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"Get away from her, you BITCH!"

"That's what moms are like — if you mess with their babies, they're gonna bite you back."

Bears usually won't attack humans - but get between a mother bear and her cub, and she'll tear straight through you. Apparently, the same rule applies to human parents. Threaten their husband/wife, child, boyfriend/girlfriend, friends, cat, etc., and you are in for a world of hurt. Never harm someone's loved one — whatever the goal, it's not worth the consequences. Losing their loved one may cause a drastic Start of Darkness into villainy or Anti-Hero-dom...anything if it will get their revenge. And not just on their own enemy but on anyone who would inflict this same pain on others. Of course, it's not always dark--sometimes, righteous awesomeness ensues, and the hero reclaims their child/whatever with a tearful embrace.

Oftentimes, when a previously perceived meek mother goes into this mode, it's her Crowning Moment of Awesome. Heaven help you if an Action Mom invokes this trope. And if you think a normal Mama Bear is fucking scary, hell hath no fury like a Motherly Scientist with access to One-Man Army levels of weaponry/technology/money/superpowers to protect her children. Or her own Mama Bear. It can lead to a Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu? moment.

Men who exhibit Mama Bear tendencies are referred to as "Papa Wolves" rather than "Papa Bears"- Disney aside, male bears are notoriously poor parents in the animal kingdom, in fact, infanticide among bears is the main reason why mama bears are so protective in the first place, whereas male (and female) wolves will react to their offspring being threatened in a very similar manner to mother bears. Due to the Double Standard, there are some differences however.

While Mama Bear moments are usually treated as awesome, they're also...well, scary. Even the children Mama Bear is protecting are often scared by it. Sometimes this is even highlighted by the children starting to cry after the moment is over and the danger gone — which of course turns Mama Bear back into the Apron Matron. Papa Wolf incidents on the other hand receive standing ovation from the kids, and comments like: "You were so cool Dad!" Notice how most Mama Bears are mothers of main characters, while Papa Wolves tend to be main characters themselves.

When invoked by a woman, this trope is occasionally criticized as sexist against both sexes. This trope is also known as the Uterus of Justice, because it often seems that only a child in danger can turn a woman into a Badass (other than being scorned, and revealing fury like which hell hath none), and only a woman (and never a man, the dick) can care enough about a child to be driven all the way from mild-mannered to Badass just by seeing them threatened.

Sometimes overlaps with Apron Matron. Can be a cause of Let's Get Dangerous, showing that the sweet and caring mother figure is Not So Harmless. May be a Knight Templar Parent. Provides both simple and believable way to switch someone between "Badass" and more "cute" modes without compromising character as either. After all, if It's Personal...

If an older sibling is the one who takes up the role, s/he is a case of Big Brother Instinct / Big Sister Instinct. For a teacher who behaves like a Mama Bear if their students are threatened, see Badass Teacher.

Related to Beware the Nice Ones and Berserk Button. See also the non-human counterpart, Monster Is a Mommy. Not to be confused with Everything's Worse with Bears (unless you're dealing with a literal Mama Bear). The Violently Protective Girlfriend is a much younger form of this trope that applies when the mate is in danger. Evil characters can use this too; after all, Even Evil Has Loved Ones. A particular Subtrope is the Badass and Child Duo which can take the form of a female badass protecting an orphaned, unrelated young child, though male badasses are more common.

Remember when adding examples that this is a female only trope. The male equivalent is "Papa Wolves" so all male examples should be placed there. When Mama Bear and Papa Wolf team up, it's a Battle Couple. Parents in Distress is the inversion, when Mama needs to be bailed out by the kids.


Anime and Manga

  • In Mahou Sensei Negima, Chizuru slaps a high-ranking Demon when he breaks into their house and attacks Kotaro, whom she has decided to adopt. Although it wasn't really all that effective in the end, the fact that she managed to stop his attack cold is rather impressive for one who is supposed to be an Ordinary High School Student...
    • Once they get to the Magic World, there's a literal Mama Bear. As in, a bear-woman that the characters call "Mama". And she will wreck you if you abuse the slave girls (Ako, Natsume and Akira) she's watching over.
  • The villains of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS make the mistake of letting their MacGuffin Girl, a little tyke named Vivio, get adopted by the heroines and then stealing her back. One of these is the same lady who has the Fan Nickname of "The White Devil" by fans for beating the crap out of the people she likes. The other is a Dark Magical Girl who is no less dangerous, if a bit less confrontational. They...don't take it well. The resulting shock and awe has at least one cyborg screaming at one of them that she isn't human (especially ironic as Nanoha is one of the very few mages in this series who, in fact, is).
  • Very cruelly subverted in (of all series) Dragon Ball Z. Goku's wife ChiChi is odd in that she's both taken a level in badass and then decided to simply live as a Housewife, so she has her limits, but then again, she has her limits. Her childhood friend and husband has been dead for seven years, she's been led to believe that her older son has followed, and ChifChi is absolutely out of her mind with grief. While her father is able to hold her back the first time she tries to attack him, eventually she does walk right up to Super Buu, slaps him and demands he bring Gohan back. Buu stares at her, turns her into an egg, and promptly crushes her. Worst of all, her seven-year-old son was watching the entire time.
    • In an episode just before the Trunks saga, however, ChiChi gets to play the trope straight. She hires a private tutor for Gohan by the name of Mr. Shu, unaware that he's a cruel Sadist Teacher who repeatedly kicks the dog by calling Goku worthless as a father and makes the poor kid bleed. Then she finds out. It does not end well for Shu.
      • It should be noted that this is only particularly apparent in the Japanese version (and the Mexican Spanish one, which is directly based off it), as the English version significantly tones down ChiChi's reaction to Gohan being abused by Mr. Shu to have her react when he insults Goku.
    • During the Namek Saga, there was a Giant Crab that antagonized Bulma to which Bulma also led her to attack Blueberry and Raspberry later on. It's strongly implied that their being in close proximity to their offspring, and in the case of Blueberry and Raspberry, stealing them under the belief that they were dragonballs, was what resulted in the crab attacking them, as both times the crab attacked, the characters it attacked were near its eggs.
  • An episode of Futari wa Pretty Cure gave Honoka's grandmother a chance to be Grandma Bear. Pretty impressive feat for an non-superpowered elderly woman.
  • From Hell Teacher Nube, aside of the Teacher Wolf male lead Meisuke Nueno aka Nube...a more traditional Mama Bear example is his co-worker and Ritsuko Takahashi, whose Crowning Moment of Awesome involved fighting a demon alone to protect a student of hers. Ritsuko had NO powers (unlike Nube), knew she wouldn't be able to win the fight...and she fought anyway, until Nube came to her aid. And Minako-sensei, Nube's Sexy Mentor, chose a Heroic Sacrifice followed by a Fate Worse Than Death rather than leaving Nube alone when he needed her.
    • Izuna eventually becomes one to a "boze" (the soul of an unborn baby that she accidentally misplaced during an exorcism) who then takes refuge in her body (and makes her look really, really pregnant), since they're haunted by a boze-eating monster.
  • Although she was always an Action Girl, Yoko Littner never seemed to actually get angry at an enemy and go It's Personal... until, some time after she took up a job as a school teacher, two mech-driving beastmen make the very dumb decision to pillage her school and threaten her students. Cue the Lock and Load Montage, followed by the biggest asswhooping of the century.
  • In, Iczer-One, when the title character and her partner Nagisa are getting their butts kicked in a mecha battle against Iczer-Two, Sayoko, the little girl whom Nagisa met and decided to protect in the previous episode, tries to encourage them. Iczer-Two, in annoyance, responds by stepping on poor Sayoko with her mecha. Nagisa's resulting fury gives her mecha a massive power up, and she and Iczer-One proceed to wipe the floor with their opponents. Afterward, it turns out Sayoko was protected by the bracelet Iczer-One gave Nagisa (who in turn gave it to her), and thus survived.
  • Case Closed: Ran Mouri went Mama Bear on several occasions over a suspect who tried to eliminate Conan as a witness. Since she knows martial arts, the result was quite painful. In the 4th movie, Ran was afflicted with Trauma-Induced Amnesia...and the trigger for her recovering her memories was seeing Conan threatened by the culprit. Another Curb Stomp Battle followed. And the reason for said amnesia was witnessing how the other Action Girl, Miwako Satou, went Mama Bear for taking 4 shots from the same culprit. She has also been this for Conan's friend Ai Haibara, giving her a protective hug and shielding her with her own body even when the local Dark Action Girl is shooting at Ai, forcing her to stop.
  • Mrs. Delia Ketchum of Pokémon would be a more prominent example if Pallet Town was focused on more often. The one time in which her home was threatened, though, she proved to be a formidable force, scaring off Team Rocket and getting a Mr. Mime (her current housekeeping Pokemon) to boot.
    • Also, the pivotal role she had in Pokémon 3: Spell of the Unown. Delia may have not taken physical action, but she was a Guile Heroine who became a key player in helping the emotionally fragile Molly, who had the legendary Pokemon Entei's leash, come back to her senses, which would be vital to controlling the damage made later.
    • Another example: in one of the movies, Zoroark is one of these. She apparently has such extreme motherly instincts that she can FEEL Zorua getting kicked around, and promptly gets so pissed off that she (in roughly the following order): punches her way out of a thick metal box that gives her a nasty shock every time she touches the walls (a box that she's been trying and failing to escape for the past half-hour of movie or so), fights the Legendary Beasts to a standstill on her own, and then utterly trounces Kodai without laying so much as a finger on him.
    • To make it even more impressive, Zoroark isn't even a Legendary Pokemon and yet she managed all that. On top of that, Kodai can see the future and she outwitted him completely.
    • Misty was a more toned down version of this with Togepi.
  • Teresa of the Faint Smile in Claymore, after adopting Clare, breaks the taboo against killing humans after bandits raid the town where she left the little Clare, and refuses to accept the organization's punishment in order to stay with her.
    • Clarice ends up being one to Miata, despite the fact that, as the weakest Claymore, anything Miata can't defeat she certainly can't defeat. Nonetheless, she still stands up to protect her.
  • Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. Clone/Mother Sakura. Big Damn Heroes with her Papa Wolf husband.
  • Bitter Virgin. When Hinako's mother realizes that her daughter's (second) pregnancy was the result of rape, and that the rapist is her own second husband, the next time she sees him she chases him out of the house with a knife. It's noticeable in that Mrs. Aikawa had been in huge denial for a long time, convincing herself that Hinako had been fooling around and treating her badly because of her first pregnancy (which ended in a Convenient Miscarriage) - but once there was absolutely no way to hide from the truth, Mrs. Aikawa confronted Hinako's abuser full-on. Knife included.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion. With all the Freudian subtext, there was bound to be a Mama Bear somewhere. Unit 01 goes berserk whenever Shinji is in trouble? That's actually Yui Ikari (Shinji's mom, who was absorbed into it when Shinji was a toddler) being REALLY pissed off.

 Youtube comment: Shinji ain't happy, so mama ain't happy. We're all not happy if mama ain't happy.

Youtube comment: This is why you don't fuck with Yui-sama.

    • And what helped Asuka pull back from insanity? The half of her mom Kyouko's soul that remained in Unit 02 after the failed experiment that rendered her insane.

