We love watching movies and TV series for many reasons.
Personally, one of my reasons is to closely follow the development of interesting characters who have become my favourite. Looking back, I didn’t even realise that many of my favourite characters were also mothers!
Since it’s Mother’s Day, let’s forget about the sexy blokes for a while (you can do it) and focus on our favourite made-up mums. They are strong, smart, sassy, spunky characters, and while they are the product of someone’s imagination, they are much like real mums, much like you and me. They share the same challenges, and they also handle these challenges with the same faith, courage, and humour that we have. That’s why we love them! In our humble opinion, these are the 50 best fictional mums on TV and film.
1. Lorelai Gilmore (Gilmore Girls)
Spouse (Ex-Husband): Christopher Hayden
Offspring: Rory Gilmore
What makes her awesome: Lorelai is a mum famous for her unhealthy eating habits, and she can’t even cook to save her life. She did make an attempt to eat a healthier diet when she got pregnant with Rory though! Aside from this, her wit and humour and her unique way with words make her one of the best and funniest mums around.
2. Marie Barone (Everyone Loves Raymond)
Spouse: Frank Barone
Offspring: Ray Barone, Robert Barone
What makes her awesome: She is not only the Martha Stewart of sitcoms but also a queen in every way. Even though she criticises Ray’s wife and everyone who does not live up to her queenly standards, she totally has a soft spot which can be seen when she treats her grownup sons like little boys.
“I can’t talk! There’s too much fruit in the house!”
3. Bea Smith (Wentworth)
Spouse: Harry Smith
Offspring: Debbie Smith
What makes her awesome: We do not condone attempted murder or any other crime, but we don’t condone domestic violence either so we find ourselves behind Bea Smith when she finally fought back against her abusive husband. We’re also amazed at the strength amidst the struggle that she’s shown dealing with Debbie’s death.
4. Martha Wilson (Dennis the Menace)
Spouse: George Wilson
What makes her awesome: Martha and George do not have any children of their own, so she gives her entire attention to her sometimes grumpy husband. When Dennis comes into their lives, she treats him as her own grandson despite his being a “menace”!
“This isn’t about having children or not having children, George. You missed the point. It’s about my feeling, something very good, and not being able to tell you about it.”
5. Cersei Lannister (Game of Thrones)
Spouse: Widow of King Robert Baratheon, lover of her twin brother, Jaime Lannister
Offspring: Joffrey Baratheon, Myrcella Baratheon, Tommen Baratheon
What makes her awesome: Ambitious Cersei is full of secrets, and these are the kinds of secrets that ruin without mercy. But nothing gets in the way of her personal interests. Nothing can also stop her when she needs to protect her own family even if it takes manipulation and breaking trust.
6. Kitty Forman (That 70’s Show)
Spouse: Red Forman
Offspring: Laurie Forman, Eric Forman, Steven Hyde
What makes her awesome: A caring mother not only to her own children but also to everyone in the neighbourhood, Kitty is the ultimate favourite mum of everyone. Though she nurses her own wounds, including her addictions and a strained relationship with her own mum, she continues to nurture everyone like the nurse she is.
7. Claire Dunphy (Modern Family)
Spouse: Phil Dunphy
Offspring: Haley Dunphy, Alex Dunphy, Luke Dunphy
What makes her awesome: Claire is a perfectionist, which her kids obviously interpret as “psycho control freak,” but has trouble controlling her children’s different personalities. But despite this, she remains a very loving mother who is also an active and involved member of the community.
8. Carol Brady (The Brady Bunch)
Spouse: Mike Brady
Offspring: Marcia Brady, Jan Brady, Cindy Brady, Greg Brady, Peter Brady, Bobby Brady
What makes her awesome: Any mum who raises six kids is an awesome lady, but what makes Carol Brady even more amazing is that she used to be a single mum before Mike came into the picture and had to raise three daughters alone. And though she becomes a SAHM, she is no plain housewife with everything she’s involved in!
“I’m a housewife with a maid! It took you this long to figure out what I was doing all day?”
