Over here at Gizmodo there is only one thing we love more than movies and TV shows, and that’s iconic on-screen mothers. There’s nothing better than watching these women protect their families and remind us of the strength of our own mums.
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, it only made sense to make this week’s Gizmodo Movie Night all about iconic on-screen mothers that we love.
Whether they are good mothers or not is not for us to judge because who is to say one mother is better than the other. They are all doing the best they can, right?
These on-screen mothers might be weird, wonderful and wacky but they are all mothers who just want what’s best for their kids (sometimes). So let’s dive right in.
Morticia Addams – Addams Family (1991)
Morticia Addams is probably one of the most recognisable on-screen mothers and for very good reason.
She is the goth queen of seduction and love who happens to be raising the most iconic family that everyone absolutely adores.
Honestly, I can only dream of having half the power and charisma that Morticia has. I also can only dream of having a love so intense and passionate as her and Gomez have.
Morticia is deeply protective of her family, especially her children, which makes her a great maternal figure and the true matriarch of the Addams clan.
The Addams Family and Addams Family Values are both currently streaming on Stan.
Linda Belcher – Bob’s Burgers (2011-)
To me, Linda Belcher is the most iconic on-screen mother in the entire cartoon universe. Not only is she part of one of my favourite shows Bob’s Burgers, to which she has some of the funniest one-liners, but she is also a realistic portrayal of a mum who just tries her best.
A mum who loves a little (a lot) wine and dine, theatre, festivities and her family, Linda Belcher is the mum everyone wants to have.
Despite almost nothing going right for the Belcher family, Linda keeps the happiness and joy within the family alive, even when she herself isn’t feeling that optimistic.
Watching Bob’s Burgers, you can tell how much the family love Linda and you too will adore Linda once you watch the show.
I honestly think I quote Linda far more than any person should.
“Keep your sphincter tight, Bobby!”
Bob’s Burgers is currently streaming on Disney+.
Elastigirl – The Incredibles (2004, 2018)
We really can’t talk about iconic on-screen mothers without including Elastigirl (Mrs Incredible) on the list.
A feminist icon, Elastigirl is probably one of the most notable superhero characters and the best mother in the Disney world.
Part of the reason for this is that she can and will beat up anyone who stands in her way or tries to attack her family.
I’m sure if you asked Elastigirl what the most important thing to her is, she would say her kids. Heck, she even turned herself into a parachute to save them from falling out of a plane.
Protective mother and superhero? What more could you want?
The Incredibles is currently streaming on Disney+.
Mrs Weasley – Harry Potter
Mrs Weasley is the mother of all on-screen mothers. She is a powerful witch and an all-around bad bitch.
I think Mrs Weasley embodies everything you would think a mother would. Overprotective, caring, sweet, funny, somewhat scary, fiercely loyal and above all else, empathetic.
Although she scares the living crap out of Ron, Mrs Weasley is an incredibly important character in Harry Potter because she is one of the only people who show Harry unconditional love and support.
She knows exactly what Harry needs and that’s a mother’s love and care. If you’ve watched the movies or read the books, you’d know that she gives Harry just that, in abundance.
Despite giving her kids a hard time for being late, driving flying cars or continually getting into trouble at school, Mrs Weasley will do anything for her family and her kids.
Also a special shoutout to Lily Potter, who quite literally sacrificed her own life so that her child could live. Queen shit, we love you Lily.
All Harry Potter movies are currently streaming on Binge.
Mother – Mother! (2017)
I mean it’s in the title of the movie, right? She’s a mother. That’s her life role and her dedication and she serves as the mother of the home, of nature.
Whilst this on-screen mother isn’t necessarily the most protective or the most iconic, she does have a deep love for her child and wanted nothing more than to have a happy and healthy family. That alone makes her worthy of being on this list.
I might be biased because I adore anything Jennifer Lawrence does (who just became a first-time mum herself!) but this movie is really spectacular.
Fair warning though, this movie is a bit fucked up. It’s a devastating and telling portrayal of humanity and men.
Mother! is currently streaming on Binge.
Annie Graham – Hereditary (2018)
Now come on, do you really think we wouldn’t put miss Annie Graham on this list? Her iconic “I am your mother” monologue alone is enough for her to be showcased.
Annie was a good on-screen mother and I will die on this hill. Sure, maybe she does some questionable things but she truly just wanted to make sure her family was safe.
To me, she embodies the everyday mum. She works from home so she can look after the house and family and the family kind-of treat her like she is an expendable part of the family who will do anything they ask.
Of course, she does it, but that doesn’t mean that she should be treated like that.
This essay about Annie being an important artistic mother is super interesting and I recommend you all have a read of it.
We also stan an Aussie actress being the lead of an incredible horror film.
Hereditary is currently streaming on Netflix.
Red/Adelaide Wilson – Us (2019)
You probably weren’t expecting this on-screen mother to show up here, but it’s my list and I can do what I want.
Anyway, if it wasn’t clear already, I feel very strongly about having Red/Adelaide on this list because she really is an iconic on-screen mum who really just tried to keep her family safe.
Whether we are watching Adelaide or her tethered counterpart, both characters’ main motivation was to make sure their families were protected.
It’s hard to talk about why Red/Adelaide is such an iconic mother without spoiling the movie, so watch it and you’ll agree with me.
Us is currently streaming on Prime Video.
Tess Coleman – Freaky Friday (2003)
Another on screen mother that we can’t forget is the Tess Coleman, played by the even more iconic Jamie Lee Curtis.
The mother-daughter switch is one that probably horrifies all daughters and mothers alike and things obviously start out pretty rough with the relationship between Tess and her daughter Anna.
It’s a pretty common movie trope for the parent to not understand their child but Tess really doesn’t understand anything about Anna and vice versa.
But then there is a shift when Tess lives more of Anna’s life. There’s something so endearing about watching Tess realise that her daughter is a good person and gain respect for her as she tries to navigate her teen years.
Freaky Friday is currently streaming on Disney+.
Other Mother – Coraline (2009)
I know, I know, Other Mother from Coraline is known to be probably one of the worst on-screen mothers who wants to trap Coraline and sew buttons into her eyes but hear me out. She’s still an icon.
The fear of Other Mother is a pretty important lesson for people to learn, and that’s one that you shouldn’t wish you had different parents just because you are mad at them.
I don’t know if it’s the fashion, the voice and the iconic movement of Other Mother that makes me love her but I just do. And I’m just gonna say it, Other Mother tried damn hard to make Coraline love her so I guess she is a good mother?
Yes, she is an evil monster but there’s something so charismatically horrifying about her. I guess that’s the point, right?
Coraline is currently streaming on Apple TV.
Gizmodo Movie Night is our fortnightly roundup of movie and TV recommendations for the weekend. If you’re ever stuck and looking for inspiration, check out our list and see what’s in store.
Stay tuned for the next edition of the column and check out our last one which was dedicated to shows you can binge-watch from episode one to finale in one weekend.