Best TV Mother-Daughter Pairs Ever

TV moms and daughters: They’re just like us! They fight and make up, go shopping, have heart-to-heart conversations and drink copious amounts of coffee in diners served by guys with backwards baseball caps. In honor of Mother’s Day, let’s pay homage to television’s greatest mother-daughter combos.



Sophia and Dorothy, The Golden Girls (1985-92)
Picture it: You’re in your golden years, living with your mother. What’s a girl to do? Roll her eyes—a ton. Sophia (Estelle Getty) was the spitfire, iconic mom with an edgy, matter-of-fact delivery. Poor Dorothy (Bea Arthur), stuck between her mother’s eccentricities and Blanche’s promiscuity. Fun fact: Did you know that Arthur was actually a year older than her fictional mother, Getty, in real life?

Roseanne and Darlene, Roseanne (1988-97)
Often hailed as the first believable TV mom, Roseanne (Barr) found a perfectly imperfect balance between tough love and having a heart of gold. Roseanne was still an undeniably cool mom to Darlene (Sara Gilbert), like when she let her ditch high school early to go to art school.



Marge and Lisa, The Simpsons (1989-Present)
They first entered our living rooms in 1989 and haven’t aged a day. Life is good for Marge (Julie Kavner) and Lisa (Yeardley Smith) Simpson. Arguably (okay, definitely) the most normal characters on this show, Marge and Lisa need to stick together. Marge’s patience has been virtually unwavering, which may be one of the greatest feats in television history considering the fact that she is married to Homer. Smart and sensitive, Lisa brings another sane-ish voice to the Simpson clan. Good news for fans: The Simpsons was renewed through season 28 on Monday.

Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, Gilmore Girls (2000-07)
These two really had it made. Sure, Lorelai (Lauren Graham) had Rory (Alexis Bledel) when she was only 16, but things sure did work out for one of television’s most beloved mother-daughter pairs. Rory got an insanely cool, supportive mother, and Lorelai got a kind-hearted daughter who was accepted to Harvard and Yale. Scene after scene, they engaged in quick, fun banter that would have made viewers jealous if they weren’t too busy laughing. The Gilmores also drank a whole lot of coffee and were somehow able to maintain their good figures despite eating massive amounts of junk food.

Susan and Julie, Desperate Housewives (2004-12)
At the start of the series, it was sometimes difficult to tell who was the mother in this mother-daughter duo. Daughter Julie (Andrea Bowen) often acted like a mother to mom Susan (Teri Hatcher), serving as the voice of reason through a variety of crises and her parents’ rollercoaster relationship. Susan did show her mothering side, especially in later seasons. In the fifth season, Julie rejected her boyfriend and college professor’s marriage proposal because she did not believe in marriage after watching what her mother went through. Upon hearing this, Susan explains that she still believes in marriage and the two share an obligatory-but-heartwarming hug.

Let us know your favorite mother-daughter duo or if we missed anyone in the comments or on social media.

beth ann clyde

beth ann clyde

Beth Ann Clyde is a Digital Editor of Long Island Pulse. Have a story idea or just want to say hello? Email or reach out on Twitter @BAClyde.