Pregnancy story line in sitcoms; who did it best / worst?

I’m on record as pretty much hating the pregnancy story line so I am hard pressed to come up with bests. The Big Bang Theory (which prompted this thread) is so far not annoying so I’ll put it on the list. I think I’d have to say Modern Family has done the best; both with Gloria’s pregnancy and Cam and Mitch’s foray into adoption. There was a little bit of drama but it had a genuine feel to it and it never overshadowed the humor.
Back in the day I Love Lucy also handled it well, though that could be in part because of the social mores and strict industry guide lines at the time. They simply weren’t allowed to delve too far into anything but the most surface stuff so it stayed light and fun.

The worst? That’s easy; How I Met Your Mother. For me it went from being “must see tv” to “not really interested anymore”. Next would be Mad About You. Friends, another one of my very favorites really hit the downhill slide with Rachel’s pregnancy. Phoebe’s wasn’t great either, but at least it had a quirky element that could be played for humor (I’m going to have my brother’s baby!). Another bad one was Will & Grace, which, to me seemed to have had a lot to do with Debra Messing being pregnant in real life. Forgive me, but she was not an attractive pregnant woman. Okay, you can’t do much about your appearance when you’re growing a person inside you but the character became so shrill and bitchy and I felt like that was the actress’s real (if temporary) personality coming through. Just made the show unpleasant.

Which one’s did you like or hate? Does anyone here like this particular story arc in general?

Bonnie Swanson’s six year long pregnancy in Family Guy deserves mention, although I’m not sure whether as best or worst.

My favorite pregnancy-related episode ever - “Three the Hard Way” from Mork & Mindy Season 4. :smiley:

For those who don’t know, Mork became pregnant…with this egg.

Ohmigosh, I forgot all about that(didn’t Jonathan Winters hatch from it?) Thanks for that fun blast from the past!

I forgot to note that the link I provided was a very short clip of the egg hatching. Take a look. :wink:

The episodes leading up to the birth of Pebbles on "The Flintstones" wasn’t bad. In fact, I use that season as my line in the sand for that series. All the seasons prior to Pebbles birth (and later Bam Bam’s adoption) were good. Had some very funny episodes, especially when they followed the "Honeymooners" blue print. Most all the shows after the addition of the kids (with a handful of exceptions) were very, very bad.

Calling it a sitcom is a stretch, especially as the Emmys considered it a drama, but my vote for the worst is Moonlighting, especially the way it ended (Maddie had a miscarriage, then “let us never speak of it again”). Soap, where they were sewing the seeds of having it be an alien’s baby (a lookalike alien replaced one of the characters briefly) when the show was cancelled in the middle of three cliffhangers (four, if you count this), comes a close second.

My vote for the best: Gloria giving birth on All in the Family - supposedly, it was the first time they had a “delivery room scene” on scripted TV.

I liked how they handled Pam’s first pregnancy on The Office, because it seemed to fit in well with the overall tone of the show. I might be biased, because I was pregnant myself at the time so I was possibly more interested in that kind of story than I would be otherwise.

Dee’s pregnancy on Always Sunny was handled extremely in keeping with the show. The other characters pretty much didn’t care at all, aside from occasionally mocking her. They didn’t pay attention at all until the episode where she tells them that one of them is the father (and then gives birth).

Best ever: Murphy Brown. Within the context of the show, it was a funny storyline told more realistically than the typical sitcom, and then Dan Quayle got involved and it became epic.

Worst: Any storyline involving convenient miscarriage - the pregnancy is introduced as a plot point for a single episode, and ends when the episode does. Examples include Webster and The King of Queens. Although it’s not typical on sitcoms, the absolute worst is when the woman is debating having an abortion, and then ends up miscarrying, so the show can avoid appearing to endorse abortion. Such a cop-out.

The best was Married with Children.

Hail Baby!

For me it was I Love Lucy. Up until that time in TV or movies, there was no pregnancy in the pregnancy. In I Love Lucy, there was discomfort, largeness and the like…Maybe it was just in comparison to what came before, but for me it worked.

Best: Kif, Futurama.

Best was probably Frasier. Roz, not Daphne.

Worst was every other one.

It’s not a sitcom necessarily, but I feel moved to mention Bones as the worst.

Two characters were pregnant in successive seasons, and every other line was
“I’m so fat because I’m pregnant” (One character fell down in her kitchen could not get up until her husband arrived, because pregnant people are so fat, obviously. They can’t possibly stand up by themselves.)
“My feel are so swollen because I’m pregnant”
“My back hurts because I’m pregnant.”
“I can’t eat that because I’m pregnant”
“I can’t think/I’m crying/I’m confused. It must be the hormones because I’m pregnant”
“Good morning co-workers! My breasts are sore because I’m pregnant but I was naked all day yesterday, so I feel better today.”
“But you did notice that my breasts have been bigger, right? Because I’m pregnant? Here, let me show you.”
“Did I mention I was pregnant? You might have just come back from a commercial break and thought I was fat, so let me assure you that I’m pregnant.”
“In fact, I can’t talk about anything but being pregnant. Who has time to solve murders?”
And then… for a season finale, she’s in freaking labor but still helping to solve a forensic murder mystery via Skype. So pregnancy prevents you from doing your job for months (let alone standing up) with inordinate amounts of never-ending whining… but labor is something you can work through? OK…

Also, who puts the Skype computer at the foot of the bed during labor? Your co-workers really do not need to see that. Even if you were naked all day and your breasts are bigger.

I was going to mention that. I saw this in real time when I was young, and also again in reruns as an adult, and I thought the whole pregnancy was pretty good. I thought the inevitable birth complication shows are obliged to come up with was great, because it was something that really happens (in New York, anyway), and you totally don’t see it coming:

Gloria gets stuck in a phone booth. She’s at a restaurant when she goes in to labor, and she goes into a phone booth to call, IIRC, her parents to say she’s going to the hospital, then turns back around to get out, and the door won’t open.

I think it was the first birth scene in US television, but I think there had been earlier ones on UK TV that had aired on PBS. I’m pretty sure that Sarah delivering a baby on Upstairs, Downstairs aired before All in the Family. Mike was the first father not sitting around the waiting room. He was in the delivery room the whole time.

Here’s a funky nomination: My Three Sons. Katie’s pregnancy included episodes about Robbie worrying whether he was up to the responsibility of fatherhood, and Katie having body image issues, way back in the 60s. I think this was the first show to do episodes on those issues.

Moonlighting was indeed bad, especially with all the “whose the father” crap that never ended up mattering anyway.

Another good one was how they handled the birth of Richie on "Dick Van Dyke Show" told in flashbacks (well, as Rob and Laura told Richie). Especially funny was the switched babies episode. I was much too young to see this when it first aired (2 yrs old!) and saw it years later in reruns. Would have loved to have heard the reaction to that episode, especially the funny reveal, from viewers of that time.

WOOKINPANUB and I have already disagreed about How I Met Your Mother in this thread, so I’ll just list some of my least favorites.

Cheers – For no particular reason, Sam and Rebecca decided they wanted to be parents. The producers wasted a half-season showing how bad an idea it was before giving up and, of course, never mentioning it again.

Mad About You – Mabel? Really???

Laverne & Shirley – With the show already on its last legs, Shirley meets someone, falls in love, gets married, discovers she’s pregnant and disappears from the show forever. All in two episodes!

Modern Family is specifically about family and raising kids. As opposed to, say, Big Bang Theory, Friends or HIMYM where the initial premise is the life of a bunch of single friends in their late 20s.