Moms. Where would we be without them? Well, nowhere, really. Besides being life-providers and playing the role of room-upkeep wardens and homework assistants, they also tend to give us nigh-unlimited amounts of food, shelter, and emotional support, typically asking for nothing in return. In short: yeah, they’re pretty great.
Like in real life, the moms of Nerd-dom come in many different shapes and sizes. Unlike in real life, they sometimes house Kryptonians, and can occasionally work as shapeshifting mercenaries. Here are some of our favorite moms in the nerd universe, five each divided by their general ability to raise their kids right. When all is said and done, we love these ladies for the special people they are, even if fuzzy memories involving board game night aren’t necessarily part of the equation (disclaimer: the parenting methods described in the entries of this list are not necessarily condoned by the blog known as “Topless Robot,” its holding company, or affiliates).
5) Rebecca Cunningham, TaleSpin
A strong, single lady (and talking bear), Rebecca Cunningham runs her own biz while raising adorable cub Molly. She even extends her motherly ways to cloud-surfing orphan Kit, and manages to tolerate (and not fire) Baloo for his calamity. Then again, he’s a bear allowed to fly an airplane; we’re not sure what anyone could expect.
4) Sarah Conner, Terminator
Fierce lioness Sarah Conner knows what’s at stake; if her son John doesn’t get to try his hand at leading the human resistance, we’re all doomed. That’s why, in part, she’s willing to offer her shoulder up to Robert Patrick’s finger-blade in the second movie when he’s trying to dispatch of the kid. She cares. Hard. Go, Mom. Go.
3) Dr. Beverly Crusher, Star Trek: The Next Generation
Sure, Dr. Crusher is loving mother to her son, Wes, but as chief of the Enterprise’s medical team, she’s also basically one big mom for the entire staff of Jean-Luc’s faithful starship. She’s smart but caring, loyal, yet independent — a great match for a mom, and, some might venture, the good Captain himself.
2) Aunt May, Spider-Man
An icon for surrogate motherhood, Aunt May cares for Peter Parker as if he were her own son without blinking an eye, even after Uncle Ben gets taken down by an armed hood. She proves that great parents don’t always have to be biological (lookin’ at you, Alfred Pennyworth). Aunt May’s there when Pete needs her, and is willing to tolerate the ups and downs that go along with being a mother figure to a guy who sells pictures of himself dressed in red and blue tights for a living; a true test of love if we’ve ever seen one.
1) Marge Simpson, The Simpsons
No mom on this list has put up with more and survived than Marge Simpson. If it’s not Homer deliberately making himself even fatter, it’s Bart incurring the everlasting wrath of deadly sidekicks or Maggie gunning down Springfield’s ace energy mogul. She cooks, she cleans, she solves, she saves, and she does that “hrrrrrm” thing a lot. Marge is the blue-haired glue that bonds it all together, and keeps Moe pining, all while rarely changing out of her lime green tube dress and red flats.
5) Talia al Ghul, Batman
Talia’s all sorts of dangerous and unpredictable. Still, she’s pretty cool, and just when you start to like her, she goes and leaves her son, Damian, with the League of Assassins for daycare. Following his training by the murderous guild, the lad would become about as level-headed a youngster as you’d expect, unnecessarily beheading wannabe masterminds and challenging Tim Drake for the right to play Robin. Of course, with parents like Talia and ol’ cowl head, some crazy is a forgone conclusion.
4) Mom, Futurama
It takes a tough, horrible woman to own and operate MomCorp, and Mom, (a.k.a Carol), is just the tough, horrible woman for the job. The former fling of Professor Farnsworth has a trio of sons she consistently mistreats while running her empire, which mostly hinges on manufacturing robots through “Mom’s Friendly Robot Company.” In short, Mom will gladly contribute to the world’s misery if it means boosting her own coffers, and her sons are no exception to that rule.
3) Cersei, Game of Thrones
It’s power this lady craves, along with the, er…”attentions” of her twin brother, Jaime, even though she’s married to King Robert Baratheon. Not being much for the traditional monogamous relationship (or, some might argue, sound decision-making) Queen Cersei will also fit in other dudes on occasion. She sure loves her kids, incestuous in origin as they may be, but chooses not to engage in one of the hardest parts of being a mom: discipline. While Queen Cersei bags another man or makes a power play, Joffrey is busy having naked hookers beat each other to a pulp in his bedchamber. We realize that trying to draw a moral divide in the world of George R.R. Martin is just about futile, but we think she could stand to do a better job at not raising her kids to be evil psychopaths.
2) Mystique, X-Men
Since we tend to learn of Mystique’s offspring in passing after they’ve either been abandoned or felt the need to escape, we’re going to go ahead and say that her approach to being a mom has never included PB&J sandwiches. She’s got a keener interest in white thigh-high boots than crayon sets, but Mystique’s still an important mom in the Marvel universe; she’s the biological parent of superdick Greydon Creed and popular teleportation artist Nightcrawler. An eager overachiever, she also adopted Rogue in her impressionable prime. Unfortunately, she tends to drop or steamroll her kids if they don’t fit into the latest slot of her radical agenda, blood be darned. Such is the risk of having a fashion-forward mutant terrorist for a mom.
1) The Queen, Snow White
Giving stepmothers a bad wrap for the rest of eternity is The Queen’s claim to fame. After all, it’s hard to top the act of trying to have your stepdaughter killed (and requesting her heart in a box as proof) because a talking mirror tells you she’s better looking than you. Ah, no, wait. There’s trying to do it yourself with a poisoned apple when even your hired gun bows out on the count of the deed’s evilness. Snow White may end up being buried alive as result of the apple’s consumption, and The Queen is totally cool with it. No wonder the birds attacked her.