Mother's Day is one of my favorite holidays and marathoning TV shows is an activity that my mom and I both love. Most of us celebrate the holiday with a card and a special brunch, but the festivities definitely don't need to end after we've polished off the mimosas. There are plenty of amazing TV episodes to watch on Netflix with your mom on Mother's Day, so why not relax on the couch for a few hours and enjoy some of TV's best mothering moments?
TV moms run the gamut — Lorelai and Rory Gilmore will always have a special place in our hearts, but let's not forget about Kristina Braverman from Parenthood and Tami Taylor from Friday Night Lights. Then of course, there are the mothers who are, uh, not so amazing and supportive. (Looking at you, Lucille Bluth.) Still, they are worth watching on Mother's Day — just be prepared for your mom to give you a gentle reminder of how lucky you are that she wouldn't peace out to the bar if you were in the hospital.
Without further ado, here are eight TV episodes to watch on Netflix with your mom on May 8. They'll make you laugh, cry, and everything in between.
1. Gilmore Girls, "Those Are Strings, Pinocchio"
Don't even get me started on how difficult it was to pick the best mother-daughter scene from Gilmore Girls. After much careful deliberation, I'm going to go with Rory's Chilton graduation. She used her speech to honor Lorelai in the most perfect way possible, describing her as "my ultimate inspiration" and went on to say:
My mother never gave me any idea that I couldn’t do whatever I wanted to do or be whomever I wanted to be. She filled our house with love and fun and books and music, unflagging in her efforts to give me role models from Jane Austen to Eudora Welty to Patti Smith. As she guided me through these incredible eighteen years, I don’t know if she ever realized that the person I most wanted to be was her … Thank you, Mom. You are my guidepost for everything.
I'm not crying; there's something in my eye.
2. Pretty Little Liars, "The Naked Truth"
It's a running joke among Pretty Little Liars fans that the girls' parents are often AWOL, but Ashley Marin definitely wins the prize for best parent in Rosewood. When Hanna is framed (yet again), Ashley reminds her that she'll always be her baby and vows to "crush anyone who tries to hurt you." She has no idea what they're up against, but Ashley will literally do anything in her power to protect her daughter, and it never ceases to give viewers all the feels.
3. 30 Rock, "The Moms"
This hilarious episode will decidedly not give you all the sentimental feels, but it will leave you and your mom in stitches. Did you ever wonder why every single person on 30 Rock is, uh, a little unstable? When all their mothers show up for a special episode of "The Girlie Show," we gain a little insight. For example, Liz Lemon learns that her mom's true love was Buzz Aldrin, not her dad. Typical family drama.
4. Parenthood, "The Pontiac"
Kristina Braverman will go down in history as one of the best TV moms ever and it's no easy feat to pick her best moment. The Season 5 finale features this beautiful scene when when Haddie tells her mom that she's in a relationship with another woman and Kristina responds in the best way possible. She tells her daughter: "I would never be upset with you for following your heart. And I just want you to be truly, truly happy. I love you no matter what." And that is the type of support everyone should receive from their parents.
5. Mad Men, "Commissions And Fees"
OK, OK — I know that Betty Draper is arguably one of the most toxic moms to grace our TV screens. But, she shows her softer side in this Season 5 episode when Sally is embarrassed and upset after getting her first period. (I'm sure many of this can relate to this.) This episode shows that even the most flawed mothers can come through once in a while.
6. Gilmore Girls, "The Prodigal Daughter Returns"
After Lorelai and Rory didn't speak for 5 months, 3 weeks, and 16 days, viewers every collectively cried with joy and relief during this reunion scene.
However, I would argue that the episode's most beautiful mother-daughter moment was between Lorelai and Emily. I love Rory, but she behaved childishly when she moved out of her grandparents' home with saying goodbye. Emily was so devastated that she headed off to buy a plane. When Lorelai found her mom, Emily uncharacteristically showed emotion as she sobbed that she'd lost Rory just like she lost Lorelai.
These two were usually at odds, but Lorelai comforted her mom by reminding her that Rory belonged at Yale and that's why she headed back to school. She was about to leave the plane, but turned around and quietly told Emily, "and you didn't lose me." Cue all the tears. It's a subtle but powerful reminder that, no matter how many differences we may have with our mothers, the relationships are still strong and important.
7. Arrested Development, "Key Decisions"
If there's one TV family you should be grateful to not to be a part of, it's the Bluth bunch. For a good Mother's Day laugh, watch this episode — Lucille's child is in the hospital in a wheelchair, but she's far more interested in locating the hospital bar so she can have a stiff drink.
8. Friday Night Lights, "I Think We Should Have Sex"
Tami Taylor, have I told you lately that I love you? In this emotional episode, she challenges Julie to think long and hard before she loses her virginity. (In the end, the 15-year-old decides to wait.) This episode is handled beautifully because it addresses the emotions of both mother and daughter during the difficult sex talk — Julie isn't sure whether or not she's ready to be sexually active, and Tami grapples with not being ready to have her daughter take this step. This is another great episode for mothers and daughters to share, because it addresses an issue that we can both relate to.
So get the popcorn ready and enjoy your Netflix marathon — in my humble opinion, there's no better way to celebrate Mother's Day.