I am not a mama's boy! Mama Cosma:
Yes you are! Cosmo:
If a guy is excessively devoted to his mother and he's not obviously a manly man, then he will be seen as a sensitive guy
even if he doesn't act like one. His mother might try to completely dominate his life, to the point of telling him who to marry (and if he disobeys then she'll try to ruin his relationship or at least ruin her life too), turning him into a Momma's Boy: hopeless with women, timid, weak, and lacking the spirit to stand up to his mother. His father will be absent or just as browbeaten
. On the other hand, if he does stand up to her then he's not a Momma's Boy, even though she's still My Beloved Smother
Young examples are shown sympathetically, older ones are usually Acceptable Targets
because no one can be a badass
if he always obeys his mother's instructions (unless she's encouraging him to be a badass
which would make her more of an Action Mom
). Note the Double Standard
in this trope, as a girl with a controlling father is almost never Played for Laughs
A young boy has a better chance of escaping mommy's patronage than an adult — who will, if anything, end up with a domineering wife instead. Sometimes an Oedipus Complex
is involved. Rescue is unlikely: there aren't many Action Girls
running around looking for poor oppressed boys. So there's the real danger that Momma's boy will grow old alone, until smother
dies, when it's too late to change their ways and set right what went wrong.
To every Momma's Boy there is a Boy's Momma
, of course.
Although the trope is usually played as inherently negative, it can also be portrayed in a more positive light, becoming essentially a gender-inversion
of Daddy's Girl
in which mother and son are simply very close and utterly adore each other, often to the exclusion of the father (if he's even around to begin with); and while the well-meaning mother might naturally welcome the idea of her son getting hooked, the usual doting and spoiling with which she treats her son might be a bit overwhelming for potential Love Interests
... if she didn't accidentally scare them off with her overprotectiveness first. This form is still likely to be Played for Laughs
, but in a more endearing way.
Compare Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas
. See Mommy Issues
for when this trope gets violent. See also All Take and No Give
. The Distaff Counterpart
, Daddy's Girl
, is less often portrayed as inherently a bad thing.
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Anime and Manga
- Gohan and Goten in Dragon Ball Z. In Dragon Ball GT, Goten is nearly thirty and still living with Mom, while Gohan is pushing forty and lives right next-door with his wife and daughter. Chichi is overly strict with Gohan and seems to have realized her mistakes and been overly lenient with Goten, but both sons love her dearly.
- Ash Ketchum from Pokémon. Why wouldn't he be one? His mother is the only family he has, and he understandably flips out if something bad happens to her (see also: the third movie, Spell of the Unown). To be fair, even a non-Momma's Boy would flip if their mother was in mortal danger.
- A quite weird case is shown in Detective Conan. Conan and the detective kids actually find a "haunted house" where a mother keeps her son locked in the basement to wait until Statute of Limitations past, even when the guy is guilty and does want to go to jail for his crime. Eventually, Conan helps the culprit convince his mother to let him go and turn himself in.
- Kunio Murai from Great Teacher Onizuka is incredibly overprotective from his mother to an obnoxious and paranoaic extreme. He hates when someone gets close to her, dislikes thinking maybe someday she'll remarry, and his Berserk Button is people getting pervy over her.
- Subverted in Hajime No Ippo. Ippo and Volg both adore their mothers and they're huge parts of their lives, but both Hiroko and Mrs. Volg are caring and loving women who do not dominate their boys.
- Edward and Alphonse Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist both dearly loved their mother Trisha, so much that they didn't want to accept her death and attempted to revive her.
- Greece from Axis Powers Hetalia remains devoted to the memory of his mother long after her death, working to excavate the ruins and pass on the myths she left behind. This is not portrayed negatively (his mother was the great Ancient Greece, after all) and while some fanfics have his Sitcom Archnemesis Turkey mock him with this trope, it's usually presented as just a petty insult and Greece's relationship with his mother is usually portrayed positively/sympathetically in them.
- Sometimes in Hare+Guu; even though Hare often gets fed up with his Hard-Drinking Party Girl mother, he is still quite devoted.
- Wallace in the first Digimon Adventure 02 movie is shown to be this, calling his mother several times during the course of the movie. Daisuke chides him for this, although from a realistic standpoint . . . .
