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Action Mom
We all wish she was our mom.

"Moms are tough."
Nora Estheim, Final Fantasy XIII

When an Action Girl is confronted with motherhood, she usually has two choices. She could accept the baby and her "fate" to Stay in the Kitchen; or she can keep her Action Girl status by losing her baby through the wonders of a Magical Abortion, a Convenient Miscarriage or simply giving it up for adoption if it gets born.

The Action Mom says bollocks to that and chooses to Take a Third Option as she keeps her role as saviour of the day and the world while raising her children. She's a real Badass mother.

Beware if you ever harm her children, for you will have an Action Girl invoking the Mama Bear at your heels. There is also a chance that said children will grow up be badasses just like her.

Truth in Television in the case of mothers working in hazardous jobs such as police work. It can also apply to Dark Action Girls, in the form of Deliver Us from Evil or Dark Action Mom.

Often the matriarch of a Badass Family. If she enters this state before the child has even been born, she is a Pregnant Badass.

Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • The whole point of the aptly named other Katsuhiro Otomo masterpiece The Legend Of Mother Sarah, which features a mother trying to retrieve her lost children and who will stop at nothing to do so, including brawling and using guns. It helps that she's an unusually tall and jacked woman.
  • Nanoha and Fate, the co-leads of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, are mothers through adoption and still amongst the best combat mages out there. When their daughter Vivio is kidnapped, both Nanoha and Fate proceed to kick ass and take names, Nanoha to get Vivio back and Fate to take down the man behind it all.
    • There's also Quint Nakajima, Subaru and Ginga's mother, who was an Enforcer until her death. It's revealed in the Sound Stages that Quint was considerably stronger than Subaru or Ginga, being able to wield both Revolver Knuckles (her two girls inherited one each), while neither of them can do so as of the end of StrikerS.
  • Eureka in Eureka Seven, a mecha pilot who adopts three children before the series starts. Three children she personally orphaned.
  • Izumi Curtis from Fullmetal Alchemist is a housewife and proud of it, and more or less adopted the protagonists after they lost their mother. She can - and does - beat up most of the other characters in the series (and, for bonus points, does so despite the fact that she's missing several internal organs).
  • Although all the action is performed by mind-controlled robots, and, in the anime, she's in a wheelchair, Shuuko from Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer decimates every other opponent in the Tournament Arc except one (and she wins that one in the manga). She has taken the abandon-your-child-to-relatives-and-then-to-your-sister path (in the anime, she fears her child would be ostrasized for having an "useless" mother), but in the end, reunites with her daughter and is seen competing side-by-side with her.
  • A subtle example is Shizuka Kusanagi, Kyo's mom who has only appeared in the The King of Fighters: Kyo manga. She is a beautiful woman who only wears kimonos and is all polite and motherly...and also points a naginata to the neck of the ninja Eiji Kisaragi when she finds him digging in the archives of the Kusanagi family, sweetly asking him to stop whatever he's doing. When Kyo comes back home, he finds his mother and Eiji calmly drinking tea, and Shizuka is all smiles but Eiji looks still unnerved.
  • Amaha Masane from the Witchblade anime, despite being completely childish and doting over her daughter, quickly became adequate Punch Clock Hero. Soon the only thing that worried her at all was Rihoko's possible reaction on seeing her transformed. Until she faced the consequences.
  • Miria Farino in Super Dimension Fortress Macross? She even takes baby Komillia (or Dana, if you're following Robotech) once into battle.
    • By Macross 7, she's a mother seven times over (plus one adoption) and she still can keep up with her husband. And yes, they're both probably the best pilots in Macross 7 despite being in their 40s-50s, as Macross 7 is set 35 years or so into the future. So, yeah.
    • Macross Frontier gives us the minor character of Canaria Bernstein, a combat medic who uses a a König Monster
  • EVA Unit-01 and Unit-02 from Neon Genesis Evangelion may count as they are gigantic death machines with the pilot's mother's soul inside of it that usually goes out of its way to stop the child inside from being too badly hurt.
  • Empress Marianne vi Britannia, a.k.a. Marianne the Flash, from Code Geass, who managed to be a Humongous Mecha test pilot, Lady of War, and Rebellious Princess, all while still being a sweet and loving mother to her two children. It's no wonder that she serves as inspiration not only to them, but also to the majority of her step-children who appear in the anime.
  • Misaki Jurai Masaki, the junior Empress of Jurai, is not only the Aeka and Sasami's mom, but also the head of Emperor's Guard and uncontested martial arts champion of the whole Jurai Empire for as long as she is bothered to compete. And her mom, Seto Kamiki Jurai, while actually ruling in place of her son-in-law, still finds the time to justify the reputation that gave her the famous nickname of "Devil Princess of Jurai" (Even the first Big Bad of the series gave her a wide berth!).
    • The senior Empress of Jurai, Funaho (Yosho's mom), is director of the Intelligence division. In one episode of the Manga, an assassin tries to kill her on a trip to Earth by dropping a steel girder on her. She stops its fall with a single jab, nearly bending it in half, without even standing up.
  • Lena Sayers from Mai-Otome, the original Blue Sky Sapphire holder, whose past is explored in the prequel. She's the mother of the main series' heroine, Arika. While she was defeated in the Aswad's attack on Windbloom's castle because she lost her powers, she was apparently able to put up enough of a fight to be considered a Worthy Opponent by the Aswad, who hoped to give her a proper burial.
