Producers and costume designers are always thrown a curveball any time their leading ladies announce they are expecting — but the real challenge is camouflaging those baby bumps.
For Ugly Betty's Ana Ortiz, wardrobe and some strategic camera work has been the key to hiding her bundle of joy. "I have been carrying bowls of popcorn around, Easter baskets and all kinds of things," Oritz told TVGuide.com at Ugly Betty's Paley Center panel. "For me, it's easy as pie. For everyone else, they have to maneuver!"
But while some expectant mothers are all but unnoticeable on-camera, others are just plain obvious. Check out our list of some of the best and worst attempts of hiding real-life pregnancies on TV.
Ana Ortiz: Ugly Betty
It's all about the costumes and calculated angles that give the illusion Hilda is still pencil-thin. Click here (at the 1:30 mark) to watch Ortiz — in a flowy leopard blouse — hiding behind castmates and "Archie for President" T-shirts in Thursday's episode. (And note the inside joke from the writers when Hilda outright denies that she's pregnant.)
Chyler Leigh: Grey's Anatomy
The writers poked fun at Leigh's pregnancy by giving Lexie a stress-induced binge-eating problem, but let's be honest. Could you even tell Little Grey was pregnant under those baggy scrubs and surgical gowns? (Leigh welcomed a baby girl on Thursday.) Click here to get a closer look from Thursday's episode at the 12:05 mark.
Sarah Jessica Parker: Sex and the City
Parker had quite possibly the most amazing, customized designer maternity wardrobe to help her pull off the farce. Though she was one of the skinniest pregnant women in the world, the producers gave her a break by shortening the fifth season from 13 to eight episodes. Watch a very pregnant SJP pull off a sexy little bubble dress at the 5:45 mark in the clip below.
Leah Remini: The King of QueensRemini has been fairly outspoken about her struggle to lose the 80 pounds she gained while pregnant with daughter Sofia, who is now 4. By making her character, Carrie Heffernan, unemployed and later working from home, she got to don jumbo PJs and sweats, but no amount of loose clothing could conceal her belly by the end of Season 6. Get a clear shot of her bump at the 1:00 mark.Debra Messing: Will & GraceBefore she became a mama, Messing wore her fair share of muumuus — and a jumpsuit — during Season 6 of the NBC sitcom (check it out at the 1:55 and 3:55 marks). The cover-up worked early on (if you could forget the fact that Grace had previously only worn more fitted styles), but Messing's rapidly expanding midsection soon became the elephant in the room, especially since the patented sitting-down-and-hiding-behind-a-table trick failed.Jane Leeves: FrasierThey say not to call pregnant women fat, but that didn't stop the Frasier masterminds from saddling Leeves with weight and fat jokes, blaming Daphne's binge-eating on the stress from her relationship with Niles. How far did they go? Well, it took three Cranes (Niles, Frasier and Martin) to lift her after she tripped (check it out at the 6:10 mark below). Daphne was later sent to fat camp (not Heavyweights-style, we think) to drop the pounds. Fortunately for Leeves' self-esteem, her second pregnancy was written into the plot. Additional reporting by Joyce Eng
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