- Takashi in Nicoichi is extremely attached to his mother such that when she passed away in a traffic accident when he was two, he kept on clamouring for her without knowing she could never return, forcing his new guardian (and protagonist of the series) to assume the role of a mother and kickstarting the plot.
- Bleach: Ichigo was one when he was younger. Yes, that Ichigo. Back then, he used to be a major crybaby, but whenever his mom appeared he would stop and would immediately smile. She was the center of not only his world, but his family as well. Her death is what caused him to be what he is today.
- Side material for Fate/Zero says that the most effective counter to Rider is his mother. A completely Justified Trope: this particular Rider is Alexander the Great, who was a Momma's Boy in history.
- Superman is very much a momma's boy and will proudly proclaim to anyone who asks (and those who don't) that his mother made his costume for him. (Though in the New52 era it looks like some kind of Kryptonian armor.)
- Perhaps the ultimate example in comics is Peter Parker alias Spider-Man, although to be pedantic he really is an Auntie's Boy.
- Chas Chandler in Hellblazer.
- The Whizzer and Chips character Mummy's Boy, but he is only a boy, there's time.
- The Viz character Sid the Sexist - also a grown-up virgin and ashamed of it, hence constant crass attempts to get laid
- War Machine has some characteristics of this trope. He tries to do good deeds like stopping acts of genocide and thwarting likes of Norman Osborn so his mother can be proud of him.
- In Cerebus the Aardvark, the pub owner Pud Withers is very devoted to his mother, to the point that his diary entries are addressed to her even though she's dead. He even apologizes to her as he's praying to Tarim for forgiveness for almost forcing himself on Jaka.
- Norman Bates from Psycho must be the creepiest and most dominated example of this in film history. Even though he killed his mother, she still dominates him from beyond the grave.
- Alex Sebastian from Notorious. He's not as obvious an example as Norman Bates, but his mother still has her hooks in good and deep. Alex manages to stand up to her by marrying Alicia. Unfortunately, Alicia turns out to be a American spy, and so Alex's mother is able to step in and exert control again
- Lionel from Braindead (also called Dead Alive) is a perfect example. He's so emotionally dependent on his mother that after she gets zombified he hides her in the basement, unable to bring himself to destroy her. That is, until he learns she killed his father for having an affair. That knowledge lets him break free just in time for the final battle.
- Grendel in Beowulf. It's more obvious in The Movie.
- Mikey in...Momma's Man.
- Raymond Shaw, the protagonist of The Manchurian Candidate, is controlled utterly by his mother, to perhaps the most frightening possible degree.
- Owen in Throw Momma from the Train.
- German comedy Ödipussi. He gets better, which is symbolized when he pulls down his mother's hat over her face.
- Ernest Borgnine's title character in Marty. His cousin Tommy is one too.
- The title character in Cyrus is one... except that he's the one that's manipulative and controlling.
- Manolo Sanchez in The Book of Life. He and his mother Carmen had a close relationship.
- In many European folk tales (for instance among the Romani), The Devil is sometimes described living in hell together with his mother and grandmother. (Since he can't be a married man obviously - marriage is a Catholic sacrament.) That makes this also a case of The Devil Is a Loser.
- More "heroic" example: in Greek Mythology, the demi-god and hero Perseus was very protective of his beautiful mother, Danae. His adventures kickstarted when she was courted by an evil king who wanted her as his wife and him dead, so he tasked the guy with bringing him the monster Medusa's head, and thus began Perseus's Coming of Age story...
- Another example from Greek Mythology is Hypnos, the god of sleep. He once sent Zeus to sleep so Hera could dick with Heracles without her husband finding out. When Zeus woke up, he was understandably pissed, so Hypnos ran off and hid behind his mother, Nyx, the Anthropomorphic Personification of night, and one of the few things in creation more powerful than an angry Zeus.
- The title character from the novel Portnoy's Complaint.
- Neville Longbottom from Harry Potter. Since his mother Alice is mentally broken from many years ago and so is his father Frank, his grandmother Augusta raised him. She has him completely under her thumb, but while that is played for laughs, he eventually gains courage and his grandmother's pride of him during the Grand Finale.
- Eddie Kaspbrak from Stephen King's IT is a former Momma's Boy with a domineering wife but manages to be kind of a hero too.