9. Fran Fine (The Nanny)
Spouse: Maxwell Sheffield
Offspring (Step Offspring): Maggie Sheffield, Brighton Sheffield, Gracie Sheffield
What makes her awesome: From selling makeup, Fran suddenly becomes a nanny when she arrives at the home of Maxwell Sheffield. Despite not being a real nanny, she actually makes an awesome second mum to the kids as she teaches them real life lessons. Of course, her quirky fashion sense makes her even more lovable!
10. Bella Swan (Twilight)
Spouse: Edward Cullen
Offspring: Renesmee Cullen
What makes her awesome: Introverted Bella turns her life around when she gets involved with a vampire. Things turned out for worse when she got pregnant, but she chooses to live through the pain to protect her baby as she discovers how selfless a mother’s love is like.
“I’m never gonna get enough of this. We don’t get tired. We don’t have to rest, or catch our breath, or eat. I mean, how are we gonna stop?”
11. Marge Simpson (The Simpsons)
Spouse: Homer Simpson
Offspring: Lisa Simpson, Bart Simpson, Maggie Simpson (Hugo Simpson)
What makes her awesome: Always trying to be positive and happy, she is the force that keeps the Simpsons together and, we believe, has the personality that is the perfect antidote to Homer’s crazy antics. Risk-averse, her family may often see her as a killjoy, but she’s only trying to protect them. (Don’t we all?)
12. Clair Huxtable (The Cosby Show)
Spouse: Cliff Huxtable
Offspring: Sondra Huxtable, Denise Huxtable, Theo Huxtable, Vanessa Huxtable, Rudy Huxtable
What makes her awesome: In 2006, Clair was voted as everyone’s favourite TV mum in a survey by Opinion Research Company, and this does not come as a surprise. Also the favourite mum of feminists, Clair is a strong and outspoken woman who is always in charge, a disciplinarian, and becomes a very successful lawyer. Is there anything she can’t do?!
13. Morticia Addams (The Addams Family)
Spouse: Gomez Addams
Offspring: Pugsley Addams, Pubert Addams, Pugsley Jr. Addams, Wednesday Addams, Wednesday Jr. Addams
What makes her awesome: The matriarch of the macabre but loving Addamses, Morticia not only is a classic beauty but also possesses wit, incisiveness, and fierce loyalty to family. She is awesome because she adores her husband, Gomez, and is completely supportive of her children.
14. Lois Griffin (Family Guy)
Spouse: Peter Griffin
Offspring: Meg Griffin, Chris Griffin, Stewie Griffin
What makes her awesome: A full-time SAHM, Lois is a kickass lady who left an extremely wealthy upbringing to live with her love, Peter. Despite being a housewife and mum, though, Lois also has quirks including a tendency for sadomasochism (say what?) and a tendency to be sexually liberal.
15. Marion Cunningham (Happy Days)
Spouse: Howard Cunningham
Offspring: Richie Cunningham, Joanie Cunningham
What makes her awesome: Marion is a traditional homemaker, but she occasionally has the “empty nest syndrome” as she’s alone at home most of the time. Thus, she makes some attempts to pursue careers such as her musical career, but she remains the caring wife and mum that she is.
“You know something? I don’t know when I’ve been so proud of both of you. And now you’re gonna leave just when I’m getting used to your moustache! It’s gonna look very nice… on a screenwriter.”
16. Rayna James (Nashville)
Spouse (Ex-Husband): Teddy Conrad
Offspring: Maddie Conrad, Daphne Conrad
What makes her awesome: The “Queen of Country,” Rayna was used to having an easy life when she consistently topped the charts for two decades. But when she meets a younger rival, her career begins to slide down. Despite this, she remains very determined to remain relevant in the music industry.
17. Peggy Bundy (Married with Children)
Spouse: Al Bundy
Offspring: Kelly Bundy, Bud Bundy, Seven
What makes her awesome: Sometimes seen as lazy and self-indulgent, refusing to work in the household, and being at odds with her husband, Peggy – as well as Al – is faithful and would never cheat on her husband. She teaches her children life lessons and treats her abandoned nephew, Seven, like her own son.
