The idea that “mother knows best” is a sentiment that echoes down to our TV moms. From Aunt Vy in
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to Marie Barone in Everybody Loves Raymond, these moms are the stars of some of best Mother’s Day TV episodes available to stream right now. So we’ve rounded up some of our favorites of all time (no, really, we dug into the archives for this list, people!) for a lineup that will keep you laughing (and, yes, sometimes emotional) all day.
Honestly, the idea of hunkering down for a Mom-themed TV marathon sounds like one of the better ways to send the holiday, either before, in lieu of, or after the traditional bottomless mimosa brunch. Whether you’re a first-time mom, a golden age mom, or looking to spend some
mother-daughter TV time, there’s an episode for everyone. From The Golden Girls chatting around the table and talking about their grown-up kids to “Moesha,” the Rugrats, and the Sheffield chidren on The Nanny mourning their mothers, these may almost all be comedies but the themes explored run the emotional gamut. After all, motherhood can get pretty complicated sometimes.
Here are 25 of our very favorite Mother’s Day episodes...
Black-ish: “Please Don’t Ask, Please Don’t Tell” Season 1, Episode 22
There are a few Mother’s Day-related episodes throughout
Black-ish. One of the most memorable ones is “Please Don’t Ask, Please Don’t Tell,” in which Jack and Diane are celebrating Mother’s Day. In it, Diane, played by a super young Marsai Martin tries to outdo her brother, Jack, played by Miles Brown, for Mother’s Day. Diane gives their mother, Bow, played by Tracee Ellis Ross, a gift basket of items she tricked her brother into not getting. But Jack gets the last laugh when he gives his mother a simple but greatest gift of all, a hug, which didn’t cost him a dime. Watch Black-ish on Hulu. The Golden Girls: “Mother’s Day” Season 3, Episode 25
No Mother’s Day telethon would be complete without an airing of this classic
. Rose (Betty White), Blanche (Rue McClanahan), Dorothy (Bea Arthur), and Sophia (Estelle Getty), who are all mothers themselves, sit around the table and share their past Mother’s Day stories — from Rose’s good Samaritan act to Dorothy’s mother-in-law asking her for money. Blanche finds out her mother isn’t gone at all and Sophia recounts the hilarious time when her own mother moved in with her. Like any characteristic Golden Girls episode Golden Girls’ episode, this one is full of laughs and golden smiles. Watch The Golden Girls on Hulu. Rugrats: “Mother’s Day” Season 4, Episode 2
Not going to lie? This one just might be our favorite. As the babies prepare for Mother’s Day, they are worried that Chuckie, who doesn’t have a mommy, might feel left out and do their best to try to include him. They even offer to let Tommy’s bratty older cousin Angelica be his mother (you can imagine how well that goes). But when Chuckie finds a mysterious box full of mementos, includng a picture of a beautiful, kind-eyed woman, he thinks he’s found just the thing to give his dad, who is kind of like a mother to him.
We won’t spoil the ending if you haven’t seen it yet, but have your tissues ready. This episode is a beautiful reflection on parenting, loss, grief and the joy that can be found in celebrating even when you’re sad.
Stream Rugrats on Paramount+. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: “Mother’s Day” Season 4, Episode 23
If your mother is a Will Smith fan, this is an episode she will definitely appreciate. The
1994 episode puts a hilarious twist on the holiday when he reluctantly allows his best friend Jazz and his wife, Jewel, to move in with him. But the couple has trouble conceiving and they ask Will for a big favor. Meanwhile, Uncle Phil (James Avery) gets inspired by Will’s bronzed baby shoes for Aunt Vy (Daphne Reid) on Mother's Day and challenges Carlton, Ashley, and Hilary to give more thoughtful gifts to their mother. Watch The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air on HBO Max. Jane The Virgin: “Chapter Forty-Two” Season 2, Episode 20
This episode is all about the ups and downs of holiday family drama and how it works together for the greater good. In this episode
, Jane (Gina Rodriguez) is excited to celebrate her first Mother’s Day as a mom and the Villanueva women usually have a traditional way of celebrating. However, things get thrown for a loop when Petra (Yael Grobglas) invites everyone to a brunch instead. Season two begins with Jane as a young mother who is about to get married. Rodriguez discusses her character’s growth in a 2017 interview with the Associated Press. “Jane is not your typical lead actress and we're not harping over what she looks like and what she wears,” she told AP. “She's just a beautiful strong girl. She just happens to look not like our typical ingenue. I think that's very powerful.” Watch this episode and all five seasons of Jane the Virgin on Netflix. Half and Half: “The Big Mother of a Mother's Day” Season 1, Episode 22
What better to celebrate Mother’s Day than with your own mothers? Half-sisters, Mona (Rachel True) and Dee-Dee (Essence Atkins) spend the day with their moms. But their moms do most of the treating and take their daughters to the same spa! It was a day to remember nonetheless. The dynamic between True and her on-screen mother, Telma Hopkins was reflective of their real-life relationship.
