SURVEY SAYS: Who's Your Favorite Fictional Mom?

May 5, 2010 ( - Sunday, of course, is Mother’s Day.

While no one can hold a candle to “Mom,” this week’s survey is a slightly modified version of one of our most popular surveys. 

This week, I asked readers to tell us who was their favorite fictional Mom.  The “winner” was clear – racking up twice as much support as any other choice – but the write-ins were absolutely….priceless.

The winner – and, as I said, it wasn’t even close – was the Cosby Show’s Claire Huxtable, who also topped the list last year (see SURVEY SAYS: Who’s Your Favorite (TV) Mom?).  She drew just over one-in-five (21.5%), roughly what she did in last year’s survey – and by a comparable margin!  As for why, “Though we never saw the little elves that did Huxtable laudry and housecleaning….Claire / the character showed a working woman could have a good marriage, occasionally perfect children with whom she had good relationships….and still keep her brain,” noted a reader.

Runners Up

A distant second was Lorelai Gilmore (the Gilmore Girls), with 10.7%, who tied with Marion Cunningham (Happy Days – “When the defiant biker is in love with the clean cut, neat kid’s mom, now that’s a ‘cougar’!,” observed one.  Another echoed those sentiments, noting “Marion knew more about what was going on than she showed.  Plus, she managed Howard very well.  And I am sure she had something going on with Fonzie – the real reason he was so upbeat around “Mrs. C.”.), and just ahead of the 9.1% who opted for June Cleaver (of Leave it to Beaver – “She reminds me of my mother.  I have told people that I was fortunate (?) to grow up in a ‘Cleaver’ household – father working, mom staying at home, etc.  And oh yeah – I too have an older brother, making me ‘the Beaver’, although I hate to admit that part,” noted a reader  “How could you not love a mom who did all of her house work wearing pearls?”, noted another). 

Rounding out the top five were Carmello Soprano (the Sopranos – “Carmella is my favorite mom not because I think she is a mother to emulate, but because she's an interesting character - the juxtaposition of the life she made for herself and the life she wants for her kids (Meadow especially) presents a steady stream of contradictions that are sometimes sad and sometimes funny. That's why I pick Carm,” explained one reader.), Samantha Stevens (Bewitched – as one reader noted, Who wouldn't want a Mom that actually WAS a witch, instead of just being called one?), and Marie Barone (Everybody Knows Raymond), which each drew 6.6%. 

Other "top" ratings:

  • 5.0% - Elyse Keaton (Family Ties).  
  • 4.1% - Donna Reed (the Donna Reed Show)  
  • 4.1% - Marge Simpson (the Simpsons) “Because she's been making me laugh for 20 years,” noted one.
  • 3.3% - Laura Petrie (Dick van Dyke) – “It was the Capri pants,” noted a reader.   
  • 3.3% - Carol Brady (the Brady Bunch)  
  • 2.5% - Alison Dubois (Medium)  
  • 2.5% - Sarah Conner (the Sarah Conner Chronicles)  
  • 1.7% - Peggy Bundy (Married with Children)


As for the write-ins

  • Annie Camden
  • Auntie Mame
  • Beverly Crusher (Star Trek, The Next Generation) – “Because she let her child go into space with her - as a kid my dream was to explore space on a ship as cool as the Enterprise,” noted a reader.
  • Charlie & Alan's mom on 'Two and a Half Men'
  • Edith Bunker (All in the Family) – “Her subtle wisdom in the face of her blustering husband Archie and obstinate kid Gloria and son-in-law Mike made her both sympathetic and endearing”.
    Estelle Costanza (Seinfeld)
  • Fran Fine - the Nanny
  • Olivia Walton of "The Waltons."
  • Julia Child
  • Lady MacBeth “Because if she were alive today she'd be running Goldman Sachs,” noted one.
  • Lois (Family Guy)
  • Lucy Riccardo (Lucille Ball)
  • Ma Kettle
  • Madea
  • Mama on "I Remember Mama" played by Peggy Woods
  • Morticia Addams (the Addams family)
  • Mother Earth --- she always wins, doesn't have favorites and can certainly prove her point!
  • Mother foolin'
  • Mrs. Cartman (South Park)
  • Nurse Jackie or Dr. Quinn
  • Reba McIntyre  (The Reba Show)
  • Roseanne Barr
  • Sophia Petrillo of the Golden Girls
  • The mom on Malcolm in the Middle
  • Thelma Harper (Mama's Family)  


Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!