 Asuka: Idonwannadie, idonwannadie, I DON'T WANT TO DIE!!!...Mama, you've been here all along?! MAMA!

(giant cross of light erupts from the lake)

Soldier: What the hell is that?!

(Unit 02 rises from the lake, holding a NERV battleship)

    • Depending on which end of the Alternate Character Interpretation you sit on, it's highly possible that the entire EVA project was planned to weaponize Mama Bear rage in this fashion.
    • Hey, being a partial clone of Shinji's mother, Rei in End of Evangelion counts. What does she do when you kill the girl her son loved? Give him the power to destroy the whole world as a retaliation.
    • In a more down-to-Earth (sorta) example, we have Misato Katsuragi. She's not only a strong Action Girl, but fiercely devoted to the Children and especially to Shinji.
  • One Piece gives us Bellmere, who when given the choice to buy her life or those of her daughters, offered hers in Heroic Sacrifice to ensure Nami and Nojiko weren't killed by Arlong. Even more when you realize that it wasn't until after this proclamation that the bad guys even knew about her daughters - who aren't actually her blood. She adopted both a no-older-than-5 Nojiko and a baby Nami after the three barely survived a battle, since seeing thast the girls survived said fight gave her back her then-almost lost will to live.
    • The backstory has Portgas D. Rouge, the mother of Ace. To escape detection by Marines searching for children being born at that time in an attempt to find the child of Gold Roger, Rouge withheld giving birth and bore her baby in her womb for twenty months before finally having him. The act ultimately killed Rouge, but allowed Ace (who would take up her surname instead of his father's) to grow up in relative safety under the care of Garp and alongside his grandson, Luffy.
    • Despite having been an Ill Girl, Kaya is this towards Usopp's pirates.
    • According to the backstory, a lady named Vinsmoke Sora was this throughly. Her Emperor Scientist husband Vinsmoke Judge experimented with their quadruplet sons while still in the womb, so she prepared and ingested a dangerous drug to try countering the modifications. While her health was damaged beyond repair and she died some years later, Sora considered this Worth It since at least one of the boys was saved... and that boy grew into none other than Sanji of the Straw Hats.
    • The Wano Country arc has Momonosuke's mother Toki, who used her powers to send him twenty years into the future while inside a burning castle.. In the present her daughter/Momonosuke's younger sister Hiyori may not have Devil Fruit powers like her mother, but she does her best to protect her younger companion Touko.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Izumi is practically Ed and Al's second mother. She barges into Greed's hideout to rescue Al after taking down one of the homunculus' cronies. Add to that her furious introduction and, well...
  • And then there's Misae Nohara from Crayon Shin-chan. Poor Shinnosuke, poor Hiroshi!
  • Umineko no Naku Koro ni does this in its first three arcs. In episode 1, Natsuhi Ushiromiya banishes the two remaining servants, the family doctor, and her niece Maria because she suspects them of being murderers and wants to protect her daughter Jessica. This does not end well. She also fights the Golden Witch Beatrice in a duel, although you might call that a subversion: the desire to protect daughter and gun not equal to ability to defeat 1000-year-old sadistic witch. The trope name itself is referenced during the proceedings.
  • Armitage III, Dual Matrix. The entire movie is Naomi Armitage having one giant Mama Bear moment (And her partner and lover Ross Sylibus makes an impressive Papa Wolf to back her up). To really drive home just how far Armitage goes with this: she gets hammered up and down by various 'bots and things unto being torn apart multiple times, her daughter Yoko discovers her mother is a robot by seeing her metal skeleton through a cut-wide-open shoulder and reacts with the prejudicial horror any child in that universe would feel, jerking away from Armitage and hiding behind Ross after Armitage has been badly injured by two clones of her with razor blades on murder-skates. Armitage swallows her tears, turns and goes to fight the clones again, knowing it's a fight she almost certainly can't win. At the end of the film, one of the clones is holding Yoko by the throat. Armitage, beaten and weary unto near unconsciousness, staggers up behind the thing and manages to grip its shoulder, and utters a line that exemplifies this trope.

 "Let...Let go of my daughter, you bitch!"

  • Sailor Moon: Woe betide anyone who hurts someone Usagi Tsukino/Sailor Moon cares for. Whether it's her boyfriend, her Kid From the Future, her fellow scouts or her Muggle friends/family. One of the most beautiful examples is the end of Super S, where the defeated Nehelenia exacts "revenge" on Moon for her loss by throwing an unconscious Chibi Moon off the edge of the floating battlefield...and after (quite understandably) BSOD-ing a little, Moon says " won't defeat me," and jumps off the same field to rescue Chibiusa, even transforming into Princess Serenity to save her Kid From the Future. And it ultimately works.

 Moon: W-wow, Mercury! I had not seen that power! How did you get it?

Mercury: I'm not sure. I only know that she made me angry when she threatened the babies!

  • Madlax: What ever you do; DO. NOT. EVER. lay a finger on Margaret. Unless you really like getting the snot kicked out of you by Elenore.
  • In Black Lagoon...For the love of any deity you believe in, do not harm any of Balalaika's subordinates. If you do, she will hunt. you. down. Some may see that as twisted, but others may see that as what proves she's still human: those men are all she has anymore, so she protects them fiercely and will NOT let any harm to them pass. Brutally proved when she engineers the traps that get Hansel and Gretel ultimately dead, and as Hansel talks to her and then bleeds to death, she keeps mentioning the reason why she's doing so: to punish them for blowing up one of her subordinates, then horribly torturing another to death.
    • And Balalaika's quite reasonable and easy to deal with, compared to the Lovelace family Meidos, Rosarita Cisneros aka Roberta and Fabiola Iglesias. If you, the gods forbid, kidnap or harm a Lovelace, either or both of them will come. for. you. Roberta's explicitly compared to the Terminator, and later on shoots her way through a group of US Special Forces, singlehandedly. Fabiola's not quite as formidable as her mentor, but she's still nobody to trifle with, and may be going the same way (if, you know, less psychotic than Roberta).
  • Rem of Death Note falls under this trope; having sworn to protect Misa after Gelus, another Shinigami, died doing so, she acts as a guardian of sorts and threatens to kill Light if he brings her harm. Eventually he uses her protectiveness against her, and forces her to sacrifice her life to kill L and Watari in order to save Misa.
  • Hare+Guu. Amazingly, (but awesomely) Weda, with the bank robbers
  • Never EVER threaten or bully Kana Ushiro near to Maki Anou. She might not be her relative, but she'll still do her best to drive you away from here.
  • Balsa may be Chagum's bodyguard, but when she said she would protect him, she means it. That spear just isn't for show you know.
  • Hajime no Ippo actually featured a very literal Mama Bear that tries to kill Takamura. It doesn't end well...For the bear.
  • In Fruits Basket, we have Kyoko Honda, Tohru's mom. She was in a gang before her marriage to Katsuya, and while we never get to see her in action, it's heavily implied that she wouldn't think twice about reverting to her darker days to protect her daughter. Now Tohru's friend Arisa, who greatly admired Kyoko, steps in to be this.
    • When Tohru was a little girl, she once went missing. As Yuki can testify, Kyoko was so worried and upset at how the police couldn't find her daughter that she was seriously about to beat the shit out of a policeman if he didn't find her in time.
  • The Fruits Basket sequel, Fruits Basket Another, has none other than Akito Sohma. She shielded her and Shigure's son Shiki from the boy's grandmother/her own mother Ren with her own body when the old woman snapped on the kid and tried to stab him with a knife.
  • Bleach: An interesting example of this trait being applied to a villain comes from Tia Halibel, the third Espada. Unlike most of the arrancars, who love violence and don't give a damn about their comrades and subordinates, Halibel strongly believes in her True Companions and The Power of Friendship, having a very tight bond with her three subordinates. While Halibel doesn't typically fight often or very hard, when her three fraccion are in danger, she goes into a state of Tranquil Fury and shows why she's ranked as the third strongest in Aizen's army. Halibel's aspect of death is Sacrifice because of her willingness to sacrifice herself for her friends, but also because they're equally willing to sacrifice for her.
  • In Private Prince, Kyouko Sakuragawa is nagging and all, but when her daughter Miyako goes into a very severe Heroic BSOD because she thinks her boyfriend Will will not fulfill his promise to marry her, she not only lets her return home without any questions, but doesn't hesitate to call the culprit out and kick him outta the ryokan. She's doing this to someone who's royalty, and it could get her potentially in LOTS of trouble. Too bad he wanted to clear all up back then, so Miyako's dad has to fix it up.
  • While fanfiction had already given her this role, Kushina Uzumaki from Naruto is confirmed as one by canon when she finally appears and completely chains the Kyuubi, which she once was the host for, for the sake of her son Naruto aka the actual host.
    • And then when the Nine Tails tries to kill Naruto, she (and Minato) shield him by LETTING THE FOX IMPALE THEM WITH ITS CLAWS. Oh, it's much more than that... When she realizes that their bodies alone won't stop the Kyuubi, Kushina reaches out and grabs hold of the claw, physically stopping it through sheer force of will. This thing is much too big for even Tsunade to lift, and Kushina is at the weakest she's ever been in her life. She then proceeds to taunt Minato by saying if the father can die for his son the mother can do it even better.
    • As of 547, we have another one in the form of Gaara's mother Karura. She was determined to protect her son, enough so that dying wasn't enough to stop her.
    • Lady Tsunade didn't start as one, being a Broken Bird who became really bitter and Afraid of Blood due to her Dark and Troubled Past... but when Naruto swore to become Hokage and then was in serious trouble facing Orochimaru, she put herself as gigantic risk to protect him, shielding him with her own body and getting hurt in the process, then overcoming her trauma out of sheer need and willpower, and ultimately defeating Orochimaru (who had recently killed the Third Hokage, which is why Naruto was looking for her in the first place) alongside Jiraiya.
    • In the Naruto Gaiden mini-sequel, Sakura Haruno shows herself to be one of these. When her and Sasuke's pre-teen daughter Sarada is targeted, she got so angry that she near killed the culprit with her Super Strength.
  • In Sora no Woto, mess with any of the girls of the 1121st Helvetian Tank Platoon and you'll get a deadly serious Felicia Heideman.
  • In Gokusen The Rookie Teacher Yankumi is this to Her students, even coins the phrase, "Mess with My Kids I...Will ...Kick ....Your ...ASS!!"
  • In Witchblade, Rihoko's biological mother Reina Soho sacrifices her life to protect Rihoko from Maria, a psychotic Neogene. Also, her Parental Substitute Masane Amaha sacrificed her life in order to destroy the Witchblade in order to ensure that Rihoko will not become its next host.
  • Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children: Tifa Lockhart may not be Marlene and Denzel's biological mother, but woe betide you if you threaten them with her around. There's a reason she's the Bare-Fisted Monk of AVALANCHE.
  • Berserk.
    • After having been through a very horrific ordeal during the Great Eclipse that ended with her going completely insane, Casca has the mentality of a child and can't take care of herself. Right after the Eclipse, she miscarries the baby she was pregnant with due to the extreme trauma that she suffered but it turns out to be tainted with evil as a result of what Griffith, in his newly-incarnated demonic form of Femto, did to her. Guts, the father of the child who is there, immediately tries to kill it, but Casca, through a surprising act of maternal instinct, tries to protect the child, before it disappears by daybreak. Poor Casca is then left screaming and crying in grief, which leaves even Guts in a moment of despair.
    • The Child makes several more appearances to their mother in order to protect her. After another series of unfortunate events, the Child makes his first human appearance, which is far less appalling. He has taken a liking to both Casca and Guts, but Casca, in another surprising twist, acts very motherly toward him and is fiercely protective of him, not allowing anyone to touch the Child.
  • Chiemi Takakura, like her husband Kenzan, loves and cares for her kids. In episode 9 she's seen shielding her daughter Himari without hesitation when a mirror falls on her. For that, Chiemi sustained severe cuts in her face and arms and had to be hospitalized.
  • Marie Mjolnir in Soul Eater is a perky Team Mom to her students. When traitor Justin Law comes to Death City to kill one of them, she also fits this trope nicely.
  • GoLion:
    • Episode 27 features a female Robeast, who originally was the Sole Survivor of the Gorgon race AND was mourning for her dead child when the Galra found and enslaved her. Even after being roboticized, her feelings were still there and she ended up capturing the youngest member of the GoLion team, the 13-year-old Hiroshi, who reminded her of her lost kiddo. Then, she bonded with the boy... Since Anyone Can Die in this show, she perishes protecting Hiroshi. The trope is even lampshaded by Honerva, who explains to Sincline that Gorgon took Suzuichi under her wing explicitly due to her maternal insticts.
    • Surprisingly, Honerva herself is revealed to be an example of this. She is the mother of the Big Bad Daibazaal and the grandmother of The Dragon Sincline, and has always cared for her son while despising her grandson for his half-Altean heritage. But overall, she is unfailingly loyal to Daibazaal; when Sincline gets him killed, she is pissed off and even tries to help the GL team to get her Revenge.
  • When Shiho Kobayakawa from Private Actress takes someone under her wing, no one should hurt them. This is especially seen when she bonds with troubled girls like the Child Prodigy Konomi, the Naive Everygirl Rurika or the Shrinking Violet Mariko.
    • Ir's rather interestingly played with in the first case. Shiho, who's supposed to be playing the Phony Psychic role, at some point gives a VERY passionate performance to protect Konomi from her potential Stage Stepmom, acting as if she's possessed by the spirit of Konomi's late mother Masami... But a talk at the very end strongly implies that she ACTUALLY was body-jacked by Masami's soul, who wanted to protect Konomi too...
  • In Gosick, there's Victorique's mother Cordelia Gallo.. Even after the poor woman was forced to bear her by Victorique's cruel father the Marquis for his own purposes and wasn't able to see and raise her kiddo, she clearly adores her little girl, calls her "my soul", and will never allow anyone to hurt her.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • In the backstory of Phantom Blood, Jonathan Joestar's Missing Mom Mary died shielding an infant Jonathan with her own body when the carriage they (plus his father / her husband George I) traveled in fell off a cliff. At the very end of the saga, before the grown-up Jonathan dies in the middle of a sinking ship crashed by Dio Brando and his zombies, he notices that a passenger lady had sacrificed herself to shield her infant daughter from the enemies; he then tells his weeping bride Erina to be this to the orphaned baby girl and run away with her, even mentioning how Mary died in a very similar way to protect him as a child, and she complies. The little girl eventually grows up to become Elizabeth Straizo aka Lisa Lisa.
    • In Stardust Crusaders, Dio's follower Enya Giel cares for her also villainous son J. Geil. She attempts to use her Stand to force Hol Horse to kill himself as punishment for allowing her son to die.
    • Diamond is Unbreakable reveals that Yoshikage Kira's first victim, a teenage girl named Reimi Sugimoto, died years ago to protect a little boy that she was babysitting the night when she was murdered. That boy not only survived but grew up to become Rohan Kishibe, who'd go "It's Personal" on Kira when he found out years later.

