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Action Mom

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We all wish she was our mom.

"[She is] a loving wife and mother who would prove to be as skilled at kicking asses as she was at wiping them."
Narrator introducing Shirley, Community, "Pillows and Blankets"

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 savior 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 to be badasses just like her.

Related to Action Girlfriend, as she may graduate to "Mom" status if she and her boyfriend tie the knot and have kids of their own. Alternatively, a Battle Couple may find themselves acting as parental surrogates, with the female effectively taking on this role. Truth in Television in the case of mothers working in hazardous jobs such as police work.

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

Example subpages

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 
  • In 1998 Coca-Cola had a couple animated commercials made for a "Super Mom" character: A seemingly ordinary housewife with two kids, who is secretly an almighty super hero who saves the planet on a regular basis, yet still makes time to be part of her kids' lives.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Universe:
    Jessica: Can I give you a piece of advice, Kang? Never mess with a pregnant woman.
    • Shanna the She-Devil is Happily Married to Ka-Zar and they have a son.
    • Emma Frost has five cloned daughters, the Stepford Cuckoos. She can be protective of them, and she is quite saddened when two of them are dead (even if one of them, Esme, once betrayed and tried to kill her).
    • Kelsey Leigh, the second Captain Britain, is a single mom of two children.
    • Mary-Jane Watson in the alternate universe of The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows where she and Peter are still married and have a daughter, Annie. In the final issue, she uses a set of exoskeletal armor to join her family in beating the hell out of Regent. When she does and her daughter asks what her codename is, she replies, "I already have one: Mom!"
      • In the mini-series, after taking down Regent, Peter uses his technology to make a suit (that mimics his own spider-powers) for Mary Jane, since Annie was increasingly engaging in superheroics and needed someone to keep an eye on her.
    • In the Ultimate Marvel universe, Magda is revealed as such in the Ultimate Wolverine miniseries. Also Monica Chang, from The Ultimates.
  • The DCU:
    • Hippolyta of the Wonder Woman mythos. Never mind the fact that Diana is an adult... In Wonder Woman (1987) she even took up the mantle of Wonder Woman for a while. Diana herself was also one Pre-Crisis as she and Steve Trevor had a daughter together.
    • Steve Trevor's own mother was a WASP pilot during WWII.
    • Lady Shiva is the mother of Cassandra Cain aka Batgirl and has been kicking ass since 1975.
    • Donna Troy was also a mother before her son died in a car accident.
    • Alanna Strange definitely fits the trope, seeing as she's apparently capable of fighting her way past the bad guy's guards, sneaking into the room where he's gloating over her captured husband, taking 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. She was a woman disguised as a male hero with no superpowers and was associated with (but not a member of) the Justice Society of America.
    • Supergirl's foster mother Eliza Danvers in Supergirl (Rebirth) is an agent of the D. E. O. (Department of Extra-normal Operations), a government agency created to deal with and neutralize alien threats. In Supergirl Rebirth #1 a Kryptonian werewolf is attacking one of the D. E. O. bases, and she quickly figures out where he comes from and what kind of ammo they need, before throwing a grenade at him.
    • The female Dr. Light is the mother of two, and the former leader of a Justice League team.
    • Talia Al Ghul after giving birth to Damian Wayne is still badass enough to brandish a handgun and wear a sexy catsuit or have Batman tied up against his will.
    • The Pre-Flashpoint Lois Lane in DC Rebirth. Special mention when she put Batman's old Hellbat Armor to protect her son Jon from the Eradicator.
    • Queen Atlanta, mother of Aquaman, is no slouch but ended up missing for almost his entire childhood. When he finds her again she's an impressive warrior.
    • Ellen Baker, mother of two kids and married to Animal Man, while not a superhero has elements of this. Like when Mirror Master invaded her home and she kicked him in the crotch and shoved him down a staircase.
    • Cheshire did not stop being one of the deadliest Professional Killers in the world after giving birth to Lian Harper.
  • Lupe from Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) is a fierce freedom fighter and mother of two. Sadly her whole family becomes roboticized.
  • Julia Diggers of Gold Digger, showing that 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.
    • Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld: Amy learned all her warrior skills from her mother.
  • Ms. Tree, originally with her stepson Michael and later with her own daughter Melodie (following a stint as a Pregnant Badass).
  • In the Fanhunter comic there's Belit. She keeps her badassery even after giving birth to John and Erika.
  • 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.
  • From Paperinik New Adventures, 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The titular Action Girl from Yoko Tsuno becomes this after she adopts a little girl named Morning Dew.
  • This is a theme in Revival: hero cop Dana Cypress, ninja assassin Weaver Fannie, and General Louise Cale all have children.
  • Sheriff Clara Bronson of Copperhead is a hardheaded lawbringer raising her preteen son Zeke as a single mom.
  • Zoe Washburne in the Series/Firefly comics. She found out she was pregnant after her husband’s death in The Movie and she continues to be a warrior woman even while raising Emma, and later alongside her in Firefly: Brand New 'Verse

