5 Times Real-Life Pregnancies Inspired Brilliant TV Plots

5 Times Real-Life Pregnancies Inspired Brilliant TV Plots
Image credit: FOX, NBC

Showmaking can be tricky for the most unexpected reasons.

When real life interferes with show production, it can bring all kinds of surprises. Take pregnancy, for example. It is usually a joyous event for the mother-to-be, but a complication for the showrunners. Especially if the character's arc is not supposed to go that way.

So writers and directors have to get really creative to work a baby bump into their fictional universes. And sometimes, those crafty twists lead to some of the best storylines on screen.

Here are five stellar TV storylines that owe their existence to a cast member's pregnancy.

The Surrogate Gag

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Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe) announced that she was expecting in Friends Season 4, and since pausing filming was not an option and Phoebe was not ready to be a mother, the creators decided to give her a shocking twist. She agreed to be a surrogate for her brother and his wife.

This led to some of the funniest jokes and scenes in the show. Think of the episode where the triplets are born. Isn't that one of the best?

The Dirty Joke & The Hot Dog Eating Contest

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How I Met Your Mother

It must have been a real cause for celebration and headaches for the showrunners of How I Met Your Mother when both Cobie Smulders (Robin) and Alyson Hannigan (Lily) became pregnant in Seasons 4 and 5. The creators decided to cover this up with strategic camera angles, bulky bags, and the use of stunt doubles, but there were also some uproarious creative decisions.

Thus, when Hannigan went on maternity leave, the plot had Barney tell Lily such a dirty joke that she got up, left MacLaren's and didn't come back for almost a season. Also, in one of the flashback scenes, we see Lily participating in (and winning, of course) the hot dog eating contest. She ends up with a huge belly, which in real life was a baby bump.

The Undercover Agent

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Melissa Fumero (Amy) was carrying a baby in Season 3 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. And the writers did a genius job of incorporating that into the fictional storyline. The department needed to get very important information from an inmate at a women's prison, so Amy went undercover and posed as a pregnant hard-core criminal.

As you watched those scenes, could you imagine that underneath that orange prison jumpsuit was not a pillow, but a real pregnant belly?

The Stunning Twist

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The writers of Charmed decided to go a more traditional route and mirror Holly Marie Combs' (Piper) real-life pregnancy in her character's arc in Season 6. Piper got pregnant for the second time.

But this storyline took a mind-blowing twist when Piper's future child turned out to be a new mysterious character, Chris, who had already been a part of the show for a while. According to the plot, the adult Chris had time traveled from the future to be with his family before his own birth.

The Alien Abduction

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The X-Files

Gillian Anderson's (Dana Scully) pregnancy basically shaped The X-Files as we know it. The actress found out she was carrying a child in Season 1, and the creators went the wildest possible direction by having the character abducted by aliens and experimented on for the purpose of creating a human-alien species.

This paid off handsomely for the show, as Scully got her own personal stake in the main mythology, and viewers got some of the best and most heartbreaking arcs with her alien children.