- Another King example would be Larry Underwood from The Stand, though to a lesser degree.
- The Doctor Who Eighth Doctor Adventures novel The Blue Angel is an Alternate Universe in which the Doctor is kind of one of these. (He's also Ambiguously Gay — Freud wouldn't have been surprised.) He's about forty and she's still trying to meddle in his personal life. To be fair, she's a mermaid who lives in a normal house in a nice little village and is therefore stuck in a wheelchair, and he's pretty far off his rocker — it makes sense they'd need each other's help. He lampshades it — as he has a bad leg when he goes to visit his mother, he comments on being reminded of Oedipus Rex. Interestingly, even in the several paragraphs of backstory about his childhood, his father is never mentioned, although an ex-boyfriend of his mother is.
- The Silmarillion: Fëanor. He never knew his mother, but was ferociously devoted to her memory; he took personal offense when people mispronounced her name.
- In Literature/Percy Jackson and The Olympians, Percy Jackson adores his mother and would do anything for her. This is portrayed in a very positive light and doesn't detract from his badassness at all, as she raised him single-handily after his dad left and the first book has him protecting her from his abusive stepfather. It also helps that his mom is a kind, selfless and all-round awesome person. Their closeness really stands out from the other demigods less positive relationship with their parents.
- Similar to Percy, Nick Gautier in The Dark Hunters is a troubled magical teen who loves his mother to death, and insulting/harming her is his one Berserk Button - though comparing him to his scumbag of a dad comes close, too.
- The 39 Clues has a few- *cough*Ian and Jonah*cough*.
- Bob and George Dr. Light tries to create one.
- Paul Atreides in Dune. That Momma's Boy ain't no Momma's Boy!
- Oblomov shares many characteristics with them, although his father isn't absent and also never shown to be a typical Henpecked Husband.
- In Death series: Bobby from Memory In Death is this for his mother Trudy Lombard. He is told by Eve at the end that his Manipulative Bitch of a wife killed his Manipulative Bitch of a mother, and she would have killed him too. He knows that she is giving it to him straight, but he is unable to accept it. He is a victim to Eve cannot reach, and is clearly pitiable.
- In John Gardner's Grendel, which is Beowulf told from the monster's point of view, Grendel was quite the little Mama's Boy as a lad.
- It including hurling himself at his mother when he became frightened (or when he feels horribly displaced or 'obscene'), followed by a very vague implied comfort-nursing. Since Grendel is recalling it in first-person, he remembers this.
- His traumatic growing up scene begins with straying out too far into the morning, following the scent of a newborn calf. He finds it to be "as sweet as his mama's milk". Once again, he remembers. How old was he when this happened... eleven, maybe?
- In his adult life, he inverts from being a Mama's Boy a little, despising his mother's apparently inability to speak or desire to leave their cave.
- And yet he always returns to her, with Mama trying to keep him from leaving her until he actually picks her up and puts her aside. Literally and figuratively. She didn't react well to "being put aside" and never tries to stop him from leaving again. Which is where Beowulf later kills him.
- In Returnto Neverend, David Inari's reaction to his mother's death caused him to withdraw from society at large and stop visiting the land he and she had created. His fixation is responsible for creating the White Queen.
- In P. G. Wodehouse's work, usually a sign of Wrong Guy First — though he can also be the hero of the Beta Couple.
- Derek in Jill the Reckless.
- Trapped on Draconica: Kalak idolized his mom as the ideal warrior. She's the main reason he wants Gothon's head on a stick.
- Ivan Vorpatril in the Vorkosigan Saga.
- Christopher in Flowers in the Attic will not tolerate any criticism or questioning of their mother, no matter how terrible things get as they spend years locked in the attic. It carries over into the second book, where he still makes lame excuses for her (despite the irrevocable proof of her abandoning them) and blasts sister Cathy for her obsession with destroying her. Not until he overhears her admit to poisoning them does he finally face facts. And even then, in the third book, it's he who has managed to forgive her to some extent and chastises Cathy for not doing so.
- David Rain from The Last Dragon Chronicles.