Comic Books

  • Even Aunt May Parker has demonstrated this line of abilities when somebody messes with her dear nephew and adopted son, Peter Parker, AKA Spider-Man. When the Chameleon, a ruthless assassin and skilled infiltrator, tries to take Peter's place, she not only manages to subdue him in an undeniably classy fashion, she also scares the bejeezus outta him in the process.
    • Her Ultimate Universe version (admittedly, rather feistier than the original), responded to J. Jonah Jameson merely firing Peter Parker by ...asking to speak to him on the phone. Afterwards, Jameson revoked the firing and balefully told Peter not to put him on the phone with his Aunt ever again...
      • When Ultimate Eddie Brock/Ultimate Venom showed up at the Parkers' home, attempted to talk his way inside (reminiscent of a scene that occurred in the mid-90s animated series where the beefier inspired-by-616 Brock does the same to a quite-different Aunt May.) The conversation does not go well for Ultimate Brock. She pulls a hand cannon on him and threatens to blow him away, knowing what he is.
  • Mary Jane Watson-Parker had a similar one in Spider-Girl: She's attacked by the new Green Goblin (Harry's son, Normie), who intends to kidnap and use her as bait for her daughter, the titular heroine. MJ just refuses to play along, and beats him with a lamp while lecturing him about how childish he was being (Paraphrased from memory: "I used to change your diaper, what makes you think I'm going to be scared of you!?"); Normie is completely thrown off, and tries to apologize before Spider-Girl then swings in to the rescue. Which one she's rescuing is a bit unclear by this point.
  • Leetah in Elf Quest is a healer who has lived most of her life in the peaceful desert oasis of Sorrow's End, until she and her family get caught up in the titular quest. When their party is attacked by trolls, she has no choice but to kill one of them who's threatening her daughter, even though it causes her a lot of soul-searching afterward.
    • Considerably less soul-searching occurs when Rayek makes the mistake of abducting her into the future, then dismisses her love of Cutter. "He. Was. My. -SOUL-!!!" Rayek very quickly finds out that Winnowill has nothing on an enraged Leetah.
  • Subverted in the X-Men comic books. Jean Grey is — in certain continuities — the mother of Rachel Summers. Very rarely does Jean ever lift a finger to protect Rachel. This is probably because Rachel is a psi of talent close to or exceeding her mother's own. Baby can take care of herself and Mama knows it too well. Plus, Mama's dead a lot.
    • But then played straight when Jubilee starts having nightmares about Sabertooth, who is being held on the grounds at the time. Jean confronts the captive Sabertooth, walks in to his cell, and proceeds to break every bone in his body without lifting a finger. Don't threaten Jean's family. Just don't.

  Jean: You are a firecracker, I am an atom bomb.

  • Played straight with Ororo Munroe aka Storm in the '90s X-Men animated series, when her god-child (the son of Storm's best friend in Africa, whom she has known from birth) who's also a mutant (more exactly, a Fragile Speedster a la Quicksilver) is kidnapped and possessed by her arch-nemesis, the Shadow King. Used a bit in X-Men: Evolution, too, where she was Evan/Spyke's Auntie Bear of sorts an the Team Mom of the group.
  • Though not ordinarily thought of as having a particularly motherly attitude, Emma Frost of all people. To say that she does not take kindly to people threatening or harming her students is an understatement. Given that her entire first class of pupils was murdered, that's not a shock, and it's been strongly insinuated several times that there are no lengths she won't go to in keeping her current "kids" safe.
    • And she shot her own sister in Generation X after said sister's actions resulted in the death of one of her students.
    • The reason she gave X-23 such a hard time when she first arrived at the Institute was because she thought X-23 was a danger to the other students. Since X-23 is a Tyke Bomb with a body count to her name and goes berserk when exposed to a certain chemical trigger that the Weapon Plus program still has (which is so indoctrinated into her brain that Emma can't undo the conditioning), Emma isn't exactly wrong. She definitely Kicked The Puppy when she tormented X-23 with visions of the mother figure X-23 killed under the influence of the trigger scent to show X-23 that she didn't belong at the Institute...but later she does come around though, as she eventually sees that X-23 is just another student who needs her protection. In fact, she finds Kimura (X-23's abusive former 'handler') and erases her only happy memories before sending Kimura to kill everyone at the Facility, starting with the poor SOB who kidnapped her pupil Mercury . Don't frak with Frost.
      • It's come to the point where almost any time Emma makes an appearance in a book focusing on X-23, it's so that the latter can serve as Emma's Morality Pet.
    • Her first class of pupils (but one) was murdered (the Hellions), and then Everett and Angelo from her second class (Generation X), then the entire third class (in Genosha)...and lately she lost a big chunk of her fourth class (45 students at Xavier's school where she was the headmistress), mostly because of the School Bus of death.
  • In Gold Digger:
    • Julia Diggers goes Mama Bear on the assassin Zero when he attacked her first student Gar, who's as close as a son to her, resulting in one of the epic battles of the entire series. One almost feels bad for Zero because he gets put in line of Digger's parent rage not once but several times, and he doesn't even have anything against them, it's just nessesary for his bosses' and thus his ultimate goals.
    • werewolf mom Jetta when her son Pojo is abducted. Then again, not only is she a rather traumatized individual of a species bred to be violent killers, she is also the only female capable of her species capable of having children, and Pojo is her newborn, first child. All things considered, her reaction was one of thoughtful consideration, really.
  • The female Dr. Light proved her Mama Bear status in print, in an alternate timeline in a recent issue of Booster Gold, by killing the evil Max Lord for killing her kids. And thus, Fanon becomes semi-Canon: Don't mess with Kimiyo Hoshi's children!! In the main timeline, when the superpowered zombie Dr Arthur Light threatened her children, Dr Light was able to create a bright and powerful enough light to completely atomize him.
  • One issue of Fantastic Four had Reed and Susan's daughter Valeria caught in the middle of a rampage created by Thundra, the Absorbing Man, and a mind-controlled Ben Grimm and She-Hulk. She's about to be squished when Sue shows up, already in a bad mood. Cue the resulting stomping of four of the most powerful superhumans on Earth. Made even better when Reed and Johnny show up...and Reed restrains Johnny from trying to help Sue, because he knows that she's not going to need any.
    • Sue could practically be the goddess of this trope. In the Fantastic Four Vs. the X-Men miniseries, the team is nearly torn apart when an old diary of Reed's seems to imply that he caused the accident that transformed them into the FF on purpose. It's Sue that deduces the diary is a trap laid by Dr. Doom years before. She warns Doom that a lioness is "never as dangerous as when protecting cub, and den, and mate." She then asks Doom if he's ever considered just what would happen if she decided to project an invisible force-field inside his body...and then expand it.
      • Doom: A fascinating theory, madam. Have you any proof?
      • Sue: Have you, Victor, ever considered how deadly my force field can be — if I decided to fight by your rules?
      • Doom: Is that a challenge, Susan — your will and natural strength, versus my technology?
      • Sue: Be careful, Victor. A lioness is most dangerous ... defending mate and cub and den. But there's no need to speak of challenges or proof ... because this match is over ... and we won!
  • In Teen Titans, Adeline Wilson takes this to a pretty scary level. After her husband, Slade lands their son Jericho in a hostage situation (that ends with their child being rendered permanently mute due to his throat being slit), Adeline shoots Slade in the head. Another, even more extreme example (Though it may not count since she had just gained super powers that made her so psycho) occurred when she tried to destroy every super powered person in the world to avenge Jericho's death.
  • Threatening/killing their children/adopted children is one of the few things that can tempt a DCU hero, either male or female, that normally follows Thou Shalt Not Kill to, well, kill. When Black Canary's adopted daughter Sin apparently died during a kidnapping attempt by the League of Assassins, Dinah went berserk and nearly killed Merlyn, the mastermind of the scheme.
  • A very grim example: in Hack Slash Cassie Hack's mother was so outraged when her daughter was bullied by popular girls at high school that she murdered them all as The Lunch Lady Killer. And she was so outraged that, after being caught and committing suicide she came back from the dead to carry on, forcing her daughter to rekill her.
  • In the "Rise of the Olympian" story arc, Wonder Woman destroys the Secret Society's headquarters with her bare hands after their creation Genocide captures and tortures Etta Candy with her own lasso.
  • Kate Spencer AKA Manhunter will kill anyone who hurts her son.
  • Huntress (Helena Bertinelli) demonstrates this when her students are threatened. With added holding villains off rooftops for fun!
  • Despite being villains themselves, the Pride do everything in their power to keep their children safe in Runaways. In one story arc, the group gets stranded in the 1800s and Chase meets the past selves of the Yorkes when they were time traveling to that era. He angrily informs them that their daughter is dead in their future, his present (in their time, Gertrude still has about two years left). Stacy and her husband make immediate plans to save their daughter from this fate and bring a nuclear bomb to the city to get revenge for Gertrude dying in any of the possible futures.
  • Snow White in Fables. When Geppetto asks why she stood against him when he did nothing personally to her, she responds "You threatened my cubs. Do you think I would hesitate to throw a thousand worlds into chaos to protect them?" Following that, Bigby even refers to her as "Mama Bear".
    • And in "March of the Wooden Soldiers," when Geppetto's wooden army is attacking Fabletown, and Boo Bear is killed, a few panels farther on you see his mother, in the thick of the fighting, screaming "And This Is For my Boo Bear, you monsters!"
  • Michael Tree, the heroine of Ms. Tree, will go medieval on the ass of anyone who threatens her stepson Mike or, later, her daughter Melody.
    • And her Evil Counterpart, mob boss Dominique Mureta, is equally violent in the defence of her daughter.
  • The Sandman': When Hippolyta's son Daniel is taken to be the next incarnation of Dream, she loses her mind and recruits the Furies to take revenge on the original Dream, leading to his death. To be fair to Hippolyta, she only goes this far when she thinks Dream burned her son to death. When she realizes that Daniel is still alive (only his mortality was burned away), she tries to get the Furies to stop their attack and help her get him back saying that they don't have to kill Dream. The Furies tell her that they don't help, they avenge and continue on their campaign unabated.
  • A literal Mama Bear is shown in a two comic arc by Kevin J. Anderson featuring a Predator taking on an angry mother grizzly. After the Predator blasts one of her cubs, he's ambushed by the furious mother and, despite his technological advances, eventually succumbs to her ferocity.
  • The Punisher story arc Streets of Laredo features a mama bear in the form of Rachel, the leader of a big-time gunrunning outfit in Texas. The only thing she cares about more than her operation is her son, Clark. Clark is openly gay, and when one of Rachel's men voices his contempt she challenges him to a fight and coldly beats him to death.
  • Sure, her son's one of the most powerful non-god beings on the planet, but do NOT mess with Superman when Ma Kent is around. She probably won't be of much use, but damn if she won't try. Pa Kent'll provides backup as a Papa Wolf - and he's got military experience.
  • In Batman: Year One, Bruce Wayne during his scouting of Gotham's seedy side in preparation for his war against crime as Batman encountered Holly Robinson and attempted to beat up her pimp after he abused her, although she proceeded to stab him, forcing him to knock her to the ground in self-defense. Selena Kyle, watching this, gets incensed and proceeded to jump down and deliver a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on him.


