25 incredible TV moms we love to watch

22 of 26

Mary Cooper – Young Sheldon

Of all the women on this list, Mary Cooper reminds me most of my own mother. Southern moms are a breed unto themselves and, if you ask me, are the best kind. Both soft and hard at the same time, they will pray the blood of Jesus over you while they are whooping you with a switch.

Mary Cooper is a mother to young Sheldon Cooper, and you can imagine the challenges that brings. As a quirky, brilliant, eccentric little boy growing up in East Texas, Sheldon faces a lot of struggles. In turn, his mother faces her own. You know what (Southern) mamas say: “A mom is only happy as her saddest child.” Sheldon was sad a lot of the time, usually because he’s struggling to fit in.

Mary is patient in kind, but she will get mean if she has to. Just ask her children. As much as she tries to protect Sheldon when he’s outside the house, when he’s home, she has to make sure he behaves properly and respectfully. No small feat for an 8-year-old with an IQ to match Stephen Hawking.

Mary also has two other children she has to wrangle, although they often get lost in Sheldon’s shadow. Thank goodness Mary has her own Southern mama to pick up the slack. On two sides of the Southern lady paradigm: Mary is a modest, God-fearing conservative homemaker, while her mother is always down for a good time with her bourbon drinking and cigarette smoking.