Ranking all of the iconic TV moms we know and love

Because moms are just the best, right?

Carol Brady, one of the most iconic TV moms ever. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

No one is better than your own mom, but there are some moms on TV that come in at a close second.

There have been so many memorable TV moms over the years, from the hip moms of the ‘60s and ‘70s, to cartoon moms who never fail to make us laugh.

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To be clear, every TV mom on this list is beloved and cherished, but some are just better than others, and that’s OK!

Let me know if you agree with my rankings in the comments, and tell me any TV moms that I may have missed. There really are so many out there!

20. Daenerys Targaryen from “Game of Thrones”

OK, so she may not be an actual mother, but she is still the mother of dragons! Daenerys may not have been a good ruler or queen (if you watched all of “Game of Thrones” you know what I’m talking about), but there’s not doubt she didn’t love her dragon children.

19. Betty Draper from ‘Mad Men’

Betty Draper may not have been the most affectionate mother, but considering her husband was constantly cheating and gas lighting her, could you really blame her? Betty would never win “mother of the year,” but she made up for a lot of the damage she caused during the last season of the forever iconic “Mad Men.” Betty was probably the most realistic depiction of a ‘60s housewife, so there’s that too. They all can’t be Carol Brady, right?

18. Skyler White from ‘Breaking Bad’

Honestly, Skyler would be higher up on this list if it weren’t for, you know, scheming with her husband’s meth business. Fans gave Skyler so much crap while “Breaking Bad” was airing, but what was she supposed to do? Walt was way too deep into cooking meth by the time she found out about it. Justice for Skyler!

17. Aunt Viv from ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’

She may not be the mother of the main character, but there is no doubt that Aunt Viv was the mother figure on “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Aunt Viv is basically a saint, and so, so funny on “Fresh Prince.” The show wouldn’t have been the same without her, even if two different actresses played her.

16. Carmela Soprano from ‘The Sopranos’

Let’s get one thing straight, Carmela Soprano is an icon. It’s not easy being married to the boss of a mob family, and Carmela does it with equal parts grit and class. Not only does she have to raise her two children, but she’s got to be one step ahead of her criminal husband.

15. Lorelai Gilmore from ‘Gilmore Girls’

The one thing that Lorelai Gilmore has going for her is that she is funny. She’s witty, and cares a whole lot about her daughter. On the other hand, she’s pretty rude to her parents, especially her mother Emily. Besides that, she is without a doubt one of the funniest TV moms out there.

14. Midge Maisel from ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’

Considering the same woman created “Gilmore Girls” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” it’s not surprising just how similar Midge is to Lorelai Gilmore. The real different is that Midge was able to take her natural wit and humor and make a career out of it. Midge may not be the best mother out there, but she sure is memorable.

13. Roseanne Conner from ‘Roseanne’

This is another classic TV mom who was absolutely hysterical. Besides what the actual Roseanne is like now, Roseanne back in the day was one of the most relatable TV moms that was ever on the small screen. She (and her family) was never perfect, but they all loved each other, and that was the important part.

12. Rebecca Pearson from ‘This Is Us’

First of all, shout out to Mandy Moore for playing a young and old version of Rebecca Pearson. Secondly, this character may not be the most memorable, but she sure is one that made you cry. A lot.

11. Claire Dunphy from ‘Modern Family’

If there is a mom on this list who is trying to have her life all together, yet hilariously fails at it, it’s Claire Dunphy from “Modern Family.” Julie Bowen is so great at playing this character, and everyone in the cast is so funny.

10. Edith Bunker from ‘All in the Family’

We made it to the top 10! At this point in the list, we are splitting hairs basically. All of these TV moms are iconic. That being said, let’s give it up for Edith Bunker. Not only is she adorable and hilarious, but she also had to deal with being married to Archie Bunker, and that alone deserves a spot in the top 10.

9. Dr. Rainbow Johnson from ‘Black-ish’

Oh how I miss “Black-ish!” Rainbow Johnson showed us that you can have it all, and then some! Not only is she a doctor, but she ran the house, was a fantastic mother, had a loving husband and a hilarious mother-in-law. Plus, Tracee Ellis Ross is just an icon and deserved more awards for playing her.

8. Linda Belcher from ‘Bob’s Burgers’

Our first cartoon mom! Out of all the cartoon moms out there on TV, I love Linda Belcher the most. She loves her husband, her kids and of course a giant glass of wine. She is always cracking jokes, singing songs and just being silly. If you’ve never watched “Bob’s Burgers” before, please do! It’s truly one of the best cartoon shows ever made.

7. Lucille Bluth from ‘Arrested Development’

There is no one on this list who is like Lucille Bluth. She really isn’t that great of a mother, but she is one of the funniest. She’s brutally honest, loves a stiff drink and will read you for filth. Every single thing that comes out of her mouth is truly gold, and I regularly quote things she said on the show in my everyday life all the time. There will never be a TV like Lucille Bluth ever again. Good for her!

6. Marge Simpson from ‘The Simpsons’

Marge Simpson has to be one of the most recognizable TV moms there is, and that’s because she’s been on TV for decades. Plus, you know, the giant blue hair is pretty iconic, too. Marge is the epitome of an iconic TV mom, and is by far the most famous cartoon TV mom. She has to deal with Homer, Bart and the crazy people of Springfield, so she absolutely deserves to be in the top 10 of our list.

5. Kitty Forman from ‘That ‘70s Show’

All hail Kitty Forman There are so many things to be said about Kitty, but one of the reasons why is such an iconic TV mom is that she’s a mom to everyone. She’s obviously an incredible mother to be actual children, but she treated all the kids on “That ‘70s Show” like they were her own.

4. Moira Rose from ‘Schitt’s Creek’

When you look up the definition of iconic in the dictionary, a photo of Moira Rose shows up. I know I talked a lot about funny moms on this list, but no one can compare to Moira Rose (except for maybe my third pick spot). Moira went from a self absorbed mother to one who cares, yet still being her fabulous and iconic self the entire time. Plus, the fact that Catherine O’Hara played her is just the cherry on top.

3. Sophia Petrillo from ‘The Golden Girls’

Technically, all the women on “The Golden Girls” were mothers, but none of them was a better mother than Sophia Petrillo, the wise cracking senior citizen who always had a trick up her sleeve. She was obviously the mother to Dorothy Zbornak, but she was a mother figure to Rose and Blanche, too. Sophia was hilarious and cunning, but she could also be incredibly sweet and generous. Plus, she offered the best advice. We will forever love you, Sophia!

2. Clair Huxtable from ‘The Cosby Show’

There wouldn’t be half of these TV moms if it wasn’t for Clair Huxtable. Period. She is beautiful, had a successful career, a husband who adored her and children who idolized and listened to her. She really was the blueprint for a modern woman who juggled it all. She show may be hard to watch now because of you-know-who, but regardless, Clair Huxtable will forever be an iconic TV mom.

1. Carol Brady from ‘The Brady Bunch’

Could there be anyone else on this list at first place? I don’t think so. When you think of a classic TV mom, Carol Brady immediately comes to mind. She was loving, hip and raised six children! Moms wanted to be Carol Brady, and kids wanted her as a mom. And don’t even get my started on that iconic hairstyle. Carol Brady will forever be the most iconic TV mom in history, and we love her for it!

About the Author

Jack is a Digital Content Editor with a degree in creative writing and French from Western Michigan University. He specializes in writing about movies, food and the latest TV shows.

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