    Fan Works 
  • Eva's feats in All Assorted Animorphs AUs include holding Naomi at gunpoint for arguing with hernote  and stunning Edriss-in-Marco with a Dracon beam.note  Loren also shoots and kills Visser Three in "What if Elfangor and Loren raised Tobias?", while Jean tries to prod gorilla-Marco with a fire poker in "What if they saved Jake's family?"

Avatar: The Last Airbender / The Legend of Korra

  • Field of Innocence: Before she died, Lu Ten's mother, Colonel Kei Rin, was one. She was such a feared soldier that the Earth Kingdom army had a 'flee on sight' order for her.


  • Riding the Dragon has Cecilia Kurita who governs an interstellar realm, leads armies and raises her children as a single mother.


  • Croft and Son (Devil May Cry 4 & Tomb Raider): This story imagines Lara Croft as Nero's mother, and she's still out having her adventures and raising him with the help of Sam.
  • An Extraordinary Journey: Several examples
  • Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail: Amelia Hughes is an older variation as she's in her late sixties at this point, but ends up as the Team Mom when she joins the Red Lotus Trio as its fourth member and becomes a surrogate mother figure for Chloe Cerise. She's capable of handling shotguns well, mowing down zombies, monsters and will draw fire at Pyramid Head to protect Chloe. She's also the mother the Hazel seeing as Hazel is one of her experiments to recreate her fiance Alrick. And for the love of One-One do not hurt these girls.
  • The Silver Raven (Devil May Cry & The Owl House): Lilith Clawthorne is Nero's mother and is the strongest member of the Emperor's Coven, being powerful enough to force powerful demons like Echidna to heel in single combat.

Disney Animated Canon


Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation: Mo Dao Zu Shi / The Untamed


  • Spawn: Samus is revealed to have mothered a son named Hector. Over the course of the story, Hector gets to follow his mother in her adventures.

My Little Pony

  • It's A Dangerous Business, Going Out Your Door: Shield Maiden: elite warrior of Gildedale, bodyguard to the heir to its throne, and mother of a young filly.
  • In The Party Never Ended, Derpy Hooves/Ditzy Doo is motivated to help the weather team with the huge storm summoned by the Big Bad (and does a pretty good job of it) because of her love for her daughter Dinky.
  • Twilight Sparkle, of all mares, gains badass points after she adopts Nyx in Past Sins.


  • A Growing Affection: Yukihana saves five people from the Nine-Tails despite only giving birth two days previous. Yugao goes toe-to-toe with Konan to protect her daughter.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

  • A Crown of Stars: Asuka fought the whole South American campaign being pregnant with Shinji's baby.
  • HERZ: Asuka is a soldier and Humongous Mecha Ace Pilot has been training since she was four... and she is mother of a five-years-old child.
  • Last Child of Krypton: It turns out that Kyoko -Asuka's mother- was an Amazon, and demonstrates this trope quite well in a video of her forced Contact Experiment with Unit-02.

The Octonauts

  • Kitsune of Junior Officers, a mother of a six-year-old boy who can drive GUPs and patch up creatures with ease.


Pretty Cure

Young Justice (2010)

  • From Young Justice: Darkness Falls, we have Artemis. Who after giving birth to her daughter Isis, still is able to use the bow and fight pretty effectively. The sequel, Young Justice Titans, adds M'gann. Both Artemis and M'gann already have kids, and both of them can still fight with the best of them.


