Don’t forget, it’s Mother’s Day today – and to get you in the spirit, here’s a list of ten of the best TV moms in 2013. Now, these moms might not necessarily be flawless – and most of them haven’t necessarily debuted this year – but they’ve got their own quirks that should be applauded. If anything, a few of them might make you appreciate your own mom just a bit more (if that’s even possible!).
1. Linda Belcher – Bob’s Burgers
Linda Belcher, voiced by John Roberts, is the wife of Bob (of Bob’s Burgers) and mother of Tina, Gene and Louise. She’s a character that’s enthusiastic about all of her family’s endeavors – from Tina’s capoeira lessons to Gene’s Table Setting (Er – Tablescaping) competition. Prone to bursting into song, Linda’s pep and undeniable love and support for her family puts her at #1 on our list. And seriously – if you’re not watching Bob’s Burgers, you should. It’s a highlight on Fox’s Sunday night line-up.
Best Linda Quote (From the episode “Burger Wars”): “When I die I want you to cremate me and throw my ashes in Tom Selleck’s face.”
2. Bonnie Kelly – It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
Sure, Charlie might have had a questionable childhood. But his mother Bonnie, played by Lynne Marie Stewart, has always been completely impressed with her son’s (somewhat few) capabilities. When she hears rumors from the gang that Charlie might have been molested by a gym teacher in the past (which he wasn’t), she breaks down into tears and holds an intervention with the entire Kelly family to learn the truth. Her irrational fears (dogs and shopping carts, to be exact) are odd, yet insanely endearing.
Best Bonnie Quote: “ Be strong Bonnie. Be strong for your little gingerbread man. Now is not the time for an episode.”
3. Lucille Bluth – Arrested Development
Lucille at #3, and not #1? I’ve made a huge mistake.
Played by the absolutely fantastic Jessica Walter, words can’t describe Lucille Bluth. She’s conniving, pens her children against each other, a bit of a lush, and somewhat of a mastermind. Instead of a quote or a lengthier paragraph, this “Best Of” video will pretty much sum everything up.
(And reminder – the new season of Arrested Development is coming to Netflix on May 26th.. Are you as excited as I am?)
4. Selma Bouvier – The Simpsons
Sure, the obvious choice is Marge Simpson. After all, Marge keeps her household in check, almost always has a level head, and always forgives Homer for his numerous mistakes.
However, I’m putting Selma on the list. When Selma reached a certain age where child-bearing would no longer be possible, she did everything she could to adopt a baby of her own – including listing Homer as the father, when sole-parenthood was frowned upon.
While Selma might not live up to Mom standards the way Marge does, she knew she wanted to be a mother by any means necessary – and her first interactions with baby Ling were extremely emotional and beautiful for a cartoon to express.
5. Emily Gilmore – Gilmore Girls
Being a huge Gilmore Girls fan, this list originally included Lorelai. Yet after thinking a bit, Lorelai got cut and Emily – her mother (played by the fabulous Kelly Bishop) – was added. While Lorelai is a great Mom and an amazing best friend to Rory, Emily has been supportive throughout the run of the show – even if her support seemed to be smothering or laced with evil, per Lorelai.
While Lorelai has big dreams for Rory, Emily contributed in making them possible. And when Rory dropped out of Yale, Emily gave her a safe and supportive place to live. Being that Rory (fictionally, of course) helped Obama win the 2008 election after being offered a job with the campaign, I’d say Emily was on the right track with knowing how to support her.
Best Emily Quote (From “How Many Kropogs to Cape Cod?): “I mean, as far as perverted phone calls go, this is a very poor one.”
6. Pam (Beesley) Halpert – The Office
Pam, played by Jenna Fischer, makes the list, because – well – she’s been a married single parent for the majority of this final season. While Jim is off in Philly trying to make his new start-up company become successful, Pam is handling baby Philip and Cece by herself. Even if she managed to spread Cece’s lice outbreak throughout the entire office, she didn’t mean to – after all, she spent the entire night prior disinfecting the entire house.
