight, due to a sudden "eating binge" or whatever (see Frasier below). Note that if the character is actually hiding her pregnancy in-story, that would make it My Secret Pregnancy.

This is more of a problem with TV shows as opposed to films, where there might be an option to either shoot some or all scenes earlier when she is not showing as obviously or reshoot in post-production after the baby is born. This can still leave the disconcerting effect of an actress having a changing body shape throughout the movie unless she is written as being full term and wears an appropriate pregnancy bump from the start.


    open/close all folders 

  • In World War II film Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, this is discussed In-Universe. Ellen hasn't seen her husband Tom for months, because he left for the April 1942 Doolittle Raid against Japan, after which he crash-landed in China and was stuck there for a while. But he knocked her up before he left, so Ellen's nervous about Tom seeing her fat with a baby and asks her mother if holding a coat in her arms hides the baby bump. What makes this poignant is that Ellen already knows that Tom has had a leg amputated due to injuries suffered in the crash.
  • The Big Steal took extra long to film because Robert Mitchum had a stint in jail for marijuana possession in the middle of production. His pregnant co-star, Jane Greer, is visibly thicker in the waist in the last scenes shot while Mitchum himself is thinner due to life on a prison farm.
  • In the original British version of Death at a Funeral, Keeley Hawes underwent various stages of pregnancy throughout filming. The last scene in the film with her has her sit down on a sofa where her in-film (and real-life) husband is lying down, whereupon he quickly hides her belly by putting his legs across her lap.
  • Harry Potter:
    • In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Helena Bonham Carter filmed her earliest scene as Bellatrix Lestrange while pregnant, the one where she and her sister visit Snape. She spends most of the scene out of focus and/or standing behind something but it’s very noticeable in the handful of shots where she is in focus, even wearing a loose black dress. Bonham Carter said it's more noticeable in another film she shot a few months earlier, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, claiming her breasts change size from scene to scene.
    • Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore had to deal with three pregnant cast members. Claudia Kim, who plays Nagini, was simply written out of the movie since she was very far along when production started after an extensive delay caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic. note  Alison Sudol, who plays Queenie Goldstein, and Victoria Yeates, who plays Bunty, were both pregnant for the entirety of production. The tricks used to hide their bellies included the standards ones like shooting them from the chest up and behind, wearing dark flowy clothes and large coats, and having them sit down.
  • Veronica Lake was pregnant at the start of the filming of Sullivan's Travels, but her character wasn't. Fortunately, as she was playing a hobo, she could convincingly wear loose, baggy clothes. The rest of the time, the greatest costume designer in Hollywood (Edith Head) was hard at work making her look completely innocuous.
  • The Swinging Cheerleaders, a '70s exploitation comedy, averted this. Cheryl "Rainbeaux" Smith neglected to tell anybody involved with the production that she was five months pregnant. Never mind that her part called for several topless scenes and that her character was a virgin.
  • Penélope Cruz became pregnant during the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, so her younger sister Monica (also an actress), who appeared similar from some distance, served as her stand-in during some of the more action-heavy scenes.
  • The opening scene of the second Legally Blonde film was filmed during reshoots and Reese Witherspoon had gotten pregnant in the time since principal photography had wrapped. To hide it, the scene consists of women sitting and talking, shot only from the chest up. It's pretty awkward and obvious.
  • About midway through the film production Evita, Madonna discovered that she was pregnant with her first child. The film directors went to great lengths to cover up the possibility of "Eva Peron" getting pregnant, even if it meant removing some scenes of her being carried out of the church for fear she might slip.
  • In the François Truffaut movie about a movie, Day for Night, they are filming a scene where the woman who is the secretary of one of the main characters, gets out of a pool to take a letter for him. Then they discover she's just barely pregnant, and by the time she comes back in six weeks for the main part of her scenes, she will be obviously several months pregnant. They have to figure out a way to cover the issue, but they can't simply have her seen as pregnant as it will complicate the story, the audience will think her boss knocked her up.
  • Shirley Jones (Marian) was pregnant during the production of The Music Man. She worked with a very tight group of costumers to keep it hidden from the rest of the production. By the end it had become an open secret, she even recalled after a kissing scene with Robert Preston (Harold Hill) he was very perplexed at the baby bump. In an interview, it is pointed out that if you look very closely during certain scenes, you can see the bump.
  • Halle Berry's role as Storm in X-Men: Days of Future Past had to be massively trimmed following an unexpected pregnancy. Though they were able to finish shooting while Berry could still fit her costume (though only by a week or so), all of Storm's flight and hand-to-hand combat scenes had to be cut from the script. This is why her sole contribution to the final battle mostly consists of floating around and shooting lightning bolts before getting impaled by a Sentinel.
  • Scarlett Johansson's baby bump was edited out in post-production for Avengers: Age of Ultron. Like the X-Men example above, the crew tried to shoot most of Black Widow's scenes early on to avoid having to use a Fake Shemp and resorted to digitally replacing the faces of her stunt doubles when she could no longer safely do action scenes. There's a rather ironic scene where Natasha reveals that she can't have children because Black Widow assassins are routinely sterilized...while wearing a voluminous bathrobe and holding a towel over her stomach to conceal Johansson's baby bump. You can still see some obvious signs of it, however. In the party scene, she talks to Banner from behind the bar to allow it to conceal her torso. In other scenes, she's sitting with laptops while other characters are standing, and then she gets kidnapped by Ultron halfway through, allowing her to spend a good amount of the film sitting down in her cell. Some of the above examples can be found here, an amusing list of suggestions for the crew on how to handle it.
  • Emily Blunt was around 4-6 months pregnant throughout the shoot for Into the Woods, so there were many scenes where her lower section is hidden. Amazingly, Blunt's face doesn't look as full as most pregnant women's faces are, so it was hard to tell if she was at all.
    • Blunt was also pregnant for re-shoots on Edge of Tomorrow. She wasn't far along so they didn't have to do much to hide it, but she couldn't do as many stunts or wear the heavy armor for too long.
    • Emily Blunt was pregnant yet again playing an infertile woman in The Girl on the Train, though she was only five months gone by the end of filming. As she plays an alcoholic, it wasn't too noticeable. She does, however, spend a lot of the film wearing baggy clothes and big coats.
  • Aversion for Now You See Me 2: due to Isla Fisher's pregnancy, Henley Reeves does not appear and her part as the Fourth Horseman was filled by Lula May, played by Lizzy Caplan.
  • When Code Unknown was shot in August 1999, Juliette Binoche was pregnant. To disguise her condition, she wore loose "unkept" clothes.
  • Kristen Bell
    • She gave birth to her first daughter about six weeks before filming started on the then-concluding movie for Veronica Mars, and she's still visibly not back to her usual extremely slender body type. Since the movie is set nine years after the end of the show, the unspoken consensus seems (pleasingly) to be that, hey, some people aren't as skinny in their late twenties as they were in their late teens, and since she still looks gorgeous that's all her various admirers care about. It does get a brief moment of Lampshade Hanging, though, when Dick's reaction to seeing Veronica for the first time in nearly a decade is to question whether she's had a boob job.
    • This trope was also sort-of in effect when Bell and most of the other cast members made a five-minute video promoting the movie and asking for funding via Kickstarter, which took place seven or eight months into her pregnancy. Since it's kind of a meta-comedy where the actors are half-in character and half playing fictionalized versions of themselves, the fact that Bell's pregnancy was hidden very well by a thick bathrobe may have been deliberate (because she was sort of in character as Veronica, who wasn't meant to be pregnant) or may even have been unintentional.
  • Kate Winslet was five months pregnant while shooting Divergent, so she was mostly only shot from the waist up. In wider shots, she's usually carrying a folder or iPad in front of her bump.
  • Linda Darnell was pregnant while playing The Immaculate Conception in The Song of Bernadette. This resulted in the apparition in the movie being dressed far differently than described by the real Bernadette.
  • Lucille Ball was in the early stages of pregnancy when filming 1951's The Magic Carpet. Though not obviously showing onscreen, her costumes had to be continuously let out during production. Ball also concealed her condition from Columbia executives to avoid risking contract termination.
  • A rare in-universe example can be found in Nancy Drew. While investigating the mysterious death of actress Dehlia Draycott, Nancy comes to the conclusion that Dehlia must have been pregnant shortly before her death - all surviving footage of Dehlia from that time only shows her from the chest up.
