Mother's Day Tribute to TV Moms (Past & Present)

Moms are the reason we exist. Upon birth, mothers help us grow with their love and motherly advice. They stand by us during chickenpox, and whether we like it or not, they always make sure we put on a coat when it’s cold outside. Mom is the reason our Star Wars lunchbox is packed with PB & J and golden pouch of Capri Sun (yes, I still have a Star Wars lunchbox and yes, I long for the days when my mom would pack it). Mom, in all her glory, stops us from ‘killing’ ourselves in the backyard by playing Cowboys and Indians with homemade slingshots. She even manages to keep dad under control (not an easy task, especially during football season).

In honor of mom, ever year we celebrate her greatness with the traditional Mother’s Day. Once a year, we buy flowers, take her out to dinner, and make a feeble attempt to celebrate her Wonder Woman ways by doing some ‘mom’ tasks around the house. But wait – are we forgetting that other mom

It might sound a bit irreverent (considering how special the real mom is), but in the middle of celebrating the greatest person in our lives, we’ve forgotten the fictional retro-mom from TV land. Why should we care, you ask? When mom was busy going to work or giving dad lessons on manners, we looked to the likes of Shirley Partridge or Jill Taylor for honest parenting advice. On TV shows like Happy Days and Family Ties – the mom was the moral backbone of the family, while the dad was just the dude that provided some comedy relief. The likes of Norma Arnold, the mom from the Wonder Years, showed us how mom could quietly run the household behind the scenes. Without flexing her muscles or smoking stogies in the garage like dad, moms like Norma showed us that love was a more valuable commodity than machismo. She was old school, wore an apron, and spent most of her time in the kitchen; but when Kevin needed advice, Norma Arnold was always there for him.

Then there was Morticia Addams from The Addams Family – the first edgy TV mom. While she may have been a seductive gothic queen, Morticia Addams stood by her children and defended them against the antics of Uncle Fester. Sure, she practiced black magic and dressed like a witch, but Morticia was an immoveable rock in a household engulfed under the crashing currents of creepiness.  In fact, if it weren’t for Morticia Addams showing America that being edgy didn’t mean you were incompetent, Sharon Osbourne would just seem like a verbally abusive pill popper. In reality, Sharon is a loving mom that just so happened to party as well. All hail the rockstar mom.

To pay tribute to the forgotten moms we all grew up adoring, here is a list of the ten greatest moms from TV land history (past & present). Remember, these are my personal favorites – so don’t expect June Cleaver or Donna Reed on this list. You wont find any stereotypical and often sexist depictions of moms here.

1. Peggy Bundy – Married With Children

Cooking and cleaning? Never. Peggy Bundy was the first mom that didn’t care about being a mom. Why is she at the top of the list? Any mom that can stay married to Al Bundy for over a decade is special. Big hair and big heart.

2. Norma Arnold – The Wonder Years

A traditional TV mom and class act, Norma Arnold was Kevin’s real best friend and confidant. Norma also supported her hippie daughter and made sure Mr. Arnold never crossed the line. She was a real warrior in the kitchen.

3. Roseanne Connor – Roseanne

The first truly honest depiction of an American mom on TV, period. She was flawed, but her imperfections never stopped her from defending her family and keeping them together when Dan was out of a job, or when one of her daughters was getting pregnant. The first middle-class TV mom that didn’t live in a mansion.

4. Morticia Addams – The Addams Family

She embraced chaos while keeping her family together amidst the eerie world of The Addams Family. She was evil, but so sweet at being evil, you loved her and believed in her. She was the first antihero depiction of a mom and if it wasn’t for her, Gomez would be lost.

5.   Samantha Stevens  – Bewitched

She had magical powers to protect her baby, Tabitha, who was also lucky enough to have a trendy mom that was both fashionable and loaded with friends and family. Wiggle your nose if you agree – Samantha is the mom we all wanted to have.

6.   Nancy Botwin – Weeds


After the death of her husband, Nancy Botwin did what any single mother would do to support her family – she became a drug dealer. Still, we love Nancy because she risks her life for the sake of her family. In that sense, she is a rockstar and one of the most exciting moms ever.

7.   Marge Simpson – The Simpsons


She’s a cartoon mom. But she’s also a very patient cartoon mom that managed to live with (burp) Homer Simpson for decades! Kudos to Marge for being loyal.

8.   Jill Taylor – Home Improvement

Would you live with a man that turned your oven into a heat-seeking missile? What if he refashioned your lovely microwave oven into an atomic bomb? Jill Taylor did, and for those reasons alone, she is a superhero dressed like a housewife. She had a job, raised a bunch of crazy boys, and managed to keep Tim from engulfing the house in flames. You go, girl.

9.   Jane Jetson – The Jetsons


A homemaker and one of the first moms to be obsessed with gadgets, Jane Jetson is the hippest mom on this list. An art collector and shop-a-holic – Mrs. Jetson was a trailblazer for the modern woman. #TheJetsons

10.   Maureen Robinson – Lost in Space

A doctor and the first mom in space, Maureen Robinson makes Richard Branson seem boring. One of the most beautiful biochemist’s ever (can you name another?), Maureen was not only smart, but she was feminine, fashion forward, and maternal. She also had a thing for robots…