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Almighty Mom

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Don't train children with their mothers around.

Boss: Hey, who said you were on break?
Kitty: I did.
Boss: And who are you?
Kitty: I'm his mother.
Boss: ...that's good enough. *Leaves the room*
That '70s Show, "Eric's Burger Job"

The Almighty Mom can tell off anyone. Anyone. From her own kids to army generals to an Elder Thing from Beyond, you name it. It doesn't matter if she is severely outclassed by the object of her ire in every relevant way; her iron-willed personality will pound him/her/it into submission without her needing to lift a single finger. Don't get fresh, don't talk back, and if she wants it done, chances are it'll get done.

She can reduce grown men to the level of children with only a sentence and a glare, and, guess what, she's always right. Not only can she put anyone in their place, but she knows the best way out of any situation.

Subtrope of Mama Bear, and often a characteristic of the Team Mom. Compare One Bad Mother and Never Mess with Granny for the older version. See also My Beloved Smother, which this can often seem from the embarrassed offspring's perspective.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Dragon Ball
  • Invoked in the episode Odd One Out in Halo Legends. Two of the natives on the planet claim "No one is stronger than Mama" as they and Spartan-1337 are about to face off against a super-powered Covenant Brute. At the end of the fight, the wreckage of a UNSC frigate, which up to this point was just a background object, lights up and fires a MAC round at the Brute, forcing it into a Slipspace rupture. Mama was the frigate's AI.
  • InuYasha:
    • Sesshomaru is a young Youkai, so powerful and wilful that his father's allies fear him and even Naraku plots carefully before crossing paths with him. His obsession with obtaining his younger brother's sword is such a problem that it can't be resolved until after direct intervention from his mother. Her ability to put her wayward son in his place is brutal. It's terrifying. It works.
      Sesshomaru's Mother: Did you think you were like a god or something? That as long as you had Tenseiga there was no fear of death? Sesshomaru, it's something you had to learn, that when your heart wishes to save someone dear to you it must at the same time feel sadness and fear of losing them. Your father said this as well: Tenseiga is a healing sword. Even when wielded as a weapon, you must understand the weight of life and carry a compassionate heart when dispatching your enemy. That is what is necessary for the one who wields the Tenseiga which can save a hundred lives and send enemies to the Meidou.
    • Also, Jinenji's old crone of a mother is very Hot-Blooded and bossy, which alongside her withered looks made the main characters think she's a demon.
  • Pokémon's Delia Ketchum gets to be this in the third movie, Pokémon 3: Spell of the Unown, when she stands up to Entei. It was a failed effort, but she gets points for trying.
    Delia: I don't care if you're a real Pokémon or not! You can't take the place of her real father!
    Entei: I AM Molly's real father! As long as that is her wish!
  • Miyako Sakuragawa's mother, Kyouko, from Private Prince. Runs the family ryokan firmly, is both loved and feared by everyone in it (her husband and daughter included), and does not tolerate anyone stepping out of line.
  • Anna Kyouyama, later Asakura from Shaman King became one of these in Shaman King: Flowers. Her reputation as the only person able to master Hao's tecniques makes her son's enemies plot things carefully before messing with him. Heck, this woman can talk back to Hao, God himself, threaten him to revive Hana's little baby body and have him comply at the first threat.
  • Ragyo Kiryuin from Kill la Kill is a stellar example. No matter how powerful and charismatic her daughter Satsuki is, Ragyo is always a full tier above her, overstripping her in both power and authority, the former of which she displays consistently through the latter part of the series. Even when Satsuki rebelled and Ryuko was revealed to be her daughter as well, she has absolutely no problem putting everyone including both her daughters back in their place. The downside is, she's also the villain. And a horrible mother.
  • In Captain Tsubasa, Ryo Ishizaki is terrified of his mother. Mrs. Ishizaki turns out to be one of these: harsh, Hot-Blooded like her son, very strong-willed, and not afraid of speaking her mind at all. Though if you're on her good side, she's a total sweetheart.
  • In the first Cardcaptor Sakura movie, Syaoran is also pretty scared of his mother Li Yielan, and even his super bubbly and energetic four older sisters settle down when they're around her, implying that she is this trope.
  • Charlotte Linlin, AKA Big Mom, from One Piece is a great example. She has no less than 85(!) children, many of whom are immensely powerful pirates in their own right. None of them even come close to their mother, who is known throughout the world as one of the Yonko; the four most powerful pirates in the world. Let's list some of the ridiculous stuff Big Mom has pulled off: defeating multiple armed giants when she was FIVE (she was as big as a giant child even back then, but still...), destroyed three incoming rockets filled with poison gas by screaming, easily blocked Luffy's attack while he was in Gear 4, isn't even scratched when shot by cannons, tanked a massive lightning bolt that made a huge crater, WALKED THROUGH the ground to get out of said crater and can create a massive Razor Wind with a single swing of her sword. And that's not even getting into her Devil Fruit, which allows her to steal the souls of those who are afraid of her and using them to bring inanimate objects to life. She used her own soul to bring a cloud, a ball of fire and her hat to life. All three are sentient, and respectively they can create massive thunderbolts and let Big Mom fly on him, eject fire and grow to massive size, and turn into a giant sword. Oh, and she's also an insane woman child who frequently goes on rampages while craving a specific type of sweet, during which she'll destroy and murder anything and anyone that gets in her way. Including her own children. No wonder the Whole Cake Island arc is mostly about running away from her as fast as possible.
  • Black Butler gives us Ciel's paternal aunt, Frances Midford. A terrifyingly strict Iron Lady, she cracks the whip on the entire Phantomhive household whenever she appears. Sebastian is a frequent victim of her wrath, berated for his "slovenly" appearance and forced to slick back his hair to appease her sense of decorum. While usually Played for Laughs, Frances more than earns her fierce reputation as a highly-accomplished Master Swordsman.
  • Hinata Uzumaki (née Hyuga) has grown into this in the Boruto anime, a far cry from her Shrinking Violet self from the original series. While she's still as sweet and caring as during her youth, her angry outbursts can outright terrify her husband and son when they're loafing around or fighting each other.