  • A Christmas Story: Tedde Moore was eight months pregnant at the time of filming. Miss Shields could not be shown as an unmarried mother in the 1940s, so the filmmakers padded the rest of her to match her belly, making her just appear stout.
  • Gal Gadot was pregnant during the reshoots of Wonder Woman. In order to hide it, they replaced part of her costume with green material so that they could digitally edit it afterward.
    • She was also pregnant during the Joss Whedon-directed Justice League reshoots, which were extensive. Reportedly, lingering out of frame during each reshot scene was an assistant specifically tasked with holding a puke bucket for her.
  • When Tom Cruise broke his ankle on the set of Mission: Impossible – Fallout, production shut down for six weeks; by the time it resumed, his co-star Rebecca Ferguson was pregnant. Thanks to a combination of special effects and an excellent stunt team, it isn't really noticeable, though this was helped by the fact that most of her major stunt scenes had already been shot by the hiatus.
  • Joan Bennett was pregnant in Little Women (1933), what's more she was playing the youngest sister Amy (across her childhood and adolescence). She hid it from producers and the costume designer kept making alterations.
  • And in the 1949 version of Little Women, the actress playing Jo (June Allyson) was pregnant.
  • Olivia Hussey discovered she was pregnant right after she was cast in the remake of Lost Horizon. She hid it from most of the crew but eventually confessed to the costume designer, who helped alter her outfits to hide it.
  • Stay Tuned: According to an issue of Starlog Magazine, Pam Dawber was around four-and-half months pregnant at the time of filming, though she wasn't aware of it when she signed onto the film. This understandably took director, Peter Hyams, by surprise when he found out, considering all the big falls and stunts she did.
  • The Woman of My Dreams: Marika Rökk was pregnant with her and director Georg Jacoby's daughter Gabriele when the film was made. Her pregnancy had to be hidden in some shots, then filming was simply halted when her belly grew too big.
  • Ellie Kemper was pregnant while filming Kimmy vs. The Reverend. Kimmy's wardrobe already does a good job of hiding it, but it's ultimately averted in one of the endings, where she reveals to her fiancé in the altar that she is expecting.
  • Rosamund Pike was pregnant during Jack Reacher, though it's only noticeable in how she has pronounced cleavage in some scenes.
  • Filipino actress Sharon Cuneta was pregnant with her daughter KC Concepcion when she was filming Bituwing Walang Ningning (lit. 'Star Without a Sparkle'). It became apparent that Sharon's baby bump was starting to grow, and as such, the film crew had to either film her from the chest up or use various objects such as bookshelves and lampshades in order to conceal Sharon's growing womb.

  • In But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes, Lorelei abandons her movie career at expectant motherhood, alluding to the example of a movie actress who was discovered to be pregnant halfway through filming, which got to the point where her scenes had to be filmed "showing nothing but her head sticking up over the top of a bush or looking out of a window."

    Live-Action TV 
  • Two and a Half Men Lampshaded in Season 1 Episode 10, "Merry Thanksgiving," where Denise Richards plays a non-pregnant woman whom Charlie is trying to woo away from marrying another man. Ironically, Denise Richards is not only quite visibly pregnant in the episode; but she is pregnant with Charlie Sheen's baby, Samantha Sheen, which was a well-publicized fact at the time.
  • 24: When Mary Lynn Rajskub was pregnant during the second half of the seventh season (after production resumed from the events of the 2007-2008 Writers' Guild Strike), Chloe had to be Out of Focus for the rest of the season, several episodes having her just sitting behind a desk or being completely MIA.
  • Parodied on 30 Rock. In-universe, Avery Jessup is trying to hide her pregnancy from her superiors. Cue her carrying around ridiculously oversized objects, and coaxing a friend into making "wizard robes" fashionable.
    • This may have been lampshade hanging for Tina Fey's own second pregnancy which was becoming visible at that time.
  • The writers of All My Children decided not to write in Sydney Penny's pregnancy, so they instead used only tight shots of Penny's face. This resulted in a very funny moment for her and Justin Bruening when their two characters were arguing over whether to have a baby, while Penny was 8-1/2 months pregnant.
  • At the American Music Awards in 1991, Nancy Cartwright came out as a costumed Bart Simpson to present an award, this being during the height of "Bartmania". She was pregnant during her first trimester, but the costume was baggy enough to hide her belly.
  • Rommie's body being destroyed and the Suspiciously Similar Substitute of Doyle as badass Robot Girl during season 5 of Andromeda was due to Lexa Doig's pregnancy. During her pregnancy, she only appeared in chest-up shots or as a disembodied head. Her being rebuilt after the destruction also served to explain the changes to Doig's body which were caused by the pregnancy.
  • Played with in the fourth season of Angel. Charisma Carpenter's pregnancy was (poorly) hidden, but Cordelia's secret pregnancy became a plot twist. One she eventually revealed to the other characters by wearing an Obviously Evil black evening gown. Likewise, after Cordlia gave birth (but Carpenter had not) she was unconscious and only shown from the chest up.
  • Jennie Garth (Kelly Taylor) in Beverly Hills, 90210. Subverted with Gabrielle Carteris, whose pregnancy was written in, but was still concealed initially, as she was much further along than her character Andrea.
  • The Big Bang Theory: While not a pregnancy, many of the same tricks were used when Kaley Cuoco broke her leg in a horse riding mishap. Her character very abruptly became a bartender so they'd have an excuse to film her standing behind a waist-high bar, she was always shown standing or sitting in the same place, always above the knee and they used a body double for a scene where she walks past some characters in the background. She was also absent for two episodes.
    • This was also done when Mayim Bialik injured her hand in a car accident.
    • A rather tragic aversion for Melissa Rauch. Her second pregnancy was written into the plot (her character Bernadette was married, so it did suit the story) but Rauch's first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage while her character successfully delivered a baby.
  • Successful example on The Big Comfy Couch. Alyson Court was pregnant during her last season as Loonette, but the big clown costume hid it well.
  • Tamsin Greig in Black Books, who is hidden not just by the normal techniques, including lots of long scarves, but also because it looks like she's constantly smoking and drinking through the entire series.
  • Used for the latter half of season 6 of Bones for Emily Deschanel, but then done away with when it was written into the script for the next season.
  • In Breaking Bad, Betsy Brandt was pregnant during production of the second season, so shots with Marie Schrader take the usual bag of tricks, like shooting from the waist up or using scenery example . Funnily enough, when Brandt reached the point in the pregnancy that Skyler is supposed to be at, the producers would do pick-up shots with Brandt's baby bump to use it as the fake bare belly for Anna Gunn.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine:
    • Melissa Fumero announced her pregnancy with her first child a few weeks into the airing of Season 3. Since her character, Amy, had entered into a romantic relationship with the main character just a few episodes before, the writers apparently decided that it wasn't a good time to write her pregnancy into the plot. Fortunately, the fact that it's a sitcom allows for a decent amount of Lampshade Hanging (Jake trying to get suggestions for a gift for their six-month anniversary and reacting with disgust to his Charles' suggestion that it's time he "put a baby in her!", for example), and Amy's fairly neutral wardrobe has always consisted of loose blouses and suit jackets anyway, meaning that a lot of the time the actress' baby bump is covered up quite effectively. Impressively it's also yet to impact on her Action Girl status, with her doing some pretty physical perp chases, interpretive dance moves, and briefly fighting Terry in a training session, all of which have been performed without recourse to a Fake Shemp.
    • The writers actually seem to be enjoying coming up with funny reasons for Amy to stay even more fully clothed than usual while hanging the ole' lampshade: for example, in the Season 3 Christmas episode, Amy promises to do a sponsored swim in the river with Holt and Rosa, only to remember that she hates the cold and end up wading out into the water with an ankle-length parka over her swimsuit - the best part being that her decision to do so actually impacts on the plot, and doesn't just come across as a random excuse to cover her up. A later episode drops all pretense by having her go undercover wearing a "fake" pregnancy bump. The situation is even Lampshaded when Amy questions whether her fake stomach (Fumero's real one) will look convincing enough to fool anyone.
    • Chelsea Peretti's pregnancy during production for the second half of Season 4. The show spent a couple of weeks keeping Gina behind her desk and dressing her in baggy clothing. Also, because Gina is more than a little odd, Peretti would stand in strange poses to distract from her belly. This didn't last very long, however, as they decided to simply work the pregnancy into the plot and have Gina fall in love with a Boyle Cousin!