  • Naomi Armitage from Armitage III, though it doesn't seem that way at first. She, her human husband Ross and her daughter Youko were hiding from All of the Other Reindeer at that point, Fantastic Racism having won the day in the form of feminists who weren't fond of the concept of being replaced by machines; She really needed to keep her head down. You could tell Armitage was having the time of her life showing off her cyborg Mama Bear side after little Youko is kidnapped and she had to go after the culprits.
  • Daiko Hayami from New Cutey Honey.
    • Honey herself at the end of Cutey Honey Flash.
  • Koihime†Musou's resident mom Kouchuu Kanshou, the Expy of Huang Zhong. Her story behind her action isn't exactly pretty, though: Her daughter is being held hostage by bandits and she is forced to assassinate a noble to keep her alive. Later on, after her daughter is rescued, she's freed from any burdens and fights without anything to hold back.
    • In Ikki Tousen, Hakufu's Older Than They Look mother Goei (expy of Madame Wu, mother of Sun Ce's aka Hakufu's past self) is no frontline fighter and prefers to take care of the Shuuyu household, but either call her "old woman" or threaten her directly, and you'll have her prove that she can defend herself rather well.
  • Fee Carmichael from Planetes, although she has the advantage of having her son and husband out of harm's way, in Florida, while she freely performs all her badassery in outer space. Not that her badassery is anything to sneer at.
  • In GEAR Fighter Dendoh, Ginga's mom is a Kenpo instructor who will beat the crap out of almost anyone smaller than a Monster of the Week. And then there's Vega, who turns out to be Hokuto's mom in disguise.
  • In Kekkaishi Yoshimori's mother Sumiko seems to be this, she appears to be Walking the Earth leaving her very domestic husband and Old Master father to raise her kids, her only appearance outside of flashbacks involved her throwing a dragon(which she had apparently beaten unconscious and dragged across the country) at her son The Hero from great height, then beating said dragon into submission when it came for her. Also in a flashback she killed a god seemingly just for shits and giggles, and because the god's still-in-the-womb kid told her too.
  • One Piece has a few Action Moms in its cast.
    • First and foremost was Bellmere, who was a Marine on the front lines of battle when she discovered two orphaned children, Nojiko and Nami, and took them home to raise. When Arlong attacked their island, she alone attempted to fight back. Failing that, she willingly gave her own life to ensure Nojiko and Nami's safety.
    • Nico Robin's mother, Olvia, was an Adventurer Archaeologist before meeting her end defending her homeland of Ohara.
  • Cattleya in Queen's Blade is a mother, weaponsmith, retired adventurer and owner of some of the largest breasts in all of anime. Bonus points in usually fighting with her son Rana tucked under her arm.
  • Aki Hinata from Keroro Gunsou kicks butt when she has to. For starters, she's got a black belt in aikido.
    • Oka Nishizawa, Momoka's mother, is an even bigger example. She met her husband Baio during a world martial arts tournament, and is introduced when she sneaks into her husband's mansion in Japan and beats the crap out of the security.
    • A later chapter shows that Aki is apparently the only person who can match Oka in a fight.
  • Tsume Inuzuka of Naruto is the single mother of two teenagers yet has maintained not only active ass-kicking status as an elite kunoichi but also runs her own clan.
    Tsume: (referring to an enemy) He was so scared of me, he ran away!
    Kiba: (thinking to himself) Yeah, mom... just like with dad.
    • Kushina Uzumaki, Naruto's mother, battles the series Eldritch Abomination and the Big Bad controlling it while dying. She takes a claw longer than she is tall to the stomach and catches it on its way out to protect her son. This all takes place about one hour after she gave birth and then had the Kyuubi forcefully dragged out of her, something that was previously always fatal.
    • Princess Kaguya effectively became a Physical God before giving birth to her children and only got stronger after that. Unfortunately, she also became Drunk with Power.
  • Ryougi Shiki in Kara no Kyoukai. No surprise there, you knew it was gonna happen eventually.
  • Zoroark from the Pokémon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions movie most certainly falls under this trope.
  • In an episode of the original Digimon Adventure, Sora Takenouchi's very traditional mom, Toshiko, takes up this mantle for an episode in a Mama Bear bid to rescue her daughter from Phantomon. She comes up with a plan to disguise herself as one of the hordes of Bakemon (along with Biyomon) and then volunteer as the one to "capture" her daughter, who's being pursued by them. Her bid pays off and Sora is rescued, even if Toshiko ends up captured in her place. Maybe not true Action Mom status, but about the closest one has ever gotten in a Digimon series.
  • In Medaka Box we have Zenkichi Hitoyoshi's mom, Hitomi Hitoyoshi: Mad Scientist, badass martial artist and looking approximately half her son's age.
  • Ur from Fairy Tail.
  • The Marchioness of Middleform (Elizabeth's mother) in Black Butler. She also doubles as an Action Girl
  • Cordelia Gallo in Gosick. Try not to cheer when she goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the man who destroyed her life by kidnapping and raping her and forcing her to bear his daughter, in the name of the daughter who she loves anyway, and kills him. She dies shortly afterward, but damn.
  • Yoriko Yasaka from Haiyore! Nyarko-san might look like a fluffy Cuddle Bug of an Absurdly Youthful Mother (and she is), but she's also a part-time Malign Deity Hunter who's badass enough to put the Fear of G...er, Mom into the hearts of Nyarlathotep and Cthuguha with nothing more than an ordinary dinner fork. And Cthulhu help you if you lay a finger on her beloved Hiro-kun...
  • Miko Shibuya from Kyo Kara Maoh! is shown to hold her own when attacked by enemies. She used a broken broom handle to effectively drive off attacks with her fencing skills.