    Comic Books 
  • This trope could be named The Aunt May, because she is often this trope:
    • Aunt May does this to Tony Stark and Reed Richards in Spider-Man: The Other, when they want Peter to take more tests instead of going out with Mary Jane. The two most brilliant men in the Marvel Universe are no match for Aunt May's stern reprimand.
    • Aunt May also does it to J. Jonah Jameson over the phone in an early episode of The Spectacular Spider-Man, when JJJ yells at Peter for being late.
    • When the Parker family moved in to the Avengers' tower, Aunt May scolded Wolverine for drinking and smoking so early in the morning in the breakfast room. Wolverine is stunned into silence.
    • Aunt May also slagged off JJJ in #616 after she found out Peter was Spidey; she couldn't stand JJJ badmouthing her nephew in the Bugle, even if she couldn't tell JJJ why she was pissed at him for badmouthing Spidey.
    • Aunt May told off the Scorpion for being impolite. "I don't much care for that awful Spider-Man, but at least he is polite!" Complete with finger-waggle.
    • Ultimate Aunt May is just as almighty. After JJJ unfairly fired Peter, Peter calls her to ask if she can come pick him up and she ends up yelling Jameson's ear off when she finds out he fired Peter. Then she insults his mustache. Jameson calls Peter back and tells him he can have his job back under the condition that he never has to talk to Aunt May again.
      • Ultimate Aunt May takes it a step further post-Ultimatum when she not only takes in Johnny Storm and Bobby Drake (in addition to Gwen Stacy who'd been living with the Parkers for a while), she gets them into Peter's school and sets a moratorium on super-heroing unless she gives the boys permission. And when Peter dies, she gives Captain America a "The Reason You Suck" Speech (complete with Armor-Piercing Slap) so strong that Steve Rogers (who was every bit as determined as he was an (adaptational) asshole) decided to quit being a superhero for good (only returning to deal with 616!Galactus trying to eat the planet... which ended up being a Dying Moment of Awesome).
  • Rare male example: Batman's Alfred Pennyworth.
  • Lois Lane as of Superman (Rebirth). When it comes to her family, she is the undisputed boss, she doesn't care if you're Superman (her husband), Superboy (her son), the goddamn Batman (whom she fed apple pie), or Wonder Woman, you will act like civilized people around her home. And if you ever threaten her son, she will climb into a Batsuit designed to fight Darkseid and smear you across the floor with your own entrails.
  • Bianca Reyes from Blue Beetle. She told off her son for getting into a fight with Green Lantern Guy Gardner, and then followed it up by yelling at Guy.
    • Which promptly leads to her husband admitting to Jaime's best friends that she is the reason he never has to raise his voice.
  • Possibly Lucky Eddie's mother in Hägar the Horrible, seeing as she's the one he goes to when Hagar tells him to find an "expert who can teach this sorry bunch how to give an old fashioned Viking butt-whuppin'!"