  • In the Lord of the Rings fanfic Ancient Prophecy fullfilled, one of the Valar (the gods without Capital G) slew the children of their Guardians. Understandably the Guardians in question weren't so thrilled. They battled the Fourteen Valar, destroyed the city they dwelled in and still inspire such fear that the Valar have to call upon the in that fanfic former Big Bad to aid them!
  • Karofsky's mom in the Glee fanfic The Kurtofsky I Ms. There's a reason she demands to be called Mrs. Badass and the reason is that she beat up Azimio with a golf club when he tried to destroy Karofsky's car.
  • Twilight Sparkle. Do not hurt Nyx, physically or psychologically, or she will demonstrate exactly why she is Celestia's protege. She'll even go so far as to attack Celestia herself if she thinks it necessary, though there are limits to even the Mama Bear power-up so fortunately nothing much comes of it.
  • Mary Jane Watson is an unusual variant in that she's a Daughter Bear. She currently has much better control over her emotions than she did when she first became a superheroine, but threatening her family and close friends is still her Berserk Button and anyone who threatens them will suffer.
  • In the Pony POV Series, Ditzy Doo (better known as Derpy Hooves) grabs a mop and proceeds to beat the living tar out of Princess Gaia's birds who have come to carry her daughter away. She actually scares the crap out of the Big Bad doing this!
    • Rarity goes Mama Bear when her baby sister Sweetie Belle is threatened. She even fights Princess Gaia's Dragon, Cheerilee, one-on-one and her zeal is enough to put them on equal hooves. Her rage was great enough that she almost killed Cheerilee if the others hadn't reminded her that Cheerilee was Brainwashed and Crazy at the time and they had to be careful.
    • G1 Mimic's Dying Moment of Awesome is one of the most popular moments in the entire fic, due to the fact she managed to bust out Discord's tooth, becoming the only mortal pony to ever truly hurt him. We find out in "Origins" that she did it to protect Celestia and Luna, who were her daughters. It didn't help Discord essentually just emotionally curbstompped Celestia For the Evulz. The moment is preceeded by this Badass Boast:

  Mimic: You float one inch towards my daughters I will kill you and seal your spirit in one of my horseshoes!

    • Exploited by Discord with his earthly mother Shady. He knows she loves him, and thus powers her up with an Element of Chaos, allowing her to be his loyal Dragon and bodyguard, safe in the knowledge she loves him too much to let anything happen to him. Unfortunately for him, he didn't realize she might love him enough to realize he'd gone too far and had to be stopped.
  • In Harmony In Disarray Alex Russo is this towards Leigh as she once broke Galloway's nose (and her own hand!) when he pushed Leigh, and before that she was already one as far back as the beginning of the story.
  • Every female character with a child in The Legend of Spyro a New Dawn and it's sequels, even the Big Bad Deadlock. Given most of them are female Dragons, it seems it's just a natural trait for them to have. Cynder takes it up a notch, due to her own horrific childhood making her want to protect her child from suffering the same thing. The only subversion is Queen Gorgon, the Queen of the Naga that Deadlock overthrew.
  • Ditzy Doo gets another dose of this in the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic fanfic Shipping and Handling, although since it's a shipping/comedy fic rather than an adventure story, both the trigger and the flipout are relatively tame (but we dread to think what would happen if her daughter Dinky was seriously threatened). She relatively meekly endures a verbal beatdown by the unicorn Glow, who's kind of a bitch, until Glow insults Dinky. At this point, Ditzy a) goes berserk, b) throws a serving pan at Glow's head, and c) tells her where to stick it.

 You can insult my eyes, my intelligence, and my disposition all you want, but I will NOT tolerate unkind words about my daughter! Now take it back, you overbearing, self-centered mule!

    • Derpy has another prominent moment of this is The Party Never Ended, where she uses thoughts about Dinky to motivate herself to help fend off the storm.

Film - Animated

  • Bolt: Penny's mother decks her agent (knocking him clean out of the ambulance) for daring to suggest ways they could exploit Penny's near death in a fire. (The fact that one of the supposed benefits was executive producer credit for himself was probably what set her off.)
  • Norma Jean from Happy Feet, despite her calm, loving demeanor, shows flashes of this. She is the first and only emperor penguin, in their extremely conformist and convervative society, to try to oppose the Elders, verbally lashing out at them when they force her son Mumble into exile. She also expresses great disdain for them during the graduation ceremony, as Mumble had not been permitted to graduate.
  • In One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Perdita is perhaps the only female character in the old school Disney Animated Canon who truly enters combat and that's when her puppies are threatened. When it comes that, she's even better at it than Pongo.
  • The cute, amorous, and normally sweet little she-squirrel from The Sword in the Stone won't hesitate to attack a predator ten times her size to protect Arthur.
  • Ursula from The Little Mermaid. Unlike the other Disney villains, she actually treats her Mooks Flotsam and Jetsam with love and respect, as if they were her sons; they in turn serve her loyally, and they probably are the most competent Disney villain's mooks ever. When they are accidentally killed by Ursula (thanks to Ariel pulling her hair when she was about to kill Eric, thus throwing off her aim), she first mourns ("Babies! My poor little poopsies!"), then goes into a psychotic rage, growing to a good hundred times her normal size and attempting to kill both Ariel and Eric with the powers of the sea.
    • Ariel herself is an inversion: After witnessing her father sacrifice himself to save her from Ursula in a Fate Worse Than Death manner with Ursula laughing, she went berserk, and actually attempted to attack Ursula despite being a mermaid out of water. Also, Ariel's role in destroying F&J as noted above was due to Ursula gloating that she intends to blow Eric to smithereens, similar to the squirrel example above.
      • On that note, Ariel becomes this fully in the sequel. When Morgana, Ursula's sister, tried to feed her newborn daughter, Melody, to Undertow both as revenge for her sister's death and to force Triton to give up his trident, Ariel without even thinking twice cuts the rope to knock Morgana out of the way, with the parents barely saving Melody in time. It's also strongly implied that this was the reason Ariel had to go to extreme lengths to prevent Melody to go into the sea.
  • Littlefoot's mother from The Land Before Time. For most of her screen time, she's shown to be gentle, caring and nurturing to her son. But when he's about to be eaten by a "Sharptooth," she whips that fully grown, red-eyed T. rex in the face with her tail, hard enough to knock him off his feet and send him flying into a rock. That one close-up of her face is the very definition of Mama Bear mode. Even after the T. rex visibly tears out chunks of her back, she manages to strike him one more time (on a cliff in the middle of an earthquake, by the way) and send him falling into a chasm, and somehow turns herself around just in time to catch the two young dinosaurs with her teeth before they fall.
    • Please consider the fact that this is a Mama Bear 70 feet long weighing approximately 30 TONS.
    • Chomper's mom also qualifies in Land Before Time II and Land Before Time V. In the former, it is implied that the only reason she and her mate even entered the Great Valley and antagonized the area in the first place was to try and locate their offspring that had been stolen from them earlier by Egg Eaters, and when the latter party tried to attack said offspring, Chomper, she and her mate attempted to attack them in turn. In the latter, she alongside her mate also attempted to protect Chomper (who is now old enough to actually talk) from a particularly vicious Sharptooth on the island during the climax.
  • Mrs. Jumbo in Dumbo is branded a "mad elephant" and caged after she goes berserk trying to protect her son from some teasing kids.