    Comics 
  • Susan "Sue" Storm-Richards of the Fantastic Four is a mother of two, and still the strongest member of the four. Do not hurt her children if you know what's good for you.
  • Jean Grey of the X-Men.
  • Alanna Strange from the DC Universe definitely fits the trope, seeing as she's apparently capable of fighting her way past the bad guy's guards, sneak into the room where he's gloating over her captured husband, take out the guards there with nerve pinches without him noticing, trading insults with him for a few minutes and then knocking him out - all while carrying her daughter in a sling around her neck.
  • The original Red Tornado, although mostly played for laughs.
  • Julia Diggers of Gold Digger, where having three grown-up kids doesn't keep her from still being one of the top fighters of the fantasy world of Jade. In the series the parents getting involved is generally a big warning sign that things either have gotten really serious or are about to be wrapped up very quickly and painfully for the other party.
    • Now that she's had a daughter of her own, Julia's adopted daughter Brittany Diggers has become a rather fierce example herself.
    • Julia's own mother, Brunhilda Brigand, is an action mom herself, one of the few fighters who can match Julia. It really runs in the family.
  • Hippolyta of the Wonder Woman mythos. Never mind the fact that Diana is an adult...
  • The female Dr. Light is the mother of two, and the former leader of a Justice League team.
  • Tara Chace from Greg Rucka's Queen And Country series quits for a little while after she has Tamsin, but she's back and assassinating coup-plotters in Uzbekistan before you know it.
  • Tara from The Warlord after she gives birth to Joshua.
  • The titular Action Girl from Yoko Tsuno becomes this after she adopts a little girl named Morning Dew.
  • Kate Spencer, the title character of the Manhunter series.
  • Ms Tree, originally with her stepson Michael and later with her own daughter Melodie (following a stint as a Pregnant Badass).
  • Jessica Jones from Young Avengers. She laid the smackdown on Kang the Conqueror (a guy who's a threat to a team of Avengers) when he threatened to shoot her if things didn't go his way.
    Jessica: Can I give you a piece of advice, Kang? Never mess with a pregnant woman.
  • Talia Al Ghul after giving birth to Damian Wayne is still badassed enough to brandish a handgun and wear a sexy catsuit or have Batman tied up against his will.
  • Nomi Sunrider of Tales of the Jedi serves as a knight in the Krath and Great Sith Wars. In one ambush, she actually fights with her daughter Vima on her hip, and in fact got started on the Jedi path when defending herself and her daughter from her husband's murderers.
  • Rangi Fangus,mother of Angus Fangus. She is the leader of her tribe,plot to foil the plans of a Corrupt Corporate Executive and lead said tribe to fight alien invaders(while wielding two guns).
  • Suske en Wiske: Tante Sidonia, despite being Suske and Wiske's aunt rather than mum, can be quite inventive in action scenes if she wants to.
  • Nero: Madam Pheip and Madam Nero are both quick to grab all kinds of kitchen stuff to hit their opponents K.O., especially when their husbands or children are threatened.
  • De Kiekeboes: Charlotte, who followed a self defense course.

    Fanfic 

    Film — Animation 
  • Pictured on this page is Helen Parr, a.k.a. Elastigirl of The Incredibles, who can still kick butt with the rest of her family despite having more than a decade of hiatus.
    • Helen herself seems to invoke a kind of this trope in one deleted scene, by blowing her gasket at an Iron Lady who belittled her choice to become a stay at home mom, ranting about how raising children is, when you come down to it, a much more difficult job that is much more important to the survival of humanity than said business lady's swanky executive position ever will be, even when you don't consider that Helen's children will save the world.
  • In Meet the Robinsons, Franny's main hobby outside of conducting frog bands is practicing her karate skills, demonstrated at the dinner table complete with bad kung fu movie dubbing.
  • Though they aren't technically mother and children, 7 from 9 plays this role to 3 and 4.
  • Mrs Brisby of The Secret of NIMH is an Action Survivor Action Mom. She spends much if not most of the movie in well over her head but keeps going because her family is at stake.

    Film — Live Action 
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Jade Fox, while not a blood relative, appears to be a stronger maternal figure to Jen than her own mother. She seems to look up to Shu Lien in the same way, later in the film.
  • The Geena Davis movie The Long Kiss Goodnight plays with this. The woman, who has amnesia, starts off as an ordinary mom, then remembers that she was an assassin and initially decides to abandon her daughter as the girl isn't really 'hers' (the assassin) but that of her alter-ego (the mom), and then eventually goes through a Character Development into an action mom, combining both.
  • Sarah Connor in the Terminator movies and The Sarah Connor Chronicles, a case where she didn't start out as an Action Girl, but definitely became one after she gave birth to John.
  • Carla Gugino's character in the Spy Kids movies.
  • Karen Barclay is forced to become this over the course of the first Child's Play film.
  • Brooke Smith pushes this trope to its logical extreme in the dark comedy Series 7: The Contenders in which unwilling contestants in a reality TV show are forced to hunt down and kill each other. Smith plays Dawn, the heavily pregnant reigning champion, waddling her way between hits.
  • Jane and Jeff Blue from Undercover Blues are total Action Parents, bringing their baby girl with them through all kinds of spy adventures.
  • Mom and Dad Save the World
  • Ellen Ripley. In Aliens, her relationship with Newt is completely maternal, even though they're not biologically mother and daughter. Much ass-kicking is induced by that relationship. "GET AWAY FROM HER, YOU BITCH!", indeed. The directors cut of the film also reveals that she had a daughter back on Earth before leaving on the trip that sets off the series. Said daughter grew old and died while Ripley was lost in cryogenic sleep for 57 years, making her connection with Newt all the more significant.
  • Although she tries and fails to embrace the housewife role, Beatrix from Kill Bill could fit this trope, especially since in the end it is implied that even though she is reunited with her daughter, she's probably not going to be able to go forever without kicking ass.
  • Zin from Chocolate is a former loan shark. She spends most of the movie trying to give up her old life, but when she's threatened she proves she's still extremely dangerous.
  • Mrs. Peltzer from 'Gremlins'' goes to some...extreme lengths to defend her home from the titular monsters.
  • A brief moment in Thor has Frigga proving that a strong son comes from a strong mother. When she sees that the Frost Giants are invading and Odin was under the Odinsleep at the time, she wastes no time grabbing a sword and killing Laufey's lackey with one hit for coming after her husband.
    • This is upped in Thor: The Dark World, where she duels the main villain Malekith and defeats him, only to be stabbed in the back by his Dragon.

