Related Videos

Top 10 Best Mother/Daughter Relationships on TV

VO: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
Like mother, like daughter! For this list, we’re looking at the most memorable mother/daughter relationships on television. These relationships don’t necessarily need to be the best or most loving; they just need to be relatable and realistic. We won’t be including any animated shows, so unfortunately Marge and Lisa are out. Note: as major plot points are fundamental to a number of these relationships, there will be spoilers, including character deaths. Our list includes “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Pretty Little Liars,” “This Is Us,” “Jane the Virgin,” “Once Upon a Time,” and more! Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Best Mother/Daughter Relationships on TV.
Share
WatchMojo

You must register to a corporate account to download this video. Please login

Transcript

Top 10 Riverdale Bloopers


Like mother, like daughter! Welcome to MsMojo and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best Mother/Daughter Relationships on TV.

For this list, we’re looking at the most memorable mother/daughter relationships on television. These relationships don’t necessarily need to be the best or most loving; they just need to be relatable and realistic. We won’t be including any animated shows, so unfortunately Marge and Lisa are out. Note: as major plot points are fundamental to a number of these relationships, there will be spoilers, including character deaths.

#10: Joyce & Buffy Summers
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1996-2003)


Joyce Summers is raising Buffy as a single parent, and being the mom to a vampire slayer is no easy task. At first, Buffy hides her secret identity from her mom, but as time goes on, it becomes impossible for Buffy to maintain a divide between these two worlds. Joyce is always supportive (if sometimes a little annoying), and ultimately we know she just wants Buffy to be safe and happy. Though viewers were always worried about something happening to Joyce because she was just a mere mortal, in the end her death was more shocking than we ever could have imagined, namely because there was nothing supernatural involved at all.

#9: Claire, Haley & Alex Dunphy
“Modern Family” (2009-)


Claire Dunphy’s two daughters are about as different as can be, so mothering both of them is understandably full of challenges. All the familial relationships on “Modern Family” are well-crafted, but we particularly love watching the battle of wills between these three strong willed ladies play out. Claire has to contend with Haley’s devil may care attitude, while simultaneously contending with the fact that she can barely relate to Alex at all considering how different they are. As always on this show though, at the heart of all this lighthearted dysfunction is a deep sense of caring and unconditional love.

#8: Raven & Tanya Baxter
“That's So Raven” (2003-07)


Momma like! Psychic abilities run in the family, but they seem to have skipped a generation because Raven’s mom Tanya doesn’t share her daughter’s ability to see into the future. She’s still a great mom though, who put her personal ambitions aside when she stopped her studies in order to have a family. Tanya won’t let her daughter get away with anything, but is always fair, and is usually up for some lighthearted fun. Sadly, actress T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh left the show after season three for personal reasons but her character allegedly left the family to go back to school. You go, Tanya! When Raven has her own daughter in “Raven’s Home”, their relationship is similarly nuanced and enviable.

#7: Ashley & Hanna Marin
“Pretty Little Liars” (2010-17)


The parents of the “Pretty Little Liars” aren’t always stellar at their jobs, but if we could pick one to be a member of our family it would definitely be Ashley Marin. Hanna’s mom is a single parent, her husband having left her for someone else, and she and her daughter share a strong bond since it’s just the two of them. She’ll do pretty much anything for Hanna, including sleeping with a detective so that her daughter’s record can be cleared. When Ashley becomes a suspect in a murder investigation (for the death of the very same detective that she slept with earlier in the series), Hanna steps up and offers to confess to the crime so that her mother can be let go.

#6: Sarah Braverman & Amber Holt
“Parenthood” (2010-15)


Nobody’s perfect, and the understanding of that concept is what defines the relationship between these two characters. “Parenthood” is an emotional show all around, but some of the most touching moments in the series take place between Sarah and her daughter Amber. In season one, when Amber makes a huge mistake, Sarah is there to support her. And even when Sarah makes missteps of her own, she’s always ready to apologize. Of course, when Amber is about to become a parent herself, Sarah is there for her. And don’t worry, this isn’t the last time you’ll see Lauren Graham on this list.

#5: Emma Swan & Mary Margaret Blanchard [aka Snow White]
“Once Upon a Time” (2011-18)


When you see these two side by side, it’s pretty hard to believe that they’re mother and daughter, and don’t worry you’re not alone in that regard; at first they didn’t even realize their familial connection! This mother daughter pair was separated for decades before finally being reunited, and even when they did find each other, it wasn’t happily ever after - many challenges lay ahead. Mary Margaret is a total mama bear who wants to make up for lost time by doing everything in her power to make sure her daughter is safe. And in the world of “Once Upon a Time”, that’s no easy task!

#4: Rebecca & Kate Pearson
“This Is Us” (2016-)


Some mother daughter pairings on this list make us feel warm and fuzzy all the time, but others are here because of the contentious relationships they have that are oh so relatable. Rebecca and Kate have always had a difficult relationship, with Kate being jealous of her mother’s beauty and singing abilities since she was a young girl. Rebecca isn’t flawless herself, often making Kate feel bad about her weight (though she usually does this inadvertently). When everything falls apart though, Rebecca is always there to help Kate pick up the pieces, whether she wants it or not.

#3: Sophia Petrillo & Dorothy Zbornak
“The Golden Girls” (1985-92)


Most young women are happy to gain their independence and move out at some point during young adulthood. But can you imagine your mother moving back in with you when she’s 80? Dorothy and Sophia don’t always have the easiest relationship after Sophia moves in with her daughter when her retirement home burns down. There are plenty of sarcastic remarks and sideways glances here, that’s for sure. But there have been so few portrayals of a mother and daughter pair in their older years that this relationship will always be near to our hearts.

#2: Jane & Xiomara ‘Xo’ Villanueva
“Jane the Virgin” (2014-)


You probably know the basic premise of “Jane the Virgin” which is that 23-year-old Jane Villanueva gets pregnant despite the fact that she’s never had sex. One of the reasons for her virginal status is that her mother, Xo, had her when she was just 16, which spurred Jane on to live her life differently. It isn’t always smooth sailing for these two, considering their very different personalities and the many issues that always seem to arise between them. Sometimes Jane is forced into the position of being the more mature one in the relationship, but ultimately you know there’s only love between these two.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Zoey & Dr. Rainbow ‘Bow’ Johnson
“Black-ish” (2014-)

Alicia & Grace Florrick
“The Good Wife” (2009-16)

Miriam ‘Midge’ Maisel & Rose Weissman
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (2017-)

Nora & Kitty Walker
“Brothers & Sisters” (2006-11)

Tami & Julie Taylor
“Friday Night Lights” (2006-11)

#1: Lorelai & Rory Gilmore
“Gilmore Girls” (2000-07)


It probably comes as no surprise that this mother daughter duo was our number one pick. Has there ever been a show that is so focused on this ever-important relationship? Lorelai and Rory may be exceptional because of how close they are in age, but in many other ways, their relationship mirrors the ones that many of us have had with our own mothers. They disagree, they fight, and sometimes they even have massive blowouts, but more often than not, these two are there to be each other’s best friends and confidantes - unconditionally supportive. What viewer hasn’t wished that they could have a mother like Lorelai at some point or another?
Comments

Sign in to access this feature

Related Blogs