Moms on television have the uncanny ability to give the real moms of the world a major pick-me-up after a particularly rough day. When the little ones are finally in bed for the night, many mommas curl up on their couches with their favorite snacks, and find solace in the stories unfolding in front of them on the TV. Some boob tube moms are beloved for their hilarious wit, others for their relatability and still others are hot messes that help actual mommas feel a bit better about their many mistakes. Then, there are the moms on television that are simply bad b****es.
Wondering what, exactly, classifies a mom as a bad b****? Basically, a mom with this title is one who always makes sure play group is lit. She's got the ability to turn a regular school carnival into a party that is off the chizain. She isn't afraid of hot yoga or coupon clipping or even lice outbreaks. She's brave enough to kill spiders and patient enough to endure an entire toddler tantrum without breaking a sweat.
According to Elite Daily, "Bad b****es do not fear failure or rejection because they consistently seek out new opportunities. They can close deals and make the kids breakfast at the same damn time. The bad b**** is a rare breed of woman, yet she is the most respectable of all womankind.”
We'd like to argue that anyone who has ever brought new life into the world classifies as a bad b****. However, some of the moms that have appeared on television over the years have given actual moms a run for their freaking money. We can learn a lot from these bold, brazen beauties. The following 15 television moms are the baddest b****es to ever grace the small screen.
15 Cora Crawley
Cora Crawley, played by Elizabeth McGovern on the hit PBS show, Downton Abbey, is the epitome of class and style. The Countess of Grantham demonstrates a quiet strength throughout the many hardships and scandals her family endures. She's loyal to her husband, even when he's not the best at managing her large fortune, or being faithful, and forgives her daughters even when they make what some may deem are unforgivable mistakes.
Cora is a peacemaker in the often tumultuous and dramatic world she lives in. Her mother-in-law can be a more than a bit prickly towards her, but she rarely allows her mom-by-marriage's biting comments to get her down, and, most of the time, treats her hubby's mom with the ultimate respect. Cora is soft-spoken, but she's always heard when she speaks. She handles painful loss and betrayal with grace. Plus, she's always dressed impeccably for dinner.
"No one ever warns you about bringing up daughters. You think it’s going to be like Little Women. Instead they’re at each other’s throats from dawn till dusk." -Cora Crawley
14 Kristina Braverman
Kristina Braverman, played by Monica Potter on the heartwarming drama, Parenthood, is a go-getter with a heart of gold. She's fierce when it comes to defending her family, and she's hell-bent on making the world a better place. Her strength during adversity, her altruistic ideals and her zest for life are just three of the reasons Kristina is a bad b****.
Her long list of accomplishments include: surviving cancer, running for mayor, founding a charter school for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and raising three children, one of whom has been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. Additionally, her bold and sarcastic sense of humor puts people in their place when they deserve it.
"You think you can get along with your Justin Bieber hairdo and your Invisalign braces? Well guess what? Puberty is going to set in and it's going to set in ugly... Be a friend. Be a friend, not a bully. Have a good day!" -Kristina Braverman
13 Clair Huxtable
Clair Huxtable, played by Phylicia Rashad on the 80s and early 90s sitcom, The Cosby Show, is the mother we all wish we could be. She's oozes elegance, but also has a tough-as-nails side that she isn't afraid to unveil when her kids misbehave. Despite her intolerance for the often unwise decisions her children make, she's always sure to remind them that she loves them no matter what.
She's an intelligent lawyer who also knows a thing or two about the real world. Her book smarts and street smarts come together to make her a formidable foe. Her children always regret it when they choose to disobey her, but she also knows how to have a good time, and shares many heartfelt and hilarious moments with her kids.
"We never said become a doctor, become a lawyer, we say go to school, we say study, we say become something." -Clair Huxtable
12 Madeline Martha Mackenzie
Madeline Martha Mackenzie, played by A-list actress, Reese Witherspoon, on the steamy HBO series Big Little Lies, is a force to be reckoned with. In fact, messing with her or her children is probably not a good idea. Madeline is the definition of a girly girl, causing some to mistake her for a ditz, but she's wiser than she lets on. She's bubbly, friendly, upbeat and unafraid to welcome outsiders into her inner circle.
Madeline may be sarcastic and a bit sassy, but she has a kind heart, and will do anything for her daughters and her friends. She's also genuine. With Madeline, what you see is what you get. She possesses a boldness that gives her the courage to say what she really thinks, for better or for worse. She's the kind of friend, and mom, you want on your side.