    • When Fumero got pregnant again in Season 7, the writers lampshaded this in "Admiral Peralta". Amy actually is pregnant In-Universe, but everyone already knows before Jake and Amy announce it, because they point out Amy hasn't exactly fooled anyone over the prior weeks in a stream of increasingly flimsy trope-related contrivances (shown in made-for-this-scene flashbacks):
      Terry: [rhetorical tone] Why have you been carrying that box around so much?
      Amy: I just love this box!
      Holt: [rhetorical tone] Why are you reading that newspaper, it's two days old.
      Amy: I just love this issue!
      Rosa: [rhetorical tone] Hey, why are you wearing that hazmat suit?
      Amy: [in the break room wearing said suit] I just love this look!
      • In the episode "Valloweaster", the first part of the episode took place within a flashback to Halloween, when Jake and Amy were still trying for a baby. Melissa Fumero wears a baggy pumpkin costume to conceal her preganancy, which is lampshaded when Jake claims that that she's clearly only wearing it to hide her equipment for the heist, despite her claiming that she was wearing it because she was giving candy to children earlier and didn't have time to change. She later confirms that Jake guessed correctly to Boyle.
  • Holly Marie Combs in Charmed (1998). The most blatant effort to hide her belly was the "headless horseman" episode. They wrote her first one in, requiring a sudden mid-season Time Skip to explain why she was already showing the episode after the baby's conception. There are also rumors that Chris wasn't originally going to be her and Leo's Kid from the Future at all (and might have been intended to be Phoebe's) before real life decided to rewrite the plot. For her second pregnancy in Season 8, she just wore a lot of black and loose clothes.
  • During the third season of Cheers, both Rhea Perlman (Carla) and Shelley Long (Diane) became pregnant; Perlman's pregnancy was written into the script (as the result of a fling with Frasier's mentor, Dr. Bennett Ludlow), whereas Long was mostly shot from the neck up or behind the bar.
  • Courtney Henggeler (Amanda LaRusso) was pregnant during filming of the second season of Cobra Kai. Most of the time, the typical bag of tricks were used, except for a flashback scene of her and Daniel celebrating the opening of their first car dealership, set at a point when Amanda was pregnant with Sam.
  • An actress on Coronation Street playing a post-op transgender woman become pregnant; it started with the character sitting down a lot, and later she went on holiday to keep things from getting too obvious.
  • When Phylicia Rashad of The Cosby Show got pregnant, she had to stand/sit with various household objects in front of her belly. One scene had her sitting down behind a giant teddy bear, strange as that may sound. Some episodes excluded Clair entirely, but she was mentioned to be working late or out of town. They also cut a hole out in Cliff/Clair's bed so that when they were in it, Rashad's stomach wasn't elevated.
    • This led to a hilarious behind the scenes extra in which Bill Cosby himself said that if Phylicia Rashad's belly got any bigger, they would have to park the Huxtable's car in the living room just so they could hide her stomach behind it.
  • When A.J. Cook got pregnant toward the end of the third season of Criminal Minds, a very token effort was made to do this - interestingly, though, it wasn't to pretend that Cook/JJ wasn't pregnant at all, but just to vaguely cover the fact that due to Real Life Writes the Plot factors in other areas, JJ's pregnancy was supposed to start a bit later than AJ's ended up happening.
  • Emily Procter in the 9th season of CSI: Miami. She stopped going into the field, instead appearing mostly in the lab behind a table and wearing an oversized lab coat. She also got a subplot about becoming a mother via adoption.
  • When CSI: NY actress Anna Belknap, who plays Lindsay Monroe, became pregnant, they used the close-up method with varying success. The second time they just wrote it into the storyline, thankfully, which was more easily done that time as her character had become romantically involved with one of the other characters, justifying a pregnancy.
  • Dallas Victoria Principal was only shown either conspicuously absent or sitting down with a table conveniently in front of her for much of the season, while she was filmed from the chest up.
  • Subverted in the famous Brady episode of Day By Day where Maureen McCormick played her Marcia Brady character while very obviously in late pregnancy and no one mentioned that anything was different.
  • When Days of Our Lives' Krista Allen became pregnant, her character Billie became very ill and confined to bed note . Even better, the scenes were pre-taped well in advance of the actress' maternity leave, enabling her character to remain onscreen the entire time she was recuperating.
  • Desperate Housewives:
    • The show got very creative with this in the third season, using everything from giant gingerbread castles to Mrs. McCluskey's head to hide Marcia Cross' pregnancy. But when the plot really could not get away with this, they just called in a double. One episode required Bree to climb a ladder, hiding the double's face. And when Cross returned (Bree and her family were written off the show for a few months to accommodate her maternity leave), they wrote Bree as faking a pregnancy!
    • In-universe, Lynette resorts to using the usual bag of tricks in season 6 to hide from Gabrielle and Carlos that she's pregnant with twins (so as not to jeopardize a promotion that Carlos gave her at work). By "The Coffee Cup", she is forced to wear Tom's clothes to work because her own outfits are too tight. Later in the episode, she wears an oversized parka to hide her baby bump when Gabrielle shows up unexpectedly at her house, only for Gabrielle to find out the truth when she hugs Lynette and the baby begins kicking.
      Lynette: Hey, Gaby.
      Gabrielle: Hey, nanook. Why you wearing a parka?
      Lynette: Because... fur is murder. What's up?
  • Ann Morgan Guilbert was pregnant on the first season of The Dick Van Dyke Show, and while it would have been plausible for Millie and Jerry to be expecting, nothing like that had been written. Instead, Guilbert was dressed in oversized clothing until it was time to go out on maternity leave.
  • Wendy Padbury was pregnant during the recording of Doctor Who's twentieth anniversary special "The Five Doctors" and her costume she wore was in part designed to, in her words, "hide the bump". Sadly, she miscarried soon after wrapping.
  • Near the middle of Season 5 of The Drew Carey Show, Christa Miller suddenly started sitting/lying down a lot while covered up, or wearing baggy and/or black clothing that she never wore previously. Her pregnancy couldn't be written into the script because her character was just starting her romance with Drew. However, she did show up pregnant as a "gag" in Episode 19, "What's Wrong with this Episode III" since the character wasn't supposed to be pregnant. (Ryan Stiles also showed up pregnant as "Lewis—" except that Christa Miller's wasn't simply a basketball under her shirt, as her widened overall girth showed even from behind).
  • Used on Due South in the third season, with the actress who played Frannie Vecchio.
  • Split down the middle on ER. In some cases this trope was employed—Glenne Headly was hidden behind scrubs, tables, or often sitting or lying down, Parminder Nagra was given only head shots. Other actresses' Real Life pregnancies were written in, but in at least two cases—Ming Na and Alex Kingston—the pregnancies still had to be concealed for some time, as the actresses in question were much further along than their characters were.
  • Patricia Heaton spent some seasons of Everybody Loves Raymond very visibly pregnant when Debra certainly wouldn't be; they mostly went the baggy clothes route, which was...somewhat weird when the focus of the episode was Raymond moping about how he's not attractive enough for Debra, considering she looks like she's smuggling a basketball under a very loose shirt.
    • Her real-life pregnancy was actually exploited in a flashback episode explaining how they came to move in opposite Ray's parents in the first place: set at least six years before the "present", her real pregnancy, in-show, becomes a memory of her being heavily pregnant with Allie and the family needing a bigger place to live. Which Frank and Marie broker for them to suit Marie's convenience - right across the street.
  • Initially averted on The Exes, where season two wrote in Kelly Stables’ pregnancy with Eden serving as her boss’s surrogate. However, played completely straight in season four, where Eden was usually seeing carrying file folders and enormous purses, or else sitting down behind tables or pillows. Even lampshaded in one episode, with Eden referring to the Everybody Loves Raymond example of Patricia Heaton.
  • Missy Peregrym was pregnant during the course of filming FBI's second season. Every trick was used to hide her pregnancy. To facilitate her maternity leave, her character was written off as going on an undercover assignment.
  • Sally Field was pregnant during The Flying Nun's final season. Aside from the obvious problem, the whole premise of the show is that her character can fly due to being very lightweight. The usual tricks were combined with using a stunt double for flight shots.
