In the grand theme of all offbeat, damaged heroines, Sophia of Girlboss is missing a parent. Her mother skipped town a decade before the events of the show, and she was raised by her father, a stern but caring man who doesn’t understand why his daughter can’t just keep a job down already (I see his point). Who is Sophia’s mother on Girlboss? Well, to start, she's not the same as the real Sophia Amoruso's mom. "Everyone [besides Sophia] is Kay's creation," Amaruso told Bustle of creator Kay Cannon's vision. "So, my mom is not actually like that — just want to make that clear, Mom!"
At the beginning of the series, Sophia and company make allusions to her having left her family behind, but viewers don’t meet her mom until nearly the end of the first season. As it turns out, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in their case, and seeing her mother spurs some bit of change in Sophia and the way she handles the world.
Sophia is the queen of pushing people away and mucking up her personal relationships. Then, in Episode 11, when she is down and out with her friends, eBay, and her business, Sophia decides to hop a flight to Wichita, Kansas to see her mother. I don’t know how she knew she was in Wichita, but her mother is doing community theater there — an adult version of A Christmas Carol — and Sophia tracks her down. When we see Kathleen, played by Broadway veteran and delight Alice Ripley, it’s obvious how Sophia came to be the way she is now. Kathleen is the life of the party, but she’ll do anything to get her way. This is charming at 22, but at 50, it’s borderline depressing. Kathleen sleeps with the director of her theater to get a part in The King & I, only to find out she’s too old for it anyway. Then Kathleen lashes out, vowing to curse all of her company and move to another city. But to where, her company asks her? Turns out that Kathleen has done this before, ran out on people, and it’s in Sophia witnessing this that she realizes why she turned out the way she did.
Sophia also pushes people away. She runs. She does stupid things under the guise of being young and free. Though her mother has been gone for the better part of a decade, it doesn’t take a geneticist to see their similarities. Sophia seems to realize that she could end up like her mother, alone and struggling to make sense of life, or she can go about things the right way and give adulthood a shot on her own terms. Luckily, Sophia seeing her mom makes her choose the latter, and Sophia leaves her mom’s hijinks (and perhaps her own) behind.