“It was a very silly family-friendly show and I was really lucky to have Telma Hopkins play my mom,” True told
in a 2016 interview. “She's a great comedic actress. She was very generous to me and by generous I mean — I was very new to sitcom acting, she'd done a ton of them and she'd help me out. Help me figure out jokes because there are some actors who are selfish and they don't want you to get a laugh and they want to get all the laughs and she could've easily gone out her way to make my life horrible but she's not that person at all.” HuffPost Watch this episode of Half and Half on Paramount+. Moesha: “Mother’s Day” Season 1, Episode 12
This Mother’s Day episode is touching for anyone who has lost a mother and is coping with how to accept a new mother figure in their lives. Moesha’s stepmother is celebrating her first Mother’s Day with the family. However, Moesha (Brandy Norwood) is torn on how to care for her stepmother and her loss of her birth mother and still honor the memory and loss of her birth mother. The series never explains how Moesha’s mother died but
fan theories suggest causes from childbirth complications to a car accident and cancer. Nonetheless, at the end of every episode Moesha and Dee come to a common understanding and throughout the seasons, the two work on their relationship. Watch Moesha on Netflix. The Nanny: “I Don’t Remember Mama” Season 1, Episode 22
One of the more sweet episodes of
The Nanny, starring Fran Drescher. Maxwell tries to distract the kids from thinking about their mother, Sara, who passed away, but Fran thinks it's a good idea to talk about their late mom. Common Sense Media gives The Nanny a four out of five-star rating for kids ages 9 and up. So if they’re into throwback sitcoms that have been off the air for over 20 years ( The Nanny ended in 1999), this one is not bad to watch. And yes, if they ask about Fran’s fashion, let them know that was the style for back in the day! Watch episodes of The Nanny on HBO Max. Roseanne: “Scenes From The Barbeque” Season 3, Episode 23
Here’s another throwback one to introduce the kids too! The Conners have a good ol’ fashioned barbecue for Mother’s Day and ends with a fun sing-a-long, in which Bonnie Bramlett spits out some serious vocals! In another
Mother’s Day episode, Roseanne is treated to a spa date by Becky and Darlene. But there are some other motives at play with this one. These days the classic ‘90s sitcom is a little harder to find. ABC canceled reruns of the show in 2018 after actress, Roseanne Barr, posted a racist tweet. Watch Roseanne on Peacock. Full House: “A Date With Fate” Season 7, Episode 22
Jesse, Joey, Nick, and Alex are making Mother’s Day gifts for Aunt Becky. Although the Mother’s Day scene is not the central focus of the episode, their custom handprints are adorable. Once you’re done watching this classic episode, check out
Fuller House on Netflix. It ran for five seasons between 2016 to 2020.