    Fan Works 
  • In the Ranma ½ fanfic Cheaper by the Dozen Ryoga runs across Ranma twenty years later and is horrified to discover that his former rival has become an almighty mom after a trip to Jusenkyo gone disastrously wrong forced her to spend the next twenty years giving birth to 24 copies of herself.
    "Damn it, Ranma may be a mother, but she wasn't HIS mother. So how did she manage to make him feel like a little kid?"
  • Leia Organa in this spoilery The Force Awakens fancomic.
  • In the crossover fic Event Horizon: Storm of Magic, colony director Fred Kovacs is chewed out by his mother (the Company's CEO) for his incompetence in his role, and is punished by having some of his trust fund money donated to charity and by being reassigned to the Avatar world to assist the main delegation from another company.
  • In My Huntsman Academia, Izuku has no problems jumping into a crowd of armed terrorists, getting flung at a giant monster bird large enough to swallow him whole, or getting his bones broken repeatedly in his attempts to master his Semblance. But he will never talk back to his mother. When she tells him to go to his room so she can interrogate Yang, he almost immediately cracks under the pressure and obeys. Even a Thrill Seeker like Yang finds herself thoroughly intimidated by Inko, who doesn't even have her Aura unlocked.
  • In Spider-X, May takes on this role to the X-Men, to the point where she can actually tell Logan not to smoke inside. On a more affectionate note, Jean becomes comfortable enough with her to talk to May about her feelings for Scott when she’s trying to figure out if she’s in love with him or not.

    Films — Animated 
  • Queen Elinor in Brave. She can stop a Ballroom Blitz between three feuding clans (and her husband) of Violent Glaswegians simply by walking through it in a calm, regal manner. All the brawling Scots will immediately stop and bow, moving only to let her pass. She then calmly walks back to her throne while holding her husband (the king), as well as the three leaders of the clans, by the ear, and none of them even try to resist. Merida, though, has a low opinion of her mother, believing her to be just My Beloved Smother until the Queen is transformed into a bear (which is Merida's fault) and ends up defending her daughter against a demon bear basically making her a literal Mama Bear until the curse wears off.
  • In Coco, Abuelita Elena and Mama Imelda, the matrons of the Rivera household in the Land of the Living and the Land of the Dead respectively, are effectively in charge of their households, refusing to take no for an answer and being ridiculously stubborn about their music-hating principles.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The main character's mother in Almost Famous does this to the rock band that's touring with him.
  • Fargo: Margie Gunderson is an Almighty Mom in the making - just witness her telling off multiple-murderer and Grimsrud after shooting him in the leg and taking him in single-handed.
    "There's more to life than a little money, you know. Don'tcha know that? And here ya are, and it's a beautiful day. Well. I just don't understand it."

