The Most Cringe-Worthy Mother-Daughter Duos

Photos: Courtesy of ABC.
We all know the relationship between mother and daughter isn't always filled with tender moments, heartfelt chats, and early-morning diner stops. (Sorry, Gilmore Girls.) But, sometimes, this bond can be downright messy. So, in honor of Mother's Day, we're doing something a little different, casting the spotlight upon the eight most dysfunctional, strained, wacky mother-daughter relationships to ever grace TV and film.
Call them what you will, but one thing's certain: The duos ahead are never boring. From Mama Pope to Lucille Bluth, these leading ladies will make your mom seem even more awesome.
Advertisement
1 of 8
Photo: Courtesy of TriStar Pictures.
Mrs. Wormwood and Matilda, Matilda

Whether she was calling Matilda a "snotty, disobedient kid" or forgetting her in the car after she was born, Mrs. Wormwood was a terrible, neglectful mom, to say the least. If not for her intelligence and sneaky sense of humor — and a little help from Ms. Honey — Matilda could have led a life that was utterly depressing because of her despicable family.
2 of 8
Photo: Moviestore Collection/REX USA.
Margaret and Carrie White, Carrie

Thanks to her erratic, abusive, fanatically religious mother, Carrie is a naïve and traumatized 17-year-old in this classic 1976 horror flick. If you've never seen this movie before, prepare for some truly jaw-dropping twists in their crazy relationship.
3 of 8
Photo: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
Lucille Bluth and Lindsay Bluth Fünke, Arrested Development

Lucille Bluth may not be winning any Mother of the Year award, but her parenting pearls of wisdom were always priceless. She led Lindsay to believe that vodka goes bad once it's opened, to which Michael responded, "I think that's another of mom's fibs, like 'I'll sacrifice anything for my children.'" But, the apple seemingly doesn't fall far from the tree: Lindsay often forgets her own daughter even exists. Hey, it happens?
4 of 8
Photo: REX USA.
Mrs. George and Regina, Mean Girls

You know the line: "I'm not like a regular mom. I'm a cool mom." Mrs. George's hilariously desperate desire to fit in with the girls makes us cringe every time. Amy Poehler's on-screen appearances may have been brief, but she still managed to create some of the now-classic film's most memorable scenes.
5 of 8
Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Mama Pope and Olivia Pope; Scandal

[Potential spoilers ahead...] Just look at that glare. This duo might take the cake for TV's most twisted mother-daughter relationship ever. When it comes to her mom, Olivia's been on a roller coaster of is-she-or-isn't-she-the-bad-guy uncertainty. However crazy Mama Pope is, though, her character proves to be a fantastic foil to Olivia's do-gooder, "walking into the light" persona. Notice how Olivia is wearing white and bathed in light while her mother dons black in this scene? Yep, no coincidence there.
Advertisement
6 of 8
Photo: Courtesy of The Weinstein Company.
Violet and Barbara Weston; August: Osage County

From angry confrontations to Barbara pouncing on her mom, the interactions between this mother-daughter pair define dysfunction. But, luckily for the audience, it's their strained relationship that sets the stage for terrific performances from both Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts.
7 of 8
Photo: Courtesy of The CW.
Lily and Serena van der Woodsen; Gossip Girl

Whether dealing with Lily's numerous husbands — one of them "dying" and coming back to life — or plenty of boy and friend drama, these two went through a lot. But, no matter how self-absorbed and shallow Lily seemed, she does get points for always trying to protect her daughter. Oh, and bonus for being one of the best dressed pairs on TV.
8 of 8
Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
Joan and Christina Crawford; Mommie Dearest

If only those cute outfits and smiles were as innocent as they seemed. Faye Dunaway's over-the-top performance as the loony, abusive Joan Crawford gave this 1981 flick a place in Hollywood history.
Advertisement