  • Jane Leeves got pregnant late in Frasier's run, and it was written as Daphne becoming fat due to compulsive eating, complete with a Fat Suit; and she left the series for Jane Leeves to have the baby, by having Daphne going away to a spa in order to lose the weight. (With the in-joke that Niles went to see her there, and she had "just lost 9 pounds, 12 ounces".) In the final season, Leeves' second pregnancy was merely incorporated into the storyline.
  • Friends:
    • Courteney Cox's pregnancy in the last few episodes, Monica's infertility being an important plot thread at that point. Ironically, at the time, the infertility had to be written in because Courtney had been trying for a baby earlier and thus it was all prepped - if it had been Chandler written as sterile, they could still have passed it off.
    • Helen Baxendale's pregnancy, along with her country of residence being England, meant that Emily was written out earlier than the writers had originally intended and mostly appeared in voiceover and under bedsheets.
    • Lisa Kudrow's pregnancy during the fourth season was written into the show with Phoebe acting as a surrogate for her half-brother and his wife. Actually becomes an inversion as Phoebe was expecting triplets while Kudrow was only having one baby, so her belly had to be padded up to look more convincing. Eagle-eyed viewers might notice that she starts wearing baggier outfits in the episodes just before Phoebe's insemination.
  • A really well-done example of this trope can be seen in Season 5 of Game of Thrones when Lena Headey (Cersei) became pregnant. The costume department managed to cut Cersei's dresses to look like her usual style while concealing her bump with contrasting-colored layers configured into slender shapes and under long, flowing sleeves she could draw across her stomach for wider shots. Cersei's full-frontal nude scene in the season finale was impressively ambitious under the circumstances and utilized a body double with her hair hanging in her face, and after her Traumatic Haircut, wearing a green screen mask for the wide shots.
    • Headey was also pregnant while filming parts of the first season. The flowing sleeves trick was also used in this instance and one episode sees Cersei wearing her marriage cloak, which completely covers her from the neck down, to an event which she quickly excuses herself from.
  • General Hospital used this where actress Jacklyn Zeman got pregnant. It couldn't be written in because her character Bobbie had had a hysterectomy.
  • Glee: After Heather Morris became pregnant, her character Brittany was written out by way of her getting accepted at MIT as some sort of math savant. While Brittany getting knocked up would not be out of character, the show had already done the Teen Pregnancy storyline with Quinn and milked it for all it was worth. That being said, Heather still had a noticeable baby bump that was clearly trying to be hidden with some looser clothes.
  • Leigh-Allyn Baker's pregnancy came at an extremely bad time for Good Luck Charlie: It came almost immediately after her character gave birth to another little Duncan, meaning there was no chance to do another pregnancy arc. The early episodes after the birth justified it as her still trying to get back to her pre-pregnancy weight.
  • The Good Place: Maribeth Monroe who plays Mindy St. Clair was pregnant during the third season. As Mindy is a Posthumous Character, there was no way to write in a pregnancy so she only appears in a single scene before disappearing again. Luckily her '80s wardrobe includes a boxy jacket that hid Monroe's belly.
  • Kelly Rutherford was pregnant during the second season of Gossip Girl. At first, they succeeded pretty well in hiding it, but towards the end, they got really sloppy.
  • Chyler Leigh's pregnancy in season five of Grey's Anatomy was hidden in the classic manner. There was also one episode having her constantly eating because Mark and Derek were fighting. Ellen Pompeo's pregnancy during season six was hidden by having her character donate part of her liver to her father. Jessica Capshaw's pregnancy during season seven was "hidden" by having the character move to Africa for two episodes, while Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw's third pregnancy were ignored but not that obvious in season eight.
  • Hart of Dixie:
    • In the final season, Rachel Bilson's pregnancy was written in, however for the first few episodes her character is still in the first trimester, while her actress was much further along. One scene has her holding a large popcorn bucket in front of her belly. It doesn't hide anything.
    • Played straight earlier in the show when Jamie King was pregnant.
  • Hawaii Five-0 dealt with Grace Park's pregnancy at the end by filming in Vancouver after she gave birth.
  • Lynn Redgrave was pregnant during one season of her show House Calls (in the late '70s/early '80s) and costume designers had to come up with costumes that were busy on top and dark on the bottom and they had her hold or stand behind objects that obscure her belly due to the fact her character was single. Redgrave later wrote that the writers missed an opportunity to be innovative.
  • Kristen Bell's first pregnancy was dealt with on Hou$e of Lie$ as you'd expect, including having her bump digitally removed. In a reversal of the situation with Holly Marie Combs on Charmed, when she became pregnant again it was written in, with Jeannie telling Marty she was carrying his child early in season 4.
  • This was elevated into an art form in How I Met Your Mother, as both Alyson Hannigan and Cobie Smulders became pregnant at various points throughout the show. This resulted in many scenes of sitting down, baggy clothing, strategic covering of the stomach area (including Lily suddenly incorporating guitar-playing into her teaching methods), sudden speed-eating talents (with the gag being the reveal of a Balloon Belly after stuffing her face) and- in the most blatant but amusing example- Lily inexplicably disappearing for four weeks after Barney told her an incredibly dirty joke.
    • There were, however, some epic fails in hiding Smulders' belly in several episodes of the fourth season, notably Mosbius Designs and The 3 Day Rule. Baggy shirts only hid so much.
    • However, when Alyson got pregnant again in season seven, her character was already pregnant, so there was no need to hide it. Lily actually gave birth in the second-to-last episode of the season, while Alyson still hadn't. In the season finale, she went back to carrying a (rather large) diaper bag in front of her. It could be explained in-show as post-baby weight.
  • Barbara Eden wore copious veils in the earliest episodes of I Dream of Jeannie to conceal her pregnancy, and the results were very effective.
  • Lucille Ball was six months pregnant with Lucie Arnaz when she shot the pilot for I Love Lucy, resulting in vastly oversized costumes. As the pilot was not created for television broadcast, the issue hardly mattered, although it did necessitate some reworking of her professor routine, as she was in no condition to be flopping around on her belly at the time.
    • Averted with her second pregnancy: the Moral Guardians wanted her to do this, as pregnancy was a taboo subject in media at the time, but she refused, and the episode where Lucy gave birth wound up setting a new Nielson record. Since the word 'pregnant' could not be used on TV at the time, the show coined (or at least popularized) the term 'expecting'.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia averted this when Kaitlin Olson became pregnant. It was written into the series with an entire episode devoted to the Gang trying to find out the identity of the father, they never find out but Dee knows and she's not telling. Turns out she was carrying the baby for a post-op transgender woman.
    • However; zig-zagged because a couple of episodes had used the classic tricks of shooting her at an angle, putting something in front of her, or only having her visible from the chest up in certain shots. You can especially see this in the swimming pool episode.
  • When JAG actress Catherine Bell became pregnant in season 8, her character Lt. Colonel Sarah "Mac" Mackenzie was in-universe temporarily assigned to the Navy-Marine Corps Judiciary, which to allow her to sit behind a big bench. (Navy-Marine Corps judges don't wear robes, just their Service-A uniforms.) The show also exploited Bell's pregnancy by having Harm suddenly go through a bout of madness where he sees every woman in the JAG office as being pregnant, followed by the season finale, where she went undercover as the pregnant wife of her real-world husband.
  • Kate & Allie put Kate in a hospital bed with a foot injury. A later episode was told largely in flashback, during the time when Kate was pregnant with her daughter Emma.
  • By Season 8 of The King of Queens, Leah Remini, whose extremely-slim figure was shown center-screen as a ratings-device for most of the series, had ballooned up to almost twice her original weight due to her season 6 pregnancy (shortsightedly, this was written out of the script by the Hollywood sitcom-wizards who gave Carrie a miscarriage before she even started gaining weight and resorted to the standard tricks throughout the sixth season). Even more absurdly, her blimping-out is never noticed or mentioned by anyone in the series, despite that 1) the original script made an entire episode-joke about how she had a family history of women gaining a lot of weight after age 30, and 2) the entire series was more or less a non-stop "running fat-joke" about Kevin James' weight-condition.
  • La que se avecina: In order to work around Miren Ibarguren's pregnancy during the filming of the thirteenth season, the writers devised a storyline where her character, Yolanda, had put on a lot of weight due to stress and having quit smoking, so they could hide Ibarguren's baby bump under a Fat Suit. Audiences didn't exactly take kindly to this decision when the season premiered in the fall of 2022.
