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May 11, 2008

Top 10 Best TV Moms

By Bobbi Hunter

There’s something about TV moms that give us a host of sensations from frustration and happiness to warmth and puzzlement. But if you are a mom, or plan on becoming one, perhaps these TV moms can help you decide what you do and what you don’t want to be like with your kids.

What makes these women the best TV moms is that they’re crafty with their child-rearing techniques, and can at least help us to realize that raising kids can have its lighter moments.

Best TV moms #10

Malcolm in the Middle (2000 – 2006)
Played by Jane Kaczmarek
The hard-nosed mother who runs the household, Lois has to contend with three sons and a husband who seems to be lost without hope. Of course, she’s slightly crazy, constantly imagining scenarios and figuring out how to outsmart her boys, but that doesn’t take away from her ability to keep it together throughout it all… at least, most of the time.

Memorable quote: (talking to her son) Look, Reese. Some people are born book-smart. Others are born crafty and street-smart. You, I'm afraid, are neither.

Best TV moms #9
Marge Simpson
The Simpsons (1989 - present)
Voice of Julie Kavner

Although she might be quite passive about her fat husband’s antics, she loves her children fiercely and proves that even cartoons can feel pain when their children are unhappy. And Marge enjoys cooking and cleaning, and there’s something very admirable about any woman who takes pride in that.

Memorable quote: I have a responsibility to raise these children right and, unless you change, I'll have to tell them their father is... well, wicked.

Best TV moms #8
Maggie Seaver
Growing Pains (1985 – 1992)
Played by Joanna Kerns

Probably one of the sexiest moms of the ‘80s, Maggie juggled the children and her husband with a career in journalism. Of course, having to contend with a dare-devil eldest son, an awkward, nerdy daughter, a con-artist son, and a toddler girl, not to mention Luke Brower (played by then-16-year-old Leonardo DiCaprio) wasn’t easy by any means. But having a husband who worked from house helped significantly.

Memorable quote: (talking to her daughter) No explanations. You are not getting a nose job.

Best TV moms #7
Lynette Scavo
Desperate Housewives (2004 – present)
Played by Felicity Huffman

She started out as a career woman, but after her third son was born, Lynette opted to stay home and raise the children while her husband supported them both. Then, after she ruined her husband’s opportunity for growth, she became the breadwinner. But through it all, Lynette, with her crafty ideas for teaching people lessons, remains a fantastic mother and wife, although she may have momentary lapses in judgment every now and then (remember when she let the front desk clerk at her yoga class believe her son had cancer so that she can show up late?).

Memorable quote: (speaking to her children) I know someone, who knows someone, who knows an elf. And if any of you acts up, so help me I will call Santa and tell him you want socks for Christmas! All right, are you willing to risk that?

Best TV moms #6
Lorelai Gilmore
Gilmore Girls (2000 – 2007)
Played by Lauren Graham

A single mom in her 30s, raising her teenage daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel) in Connecticut, Lorelai seems to have it together and opts to raise her daughter by treating her like an adult most of the time. Although it’s sometimes difficult to separate being a friend from being a mother, Lorelai manages to do a fantastic job.

Memorable quote: (speaking about her daughter) I have to make her understand that I'm okay with the guy thing. 'Cause not talking about guys and our personal lives -- that's me and my mom. That is not me and Rory.

Best TV moms #5
Elyse Keaton
Family Ties (1982 – 1989)
Played by Meredith Baxter (Birney)

Raising Alex, Mallory and Jennifer, three kids who were incredibly different, was difficult enough in and of itself. But juggling that with a job at a top-tier architectural firm after not having worked for 12 years is quite a feat.

Memorable quote:
Steven Keaton: (her husband, played by Michael Gross, walks into the kitchen) What's this? Elyse Keaton: (referring to her youngest son, played by Brian Bonsall) Andrew drew it. It's a picture of a dog. I told him that he couldn't have a dog because Mallory is allergic to dogs.
Steven Keaton: What's this?
Elyse Keaton: It's a picture of Mallory moving away.

Best TV moms #4
Kitty Forman
That ‘70s Show (1998 – 2006)
Played by Debra Jo Rupp

With a hard-headed husband, a stoner son, and an incredibly promiscuous daughter, it’s a wonder that Kitty is even able to keep it together. A stay-at-home mom, Kitty has a soft spot and manages to convince her husband to let orphaned Steven Hyde (played by Danny Masterson) to live with them.

Memorable quote:
Kitty Forman: I really doubt that she's just abandoning Steven, I mean, she's his mother.
Eric: (her son, played by Topher Grace) Mom, her exact words were "I know I'm your mother, but I'm abandoning you."

Best TV moms #3
Debra Barone
Everybody Loves Raymond (1996 – 2005)
Played by Patricia Heaton

Living in Long Island, Debra raises twin boys Geoffrey and Michael (played by Sawyer & Sullivan Sweeten) and daughter Ally (played by Madylin Sweeten), and is constantly barraged by visits from her meddling in-laws. Her husband doesn’t always do the right thing and she constantly has a problem with the way things are at home, but despite all that, there’s a lot of love going around that home.

Memorable quote: (speaking to her sons’ teacher) You have no idea what I have to put up with. When I got married, I just didn't get a husband, I got a whole freak show that set up their tent right across the street!

Best TV moms #2
Roseanne Conner
Roseanne (1988 – 1997)
Played by Roseanne Barr

Roseanne was one of the coolest moms in history, and although the family did not come from a whole lot of money, Roseanne and Dan (played by John Goodman) managed to get the kids what they needed and cracked us up while they did it. Roseanne’s fantastic way of punishing her children and confronting them when things got tough made her the baddest mom this side of the new millennium.

Memorable quote: The only thing I've ever wanted for my kids is that they're happy... and that they're out of the house, and I tell you something, happy ain't that important.

Best TV moms #1
Clair Huxtable
The Cosby Show (1984 - 1992)
Played by Phylicia Rashad

As she practiced law, Clair raised her five children alongside her husband, and through the good, the bad and the ugly, Clair usually managed to keep her head above water and look at every problem from a logical perspective. And because she was a lawyer, she was always able to play Jedi mind tricks on her kids when she wanted to prove a point.

Memorable quote: You know, you're ready to jump in and buy this car, just like you were with the bracelet, the waterbed and the dead fish. And you know that at this point in your life, you can do pretty much what you want because in the back of your mind, you know we're always there to bail you out - we're your safety net. We're so good at it that half the time you don't even know we're doing it.

Best TV moms ever

Growing up watching television kept me from a lot of activities I should’ve been doing instead, but I did learn a few things from these moms. For instance, I finally realized that my mom is a human being with a past and feelings, and a need for attention.

So TV isn’t all bad, and I credit all the TV moms for that.

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