  • In Catch Your Breath, Miyako Gekko, who was leading her very own Zetsu extermination squad in the Commencement arc and fighting alongside her daughter.
    • Kushina counts, too. Right after giving birth to Naruto, she proceeds to stomp to the Barrier/Sensor Squad and stage a non-hostile takeover. And again, when she and Tsunade proceed to obliterate Danzo while Minato and the gang are in Suna. Kushina dealt the finishing blow, and Kurama even praised her ferocity.
  • The Child of Love: Asuka is a soldier, a pilot that fights giant alien monsters… and she becomes a mother in this story. She fought battles when she was still carrying her daughter and after giving birth.
  • In A.A. Pessimal's Discworld imaginings, Doctor Davinina Bellamy is the Action Mum. in appearance blonde, bespectacled and mumsy, she runs her own floristry business, has a PhD in Botany, and is married with three sons. Her knowledge of the language of flowers note  draws her to the notice of the Guild of Assassins, who need a Botany teacher for the School. She passes the Mature Students Course and takes up a new career, all the time being a devoted wife and mother. She even gets two of her sons accepted by the School for Assassin training.
    • The story Hyperemesis Gravidarum develops the idea of what happens when Lady Assassins get pregnant and start (or in Davinia's case, extend) families. By the end, the reader will have the strong impression there are three Mama Bears out there, who will (briefly) deliver a world of pain to anyone threatening the children.
    • Motherhood and a total of three daughters do not slow Johanna Smith-Rhodes as she gets older. Far from it. In the continuation tale Strandpiel, she is around forty. Her fourteen-year-old daughter watches helplessly from the ground as her mother learns the new and largely untried discipline of parachute jumping.note 
  • The Elements of Harmony and the Savior of Worlds: Megan Richards nee Williams. 20 years has passed since her last trip to Equestria and she has two daughters, but when danger calls, she doesn't hesitate in grabbing a rifle to fight a dragon.
  • In the Arrow series Legacy, Lyla's response to getting shot is, "Don't make a fuss." Her daughter can only say, "Mom's hardcore." Felicity will also pick up a weapon to defend her kids without hesitation.
  • A Mother's Touch is about former sukeban Yoko Sakaki who verbally tears apart idiot bullies who made her son cry and is capable of punching the daylights out of Duel Monsters with a pair of brass knuckles.
  • The Second Try: Asuka had delivered and raised Aki together with Shinji for four years before getting dragged back to the past and fight the Angel War again.
  • Son of the Sannin has several mothers who are ninja.
    • Sasuke and Itachi's mother Mikoto took part in the Uchiha Insurrection and was responsible for the death of Ino's father Inoichi.
    • Shizune takes part in Kirigakure's civil war about a year after the birth of her first child (and may very well have been in the early stages of pregnancy with her second). She even leads her former genin students in killing one of the Seven Swordsmen of the Mist.
    • The fourth Mizukage's wife is shown fighting alongside him during the same war while their son was elsewhere on the front lines.
    • Yugao continues her ANBU duties while acting as Haku's foster mother (and also after the birth of her biological son Seiichi).
    • Unlike in canon, Kurenai returns to active duty after her daughter Mirai is born.
    • While she never returns to active duty, Tsunade is even more powerful than her canon counterpart due to having recieved Sage training from the slugs and is also a mother of four (two adopted, two biological).
    • Mei Terumi continues to serve as Mizukage after the birth of her first child. Like Tsunade, she has also recieved Sage training.
  • Thousand Shinji: After the Angel War Asuka become the Goddess of War and later she and Shinji had at least a daughter -Kali-. And she still kept being a warrior goddess and kicking butts.
  • In What Have You Done, Twilight Sparkle's mother, Twilight Velvet is well trained in emphatic spells, and uses them quite effectively against a group of Changelings. Before that glorious moment, we saw her stand up to Princess Celestia for her daughter's sake. Bad.Ass.

    Film — Animation 
  • 9: Though they aren't technically mother and children, 7 plays this role to 3 and 4.
  • The Book of Life: Manolo's mother Carmen, once he arrives in the Land of the Remembered. She travels to the edge of the Land of the Remembered, climbs a gigantic statue and slaps Xibalba.
  • Brave: Elinor becomes one in the climax where she (as a bear) battles Mor'du.
  • The Incredibles and Incredibles 2: Pictured on this page is Helen Parr, a.k.a. Elastigirl, 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.
  • 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.
  • The Secret of NIMH: Mrs. Brisby 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.
  • Shrek the Third: Queen Lillian. It's revealed that Fiona inherited her fighting skills from her mother.
  • In Turning Red, Sun Yee, thanks to her being granted the power of a red panda spirit, was able to defend her daughters and her village in the absence of the men in her village.