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent:
    • Kathryn Erbe got a variation of this when her character served as a surrogate mother for her sister, since the character was not involved with anyone on the show.
    • Julianne Nicholson had two pregnancies during her time as Detective Wheeler. The first had Wheeler "temporarily on loan" to another agency for the first half of Season 7, the second was written into the story as Wheeler being pregnant.
  • When Mariska Hargitay of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit got pregnant, Olivia Benson held large folders in front of her, wore thick, heavy winter coats, and eventually temporarily left town on an undercover assignment for the FBI. At one point she held a coat in front of her while wearing a thick jacket. The overcoat in question wouldn't have been able to fit over the jacket she was wearing.
  • The Lawrence Welk Show did this whenever a member of the cast became pregnant, which was quite often.
  • When Gina Bellman of Leverage was pregnant, Sophie's stomach was hidden (in the same episode!) by being in a coffin, oh, and HOLDING A BOMB TO HER STOMACH. At the end of the episode, she goes on a journey to "find herself"; the next episode, she's only present in phone calls from the main team, usually shot from the chest up behind a bar or in the back seat of a cab, and for most of the latter half of Season 2, she appears only in brief video calls while new character Tara takes her place on the team.
  • In the second season of Life, Sarah Shahi's pregnancy was utilized very well to further the story arc: Dani Reese goes off to interview for a job in the FBI, only to be used as a pawn by people in the conspiracy. This allows for the occasional chest-up shot of her while the rest of the cast is solving the mystery of the week.
  • Lucie Arnaz was pregnant during the short-lived The Lucie Arnaz Show in 1985. She spent most of the series wearing baggy sweaters and carrying boxes in front of her.
  • Lucifer (2016): Towards the end of the second season, Mazikeen swaps her Ms. Fanservice wardrobe for looser shirts due to Lesley-Ann Brandt's pregnancy. She's also absent for several episodes at the start of season 3 due to them being filmed while Brandt was giving birth. To make things even more complicated, four episodes were shot at the end of the second season and then aired Out of Order throughout the third season resulting in some back and forth over how much she's hidden.
  • Luke Cage (2016): An odd non-pregnant version of this trope happened during the filming of season 2. During the first few months of shooting from June 2017 up until the release of The Defenders in August, all set pictures of Simone Missick as Misty Knight were carefully staged so that her right arm was not visible, the reason being that Misty has her right arm cut off in The Defenders, and they needed to hide the effects work.
  • January Jones was pregnant for the filming of season 5 of Mad Men and, instead of a pregnancy storyline or the above-mentioned deflection tactics, the writers wrote in a fat storyline for Betty Draper, complete with fat suit and body doubles.
  • Katey Sagal became pregnant twice during the run of Married... with Children, the first time in season 6, Peg actually was pregnant, it stayed for half a season, then it was retconned into a dream after she miscarried in real life, later on in season 9 or 10 during her second pregnancy her stomach was either obscured by an object or not always shown on screen.
  • Merlin (2008) did it with Emilia Fox, but not extremely well in the opinion of some fans. To elaborate, the giant grey silk cloak wasn't so bad, and neither was her newfound habit of standing behind various bits of furniture, but one scene has her standing before a kneeling King Uther - and it's his head that was being used to conceal her baby bump. It doesn't work at all.
  • The Mentalist: Grace Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti) was visibly pregnant from early on in Season 4, and the efforts to hide it were incredibly distracting at times. Notably, during the frequent scenes of the five leads standing around their office talking about a case, Grace was suddenly no longer visible in the group shots and would instead be shown either sitting behind her desk or, most distractingly, unaccountably standing so far away from the rest that she was in a shot by herself and shown from the waist-up instead of pulled back to show her whole frame like the rest of the characters. She was then put Put on a Bus to attend an intensive six-week cyber-crimes training course towards the end of the season while Righetti was on maternity leave. When The Bus Came Back in season 5, she spent an episode in exceptionally baggy clothes and hiding behind her desk - not that this helped conceal the pregnancy weight/water retention in her face, and of course the observant viewer caught several glimpses of her very round belly when she had to stand up and walk (or teeter, given her heels and attempts to not lean back like a pregnant woman balancing that extra weight in front). The very next season, Righetti and Owain Yeoman decided to leave the show, with Grace and Wayne getting married. Seems like a missed opportunity.
  • Julie Bowen (Claire) was eight months pregnant with twins during the pilot episode of Modern Family, thus she always has a laundry basket, blanket, or pillow in front of her stomach. It's actually pretty effective in a twenty-minute sitcom since Claire's screen time was less than ten minutes overall, she was only shown outside of her home for one crowd scene, and the gap between the pilot being made and the series being picked up for filming was longer than the remainder of her pregnancy.
    • Averted when Bowen made a guest appearance in the Monk episode "Mr. Monk and the Bully", where editing tricks were not used because the episode was filmed in fall 2008, right at the start of Bowen's pregnancy.
    • Also averted for Bowen's guest appearance in the third season finale of Lost. Her character, Jack's ex-wife Sarah, wasn't scripted as being pregnant but the crew decided to work Bowen's pregnancy in as it helped to show that Sarah had moved on with her life while Jack was clinging to the past.
  • Monk ran into this trope when Traylor Howard (Natalie Teeger) became pregnant with her first child Sabu prior to the filming of season 5. According to this article, Traylor confessed to her pregnancy in the spring, prior to the start of season 5 production. This had no impact on the first eight episodes of season 5, from "Mr. Monk and the Actor" through "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert," plus the Christmas special "Mr. Monk Meets His Dad," and "Mr. Monk is on the Air,"note  which were shot while she was still in her first trimester. However, when the cast reconvened to shoot the second half of the season, from "Mr. Monk and the Leper" to "Mr. Monk Goes to the Hospital", her pregnancy was starting to show, so the need for the usual bag of camera tricks: typically this meant being filmed chest up in the usual way, with her bump hidden by objects, heavy trenchcoats, bags in front of her. But sometimes, this led the writers to get creative:
    • In "Mr. Monk Is At Your Service", Natalie is uncomfortable being around old, obsessive boyfriend Paul Buchanan who stalked her in high school. To ward off his advances, she stuffs a pillow under her shirt so he'll think she's pregnant. This allowed Howard to film her scenes without any editing tricks in the second half of the episode. She still wore loose-fitting clothes, and it allows a scene where Paul takes Natalie out into the woods without creative camera positioning. Still, in earlier scenes, it's played straight as you see Natalie using such objects as the door to her car or Captain Stottlemeyer's desk to conceal the baby bump.
    • "Mr. Monk Visits a Farm" has Monk go visit Randy on a farm to investigate his uncle's farm. He has to do this alone as Natalie is unavailable. The meta reason is that because this episode has a lot of outdoor scenes, it would be hard to find something convincing to obscure Howard's chest during these scenes that wouldn't look painfully obvious. So instead, Natalie stays home to tend to Julie, only getting one scene (where Monk is getting the call from Randy), and Monk travels to the farm by himself. It's entirely possible that Natalie would have accompanied Monk to the farm if not for Howard's pregnancy.
    • "Mr. Monk Goes to the Hospital" has Natalie go out on a date while Monk's in the hospital first being treated for a nosebleed and then investigating Dr. Graydon Whitcomb's murder. The only scenes she has are: dropping Monk off at the hospital, feeling guilty about dumping Monk (a full 20 minutes after her previous scene), ditching her date, and returning in the nick of time to foil Dr. Davis Scott's attempt to have Monk die via an "accidental" IV administration of a drug he's allergic to. This results in Stottlemeyer and Disher doing the lifting that Natalie would have done if Traylor hadn't been pregnant.
  • Moonlighting: Cybill Shepherd became pregnant towards the end of the third season which was covered up by having Maddie wear looser outfits that hide her figure. The shot of Maddie and Dave lying in bed when they finally sleep together had to be filmed with Shepherd and Bruce Willis standing in front of a vertically mounted mattress, partially to hide Shepherd's belly but also to hide that Willis had injured his shoulder. Maddie eventually gets on a plane to Chicago early in the fourth season and most of her scenes for the season were filmed early so Shepherd could go on maternity leave.
  • Old-fangled squeamishness over showing pregnant women on TV almost kept Marianne Faithfull from being featured on the 1965 special The Music of Lennon & McCartney. Paul McCartney insisted she be allowed to perform, so the producers compromised by filming her from the shoulders up when she sang "Yesterday". (She gave birth just nine days later!)
