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Strong, caring, and not afraid to kick some butt: Here are TV’s most badass moms

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By Christine Persaud


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 TVs Most Badass Moms | Madison Clark  Fear the Walking Dead - Kim Dickens

It could be said every good mom is something of a badass. Whether its juggling work and home life, solving their children’s deepest problems, or simply offering an earnest ear to lean on, all good moms are tough and tender in equal measure.

In TV land, though, the most badass moms go above and beyond. They are true fighters, fending off enemies, shedding off drama, and even dealing with life-and-death situations, all in the name of their kids. In honor of Mother’s Day 2018, here’s our list of some of the most badass moms on TV today. (Note:Some spoilers ahead.)

June (Offred) The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)

Elisabeth Moss

Madison Clark  Fear the Walking Dead - Kim Dickens | TVs Most Badass Moms

Beaten, bruised, and forced into sexual and childbearing servitude in a dystopian hellscape, June (Elisabeth Moss) fights through it all to simply remain sane — and for the chance to hopefully one day reunite with her daughter and husband. Even as she’s stripped of her own name and identity in this riveting series, June is not afraid to stand up to authority to preserve her humanity, and the glimpses of her pre-apocalyptic life shed light on just what a great mother she was.

Reece – The Crossing (ABC)

Natalie Martinez

Reece - The Crossing - Natalie Martinez | TVs Most Badass Moms

Reece (Natalie Martinez) steals every scene of this sci-fi thriller as an adoptive mother from thefuture with superhuman powers. She’ll do whatever it takes to save her child from a deadly disease, including nonchalantly jamming a syringe into her side to extract bone marrow. It’s cringeworthy,but displays this mother’s dedication to the child she risked everything to save.

Maeve Millay Westworld (HBO)

Thandie Newton

Maeve Millay  Westworld - Thandie Newton | TVs Most Badass Moms

Even though she’s not even human — and her child is little more than a mere story written by her creators — this badass host (i.e. robot) is a dedicated mother nonetheless. After she and her daughter are killed in countless recollections, she still feels a connection with the young girland believes she’s out there somewhere in the nightmare land in which she’s been damned. Despite being unsure about her past, the feeling for her long-lost daughter is what drives Maeve, even if “she” is more accurately an “it.”

Madison Clark Fear the Walking Dead (AMC)

Kim Dickens

Madison Clark  Fear the Walking Dead - Kim Dickens | TVs Most Badass Moms

Madison’s (Kim Dickens) life pre-zombie acopalypse as a high school guidance counselor was always about the children, but she dealt with many personal struggles, including an authoritative father, and a son with a serious drug problem. So it’s no surprise that when the apocalypse hits, this mom is out for bloodand doesn’t hesitate when it comes to protecting her children whether it’s from drugs, human threats, or the walking dead themselves.

Rainbow Johnson Black-ish (ABC)

Tracee Ellis Ross

Rainbow Johnson  Black-ish - Tracee Ellis Ross | TVs Most Badass Moms

She’s a doctor. She’s a mother of five. And while she may not wield a weapon or kill zombies, she keeps it all together, dealing with her husband’s crazy antics and the constant insults from her live-in mother-in-law, all the while maintaining the family’s solid upper-middle-class life. Though the latest season depicts some trouble in paradise for the couple, Bow, as she’s lovingly called, still approaches tough situations with poise, dignity, and humor.

Lady Stark Game of Thrones (HBO)

Michelle Fairley

Lady Stark  Game of Thrones - Michelle Fairley | TVs Most Badass Moms

Another dedicated mother of five, Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) was fiercely protective of her kids, even as the world fell down around her. From staying by her son Bran’s side in illnessto serving as a key adviser to her son Robb as King in the North, she was always there, right until the bitter end. Before his death, Robb’s last word was “Mother.” Her true badass moment? She brutally kills the wife of the man responsible for her son’s attack before getting killed herself.

Mellie Grant Scandal (ABC)

Bellamy Young

Mellie Grant  Scandal - Bellamy Young | TVs Most Badass Moms

Sure, Mellie (Bellamy Young) falls into a deep depression after her teenage son is murdered: What mother wouldn’t? But she rises above all the drama, scandal, and political mess to become the first female president of the United States, all while being a fierce and protective mom to her two remaining children.

Gloria Mendoza Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

Selenis Leyva

Gloria Mendoza  Orange is the New Black - Selenis Leyva | TVs Most Badass Moms

The inmates at Litchfield look up to her and even fear her: One stern look, and they cower at her feet. Yet, while Gloria (Selenis Leyva) is rough around the edges, her caring, motherly nature still peeks through, and her teenage sonhas always come first. She even recently risked her own freedomand the support of her fellow inmates for her child. What more could you ask?

Joyce Stranger Things (Netflix)

Winona Ryder

Joyce  Stranger Things - Winona Ryder | TVs Most Badass Moms

Imagine having to essentially torture your own child in order to save him. It takes a special kind of strength, and Joyce (Winona Ryder) has it. Dealing with her son’s disappearance, then his possession, she stops at nothing to free him, including turning her entire home into a Christmas tree. What will come next? The fact that she’s able to pull herself together under such incredibly terrifying circumstances makes this mother something extra special.

Carol Peletier The Walking Dead (AMC)

Melissa McBride

Carol Peletier  The Walking Dead - Melissa McBride | TVs Most Badass Moms

Our second pick from the same zombie world, Carol (Melissa McBride) might have lost her own biological daughter, but she has become the mother figure for just about every child she’s encountered since. From to training kids to fight to baking cookies and delivering them with cold, hard threats to grade schoolers, there’s always a lesson to be learned, even if it comes with some grit. And let’s not forget that it was Carol who had to make the tough decision to execute a murderous and mentally ill child for the greater good.

Audrey Bernhardt Sneaky Pete (Amazon Prime Video)

Margo Martindale

Audrey Bernhardt  Sneaky Pete - Margo Martindale | TVs Most Badass Moms

As the matriarch of the Bernhardt family and key figure in the family’s bail bonds business, Audrey (Margo Martindale) takes in her grandchildren when her daughter and son-in-law die in a car accident. She’s certainly rough around the edges, not afraid to utter a verbal threat or even pull out a gun if necessary, but she’s utterly loyal to her family, no matter what.

Queen Elizabeth II The Crown (Netflix)

Claire Foy

Queen Elizabeth II  The Crown - Claire Foy | TVs Most Badass Moms

Is there anything more badass than being the longest-reigning monarch in U.K. history? Thrown into the position of queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms, Elizabeth II (Claire Foy) leads with grace and honor on this Netflix biographical series, all the while still serving as a dedicated mother to her children. Not afraid to take risks and fight for what she believes in, she gave up her personal life for duty. The real Queen on which the character is based still continues her reign 65 years later, at the age of 92.


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