Pregnancies happen all the time in real life and on television. When these two worlds collide, sometimes it can be hard to figure out what to do.
However, when a character is pregnant and the actress isn’t, it’s easy to just slap on a pregnancy belly.
When the actress is pregnant and the character isn’t, that’s the tricky part. Television creatives have been known to either work these pregnancies into storylines or strategically use the camera to trick viewers into thinking the character isn’t pregnant.
When the real-life pregnancy is written into the show, like Lisa Kudrow‘s was, it can be hard to come up with a creative way to incorporate it. Especially if the character isn’t the kind of person who would have kids, or they aren’t with someone at the moment.
Friends excelled at this when it came to Phoebe’s storyline. She wasn’t in a serious relationship, but her brother was. Including her brother and his wife was a very interesting spin, and many didn’t even think this felt out of place.
Lisa Kudrow’s pregnancy was scripted into the show, but Cortney Cox’s wasn’t.
Kudrow was pregnant in 1997. She didn’t believe it would make sense for her character Phoebe to be pregnant, but the writers came up with the triplets idea to cover it up.
However, when Cox became pregnant, it couldn’t be written into the show as easily. Friends had already established that Monica and Chandler were unable to have children, so it wouldn’t make sense for Monica to become pregnant.
Instead, they chose to hide her behind tables and conceal the bump with large clothes and jackets.
Even though Lisa Kudrow was only pregnant with one child, the show spun it, changing it into triplets. She was the surrogate for her brother and his wife, and when they found out they were having triplets, they were terrified.
The addition of the triplets brought the drama for their family and was definitely a wise plan from the writers. That way, they also didn’t have to deal with Phoebe having kids, as that would have been the main storyline for her character.
In one of the funnier lines from the show, Frank Jr. (Phoebe’s brother) rushes out of the hospital room exclaiming, “Chandler’s a girl! Chandler’s a girl!”
Chandler’s name was chosen for one of the triplets, thinking that it was going to be a boy.
In very Phoebe fashion, after giving birth to the triplets, she realizes that she would really like to keep one of them. It’s hard for her to move on, but she eventually does. Instead, she settles for being the cool aunt.