15 TV Moms Who *Always* Keep It Real
TV moms have a way of making us cringe, cry, laugh and think. Whether they were outright power moms and #girlbosses or reserved forces of nature, each of the most recognizable matriarchs had their own way of teaching us some pretty valuable lessons and, more importantly, showing us that parents are people too. With so many of our favorite shows coming to an end, let's take a quick look back on 15 TV moms who kept it real week after week.
Photo via 20th Television/Disney–ABC Domestic Television
Rainbow Johnson, Black-ish
She’s a doctor AND mother of five — need we say more? Rainbow “Bow” is a modern-day Clair Huxtable, a straight-shooter with a light and fun attitude. She keeps her kids and husband Andre "Dre" in their places while encouraging their growth, and coupled with her caring parenting style makes her a great mom role model.
Photo via ABC/Liliane Lathan
Meredith Grey, Grey's Anatomy
If you're a fan of Grey's Anatomy, then you know that Meredith is many things. Beyond a talented surgeon and COVID-19/drowning/shooting/physical attack/bomb/hemorrhaging during an emergency C-section without power survivor, she is also an incredible mom. She always fought for her kids, and despite everything going on in her life she always thought of them whenever decisions had to be made.
Photo via WB/CW/Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Lorelai Gilmore, Gilmore Girls
The junk food loving, free-spirited Lorelai Gilmore fast-talked her way from Stars Hollow into everyone's hearts as the complicated, yet lovable mom to Rory. She gave amazing advice wrapped in a punchline and taught us all that the best thing you can be is authentic to yourself.
(Photo via CBC Television)
Moira Rose, Schitt's Creek
Is Moira Rose the most attentive mother? No. Does she value her beloved wig collection more than her own children? Maybe. Does she love her bébés? Absolutely.
(Photo via The CW / Nexstar Media Group)
Xiomara Villanueva, Jane the Virgin
TBH, Xiomara did a pretty OK job at handling all of Jane's antics (and surprise baby), so for that alone she deserves a spot on this list. Not only was she fully supportive (and at times a necessary grounding force) for young Jane, she was also a great grandmother to Mateo and wife to the spontaneous telenovela star Rogelio de la Vega.
Photo via ABC/20th Television
Claire Dunphy, Modern Family
There's keeping it real and there's Claire Dunphy. She holds it all down while remembering everything on everyone's checklist and gives the best reactions to her husband's awkward outbursts and extended family's shenanigans.
Photo via Peter Kramer/NBC
Olivia Benson, Law & Order: SVU
Olivia Benson may not be known for being a mother, but she's about as bad*ss as you can get. Not only does she protect her son, Noah, fervently, she would quite literally do anything to protect him and her SVU victims.
Photo via 20th Television/Disney–ABC Domestic Television
Jessica Huang, Fresh Off the Boat
Who rules the world? Mrs. Huang does.Jessica has a competitive spirit that rivals any Olympian and owns everything she does. She's loud, aggressive and not afraid to give anyone the cold, hard truth. If most of us could lay it down half as well as Jessica, we'd all be ruling the world in a much more orderly (and hysterical) way.
Photo via Mill Creek Entertainment/Carsey-Werner Distribution/NBC
Claire Huxtable, The Cosby Show
Claire was the #girlboss before hashtags mattered. She's was a partner in a law firm, ran a tight ship at home and killed with serious side-eye. She kept five (FIVE!) children in check, as well as all of the extra people they accumulated through the seasons, and Claire was the greatest example of how straight-shooting and level-headed confidence can rule the world.
Photo via HBO/Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Daenerys Targaryen, Game of Thrones
The mother of dragons proves you don't have to actually have human children to be a mom. She's walked into and out of fires unscathed, hatched dragons, freed slaves, learned an entirely complicated language in a blink and kicked general ass in the name of righting the injustices throughout a good part of the seven kingdoms.
Photo via Buena Vista Television/NBC
Sophia Petrillo, Golden Girls
She's sassy, Sicilian and she's the golden girl everyone wants to be in retirement. From incredible one-line zingers to heart-to-heart moments that usually end with a back-handed compliment, Sophia's habit of calling it down the line made her the loveable fourth roommate we would all secretly like the best.
Photo via Lionsgate/CBS/Showtime
Nancy Botwin, Weeds
Should this be prefaced with season one Nancy? Probably. She went from mourning widow to successful entrepreneur and showed us how to shirk public opinion in favor of what works for you. Her actual parenting skills should be put in our “10 Worst" list, but her genuine nature and quick wit in the face of actual danger lands her on this list of moms who would be fun to know (but maybe not have stay over at your house.)
Photo via FOX/20th Television (1989–2020)/Disney–ABC Domestic Television
Marge Simpson, The Simpsons
What would Homey do without Marge? She's the pearl-wearing silent force that puts the function in dysfunctional. She can do anything she puts her mind to, and she is the literal glue that holds not only her family but also her whole town together.
Photo via FOX/Netflix
Lucille Bluth, Arrested Development
So maybe Lucille's straight talk wasn't necessarily altruistic. She had no idea what the cost of a banana was (hint: It's not $10) and most of her comments could easily have been blamed on her breakfast cocktail, but she said exactly what she was thinking at the very moment she was thinking it. She took no s#!t from anyone and gave us all some cringe-worthy advice to quote long after the show was over.
Photo via PBS/ITV
Violet Crawley, Downton Abbey
She asked the question “What is a weekend?" because she genuinely didn't know and she didn't care what anyone thought. In a post-Victorian era that was changing fast around her, the Dowager Countess met adversity with adaptable wit and a zero tolerance for other people's problems. She simply continued living her life and kept it real. Every. Single. Day.
Did your favorite straight-talking TV mom make the list? Tell us who your fave is @BritandCo!
This post has been updated.
Header image via Saeed Adyani/Netflix