    Film — Live Action 
  • Abeltje: Abeltje's mother drives a motorcycle and is very protective of her son. When she discovers that he's in Perugona, she immediately rents out a waterplane and flies there to take Abeltje back, dodging fire from Perugonan soldiers in the process. Unfortunately, she actually takes the wrong boy by mistake.
  • Aliens: Ellen Ripley. 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.
  • The Banana Splits Movie has Beth — Harley and Austin’s mother — going through extra lengths to protect her two sons and the other children from the Splits. She manages to throw Bingo off a giant ledge and kills Drooper via impalement in self-defense.
  • Child's Play (1988): Karen Barclay is forced to become this over the course of the first film.
  • Chocolate: Zin 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.
  • Conan the Barbarian (2011): Conan's mother was a warrior woman who'd gone into battle full term by his father's side. She was killed, but not before seeing him born.
  • 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 DC Extended Universe has Hippolyta (best seen in Wonder Woman and Zack Snyder's Justice League), the Queen of the Amazons and mother of Diana/Wonder Woman. She'll jump in the heat of battle just like the other Amazons, and boy is she a badass at it.
  • Gremlins (1984): Mrs. Peltzer goes to some... extreme lengths to defend her home from the titular monsters.
  • Halloween (2018): Laurie Strode spent the last forty years anticipating the return of Michael Myers, and had trained her daughter, Karen, to follow in her footsteps. Although Karen eventually had a falling out with Laurie, she ends up cooperating with her when Michael comes back... by which time Karen already has a daughter of her own, Allyson.
  • Jane Got a Gun: Jane is the mother of a young daughter who takes up arms against very dangerous criminals to protect both her husband and her child, trained by gunslinger Dan Frost.
  • Kenau: Kenau is mother to two daughters and the leader of a whole band of action girls that really existed: the Women of Harlem.
  • Kill Bill: Although she tries and fails to embrace the housewife role, Beatrix 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.
  • 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.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • A brief moment in Thor has Frigga proving that her son's skill comes from both parents. 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.
    • In Ant-Man, Hope's mother Janet van Dyne formed a Battle Couple with her husband, Hank Pym. The last time Hope saw her, she bid her goodbye before going on a mission to abort the launch of a nuke, which ended with her sacrificing herself by going subatomic.
    • Pepper Potts is a mother by the events of Avengers: Endgame. This doesn't stop her from helping her husband and the other Avengers fight against Thanos in the final battle.
  • Peppermint: Not initially given to action, but much of the five years between Riley North's family being gunned down and the present is her learning various martial skills, which she uses in her quest for vengeance and justice.
  • Scream (2022) has two examples:
    • Single mother Judy Hicks, the sheriff of Woodsboro, doesn't hesitate to charge against Ghostface if it means she can save her son. Not that it doesn't do them much good.
    • Sidney Prescott is revealed to have given birth to two children. She is also at her most badass in this film, having had 25 years of experience anticipating serial killers in every corner. Whereas danger followed her in previous films, here, she actively pursues danger to save the people she loves.
  • Series 7: The Contenders: Brooke Smith pushes this trope to its logical extreme in the dark comedy 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.
  • Ingrid Cortez (Carla Gugino) in the Spy Kids movies.
  • Skyscraper: Sarah is a former Navy doctor and mother of two children who uses her wits, cheap shots, and anything she can get her hands on to defeat opponents that can easily overpower her. Crosses into Battle Couple territory with her equally tough husband Will. Being played by Neve Campbell and Dwayne Johnson respectively, this is almost a given.
  • Star Wars:
    • Subverted with Padmé, who starts out as an ass-kicking politician, then gradually deteriorates into a ball of mush who gives up on life the moment her kids are born, because she only just realized her husband was a jerk.
    • Played Straight with Leia, Padmé's daughter. She can use blasters, is a force user, and is an active princess, later general. Though she doesn't engage in physical combat much, she is usually the one behind the plan. Leia is not tempted by the dark side even once, not even after her home planet is destroyed, she is physically and psychologically tortured, her adoptive parents are killed, her real parents are killed, her son turns evil, her husband is killed by him, and her brother vanishes. Take notes, Skywalker boys.