    Literature 
  • Both Helena and Titania of the Alterien series fit this category well, as they continued to occasionally kick ass as the mothers of many children.
  • Astral Dawn. If one counts the many children Ixchel has had in previous lives, then she too could be considered an "action mom". The same is true of other goddesses in the series as well.
  • Tamara Hoyle from Remnants, a former Marine who fought off countless aliens with her Enfant Terrible strapped to her hip.
  • Magrat Garlick from Discworld, who became a far more competent and dangerous witch when she upgraded from Maiden to Mother. This is not entirely unexpected by witches. Nanny Ogg is still technically the Mother in a coven by reason of having a lot of (grown) children, not being young.
  • Thursday Next, in the later books has a regular habit of dashing back from her action exploits to look after her child.
  • Charity Carpenter of The Dresden Files has seven kids, but that doesn't stop her from kicking ass. We learn in Death Masks that she makes all of her Holy Knight husband's armor, and in Proven Guilty, she joins Harry in storming a faerie queen's stronghold to rescue her kidnapped daughter, armed with swords and mail she herself forged.
    • She's also her husband Michael's training partner. She can definitely wield a sword.
  • Lisanne Norman's Sholan Alliance Series features Carrie Hamilton-Aldatan. She finally gives birth at the end of the third book, but continues on her merry butt-kicking way.
  • In Christopher Stasheff's Warlock of Gramarye series, Gwen Gallowglass is a devoted wife and a loving mother to her four children. She is also a ridiculously high-powered psychic, and God help you if you lay a finger on her or her family.
  • Mara Jade Skywalker of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, New Jedi Order-era onward, who arguably kicks a lot more ass as an Action Mom than as an Action Girl or assassin. Also a Mama Bear when you piss her off enough.
    • Leia counts as well, though the "action" part doesn't suit her in the traditional sense (what with getting caught up in politics and all). Not at first, anyway; she eventually goes full-time action-y in the Dark Nest series (she got sick of politics).
      • And another EU example: Tenel Ka, Dark Nest onward. While we don't see her fight much (queen and all), she's proven herself more than capable of defending herself and her daughter, who just happens to be Leia and Han's granddaughter, from all sorts of threats, including two assassination attempts.
  • Having three kids hasn't slowed Tamora Pierce's Alanna the Lioness down at all; she's continued to be the King's Champion and one of the most notable knights of the realm for over two decades.
    • Daine appears to be doing fine with two kids. And Aly has triplets, according to Pierce, and shows no signs of slowing down. This technically makes Alanna an Action Grandma. Observe the entirely unsurprised fandom.
    • IIRC, Keladry's mom was pretty badass, too.
  • Caroline Wagner of The New Heroes continued to fight as her superhero alterego Energy for three years after her son was born. Even after she lost her powers she continued to be an action Mum, teaching her son how to fight, outwitting mecha-armoured baddies and making sure everyone in Sakkara gets their homework done.
  • The eponymous Jennifer in Jennifer Government is a single mother and a government agent. Also, badass.
  • The Temeraire series features several action girls and action moms despite the era (Napoleonic wars), because of a quirk of dragon biology: one breed, the Longwing, will almost never accept a male captain. Jane Roland is a fine example of a rare Action Mom who is not a total Mama Bear as well. For that matter, any female dragons that have had eggs that hatched would probably count.
  • As noted on the Lady of War page, this is what David Weber's idea of an empowered woman looks like. So it's a no-brainer that his series — mostly Honor Harrington, but others as well — are chock full of them. If you see an Action Girl there, who also happened to discover the joys of motherhood, you can safely bet on her being an Action Mom too.
  • Cordelia from the Vorkosigan Saga books by Lois McMaster Bujold.
  • Molly Weasley from Harry Potter became one in the later books. In the seventh book she kills Bellatrix Lestrange with a cry of "Not my daughter, you bitch!"
    • Nymphadora Tonks in Deathly Hallows as well.
  • Angelina from The Stainless Steel Rat books. Keeps an assortment of deadly weapons in with the diapers in the baby carriage.
  • Amelia Peabody Emerson is an Action Mom who carries a steel tipped parasol, a gun and a knife — and still is unequal to her son Ramses.
    • Ramses' wife, Nefret Emerson, seems to be carrying on her mother-in-law's legacy quite well, being the mother of twins and still keeping up with her husband in the dangerous games of disguise and espionage that he plays with his bloodbrother, David Todros.
  • Cali Russell in Space Vulture.
  • Sally Jackson in The Last Olympian. When faced with an army of some of mythology's deadliest monsters, she grabs a shotgun from the nearest police car and joins the fight, despite having apparently never fired a shotgun before in her life and being a (for the most part) normal, mortal mother.
  • Princess Cimorene in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles novels.
  • Liadan in Son of the Shadows fights her way through Side Dubh to save Bran with her infant son strapped to her back.
  • The Codex Alera's resident Mama Bear, Isana, doesn't do much action-wise at first, but as the books go on she gets more and more involved and in the second half of the series participates in breaking a prisoner out of The Alcatraz, challenges a noble to single combat, and single handedly takes down a half-dozen Vord warriors.
  • Yanaba Maddock in the Twins of Petaybee books. Though her children are supposedly the heroes, she's the one to watch out for, especially if you hurt them.
  • Kallista Varyl and all the women in her family in the One Rose Trilogy.
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe novel Han Solo at Stars' End we have Atuarre the catfolk "Trianii Ranger." Her husband and son were captured by the evil Corporate Sector Mega Corp., but she rescued the kid herself. He had been tortured and the trauma left him mute. Now, with the cub in tow as a sidekick, she will join Han Solo and whatever to face overwhelming odds, defy the bad guys and make hubby proud—if he's still alive. She probably went Mama Bear to save the son, but that was off-screen.
  • The hero of Princess of Wands is one of these, although not really known by most of the rest of her family since she keeps those activities separate from her housewife life.
  • Ann Vinn Mullhaney of Time Scout is Time Terminal 86's second/third most deadly individual (it's a toss-up). She also happens to be happily married and a mother.
  • Bridget, mom of one teenager, in the Inheritance Cycle is the sole female from Carvahall to join the Varden army. She does this to protect one of the main characters so she can have revenge on him for the death of her husband. She is also the sole female fighter in the entire human army aside from the Herbalist Angela and the leader of the Varden, Nasuada.
  • While a few main characters are old enough to have children, and grandchildren, the standout Action Mom in the Breaking the Wall trilogy is Nissa Nita, who's raising her two year old daughter while learning the magic necessary to perform her role as one of the Thirteen Orphans.
  • Warrior Cats. Though she-cats take a break from their warrior duties when they have kits, they still have to be ready to protect their kits if the camp is attacked. One gift that new leaders are often given as part of their nine lives is the love a mother has for her kits, in order to help them protect the Clan; this life is often expected to feel gentle, and the new leader is often shocked by how painfully fierce it is - mothers are willing to face any amount of enemies or even die for their kits. One particular Action Mom is Leafstar: leaders normally are not allowed to have kits because it conflicts with their duties, but Leafstar decided to have kits anyway.
  • Jocelyn Fray from The Mortal Instruments.
  • In the Stories Of Nypre series Wonik and Meni are the guardians of wind and water magic respectively.
  • Yoshiko Itsubishi from Strength & Justice. She may not like confrontation, but when pushed she reveals lethal martial arts skills and great reflexes to boot.
  • Clarissa Kinnison, Red Lensman and mother to five children. True, all are adults by the time her Action Mom status is earned, but she is their mother and in Children of the Lens she comes out of retirement to kick arse on a level most Lensmen (even her fellow Second-Stage Lensmen) can only dream of doing.
  • Catherine Ling from the Iris Johansen novel trilogy of same name is a CIA operative with a teenage son (the father was a fellow agent and is now dead), and spends much of the first book trying to keep the Big Bad from using him to get to her.

