A mother-daughter relationship is complex and beautiful. It’s not usual to see it portrayed as such on-screen, but there are some examples of TV shows and movies that have gotten it right beautifully. From the fast-talking, coffee-guzzling Lorelai and Rory from Gilmore Girls to the fiery and no nonsense Mili and Manju from Khoobsurat, these mother-daughter duos are the perfect encapsulation of every daughter’s bond with their mothers.
This Mother’s Day, take a look at some of our favourite mother-daughters from TV shows and movies over the years…
Lorelai and Rory Gilmore from Gilmore Girls
These Stars Hollow residents showed us that a mother-daughter relationship, even one as unconventional and close as theirs, can have its fair share of ups and downs. Their relationship was one of the best parts of the show.
Masaba and Neena Gupta from Masaba Masaba
Designer Masaba Gupta gave us a heartwarming glimpse into her life in the semi-autobiographical Netflix TV series Masaba Masaba, including her relationship with her mother Neena Gupta (played by her real mother Neena Gupta). The delightful bickering between the two and their unconditional love and support for each other made for some of the best moments of the show.
Anna and Tess Coleman from Freaky Friday
You know how the most common statement in all mother-daughter arguments is “Try walking a mile in my shoes”. This turns all too literal when Anna and Tess (Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis) swap bodies and have to live as each other. The disaster turns into a fun adventure when both of them start realising the issues the other is facing without them realising. It’s peak early 2000s Linday Lohan so you know it’s super fun.
Jennifer and Naina Kapur from Kal Ho Naa Ho
Single mom Jennifer (Jaya Bachchan) and her eldest daughter Naina (Preity Zinta) do not have it easy. Their family is dysfunctional with a capital ‘D’, the money issues are never ending, and there seems to be no light at the end of their dark tunnel. But through all the difficulties, the two have each other’s backs. They both know instantly when the other is hiding their pain and when Naina finally finds out the big secret Jennifer had been hiding for years, it only makes them grow closer and helps her let go of her fears and embrace her happily ever after.
Merida and Queen Elinor from Brave
Brave is one of the first Disney movies that shifted focus from finding romantic love for the princess to a journey of self discovery and exploration of other complex familial relationships. This one in particular features a surprisingly complex mother-daughter relationship between stubborn and rebellious princess Merida and her more traditional mother Queen Elinor. When magic intervenes, the two are forced to confront their fraught relationship and find their way back to each other.
Kia and her mother from Ki and Ka
Despite good intentions, the movie didn’t quite manage to drive home its message of gender equality in family dynamics. But one thing that did stick with viewers after the movie was the relationship between Kia (Kareena Kapoor) and her mother (Swaroop Sampat). Kia’s mom couldn’t care less if her daughter was well into her 30s and single. She even accepts the unconventional arrangement between her and Kabir without any problem.
Matilda Wormwood and Miss Honey from Matilda
From the moment they met at Crunchem Hall Elementary School, the two struck up a friendship, with Miss Honey realising how bright and special her student is in reality. Matilda uses her telekinetic abilities to drive off their cruel headmistress away from the school and helps Miss Honey get back her rightful home. The two get their happy ending when Matilda convinces her parents to let Miss Honey adopt her and become her real mom at last!
Regina George and Mrs George from Mean Girls
She’s not a regular mom, she’s a cool mom. So you know there’s nobody more deserving to be on this list than this duo. So what if her parenting is a bit unconventional? It’s 2022 and we love a sex-positive parent who is their kid’s biggest cheerleader. Oh and she encourages Regina to practice safe sex too. Icon.
Mili and Manju from Khoobsurat
When Sonam Kapoor’s Khoobsurat gave us the biggest gift of all, ie. the realisation that Fawad Khan makes for the perfect Disney prince, it also gave us an on-screen mother-daughter pair we can root for. Manju (Kirron Kher) is a no-nonsense Punjabi mother who has her daughter’s back, no matter what. She lets Mili call her by her name and is there to dispense sage advice on everything from how to deal with the royals to figuring out her complex love life.