  • Terminator: Sarah Connor in the movies and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles television series, a case where she didn't start out as an Action Girl, but definitely became one after she gave birth to John.
  • Totally Killer: Pam has spent 35 years training herself and her daughter in martial arts in case the killer comes back while also having guns, knives, pepper spray, and alarms hidden around her house, refusing to let Jamie go to concerts unsupervised, and even keeping a psychic good luck crystal around as a last resort.
  • Undercover Blues: Jane and Jeff Blue are total Action Parents, bringing their baby girl with them through all kinds of spy adventures.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Search: Da-jeong has a daughter and is part of the search team. One of the reasons she joins the team is to protect her family.
  • The 4400. Homeland security agent Diana Skouris, after she adopts the orphaned Maia Rutledge
  • Arrow:
    • Lyla Michaels continues to work for A.R.G.U.S. despite having baby Sara in season 3 (or baby J.J. from season 5 onwards, thanks to Flashpoint).
    • Felicity as of season 6, when she adopts Oliver's son, William. Furthermore in season 7 when she has a baby of her own with Oliver.
  • Chuck: Chuck's mother. When she reconnects with her family, she is revealed to be a spy like her son, who has been an undercover CIA agent for the last 20 years in Volkoff Industries, trying to take down a deadly, powerful arms dealer, Alexei Volkoff.
    • Chuck's sister, Ellie, after giving birth to her daughter, Clara. In season 5, she knocks Daniel Shaw out by hitting him over the head with a frying pan.
  • Doctor Who gives us Amy Pond post-pregnancy, and earlier, after a Jackie Tyler went from annoying shrew to woman who kicks Dalek ass.
  • Alice Carter on Torchwood. Gwen Cooper also qualifies in Torchwood: Miracle Day, having given birth between series.
  • In The Sarah Jane Adventures, Sarah Jane Smith becomes one of these, though both her children were adopted.
  • In Game of Thrones, Karsi is both a caring mother and a formidable fighter.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Nikki Wood in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the mother of Principal Wood, was a Slayer, and is seen in the comics fighting off a vampire while pregnant and deprived of her Slayer powers. She continued to fight the forces of darkness after giving birth to her son, up until her death at the hands of Spike.
  • 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).
  • In Star Trek: The Next Generation, 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 probably counts too. She isn't a cop, but still gets her share of actions sequences. And Do NOT mess with Lindsey.
  • Lucifer has Chloe Decker, who works as an LAPD detective while raising her young daughter, Beatrice, mostly by herself (though her ex, Daniel, occasionally lends a hand).
  • 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.
  • 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 (2010) is a zombie-killing badass. This trope is subverted when her daughter gets infected, and subsequently gets the shit shot out of her.
  • Teyla in season five of Stargate Atlantis with a dose of Mama Bear (Bye, Michael.
  • In 1000 Ways to Die, a pervert flashes a group of young moms. Unfortunately for him, the ladies were members of a fighting club named "M.I.L.F" (aka "Mothers I Want to Fight") and, without hesitation, they squirt him with their babies' milk bottles, full of breast milk. The perv grabs one and drinks the contents... too bad that the lady had eaten peanuts (so the milk had some traces of peanut in it) and the pervert had a peanut allergy, which ends up killing him.
  • Wonder Woman (1975): Wonder Woman's mother is Hippolyta (the Amazon who defeated Hercules), but this is never confirmed or denied in the show. However, in "The Feminum Mystique", the Amazons overthrow the Nazis who were holding them prisoner after seizing Paradise Island. The last defining act is when Hippolyta, armed with a feminum bracelet, stares down the leader informing him that his gun is now useless against her.
  • The White Queen: Margaret of Anjou's husband Henry VI is imprisoned and suffers from a mental illness, so she takes matters into her own hands by waging a war on the Yorkists to secure her son's inheritance.
  • The Witcher (2019): Queen Calanthe personally leads her armies into battle, then swaggers back into her throne room, armor caked in the blood of her enemies and demanding a drink.
  • Strange Empire: Kat. She's easily more badass than most men, especially in defense of her biological or adopted kids.
  • Big Sky: Cassie's an Action Girl good with a gun or her fists who's also the mother of a son named Kai.
  • The Wheel of Time (2021): An Aiel woman (Tigraine, the Dragon Reborn's mother), is shown skillfully taking down several armed and armored men using her two spears while in labor. She gives birth right after.