    Live Action TV 
  • The 4400. Homeland security agent Diana Skouris, after she adopts the orphaned Maia Rutledge
  • Doctor Who gives us Amy Pond, and earlier, after a Take a Level in Badass, Jackie Tyler went from annoying shrew to woman who kicks Dalek ass.
  • In The Sarah Jane Adventures, Sarah Jane Smith becomes one of these. Curiously, only one of the children she plays Action Mom to is actually hers, albeit via adoption.
  • In Xena: Warrior Princess, Xena has a brief foray as this with her baby Eve, before a plan to evade the gods goes awry and separates them.
  • Niki/Jessica from Heroes.
    • Also Daphne in one possible future that appears more and more likely to come to pass. Technically a "Dark Action Mom" as she's working for the bad guys, but it's more out of ignorance than genuine malevolence.
  • Piper Halliwell from Charmed, especially since she became the strongest sister after Prue's death.
  • Sydney Bristow of Alias.
    • Irina Derevko AKA Laura Bristow.
  • Teyla Emmagan in season 5 of Stargate Atlantis.
  • It doesn't happen until very near the end of the miniseries, so she doesn't get much time, but Aeryn Sun wastes none: she gives birth to her child and moments later takes point on the team that intends to get the protagonists back to their ship.
  • Mahou Sentai Magiranger: Ozu Miyuki is the transforming superheroine MagiMother. When the bad guys awaken, her five children must join her as Magirangers and fight them. She is defeated by Wolzard at the start of the second episode and spends the bulk of the series presumed dead. her first action upon her return is to stop the Hades God Toad's Divine Punishment and then lead her family in killing him.
  • Since being a mother is mandatory on a soap opera, many female characters eventually become an Action Mom. This was particularly evident on General Hospital during the 1980s, as (former spy turned police commissioner turned private investigator) Anna Devane regularly fought off various villains and enemy spies all the while raising her young daughter Robin.
  • The mother of Principal Wood in Buffy was a slayer and so fought the vampires even after Wood was born. And Spike had to kill her...
  • Sharon "Athena" Agathon on the new Battlestar Galactica continues to be a Raptor (a combination transport ship, electronic warfare vessel, and bomber) pilot after the birth of her daughter Hera, and will go to great lengths to protect her ( good for us, considering that she's the mother of us all).
  • Alice Carter and soon, Gwen Cooper on Torchwood.
    • Gwen cements her status as Action Mom in the first episode of Miracle Day. Holding a pistol with one hand and her infant daughter with the other (having first slapped a pair of earmuffs on the tyke in order to protect her baby ears), she proceeds to have a decent go at shooting down a helicopter full of men with machine guns.
  • Dr. Beverly Crusher is a fine-boned, gorgeous strawberry blonde doctor. She also practices Klingon martial arts on a regular basis, thoroughly enjoys starship command, is good at said command, and oh yeah? will hide the ship she is commanding inside a star and then trigger a solar flare to destroy you if you shoot at her. All while parenting a teenager.
    • Star Trek: Voyager. Captain Janeway is openly referred to as being a "mother to the crew", and certainly gets Sigourney Weaver on the ass of anyone who threatens them. Probably the most overt example is in "Dark Frontier" when the Borg Queen retakes Seven of Nine back into the Collective, resulting in a custody battle fought with phaser rifles. The two-parter even ends with Janeway "tucking Seven into bed" (i.e. plugging her into the regeneration alcove).
  • Jennifer "JJ" Jareau of Criminal Minds continues to work for the BAU after she has her son.
  • Lindsay Messer on CSI NY. Continues to work as a detective while raising a daughter with Danny. Goes all Mama Bear when Shane Casey is holding her daughter with a gun to her head. One shot, one kill.
  • Catherine Willows on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation probably counts too. She isn't a cop, but still gets her share of actions sequences. And Do NOT mess with Lindsey.
  • In the second season of Falling Skies, Dr. Glass specifically delays telling the father of her child that she's pregnant because she wants to go on a particularly dangerous mission with him.
  • Once Upon a Time: Both Snow White and her daughter Emma.
  • Doris McGarrett on the reimagined Hawaii Five-0
  • We find out in season four of Supernatural that Mary Winchester was one of these until she left the family business in an effort to have a normal life. Not only did it not work it set a chain reaction of events off that are still screwing her children over to this day.
  • Mrs. McCall of Teen Wolf is an interesting example. At first, she was unaware of her son Scott's being a werewolf—but once she became privy not only to that, but all of the supernatural goings-on in her town, she quickly rose to Action Mom status, helping to fight off the various monsters that attack Scott and his friends.
  • Carol from The Walking Dead Carol She is a zombie killing Bad Ass. This trope is subverted when Her daughter gets infected, and subsequently gets the shit shot out of her.

