The Best TV Moms of All Time: Lorelai Gilmore, Clair Huxtable, Linda Belcher and More!

mother's day tv moms
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Mother's Day is this weekend, and though we can't all be with our moms on the big day -- especially this year, amid social distancing guidelines -- we can enjoy some of our favorite matriarchs on the small screen.

From the fun-loving, fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore to the ruthless but loyal Cookie Lyon to the macabre and maternal Morticia Addams, TV mother figures come in all types -- and we love them all!

Read on for a tribute to some of our favorite small-screen moms -- and check out ET's Mother's Day streaming guide for more on what to watch

Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) - Gilmore Girls

Toeing the line between BFF and mom, Lorelai is the fast-talking, binge-watching modern matriarch who definitely cannot cook, but knows how to turn lemons into lemonade. She's all about fun, but at the same time, always ready to buckle down and do what was best for daughter Rory -- even at her own expense.


Tami Taylor (Connie Britton) - Friday Night Lights

Tami Taylor is an icon -- and not just for that hair. The wine-loving matriarch doles out pearls of wisdom on the regular, not just to her family but to most of Dillon, Texas. Friday Night Lights may be structured around Coach Taylor and his team, but it's Tami who puts the heart in "Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose." 


Clair Huxtable (Phylicia Rashad) - The Cosby Show

Clair sets the bar high for TV moms everywhere -- working as a successful lawyer, mothering five kids and patiently corralling her eccentric husband, Cliff -- she truly has it all. She's so iconic, in fact, she gets shouted out in rap songs on the regular, including that iconic Drake verse.


Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) - I Love Lucy

One of the OG TV moms, the best thing about Lucy is that she's never the traditional sitcom matriarch. For as much of her life is shaped by caring for her husband, Ricky and their son, Little Ricky, she's always still allowed to be her own person and have her own adventures.


Jessica Huang (Constance Wu) - Fresh Off the Boat

While she often defaults to her role as the no-nonsense disciplinarian in the family, Jessica's softer side is frequently drawn out by husband Louis and their three sons. She's the touchstone to their cultural roots, as well as a superstitious pragmatist, who wants the best for her family while also wanting her family to be the best. And, as the series finale showed, her strict guidance paid off in the end!


Marge Simpson (Julie Kavner) - The Simpsons

One of TV's longest-suffering mothers, Marge holds her family together on a daily basis, managing Homer's cluelessness, Bart's antics, Lisa's anxieties, and baby Maggie -- doing it all in a strapless dress with perfectly coiffed hair!


Morticia Addams (Carolyn Jones) - The Addams Family

The matriarch of the macabre, there's no TV mom quite like Morticia Addams. She may look witchy, but as the fiercely loyal head of the household, there's no one more supportive of her family's various...interests. Plus, she and Gomez are total #couplegoals.


Carol Brady (Florence Henderson) - The Brady Bunch

Iconic for more than just her haircut, Carol could qualify as a TV saint just for agreeing to take in three more kids when she was already bringing up three very lovely girls. She kept the household running -- with help from Alice, of course -- an managed the antics of her "bunch" with a supportive smile.


Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson) - Empire

She may have spent her kids' formative years in jail, but there's nothing that could come between Cookie and her family. From the moment she got out, she was hell-bent on proving herself as part of the Lyon dynasty, and while she went through some major ups and downs with husband Lucious and each of her three sons, there was always love from the queen.


Kitty Forman (Debra Jo Rupp) -That '70s Show

The perfect complement to her surly husband, Red, Kitty was a classic TV housewife with a twist, literally. The sassy, smirking matriarch combatted her day-to-day stressors from son Eric and his stoner friends with whip-smart jokes of her own and a heavy pour when it came to her evening drink. We're all alright, indeed!


Penelope Alvarez (Justina Machado) - One Day at a Time

With her military background and Cuban fire, Penelope is one of the toughest TV moms out there, and there's nothing she wouldn't do for her kids. However, what makes her a great mother figure is her softer side, accepting her family members just as they are, and going to work on her own mental health so she can be a better mom. (But yeah, she'll definitely still throw hands if it comes to it.)


Rebecca Pearson (Mandy Moore) - This Is Us

From the very first episode of This Is Us, we knew that Rebecca's story of motherhood was going to be an epic one. Watching her journey through the years -- as she struggles to raise triplets, steels herself to keep her family going after the tragic death of husband Jack and settles in as the matriarch of a new generation of Pearsons -- is one of the most complete tributes to motherhood we've ever seen on TV.


Linda Belcher (John Roberts) - Bob's Burgers

One of the most supportive moms on TV, animated or otherwise, Linda keeps her family grounded while also doing her best to support the dreams and sometimes-fantastical adventures of her husband Bob and their three kids, Tina, Gene and Louise.



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