  • Happens in a particular episode of My Name Is Earl. For the most part, they averted this trope when it came to Jamie Pressly's real-world pregnancy; they wrote it in as Joy agreeing to be a surrogate for her half-sister Liberty, or else they're Flashback scenes from when Joy was pregnant with either Dodge or Earl Jr. But this episode is an exception because it's a flashback that explains the origin of Earl Jr. So in the scenes that take place before she becomes pregnant with Earl Jr., Joy is wearing long coats, or sitting with Earl on the couch under a blanket, or wearing a baggy shirt. Also, during the episode where she agrees to be Liberty's surrogate, they have her wearing hoodies (and an overcoat which was written in as Sexy Coat Flashing) and they don't show her belly until the end after Joy would have undergone the procedure.
  • On Mystery Science Theater 3000 Kinga's wardrobe in season 11 was supposed to be more varied. Felicia Day's pregnancy necessitated that she be in an overcoat all season instead.
  • Completely averted with Kari Byron of the MythBusters team, with the show being a non-fiction science series and all. Because of her pregnancy, she couldn't participate in the hangover myth. Didn't stop her from enjoying Grant and Tory's discomfiture and their Hangover Sensitivity way too much, though. She also exercised extra precautions when doing gun myths and even wore a bulletproof vest designed for pregnant women.
    Kari: Protecting for two, you see.
  • The Nanny provided a former page image of Lauren Lane, who played C.C Babcock. (Out of character as she's portrayed as being hopeless at attracting men.) They even did some Lampshade Hanging with this one by having her carry a poster with "Baby" on it in front of her, having Niles make even more insults about her weight and by making references to the Seinfeld example.
    • They also hid both of Rachel Chagall's pregnancies. Her character Val was even more hopeless at attracting men, so they were forced to hide them as well. Hers was especially noticeable in the final season because they were trying to hide her real pregnancy while she was standing beside Fran Drescher in the middle of a fake pregnancy.
  • Subverted, then averted on Nashville for the first several episodes of season three - in the premiere Juliette discovers she's pregnant, as Hayden Panettiere was in real life (Word of God has it the writers always intended for Juliette to be pregnant, which explains her puking fit in the season 2 finale). But because the actress was some months further along than the character, a little creative filming came into play (most notably in a concert scene where Juliette spends a whole song hidden behind dancers). Unusually it's also played straight in-universe, as Juliette is playing Patsy Cline in a movie and the plot calls for a love scene.
    • 100% averted as of "I'm Coming Home To You", following a two-month time jump in the storyline. (Hayden still had to miss filming of several episodes, but because she pre-shot numerous scenes, "That's The Way Love Goes" is the only 100% Panettiere-less episode.)
  • On NCIS: Los Angeles, Daniela Ruah (Kensi) was pregnant for the first half of the 5th season. This resulted in Kensi being sent on a long-term covert assignment in Afghanistan, for which all the scenes were shot in advance. In a recent episode, the pregnancy was hidden under a flak jacket that Kensi wore in Afghanistan. She was Put on a Bus just in time, as the baby bump was becoming extremely obvious.
    • Her second pregnancy is also being hidden during the first half of season eight, this time with Kensi in a coma due to serious injuries incurred on assignment. But not before they had fun with one shot of Kensi undercover and presumably wearing a "fake" belly.
  • Unlike with her sister Emily's show, Zooey Deschanel's pregnancy was not written into New Girl - instead Megan Fox (of all people) covers for her in several season five episodes during her maternity leave (Jess is sequestered due to jury duty, and Miss Fox plays as a pharmaceutical sales rep called Reagan who rents out Jess' room while she's gone).
  • Newhart had Julia Duffy carry around a pillow for half a season.
  • Mostly averted by Olivia Colman in The Night Manager because her character is pregnant. However, in some early sequences that take place a few years earlier than the main plot, she is shown working in an office where the heating has broken down and is therefore bundled up in layers of warm clothes, hiding her real-life bump.
  • No Ordinary Family: Autumn Reeser, who plays Katie, was pregnant while the show was on. This was hidden behind desks, lab coats, etc. until the second to last episode when it was written in.
  • In NUMB3RS, during the early months of Diane Farr's pregnancy, FBI Agent Megan Reeves was mostly limited to desk jobs. Reeves was eventually recruited for a "special assignment" so that Farr could take the second half of season three off.
  • In the second half of the fourth season of The Office (US), Angela Kinsey was strictly confined to her workspace behind a chest height wall due to her pregnancy. It was originally intended to include this pregnancy into the show itself, with the child being Dwight's, but the 2007-2008 writer's strike axed that story arc.
    • Jenna Fischer was pregnant with her first child during production of season seven while Kinsey was not but both characters were pregnant.
  • Kat Stewart's pregnancy was worked around in Offspring by having her character get stuck in New Zealand due to a volcano-induced ash cloud. Her appearances during those episodes were on the screen of a Skype call. note 
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • Averted in the second half of the third season, Ginnifer Goodwin's pregnancy was introduced with her character, Snow White. However, the season finale features characters going back in time to when Snow and David first met. It's incredibly obvious when they switch from archive footage to new footage - as Snow White has an obvious double chin. The character conveniently was wearing a black cloak at that point in time - which allows them to use a stunt double with the hood up for action scenes.
    • Played straight and averted in Season 5. Both Ginnifer Goodwin (again) and Emilie de Ravin were pregnant before filming started. De Ravin's was written in with Belle becoming pregnant too - though they had to use thick coats and shooting from the chest up to conceal it before she put herself under a sleeping curse to allow herself to not feature in too many episodes. They just hid Goodwin's pregnancy with big coats and had her be chosen to go home, allowing them to write her out temporarily.
  • When Amy Poehler became pregnant for the second time during Parks and Recreation, the producers decided to just write and film as many episodes as possible before she had to go on maternity leave, rather than taking a hiatus between the second and third seasons. This resulted in increasing amounts of bump-camouflaging ruffled blouses and creative clipboard and desk placement during the first six episodes of season three. Unfortunately, NBC decided to push back the season première to January of 2011, rather than the expected September of 2010 première date, rendering the creative team's efforts unnecessary.
  • Olivia Colman in Series 4 of Peep Show was carefully filmed to avoid revealing that she was pregnant.
    • Averted, however, in the second series of That Mitchell and Webb Look, filmed around the same time, in which she appears heavily pregnant throughout. Kind of helps that it's a sketch show, however.
  • As wearing a Badass Longcoat isn't unusual in Person of Interest, Sarah Shahi at least had an excuse when she became pregnant with twins. Shahi also mentioned in an interview the problem of making sure the audience weren't looking at her now much-larger breasts. The writers discussed having her character Sameen Shaw become pregnant on the show, but decided it was out of character for a sociopathic Action Girl. Instead, Shaw is captured by Samaritan forces, who carry her off to an unknown fate.
  • In Pride and Prejudice (1995), Susannah Harker (who played Jane Bingley) was pregnant with her first child during filming. However, the cut of the dresses and the period fashions made this much easier to obscure than in many other productions, not to mention the fact that a good portion of the scenes she's in involve her sitting down anyway.
  • This happened to Prison Break's only actress at the time, Sarah Wayne Callies. Since most of the pregnancy coincided with the production hiatus between seasons 2 and 3, pregnancy hiding was only needed at the end of season 2, hence her not going to Panama and instead sitting behind a big desk in a courtroom for the last few episodes. The birth and first few weeks of motherhood coincided with the first six or so episodes of season 3, so the plot was broken with Callies' character being MIA for that time, but some Executive Meddling ended up with her character being killed off instead. But she got better in time for season 4.
  • A curious aversion in Property Ladder; In the British version, Sarah Beeny practically became a walking continuity error due to her pregnancy. Since the nature of the show involves following the progress people are making in renovating homes over an extended period of time, the inserted segments involving Beeny would frequently shift between not-pregnant and heavily pregnant over several episodes (or, in certain extreme cases, the same episode) depending on when they were filmed, with little apparent attempt on the part of the producers to hide or cover this up. Then again, it's real life and as noted occurs over an extended period of time, so they probably weren't that bothered about it.
  • Providence hid series star Melina Kanakaredes behind big coats and eventually had her character become very ill and confined to bed—just in time for the summer hiatus to account for her maternity leave.
