TV Moms Who We Can All Relate To
Whether they're real or fictional, moms are the absolute greatest. TV mothers have evolved over the years, but they have always bestowed wisdom and put their families first. Some have even provided sound advice in parenting, relationships, careers and, well, life — all while tugging at the heart strings of viewers.
Because they’re so likable, audiences around the world have grown to love these characters so much that they wish they were real people. Some are outstanding, loving mothers all around, while others are more amusing, ironic and a little wild.
No matter their quirks, these iconic TV mothers have captured hearts and filled homes with love, laughter, tears — and a relatable parenting snafu or two.
Claire Dunphy, “Modern Family”
Meticulous, quirky and competitive — three words that perfectly describe Claire Dunphy’s personality. Between running her father’s closet and blinds company and raising two daughters and one son, Claire’s got her hands full. As a perfectionist, Claire knows exactly what to do when it comes to raising her family, even during the most stressful times, which makes her a role model to her brother, Mitchell, and husband, Phil.
Even though she may come off as controlling, overprotective or abrasive at times, and has a (strong) penchant for drinking wine, it’s undeniable how much she loves her husband and children, and she only wants to see them happy and successful.
Meredith Grey, “Grey’s Anatomy”
Growing from dark and twisty to affectionate and enduring, Dr. Meredith Grey has survived just about everything (a plane crash, drowning, bomb explosion, shooting), and she is as passionate of a mother as she is a surgeon.
Meredith’s a (spoiler alert!) single mom to three — daughters, Zola and Ellis, and son, Bailey. Trying to be the opposite of her cold, absentee mother (who was also a world-renowned surgeon), Meredith fights for her children just as much as she does for her patients at Seattle-based Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital — with integrity, devotion and assurance.
Rainbow Johnson, “Black-ish”
Intelligent, driven and beautiful — that is Rainbow Johnson. As an anesthesiologist and (busy) mom of five, Bow is kind, funny and selfless — a perfect match to put her husband, Dre, in his place from time to time.
On the show, Bow sheds some light on postpartum depression and managing a career and family at the same time, making her an easily relatable character for women from all walks of life. With strong liberal views, Bow strives to give her children a better living situation than what she and Dre grew up with, and so far, she’s doing pretty darn well.
Rebecca Katsopolis, “Full House” and “Fuller House”
“Wake up, San Francisco!” These four famous words from Rebecca (Becky) Katsopolis are still recognizable today, and they instantly bring back waves of nostalgia for "Full House" fans. Becky is a talk-show-host-turned-producer and a lovable mother figure for both her twin boys and her nieces, Michelle, D.J. and Stephanie.
Her and her husband, Jesse, have a very loving and trusting relationship — even when she’s mocking his hair and Elvis obsession. Becky gets along with everybody in the (very full) house, and is known for her good judgment, predictability and dishing out kind-hearted advice on love, relationships and growing up.
Carol Brady, “The Brady Bunch”
As one of the most memorable characters on television, Carol Brady is the definition of motherhood. How did Carol always keep up with the whole bunch? She was compassionate and liberated, and she had unconditional love for her three daughters and three stepsons: Marcia, Jan, Cindy, Greg, Peter and Bobby.
Although she chooses to be a stay-at-home mom, Carol is not just a housewife — politics, sculpting, writing and singing are only a few of her hobbies (including corny jokes and finding fun ways to tease her husband, Mike). And somehow, between running around with six children, organizing PTA events and finding time for herself, Carol always had a family dinner set on the table — every single night.
Lorelai Gilmore, “Gilmore Girls”
Best friend, mom and major caffeine junkie, Lorelai Gilmore is a strong role model to her daughter, Rory. Known for her witty humor, lack of cooking skills and charming way with words, Lorelai isn’t like most conventional mothers — and that’s what makes her so great. Lorelai is free-spirited, a little childish, extremely loyal and always supports her daughter’s dreams.
The duo has regular junk-food-and-movie nights and frequents Luke’s Diner on the daily (always for the coffee and breakfast). Growing up in a strict, overbearing household, Lorelai strives to give Rory the opposite: the freedom to be herself.
Cora Crawley, “Downton Abbey”
Cora Crawley, also known as the Countess of Grantham and Lady Grantham, is the American heiress daughter of Isidore and Martha Levinson, and she is the loving mother of three daughters: Mary, Edith and Sybil. These three beauties bring light and joy into Crawley’s life, and she does everything in her power to watch them succeed.