  • Vorkosigan Saga: Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan. She even tells off the parents of other children. In less than five minutes. By telling them to sit on a sofa. This effect is enhanced by the stature of her 'children,' which includes *the Emperor of Barrayar.*
    • Lady Alys Vorpatril is this in her own way, combining it with her position as a Grand Dame and The Social Expert. When it comes time to plan the emperor's wedding, she leads a cohort of matriarchs to get everything done.
  • This is one of the main character's "powers" in the novel Confessions of Super-Mom.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, the Moderator [Mayor] of Hong Kong Luna has our hero, Richard, under arrest when "Auntie" Washington arrives and makes them all kids who have gathered to praise Richard for his heroism. Naturally, they let Richard go rather than mess with Auntie.
  • Mrs. Molly Prewett-Weasley to everyone in the Harry Potter series, except Harry whom she almost never criticizes. She's especially hard on her own children, but the members of the Order of the Phoenix know all about her wrath as well. Especially evident in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; "Mrs. Weasley was marching across the yard, scattering chickens, and for a short, plump, kind-faced woman, it was remarkable how much she looked like a saber-toothed tiger." To wit, one of the most famous lines of the series—partially due to the Precision F-Strike and partially due to its awesomeness...
    Molly: Not my daughter, you bitch!
  • Charity Carpenter from The Dresden Files. Harry claims her tongue is sharper than the Absurdly Sharp Blade Amorrachius. She turns out to be one badass Mama Bear.
  • Nita's mom in the Young Wizards series stops her daughter from making a Deal with the Devil, and tells off the Lone Power.
    • Dairene pulled of a similar feat for the species of wizard supercomputers she built on her ordeal.
    • Certain wizards hold the title of Planetary, which (shockingly) means that they have jurisdiction over their home planet, its natural forces, and every wizard who lives there, human or otherwise. In Earth's case the title is currently held by Irina Mladin, a suburban housewife who has a habit of carrying her infant son with her on business.
  • Discworld's Sybil Vimes comes from a long line of these. Her aunt is mentioned to have given a pair of highwaymen who attacked her coach such a talking to that they ran home to their own mothers to apologize.
  • Adah from The Red Tent. Don't underestimate her just because her health is failing in her old age!
  • Kel's mother in the Protector of the Small books by Tamora Pierce. Although the most badass thing she does in the present is yell at Kel's Drill Sergeant Nasty, in a flashback we see her protect her daughter and a bunch of sacred relics by slicing up a gang of pirates.
  • People are impaled in The Last Dragon Chronicles, but no one will ever disobey Liz. Think about it.
  • Catelyn Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire isn't afraid of sassing even kings if they're acting too foolish for her taste. Robb deeply admires his mother's strength and initially looks up to her for war advice.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Burn Notice has Madeline Westen, whose real skill is the way she can shift effortlessly between soft-power "I'm a sweet little old lady and I know what's best" mumsiness to hard-power "Do what I tell you or there'll be trouble" Mama Bear Mode. In other words, she can play Good Cop/Bad Cop on her own.
    Michael Westen: Mom, put down the shotgun.
  • David's mom on Kings did this a couple of times to different people, including once to the King himself.
  • Lois in Malcolm in the Middle is this to such a degree that she has a minor Heroic BSoD when faced with a problem that she can't fix by telling people off (a highway accident blocking traffic), or with proof that she's in the wrong (security footage of her making an illegal manoeuvre). Eventually turns out that she was right in the latter case, but Hal and the boys destroy the evidence to avoid giving her the impression that she's always right about everything.
  • Mrs. Kim on Gilmore Girls. She arguably terrifies everyone in Stars Hollow.
  • Beverly Goldberg from The Goldbergs will stop at nothing to defend her children, whether they want it or not. She goes to complain to the principal's office so often he considers her The Dreaded, and she's even tried to call the White House to make sure Adam doesn't have to take the President's Fitness Test.
  • Marion Cunningham on Happy Days was the only person on the planet who could make Fonzie, the King of All That Is Cool himself, sit down and eat his veggies. She also owned the exclusive right to call him "Arthur". Added bad assery points for "Mrs. C" once telling The Fonz to "sit on it!" and living to tell the tale.
  • Sonia Rey from Rebelde Way is generally a friendly, easy-going woman, but harm Marizza in any way and she won't hesitate in retaliating in any means possible, doesn't matter if you're the principal of the school or the mayor of the city.
  • Moms, stepmoms and moms-in-law like these will show up at least Once an Episode in any versions of Say Yes to the Dress, trying to take control of the dresses that their daughters/stepdaughters/daughters-in-law will try on for their soon-to-come weddings. Both the original and the Atlanta Spin-Off had whole episodes dedicated to specifically dealing with these overbearing and often stiffling ladies who treat the brides like litle girls and boss everyone around.
  • One thing that could derail the orderly military life of the Walmington-on-Sea platoon of the Home Guard was Mrs Pike storming round to complain about all the things Captain Mainwaring and Sergeant Wilson were making her son do. Private Pike, the youngest member of a platoon composed of elderly men too old for regular military service, and otherwise a pampered mummy's boy note  was frequently excused the more arduous and dirty aspects of military service for this reason. Nobody wanted his mum coming round to complain.