“There’s a lot of moms bringing their little girls — it’s such a wonderful full circle moment to see these moms who were like, ‘I grew up with you guys, and now my daughters are growing up with you on ‘Fuller House,’” actress Andrea Barber told
in a March interview. The cast says they’re open to another reboot, even without the patriarch Bob Saget, who died in January 2022. The group believes Saget would give them his blessing. The TODAY Show Watch Full House on Hulu. Modern Family: “Mother’s Day” Season 2, Episode 21
Claire and Gloria want to spend Mother’s Day hiking with the kids, but that’s easier said than done. Meanwhile, Phil and Jay stay home to cook dinner, which ends up becoming a plate full of tears when Jay starts to remember his mom. And in the Tucker-Pritchett household, Cam is upset that everyone sees him as the “mom” in the relationship. It’s a good one. Screenrant
ranked Claire as one of TV’s favorite moms, and called her a “business powerhouse who deserves recognition.” “With three kids and a husband who considers himself a kid in many ways, Claire is the only parent in the household who creates boundaries,” reporter Lynn Gibbs wrote. Watch Modern Family on Hulu. Orange Is The New Black: “Mother’s Day” Season 3, Episode 1
This season opener begins with a few of the inmates hosting a Mother’s Day fair. While it brought some joy, it also brought some lingering, mixed feelings about family. Fans of the hit Netflix drama series will recall that there are a few mothers and mother figures locked up at Litchfield Correctional Institution, such as Gloria Mendoza, played by actress Selenis Leyva. Mendoza was the head cook in the prison’s kitchen and a maternal figure to many of the women. "It was really refreshing to see that we were tackling motherhood because we hadn't done that," Leyva, who is also a mother in real life, told
in a 2015 interview. Vice Watch Orange Is The New Black on Netflix. Everybody Loves Raymond: “Mother’s Day” Season 6, Episode 22
Maria and Deborah may butt heads, but in classic
Raymond style, the two manage to come together for a halfway decent Mother’s Day and both get their ways and both get their ways in the end. After all, what’s a day with mom if you don’t let her have her own way? Screenrant reporter Kasy Long wrote that there are a lot of things about Doris Roberts’ character, Marie, that would probably not fly these days. For one, she was very overbearing, the constant insulting of Debra and favoritism of Amy over Debra. But watch a few episodes and we will let you be the judge of that! Watch Everybody Loves Raymond on Peacock. Everybody Hates Chris: “Everybody Hates Mother’s Day” Season 3, Episode 21
Chris buys his mother Rochelle perfume for Mother’s Day. But the perfume is a cheap, knock-off of the original brand and gives her a rash! It’s the thought that matters, right? The series is semi-autobiographical and is based on Chris Rock’s years growing up in a wholesome family in a neighborhood plagues by the ’80s drug epidemic. Rochelle, known for her loving but fiery personality, is based on Chris Rock’s own mother, Rose.
Watch Everybody Hates Chris on Peacock. Good Times: “A Matter Of Mothers” Season 6, Episode 21
Where else can you see little Janet Jackson? In the
classic ‘70s sitcom, one of the first African American sitcoms on television, Jackson plays Penny, played by the late Ja’Net DuBois, whose birth mother wants her back, but her mother is abusive. And Willona has stepped in to be the mother Penny deserves. Needless to say, Penny goes where the love is!
Jackson later spoke about her experience on the set and revealed a lot of her
self-esteem issues about her weight and body came from that experience. But it was also one of her most treasured experiences, especially working alongside DuBois. When DuBois died in 2020, Jackson paid tribute to her TV mother in a touching post. “I saw first hand how she broke stereotypes and changed the landscape for Black women in entertainment,” she said in an Instagram post. “I’m grateful in recent years I had a chance to see her and create more lasting memories.” Watch Good Times on Amazon Prime. Saturday Night Live’s “Mother’s Day” Open Season 43, Episode 20
What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than letting your mom talk about you? The cold open of the 2018 episode of
is a roast feast of moms picking at their celebrity kids. But don’t worry! It’s all in good fun! Saturday Night Live SNL has had a few memorable Mother’s Day skits but the 2018 one is considered one of the best. After all, anytime a mother has a moment to pick on her kids, makes it timeless. The harsher the roasting the more the love, is that how it works? We like to think so!
The episode also features a hilarious digital short featuring a mom character played by Amy Schumer recalling the birth of her child... juxtaposed to what it was actually like. Classic.
Watch Saturday Night Live on Peacock. The Flintstones: “Mother-in-Law's Visit” Season 3, Episode 20
It may be one of the few times Fred actually gets along with his mother-in-law. In this
classic 1963 episode, Fred promises to try and get along with his mother-in-law after Wilma finds out she is pregnant, but the effort is easier said than done. Fred and Wilma’s mother’s, Pearl Slaghoople, relationship has always been estranged. Pearl never liked Fred and is constantly disapproving of everything about him from his behavior to his financial status. Elizabeth Taylor portrays Pearl flawlessly in the 1993 live-action of The Flintstones. In one scene, she tells her daughter, “what has he [Fred] ever given you besides shade?” Well, can’t please everyone, especially in-laws. Watch The Flintstones on HBO Max. The Goldbergs: “Smother’s Day” Season 3, Episode 22
Surprise, not surprised: Beverley’s three kids have no Mother’s Day plans for their mom. Why? Because they completely forgot about it! But after a chorus of persuasion and taking out everything in their rooms, including the samurai swords, they make her an awful breakfast. This is an episode that makes you regret being such a jerky teen to your mom, and it’s also a trip down memory teenage lane for ‘80s kids, which could seem like a century ago to kids and young adults today. While they tease you about it, just tell them growing up during that time was just as much fun. We didn’t have social media to document all of our shenanigans (thank goodness).