18. Victoria Grayson (Revenge)
Spouse (Ex-Husband): Conrad Grayson
Offspring: Patrick Osbourne, Daniel Grayson, Charlotte Clarke
What makes her awesome: The “Queen of the Hamptons,” who is said to be worth $16.8 billion dollars, nothing stops glamourous Victoria from protecting her family’s welfare. Living up to the name of the series, she also would stop at nothing from avenging the destruction of her father.
19. Betty Francis (Betty Draper) (Mad Men)
Spouse: Henry Francis
Offspring: Sally Draper, Robert Draper, Eugene Draper
What makes her awesome: The epitome of a 1960s housewife, the glamourous Betty Francis keeps a deep well of secrets including a psychological disorder and issues with adultery and abortion. Like her fashion choices, she is gradually moving from just a lovely lady to a more sophisticated and independent one.
20. June Cleaver (Leave it to Beaver)
Spouse: Ward Cleaver
Offspring: Wally Cleaver, Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver
What makes her awesome: The Cleavers are the typical suburban family of the 1950s, and June’s contribution to this is her dedication to family. The ultimate epitome of a housewife, her interests lie in community social events and in doing “ladylike” things. Most of all, she has what we all dream of: an immaculate kitchen.
“I once remember overhearing my mother say to my father, “Do you think that Ward boy is serious about June?” And my father said, ‘Well, if the time ever comes that he looks at her the way he looks at one of your pot roasts, then we’ll know.'”
21. Violet Crawley (Downton Abbey)
Spouse: Earl of Grantham
Offspring: Robert Crawley, Rosamund Painswick
What makes her awesome: One thing that makes Violet Crawley awesome is her ideals. She chooses to marry into nobility (she comes from a noble line herself) rather than just money, and despite being pursued by other noble men, including the Prince of Russia, she always chooses her husband.
22. Roseanne Barr (Roseanne)
Spouse: Dan Conner
Offspring: Becky Conner, Darlene Conner, DJ Conner
What makes her awesome: Outspoken and funny Roseanne is one of the few mum characters who is not only working a blue-collar job but also doesn’t need to be conventionally pretty to be likable. The family is also one of the few that portrays a struggling household with limited income, making the series, especially Roseanne, genuinely relatable.
23. Shirley Partridge (Partridge Family)
Offspring: Keith Douglas Partridge, Laurie Partridge, Danny Partridge, Tracy Partridge, Chris Partridge
What makes her awesome: Despite being widowed, bank teller Shirley shows full support to her five musically inclined children by what else by joining the band herself! With her children and a manager, they form a traveling band in the now famous artistic Partridge Bus.
“Tracy! Don’t put that drumstick up your nose… You don’t know where it’s been.”
24. Jill Taylor (Home Improvement)
Spouse: Tim Taylor
Offspring: Brad Taylor, Randy Taylor, Mark Taylor
What makes her awesome: Jill is both an untalented cook and an unsuccessful matchmaker, but the thing that makes her awesome is her outstanding boxing skills. She is said to be extremely powerful for a woman and is able to knock her husband out cold on multiple occasions. We don’t condone domestic violence, but we can’t help but think this is cool.
[Jill wants Tim to get a vasectomy] “Well, I am talking about the tube-tying thing, except it’s your tubes.”
25. Susan Kennedy (Neighbours)
Spouse: Karl Kennedy
Offspring: Malcolm Kennedy, Billy Kennedy, Libby Kennedy, Zeke Kinski, Katya Kinski, Rachel Kinski, Holly Hoyland
What makes her awesome: One of the most mysterious characters to ever appear on TV, Susan is not only a doting mum and devoted wife but also a strong woman who has to cope with a dark history. This history includes infidelity, the death of a husband, a betrayal, and a murder. Despite these things, her sense of humour and good heart remain.
