My Favourite Pop Culture Mammies

It’s Mother’s Day this Sunday, so – as per the title of this blog post – I’m using this as an excuse to talk about my own favourite mothers in pop culture. If it isn’t going to be Mother’s Day this Sunday in your particular corner of the globe then return to read this post whatever date your own brand of cultural imperialism tells you you should celebrate Mothers, I guess (Or read on anyway, Mothers should always be celebrated, dammit!) Enjoy!


Charlotte Pickles – Rugrats


Charlotte Pickles; the liberal feminist’s dream – proof that you can have it all! Or perhaps not, seeing as her only daughter is kind of a spoilt little bundle of terror. IS THAT SUPPOSED TO BE SOME KIND OF COMMENT ON HIGH-POWERED, BUSINESS MOTHERS, RUGRATS?! How and ever, it’s nice to see this kind of mother on TV, a mother that isn’t seen as some kind of monster because she’s passionate about her career. Hell, it seems like Charlotte is passionate about most things she cares about, which also includes her family. What’s not to love about that?

Notable quote: See image above.

Marge Simpson – The Simpsons


I feel like Marge, much like Lisa, often gets the short end of the stick when it comes to fans of The Simpsons. Both are often regarded as boring and don’t tend to be declared as a favourite character nearly as often as Homer and Bart. In one way I can see why, as often is the way with women in pop culture, Marge and Lisa most definitely do play the straight (wo)men to Homer and Bart’s unabashed wackiness. Still, Marge and Lisa are still funny in their own right and have had their share interesting story lines (let’s be clear that I’m strictly talking Simpsons episodes up to season elevenish, I don’t know much about what went on after that and I don’t really want to.) I guess I can also see why that wouldn’t appeal to some guys – nuanced story lines about a mother’s experiences and issues? Gross! *sigh*

Notable quote:

You know, the courts may not be working any more, but as long as everyone is videotaping everyone else, justice will be done.

Lorelai Gilmore – Gilmore Girls


As far as single mother’s go, Lorelai struggle probably isn’t the most struggliest considering the fact that her parents are RICH AS HEEYELL, but then again, money isn’t everything. Lorelai often seems more like a quirky older friend that you could have a laugh with, rather than an actual mother and – while it does make her appealing – it’s also the cause of some of the issues present in her relationship with daughter, Rory. It can be cool having a cool, young mother, but it can cause the divide between friend and mother to blur, which often results in Lorelai overcompensating in the strictness department, which in turn causes rifts between her and Rory – so many rifts. This is part of the appeal of Lorelai; she’s cool and funny but she definitely isn’t some kind of perfect super mom who can do know wrong. It also helps with humanising her, because let’s be real here, who on earth can manage to squeeze as many pop culture references as she into a single sentence?

Notable quote:

This is it. She can finally go to Harvard like she’s always wanted and get the education that I never got and get to do all the things that I never got to do and then I can resent her for it and we can finally have a normal mother-daughter relationship.

Rae’s Mother – My Mad Fat Diary


Like all the mother’s listed, Rae’s Mum isn’t perfect. She doesn’t come across that great at the start of the series, in that it isn’t always advisable to offer your sixteen year old daughter a cigarette right after she has been discharged from a psychiatric hospital after trying to kill herself. Despite some of her shortcomings, it’s clear that Rae’s mom loves her daughter very much, even if she isn’t always the best at expressing it. She’s super funny to boot, I could definitely imagine sitting down for laughs with her over tea and biscuits.

Notable quote:


Ruth Fisher – Six Feet Under


Again, we have a less than perfect mother (are you noticing a pattern?) Ruth definitely isn’t the most likable character at first, then again, nobody in this show is consistently likable which is part of the its appeal. Nobody’s perfect, they make mistakes because, in reality, everybody ‘s a jerk sometimes and so too is Ruth. It’s such a joy to see her grow as a character over the series and I can’t tell you how many times I wished she was real so I could go and give her a hug.

Notable quote:

You both look so happy. Just enjoy it while it lasts. Which isn’t very long. You think you have forever, but you don’t. Soon you start to get on each other’s nerves. Then you don’t tell the other person as much as you used to, ’cause, really, what’s the point? You thought they understood you, but they never did … not really. Finally, not only do you not tell the other person anything real, you actively start lying to him. And then, when you think it can’t get any worse, he up and dies! No matter what you do, you end up alone, not knowing who you are or what you really want!


Lucille Bluth – Arrested Development


Do I really have to explain this. DO I?! Perfect TV mothers are a dime a dozen, so sometimes it’s nice to have one that’s the complete opposite, especially when it’s someone as hilarious as Mother Bluth.

Noteworthy quote:

I’d rather be dead in California than alive in Arizona.

Mammy Quigley


I guess I should use this opportunity to talk about my own Mammy – EVERYONE’S FAVE POP CULTURE MOM, AMIRITE? Well there she is over yonder, me sitting on her knee (this picture was taken just last week, I swear!) She’s given birth to eight kids, bless her (my Irish Catholic background is becoming clearer by the second) and I’m sure it hasn’t always been easy raising us all, I know I sure has hell couldn’t do it. She has definitely influenced my preference in TV mothers, I’m very protective when it comes to them and it breaks my heart to see anyone being mean to their mother – unless they are very clearly evil or whatever. My own mother was a housewife, so I also am not a fan of people discounting the work that a Mother or Father does in the home, should she or he decide that they want to stay at home with the childers (though I’m well aware there wasn’t much of a choice in Ireland back when my mother was having babies, and that having a father do that sort of thing was pretty much unheard of.) So yes, she’s great, I mean, she did help create this:



Be nice to your Mama. Feel free to tell me about your own favourite mothers in pop culture.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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