It goes without saying that moms – no matter what form they take – play invaluable roles in our lives. From wiping our noses and fixing our lunches, to screaming their support from the audience or scolding us, it’s all a part of our personal tapestries.
The same (to a lesser extent) can be said about the TV and movie moms we’ve grown up with and still enjoy watching today. Their rich, complex, flawed and yet familiar characters have entertained and taught us a lot in their own right. And the list is only growing.
In honor of Mother’s Day, let’s have a look at ten great TV and movie mom characters that we can stream right now.
Penelope Alvarez (Justina Machado): One Day at a TimePenelope is a complex character. She has to be in order to juggle everything that comes with life as a Cuban American, an Army vet, a nurse practitioner and a single mom. She leans on the love of her family to navigate issues like PTSD, identity, religion, politics and others. Basically, she’s a strong mom who’s taking things One Day at a Time.
Nicole Reese (Alisha Wainwright): Raising DionNot only does Alisha have to grapple with the disappearance of her son, Dion’s father, but she has to deal with Dion’s new super powers too? Whether it’s keeping a steady job or keeping Dion from accidentally flying away, this is a mom who constantly feels in over her head. But doesn’t let any of that deter her from giving Dion absolutely everything she has.
Where to stream it: Netflix
3. Marge Simpson (Julie Kavner): The Simpsons For over 30 seasons, this mom has been the rock of a classically quirky, dysfunctional (destructive?) but loveable family. A good mom takes all of her family’s flaws and somehow still keeps everything together. Marge’s practicality and ability to see things the way they really are gave us the grounding we needed in the chaos of Springfield.
4. Jessica Huang (Constance Wu): Fresh Off the BoatThough this show ended its 6-season run in February of 2020, it and it’s memorable mom character still left its mark. Jessica is a loving and super-traditional mom who wants the best for her family in their new American life. But in the search for the new, just how much tradition do you leave behind? Jessica tried to explore those questions and others with plenty of wit and extra motherly concern.
5. Kate Foster (Catherine Reitman): Workin’ MomsTechnically, this hit Canadian series is about a group of moms, but Kate serves as the main protagonist. She and three others in her Mommy and Me group give hilariously accurate portrayals of navigating new motherhood with careers. From being delirious after getting no sleep to being frustrated with having to deal with the mommy critics – Kate tries to reignite professional success while building a new normal.
Where to stream it: Netflix
6. Ruth (Gugu Mbatha-Raw): Fast ColorWhat’s a superhero origin story without a notable parental figure? In this case, the superhero in the story is the notable parental figure. At least she’s one of them. Ruth is on the run after her supernatural abilities are discovered. She ends up running back home to her estranged mother and daughter. There, she’ll have to mend what’s broken and find peace with her strength before she has to use it again.
7. Joy Newsome (Brie Larson): RoomIf there was ever a mom who really knew how to make lemonade out of lemons, it’s this one. Except, instead of lemons, Joy gets a room that she has to make the whole world for her son until they can escape it. This mom helped make a harrowing situation seem bearable, found joy in the mundane and put on a smile in the face of terror. Skills that only moms seem to master.
Where to stream it: Netflix
8. Mother (Hye-ja Kim): Mother (Madeo) Some moms can go a little overboard when it comes to protecting their kids. But few go as far as Mother does in this crime-thriller from director, Bong Joon-ho. Mother is caring for her son who, despite being 27 years old, is still dependent on her. She’s also a widow, which means her son is all she has. And after a troubling turn of events, it’s only natural that this mom goes above and beyond to not lose him too.
9. Helen Parr/Elastigirl (Holly Hunter): The Incredibles and Incredibles 2 It can be easy to take for granted how flexible moms can be at times. With everything that’s already on their plates, they make saving the city seem like light work. Helen/Elastigirl displays the unflappable determination, skill, bravery and balance that so many moms possess. Add to it that she strikes fear into the hearts of those who try to hurt her family.
Where to stream: Disney+
10. The Bride/Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman): Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Kill Bill Vol. 2The general belief is that whenever you see a bear cub, mama bear isn’t far behind. This mom on a revenge rampage proves why it’s not a good idea to get between her and her child. Yes, these films are violent fantasies, but the drive behind The Bride’s mission (especially in Vol. 2) is pure unrelenting motherly instinct. If steadfast resilience, laser-focused energy and an unfathomably high pain threshold doesn’t say mom, what else does?
Have you streamed any of these movies featuring these awesome moms? Which other ones have great mom characters worth celebrating? Let us know in the comments!
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