“Well, you can’t say those things, you can’t tell Jezebel that I’ve been bagging her.”
26. Sophia Petrillo (The Golden Girls)
Spouse (Deceased): Salvador Petrillo
Offspring: Dorothy Zbornak, Gloria Mayston, Phil Petrillo
What makes her awesome: Known for her uncensored remarks, Sophia is said to have suffered a stroke, which is the cause of this brazenness. She occasionally threatens to cast curses on people and has even a list of people she claims to have cursed. She also claims to have Mafia connections!
27. Pippa Fletcher (Home & Away)
Spouse: Tom Fletcher, later Michael Ross and then Ian Routledge
Offspring: Christopher Fletcher, Dale Ross, Sally Fletcher, Haydn Ross
What makes her awesome: Having had rheumatic fever as a child, Pippa was warned by her doctors that she should not have children as it would weaken her heart. But she eventually got pregnant, and despite the difficulty with her health and their general situation, she accepts motherhood and not just bears more children but even adopts a daughter.
[after Irene schemes to get Fin and Damian back home] “Well, that means Irene wins this petty battle over them at their expense.”
28. Malory Archer (Archer)
Spouse: Ron Cadillac
Offspring: Sterling Archer
What makes her awesome: Being the Chief Executive Officer of ISIS already makes her badass enough, but she truly is a lady to be feared with her harsh criticisms, grudge-harbouring, and self-righteousness. If anything, she also performs really well in her career as a spy and can speak 4 languages.
29. Evelyn Harper (Two & A Half Men)
Spouse: Frank Harper
Offspring: Charlie Harper, Alan Harper
What makes her awesome: Described as conceited and generally self-centered lady, she knows what she wants and knows when to meddle with her sons’ lives and expresses fondness for them. She’s also unbelievably rich as she is known to marry a lot of rich men who leave her huge amounts of money when they die!
“Why does anyone want a party? To feel superior while feigning humility!”
30. Estelle Costanza (Seinfeld)
Spouse: Frank Costanza
Offspring: George Costanza
What makes her awesome: A lot of people, including the Seinfelds and her own son, George, does not like Estelle. She has the tendency to be overbearing and obnoxious, and she even has a rocky relationship with her own husband, Frank. But the couple remains together despite the odds, and that’s something!
31. Debbie Wolowitz (Big Bang Theory)
Spouse (Deserted): Sam Wolowitz
Offspring: Howard Wolowitz
What makes her awesome: We don’t really see her face in the series, but her loud and obnoxious voice sure makes a commanding presence! She can be meddlesome at times and treats her grownup, genius son like a child, but though they have a love-hate relationship, their attachment to each other is undeniable.
[While Howard is on a call with NASA Astronaut, Mike Massimino] “Howard! Your Froot Loops are getting soggy!”
32. Lettie Mae Thornton (True Blood)
Spouse: Reverend Daniels
Offspring: Tara Thornton
What makes her awesome: Before getting married to Reverend Daniels, she raised Tara on her own. An alcoholic, she didn’t spend enough quality time with her daughter and eventually had to fight for her custody when another person took on the role of being Tara’s mum. But the bond between the two remains strong and Lettie Mae regrets her old behaviour.
“Cause he brung flowers with him. And men only bring flowers if they already slept with you and lookin’ to again. That especially goes for white men as black men are less prone to grovel.”
33. Nancy Botwin (Weeds)
Spouse: Judah Botwin (widowed), Peter Scottson (widowed), Esteban Reyes (widowed), David Bloom (widowed)
Offspring: Silas Botwin, Shane Botwin, Steven Ray Botwin,
What makes her awesome: The unique thing about Nancy is that she’s been widowed four times at such a young age. Another unique thing about Nancy is that after the death of her first husband, Judah, to maintain their upper middle-class lifestyle, she resorts to dealing with drugs. Clearly, she would do anything to protect her family.
