Growing up on TV: A Tribute to TV Moms

Being a mom is no easy task, not even on television.

Trying to be a patient and caring parent— one who instills virtue, morality and wisdom— all while being entertaining enough to keep a series from cancellation, now that takes true skill.

Over time, the role of the TV mom has, for the most part, changed along with the social climate, moving from the traditional housewife to dynamic lead roles fueled by zany personalities and intriguing eccentricities. Yeah, we know, it’s just television, but quite often we see a lot of our own moms in the more famous versions portrayed on television, and that can be quite comforting. Plus, we wouldn’t be surprised if our moms, who often watched along with us, may have even picked up a few parenting tips from the stars along the way. The following is the list of our four favorite TV moms. Some “real,” some animated, each one was chosen for their distinctly different way of parenting and the memorable quirks that kept us laughing through the tough times. Here’s to you TV moms. It’s Mother’s Day for you too!

Kitty Forman
That ‘70s Show


Hiding her uneasiness behind that slightly uncomfortable, exaggerated, signature laugh, Kitty Forman’s cheerful demeanor provides enough pause and comic relief to cut through the tension of any situation. And, after throwing back a few cocktails, that exasperated cackle often comes with some less censored honesty. She’s firm on her boy, given up on her needy daughter, can go toe-to-toe with her husband in an argument, and provides the soft, easy, understanding foil to Red’s “tough love” style of parenting. She’s allowed their basement to be a hangout for friends and a place of refuge for Eric’s friend “Hyde,” to whom she acts as a surrogate mother, rescuing him from an otherwise abusive homelife. She’s even been known to sit in on a smoke session or two. Here’s to you Kitty Forman.

Marge Simpson
The Simpsons


Raising three kids can be tough, especially when they never seem to age, the youngest hasn’t learned to speak, and your husband may just be most immature of all of them. Yes, Marge Simpson plays the “homemaker,” but seeing how Homer handles his job, it’s obvious she’s the real worker in the house. The voice of reason, which isn’t hard given who she’s up against, Marge is a loving wife and mother, burying any regret with comic relief and some happy memories of the past. She seems to do it all, and without misplacing a single hair on that iconic, blue beehive.

Clair Huxtable
The Cosby Show


Clair Huxtable is an absolute powerhouse. The airwaves had surely never seen anyone remotely like her before. Breaking just about every gender, race and class stereotype of the modern home (not to mention the even more conservative TV home), Clair is a strong African American attorney, somehow with enough time to be a mother to five. Though upper-class, she instilled virtues that were worldly, humanistic and worthy of any social strata. Firm and fair, Clair was an early TV feminist and equipped with a dry wit and sinister smile that could immediately disarm her husband.

Lois Griffin
Family Guy


Lois says she never wanted to be a mom. And even though her youngest, Stewie, is set on killing her, Lois does the mom thing quite well… at least on the surface. Anything but bland, Lois is a recovering methamphetamine addict and kleptomaniac with sadomasochistic tendencies and her fair share of affairs. She’s stolen her daughter’s boyfriend, slept with Bill Clinton, attempted to seduce a barely-legal Justin Bieber, but all the while she is the glue that keeps the family together. Here’s to proving you don’t have to be perfect to be a good mom.