From Mommie Dearest to Tami Taylor: The 20 Best & Worst Pop Culture Mothers

This Mother's Day, you'll probably be honoring the maternal figures in your life for all the very unique ways in which they've cared for you. And yet, motherhood is a job that everyone's always trying to endow with specific, uniform qualities and duties. From the Bible to advice columns, sitcoms to Oscar-winning dramas, our culture is flooded with depictions of "perfect" moms...and their opposites. 

On TV, we've seen the traditional housewives — your Carol Bradys and June Cleavers — make way for hardworking mamas who certainly don't succeed at having it all, like Tami Taylor (bow down to Connie Britton!) and Black-ish's Rainbow Johnson (Tracee Ellis Ross). But, the small screen is also the perfect place to see stage moms in action (hi, Kris!) and ambitious queens put their children in danger (oops, Cersei!). Movies love a good self-sacrificing martyr as much as a terrifying beast, regardless of era. Mommie Dearest can still make us cower. Sarah Connor fights on for the future of the human race.
 

We've ranked just a tiny sampling of all the mothers of pop culture, from the most feared to the most beloved. While you're reading, call your mom!