Mother’s Day is upon us, which got me thinking about all the wonderful (or at least memorable) maternal figures we have grown to love in books, television shows and movies. Here’s to all the great moms out there!
The All-Time Classic Mom
Margaret “Marmee” March (Little Women)
Four daughters, no money, and a husband at war. And yet, Marmee can do it all. She’s truly a mother for the generations.
Honorable Mentions: Ma Ingalls (Little House on the Prairie series), Marilla Cuthbert (Anne of Green Gables)
The Unconventional Book Mom
Charlotte the Spider (Charlotte’s Web)
Always wise and endlessly caring, Charlotte’s relationship with Wilbur the pig is truly touching. Who knew a spider could be so lovable?
Honorable Mentions: Mammy (Gone With the Wind), Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins series)
The Newcomer Mom
Natalie Prior (Divergent series)
In Veronica Roth’s Divergent series, Natalie Prior is a brave, loving mother who does whatever it takes to protect her daughter.
Honorable Mentions: Mrs. Lancaster (The Fault in Our Stars), Renée Dwyer (Twilight series)
The Tough-as-Nails Book Mom
Molly Weasley (Harry Potter series)
Molly is awesome, plain and simple. Kind and gentle with a fiery side, she shows that moms have layers…and sometimes magical powers!
Honorable Mentions: Catelyn Stark (A Song of Ice and Fire series), Ma Kent (DC Comics’ Superman)
The Childhood Favorite Mom
Mama Bear (The Berenstain Bears series)
A bit of a nostalgic favorite for me (as my own Mom would read these books to me as a kid), Mama Bear always has a wise lesson to teach her family.
Honorable Mentions: Dorothy Quimby (Ramona books), Mother Goose (Mother Goose nursery rhymes)
The “Perfect” Mom
June Cleaver (Leave It to Beaver)
June Cleaver is the original TV mother. What she lacks in realism she makes up for in hospitality. Could you wear a dress and pearls while gardening?
Honorable Mentions: Carol Brady (The Brady Bunch), Kitty Foreman (That ‘70s Show)
The Ultimate 80s/90s Mom
Clair Huxtable (The Cosby Show)
Style? Check. Class? Check. Business Sense? Check. A mother’s love? Check! Clair has it all and is a great mother because of it.
Honorable Mentions: Jill Taylor (Home Improvement), Roseanne Conner (Roseanne)
The Wisecracking Older Mom
Sophia Petrillo (The Golden Girls)
Nobody “tells like it is” quite like Sophia, and that’s why we love her! Sometimes moms have to use tough love to teach important lessons.
Honorable Mentions: Violet Crawley (Downton Abbey), Marie Barone (Everybody Loves Raymond)
The Animated TV Mom
Peggy Hill (King of the Hill)
Never one to back down from a challenge, Peggy’s gumption, while a bit delirious, is also infectious. She certainly always means well…
Honorable Mentions: Marge Simpson (The Simpsons), Lois Griffin (Family Guy)
The Brutally Honest Mom
Lucille Bluth (Arrested Development)
Harsh? Maybe. Honest? Always. Lucille tells her kids what they often need to hear, and those Bluth kids certainly can’t be easy to mother.
Honorable Mentions: Thelma Harper (Mama’s Family), Gloria Delgado-Pritchett (Modern Family)
The Nostalgic Favorite Mom
Kate McCallister (Home Alone)
Okay, so she forgot her child. But her iconic “KEVIN!!!” scream is timeless. Plus, Catherine O’Hara can do no wrong in my book.
Honorable Mentions: Ellen Griswold (National Lampoon’s Vacation), Mrs. George (Mean Girls)
The Mom Played By Sally Field
M’Lynn Eatenton (Steel Magnolias)
Basically, Sally Field excels at playing a mother. When M’Lynn’s strong façade finally crumbles, the audience does as well. Get out the tissues!
Honorable Mentions: Mrs. Gump (Forrest Gump), Miranda Hillard (Mrs. Doubtfire)
The Tough-as-Nails Movie Mom
Sarah Connor (The Terminator movies)
This is one Mom who has gone through the trenches for her child. Sarah is a great spokesperson for single moms everywhere.
Honorable Mentions: Leigh Anne Tuohy (The Blind Side), Erin Brockovich (Erin Brockovich)
The Animated Movie Mom
Bambi’s Mother (Bambi)
Loving and gentle, Bambi’s mother leaves a lasting impression. If you did not cry at her passing, you have no soul! Enough said.
Honorable Mentions: Helen Parr/Elastigirl (The Incredibles), Mrs. Davis (Toy Story movies)
The Unconventional Movie Mom
Aibileen Clark (The Help)
Mae Mobley is a…difficult child, which just serves to highlight nanny Aibileen’s sweet spirit, endless patience and unwavering dedication to her.
Honorable Mentions: Maria von Trapp (The Sound of Music), Bren MacGuff (Juno)
This Mother’s Day, remember to thank all the great mothers or mother figures in your life! Still looking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift? Now through May 10, when you buy a $25 HPB Gift Card, you get a $5 Bonus Card for free! Shop online or visit your local store for more details.
Jason is Email Marketing Coordinator at Half Price Books Corporate.
You can follow him on Twitter @jasonapermenter.