  • Melissa Peterman was pregnant during season 5 of Reba. Similar to the Frasier example above, Peterman's character Barbra Jean's was said to have gained weight due to binge eating (even though Peterman was always slightly overweight before). By the next season, she had lost a lot of weight and that was also written into the show.
  • In Rizzoli & Isles, Sasha Alexander's second pregnancy wasn't written in. The character wore very tight clothing, so it was obvious to the viewers she was pregnant towards the end of the first season.
  • Roseanne tried to do this with Laurie Metcalf's pregnancy. They started with loose clothing that got larger and larger and then resorted to putting things in front of her, the most outlandish moment being when Jackie sits in the bathtub with a heavy quilt over her as she, Dan, and Roseanne spend the episode getting high on twenty-year-old pot. However, Metcalf ended up with one of the biggest baby bumps ever, and they were forced to write in a one-night stand conception so they didn't have to remove her from the rest of the season. This paid off - Metcalf won an Emmy for acting out her pregnancy that season.
  • Some time after principal photography wrapped on Rose Red, a very pregnant Nancy Travis was called back for additional shooting. This was concealed by filming Nancy's face in extreme close-up, with a double used for wide shots.
  • In Sanctuary, they did a pretty good job of hiding Pascale Hutton's (Abby) pregnancy as she was six months pregnant during the early days of the character's relationship with Will. Subverted later in the season when they did an All Just a Dream episode that included a pregnant Abby (married to Will).
  • Saturday Night Live: Tina Fey hosted SNL in May 2011, when she was 6 months pregnant. One sketch that parodied The Little Mermaid had Fey as Ariel in a mermaid costume with a much higher waistline to hide her pregnancy.
  • Billie Piper was pregnant during the filming of the second series of Secret Diary of a Call Girl. Obviously, a pregnancy couldn't be written in, so a body double was used for nude scenes and Belle began wearing baggy, unflattering dresses. It becomes quite intrusive when you know about it, as sex scenes involve tight close-ups on her face, then shots of her body from the shoulders down.
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus became pregnant twice during the course of the run of Seinfeld. The first time happened during the hiatus between seasons 3 and 4, so it wasn't as big a problem; she was absent from the first two shows of season 4 and made very brief appearances in the next two (Elaine was said to be vacationing in Europe with her shrink), then was back to work full-time by show 5. The second pregnancy, however, occurred during the middle of season 8. The producers resorted to the full bag of tricks to mask it, including baggy clothing, shooting her from behind counters, and having Elaine hold bags or pillows - and one time, Mickey (a Little Person friend of Kramer's) - in front of herself a lot. Because Elaine usually wore conservative clothing to start with, hiding it was not difficult.
  • In Sex and the City, Sarah Jessica Parker was pregnant during season five, which the producers tried to cover up using body-doubles, and otherwise using suddenly baggy clothes and avoidance-shots of her normally lean body.
  • Sisters employed this when Sela Ward became pregnant during the 93-94 season, despite the fact that they could have easily written it in, as Teddy, her character, was dating someone. Teddy is frequently sitting and/or clutching a pillow throughout several episodes, and the show went on hiatus for several weeks to accommodate her maternity leave. An identical scenario played out two years later with Heather McAdams, who played her daughter Cat—right down to the fact that it could have been written in since her character had a boyfriend—ultimately sending her away for an FBI training session to account for her own leave.
  • In the series finale of Six Feet Under, Brenda has just given birth to Willa, but Rachel Griffiths was still pregnant. She carried a very large purse and wore baggy clothes.
  • Jessica Hynes in Series 1 of Spaced. Daisy Steiner's tomboyish outfits helped to conceal her pregnancy, along with cruel comments from Daisy's "friend" Twist. Series 2 explains her suddenly slighter frame and fondness for less clothing in general with the elegant solution of having her spending a few months between series backpacking around Asia.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Sam Carter began Season 9 on R&D secondment to Area 51. She communicated with the SGC via video conferencing which hid Amanda Tapping's pregnancy.
    • Vala disappeared later in Season 9, trapped in the Ori's home galaxy to hide Claudia Black's pregnancy until Vala returned, carrying a Dark Messiah. Her second pregnancy coincided with production of Stargate: Continuum and was hidden with oversized camo jackets, huge guns, and artful camera angles (though it didn't quite work, as Black was already late into her second trimester when filming began, and it's very obvious in a lot of shots.)
    • When Lexa Doig became pregnant, minor character Dr. Lam disappeared from the show without reference. She was the second Stargate actress Michael Shanks got pregnant, although the first (Vaitiare Bandera, who played Sha're) was a Written-In Infirmity.
    • Stargate Atlantis: Season 4 episodes were filmed out of order, making it difficult to hide Rachel Luttrell's pregnancy. It was eventually written into the show as My Secret Pregnancy.
  • When Gates McFadden (Dr. Crusher) got pregnant in real life during Star Trek: The Next Generation, her character had to go through this, with lots of close-ups or sitting down shots. It also helps that the character's uniform had always included a voluminous lab coat, so it was only noticeable if you were really looking.
    • McFadden learned she was pregnant shortly after filming one of Crusher's best episodes, "Remember Me" and doing her own (strenuous) stunts.
    • To complicate matters further, one of the most intensively Crusher-centered episodes of the series, "The Host", was made while her pregnancy was quite advanced. While it may seem relatively simple, since this episode involves a romance with a lot of on-screen physical contact, it's actually quite challenging to do while not showing her pregnancy. The writer, interviewed later, said it made the episode even better, saying that there is a "glow" to women in love and certainly a "glow" on pregnant women.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The character Keiko O'Brien was already pregnant when Kira's actress, Nana Visitor, became pregnant. As Rosalind Chao was not pregnant, a technobabble solution was found, requiring Nana Visitor to hide her pregnancy until the relevant episode occurred: a runabout carrying Keiko, Kira and Bashir was involved in a major incident that left Keiko so badly injured the only way to save the unborn baby was to adapt the transporters on the fly to move the baby to the only other available womb. Due to peculiarities of Bajoran physiology, the baby couldn't be transferred back once Keiko had recovered, resulting in Kira moving into the O'Brien's quarters for the remainder of the pregnancy so that the parents could still feel involved with their child's pregnancy. When the pregnancy symptoms get too much for Kira, she has an argument with Bashir about how this is his fault. While she's referring to his decision to transfer the baby, it's a show in-joke as Bashir's actor, Alexander Siddig, was the father of Nana Visitor's baby.
  • Likewise, Roxann Dawson (Lt. Torres) of Star Trek: Voyager, became pregnant during Season 4. The writers considered writing her pregnancy into the plot, but decided against it, resulting in a long period in which her character was never shown from the chest down and wearing a smock holding engineering tools (except for the two-part episode "The Killing Game" set in the holodeck where the character was forced by aliens who had taken over the ship into portraying a pregnant woman). Amusingly enough, her character later became pregnant.
    • Once the mind control devices were deactivated, but before the holodeck effects were overridden, there's an amusing bit where both Tom Paris and Torres comment on the intense realism of the 'simulated' pregnancy (including that it kicks).
    • The large coat actually tipped off the savvy viewer that she was pregnant as the coat was modeled after the style of top worn by pregnant women in the US Army. Thus it was pretty obvious when and for how long she was pregnant.
  • Kim Rhodes was pregnant during the last season of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, but it was hidden because it would change the dynamics of the show.
  • Andrea Brooks was pregnant for at least part of season 5 of Supergirl, so scenes featuring her had her hiding behind a table. Post-Crisis, she’s been absent.
  • In the concurrent sixth season of The Flash (2014), Danielle Panabaker was pregnant, but Caitlin Snow/Frost were in no narrative position to be so. After two episodes where the pregnancy was visible (but unacknowledged), the character had their first absence in the entire series in “A Girl Named Sue”. The following episode sees her in a loose blouse.
  • Cynthia Watros was pregnant with twins during the second season of Titus, and also happened to have broken her leg. So the writers integrated the broken leg into the narrative (chasing after a burglar and fell hard) and had her in a wheelchair (usually with her purse on her lap) for several episodes.
  • Roma Downey's pregnancy couldn't be written into Touched by an Angel for obvious reasons note , so they went the standard baggy clothes, chest and up shots, and lots of hiding behind plants/chairs/Andrew.
  • Ugly Betty's Alexis Meade (played by Rebecca Romijn) was written out for the same reason as the Coronation Street example above.
