Mother's Day: Who's your favorite TV mom?

tv-momsImage Credit: Everett Collection; AMC; Michael Yarish/Fox; Adam Taylor/ABCWith Mother’s Day fast approaching and my own mother far, far away (at her computer), I’ve been thinking about some of my favorite TV mamas. There are so many classics — June Cleaver, Harriet Nelson, Clair Huxtable, Roseanne Conner, Marge Simpson, “Aunt Becky,” and so on. As a viewer, I tend to marvel the most in “caricature moms” like Arrested Development‘s Lucille Bluth, Married…With Children‘s Peg Bundy, Seinfeld‘s Estelle Costanza (“George likes the bananas!”) or, more recently, Mad Men‘s Betty Draper. As a daughter, I have the biggest soft spots for those who remind me of my own mom, Dee. Kitty Foreman from That ’70s Show is probably the closest TV representation of Dee Barrett — suburban Midwestern, obsessed with providing snacks, sweet, savvy, goofy, all my friends love her, etc. Actually, maybe Dee falls somewhere between Kitty and the more staid Norma Arnold from The Wonder Years. I think of these moms and want to hug my TV.

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EW’s Michael Slezak and Dave Karger both instantly named Nora Walker from Brothers & Sisters as the closest TV doppelgänger to their own moms. “Except no one fights at dinner,” assures Slezak. Whatever, Slezak. For Kate Ward, it’s Lucy Ricardo from I Love Lucy: “Obsessed with Hollywood and celebrity,” Kate says. “She once walked in front of [Project Runway winner] Jay McCarroll when we saw him in Midtown, stopped, and stared at him for at least three seconds to make sure it was him before exploding into an ‘Oh my God!’” An anonymous EW staffer admits, “My boyfriend’s mother is re-incarnated Lucille Bluth, without the alcohol addiction. Too bad that doesn’t count.” Nope. It totally counts.

Who’s your favorite TV mom — and does she remind you of your own?


Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett


Comments (59 total) Add your comment
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  • Paul

    I voted other, because the fact that Marge Simpson is not on this list is criminal.

    • Penny

      Definitely. Marge is my pick, I’m a new mom myself and I aspire to be like Marge Simpson.

  • Jonathan F.

    Lucille Bluth (Arrested Development) and Ruth Fisher (Six Feet Under). Polar opposites. Bluth is hilariously rude, and Fisher is so adorable.

    • Kate

      I agree with this one! I love Lucille!

      • noo

        she’s the best, i love lucille bluth :D

    • orville

      I think my mom is a combination of these two.

    • the dude

      best mother in the world

  • Luddite

    Lorelai Gilmore (and speaking of the Gilmores, I’m pretty fond of Emily too). Lucille Bluth. Nancy Botwin. Okay, most of these people are kind of terrible mothers. Please don’t take this as a statement about my own mother.

    • arahsae

      I second L1orelai! How was she not on this list? Especially when EW is usually so obsessed with everything Gilmore…

      • arahsae

        …and then I saw that Lorelai was in the poll, just not the preceding write-up. Whoops!

  • Inez Elizabeth

    Lorelai Gilmore’s whole best friend/sister schtick doesn’t hold a candle to the likes of Friday Night Lights mom Tammy Taylor or Sally Fields’ portrayal of Nora Walker.

    • Lynny

      Good call- Tammy Taylor is not the “best friend/sister” she an actual MOM who doesn’t always try to be a buddy. Love her!

  • Emilee

    My new favorite TV mom is Gloria from Modern Family. She is so sweet and encouraging to Manny!

  • Scott

    How is Lucille Bluth not on this list?

  • Sam L

    I voted other, because I always loved Joyce on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. She was a wonderfully supportive and stable presence, and when she had that aneurysm, I was devastated.

    • Chelsea

      I completely agree. Joyce was a great mother.

      • Meredith

        I also voted for Joyce.

  • a person

    I know she’s not the best mom, but I love Lily VanDerWoodsen/Bass/Humphry on Gossip Girl even though she has been married and divorced too many times!! other than that I like Lorelai Gilmore!

  • Look Above

    For those of you who said that Lorelai Gilmore WASN’T on the list…look clearly..she is on there. She is under the best friend/sister area. Speaking of her…I SERIOUSLY love her on Parenthood. Although, she took a step backward by dating her daughters teacher, I think she is a good mom on that show, she only wants the best for her kids and wants them to do better than she did herself.

  • Pepper

    Marge Simpson or Caroline Ingalls.

    • Jelana

      Oooh, Caroline Ingalls. Good one.

  • LadyJNewYork

    Claire Huxtable and June Cleaver

  • Amiee

    Tammy Taylor FTW!

  • Cary

    Claire Dunphy, because well, um, just LOOK at her. Guaranteed Luke’s friends would spend ALL their time at that house with that mom.

  • Sarah

    Jill Taylor on Home Improvement

  • hkten

    I always wanted either lily munster or morticia addams as a mom. both were kind and interested in their children’s lives. Plus both those houses were totally cool.

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