Watch The Goldbergs on ABC and Hulu. Futurama: “Mother’s Day” Season 2, Episode 14
Even robots want to show love to their mothers. Bender’s card pretty much wraps up his feelings for mom! The card read, which said in part: “You’re as tender as corn beef and warm as pastrami. I love my mommy!” What better way to say ‘I love you mom’ than with a food analogy. Bender’s “mother” is actually Carol Miller, known worldwide as “Mom” of MomCorp, a massive conglomorate that includes the Friendly Robot Company, which makes most of Earth's robots. But beneath her matronly exterior lies a shrewd, amoral, calculating industrialist, and her Mother’s Day plans are anything but wholesome.
Watch Futurama on Hulu. 30 Rock: “The Moms” Season 4, Episode 20
The moms of
The Girlie Show’s cast and crew are invited to visit the set for Mother’s Day. During the visit, Liz’s mother shares with her that the love of her life was astronaut Buzz Aldrin and not Liz’s father. The reveal leaves Liz thinking what her life could’ve been like if Aldrin was her dad. Meanwhile, Jack’s mom puts herself in the middle of his relationships with CNBC host Avery Jessup and his high school crush, Nancy Donovan. And Jenna’s mom makes a comeback. Needless to say, this episode is full of OMG moments. Watch 30 Rock on Peacock. The Middle: “Mother’s Day” Season 1, Episode 22
It’s all about the pampering in this one of lack thereof. The ABC original series has a few Mother’s Day episodes, but arguably the best one is the first, when Frankie gets upset by the childish gifts she receives from her kids. To make up for it, she sees her own mother the next day but the visit doesn’t go as planned.
The Middle aired for over 10 years before getting the plug pulled in 2018. The show focused on a middle-age, middle-class, mother who used her witty sense of humor to navigate the ups and downs of life including parenthood. Watch The Middle on HBO Max. Elena of Avalor: “Día de las Madres” Season 3, Episode 25
When Princess Elena’s younger sister, Princess Isabel realizes that she doesn’t have a special Mother’s Day gift for her grandmother, Luisa, the girl flies into a panic. Meanwhile, Luisa and Elena reminisce over Mother’s Days past, and find themselves thinking an awful lot about Elena’s cousin Esteban, whose connection with the family hasn’t quite been the same since his mother died. Could the answers to all these queries be found in Luisa’s beautiful garden?
Stream Elena of Avalor on Disney+. The Cleveland Show: “Mama Drama” Season 3, Episode 21
Mother’s Day is hard for Donna, whose mother left her in the care of Aunte Momma. Cleveland offers to find Donna’s mother for her, but winds up hiring an actress instead. This plan initially works, Donna is all too happy to believe all of the actress’ stories. But, this being a cartoon sitcom, things ultimately go awry when Donna’s
actual mother comes out of the woodwork. Stream The Cleveland Show on Hulu. Raising Hope: “Mother’s Day” Season 3, Episode 22
The famly tries to jog Maw Maw’s memory about her mother, which results in them traveling to the matriarch’s childhood home. Upon arrival, they come to a shocking realization: the octogenarian’s mother may
still be alive! The episode is worth watching if only to see Cloris Leachman (a treasure) playing her own squirrelly, kind of creepy mother. Stream Raising Hope on Hulu. The Simpsons: “Moe Letter Blues” Season 21, Episode 21
As Springfield’s resident bartender, Mo has a special insight into the lives of its residents. So when Reverend Lovejoy, Homer, and Apu spectacularly fail at Mother’s Day (guess how many of them remembered it at all) he’s there to offer insight (and a convoluted plan) to set things right. It’s all the wacky hijinks you’d expect from this beloved, long-running series, complete with all the miscommunication, wacky hijinks, and ferry boat rides to Weasle Island you’d imagine...
Stream The Simpsons on Disney+.
Happy Mother’s Day!
This article was originally published on
April 20, 2021