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The Best and Worst TV Moms

The Best and Worst TV Moms

To celebrate Mother's Day, we thought we’d honor the best and worst TV moms ever. The best ones’ll make you laugh with appreciation. The worst will make your mom look like a unicorn leaping over a rainbow. Here are the lovely (and scary) ladies who made our list:


Joyce Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Nope. We’re NOT. We’re not gonna talk about “The Body,” arguably Buffy’s most haunting ep. What we ARE gonna say is that few moms in TV history have been as down with their kids... shall we say... alternative lifestyles. Buffy dated two vampires, hung with demons (or worse), and killed hella bad guys. Joyce was kosher with ALL of this, plus, she was cool to a daughter who literally showed up outta nowhere!

Catelyn Stark, Game of Thrones

In season one, she took on her son’s would-be assassin, grabbing his knife and slicing her hands to ribbons in the process. In season two, she went behind her gallant-but-dumb son Robb’s back and freed the Kingslayer with the hopes of saving her captive daughter(s). She did all this while trying to plead sense into her proud husband and son. If Ned had listened to her, he might still have a head, and if Robb heeded her warnings, he might not be currently losing a war. Mother DOES know best.

Jean Weir, Freaks and Geeks

This show, now re-airing on IFC, will make you want to hug the world. As the mother of the featured Weir family, this lady is one reason why. She’s sweet, attentive, and 100% supportive of both her geeky son and her changing, increasingly rebellious daughter. Plus, she makes oodles of saliva-inducing dinners and desserts. Catch an ep on Netflix and tell us she’s not the sweetest.

Lorelai Gilmore, Gilmore Girls

If only all moms were as hip to everything as Lorelai! She talked to and treated daughter Rory as an equal, not a lesser person, and might be the most approachable woman on this list. She was open-minded, hilariously deadpan, and had such a bomb lexicon, we could listen to her talk that crazy Gilmore-esque fast-talk for hours.

Gloria, Modern Family

Gloria’s son, Manny, is unlike any other teen on TV: he’s NEVER been afraid of girls, he practices his skills in the romance languages, and he dresses better than Justin Timberlake. Gloria has never tried to change him, and supports all his eclectic interests. Now, with a newborn baby, she has deftly handled the addition of another child while still being there for Manny. We heart her!

Marge Simpson, The Simpsons

She gave birth to the genius that is Lisa, Bart the uber-brat, and Maggie, the wordless enigma. She puts up with a man whose favorite words are ‘donuts’ and ‘beer.’ All while rockin’ the best hairdo in primetime. Yeah. Marge makes the list.


Cersei Lannister, Game of Thrones

She was about to poison her youngest son while sitting on the Iron Throne at the end of season two’s epic “Blackwater” episode. She also brought TV’s most cringe-inducing sadist, King Joffrey, a product of twincest, into the world, and dismisses his dementia by calling him “macabre” with a chuckle. Yes. Your sociopathy is hilarious Cersei. We don’t know of whom we’re more scared: him or you.

Regina/The Wicked Queen, Once Upon a Time

Poor Henry! He technically died once (and was brought back to life) when he ate a poisoned concoction his adoptive madre made (granted, it was meant for his birth mother, but whatevs). Regina lies, tries to destroy her enemies at all costs, and even threatened Henry’s therapist in an attempt to manipulate her son. No wonder he always wants to get away from her!

Esther, The Vampire Diaries

Let’s see. She’s the mother of ALL vampires. She turned her human kids into vamps, and then tried to link them together in a spell so they would all be killed. Sample line: “I love my family, Elena, but they are an abomination. I betrayed nature when I created them. It’s my duty to kill them.” Shudder!

Lianne Mars, Veronica Mars

Here’s one person we DON’T want to see in the upcoming movie. When Veronica used her entire life savings to pay for her long-absent mother’s stint in rehab, she instantly became one of the best daughters ever. Lianne repaid her by skipping out of rehab, lying about her sobriety, and ripping off another $50,000 from Veronica’s pops before leaving AGAIN! Ugh. Our beloved super-sleuth was better off without her!

Who are your favorite/least favorite TV moms?

Tags: tv, mother's day, veronica mars, life, buffy the vampire slayer, game of thrones, tv moms

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About the Author
Beth Mishler

Beth Mishler is a writer, producer, and pop culture connoisseur who has a weakness for the Whedonverse and all things sci-fi. Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Beth currently lives in The Plains, Ohio, where she freelances, makes documentaries, and watches a kazillion hours of TV per week while anxiously awaiting the release of George R.R. Martin's next novel.

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