  • In From the Cold: Anya/Jenny is highly skilled at unarmed combat and using weapons, given she's a trained assassin. Early on, she takes down multiple armed CIA agents with ease before she's overcome, and it only continues to be shown from there. In the present she's also the newly divorced mother of a teenage daughter, Becca.
  • No Ordinary Family: Stephanie starts spending a lot more time being there for her teenaged children once her superpowers give her time to get her work done faster, and is quick to travel across the country or fight super-powered criminals.
  • Most of the female cast of Once Upon a Time qualifies, whether as heroes, villains, or switching from one to the other: both Emma and Regina, Henry's mothers (biological and adoptive, respectively), especially when Henry's life is on the line; Snow White, who, cursed persona notwithstanding, doesn't lose an ounce of badassery after giving birth to Emma and then Neal; Granny, who's a tough cookie with a daughter (Anita, another total badass) and granddaughter; the other two Mills women, both evil Cora (Regina and Zelena's mother) and Zelena (once she gives birth ro baby Robin); Milah becomes a pirate after Baelfire is born (though that involves abandoning him); the second iteration of Cinderella is an all-around badass with a child, and even the first version doesn't shy away from picking up a shotgun while having her own kid and also running Stoorybrooke's daycare; Maleficent, the Black Fairy, Gothel and Lady Tremaine are all (more or less) villainous examples, too. It was somewhat inevitable, given the series' focus on strong female characters and family.
  • The Power (2023): Zaia is heavily pregnant when she leads the slave revolt which frees her and the other women. She then leads them when they form into a rebel army, and doesn't let giving birth stop her. The last iconic shot of her in the first season is her holding a rifle in one hand as she simultaneously breastfeeds her baby, smiling joyfully after her forces defeat the Army.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Sweet Saraya is not only the step mother of Zebra Kid (whom Ring of Honor fans may remember as the first challenger to the rechristened World Title), not only the biological mother of Nikki Knight, Zack Zodiac and Britani Knight but in the case of the latter two, she's also been their direct competition.
  • In 1993, La Sirenita had to vacate the Mexican National Women's title due to a pregnancy. In 1994, she regained the belt by defeating rival claimant Maria del Angel. Also, her son would grow up to become the luchador known as Enigma.
  • Jillian Hall was raising a daughter around the same time she was training to be a pro wrestler.
  • La Chacala had two sons by the time she was City Of Monterrey Champion.
  • Madison Eagles remained active after starting a family with fellow wrestler Ryan, having a daughter.
  • Getting pregnant put a halt to her boxing career and taekwondo practioning, but it also opened to door to Black Rose's professional wrestling debut when she was scouted by Rico Suave, who dared her to try it. "It" turned out to be an unsanctioned attack on WWC's then top woman Stacy Colon, but getting bashed by Stacy's brother Eddie while being showed with explicitives from the fans made her hungry for more.
  • In 2008, Allison Danger revealed to Valerie Malone that she would be taking time off to begin raising the next generation of SHIMMER athletes. Unfortunately for her, some aggravation from the current generation saw her return a little earlier than expected.
  • Sienna Duvall has reminisced about looking out into the crowd and finding her own son among the people booing her.
  • In 2009, what was then known as Memphis Ladies Wrestling ran angle about Brandi Wine patiently waiting on her Arch-Enemy Little Jeanne to have her baby before attempting to get revenge.
  • Jazz, when thanking Diva Dirt for a Legacy Award, mentioned how much time the job took away from being with her husband and kids.
  • When Kharma 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.
  • Nevaeh, half of SHIMMER's first champion tag team and enforcer of CZW's Oi4K has made off handed comments about having a daughter. The other half of that team, Ashley Lane, has also made off hand comments about returning to the ring after giving birth.
  • Sin-D continued to wrestle even after her daughter, Amanda Ruffen, debuted.
  • Mickie Knuckles vacated Absolute Intense Wrestling's Women's title in 2012 after she got pregnant but went charging after her successor, Allysin Kay, after giving birth.
  • Thunder Rosa already had a halfway grown son when she started training for professional wrestling and mixed martial arts. During her travels she uses her earnings to buy him "exotic" gifts like authentic Super Mario overalls from Japan.
  • After having her first child, Mickie James returned to ring for 2CW's 2014 Christmas Show.
  • La Amazona had stepped away from the ring after getting pregnant but returned in 2015 to EWO in Puerto Rico after being provoked by arch rival Sweet Nancy.