  • The Walking Dead:
    • Alanna Masterson (Tara) was pregnant for the filming of the first half of Season 6. The tactic of putting her in baggy sweatshirts that closely match Tara's usual style has the weird effect of hiding her bump really well from the front and not at all from the side. The really weird part is that Tara spends the first few episodes of the season laid up in a hospital bed, which sounds like a perfect excuse to put this trope into effect quite well if it had been done a few episodes later; but following her recovery (and when the actress was more visibly pregnant) Tara is back to doing badass things in baggy clothing and behind any convenient Scenery Censor.
    • Amusingly, another character, Maggie (played by the not-really-pregnant Lauren Cohan) was meant to be pregnant during the time period that Masterson was actually pregnant - resulting in a situation where the supposedly pregnant woman got up to a lot more strenuous action than one of her not-pregnant counterparts. Could be fairly reasonably justified by Tara still recovering from her injuries, however.
  • Walker: Odette Annable got pregnant with her second child, another daughter, and hid it during the end of season 2 and the beginning of season 3.
  • WandaVision parodied this in "Now in Color", where Wanda goes through the usual Hollywood bag of tricks to hide her telltale belly, including long, loose-fitting clothes and unseasonable coats.
    Monica Rambeau: [when Wanda answers the door wearing a trenchcoat] It's 75 degrees out. Are you making a fashion statement?
    • Thanks to a case of sitcom-brain, Monica never catches on. Things then go further into the absurd when Wanda resorts to using comically under-sized household props.
      Monica: Would you look at that?
      Wanda: [holding a fruit bowl in front of her belly bump] What?
      Monica: Fruit!
  • Mary McCormack was pregnant when she joined the cast of The West Wing. Her pregnancy was not written into that show. But her later pregnancy when she was the lead character of In Plain Sight was written in.
    • Mary-Louise Parker was pregnant during the fifth season of The West Wing. This led to a lot of loose jackets, conveniently placed props, and sitting behind a desk to obscure her bump. Her character, Amy Gardner, was eventually Put on a Bus a few episodes into the season and didn't return until the sixth season.
  • Averted by Wheel of Fortune. There was no feasible way to conceal Vanna White's two pregnancies, especially not with all the walking back and forth she does at the puzzle board. So she just wore maternity outfits throughout.
    • A more unfortunate example of hidden pregnancy came on a 1992 episode (taped on-location in San Francisco) where she announced her very first pregnancy; the first puzzle of the episode was "Vanna's Pregnant", and show creator Merv Griffin came onstage to congratulate her. However, she miscarried between taping and airing, so the round was taken out of the episode and replaced by clips of host Pat Sajak explaining what happened in the round, and announcer Charlie O'Donnell promoting San Francisco.
  • The actress who plays Kristen in Wilfred was pretty darn preggers throughout season 1.
  • Debra Messing was pregnant during the sixth season of Will & Grace. All the standard tricks were (ineffectually) implemented to conceal her baby bump. Ultimately, Debra had to skip 5 episodes that year on doctor's orders, resulting in exposition from other characters to explain Grace's conspicuous absence.
  • An in-universe example on an episode of Without a Trace, when the agents learn that the Victim of the Week, a teenage girl, is pregnant. Suddenly, every one of the flashbacks gets a Rewatch Bonus as they (and the audience) realize that she was employing this trope—baggy clothes, quitting the swim team, etc.
  • Wynonna Earp: For the first few episodes of season 2, Wynonna always wore a very large size sheepskin coat. Then some assorted plot happens to bring Melanie Scrofano's real-life pregnancy into the story - a positive pregnancy test at the end of one episode, followed by almost everyone in town falling into a magic coma lasting several weeks or months in the next one, ending with the baby bump reveal.
  • In season two of The X-Files, Scully wore a lot of trench-coats and stood behind a lot of desks while Gillian Anderson was pregnant. Then she got abducted by aliens while Gillian Anderson was giving birth (i.e. she was absent from that episode). During this time there were a few shots of her being examined aboard the alien ship, including one where it looked like the aliens were pumping her belly full of air. Scully spent the next episode in a coma; by the next episode, she was walking and talking again.
    • Word of God confirms that the Myth Arc was never intended, despite hints of alien conspiracies early in the series. It also confirms that Anderson's pregnancy was what jump-started the whole thing since they had to explain away her absence as well as give development to then-minor characters like Director Skinner and the Cigarette Smoking Man, who was literally "an extra leaning on a shelf."

    Music Videos 
  • Annie Lennox's "Love Song For A Vampire" was filmed while she was pregnant with her second daughter, and has her was sitting down and wearing an Empire-style dress throughout. "Little Bird", released at the same time, has her in nothing but black. However, in this case, it is subverted as Lennox is not only standing up at all times but is also often standing in profile to the camera, clearly showing the pregnancy.
  • In Lauryn Hill's "Doo Wop (That Thing)," she wears slimming outfits to hide her pregnancy. Plus, the video has a lot going on: a pair of block parties shown side-by-side, one from the '60s and one from the '90s, meaning you won't notice she's carrying unless you already know.
  • In Madonna's video for "Music," she had to be shot from the front and almost always sitting down. She also commissioned a short action sequence from her favorite animation studio, to replace scenes she couldn't do. However, it was no secret that she was pregnant with her second child at the time, and it added a bit of subtext to the line "I want to dance with my baby". She was also pregnant while filming the video for "You Must Love Me", the bump was hidden by having her stand behind a piano.
  • In Whitney Houston's video for "I Will Always Love You," she is shown sitting in a chair on a stage as she sings. Since it was a Video Full of Film Clips from her movie The Bodyguard, this was easily done.
  • Within Temptation has Sharon. The video for "Sinéad," where Sharon wears a heavy coat and is only shown from the chest up.
  • Atomic Kitten filmed the video for "It's OK" while Natasha Hamilton was five months pregnant. The video is a Beach Episode and Natasha is wearing a rather loose top throughout - while Jenny and Liz are in bikinis. Natasha is also lying or sitting down in a lot of her shots and is the one driving the car in the road scenes, allowing the wheel to hide her bump.
  • Faith Hill's pregnancy is barely visible in the video for her 1998 single "This Kiss", as pointed out by herself on a CMT special.
  • The video for The Saturdays' single "30 Days" involves the girls attending a Speed Dating session at a diner, which would be fine, if it wasn't for the fact that Una, at the time, was pregnant with her second child from her relationship with Ben Foden, and sporting a pretty visible bump to boot. For most of the video, the bump is kept hidden by having her hide behind the other girls and only be filmed from the chest up, although at one point she does place her hand over it, showing it off to the guy who's hitting on her.
    • The trope is also applied to Rochelle in the video for "Gentleman", which was filmed while she was still pregnant with Alaia-May, her first child from her marriage with JLS's Marvin Humes. To conceal this, she (or at least, the housewife version of her, as in the video the girls play both the housewife characters and the husband characters) is seen wearing a dress with a large, frilly skirt.
    • While not as noticeable as with Una and Rochelle, it's also applied to Frankie, this time in the video for "Disco Love".
  • Mariqueen Maandig was pregnant while making How to Destroy Angels' "The Space In Between" video, and wears a noticeably baggy wedding dress while sitting the whole time (though that probably had more to do with her either being dead or dying in the video).

    Web Original 
  • In Noob, Golgotha has a second avatar in the mage class exclusive to the web series. The actress playing her was pregnant during Season 3 and the main difference between Golgotha's usual warrior avatar and her mage is less chainmail and more baggy clothes.
    • A milder case happened to Saphir in Season 5 before she got a Temporary Substitute (who was the long-term solution) when she was shown using an avatar looking just like Gaea in-game while shots of her player behind the computer showed only her face.
  • Laura Bailey did this for the first seven episodes of Campaign 2 of Critical Role, made somewhat easier by the fact that the show involves the cast sitting at a table which usually completely obscures her from the chest down. On the rare occasions she did have to stand up while on camera, co-star Sam Riegel, who sat next to her, would find ways to put himself between the camera and her belly.
  • Felicia Day was able to keep her pregnancy from becoming public knowledge until she was in her eighth month from a combination of restricting personal appearances and clever clothing choices. In particular, when she was about seven months along, she attended a Supernatural con while wearing a blazer about a size too big and a long scarf which draped over her shoulders, so that when she was sitting, they would hang forward and hide her bump.