Thinking Beyond the Giant Purse: The Top 6 Creative Ways TV Shows Have Incorporated Real-Life Pregnancies

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Time to tip our hats to television shows that have used creative storylines to incorporate or disguise an actor’s real-life pregnancy without making her character pregnant. You know, using something other than a gigantic purse carried in front of the bump. Here are our top five favorites:

1. Frasier — When Jane Leeves got pregnant, the writers had her character Daphne develop an overeating disorder and gain sixty pounds; however, Niles is so blinded by love he doesn’t notice until Daphne falls to the floor and is too heavy to get up without the help of Frasier, Niles and Martin (who remarks “it took three Cranes to lift you”). Daphne then left for several weeks to attend a “spa for fat people” and returned with her figure restored. It’s a miracle! According to her therapist, she began over-eating to create distance between herself and Niles because she was afraid that she wouldn’t be able to live up to Niles’ lofty expectations after he spent the last seven years believing she was perfect. When Jane Leeves was briefly on maternity leave, the writers created a scene in which Niles tells Roz that Daphne had lost 9 pounds, 12 ounces — which was the weight of Leeves’ baby in real life. Love it.

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