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8 Epic Moms From Popular TV Shows Who Redefined Motherhood

By Trishi Dhingra

Updated - May 10, 2020 5 min read

Behind every successful man, there is a mother. Behind every successful woman, there is a mother. And behind every long-running successful TV show, there is also a mother who played her role so well that she literally redefined motherhood for all of us. Not that we don't love our off-screen moms but what Maya did for Sarabhai v/s Sarabhai and what Kitty Forman did for That 70s Show, is the reason we can't move on from these shows even today. While we underestimate the sacrifices she makes for us, these epic moms from popular TV shows, not only revealed the other side of the table but also taught us how despite her quirks and imperfections she puts on a happy face and never fails to be our best friend in need. 



I did not mean to get you all mushy on Mother's day but I hope what's coming next will make you smile, laugh and even relate if you are a fan of some of these coolest moms from the popular TV shows.



1. Maya Sarabhai From Sarabhai v/s Sarabhai

Maya Sarabhai played by Ratna Pathak Shah is a character us millennials loved while growing up. This popular Indian sitcom went on for years, all thanks to the creme de la creme characterization of an upper-class Gujarati lady living in South Bombay by Maya and her evergreen catchphrase to middle-classify everything her daughter-in-law Monisha said or did. She is funny, she is witty, she is suave, she is the lady of her house and a loving "momma" in her own distinct ways. 


Stream On Hotstar Disney+

Maya Sarabhai from Sarabhai v/s Sarabhai

Image Courtesy: India TV


2. Dr Jean F. Milburn From Sex Education

Being a son to a well-known sex therapist mom isn't easy but being a loving mother to a socially awkward teenager wasn't a picnic either.  While Jean Milburn, a single mother played by Gillian Anderson struggles to keep up her mother-son relationship in place, there is a lot more happening in her own life than her son, Otis played by Asa Butterfield can understand. So wrapped around her own problems this mother manages to not only get through her son but also the fans who now love her for the twisted motherhood skills she brought to the show. 


Stream On Netflix

Jean Milburn from Sex Education

Image Courtesy: New Indian Express


3. Monica Geller From F.R.I.E.N.D.S

Monica Geller played by Courtney Cox is a lot of things; a crazy wife, a possessed clean-freak, a caring daughter, a successful chef but she is also a providing mother to one and all since episode one. From treating Rachel as a baby to cooking all the holiday meals for everyone to hosting every single birthday party and more, she has been the best mother her friends could ever have. 


Stream On Netflix

Monica Geller Friends

Image Courtesy: Bustle


4. Sushma "Nani" Mehra From Shararat

I have no complaints about my childhood but a heart that innocent did wish for a Naani with supernatural powers who could do my homework or better get me, sweets, whenever I wanted. This beloved TV show from the early 2000s was a stress-busting, light-hearted story of three generations of ladies blessed with magical powers. Farida Jalal not only breathed life in Sushma "Naani" Mehra's character with her amazing comic timing but also brought motherhood into a new light for all of us. 


Stream On Hotstar Disney+

Nani from Shararat

Image Courtesy: Hotstar


5. Anjana From Four More Shots Please!

Anjana Menon played by Kirti Kulhari is a millennial Mumbaikar making her way through gender stereotypes and discrimination at work and in life as a divorced mother and a serious professional with her three best gal-pals. She is imperfect but her courage to be a career mom and taking care of her daughter at the same time is what motherhood is all about. 


Stream on Amazon Prime

Anjana Menon from Four more shots please

Image Courtesy: Dailyhunt


6. Kitty Forman From That 70's Show

Kitty Forman is a cheerful, doting mother to Eric and Laurie Forman who single-handedly managed to keep the show together for 8 years and showered each character with love, food and comfort. Even today I can't reminisce the show without hearing the word "dumb-ass" and Kitty's peculiar laugh. A nurse by profession, she kept everyone alive and happy, even the people she hated like her mother-in-law. 


Stream On Netflix

Kitty Forman from That 70's Show

Image Courtesy: Pinterest


7. Nalini Vishwakumar From Never Have I Ever

A typical Indian mother trying to raise her 15-year-old Tamil Indian American daughter, Devi played by Maitreyi Ramakrishnan in Sherman Oaks, California is the next best thing to watch on Netflix. I recently finished the series and I love how the directors have worked hard to break Indian stereotypes in Hollywood by perfectly showcasing how Indian moms usually are. While the mother-daughter duo copes with the sudden departure of their husband-father, Nalini Vishwakumar played by Poorna Jagannathan beautifully portrays the struggles of a grieving widower in raising a teenage daughter with her own values and beliefs. Nalini is over-protective and controlling but she is also a mom who loves her child more than anything in the world. 


Stream On Netflix

Nalini from Never Have I Ever

Image Courtesy: Washington Post


8. Joyce Byers From Stranger Things

Joyce Byers played by Winona Ryder is a hero-mom who saves her younger son, Will Byers played by Noah Schnapp from an unknown creature with the help of a local cop, Will's friend and Eleven. The TV show might be the work of science fiction but the selfless act of a mother trying to save her child from any danger is as real as it can get. If you are a fan of fiction, drama, horror and also want to see how brave moms can be, start watching this series right now. 


Stream On Netflix

Joyce Byers from Stranger Things

Image Courtesy: House Beautiful



Let us know other cool mothers from popular TV shows that you love in the comments section below. And Happy Mother's Day!


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