- The Rifter: Fikiri. Represented as being very attached to his mother at a young age, and not growing away from her, and also being cowardly and petty. She is burned as a witch, and Fikiri blames John, whom he already hated, but this cements an undying enmity. Not that itďż˝s shown to be wrong, in general, to love and look up to your mother: the warm relationship between Saimura and his mother Ji demonstrates that.
- A Song of Ice and Fire has a few. In a number of flavours. In the outright creepy corner, we have Robert "Sweetrobin" Arryn and his Epic-class My Beloved Smother Lysa — this pair manage one of the most horrible takes on the trope you'd ever hope not to meet — the poor boy is so smothered, his physical health is directly impacted, not just his mental. In the mixed-bag section, we have Cersei Lannister and her two boys. One isn't what you'd expect in a typical Momma's Boy at all. Except, she went out to emotionally cripple our implusive Joffrey quite handily. Tommen, however... is the trope played both sweetly and very, very straight. For more marginal examples, there are Brandon Stark and Samwell Tarly. Deliberate it wasn't in either case: but, they're their mothers' darlings. Thankfully, they are among the most lightly smothered you'll find still kind of meeting this trope. And, as far as Sam is concerned, it's unclear how much is actually a case of "really didn't get along with Monster Dad, so had only one other option". Most of their sufferings have little to do with this trope, in fact. There are a few more knocking about the series, both in the backstory and the main one, but these are the big ones.
- As revealed in a fan letter for Warrior Cats, Erin Hunter confirms that Tigerstar really did love his mama Leopardfoot over his dad Pinestar.
Live Action TV
- Dennis Day on The Jack Benny Program.
- Arthur Shappey of Cabin Pressure.
Mr. Burling: You're twenty-eight, you have a ridiculous job, and you still live with your mother.
Arthur: Well, yeah, but not in the "ooh, still lives with his mother" way people are thinking when they laugh about it. I just live with her because we get on really well, like friends, so why pay rent?
Mr. Burling: That is precisely what people are thinking when they laugh about it.
- Final Fantasy:
- Would Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII be a twisted take? Thanks to Advent Children, it's even more twisted!
- Extra credit for being a more spiritual sort of "motherhood" courtesy of the Jenova cells Sephiroth was originally infected with, and also courtesy of Jenova not even being determinately female or necessarily even fully aware of it. It's definitely how Sephiroth acts about the whole affair, though.
- He might just have delusions that his imaginary Mother loves him and would like him to turn the planet into their own personal family barbecue, then using it as a transport to go to new planets to eat at, as it is unknown how Jenova can even communicate with him.
- Cloud is a positive take on this trope, having been raised by a single mother.
- Good ol' Seymour Guado from Final Fantasy X. The guy's got some massive Oedipal issues. Though the hate he has of his father completely overrides the love for his mother. Unlike a certain other Final Fantasy Momma's Boy...
- Hope Estheim from Final Fantasy XIII.
- Fire Emblem:
- Pelleas from Radiant Dawn would probably qualify, if he were actually Almedha's son. Tibarn even calls him a Momma's Boy.
- While Brady of Awakening loves his mother Maribelle dearly, he criticises her at some point because, since she once was a My Beloved Smother to him, he turned out to become this and couldn't save her from death.
- In Baten Kaitos Origins, one of Sagi's defining character traits is his love for his mother, and many of the decisions he makes throughout the game are attempts to help or please her. It later leads to one of his best moments.
- In Team Fortress 2, about half of the Scout's lines that aren't insults are related in some way to his beloved 'ma... The other half is bragging.
- Walter Sullivan, the Big Bad from Silent Hill 4: The Room, believes that an apartment is his mother. It only gets weirder from there.
- Badass and Scary Black Man Sig in the Jak and Daxter series, who reminisces about his mother telling him stories and handing him warm milk and his "little Poopsie Bear" when he was a child. (He's about the only character whose mother has even been mentioned besides Keira, which puts him one up on the rest of the world.)
- Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side's flamboyant artist, Mihara Shiki, loves his mommy and doesn't mind saying so. In this case it's not exactly presented as a negative so much as simply an indication of his quirkiness - for example, in one of his events he drapes himself against a bust he made of his mother, lamenting that she's not there right now, giving the heroine the impression that his mother is dead... but no, she's at home making dinner.
- Jin Kazama from the highly-popular 3D fighting series Tekken.