Film - Live Action

  • Evelyn in The Mummy Returns: Don't kidnap her son, or she'll even come back from the dead to kick your ass.
  • The Blind Side: "You threaten my son, you threaten me. You so much as cross into downtown, you will be sorry. I'm in a prayer group with the D.A., I'm a member of the NRA, and I'm always packin'."
  • In the Fantastic Four reboot a young Ben gets bullied by one of his older brothers. When their mom sees this she storms over and stars whailng on the punk while berating him. Seriously, do not mess with Mrs. Grimm's baby boy!
  • Getting her entire wedding party ambushed and blown away by Bill and his assassins was bad enough. Getting the ever-loving crap beaten out of her by the assassins, followed by a bullet in the head from Bill himself, was bad enough. But when the Bride finally gets out of her coma after four years and discovers that the child that she was carrying is gone (and apparently dead), she decides to...well...Kill Bill.
    • Also, The Bride may be a Dark Action Girl, but she does not like it when children (like Nikki and the ultimately alive BB) or teenagers (like Gogo or the young yakuza she spares) are caught in violent affairs. And she won't hesitate to say it.
  • Pictured above: Ellen Ripley of the Alien series was always a competent character with a decent survival instinct. Threaten her quasi-adoptee girl Newt and then, well, she's duct-taping weapons together to make a BFG, single-handedly invading the aliens' nest and strapping into a Power Loader to take on the Alien Queen in the mother of all catfights. Say it with us: "Get away from her, you bitch!"
    • Doubles as an example of The Hecate Sisters. And considering that Ripley had killed a number of the Queen's offspring as well, it qualifies as a Mama Bear Showdown.
    • A villainous example exists with the Alien Queen, who attacked Ripley when she fried some of her children.
    • Subverted in Alien 4, where the Half-Human Hybrid Queen orders her offspring to kill one of their own to have its acidic blood dissolve a way out of the cell. The Nightmare Fetishist scientist is dismayed to see the Xenomorphs show such human behavior. Also, Ripley abuses her newfound Half-Human Hybrid status, killing Xenomorphs that are downright affectionate towards her.
    • The page image is so iconic that a male version of it (Cable of the X-Men) is the Papa Wolf page image.
  • The Terminator: Sarah Connor. Saving the world from nuclear annihilation is considered an incidental bonus to saving her son from the machine sent back to kill him. This gets cranked up to eleven in The Series.
  • This was the point of The Long Kiss Goodnight, where Geena Davis plays an ordinary, suburban homemaker/schoolteacher...until an escaped convict threatens her husband and child. Then it suddenly turns out that she's a former assassin with Easy Amnesia, and she proceeds to kick his ass seven ways to Sunday. Towards the end of the movie, she's taking on a terrorist-organization-backed-by-CIA single-handedly to save her daughter.
  • Arguably, Chris Parker in Adventures in Babysitting. OK, she's the babysitter, not the mom, and two of the kids aren't that much younger than Chris herself. Still, a suburban teen takes on several inner-city gang members to defend her charges while in the way to help her best friend. Successfully. With verbal intimidation alone.
  • Pamela Voorhees, the killer of the first Friday the 13th movie, goes completely psycho and goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge after finding out that her son Jason drowned in Crystal Lake because two camp counselors who were supposed to be watching him were getting groiny with each other instead. Her bloody path of destruction is only stopped by Final Girl Alice, who chops off her head in the final showdown. And then Jason emerges from hiding and eventually returns from the dead to start a rampage of his own...
  • The premise of The Last House on the Left is about a group of people who get trapped inside a house with a Papa Wolf and a Mama Bear after they brutalize and rape the couple's daughter. Three guesses as to what happens next.
  • Raising Arizona - Even though she and her husband stole their "son", Edwina "Ed" McDunnough gets mighty protective of him when the evil bounty hunter comes for him.

  "Give me that baby, you warthog from Hell!"

  • Do NOT steal Mothra's egg and/or try to harm her larvae. She will unleash her rage upon you....Yes, even if you happen to be Godzilla. Mothra lost the fight. But she bought enough time for her larvae to hatch. Said larvae then proceed to hand Godzilla one of his few defeats ever by wrapping him up in silk. Yes, freaking Godzilla got his ass kicked by infants.
  • Surf Nazis Must Die has a mother avenging the death of her son against the eponymous Surf Nazis.
  • Eco-horror film Prophecy (from 1979) centers around giant, pissed off, mutated Mama Bear whose cubs were stolen by humans.
  • Jasmine, the aging lioness in Secondhand Lions, might be getting old and a little bit sickly. She might not be too much to look at any more. But put one hand on her human "cub" Walter, and you are in for a world of pain, even if the strain is too much for her heart.
  • L'Ours has a pretty literal example.
  • In Salt, the reason why Evelyn Salt abandoned her mission and faked the Russian Prime Minister's death was so she could save her husband. But once Orlov had her husband killed, she decides to go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge to hunt down every other Russian agent who was involved.
  • Crosses into Becoming the Mask in 'Big Mommas House 2, where FBI agent Malcolm ends up going against orders because of his promises to the Fuller children he made as Big Momma.
  • Rose De Silva is willing to go to hell and back to get her mentally troubled daughter Sharon back in the film version of Silent Hill. Along the way, Rose finds that Sharon didn't have mental problems, she was all that was left of a 30 year old's woman's innocence, and she was being called back to Silent Hill.
  • If a character played by Jodie Foster has a child or a teenager in her care — do not threaten them! Movies like Flight Plan and Panic Room should make that very, very clear.
  • Non-action-movie version: In the 1938 Yiddish film Mamele (Little Mother), Khavkhe (Molly Picon) takes care of her whole family. A gangster, Max Katz, recruits her brother into a burglary gang, and courts her sister (with the intention of turning her into a prostitute). Khavkhe manages to pickpocket Katz's gun, and makes him write a letter breaking up with the sister. ("You may be a Katz (cat), but you'll leave here as a kitten.")
  • Homeward Bound had a very literal use of the trope with Chance trying to "fish" with Sassy's help. The fish ended up getting close to some bear cubs. Chance, instead of giving up his fish, decided to scare away the bear cubs. The bear cubs then turned tail and fled from Chance's barking, and climbed up a tree screaming for their mother. Sure enough, while Chance was bragging about his victory, their mother approached Chance, not too happy with him for what he did and fully ready to kill him for it. Chance was just barely warned before he just barely fled.
  • Animal Kingdom contains an evil example in the shape of Janine, grandmotherly matriarch of the criminal Cody family and fiercely protective of her sons to the extent that she arranges for her grandson Joshua to be killed after he threatens to testify against them.
  • A literal example of a Mama Wolf would be Moro, the wolf-god from Princess Mononoke. Her daughter, San, may be human, but Moro loves her just as much as her wolf sons. Moro summons the strength to rip San out of the grasp of a demon, despite being at death's door and her hindquarters being paralyzed.
  • In Serenity, River Tam gets her chance to pay her brother Simon back for all the times he protected her.

  "My turn."

  • The Indian movie Lilli is about a pregnant woman being this not just to her unborn child, but to a young girl that she had helped before and now is in trouble again.
  • Wanda Maximoff identifies herself as one in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in an attempt to justify her villainy to Strange and Wong. They call bullshit on it for a number of reasons but the big one is that she would need to actually have children to be considered a mother. The children she's stalking are those of her Earth-838 counterpart.