  • The Bible: 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."
  • Hindu Mythology: Durga, the powerful warrior mother-goddess.

  • 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").
  • 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.

    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' has 2 examples:
  • 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.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: Huntsmen and Huntresses are men and women who fight the monsters that are overrunning the world and attempting to destroy humanity. Summer Rose was a huntress who went on missions to fight the monsters while simultaneously raising two children, one not even being her biological offspring.
    Yang: Ruby and I grew up in Patch, an island just off the coast of Vale. Our parents were Huntsmen. Our dad taught at Signal, and our mom would take on missions around the kingdom. Her name was Summer Rose, and she was, like, Super-Mom. Baker of cookies and slayer of giant monsters.


    Web Original 
  • Halo 2 ARG I Love Bees had Gilly and Gladys, ass-kicking special forces soldiers, and biological and surrogate mothers respectively to Action Girl Jan.
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, Glaurung, Skye and Varalia all have kids and kick serious ass.
  • In the League of Intergalactic Cosmic Champions, Artsy-Fartsy & Butrfli.
  • Gunari, from Kadu'av, is skilled in dark magic, and once killed an entire Gilded Cross hideout to save her daughter, who was about to be executed.
  • Elizabeth Carson, the headmistress of the Super Hero School Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe is not only an Action Mom, but an Action Grandmom. She's Lady Astarte, the greatest superheroine around.
  • AmberWatch Alert, a group that is obsessed with the possibility of pedophiles in our midst, made a gun porn PSA featuring four ostensible mothers, a metric ton of gun unsafety, and the tagline "You don't have to have a gun to protect your kid, but it helps". One netizen made the obvious connection; four people + gun porn = Left 4 Dead advertisement. The slightly altered video makes both an excellent parody and an excellent L4D3 advertisement.
  • Although her daughter is an adult now, Talon from Less Than Three Comics certainly fits this trope.
  • Magda "Spots" Guitart of Spots the Space Marine is a giant-crab-slaying, cookie-baking mom of two. Plus, she talks to aliens.
  • Sabella Hall, sword fighter and Indigo Child, from Trinton Chronicles.
  • Inna, the main character of The Last Generation, has a seven year old daughter. Making sure that she's safe is the primary reason why she abandons her homeworld in an attempt to stop the Multiverse's destruction.
  • Genoa Rivas in Void Domain is the mother of one of the main characters. She was once a bounty hunter/mercenary and has countless scars to show for her efforts. None of her badassery has been lost since her more active days.
  • Just about any mother in Digimon World: Infamy qualifies, seeing as they're usually some of the strongest Digimon around and, due to the Digital World being what it is, they can't really afford to sit on their laurels. For specific examples, both Rain and Inari are easily some of the strongest Ultimate-level Digimon seen and still have quite a few kids, Rain especially.
  • Aphmau, the main character of Minecraft Diaries is both a loving mother of four and an actual goddess.