- One staple of the MOTHER series is that the protagonists all have really, really good relationships with their moms. This gets Played for Drama in the third game. Poor Lucas...
- In Borderlands 2, Psychos have some... interesting things to say about their mothers. Hell, the challenge for killing certain numbers of them is even called "Mama's Boys". From the Assassinate the Assassins mission:
Psycho #1: I can still taste her lovely sweatbox! She fed me such tears of ecstasy!
Psycho #2: LIAR! I ripped out her bumpy tummy, and her hot screams were for ME!
Psycho #1: Mommy bled for us both! She bled for us both!
- Teruteru Hanamura from Super Dangan Ronpa 2 really loves his mom and it's even stated to be one in his profile. This is what drives him to murder because he wants to get out of the island so he can find out if she's okay, since she's also an Ill Girl and a Workaholic. He also he has a brief flashback after the first trial as he tells how he is worried about her declining health due to overwork in her restaurant, and he screams for his mother before the execution starts.
- Jake Gyllenhaal appears to be this, if one of his interviews with Jimmy Kimmel is any indication. He told a very lengthy anecdote about her getting him a present, describing her as a "badass chick" for her sheer persistence.
- Professional Wrestling has WCW wrestler Buff Bagwell and his mother, Judy, who was made one-half of the WCW World Tag Team Champions in 1998 with Rick Steiner. Both Buff and Kanyon would fight in a "Judy Bagwell on a
Pole Forklift" match in 2000. It was also rumored that Bagwell was fired from the WWF in 2001 because Judy was calling the WWF offices to complain about Buff's travel schedule. However, it was also likely due to his notorious stinker of a match against Booker T on the July 2 Raw.
- Michael Jackson adored his mother Katherine, and apparently so did everyone else according to his memorial ("Mrs. Jackson... and Joe"). One of the first things Michael did when he became a successful solo artist was to throw a big birthday party for her, which nearly backfired horribly because she is a devout Jehovah's Witness (they compromised by having all the gifts "wrapped" in plain brown bags).
- Javier Bardem; he notably dedicated his Oscar win for No Country for Old Men to his mother (In Spanish, no less), and cites her career as an actress as his inspiration for becoming an actor himself.
- Former World Heavyweight Boxing Champ Lennox Lewis' autobigraphy was even entitled "Mommas Boy". Not that I would call him on it or anything.
- The Roman Emperor Severus Alexander, who was only fourteen when his mother arranged for him to come to power. She was known as 'Mother of Augustus, and of the camps, and of the senate, and of the Fatherland', in case anyone was in any doubt about who was really in charge. Eventually, they were both murdered.
- Elvis Presley made a promise to both his parents that he would take care of them once he made it big, and he kept that promise, even bringing them to live at Graceland. Their graves are there, right beside his.
Johnny Cash: (Elvis Presley) was a kid when I worked with him. He was nineteen years old, and he loved cheeseburgers, girls, and his mother, not necessarily in that order (it was more like his mother, then girls, then cheeseburgers).
- German author Erich Kästner (whom you may know from the book that became adapted as The Parent Trap) was this in Real Life and also wrote many characters like this in his books.
- Ronnie and Reggie Kray were notorious London Gangsters, "but they loved their mum".
- NFL receiver Andre Johnson, after being goaded into a fistfight with opposing cornerback Cortland Finnegan, was later asked in an interview what his mother thought about it. He responded that he'd rather not say what his 'Momma' said about him fighting.
- Speaking of NFL players, the very first thing that linebacker Ray Lewis, considered one of the game's toughest, most physical players, bought after he got his first contract? An apartment in the city he moved to play in for his mom, down the hall from his apartment. The two still have a close relationship.
- Russian NHL winger and current super star Alexander Ovechkin is an admitted Momma's Boy. He is single and often stays with his parents, while his mother cooks and washes for him.
- Stephen Colbert is one both in- and out-of-character. He's the youngest of eleven children and his mom had to raise him alone for much of his childhood because his father (and two of his brothers) were killed when he was a boy. Stephen has done several tributes to her on The Colbert Report, often in response to her health issues (and ultimately her death at age 92 in June 2013).
- In the wild, killer whales stay with their mothers for her whole life, but males get especially attached to their mommas. A male orca won't usually live much longer after his mother dies.