13 Worst Moms to Ever Exist in Fiction

Just like in real life, parents in movies, books, and TV shows can change the path their kids take in a heartbeat. Just in time for Mother’s Day, here are a few examples from literature and pop culture of stories where the mothers don’t have such a positive influence on their kids.

Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest  

One of the very first celebrity tell-all books, Mommie Dearest, was written by Christina Crawford, the adoptive daughter of star actress Joan Crawford. In the ensuing movie based on the book, the “character” of Joan Crawford was made famous by actress Faye Dunaway. In the book, Christina recounts that her mother often spoke about how she only adopted her and her brother Christopher as a press stunt. According to her daughter, Crawford had uncountable affairs with both men and women, and kept her children at arm’s length for most of their childhoods by sending them to boarding schools.

Mary Jones from Precious

Although it can be said that the character of Mary Jones from the novel Push by Sapphire (who was played to perfection by Mo’Nique in the movie version) is a product of a broken welfare system, there’s a lot more to her character than that. In the small apartment where she lives with her daughter Precious and her grandchildren, she rules the roost and refuses to submit to any competition. Many times in both the book and movie, she abuses Precious for wanting to attend an alternative school where she would have been given extra assistance, focusing instead on the fact that new people coming into the house could jeopardise her welfare cheques.


Medea from Medea by Euripides

Medea is a key figure in Greek mythology. As the first wife of Jason (of Jason and the Argonauts fame), she was renowned as a brilliant sorceress. You’d think with this reputation, Jason would know not to mess with her, but apparently his love for his new wife Glauce clouded his judgement.

After he came home from one of his adventures and told Medea that he was leaving her in favor of the younger Glauce, Medea took revenge by killing her and Jason’s two children. At least, that’s how Greek tragedian Euripides tells the story. There are countless versions of the myth, but none of them characterise Medea as a remotely loving mother.

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