34. Ellen Griswold (National Lampoon’s Vacation)
Spouse: Clark Griswold
Offspring: Rusty Griswold, Audrey Griswold
What makes her awesome: Any mum who, with her husband, takes her kids on a trip to “America’s Favourite Family Fun Park” aka Walley World is already a great mum. What makes Ellen even more awesome is her patience to take on a land trip using an old car and to deal with numerous mishaps including an attractive woman attracted to her husband and a death.
“Oh spare me, Clark, I know your brand of family fun. Tomorrow you’ll probably kill the desk clerk, hold up a McDonalds, and drive us 1000 miles out of the way to see the world’s largest pile of mud!”
35. Molly Jones (A Country Practice)
Spouse: Brendan Jones
Offspring: Chloe Jones
What makes her awesome: Described as endearing, quirky, and generally lovable, she was shown on the series as a strong woman battling leukaemia. What makes her awesome is actually, morbidly, her death. Despite the painful nature of the disease, she chose to die peacefully watching her husband and daughter fly a kite.
[Talking about the nature of small-town, close-knit communities, and how the occurrences in one’s life are known and affect the rest of the community] “It’s sort of scary; yet good too, comforting.”
36. Samantha Stephens (Bewitched)
Spouse: Darrin Stephens
Offspring: Tabitha Stephens, Adam Stephens
What makes her awesome: While she looks like a normal housewife, Samantha is actually a witch (spoiler alert, I know) who refuses to use her magic as a promise to her husband. However, circumstances arise when she just can’t help but use it! The amazing thing about her is her devotion to her husband despite the meddling that her witch mum does.
“I’ve never been more serious in my life. One Re, Or Re, Ickery Ann, Phillison, Follison, Nicholas John. Queevy quavy English Navy, Stickum, stackum Buck! B-U-C-K spells ‘Buck’ and out goes you!”
37. Molly Weasley (Harry Potter)
Spouse: Arthur Weasley
Offspring: Bill Weasley, Charlie Weasley, Percy Weasley, Fred Weasley, George Weasley, Ron Weasly, Ginny Weasley
What makes her awesome: Her children’s friends quickly learn that despite her kind face and gentle demeanor, she can transform into a “sabre-tooth tiger” when angry. Even her own kids are afraid of her, and this usually deters them from getting into trouble. Though she can be fierce, her warm and caring ways make her one of the best fictional mums.
38. Norma Bates (Bates Motel)
Spouse (Deceased): Sam Bates
Offspring: Norman Bates, Dylan Bassett
What makes her awesome: Norma Bates’ history is a dark one, which involves an abusive father, a sedated mother, and a sexually abusive older brother, with whom she had a son with. She got married twice, and eventually, she has to fend for herself and her sons. She has to do every thing it takes to protect this family.
39. Skyler White (Breaking Bad)
Spouse: Walter White
Offspring: Walter White Jr., Holly White
What makes her awesome: When Skyler earns the truth regarding Walter’s involvement in the drug business, instead of getting a divorce, she ends up getting involved herself. But rather than blindly tolerating it, she begins to find a way to get her children away from her husband who is becoming a hardened criminal.
40. Gemma Teller Morrow (Sons of Anarchy)
Spouse: John Teller, Clay Morrow
Offspring:Jackson “Jax” Teller, Thomas Teller
What makes her awesome: The Queen of Charming and the Matriarch of the Sons of Anarchy, Gemma is also said to be the “Gatekeeper” as she knows all the secrets of the organisation. While she prioritises her family over anything, she also works hard to secure the future of the Sons of Anarchy.
41. Esme Cullen (Twilight)
Spouse: Carlisle Cullen
Offspring: Stepmother to Edward Cullen, Rosalie Hale, Emmett Cullen, Jasper Hale, Alice Cullen
What makes her awesome: In 1921, she attempted to commit suicide after losing her child to lung fever. But she didn’t die, causing Carlisle to turn her into a vampire instead. What makes her amazing is her commitment to being a “vegetarian” vampire as well as the unlimited love and, ironically, warmth she offers to everyone around her.
[To Bella] “I already think of you as part of the family. Yes!”
