Whether they’re still reigning on continuing shows or live on only in syndication, there are some television moms that were so cool that they’ve become part of the cultural landscape forever. Some might be better known for their coolness than their good parenting decisions, while others became cool because they were such great moms; either way, these are 10 of the coolest moms ever on television.
- Lorelai Gilmore – MTV’s 16 & Pregnant and its various spin-offs might have the market on teen moms cornered these days, but Lorelai Gilmore and her relationship with her daughter Rory on Gilmore Girls showed a more functional and inspirational portrait of a teenage mom, all grown up. From her great wardrobe to her determination to be the best mom she could possibly be, Lorelai is definitely one of the coolest TV moms of all time.
- Roseanne Connor – Though she was never a fashionista and her gruff demeanor was the stuff of controversy during Roseanne‘s heyday, the show still runs regularly on several networks with a devoted following. With a realistic portrayal of blue-collar life and a progressive attitude, Roseanne was always a cool mom, even when she wore a tacky waitress uniform.
- The Mother – While no one aside from the writers yet knows her name, the woman that Ted Mosby refers to only as “Your Mother” on How I Met Your Mother is so cool that no one can stop talking about her. Theories about her identity are debated across the Internet, with viewers clinging to the edges of their seats in hopes of finding out who she is.
- Mary Cooper – The ultra-conservative Mary Cooper, mother of Sheldon Cooper on CBS’s hit Big Bang Theory wouldn’t win any awards for coolness at first glance, but deeper scrutiny shows just how awesome she actually is. With her trademark mixture of patience and firmness, she’s the only person on the show capable of managing the eccentric genius and his many personality quirks.
- Clair Huxtable – As a partner in a high-powered New York City law firm and the mother of five, Clair Huxtable was the backbone of The Cosby Show for the entirety of its original run and retains her power after more than two decades in syndication.
- Carol Brady – Giving advice and support to six children and managing to prevent riots in their single shared bathroom, Carol Brady was the epitome of seventies cool. With her chic haircuts, perfect clothing and unflappable demeanor, Mrs. Brady is one of history’s favorite television moms.
- Kitty Foreman – With a haircut cribbed from Charlie’s Angels and a sense of humor that never failed, Kitty Foreman of That 70′s Show was cool enough to love her children and their friends unconditionally. There’s a reason why everyone congregates at the Foreman house, and it has nothing to do with the ill-tempered Red.
- Lily Humphrey – Her parenting decisions may have been questionable most of the time, but there’s no denying that the thrice-wed, glamorous Lily Humphrey was a cool mom. Dressed in head-to-toe couture and willing to pay any price to protect her children, Lily was almost as important as the high school students that made up the primary cast of Gossip Girl.
- Nancy Botwin – There’s nothing cool about selling illegal drugs or getting tangled up in organized crime like Nancy did on Weeds, but there is something to be said for going to any extreme to protect your children and maintaining a perfect coif all the while.
- Laura Petrie – It’s a safe bet that any character played by Mary Tyler Moore during her prime could find a spot on a list of the coolest in their field, and the swinging Sixties Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke show is no exception. From insisting on wearing pedal pushers while her contemporaries wore dresses to acting as the perfect hostess, Laura is just as cool in reruns as she was during the show’s first run.
As the tides of television and the definition of the word “cool” evolve a bit more with every passing fad, these 10 moms never lose their appeal. The actresses and the iconic characters they portrayed will live on in pop culture history, even as the ranks of cool television moms continue to grow with each new hit show.