    New Media 
  • I Love Bees had Gilly and Gladys, ass-kicking special forces soldiers, and biological and surrogate mothers respectively to Action Girl Jan.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • When Kharma / Awesome Kong gave birth to her first child on December 31, 2011, people did not expect her to be back in the ring for a few more months. So imagine everybody's surprise when she apeared less than one month later as the third woman to ever participate in the Royal Rumble, easily tossing around any male wrestler who tried to confront her.
    • Sadly, it was later revealed that her child did not survive birth.

    Religion 
  • Catholic military victories tend to get attributed to the intercession of Mary. There's a reason one of her titles is "Our Lady of Victory."
  • Durga, the powerful warrior mother-goddess.

    Roleplaying 
  • Sarah Bishop in Dino Attack RPG fits this role rather nicely. At first she seems a rather gentle woman who just wants her daughter to be safe... that is until she gets a chance to actually go out onto the battlefield.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Spanish fanzine-turned-comic-book-turned-RPG Fanhunter introduced the generic character of the "Ninja Granny" (original: "Ag? ninja"; later concretized in at least one individual), who supposedly learned ninjitsu in some Age Concern course, kicking the players' collective ass and them intending them to eat her "coqrettes" (original "cocretas" instead of "croquetas").
    • In the Fanhunter comic there's also Belit. She keeps her badassery even after giving birth to John and Erika.
  • The Weapons Of The Gods RPG has the "Xia Pregnancy" martial arts technique that allows a woman to fight at (almost) full strength while pregnant. It also protects the foetus from any attack that does not kill the mother, and, during the third trimester, protects it from attacks that DO kill her.