So, when Sybil passes away during extreme labor complications, it was no surprise that Cora instantly put up a wall between her and her husband, Robert, who ignored Dr. Richard Clarkson’s warnings in favor of London-based doctor, Sir Philip Tapsell.
Jill Taylor, “Home Improvement”
Imperfectly perfect, Jill Taylor showcases the real-life struggles of marriage and being a mother to three growing boys. Jill is the voice of reason to her husband, Tim, and sons, Brad, Randy and Mark, but is also caring and empathetic, making her the queen of understanding.
Although, she also has her bad habits — poor judgment, immaturity and selfishness — especially when it comes to supporting her husband’s show, “Tool Time.” Throughout the seasons, Jill grows and transitions from a housewife to a career-driven woman, while also working on her cooking talent (or lack thereof).
Kitty Forman, “That ’70s Show”
Kitty Forman is the classic neighborhood mom to her children’s friends, especially when taking in Steven Hyde after his mother left him. As a nurse, Kitty radiates kindness (except when annoyed or stressed out). Catch her on a bad day, and her husband, Red; daughter, Laurie; and son, Eric; will hear her infamous shrieking laugh and take the brunt of her sharp-edged sarcastic comments.
Despite having a rocky relationship with her daughter and a somewhat dependent relationship with alcohol, Kitty ultimately supports her family through thick and thin (even if she doesn’t want to admit it).
Tami Taylor, “Friday Night Lights”
Tami Taylor isn’t just a mother to her two daughters, Julie and Gracie, but to all of the students at Texas-based East Dillon High School. As a guidance counselor-turned-principal and wife to football coach Eric Taylor, Tami’s a big supporter of ambitious dreams (while rocking big, stylish locks and aviators, of course).
She doles out wisdom and inspiring life advice, leading each and every one of her students to success, even when handling tough problems from teenage insecurities to academic ineligibility. Through it all, Tami remains a devoted, loving mother and wife.
Clair Huxtable, “The Cosby Show”
There was no choosing between having a successful career or raising a family for Clair Huxtable; she simply did both and with ease. As a strong black role model, Clair was a lawyer by day, and she led her household of seven by night. The graceful-yet-assertive mother instilled feminist principles into her five children and consistently supported each and every one of them.
As one of television’s favorite mothers, Clair’s profound influence on African American women has been named the "Clair Huxtable Effect," making her an exemplary wife, mother and friend.
Kristina Braverman, “Parenthood”
She may not be one of the five Braverman siblings, but Kristina is a strong rock and a source of support for anyone in need of it. Kristina loves her husband and three children dearly, although at times she may appear overly worrisome or high-strung.
Battling cancer, raising a son with Asperger’s syndrome and having a bumpy relationship with a teenage daughter — name it, and Kristina Braverman will overcome it. Her determination and devotion are unwavering, which led her to support her daughter, Haddie, after coming out and build Chambers Academy for her son, Max, and the more than 50 disabled children attending the charter school.
Catelyn Stark, “Game of Thrones”
Before her tragic death in the infamous “Red Wedding” episode, Catelyn Stark was as fierce, protective and devoted as mothers come. Married to Eddard Stark, the couple had five children: Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran and Rickon.
As a pillar of strength for her family, Catelyn was willing to do anything for them: She punched, kidnapped and slit the throats of anyone who may have been a threat to her loved ones. Some may have called her reckless or violent, but Catelyn was powerful and motivated by revenge and love — no one ever wanted to get on her bad side.
Cookie Lyon, “Empire”
People either love her or hate her, but there’s one thing that’s certain: Cookie Lyon is one fierce mama. There’s nothing Cookie wouldn’t do for her three sons, including spending 17 years behind bars for her husband, Lucious’, drug-running.
As a major hip-hop mogul and boss lady at Empire Entertainment, Cookie drips in luxury from head to toe, donning leopard prints and thigh-high leather boots. And although she may chase her youngest Hakeem around with a broom from time to time, Cookie ultimately has her sons’ backs: She stood by Jamal’s side when Lucious refused to support his musical career if he came out in public, and she comforted Andre when he was mourning his wife’s unexpected death.
Rebecca Pearson, “This Is Us”
If there’s one person with the most compassionate and forgiving heart, it’s Rebecca Pearson. As a mom of three — Kevin, Kate and Randall — she has experienced some of the biggest losses in life (having a stillborn son and losing her husband Jack in a house fire), but also the most joys (adopting Randall and watching Kate walk down the aisle).
“The Big Three” completely encompass Rebecca’s heart, and she consistently strives to be a better mother to them, even if it means giving up her dream to have a singing career.