STUDY: A Highly Scientific Analysis of the Best (and Worst) TV Moms

Cue laugh track now.

Despite what your real mom might have told you, television really does have a lot to offer, particularly if you’re simply in need of a good ol’ fashioned virtual hug from a made-up family. In fact, that might be why moms are constantly battling to keep their kids away from the TV set—they feel threatened by all the impeccable moral compasses and perfectly sculpted hairdos that never seem to waver in their fictional counterparts.

Just kidding, it’s ’cause TV rots your brain. But still, rotting your brain with surrogate sitcom families has been an American tradition for the better part of a century now, and we’ll be damned if we don’t give credit where credit is due.

As the central nucleus of TV families, the moms are quite often the glue (or glue-sniffers) holding the story together, and have been undoubtedly responsible for some of the most moving moments of compassion and terrifying scenes of fiery vitriol in television history (not to mention being capable of entertaining your actual mom to a point of concern). As they are usually much more complicated characters than they initially seem, it’s only fitting for us to break down the intricacies of some of our favorite matriarchs within four 100% methodical, precise TV-mom-essential categories (Loveability, Smotherability, Wisdomability, and Fan Favoriteability) in order to determine their Overall Mom Score, or OMS.

See, mom? Told you my brain wasn’t rot.

Lucy Ricardo – I Love Lucy

Loveability: 7/10
Smotherability: 3/10
Wisdomability: 7/10
Fan Favoriteability: 10/10

Overall Mom Score: 8/10 – Bonus points for going method and finding a way to write a real-life pregnancy with her real-life husband into the second season.

June Cleaver – Leave It to Beaver

Loveability: 6/10
Smotherability: 8/10
Wisdomability: 6/10
Fan Favoriteability: 2/10

Overall Mom Score: 5/10 – Jury’s still out as to whether it’s creepy or endearing how she dressed like a party hostess 24/7.

Carol Brady – The Brady Bunch

Loveability: 9/10
Smotherability: 10/10
Wisdomability: 8/10
Fan Favoriteability: 6/10

Overall Mom Score: 8/10 – Pretty sweet mullet, too.

Sophia Petrillo – The Golden Girls

Loveability: 5/10
Smotherability: 6/10
Wisdomability: 9/10
Fan Favoriteability: 10/10

Overall Mom Score: 7/10 – Anyone who mothered someone as cool as Bea Arthur is alright by us.

Peggy Bundy – Married with Children

Loveability: 6/10
Smotherability: 6/10
Wisdomability: 6/10
Fan Favoriteability: 7/10

Overall Mom Score: 7/10 – Big hair points round OMS scores up, FYI.

Vivian Banks – The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Loveability: 5/10
Smotherability: 0/10
Wisdomability: 4/10
Fan Favoriteability: 1/10

Overall Mom Score: 2/10 – Points detracted for continuitability.

Marge Simpson – The Simpsons

Loveability: 8/10
Smotherability: 8/10
Wisdomability: 7/10
Fan Favoriteability: 7/10

Overall Mom Score: 8/10 –  There was that one time when she got clutched by the neon claws of Gamblor, the gambling monster, but otherwise…pretty solid.

Estelle Costanza – Seinfeld

Loveability: 6/10
Smotherability: 8/10
Wisdomability: 4/10
Fan Favoriteability: 5/10

Overall Mom Score: 6/10 – One mahjong game over the line, perhaps, but clearly responsible for George’s neuroticisms, and for that, we are forever grateful.

Kitty Forman – That ‘70s Show

Loveability: 9/10
Smotherability: 7/10
Wisdomability: 5/10
Fan Favoriteability: 8/10

Overall Mom Score: 7/10 – Completely unfazed by an AARP-eligible Tommy Chong hanging out in her basement.

Lois – Malcolm in the Middle

Loveability: 5/10
Smotherability: 5/10
Wisdomability: 7/10
Fan Favoriteability: 7/10

Overall Mom Score: 6/10 – Successfully kept Bryan Cranston from going full-Heisenberg over the course of seven seasons.

Susie Greene – Curb Your Enthusiasm

Loveability: 0/10
Smotherability: 10/10
Wisdomability: 2/10
Fan Favoriteability: 7/10

Overall Mom Score: 4/10 – Larry deserved it.

Malory Archer – Archer

Loveability: 2/10
Smotherability: 0/10
Wisdomability: 6/10
Fan Favoriteability: 7/10

Overall Mom Score: 5/10 – No small feat for a single mother to work her way up to Chief Executive Officer all while raising her son to be a spy/literary genius.

Betty Francis (née Draper) – Mad Men

Loveability: 2/10
Smotherability: 2/10
Wisdomability: 2/10
Fan Favoriteability: 2/10

Overall Mom Score: 2/10 – If only we were counting style points.

Lucille Bluth – Arrested Development

Loveability: 4/10
Smotherability: 10/10
Wisdomability: 4/10
Fan Favoriteability: 8/10

Overall Mom Score: 5/10 – No doubt a 10/10 in Buster’s book, and that’s all that matters. Sorta.

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