     Video Games 
  • Sophitia Alexandra from the Soul Calibur series doesn't count originally, being retired after becoming a mother in Soul Calibur 2, with her younger sister Cassandra stealing Sophitia's weapons and going off to destroy the Soul Edge and save her two infected children in her sister's place. However, Sophitia gets brought back in the home versions of the game, where she has her husband Rothion (the same blacksmith who forged the blessed weapons that Cassandra stole before she ran away) make her new weapons and sets out to correct the matter. She has remained an Action Mom ever since.
  • Misato from Triangle Heart 3: Sweet Songs Forever is Miyuki's mother and one of the toughest enemies in the story. Nanoha got it from somewhere. Like Shuuko, she abandoned her child to relatives, but getting her back didn't diminish her fighting skills, and she becomes a high-ranking member of the Hong Kong special forces.
  • Yuuno/Juno the Falcoknight from Fire Emblem: Binding Blade. She returned to the battlefield to protect Ilia, her homeland, few months after giving birth to her unnamed daughter. It also helps that her sisters (Thite and Thany, whom she raised due to Parental Abandonment) and husband (Lord Zealot of the Odessa clan) are members of Roy's party as well.
    • Louise in the prequel Blazing Sword is Erk's adoptive mother and a damn good shot. She is also in the early stages of pregnancy for the entire time she's on the team.
    • Even earlier, there's Eyvel from Thracia 776, fighting to protect her adoptive children and her village. She actually turns out to be a biological mom with a bad case of Identity Amnesia; in her ending, she recovers her memories of being Princess Bridget of Jugby, and reunites with her kids.
    • Taken to ridiculous space-time bending levels in Fire Emblem Awakening, where every married first-gen female party member will each have at least one recruitable time-traveling kid from the future, though only Chrom's wife will have actually birthed a child during the events of the game.
      • For more space-time shenanigans, the second-gen ladies can also become this if they marry the Avatar, in which case their child will come from an alternate future.
  • Jade of Beyond Good & Evil. Adoptive mother of six orphans, her attempts to provide for the well-being of her children are what cast her in with La Résistance in the first place. Losing her kids is what results in her Heroic BSOD... And once she recovers, no force in the galaxy can stop her from fighting to get them back.
  • The Boss of Metal Gear Solid 3 is the greatest solider of the century, and is also a figurative mother to her Quirky Miniboss Squad and Big Boss, and a literal mother to Ocelot, whom she gave birth to on the beaches during the Normandy invasion.
    • And by "gave birth", we mean "self-administered caesarean".
    • Big Mama also qualifies.
  • Chun-Li becomes this after adopting not only a little girl she rescued from Gill's clutches, but also other children in Street Fighter III 3rd Strike: Fight for the Future.
    • Crimson Viper from Street Fighter IV has a daughter, Lauren, who she calls in one of her win poses. Her Super SF IV ending features a really sweet meeting between them.
  • Mitsuko Nonomura from Bloody Roar.
  • Final Fantasy VI
  • Vanessa from The King of Fighters. And in the KOF: KYO manga, Kyo Kusanagi's mother Shizuka.
  • Mistal in the .hack games (not GU).
  • Emma Honeywell from The Last Remnant. And she's a complete Bad Ass at that. Her daughter Emmy is just as good of a fighter, and is one of the best party members you can use (though her bearing on the actual plot is nowhere near what her mother's is).
  • Warcraft has some of these, such as Vereesa Windrunner and Garona Halforcen.
  • Karin from Shadow Hearts: Covenant could be argued to be one, though the time loop complicates things.
  • Female dwarves in Dwarf Fortress have no problems with serving in the military. The frequent breaks associated with military service, however, tends to lead to these dwarves having lots of babies if they ever get married. They also don't mind charging into battle juggling a crossbow and three babies. Nor do they mind using the babies as impromptu shields.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, the Human Noble's mother is implied to be a Retired Badass, and describes herself as "no Orlesian wallflower." When your castle is under attack, she is pretty handy with a bow and arrows... unfortunately, she dies at the end of the origin, after staying behind to defend her mortally wounded husband.
    • In addition, the City Elf's mother is stated as having been one of these before she tragically died. She's the one who trained you, and Duncan mentions having wanted to recruit her for the Wardens years earlier.
    • If the Warden's Keep DLC is installed, the Warden and company will learn about Sophia Dryden, the great-great-grandmother of new acquaintance Levi Dryden. She was a noblewoman sentenced to join the Grey Wardens, and retaliated against the sentence by working her way up to the rank of Warden-Commander. Her children are never seen nor mentioned, but given that Levi is her direct descendant, the implication is that she must have had at least one.
    • Flemeth is a villainous example of this, with her daughter as her arch-nemesis. However, in both the first and second games, she also provides both the Warden and Hawke with a well-timed rescue from Darkspawn, the former occuring off-screen, while the latter involves her showing up as a dragon and roasting the Darkspawn, before transforming into a Witch and casually introducing herself.
    • Providing the Dark Ritual is performed, Morrigan can become this.
  • Etsuko from Incredible Crisis. Despite being an average-looking Japanese housewife, she manages to dodge heavily-armed bank robbers on a snowboard, then pilots a fighter jet into battle with a giant rampaging teddy bear.
  • The hero's mother, Miranda, in Grandia III taught him how to use battle magic. She also apparently sparred with him to teach him swordsmanship. When you fight alongside her, she's... intense. Out of combat, she's a different kind of intense.
    • And it's implied in the first Grandia that the hero's mother, Lily, could have qualified for this trope as well.
  • Lucia form Suikoden III. The main character's mother and a playable combatant.
  • In the Spacer background for Mass Effect, Shepard's mother is the executive officer of an Alliance warship. In the sequel, she's a Captain who, according to news reports, passed up an Admiralty to remain a Captain; and after the Reapers hit Earth in the third game, Admiral Hackett mentions to an obviously concerned Shepard that, yes, she did indeed survive the attack, has been promoted to Rear-Admiral and is one of the people in charge of the Crucible Project.
  • The player character's mother in Pokémon X and Y is a Retired Badass who used to race Ryhorns for a living. This trope is also the main reason Professor Sycamore decided to give you a Pokemon: he assumed that awesomeness ran in the family.
  • Super Mario Bros. has Rosalina, "Mama" of the Happily Adopted Lumas, and often refered to as Mother of the Cosmos. While she mostly remained in the sidelines in her debut in Super Mario Galaxy, she later started taking a more active role in games such as Super Mario 3D World and Super Smash Bros.. The latter makes this particularly more clear, fighting all kinds of foes next to her children as a Badass Family.
  • Most of the female characters in Dynasty Warriors naturally have children at one point or another, and all of them kick major ass, but Zhang Chunhua is the only one whose sons are also playable characters - that she fights alongside on multiple occasions - and she is characterized as an Almighty Mom feared by enemy and family alike.
  • The Pokémon Kangaskhan is a kangaroo-like Pokemon that has a baby in her pouch.