"I love my grudges. I tend to them like little pets." -Madeline Martha Mackenzie
11 Becky Katsopolis
Becky Katsopolis, played by the gorgeous Lori Loughlin, is a beloved aunt, wife and mother on the 90s sitcom Full House. She becomes a surrogate mom to DJ, Stephanie and Michelle after she--spoiler alert--marries their Uncle Jesse, and the two lovebirds make their home in the Tanner family's attic. Before Aunt Becky came along, the sisters were being raised by their father, his best friend and their uncle due to the tragic passing of their mom. The boys were doing a perfectly fine job, but nothing really compares to a woman's touch.
Becky is an eternal optimist. Her smile is contagious, and her wit and charm are endearing. She gives great advice in a non-judgmental way, and is always effortlessly cool, even after she becomes the mother of two rambunctious twin boys. She's down-to-earth and chill, but doesn't put up with any funny business. Have mercy.
"My mom taught me that the secret to wearing makeup is to make it look like you're not wearing any." -Becky Katsopolis
10 Claire Dunphy
Claire Dunphy is portrayed by the hilarious Julie Bowen on the acclaimed and award-winning television show, Modern Family. Claire is a perfectionist who isn't perfect, but her relatability and passion for doing all she can to succeed at work and at home make her one of those moms we can't help but love. Sure, she can be bossy and controlling, but she goes about being uptight in such a likable way, somehow her need to be in charge only makes us love her more.
Claire puts up with a lot. Her family is all sorts of zany and overwhelming. Her husband is an ex-cheerleader with boundless energy who is always cooking up crazy schemes, and two of her three children are getting into mischief on a regular basis, but her love for them is unconditional. She's pretty patient when it comes to dealing with her brood. Plus, she's the hardest worker on the planet.
"If I say something that everybody else is thinking, does that make me a mean person?" -Claire Dunphy
9 Estelle Costanza
Estelle Costanza, played by Estelle Harris on the side-splitting 90s sitcom, Seinfeld, is the stereotypical meddlesome mother. She has a flair for the dramatic, and can make the most mundane of occurrences seem like the end of the world. Her son, George, rarely listens to her screechy well-meaning advice.
Wondering why she's still considered to be one of the baddest beyotches to ever appear on the boob tube? Well, despite what some may refer to as her "annoying qualities," her heart is in the right place. To put it simply, she loves her little Georgie more than life itself. She wants the very best for him. If this means she has to be a little overbearing every now and then, so be it. In fact, it seems as if she is very aware of how grating she can be, but she acts out for the good of her dearest child. Awe.
"George doesn't work. He's a bum. That's why he lives at home with us." -Estelle Costanza
8 Caroline Ingalls
Caroline Ingalls is portrayed by Karen Grassle on the television show Little House on the Prairie, a program which was based on the book series of the same name by Laura Ingalls Wilder. One of the most impressive things about Caroline is the fact that she's based on an actual woman. That's right. This incredible momma raised five children on the frontier without the luxuries of modern life like a toaster or disposable diapers. Impressive stuff.
Ma Ingalls is full of wise advice, tender embraces and great recipes that include lard. She also knows how to rock a bonnet. She's soft spoken yet strong, and she tirelessly works to give her family the best life possible. Her little house is full of love thanks to her efforts.
"We start learning the minute we're born, Laura. And, if we're wise, we don't stop until the good Lord calls us home." -Caroline Ingalls
7 Catelyn Stark
Catelyn Stark, played by Michelle Fairley, on the beloved HBO series Game of Thrones, is as formidable as a winter landscape. She loves her five trueborn children, Rob, Sansa, Arya, Bran and Rickon, as fiercely as a mother wolf, and will do anything to protect them. She struggles to love her bastard born boy, Jon Snow, the same way, and is ravaged by guilt because of it.
Game of Thrones fans can name about a thousand times Catelyn went to great measures to (attempt to) ensure the wellbeing of her babies. Unfortunately, most everything she does for her children is a major spoiler to the plot of the show, and we don't want to ruin it for anyone. Suffice it to say, Lady Stark is prepared to do whatever needs to be done to defend her family. Basically, she's one bad b**** who no one in the Seven Kingdoms should cross.
"Listen to yourselves. If you were sons of mine, I would knock your heads together and lock you in a bedchamber until you remembered that you were brothers." -Catelyn Stark
6 Lorelai Gilmore
Lorelai Gilmore is a free-spirited, fun mom who is more like her daughter, Rory's, BFF than her actual mother. Despite the lack of boundaries and the absence of stern lectures in Rory's upbringing, their relationship works somehow. Rory turns out to be a strong, well-adjusted, if coffee addicted, woman. So, quiet down haters, cause our girl Lorelai is doing something right.
The show Gilmore Girls is filled with late night chats, witty bantering sessions and heartfelt hugs between the sweet mother and daughter duo. The relationship the two share is largely thanks to the openness and honesty with which Lorelai approaches life. She's the mom everyone wants to hang with, but she also knows when to put her foot down.
