Have you ever kicked back with Mom on the second Sunday in May and watched a heaping helping of Mother’s Day cartoons?
Well, maybe you should. I mean, you’re a kid of the 70s and 80s (or know someone who is), so you love your cartoons.
Cartoons make you happy.
And moms just want their kids to be happy. So … give your mom what she wants.
Here is a list of ten great Mother’s Day cartoons to help you get there — guaranteed to make her smile! (Well, they’ll make you smile at least.)
The Flintstones – “Blessed Event”
The Flintstones never had a dedicated Mother’s Day episode as far as I can tell.
Heck, that’s probably because Mother’s Day didn’t even exist back then … probably.
But this show sure did have a lot of “mother” material, from Wilma’s overbearing mom to Wilma’s and Betty’s escapades in raising a couple of precocious kids.
And the entire story arcs around the arrival of their babies would qualify for this list.
To hone in on just a single episode, though, I’m going with the one that actually delivered baby Pebbles to the world. “The Blessed Event” will resonate with anyone who’s ever been through a birth … which, I guess is pretty much all of us.
The Jetsons – “Mother’s Day for Rosie”
Like The Flintstones, the The Jetsons is rife with motherly overtones.
After all, Jane Jetson is every bit the main character that hubby George is, and she’s the one who holds the whole family together.
Well, unless it’s Rosie.
The Jetsons’ domestic robot, Rosie does most of the household chores and presents a surprisingly human affect from time to time.
Like that one time, when she getsall melancholy remembering her own mom as Mother’s Day approaches.
She becomes so despondent that George pretty much drops everything and goes on an expedition to find the blueprints for Rosie’s momma, so they can rebuild her.
The Simpsons – “Moe Letter Blues”
So, this one isn’t a 1970s and 1980s classic like many of the others on our list, but it does have its origins in the 80s, at least (you know, since The Simpsons sneaked into the big-hair decade by a nose).
Coming 21 years into the series’ run, “Moe Letter Blues” centers on a letter Moe sends to Homer, Reverend Lovejoy, and Apu letting them know he plans to steal one of their wives.
This leads the three gents down memory lane, looking for clues that something was afoot between each wife and Moe.
In the end, Moe lets them off the hook, telling them he sent the letter to make them reflect on the cool women in their lives, who the barkeep thinks the dudes are taking for granted.
“The Bugs Bunny Mother’s Day Special”
Now this one falls squarely in the wheelhouse for 1970s and 1980s kids.
I mean, who was a bigger part of our cartoon landscape than Bugs Bunny, after all?
In this special, which aired for the first time in 1979, we get a rambling dose of Bugs and mom goodness.
The show starts with Bugs running into Granny in the park, where she’s getting ready for a fresh batch of babies with some spring violets.
The story proceeds through Bugs’ previous experiences with babies over the years, pulling in Looney Tunes favorites like Foghorn Leghorn, Daffy Duck, and the ubiquitous stork who sprinkles little bundles of joy over the landscape.
King of the Hill – “Peggy’s Turtle Song”
Another entry that doesn’t fit the strict definition of a 1970s or 1980s cartoon, but also another one that resonates with many kids of that era.
In this episode, which first aired right around Mother’s Day in 1998, Bobby is diagnosed with ADD, which causes Peggy to have a crisis of identity and question her value as a mother … and her mission in life.
This mini crossroads leads her to guitar lessons, taught by a local feminist, and hilarity with a side of tenderness ensues.
The Pink Panther – “Congratulations! It’s Pink”
Man, how great would it be to have the Pink Panther as your mother?
I mean, you could spend your days panhandling in the park, and your nights eating … uh … some sort of dead animal.
And if there wasn’t enough to eat, you could sleep uneasily in your crib, waiting for Mom to sneak in for her midnight snack.
Mercifully, things don’t progress quite that far when Pink discovers an abandoned infant in the park and spends a full episode looking for the rightful parents.
Tom and Jerry – “That’s My Mommy”
Imagine waking up from your long gestation period to find that you can’t quite see yet, and still have some trouble breathing because the top of your shell isn’t ready to give way … but that you can walk.
And then imagine that you stumble through the barnyard until you pile into something big, warm, and soft.
Has to be your mommy, right?
Yeah, that’s what the chick in this Tom and Jerry classic thinks, too, no matter how much Tom tries to eschew the caregiver role.
Looney Tunes – “Mother Figures”
This is part of the more modern renditions of the Looney Tunes gang, but even with updated animation and voices, you get all your favorites — Bugs, Daffy, Sylvester, and others.
And all along the way, you get remembrances of days past, when the adult(ish) toons were young and carefree, with mothers who showed them right from wrong … and roughed them up, just a bit, if need be.
He-Man – “The Remedy”
Billed in some venues as a “1-Hour Mother’s Day” special, “The Remedy” features young Prince Adam as he struggles with the powers that come with the ability to transform himself into He-Man.
He ventures out to defend his homeland of Eternia and conquer Castle Greyskull.
After many adventures and triumphs and pitfalls, it all wraps up with a moral lesson from Teela — your parents are your best friends and will help you through life’s trials and tribulations.
“Mother Hen’s Holiday”
This 1937 animated short is a classic example of the frantic, ancient cartoons that peppered our morning shows during the 1970s and 1980s … here in Indiana, they were had titles like “Cowboy Bob” and “Janie.”
In this one, a monstrous litter of baby chicks drive their mother hen to the verge of calling in Colonel Sanders.
When it was almost too late, the chicks realize it’s Mother’s Day and turn on their collective charm, pulling Momma back from the precipice.