TV and movie moms aren’t like regular moms — they’re cool moms. They were the source for most of our #MomGoals and #Momspiration when we were young and fantasizing about how much cooler we would be than our own parents (those lame-o's). They just don’t understand, you guys! Let’s all go run up to our rooms, slam our doors, and blast our music really loud so they get how tortured we are.
I would say I watched a lot of TV and movies as a kid, but that’s sort of underselling it — I watched a lot of TV and movies as a kid. To this day, pop culture references are basically the major force that continues to connect me to my siblings. Our mom was amazing, but TV and movies gave us a ton of bonus moms to guide us as we blossomed into adulthood. Who doesn’t want all those extra mommies?! Women in film and television in general tend to be one-dimensional with little to say, and on-screen moms tend to be even more stereotyped. So when we do get the chance to see a sassy, smart, offbeat, nurturing, or badass mama, we cling to her and try to glean everything we possibly can from the fonts of her awesomeness.
In no particular order, here are some of the moms who inspired us to be our best selves…
Betty DeVille, 'Rugrats'
Aka, Phil and Lil’s mom. I’m actually a bit older than your typical Rugrats viewer, but my younger sister watched (obsessively) and I always got a kick out of Betty. I mean, she wore a great big feminist symbol on her shirt. That alone is enough to get her on my list.
Clair Huxtable, 'The Cosby Show'
Smart, assertive, strong, witty, and confident, Clair is a goddamn boss, queen, goddess... not enough words for her.
Morticia Addams, 'The Addams Family'
Morticia teaches us that you may be a mom, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be fabulous AF.
Lois Wilkerson, 'Malcolm in the Middle'
Lois had powers. Mom powers. We all knew a Lois IRL, and we all feared and respected her. (Also, she was married to Bryan Cranston, who gives me confusing adult feelings.)
Maria, 'Sesame Street'
If I ever met Sonia Manzano, I would just start sobbing. I would look at her, open my mouth to tell her how much Maria meant to me, and then burst into ugly crying. But she would be totally cool with that and give me a hug. And then maybe Elmo and Grover would come over to sing a song about the letter J.
Harriet Winslow, 'Family Matters'
Harriet is the mom you go to when you can’t go to your own mom. She’s not super cuddly, but she’ll stand up for any kid in the neighborhood.
Sophia Petrillo, 'The Golden Girls'
Sophia was the mother figure of our favorite group of Miami seniors, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t the baddest bitch among them. It’s hard to be a standout on a show of standouts, but somehow Estelle Getty managed.
Sarah Connor, 'Terminator'
So no one can truly save us from the robot insurrection (let’s just all agree that they’re going to be our ruthless overlords; submission will make our slavish toiling in the mines easier), but Sarah Connor gets pretty close.
The Bride/Beatrix Kiddo, 'Kill Bill'
OK, so Kill Bill definitely didn’t come out when I was a kid (I was in college), but Beatrix Kiddo is one of my favorite on-screen moms of all time and I couldn’t not include her, so I’ll define “kid” loosely.
Maria Von Trapp, 'The Sound of Music'
So first of all, there is nothing Julie Andrews does that is not incandescent and magical. Also, Maria Von Trapp is basically every child’s fantasy mom. She’s fun, warm, caring, and resists the Nazis. Kids love fighting Nazis.
Mrs. Jumbo, 'Dumbo'
I defy any of you cynical mofos to watch the first 45 seconds of Baby Mine without crying. Go ahead. I’ll wait. Hope you have tissues handy, because #allthefeels.
Mistress Fauna, Mistress Flora, and Mistress Merryweather, 'Sleeping Beauty'
Moms aren’t just the ones who give birth to us, or even the ones who get the title “mom.” Some of the best moms are those kinds of “moms.” Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, who raise Princess Aurora, are not only awesome mother figures, but they’re magical fairies! Come on now…
Mrs. Banks, 'Mary Poppins'
No more the meek and mild subservients we!
We're fighting for our rights, militantly!
Never you fear!
So, cast off the shackles of yesterday!
Shoulder to shoulder into the fray!
Our daughters' daughters will adore us
And they'll sign in grateful chorus
"Well done! Well done!
Well done Sister Suffragette!"
Chicha, 'The Emperor’s New Groove'
Once again, I was technically an adult when The Emperor’s New Groove came out, but ya know what? IDGAF. This movie is fabulous and so is Chica. She’s also clever, kind, sarcastic, and knows how to play her children, which every good mother needs to learn.
Molly Weasley, 'Harry Potter'
She’d be on my list of awesome movie moms even if she weren’t a kickass witch… but she is also a kickass witch, so all the gold stars to Mollywobbles.
Images: Nickelodeon; Giphy(15)