"I managed to find Uno and Checkers, and Battleship and most of the pieces of Candyland. Which I figure, we can mix together to create a fabulous new game, Candyship Battleland. War never tasted so good!" -Lorelai Gilmore
5 Kris Jenner
Momager Kris Jenner shot to stardom after starring on the reality show, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, as the family's matriarch. Many credit the Kardashian clan's wild success since the show's premiere in 2007 to Kris's tireless efforts.
Kris is a controversial and polarizing woman. She's celebrated by many fans, and looked down upon by many others, but, however folks feel about her, one thing is clear: she loves her crazy family. One example? She's stood by her ex-husband, Caitlyn Jenner, as he's made the transition from a man to a woman. Plus, no one can deny she looks absolutely fabulous, seemingly aging in reverse. She's a mama mogul with a go-getter attitude that doesn't quit, and has the fame and fortune to show for it.
"I am living my dream because I get to work with my kids and watch them find their happiness. It's so rewarding - we brainstorm around a conference table and have a really great time doing it." -Kris Jenner
4 Tami Taylor
Tami Taylor, played by Connie Britton on the crowd-pleasing television series, Friday Night Lights, is passionate about raising her daughters right. She's also a surrogate mother to everyone on the high school football team her hubby coaches. She may seem to be in everyone else's business a bit too much, but, let us assure you, she meddles with the best of intentions. She's one of those moms who can't help but offer sage advice, even if it's unsolicited.
Tami's luscious strawberry locks and killer glare are two of the reasons she commands every room she walks into. Sure, her husband is a great mentor for his team, but his wife is a huge part of his success. She makes touchdown after touchdown in the parenting department, and in the game of life.
"Well, the big deal is that it's part of my job to make sure that you don't grow up stupid. It's bad for the world." -Tami Taylor
3 Cookie Lyon
Taraji P. Henson plays the always fab character, Cookie Lyon, on Fox's hit show, Empire. A Salon article describes her characters as "a young girl from the ‘hood who rocked that classic Salt-N-Pepa hairstyle, served time in prison and then comes out kicking ass, taking names and wearing a lot of leopard print and fur."
Cookie will do anything for her family, including letting them know when they aren't measuring up to her high expectations. She may not be formally educated, but she's one wise woman. No one's getting anything past Cookie. Is there a better quality for a mom to have? She's the type of mother who never goes to the grocery store without a full face and six inch heels. Any woman who isn't afraid to don sky-high designer footwear after giving birth is seriously one bad b****.
“Yeah, that’s my name. Take a bite.” -Cookie Lyon
2 Daenerys Targaryen
Daenerys Targaryen, played by the stunning Emilia Clarke on HBO's acclaimed drama Game of Thrones, is a mother to many, and she is extremely serious about doing all she can to be the best maternal figure who's ever lived. The title that precedes her is a doozy: "Daenerys of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, The Unburnt, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Protector of the Realm, Lady Regnant of the Seven Kingdoms, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons."
Yep, you heard that last part right. Spoiler alert: Daenarys was cursed after her firstborn son didn't survive delivery, and will never bear biological children. However, the self-proclaimed Ruler of the Seven Kingdoms is the mother of three fire breathing dragons. How? Well, she took their eggs into a raging bonfire and emerged from the flames with the hatched dragon babies wrapped around her unburnt and now naked body. Did we mention she's also the adopted mother of the thousands of slaves she freed with her badassery? Yep. She's one bad b****.
"When my dragons are grown, we will take back what was stolen from me and destroy those who wronged me! We will lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground!" -Daenerys Targaryen
1 Meredith Grey
Meredith Grey, played by the stunning Ellen Pompeo on the extremely popular medical drama, Grey's Anatomy, is much more than just a bad b****. She's a courageous, hard working, brilliant and resilient woman. The qualities she embodies, and the life she lives, set an invaluable example for her three lucky children Zola, Derek and Ellis.
Meredith grew up sans a reliable mom who was there for her when she needed a shoulder to cry on. Despite her fears that she'll turn out exactly like her mother, Meredith is determined to be the mom she always wished she had, and she's doing a damn fine job so far. Without giving anything away, Mer has been through her share of sh**, but always comes out the other side of her hardships smiling her twinkly-eyed smile. We dare say she's the best fictional mother to ever exist.
"Life is not a spectator sport. Win, lose or draw, the game is in progress, whether we want it to be, or not. So, go ahead, argue with the refs, change the rules… cheat a little, take a break… and tend to your wounds. But play. Play. Play hard. Play fast. Play loose and free. Play as if there’s no tomorrow." -Meredith Grey