In honor of Mother’s Day, here are our top ten favorite moms from film and television.
Mrs. Parker, A Christmas Story
The holiday classic has become a staple in American culture with novelty leg lamps and 24-hour marathons on TBS, but the true resonance of the film is the care and attention the narrator’s parents put into creating a magical Christmas for him and his brother. The cornerstone being Mrs. Parker’s calm compassion. Whether wrangling her son like cattle to get him dressed for the snow or not telling Mr. Parker Ralphie got in a fight at school, Mrs. Parker is emblematic of everything we love about our moms.
Claire Huxtable, The Cosby Show
Current events excluded, Claire Huxtable was the definition of a role model. A confident, well-spoken powerful partner at her law firm and the source of support and stability at home, Phylicia Rashad’s performance did justice for moms everywhere.
Rose Hovick, Gypsy
Kris Kardashian doesn’t have anything on Rose Hovick. The original momager, Rose tireless drivers her daughters June and Lee to successful careers as stage performers. While Rose never achieved the fame for herself, she vicariously lived through her daughters successes.
Mama Gump, Forrest Gump
The Mama in “Mama always said life is like a box of chocolates”, Sally Field’s Mrs. Gump is a testament to single moms everywhere. Raising a son crippled with leg braces and a well-below average IQ, she does whatever she has to make sure her boy “gets the same opportunities as everyone else.” As a result, she raises a decorated college athlete and war hero who runs his own multi-million dollar shrimping company. Good on you, Mrs. Gump.
Sarah Connor, Terminator 2
Speaking of single moms, imagine having to raise the savior of the human race while his father, a soldier sent back in time from the future, sacrifices his life before that son is even born. That doesn’t stop Linda Hamilton from going full badass, busting out of a mental institution and endlessly protecting her son from cyborg assassins sent to kill them both.
Marge Simpson, The Simpsons
Having the father of your children around maybe isn’t the greatest after all. Endlessly cleaning up after the messes her well-intentioned doofus husband and rascal son create, Marge Simpson remains the calm moral center of a dysfunctional family. Always supporting her husband and caring for her children, Marge still managed to find careers in law enforcement, real estate and running a pretzel bakery.
Carmela Soprano, The Sopranos
While Marge had to withstand the constant screw ups of Homer, Carmela was expected to maintain normalcy while her volatile husband ran his crime family. Simply put, Carmella didn’t put up with Tony’s shit. Or her self-entitled kids for that matter. She was a constant source of strength and resilience to all those around her.
Ellen Griswold, Vacation Series
Though her husband wasn’t dabbling in organized crime, he did consistently drag Ellen and their two children on poorly planned and worse-executed family vacations. Even though Clark at varying times slogged the family through budget motels, gambled away the savings account, etc., Ellen remained the voice of calm to undo her husbands mistakes and keep the family safe.
Aurora Greenwood, Terms of Endearment
Rather than doting after a volatile husband, Aurora has to look after her daughter after she is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Mother and daughter are able to set aside their differences as Aurora is motivated singularly by making her daughter as comfortable as possible and ease her suffering.
Ma Joad, Grapes of Wrath
Many of us look to our mothers as a source of inspiration and strength and realize our mother is the band that keeps our family together through the good times and bad. Few times were as bad as the trials of the Joad family as they suffered through Dust Bowl middle America. Knowing the horrors of the reality the Joad family faces, Ma endlessly fights to provide them with healing, support, comfort and nourishment.
Let us know if we missed any of your favorite TV or Film moms!
Tom Dever writes for The Script Lab.