I can imagine two kids and a full time job – even a lax job, like her Office Manager role at Dunder Mifflin seems to be – is quite a handful. However, Office fans were all there for Cece’s birth, and they’re there for a stressed out Pam as she’s been realizing how tough it can be to be a Halpert.
Best Pam Quote (from “The Suit Warehouse”): “You can’t be scared of a room full of Jims. I love the guy but he’s basically Gumby with hair.”
7. Clair Huxtable – The Cosby Show
If I could be any woman on this list, I’d probably choose the confident and successful Clair Huxtable, played by Phylicia Rashad. Not only is she extremely intelligent (she’s bilingual!) and always up for a debate, but a complete disciplinarian of her children. Also – she’s fictionally married to Bill Cosby! Come on!
Speaking of, Clair’s whole character was loosely based on Cosby’s actual wife, Camille Olivia Hanks-Cosby. And based on the portrayal, Cosby must think extremely highly of his wife.
That’s just one great example of Clair being an extremely, extremely strong and admirable woman.
8. Helen Morgendorffer – Daria
Helen is another example of a strong, working woman (even though she probably fits more into the “workaholic” category). Regardless of her tendencies to put her job before her family, Daria still feels comfortable to occasionally ask her for advice. Whenever the two have a moment like this together, it’s obvious that Helen cares a great deal for her daughters, and can often be the unexpected savior for their particular crisis.
In the series finale episode, “Boxing Daria”, Daria has a flashback of her parents fighting over her unsocial tendencies, to the point where her father walks out the door. While Helen admits that Daria was a difficult child, they were never unhappy with her. Helen helps to note that they knew socialization would be tough for a highly intelligent child like Daria, and that – no matter what – she respects her choices in life. Quite a sweet moment from such a cult classic.
Best Helen Quote: “Jake, we’re here to see my family, not to have fun.”
9. Carol Foster-Lambert – Step By Step
Carol, played by Suzanne Somers, made a somewhat tough situation seem completely easy and fun – by marrying Frank Lambert (Patrick Duffy) and inheriting three more children to add to the three she already had. What does she think she is, Carol Brady? Can only women named Carol get themselves into these situations?
Sure, the families work to get along in the first season, and have scuffles throughout the series, but Carol seems optimistic the entire time. While the show changed up a bit, and may have abandoned a kid or two throughout the series, the always-spunky Carol never seemed to be a less than adequate Mom to everyone in the house – even Frank’s nephew Cody.
Best Carol Quote:
Frank Lambert: [sit on the armchair, making crosswords] A city from Texas, 6 letters ?
Carol Lambert: Well, Frank, D-A-L-L-A-S !
(Get it?) (Google it if you don’t, and have some time to spare.)
10. Liz Lemon – 30 Rock
Sure, we didn’t get to see Liz be much of a parent during the last season of 30 Rock, but we’ve heard her talk about her dream of being a parent throughout the series’ entire run. I mean, she married her boyfriend just to be a better fit at the adoption agency. Eventually Liz (played by Tina Fey, of course) had her dream come true when two older children became available. But – us fans don’t need to view Liz be a mother on screen to know she’ll balance her career and motherhood flawlessly.
Here’s an amazing mashup brought to you by our friends over at the Huffington Post, which not only defines Liz Lemon, but shows that she finally does have it all.
Honorable Mention: Ann Perkins – Parks & Recreation
Ann’s goal this season was to be a mother, and to do it alone. After trying so hard to find a guy in the past, her “I want to be a Mom” dream wasn’t just a fleeting thought for an episode, but an actual milestone for her character. Ann, played by Rashida Jones, once admitted she “wasn’t good with kids”. Yet as episodes of her trying to find the perfect donor passed, it became clear that not only does Ann already love her child-to-be, but she’s completely well versed on how to successfully raise a kid. Matching up with Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) near the end of the season, his equal dedication to her cause was pretty admirable – and gave fans of the show a fresh reason to root for the pair. While she’s not pregnant yet, I predict a healthy and “LIT-rally” beautiful baby will be in her future soon.
Make sure to treat your Mom well this year – and every year – and feel free to mention your favorite TV Moms in the comments section!