Smother's Day: The most meddlesome moms in daytime
Posted Sunday, May 10, 2020 12:38:43 AM
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When discussing soap opera characters, three types usually are discussed first: twins (evil and otherwise), villains, and those that have come back from the dead. Dear, sweet mom is hardly ever brought up. Since it's Mother's Day, we've decided to change that. Well, sort of.

Mother's Day is a time to honor moms. It's a day to let your mom know how much she means to you. Yeah, you should probably be doing that on each of the other 364 days in the year, but florists and card-makers think that the second Sunday in May is really the perfect time to do it.

But what if -- and this is slightly awkward -- your mom isn't of the June Cleaver/Carol Brady persuasion. What if she's more of a pay-a-woman-to-seduce-you-kidnapping-freeze-the-world kinda gal? Well, you'll be, um, pleased (?) to know that she's in good company. Or maybe, just maybe, some of the women on our unscientific "Most Meddling Moms" list will make you realize that things could have been a whole lot worse.

Oh! A quick note to all the moms reading this. This list is in no way a to-do list or self-help guide. Please do not try any of the following tricks at home.

And now, without further ado, it's time to honor this year's gold meddleists.

All My Children: Phoebe Wallingford

As is the case for nearly every selection that you'll read on this page, picking just one meddling mother was an epic challenge. All My Children has a rich history of moms who think they know best. There are so many to choose from. Erica paid a young woman named Rain to leave town because Erica didn't like the idea of Rain helping Bianca find her inner "bad girl." Opal partnered with Palmer to help break up Tad and Dixie -- and Opal and Palmer eventually fell in love.

When looking back at All My Children, it's perhaps easiest to remember Phoebe Wallingford as a member of the Pine Valley elite and the Daughters of Fine Lineage. But long before that, Phoebe was...disapproving of her son Lincoln's love life. Kitty Cole had been warned of the dangers of dating a Tyler, but, you know, love and stuff. Phoebe wasn't a fan. At all. Phoebe hired a woman named Claudette to seduce Linc.

On the day of Linc and Kitty's wedding, Phoebe fainted during the ceremony, hoping that the wedding would be called off and never rescheduled. At one point, Phoebe even hired Myrtle Lum to impersonate Kitty's mother. Sadly, Kitty died and Phoebe promised never to meddle again. Just kidding! There was also that pesky case of Phoebe paying a man to marry Kitty's twin sister, Kelly. Eventually, Linc fell in love with Kelly, and, of course, Phoebe wasn't thrilled. A drunk Phoebe begged Linc not to marry Kelly, but he did, and they left town and finally put an end to his mother's meddling influence. As they say, distance makes the meddling grow harder.

The Bold and the Beautiful: Stephanie Forrester

Some have come close, but when you think of meddling moms of The Bold and the Beautiful, no other mother can touch the one and only Stephanie Forrester! Gangsta Granny held the gold and bold standard from the show's first episodes, inserting herself into her children's lives like a floppy disk into a vintage '80s computer. Sometimes Stephanie's motives were pure, like when she took the rap for shooting Ridge to keep Thorne out of jail. Or when she secretly nursed her catatonic "daughter," Angela, for years, only to find out her physician had switched her with a fake! Other decisions were a little more murky, such as when Stephanie kept quiet for years about Massimo Marone, not hubby Eric, being Ridge's father.

Many times, though, Stephanie's motives were all her own. Stephanie worried that Kristen was frigid and hired Clarke Garrison to warm her up. Uptight Steph clashed with free spirit Felicia for years until Felicia got cancer -- Stephanie let her family think the patient was dead so she could spirit her away for experimental treatments. She hid a letter from Ridge in which Taylor confessed an infidelity, and she spiked Morgan DeWitt's tea with a drug that would induce miscarriage to keep her from having Ridge's baby. But it was Stephanie's sons' fascination with Brooke Logan that drove La Forrester to the height of her meddling mania. Stephanie punched Brooke and threatened her with a fire poker to get Brooke out of Thorne's life, then faked a heart attack so she could make Ridge leave Brooke for Taylor as her "dying wish!" There's no Hallmark card for the unique level of devotion Queen Stephanie showed her kids!

Days of our Lives: Kate Roberts

Oh, so you want to know why Kate Roberts is arguably the most meddling mother of them all? How much time do you have? This fabulous and ferocious mama bear has poisoned and plotted and planted evidence, and, well, she sent Sami to death row to cover up her son's crime, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Do you know what's scarier? Being one of her offspring's potential mates. Look, she will let you know if you're worthy. Spoiler: you're probably not. So, what we're saying is, if you dare to date one of Kate's kids, just save yourself a lot of grief and throw yourself down a flight of stairs. That's WAY easier and much less painful.