42. Lois Wilkerson (Malcolm in the Middle)
Spouse: Hal Wilkerson
Offspring: Francis Wilkerson, Reese Wilkerson, Malcolm Wilkerson, Dewey Wilkerson, Jamie Wilkerson
What makes her awesome: Controlling, overbearing, and manipulative are only some of the adjectives used to describe Lois, but she was actually a meek lady before becoming a mum. I guess motherhood has a way of bringing out the dominant in us! Amazingly, Lois and Hal, despite their advancing age, remain to be a very loving and passionate couple.
“They have a special program for gifted children. They have advanced textbooks and devoted teachers and all sorts of good things they don’t want to waste on normal kids.”
43. Lucille Bluth (Arrested Development)
Spouse: George Bluth
Offspring: G.O.B., Michael Bluth, Lindsay Bluth-Funke, Buster Bluth, Annyong Bluth
What makes her awesome: An alcoholic, it is suspected that Lucille is the source of the family company’s immoral pursuits. Lucille is also said to be extremely critical of other people and, like a number of other mums here, manipulative. Her elitist ways may make her annoying, but it’s one of the things that make her who she is.
44. Carmela Soprano (The Sopranos)
Spouse: Tony Soprano
Offspring: Meadow Soprano, Anthony Soprano, Jr.
What makes her awesome: Not every woman is married to a Mafia leader, so this is one of the things that make Carmela unique! While she is most of the time a loving mum and a supportive wife, she condemns Tony’s involvement in the Mafia and in illegal transactions as well as extra-marital affairs. Despite this, she chooses to stay with him.
45. Dallas Royce (Suburgatory)
Spouse (Ex-Husband): Steven Royce
Offspring: Dalia Royce
What makes her awesome: Physically, as well as materially, Dallas embodies the typical non-working housewife of the upper middle-class suburbia. She also develops an attraction to a most unlikely man, George Altman, whom she hires for a renovation. Beneath her Barbie facade, though, she is full of motherly love toward everyone.
46. Lori Grimes (The Walking Dead)
Spouse: Rick Grimes
Offspring: Carl Grimes, Judith Grimes
What makes her awesome: Lori used to be a housewife and SAHM before the zombie apocalypse, but she is truly a strong and independent woman. These qualities intensify during the zombie apocalypse, and while she felt vulnerable when she thought Rick was dead and developed an affair with someone else, she proves her strength until the end.
47. Maxine Fortenberry (True Blood)
Spouse (Deceased): Carl Fortenberry
Offspring: Hoyt Fortenberry
What makes her awesome: Another mum in our list who tends to be overbearing, Maxine is different because she can be easily impressed and flattered even by vampires whom she has a great prejudice against. Even though she appears to treat her adult son like a child, the truth is she only has a big need to take care of someone.
“Oh you could come with me – maybe meet a nice girl instead of that devil slut.”
48. Cora Mills (Once Upon a Time)
Spouse: Prince Henry
Offspring: Zelena, Regina Mills/Evil Queen
What makes her awesome: Also known as the “Queen of Hearts,” Cora lives up to this name by doing everything it takes to become more than just a miller’s daughter. Her dark past, including an unknowing involvement with a gardener and an abandonment of her first child, did not keep her from fulfilling her dream of becoming a Queen.
49. Catelyn Stark (Game of Thrones)
Spouse: Eddard Stark
Offspring: Robb Stark, Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, Bran Stark, Rickon Stark
What makes her awesome: Though Eddard is not her original betrothed, the two of them form a strong relationship and a loving marriage. She loves all of her children, yet she disdains Jon Snow, her husband’s bastard son, and she knows that she needs to be strong and independent due to their political status.
50. Nina Proudman (Offspring)
Spouse (Deceased): Patrick Reid
What makes her awesome: Aside from having a fabulous sense of style, Nina is a successful obstetrician. While she struggles with self-doubts and uncertainty as well as a number of wrong relationships, she remains to be a caring and capable doctor and woman. We can’t help but root for her when she finally finds the love that she deserves.