  • An extreme example is found in Toni Morrison's Beloved, where Sethe, the main character attempts to kill her children in order to protect them from having to go back into slavery. She only succeeds with the titular Beloved.
  • Cordelia Vorkosigan, in Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga, is an off-worlder who is mostly bored by the Byzantine politics of her husband's home planet Barrayar. Until a civil war puts her baby (in a high-tech incubator) in danger. Then she single-handedly defeats a usurping ruler and ends the war. And brings back the usurper's head in a shopping bag to make her point clear.
    • Hilariously, seventeen years later Cordelia's teenaged son Miles (the same as the baby threatened earlier) stops another impending civil war simply by reminding Count Vorhalas that if he persists in his course of action, he will eventually have to explain himself to Miles' mother. Count Vorhalas immediately backs down.
      • This is not directly related to Vordarian’s decapitation. Count Vorhalas would have had a hard time talking to Cordelia anyway because his son’s actions resulted in Miles’ prenatal damage. The fact that Evon Vorhalas had been suborned by Vordarian is largely unimportant here, and probably unknown to Miles. Vorhalas backed down because of guilt, not fear.
    • Princess Kareen in the same series makes a very credible attempt to kill her unwanted lover when she realizes the man is a threat to the life of her five-year-old son, Gregor. She fails, but not for lack of trying.
  • This happens in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; when resident Dark Action Girl Bellatrix Lestrange nearly kills Ginny Weasley, who was fighting her along with Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood. Ginny's Housewife mother Molly goes ballistic, fights Bellatrix directly and kills her in a matter of seconds with a well-placed curse at the chest. "NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!" has quickly become the most-quoted line from the book. It really, really didn't help that Bellatrix showed her "Too Dumb to Live" credentials by mocking Molly's recent loss of one of her twin sons, Fred, which only got the Action Mom even more pissed off than she already wa].
    • In the movie, Molly immediately begins firing off killing curses towards Bellatrix before turning her to stone...and then obliterating the statue. It's also notable as the only recorded event of the killing curse used by anyone but one of the bad guys.
    • It probably also didn't help that according to Word of God, Molly actually comes from a family of aurors, and her brothers Fabian and Gideon Prewett had been killed by Voldemort and his followers years earlier. Twin brothers F and G? not likely a coincidence. The reaction likely wasn't that far out there, whether it came from skill or from sheer instinct — remember Molly's boggart, alias her biggest fear? It was shown to be the possibility of losing her family and friends.
    • At the time, Molly (and everyone else) still thought Harry was dead, whom she viewed as a son. This was just one more reason for her to want to kick the Death Eaters' asses. This is subverted in the movie, when Harry reveals himself to be alive before Molly's duel with Bellatrix.
    • This is actually the reason Harry survived his first encounter with Voldemort. His mother Lily was given the chance to flee but she chose to protect baby Harry with her life, which granted Harry magical protection. Notice that this was a young woman in her 20's without her only weapon aka her magical wand handy, and in front of one of the most powerful mages ever — and she chose death over handing her baby to the Death Eaters. Later, Harry protects all of Hogwarts from him the same way, except he got better.
    • A semi-villainous example comes in the form of Narcissa Malfoy, Draco Malfoy's mother, who in the seventh book lies to Voldemort that Harry is dead so she can reunite with her son Draco. She may be a pureblood supremacist with the mindset of Screw the Rules, I Have Money, but she is willing to risk crossing the mightiest dark wizard of all times to ensure her son's safety. It's very likely that this is the reason why Harry forgives the Malfoys after Voldemort's defeat.
      • She was shown doing this in the sixth book, actually, when she begged Snape to save Draco from his fate — if he failed in his assignment to kill Dumbledore, Draco himself would have been killed. Narcissa asked Snape to do it for him if he couldn't. Really, the fact that she loves her son is the only facet of Narcissa's personality the readers ever get to see.
    • McGonagall has shades of this when it comes to her students, as shown when she defends Harry from Snape unaware that he's a gigantic dick, but on the good guy's side.
  • This trope sees many uses in Terry Pratchett's Discworld:
    • Magrat in Carpe Jugulum who disposed of Countess Magpyr in a cold-hearted Mama Bear showdown by siphoning the vampire into a jar of lemons (a Discworld vampire weakness) and throwing the jar into the river below and then proceeded to threaten the rest of them with a teddy bear. While she had a Beware the Nice Ones moment in every book prior to her daughter's birth, it was always a one-off thing triggered by a Berserk Button. In CJ, though, her determination to protect baby Esme makes her possibly the most in-control of the witches (at least in Granny Weatherwax's absence). As Agnes thinks, mothers aren't wet, they're only slightly damp.
    • Sergeant Jackrum in Monstrous Regiment. And, yes, I do mean Mama Bear.
      • The trope name's especially appropriate when you consider that Jackrum is masquerading as a big fat hairy old man. And if you don't get the link between 'hairy fat man' and 'bear', I suggest five minutes on google with the safesearch off.
    • Also invoked and deconstructed by Granny Aching in The Wee Free Men, where she teaches a valuable lesson with the aid of a Mama Sheep.
      • Likewise, in Mort there's mention of a sacrificial goat that gave birth to twins just before the fatal part of the ceremony, and chased all the priests out of the Temple of Blind Io in defense of her kids.
    • It's mentioned in one of the books that one of the only creature Greebo ever backed down from was a vixen with pups (this is the Greebo who will chase bears up trees).
  • Nita Callahan's mother in The Wizard's Dilemma turns into one of these when faced with the prospect of the Devil-equivalent taking Nita's soul. Her line is "She is still my daughter, and she does not have my permission!"
    • Also, in High Wizardry, Dairine Callahan becomes the "mother" to a race of sentient silicon lifeforms, and a threat to them (as well as Nita and Kit) prompts her to tell the Devil-equivalent, "Touch them and you're dead meat." Shortly after, when a powerful ally appears to help out, the ally's gender turns out to be female, surprising the protagonists, said ally then comments "Men will fight bravely and be heroes, but for last-ditch defense against any odds . . .get a Mother."
  • In Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities, Miss Pross, although she is technically not Lucie Manette's mother, loves Lucie like a daughter. In order to protect Lucie and those she cares about (but mostly Lucie) she ends up killing Madame Defarge in a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
    • Enacted to perfection by Edna May Oliver and Blanche Yurka in the 1936 film. "No doubt you'll kill many more, but my Lady Bird, you shall never touch!"
  • A rarely discussed, but still notable, example would be Mara Jade Skywalker, from the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Probably most notable in Sacrifice, where her worry for her son (Ben) convinces her to go hunt and attempt to kill the two Sith Lords whom she thinks are plotting to kill him. One of them, ironically (and the later target), was Mara's own nephew, Jacen Solo. She's partially right in that respect, in that Jacen is still struggling with this choice, and this leads to a VERY nasty brawl where Mara very nearly succeeds in killing Jacen, only to be stabbed by a fatal poison dart in a reversal of the Deus Ex Machina.
  • World War Z has a woman who goes into a blind rage when a zombie tries to get her daughter. Her children told her later that she had ripped its head off with her bare hands.
    • There was also the nun who held off a zombie horde for quite some time with a large iron candlestick, protecting the children from the local Catholic school.
  • In John C. Wright's Chronicles of Chaos, while Echidna is never exactly safe, it is the death of her son Grendel that inspires her to come and slaughter every human being she finds. Only by revealing that someone else killed him do the children escape. And then she goes and takes on Mars himself because he did it.
  • In Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, Mother Wolf, whose very first scene involves standing down Shere Khan the tiger over Mowgli's life, and who is named "the Demon" for a very good reason.
    • There's also the poem "The Female of the Species" which spells out this whole trope (in less than half the space).
  • Having found the man she believed to have kidnapped her son, Ce'nedra in The Belgariad went psycho in his direction. She had to be restrained.
  • No matter the supposed heroics of the main cast, the prisoners' escape from Pax Tharkas in the first Dragonlance novel (Dragons of Autumn Twilight) would have ended in utter disaster if a certain old, insane, and technically evil dragoness hadn't come through for 'her' (adopted) children in the end and taken on the other (younger and stronger) dragon present all by herself.
  • In Unfinished Tales, Christopher Tolkien describes a Worthy Opponent version of this trope. In the wars between Gondor and the Wainriders, a revolt is arranged among some of the Wainriders slaves while the men are away on campaign:

  "But most of them perished in the attempt; for they were ill-armed, and the enemy had not left their homes undefended: their youths and old men were aided by the younger women, who in that people were also trained in arms and fought fiercely in defence of their homes and their children."

    • Also, in the Lost Tales version of the Fall of Gondolin, Idril is described as fighting 'like a tigress' to protect her son Earendil from Maeglin. She fails, but when Papa Wolf Tuor turns up...
  • How about the Badger mothers in Redwall?
    • Redwall, Constance is calm and peaceful...then Cluny threatens Redwall and she lifts A GIANT TABLE AND THREATENS TO CRUSH HIM WITH IT!
    • Marlfox, Cregga; the former Badger Lord of Salamandastron; now blind and seemingly peaceful...she tears through half of the Marlfoxes' troops to get the Dibbuns (kids) to safety.
    • Bellmaker, Mellus, very old; gives her life to protect the Dibbuns from Captain Slipp.
    • It doesn't count. They're Badgers.
  • The mothers of the titular Animorphs show this trope in spades towards the end of the series. Some examples:
    • Cassie's mother puts her body between her daughter and Ax, whom she thinks is dangerous, mutated wild animal, as soon as she spots the blue alien approaching her front porch.
    • Rachel's mother grabs a spice rack and faces down what she believes is a full grown male grizzly bear (who is actually Rachel morphed, but she doesn't know that), to prevent the bear from going into the living room where her younger daughters are playing.
    • Tobias' mother takes a Dracon beam to the back that was meant for her son, which isn't even close to the most impressive thing she's ever done.
    • Eva, Marco's mother, repeatedly denies opportunities to free herself from the torment of being Visser One's slave (which at one point had her pushed off a cliff and then tortured) in order to help prevent an all out war that would very likely claim the lives of her husband and son. Obviously, badassery is genetic in the Animorphs universe.
  • Inverted in E. E. "Doc" Smith's Children of the Lens, in which the heroine's daughter wreaks havoc with the mind of an enemy agent in order to force that agent's co-operation with her mother.
  • Kris Longknife is not a mother per se, but when she was little her younger brother was kidnapped and died horribly before he could be rescued. As a result, kidnappers are her Berserk Button. Heaven help you if you make off with someone she cares about--she will hunt you down and stab you in the jugular.
  • John Wyndham's short story Survival, in which one of the stranded passengers resorts to extreme measures to make sure her baby doesn't starve.
  • This is Cersei Lannister's main motivation in A Song of Ice and Fire, and her only good trait. Joffrey, Tommen and Myrcella are the world to her, and to protect them from a prophecy that says they'll be crowned and die before she kicks the bucket, she will do anything.
    • Catelyn Stark also turns into one of these, going so far as to free Jaime "the Kingslayer" Lannister in exchange for her daughters Sansa and Arya, and when she gets resurrected from the dead, she goes on a Knight Templar-like vendetta against the Freys because, among other things, they brutally killed her eldest son Robb. (And her, for that matter)
    • What about Daenerys "Dany" Targaryen? The woman who caused her to lose her lover Khal Drogo and her unborn baby ended up burned alive to a crisp.
  • Kate Connor, Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom. In the first book of the series, she was losing the fight against a demon until she heard her two year old crying and whimpering. Cue sudden burst of strength from reserves she didn't know she had.
  • Bliss, Susan's hippie mother, takes someone out with a statue of Buddha to protect her full grown daughter in Sweetheart.
  • Eleven-year-old Candy beats a grown man to death in Emergence when he makes the fatal error in judgement of launching a potentially deadly attack with a frying pan on her lifelong pet/sibling Terry (a hyacinth macaw), who is referred to as her "child substitute". (She happens to be a black belt.)
  • Keturah in Counselors and Kings.
  • The Belgariad: do NOT threaten ANY of Beldaran's descendants or you will have a very pissed, very powerful sorceress making sure you have a VERY long time to regret it. Right Salmissra?
  • Lady Svetlana in Tranquilium is very much this after (duh) giving birth in the beginning of Part Two. She goes out of her way to protect her little boy from revolutionary terror, war and a scarily ruthless conspiracy based in another dimension, though she got help along the way; for all her other issues and whatnot, the safety of her child clearly becomes an overriding concern for her for the rest of the book. This status of hers is also helped somewhat by the fact that she is actually pretty good at fist-fighting thanks to the training she underwent with her father's men (her father was a captain).
  • Sophie Pendragon (née Hatter) in House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones. Do not touch Morgan Pendragon or SHE WILL KILL YOU.
    • In another Diana Wynne Jones novel, Black Maria, Mig's mother becomes very angry when she finds out that Aunt Maria had turned her son into a wolf and tried to get the town to shoot him. Later, when Mig is being held captive in the orphanage (which is essentially used to brainwash the town's children), her mother storms in and demands that the people in charge tell her where her daughter is. All we see is the mother dragging the head of the orphanage and shaking her for locking Mig up, but it's implied that she did more. The children in the orphanage are delighted and cheer her on.
  • Brutally subverted in The Bible, where Athaliah, queen mother of Ahaziah, responds to the killing of her son the king not by going after the killer...but killing her grandchildren and taking over the throne. What a bitch.
    • Played completely straight by Rizpah, one of King Saul's concubines. When her two sons (Armoni and Mephibosheth) and other five youth (the grandsons of Saul) were made into Human Sacrifices as a result of a huge dispute between Saul's successor King David and the people of Gibeon, she spent whole months guarding the exposed corpses and protecting them from birds of prey and wild animals until God ended the years-long drought and famine that caused the whole deal.
  • Extreme side character Trinny, leader of touchy-feely Darling House (the story takes place at a boarding school) in Melina Marchetta's On the Jellicoe Road.

  If those cadets come near my Year Sevens again, I will maim them.