Still, Kate's unapologetic and well-styled. Can it get better? We'll say, "No," but the general population is probably a bit less enthusiastic about Ms. Roberts' particular brand of parenting. We'd say ask her children, but most of them have flown the Salem coop. We can't imagine why. But we'd bet your bottom martini she's keeping tabs on them and has crafted a stealthy way to smother from a distance.

In the meantime, Kate considers Chad a son, too, and, so far, he's actually fared better than most of her biological children. Sure. There's been a lot of near-unforgiveable drama between the two, but they still speak! Yet, no matter what Kate does, Lauren Koslow's tremendous talents and stratospheric level of coolness still kind of make you want Kate for your mom, even though, you know, it might very well kill you. So, while Kate may not have been daytime's original meddling mother, we dare you to deny she's not the best-worst meddler out there. Brownies, anyone? It's Kate's special recipe. Bon appétit.

General Hospital: Helena Cassadine

There are meddling mothers, and then there is Helena Cassadine, who was the evil queen of helicopter mamas -- at least when it came to her favorite, Stavros. Helena loved her first-born prince like no other. When he was struck down by Luke and Laura Spencer, Helena put Stavros on ice for over a decade until she could find a way to successfully revive him, and she tormented her second-born in order to gain custody of Stavros' heir, Nikolas. Over the years, Helena made numerous attempts on Stefan's life, and she ruthlessly murdered her own daughter, Irina/Cassandra, all in the name of safeguarding Stavros' legacy. Despite Helena's wicked machinations to make Stavros happy, which included sending a hooker to steal the sperm from Stavros' long-lost secret brother to give Stavros his heart's desire -- a child with Lulu Spencer, Helena was not able to save Stavros from his self-destructive impulses and the Spencers.

Helena passed away a few years ago, but she still manages to wreak havoc on the lives of her grandson and her one surviving child, Valentin, from the grave.

Guiding Light: Carmen Santos

On Guiding Light, Carmen Santos put the "mobster" in motherly meddling. Hell hath no fury like a mom out to avenge her eldest son's death, and when the mob mama mistakenly believed Michelle Bauer had killed Mick, Carmen made it her surviving son's mission to kill Michelle. Danny Santos did what any gangster son would do -- he married Michelle! It ignited a battle between Michelle, Danny, and Carmen that resulted in Carmen lapsing into a perpetual coma.

Desperate to eradicate Michelle's influence on Danny, Carmen unsuccessfully tried to assassinate Michelle. Next, she framed Michelle for anything from stealing bonds to shooting Ben Warren. Her vendetta against Michelle drove a deep wedge between mother and son. The mobby motherly meddling in Danny's love life violently climaxed when Carmen tried to kidnap Michelle. Thanks to Bill Lewis, Carmen currently lays in an unending coma at Cedars, and I doubt Danny will send any flowers to her bedside for Mother's Day.

Passions: Ivy Winthrop

Ivy Winthrop was the belle of the ball, helmed masterfully by Kim Johnston Ulrich. Ivy was a debutant who married into the Crane family, the wealthiest family in Harmony. Unfortunately, it was an unhappy marriage, and perhaps because of that, Ivy became obsessed with the only possessions she could truly call her own -- her children.

The true paternity of her eldest child, Ethan, was the genesis of the entire show. She meddled in his love life to ensure he'd be with the mate she wanted (sparring with fellow Meddling Mother extraordinaire, Rebecca Hotchkiss, in the process). During the moments (there were, like, three) Ethan was settled with Theresa, Ivy turned her attention to her other son, Fox. When he got involved with the kinda murderous, Kay, Ivy did what any good meddling mother would do. She brought Kay's first love back to town in hopes Kay would leave Fox heartbroken. Atta girl, Ivy!

She seemed a bit less involved with her two daughters. However, she did name them "Fancy" and "Pretty," so clearly, they suffered enough.

The Young and the Restless: Mary Williams

Let's have a look at some of the meddlesome mothers on The Young and the Restless. Mary Williams would have to be a first choice, and a close second would have to be Phyllis, who was constantly interfering in Summer's life. Third choice would have to be Lauren, who tried to dictate to her son Scott, and she didn't approve of his choices, be it women or work.

When it came to meddling, I think Paul's mother, Mary Williams, took the cake. Paul's choices for a mate never met with Mary's approval because they simply weren't good enough for her precious offspring. She was a real Debbie Downer when it came to women that Paul chose. Mary was single-minded and overprotective of Paul. Paul might have felt smothered, and Mary was probably aware of that. It might have been the reason she always had to bribe Paul with his favorite dish just to get him to visit her.

Mary was single-minded. She loved Lynne Bassett, and Mary was determined to make Lynne her daughter-in-law. No matter the occasion or the function, Mary always made sure that Lynne attended every function that Paul would also be attending. She tried very hard to throw the two together, but things just didn't click between Paul and Lynne. Lynne always wound up brokenhearted. Mary meant well, and Paul loved her in spite of her meddling.

Who do you think is the most meddling mom in soap history? We want to hear your choice(s) -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.

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