    Visual Novels 
  • Fate/stay night: Saber and Caster. Mordred is actually King Arthur's bastard child in the legends. Caster is actually Medea, who was a mother in the Grecian myths; a crazy ass mother who killed her own children to get revenge for her husband Jason both dumping and horribly defiling her in the view of everyone, but a mother nonetheless. She also gives birth to more children later on; probably the most notable is King Medus.
    • Well, Saber is debatable. Apparently, Mordred was given birth to by Morgan Le Fay, with Arturia just serving as a sperm donor while being under a Gender Bender spell by Merlin.
  • Umineko: When They Cry's Eva Ushiromiya is a master of a bunch of different martial arts (very soon after her introduction, she threatens her brother Rudolf playfully by almost kicking him in the face), which she then taught to her son, George. They actually fight against each other in the sixth arc.
  • Plum Kitaki of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney might count as one. She's the wife of the most powerful mobster in the city, and as such is one of the forces behind the criminal empire they run; she also has a son, Wocky, who she loves dearly. Plum is a big, jolly woman who spends most of her time sweeping the street outside her family's estate...using a broom with an extremely sharp katana hidden in the handle. When the police come to seize the family's weapons, she refuses to part with it. And whenever she shows you the blade, her face goes from broad and smiling to a look that shows she knows how to use that thing to do more than clean. You don't want to mess with her.

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Dexter's mom (OK, his whole family) participates in two episodes. Go, Dexter's family, go!
  • Like Helen Parr, Helen Bennett (a.k.a. Mother-1) of the Bionic Six is the mom in a super family.
  • Another animated action mom: Tarra on The Herculoids, but only rarely, as she was normally a Distressed Damsel.
    • In "The Beaked People" she shot one of the title creatures with an energy rock
    • In ''The Android People" she helped to rescue Zandor.
    • In "The Spider Man (sic)" she led the Herculoids in rescuing Zandor and Dorno.
  • When Oberon tries to capture her child, Fox Xanatos of Gargoyles demonstrates not only that she's maintained her kick-ass abilities but she's gained some more new ones.
    • For that matter, the Princess who helped raise Avalon Clan is still very protective of her "eggs".
    • It's suspected that Katana is this way too. (You don't think she carries those weapons around for decoration, do you?) Unfortunately, the comic lost its license before we could see her in action.
  • Agent K from The Replacements.
  • Maddie Fenton from Danny Phantom is a self-proclaimed ninth degree martial artist ghost-destroyer who still manages to make time to bake new cookie recipes.
  • Mrs X from The X's; she's the strongest member in the family but HORRIBLE in the kitchen.
  • Drew Saturday of The Secret Saturdays.
  • Lois Griffin in a episode of Family Guy, she was trained in Karate and was manage to fight a whole bar of people.
  • Kim Possible's mother during her A Day in the Limelight episode.
  • Dear Lord, Nicole from The Amazing World of Gumball fits this trope like a glove. Just watch the chase scene in the DVD episode.
  • Lana from The Lionhearts is this, as she's a former circus lion and rather skilled on the trapeze.
  • Cheshire from Young Justice, who brings her baby daughter to a rescue mission to the annoyance of her husband.
  • The Legend of Korra: Suyin Beifong is a very capable Metalbender like her mother Toph was, and very protective of her children. When her daughter Opal is taken hostage (alongside the rest of the new Air Nation) by Arc Villain Zaheer, she immediately decides to participate in the fight against the villains.

     Real Life 
  • Kerri Walsh Jennings, three-time Olympic gold-medalist in Women's Beach Volleyball, gave birth to two children in between her gold-medal victories in Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
  • Oksana Aleksandrovna Chusovitina, artistic gymnast and world champion who competed for the Soviet Union, the Unified Team, her native Uzbekistan, and Germany — in the last case, it was because of her motherhood, as it's in Germany that she and her husband found medical aid for their Ill Boy son. She's actually one of the very few gymnasts who have returned to high-level competition after having kids, which has made her a sort-of role model for female gymnasts. Not only that, she has had far and away the longest competitive career of any female gymnast ever, competing in six Olympic Games (she's currently planning to retire after her seventh, Rio 2016). To put this in perspective, she was an international elite world champion before most of her London 2012 competition had even been born. Bad. Ass.


Action FashionistaHidden BadassAdaptational Badass
Action DadThe Parent TropeAlmighty Mom
Action Dress RipAction Adventure TropesAction Dad
Yoko Oh NoWomen Are DelicateAffirmative Action Girl
Action GirlfriendAction GirlAmazon Brigade
Action DadImageSource/Animated FilmsBadass Family
Action GirlfriendAlways FemaleAdrenaline Makeover
Action GirlHeroesFaux Action Girl
Violently Protective GirlfriendBadassPregnant Badass
Action DadCharactersAmusing Alien

alternative title(s): Action Mum
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