    • Tate, when she finds out her neighbor left her daughter with a child molester.
  • In the Dale Brown book Rogue Forces, former Kurdish separatist Zilar Azzawi retakes her sword after a Turkish airstrike kills her husband and children.
  • Stephen King's Dolores Claiborne. She puts up with years of physical and mental abuse from her husband, because her main focus is giving her kids the best life she can by saving for each of them to go to college. But when she finds out that he's started molesting their teenaged daughter, and has cleaned out the kids' college savings, he has to die. She's very methodical about it, arranging to make it look like an accident and ensuring that none of her children are home at the time it happens.
  • Sidney Sheldon's Rage of Angels reveals lawyer Jennifer Parker to be a version of this, though she has to work indirectly. When her son is kidnapped by a Complete Monster, she knows time is of the essence, so she calls on the Mafia prince who's been lusting after her — whom she knows to be very bad news from personal experience — and asks him to do whatever he can to bring the child back alive, and when asked what to do with the kidnapper, she says "Kill him!" He mobilizes his forces to track them down, the child is rescued, and he kills the man himself. The two adults become lovers after this, setting up the remainder of the book.
  • Yanaba Maddock, the protagonist of the Petaybee books, becomes this in the spinoff series The Twins of Petaybee.
  • In James H. Schmitz's The Witches of Karres, Toll is the mother of one of the main characters--and the resident Great Gazoo is afraid of tangling with her.
  • In the 4th Dexter novel, Dexter by Design, a bound and gagged Rita manages to knock her kidnapper into a running table saw in response to his threats to her children and husband.
  • A big, quite literal example can be found in Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark-Hunter series. Particularly in any of the books that mention the Peltiers- A family of Katagari (animals who can turn into humans) bears. You do not mess with Nicolette 'Mama Lo' Peltier or her family. She will beat ten types of crap out of you before you have time to rethink your decision or write out your will.
  • The Dresden Files has Charity Carpenter, who is not only a badass with a sword, but fiercely protective of her kids, to the point where she scares even Harry. Most recently, there's Susan Rodriguez, who performs a Heroic Sacrifice for her daughter Maggie.
    • Hints of this with Harry's mother as well. Since Harry is quite a lot like her, this is almost a certainty.
  • The Hank the Cowdog series brings us Sally May, mother of Little Alfred and Baby Molly. Unfortunately, Hank is quite often the target of her scorn for "corrupting" her children. Still, more than once she's stood up to some pretty serious dangers to keep her kids safe.
    • Gertie Cat, Though being thin and tired from constant nursing, manages to make a bull run for it's life when it tries to eat the haystack that her kittens are hiding in. She even manages to bring out Hank's Papa Wolf side. When Pete thretens them Hank (quite gladly) pitches him out into a downpour.
  • In Percy Jackson and The Olympians, Sally Jackson, the loving and nurturing mother of Percy, was shown fighting in the last battle using a stolen shotgun from the police.
  • The Han Solo Trilogy details Han in his youth and early years as a smuggler, and the first book, Paradise Snare, shows that Chewbacca wasn't the first Wookiee that he developed a close bond with. Serving as a cook aboard the outlaw Garris Shrike's vessel, she came to see the orphan Han Solo as a son, and he reciprocated the feeling. At 16 years of age, Han attempted to strike out on his own, knowing that Shrike would use his abilities as a pilot and scam artist until Han either got caught or was no longer useful. After stealing some supplies, Han met with Dewlanna to say goodbye, but was met by Shrike and his men, and past experience made it clear what was coming. Dewlanna rose to Han's defense and beat up Shrike's men, viciously shattering his brother's arm, before being gunned down by the outlaw. Her sacrifice allowed Han to escape and grow into the man that everyone knows him as.
    • Leia is also quite the Mama Bear. She does not look kindly on things like kidnapping her children, attempted assassination of her children, or anyone else important to her. Doing any of these things is asking to get your ass kicked at the very least. She gets it from her father.
  • In the Dear America book A Coal Miner's Bride: The Diary of Anetka Kaminska Americans were throwing rocks at Anetka and her family. She tried to ignor it until one hit her step-daughter at which point she says she became a mad woman like a mother cat.
  • In Divergent, the mother of Tris and Caleb.
  • In Death: Areena Mansfield murdered Richard Draco in Witness In Death. Why? Because he was having sex with their daughter Carley. She had told him that she was their daughter because she thought it would turn off his interest in her. Instead, he went and did it, knowing that he was committing incest. He bragged about it to her and wanted to have a threesome composed of him, Areena, and Carley. If you do not consider this a good enough reason for her to go Mama Bear, then you clearly have no soul!
  • Time Scout: Ianira. In Wagers of Sin, the fact that Skeeter was trying to rescue the father of her children gave her words extra weight, for both uptimers and downtimers.
  • In The Red Tent, when she finds out that her husband Laban had been fondling Leah and Zilpah, Adah proceeded to beat the ever-living crap out of him. When he was just inches away from dying from the resultant injuries, Adah swore that if he did it again, she would not only beat him up again, but that she would call upon the Powers That Be and have them give him some Laser-Guided Karma in the form of disease and impotence. Laban then made sacrifices to the gods, had a statue of one of their chief goddesses made, and bought Adah and his daughters jewelry...and never touched the girls again.
    • She also brought it up again, when he had made a deal with Jacob to marry Rachel off to him, because Rachel had not yet menstruated. In all fairness, Laban didn't know that, but the threat was enough to get him to comply with his wife's wishes, and extend the time Jacob worked for him.
  • Rachel O'Neal, in Teetoncey by Theodore Taylor, is this to a young shipwreck victim whom she nicknames "Teetoncey". Do not start with Rachel O'Neal. You will not win. That includes you, Atlantic Ocean.
  • Beowulf has among the earliest Mama Bears of literature. When the creature Grendel is killed by the hero, his mother attacks and makes her anger known.
    • In John Gardener's satire-novel, told from Grendel's point of view, he recalls a time when he was separated from his 'mama' as a child (he actually calls her that sometimes!), with his ankle trapped between two trees, unable to free himself. After a while of screaming for his mama - so loudly the ground rumbles - that a bull comes and attacks him. Why? Because Grendel was going after a newborn calf that he smelled, distracting him from getting home before dawn. After the bull gives up on trying to knock him out of the tree and gore him, Grendel encounters humans for the first time. Who eventually attack him. Just as Hrotgar's ax hits him across the shoulder, Mama comes in with such a fireball of fury, scaring off the humans...and maybe even Grendel himself. And she tears down the trees to make him fall out.
  • In The Secret of Platform 13, Larina Trottle is a villainous example, using her vast resources to move heaven and earth to protect her son from kidnappers. (Despite having kidnapped a child herself to get a son.) She also plots to destroy the life of her servant boy, Ben, for the simple crime of being smarter and more generally likeable than her little darling.
  • Maximum Ride. Do not threaten the Flock. Ever. Especially Angel.
  • Amelia Smudge in Jennifer Trafton's novel The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic. She seems tough and unsympathetic to her daughters, but when they're endangered, look out.
  • Septimus Heap:
    • Although Sarah Heap usually proves that Adults Are Useless, she can become very vocal if her family or any of her children are threatened in any way, as Marcia Overstrand had to find out the hard way in Flyte:
    • Queen Cerys's, Jenna's mother, job is to keep her daughter safe from harm, as she does by throwing Queen Etheldredda out of the Queen's Room in Physik.
  • Elizabeth Bathory toward her young daughter Orsolya in Count and Countess.
  • A fourteen-year-old Ruth in Someone Elses War, sometimes even to girls her own age.
  • In Twilight, Edward Masen and his mother Elizabeth were about to die due to the Spanish flu, which had alrerady taken Edward's birth father away. Elizabeth made sure that Edward live, using her last bits of life to find Dr. Carlisle Cullen and beg him to save her son, which he did via vampirizing and adopting him as Edward Cullen.

Live Action TV

  • Firefly: River toward the later episodes and the movie: "My turn"; "no power in the 'verse can stop me".
    • In "Objects in Space", the Tams are Mama Bear and Papa Wolf - to each other.
    • Every female on Serenity is a Mama Bear to Kaylee - Zoe rips Mal a new one for hurting her feelings, River takes out three Alliance soldiers with her eyes closed after Kaylee is too scared to do so herself...the only exception is Inara, who seems happier to baby Kaylee and brush her hair. Moral - don't. mess. with. Kaylee. It will NOT end well.
      • Even if none of the Mama Bears get you, there's also several very large, and very well armed Papa Wolves equally attached to her.
  • ICarly: Mrs. Benson moves in for her Badass Roaring Rampage of Revenge in iFence, beating a bunch of Freddie's bullies and other fencing students while Dual-Wielding a pair of sabers.
  • The Sarah Connor Chronicles, as mentioned above, expounds on the fierceness Sarah displayed in the movies. Her whole life is this trope, fighting to keep her son safe from the machines sent to Terminate him. Unstoppable, unrelenting, remorseless killing machines that have laid waste to entire armies of Resistance fighters and police officers, always single-handedly - and she has buried every one. In fact, she's destroyed more Terminators than any other human. No wonder her son said she was the greatest fighter he'd ever known.
  • After Nicole attempts to hide the fact that she's being bullied on Hanginwith Mr. Cooper, her mother the genteel Southern woman Geneva, who to that point had never displayed any show of anger above a stern look, bursts through the doors of the school and screams "WHOOOOO'S BEEN MESSIN' WITH MY BABEEEEEEH???" She then threatens to "RAAAAAAAIIIIN on [the bully] like a GEORGIA THUNDERSTORM!!!!!"
  • When Reese is the victim of a cruel prank by the popular girls in an episode of Malcolm in the Middle, Lois strikes back (which is in fact the title of the episode) with overly elaborate and exotic forms of revenge (such as filling up one girl's motorcycle helmet with bubblegum and putting a fraudulent charge for an expensive hotel room for a sexual getaway on another girl's credit card).
    • In another episode, a corrupt teacher is revealed to actually have it out for Reese when Malcolm accidentally lets slip that he did one of Reese's tests for him and the teacher still gave it an "F". Lois' anger at the boys is completely dwarfed by her anger at the teacher. She proves completely willing to let Malcolm take the fall for cheating because she knows he's smart enough to succeed in life anyways; Reese needs all the help he can get.
  • Heroes has straight and subverted examples:
    • Played straight: Nikki/Jessica were both devoted to little Micah and willing to do much to protect him. Jessica's methods were a bit more violent. Also, its because of her going to great lengths to protect and help her family that acted as the first clue in the Season 1 Finale that The "Jessica" that "killed" Micah before fighting Nikki was not actually Jessica, and that "Micah" was actually an illusion.
    • Inverted: Sylar's mother had built him up as the perfect child, but she freaked out and denounced him when she found out what he could do.
    • Angela Petrelli also proved to be quite the Mama Bear for Nathan Petrelli. She wanted him to succeed in being the mayor of New York City and ultimately the Presidency (although she did not anticipate that Sylar would actually take his place), and she even killed her husband when it became too apparent that he was perfectly willing to murder her son before he digs deep enough to find out some of his evil deeds, and she even goes as far to brainwash Sylar into thinking he's Nathan via Fake Memories (and essentially forcing Matt Parkman into doing so) when the real Nathan died.
  • The X Files final season had an episode where someone tries to kill Scully's newborn son, only to be shot three times in the stomach by Scully. The following scene has her refusing to give the man any treatment until he tells the reason why he's out to kill her son.
    • Doggett gives her a What the Hell, Hero? moment over it, and she still doesn't want to back down. Mama Bear indeed.
  • Athena in the revised Battlestar Galactica Reimagined goes murderous on Natalie, a Six model Athena believes wants to kidnap her daughter Hera. To quote a reviewer:

 "Ordinary moms don't play when it comes to the safety of their children, let alone trained warrior alien robot moms."