    Western Animation 
  • Dexter's Laboratory:
    • Dexter's mom (OK, his whole family) participates in two episodes. Go, Dexter's family, go!
    • There's also the episode where Dexter gives his mom super powers. However, she uses them less for Action Mom duties and more for domestic chores, like super-speed shopping.
  • Like Helen Parr, Helen Bennett (a.k.a. Mother-1) of the Bionic Six is the mom in a super family.
  • Tara on The Herculoids didn't fight too frequently, but once in a while showed quite the Action Survivor chops:
    • 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, Princess Catherine helped raise the Avalon Clan and 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. Suffice it to say, she did quite a good job filling Ron's boots when he couldn't come.
  • Loopy's mother in Life With Loopy becomes this in the episode "Secret Agent Mom".
  • Dear Lord, Nicole from The Amazing World of Gumball fits this trope like a glove. Just watch the chase scene in the DVD episode.
  • Ms. Wakeman from My Life as a Teenage Robot. She doesn’t hesitate to jump into action, and even fought Vexus with her bare hands in the Big Damn Movie.
  • Lana from The Lionhearts is this, as she's a former circus lion and rather skilled on the trapeze.
  • Cheshire from Young Justice (2010), who brings her baby daughter to a rescue mission to the annoyance of her husband.
  • Avatar franchise:
    • The previous Earth Kingdom Avatar, Kyoshi, is the only Avatar who’s confirmed to have been a mother. She also had a ferocious reputation as a Pragmatic Hero who didn’t follow Aang’s Thou Shall Not Kill rule.
    • 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.
    • Toph was this as well when she was younger, considering she was the Chief of Police and one of the most powerful Earthbenders ever. In the present time she's a case of Never Mess with Granny.
  • In the three OVA post-season 2 of Wakfu, Evangelyne is now the mother of two children and that absolutely don't stop her from going on adventures. She's also seen teaching archery to her son.
  • Saving Me: Carla Bramble is quite handy in a fight, being a DGS Guardian, dealing with whatever mayhem the Bennets accidentally cause in a given episode, and contending with the occasional hostile alien.
  • In Star Wars Rebels, Rebel Alliance General Hera Syndulla acts as a mother figure to young heroes Ezra and Sabine and later gives birth to her biological son in the midst of the Galactic Civil War, continuing to serve the Rebellion until the final battle is won.
  • Queen Moon from Star vs. the Forces of Evil, first saving Star from angry relatives by entering her Super Mode, then fighting off the Big Bad in the Season 2 finale
  • Keith mother, Krolia, from Voltron: Legendary Defender is 100% one of these. In addition to being a spy for the Blade of Marmora, she is also seen to be extremely capable of fighting with both a sword and a gun.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes has K.O.'s mom Carol, who's equal parts sweet, doting mother and ass-kicking veteran hero.
  • Celery from Ready Jet Go!. Besides being an Ace Pilot, she has super strength as revealed in "A Hammer and a Feather", and is generally the most action-y of the Propulsion family.
  • Kaiko Nekton from The Deep: underwater explorer, ace submarine pilot, and Mama Bear.
  • Molly of Denali: Layla Mabray balances being a mother with being a badass bush plane pilot.
  • The Owl House: Camila Noceda, Luz's mom, is a very sweet woman who works as a vet and raised Luz on her own after her husband's death. However, she can be absolutely ruthless when you threaten the safety of her children, biological or not. She saved Vee from a crazy conspiracy theorist by knocking him out with her slipper, dove into a lake with zero hesitation to save Hunter from drowning, and traveled to the Boiling Isles to return the Hexsquad to their families, armed with nothing but a baseball bat. "For the Future" shows that, while glyph magic isn't her forte and she's far from the strongest hitter on the team, she definitely packs a punch.

    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, Germany, and later for Uzbekistan again — in the second-to-last last case, it was because of her motherhood, as it's in Germany that she and her also sportsman husband found medical aid for their son. She's actually one of the very few gymnasts who have returned to high-level competition after having kids (in fact she competed in her third Olympics less than a year after having her son), which has made her a 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 eight Olympic Games (she keeps saying she's going to retire, and then not doing it — chances are we'll see her in Paris). To put this in perspective, a significant percentage of the gymnasts at the 2012 Olympics in London hadn't even been born when Chusovitina won her first international medal (and that number will only go up in future Olympics). Bad. Ass.
    • Not only is she still competing, she's remained competitive on vault in particular, making vault finals in three consecutive Olympic games and quite a few of the World Championships in between, and winning a world medal on vault as recently as 2011 (a silver) and just barely missing out on a bronze in 2018. In 2016, she attempted the incredibly difficult Produnova vault in the vault finals, which, while she fell on the landing, was probably among the best attempts since Produnova herselfnote . And now consider that the vault apparatus has changed significantly since she began competing; she learned to vault on a completely different apparatus, and managed to adapt to the current apparatus well enough to win multiple major international medals on it.
  • Russian gymnast Aliya Mustafina gave birth in 2017 and returned to training shortly thereafter, with hopes of making the Tokyo Olympics. She struggled to get into shape in time to be competitive for a spot on the team in 2020, but with the Olympics now being pushed back a year due to the coronavirus, many fans feel she may have a realistic shot to make the Games. Even if she doesn't, though, the fact remains that in 2019 she went to a major FIG-sanctioned all-around invitational in Birmingham and won, beating out world-class gymnasts like Riley McCusker of the United States and Ellie Downie of Great Britain — two years after having a baby. This girl is badass.
  • Forward Jessica McDonald is the only mom on the 2019 US Women’s World Cup champion squad. She’s also one of seven moms in the entire National Women's Soccer League.
  • Sharran Alexander is a morbidly obese single mom of three who took on Sumo Wrestling both to support her family and make it big in the ring so she could further the way for women to be involved in the sport. A Fat and Proud Acrofatic mother who has proudly supported her children and made herself known as the heaviest sportswoman in the world. She is very good at the sport, having won 6 gold medals.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Action Mum


Delilah to the Rescue

Dolly lightens up to Delilah when she saves a cat from choking.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / ActionMom

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