While the moms on this list may not possess the motherly warmth of Carol Brady or the wisdom of Clair Huxtable, their dysfunction makes them infinitely more interesting and closer to real life. Please note there are no moms from reality television because they are raising actual children with actual consequences and we find that way more frightening than funny. Here are our top ten favorite dysfunctional TV moms.
10. Gloria Delgado-Pritchett (played by Sofia Vergara
The Show: Modern Family
Even if your mom looks like Sofía Vergara, growing up an over-coddled mama’s boy has its negatives, like the thousands of dollars in therapy bills you will likely incur. Then again, the Pritchett’s are rich so Gloria can pay for Manny’s therapy bills while making sure he stays under her watchful eye. Does she have room for one more?
9. Estelle Costanza (played by Estelle Harris)
The Show: Seinfeld
She may have been shrill, meddling, and hyper-critical, but Mama Costanza loved her boy Georgey the best way she knew how. After she caught him “treating his body like it was an amusement park” she did what a lot of moms would have done - humiliated him even more.
8. Lois Griffin (voiced by Alex Borstein)
The Show: Family Guy
Lois is the classic enabler by continually putting up with her husband Peter’s never-ending shenanigans. But she definitely has her own demons, like the time she gambled away the family car or admitted to being in a porn to pay for a cocaine habit. Despite all this, Lois is still a way better mom than any of the "Real Housewives."
7. Carla Tortelli (played by Rhea Perlman)
The Show: Cheers
Having eight kids from four different men doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom, but it does indicate a lack of foresight or an understanding of how to correctly use birth control. There was little doubt that Carla’s kids grew up in a rough household when she interviewed a tutor for her son and the most important qualification was how hard the tutor could punch.
6. Carmela Soprano (played by Edie Falco)
The Show: The Sopranos
There's no doubt Carmela loved her kids, but maybe she loved them a little too much. When daughter Meadow proclaimed her desire to go to Berkeley Law instead of staying closer to home, mom threatens an unwilling acquaintance to write her a recommendation to Georgetown. Whatever it takes to keep your baby girl nearby.
5. Skyler White (played by Anna Gunn)
The Show: Breaking Bad
Skyler went from normal everyday suburban mom to a money laundering criminal who isn’t afraid to employ force if she feels threatened. Nevertheless, she hasn’t let her new career affect her strictness as a mother, like when she made son Walter return his new muscle car for something more safe and sensible. Mom may be involved with dad’s drug dealing business and a target of a Mexican drug cartel, but her son is not going to drive anything with more than a V4 engine.
4. Gemma Morrow (played by Katey Sagal)
The Show: Sons of Anarchy
It’s hard for a mom to make her boy's favorite chocolate chip cookies when she’s incarcerated or on the lam, but Gemma Morrow does her best. She’s betrayed, kidnapped, and murdered all in the name of protecting her son. Someday they will all look back on it fondly. “Mom, remember that time you put a gun to a baby’s head to help me get my baby back? I hope I’ll be able to do the same for my children one day.”
3. Betty Draper (played by January Jones)
The Show: Mad Men
Serial killers have warmer and more loving mothers than Betty Draper. When daughter Sally cut her own hair, she smacked her across the face and called her husband soft for defending his girl. Despite her coldness, Betty’s still a tragic figure that elicits the occasional moment of sympathy, especially now that she’s wearing a fat suit.
2. Cersei Lannister (played by Lena Headey)
The Show: Game of Thrones
In another universe, Cersei Lannister might have been your normal run-of-the-mill soccer mom. Instead, she’s an evil, power-hungry beeatch who lied to her son Joffrey about who his real father is. But, when a boy's dad and uncle are one in the same it could have an adverse effect on him. Probably best to deny that one. Then again, Joffrey is a psychopath anyway, so it really doesn't matter. What does matter is Cersei's unconditional motherly love.
Next: Worst Parents Ever
1. Lucille Bluth (played by Jessica Walter)
The Show: Arrested Development
Picking out a Mother’s Day card for mom isn’t easy when she’s a narcissistic, manipulating, alcoholic. Lucille Bluth was all of those things, but she did it with style and grace. While considering her family mostly a nuisance, she did show the rare desire to protect them (or suffocate them in son Buster's case), in her own misguided way. She also made a teacher disappear for suspending grandson Michael from school, making her our favorite dysfunctional grandma, as well.