    Video Games 
  • The Boss in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. She acts as a surrogate mother to Naked Snake, her son is Ocelot, and she is feared and respected and also feared by everyone including Colonel Volgin, who is also nearly twice her size. At one point, he says he's beginning to question the Boss's loyalty, and her stoic reaction makes him shrink in fear. Later on when Snake is discovered, he and The Boss brawl only to have him lose, and when Volgin is about to shoot Snake in the head, The Boss retorts "You stay out of this!", grabs the gun from Volgin's hand, and beats him. Volgin is over 6 feet tall, heavily muscled, batshit insane and has lightning powers and The Boss slaps him down. She also has a habit of ripping up people's guns while they are still in their hands.
  • Macha from Chrono Cross is this for the few moments that she has time to actually display a personality.
  • In Suikoden V there's one person Logg and Lun wouldn't cross, it's Kisara.
  • In the remake of Tales of Innocence, this is Played for Laughs with resident Team Mom Ange. Once she descends into Tranquil Fury or has rather unsettling smile on her face, not even Ricardo dares to cross her.
  • Leia's mom in Tales of Xillia not only taught her her fighting style, but in the sequel, Gaius ends up admitting she's the only person on his list of "people he never wants to end up fighting one day". Considering Gaius was the Big Bad and Final Boss of the first game, this says a lot.
  • Zhang Chunhua is known to inspire fear in even enemy troops by her mere presence, let alone among her family, who are too afraid to even ask her for help.
    Wang Yuanji: Lady Zhang Chunhua, do you have a moment? It's about Master Zhao...
    Zhang Chunhua: Is that idiot son of mine causing you grief, Lady Yuanji? I'll be sure to punish him, so please don't give up on him.
    Wang Yuanji: Oh no, it isn't that bad...
    Zhang Chunhua: You must not go easy on him. It is vital to take a strong stance from the beginning.
    Wang Yuanji: ...Y-Yes, my lady.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Fate/stay night and related materials, Servants have Natural Enemies, people who are best suited to combat them. Fate/Zero Rider's is his mother. Which fits his legend, actually: Alexander the Great is historically remembered as a momma's boy.

    Web Comics 
  • Miranda Deegan, mother of Dominic Deegan, is the most feared woman on the face of the planet. Defy her at your own risk, for her Death Glare will find you.
    • It helps that she is The Archmage of the Fifth Circle, and thus famed world-wide. And she's a teacher, who sees her students as she does her actual children. Anger her, and not even being in a different plane will save you.

    Western Animation 
  • On The Fairly Oddparents, Timmy's Mom attempts to do this to the mean Dr. Wendell after he steals Timmy's ball. Eventually she, without losing her motherly tone, decides to slam Dr. Wendell in the face with the ball and steal his perfect dentures instead.
  • In the episode "Halloween On Spooner Street" from Family Guy, Lois tells off another mother of a child who stole Stewie's candy.
  • In an episode of Rocko's Modern Life, Heffer has sold his soul for a chance to be on a game show, and has to spend eternity in Heck. His grandmother (who he had been told was in Heaven) is down there, and she doesn't want to spend eternity with her grandson, because she doesn't like him. She tells off Peaches, and Heffer is allowed to go home scot-free. Peaches gets in big trouble with his beanie-wearing boss for listening to her, though
  • Super Best Friends Forever shows that while Supergirl may be a Kryptonian Flying Brick that could challenge Superman in a fight, she still has to bow down to the authority of Martha "Ma" Kent.
  • Superman: The Animated Series: Ma Kent took out Braniac, who has destroyed whole worlds, with a shotgun when he went after Clark.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Fluttershy can act like this towards her animals or monsters when she gets assertive. Her staring down a cockatrice while lecturing it as if she was its mother was an example.
  • Nicole Watterson from The Amazing World of Gumball. She once stopped a Wild Teen Party just by snapping her fingers and putting one partygoer into a catatonic state by staring into his soul. She's even been known to Hulk Out on more than one occasion. There's a reason Gumball and Darwin prefer fighting a giant T-Rex to dealing with their mom.

    Real Life 
  • The "Baltimore Mom". She recognized her son in the middle of the Baltimore riot in April 2015 (in a ski mask, no less), went right up to him, beat his ass on live tv, and dragged him home so he wouldn't get himself killed.
  • Genghis Khan/Temujin's mother Hoelun, who he counted as one of his closest advisers until her death and a badass well before her famous son began his exploits. After her husband Yesügei died their tribe wanted to abandon her and her children, so she shamed them into staying by taking to horseback with her husband's banner (which they considered his soul) and riding around them until they caved. The tribe then resorted to sneaking away during the night because they were so afraid of her. And when her son grew up to be Khan she got word he was mistreating and imprisoning one of his brothers because a scheming shaman had convinced him that this brother was a threat. Her reaction? Ride to his camp that very night, burst into his tent, untie said brother, sit down right across from a stunned Temujin and flash her breasts at him while she launched into an enormously colorful tirade where, among other things, she reminded him that both he and his brother had nursed from that same teat and he had better remember that. And he listened.

Alternative Title(s): Almighty Mum


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