    • Earlier in the series, Roslin decides they'll have to forcibly terminate Athena's unborn child. A truly epic Unstoppable Rage ensues when she finds out, to the point that she's headbutting bulletproof glass so hard it breaks, with no discernable effect on her beyond some bleeding.
    • There's also Kara Thrace. She initially freaks out at the sight of the child because of her own Mommy Issues, but goes Mama Bear with a vengeance and stabs a Cylon dead to keep her safe. And then it turns out that the kid isn't really hers, after all - Cylon #2 was just playing mind games with her using someone else's stolen toddler.
    • Laura Roslin could also be considered this for the entire human race, given her tendency for airlocking Cylons and attempting to abort human/Cylon fetuses to protect the fleet.
  • Jurassic Fight Club had an episode in which a Nanotyrannus tries to take out a pair of young Tyrannosaurs. He succeeds in killing one, but the mother arrives and kills him, ripping apart the corpse to keep any other predators away.
    • Also notable was the episode in which a male Majungotholus attempted to kill a baby to entice the mother to mate. While the male succeeds, the female breaks his neck, preventing him from moving as she eats him alive.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy's mom Joyce, who goes after Spike with an axe when he threatens Buffy.
    • Buffy herself, who goes nuts at the Knights of Byzantium, Well Intentioned Extremists who want to kill her younger sister in order to save the world.
      • Glory, for the same reason. Glory was strong enough to make their earlier fights Curb Stomp Battles, but in the final one you get the feeling Buffy's getting a lot of catharsis slamming that magic hammer at her head over and over again.
    • It's a Summers thing. See Dawn's response to Spike in season 7.

 Dawn, to Spike: I know I can't take you in a fight, even with a chip in your head. But if you hurt my sister, touch her at all? You're going to wake up on fire.

Spike, later, to Buffy: When did your sister get unbelievably scary?

  • Desperate Housewives plays this straight twice.
    • In the second season, despite all of the emotional and mental distress her daughter Danielle put her through, Bree goes full-out Mama Bear when Danielle is revealed to be on the run with a murderer - one of the new neighbors and her boyfriend no less!
    • Susan punishes Gaby's daughter, Juanita, for pushing and bullying her own son, MJ. Gaby, for all of her insecurities over Juanita's weight, gets fiercely protective of her daughter and starts calling MJ a little girl, to put it nicely. Cue the Mama Bear catfight.
  • Stargate SG 1: Janet Frasier gets this way when her adopted daughter Cassandra is undergoing a mutation courtesy of Nirrti, going so far as to threaten the Goa'uld at gunpoint to fix Cassandra.
    • Nirrti was still unwilling to help at first, even with the gun to her head. Then Hammond informed her that Frasier was Cassandra's mother. Nirrti got a lot more cooperative after that.
  • Brought up in an episode of CSI, when the team is discussing a recent case where a man was killed on a plane by the passengers when he went berserk and tried to open the plane door.

 Nick: Do you think you could ever take a life in that situation?

Catherine: *answering instantly* I could.

Sara: *shocked* You didn't even stop to think about it!

Catherine: When it comes to the life of my child, I go all the way.

    • Then there's the episode where Catherine's ex is murdered and Catherine has to fish Lindsay out of a car that's rapidly filling with water in a flood channel. When a suspect (her ex's main squeeze) starts referring to Lindsay as a "little brat" and reveals she left her in the car, Catherine storms in and nearly takes her head off.
    • When she came home to find a suspect in the driveway talking with her mother and daughter, she very calmly tells her mother to take her daughter inside, then she punches the guy in the face and pulls a gun on him. "You came to my house." Don't ever mess with Catherine's kid.
  • Horta in the Star Trek episode The Devil in the Dark is a classic example of a Mama Bear.
  • In the Star Trek the Next Generation episode "The Dauphin", the shapeshifting guardian of a young girl destined to rule a planet (who is later revealed to be of the same species) takes this to absolutely insane levels of paranoia, up to and including ordering Dr. Pulaski to kill a patient with a mildly infectious disease because it just might possibly effect her surrogate daughter, who was not even allowed outside her quarters anyway.
    • Dr. Beverly Crusher can be a Mama Bear too. She came after Lore with a phaser when he threatened her son. He may be a Creator's Pet, but his mama loves him.
  • The female protagonist in Jekyll is asked when she first knew she could kill someone. She replies that it was after her children were born. The answer is the key to the nature of Mr Hyde in that he is a ruthless psychopath created not by the dark side of humanity, but by pure love.
  • Teyla in Stargate Atlantis. When Big Bad Michael threatens to kidnap her infant son for use in his experiments, Teyla responds by shoving him off the top a very, very tall tower.
  • On Charmed, when a young boy she had grown attached to was screaming in pain, Piper put every effort she could into her power of explosion and managed to break through an impenetrable fence. An act which caused her sister to reply "I think we just saw a mother lift a car off her child".
    • After Auntie Paige's failed attempt to locate newborn Wyatt's would-be kidnapper nearly got her killed, Mama Bear Piper burst into the demon Black Market, shouted "WHICH ONE OF YOU DIRTBAGS PUT A BOUNTY ON MY BABY!!" and proceeded to blow the place up.
      • Before doing that, when the guard demanded to know who she was, her answer before blowing him up defined the very essence of this trope.

  Piper "I'm the mother!"

Even more awesome cause this caused the underworld a collective Oh Crap moment, and immediately afterward they sent a representative to the sisters swearing that no demon will be allowed to even think of touching Wyatt without being VERY painfully dealt with, to prevent Piper from entering Mama Bear mode again.
    • All three of the sisters could be seen as Mama Bears, when Wyatt and Chris are threatened. And they're this even to each other.
    • Grams had shades of this as well.
  • In an episode of NCIS, a mother lays a royal smackdown on her "sister" (actually one of the kidnappers) the minute she find out that her daughter is safe. Bonus points in that the trope is actually Lampshaded by Ducky in the same episode.
    • In "Outlaws and In-laws" Mike Franks actually names this trope directly, when telling his dead son's mother-in-law about his daughter-in-law, her daughter, shoots down two mercenaries trying to kidnap her daughter with a .22 caliber hunting rifle. Franks remarks that out of six shots, she hit with five.
    • Agent Lee became The Mole to protect her child, and the moment she finds out the kid in question is safe, she lets Gibbs SHOOT her to take the bad guy down!
  • Supernatural: Mary Winchester's ghost. That poltergeist in "Home" never stood a chance when it tried to kill her boys. Also a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
  • Star Trek Voyager: Do not mess with Janeway's crew. Especially not when Janeway has the newest, most powerful technology of the Federation at her disposal and absolutely no issues with using it.
  • The Cosby Show: Denise Huxtable Kendall mistakenly believed her mother-in-law couldn't stand her. Believing herself unable to please the woman left Denise a crying wreck. Luckily for everyone involved, her Hot Mom Claire was wise enough to verify Mrs. Kendall's actual opinion of Denise before unleashing a Mama Bear fury (turns out hubby Martin's mother couldn't stand Martin's frequent rushes to judgement in matrimonial situations). For not listening to his mother, Martin was...less lucky.
  • Burn Notice has Maddie Westen, who seems like any regular kind, gentle elderly woman. However, threaten her sons and she will make you regret it.
    • Take as proof the time that she made an enemy agent tell her where Michael was without doing more than offering him a cigarette, when the combined efforts of Sam and Fiona couldn't break him. And she's not even a trained spy, she's just a True Companions .
  • Dollhouse: Do not screw around with any of the Dolls. They're not her blood children, but Adelle DeWitt responds to the harming of a Doll with enough cold brutality to make anyone wince.
    • She's also become like this with Topher in the After the End finales "Epitaph One" and "Epitaph Two: Return." When Zone begins to mock him, she is not pleased.
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures: Sarah Jane Smith. Do not threaten Luke, or you'll find out just how deadly a Technical Pacifist can be.
  • Merlin
    • Morgana's strong attachment towards Mordred, a young Druid boy she nurses to health, causes her to become very protective of him and a willingness to do anything for him in order to keep him from harm's way.
    • Morgause. Just in season 2 episode 12 she smashes a door off it's hinges and gives up her entire plan just as it was about to succeed to save Morgana's life, and in season 3 she captures Merlin and is very angry at him for hurting Morgana.
  • There's an episode of Power Rangers in Space, in which a monster is forced to be evil, but is good hearted. After fighting with a lone Cassie, she sees the gentleness inside of him, and tells him that it's okay to be good. However, Astronema attacks the monster, severly damaging it. The look of sheer hatred on Cassie's face toward Astronema is the source of nightmares.
  • In Gilmore Girls, family matriarch Emily Gilmore will never be accused of being the warm motherly type, but if you humiliate her daughter Lorelai or granddaughter Rory, a bitch will get blown the fuck up.
  • Twenty Four has a villainous example in Dina Araz. First she goes rogue against a terrorist organization, including her husband, when they order her son Behrooz to be killed. Then she turns around and tells Jack Bauer she'll be happy to let every nuclear plant in America melt down if he doesn't rescue Behrooz from a hostage situation. Don't. Touch. Behrooz.
    • Ahem, Jack's wife, Teri? She allows herself to be raped to spare her teenage daughter Kim, then we find out it's a ploy to steal his phone. Later, when the rapist goes to execute them, Teri shoots him, then fires a second shot to make the terrorists think she and her daughter were executed.
  • Played with on Quantum Leap since the mom in question was actually Sam Beckett in the mom's body.
  • An episode of Eureka begins with Tiny, a NASA-commissioned Titan rover, chasing Carter, Fargo, Grant, and Alison's son Kevin. When the episode returns to this scene at the end, it ends with Kevin pinned to the ground, Tiny looming over him, and resident Mama Bear Alison yelling "Get away from him, you bitch!" It's not until Tiny repeats the line back to Allison that everyone realizes that Tiny wanted EMO, a little robot with emotional attachment programming that was to be Kevin's parenting class assignment. Tiny had downloaded said programming earlier that day, and bonded with EMO when it wandered into her storage lab. But she had NOT given consent to her new "baby" going camping with the guys.
  • Mrs. Torres from Degrassi. Overlaps with My Beloved Smother - she's quite controlling of her football-jock older son and still coming to grips with her daughter younger son's transgenderism, but if anyone else messes with them she will make their life miserable (and the school principal's as well, for good measure).
  • Of all people, Pam Fields from the TV series Pretty Little Liars (adapted from the book series). Sure, she's trying to come to grips with her daughter's being a Schoolgirl Lesbian, but when Paige's father says that Emily became the captain of the swim team because she's a lesbian, she lets him have it. Arguably her Crowning Moment of Awesome. (Especially considering her earlier behavior towards her daughter's sexuality.)
  • Shal in The Outer Limits episode Rite Of Passage. She's a perfectly ordinary human that convinces her husband to help her rebel against their alien caretakers after their baby is confiscated. The aliens did that because thay felt that they were better equipped to care for it. After realizing that it is no excuse for separating a mother from her child, they apologise and return the baby.
  • The 1981 made-for-tv chiller Dark Night Of The Scarecrow has Jocelyn Brando (yep, Marlon's sister) as Gentle Giant Bubba's mother - loving, protective, and lots more badass than his tormentors.
  • If you value your teeth, don't even think about saying an unkind word about Joy Turner's kids' She's got one mean left hook. Even happy pills can't turn off her instinct to stick up for her kids
  • Claire from Lost, especially in season six when she learns that Kate was raising Aaron. And Kate herself qualifies as well in regards to Aaron.
  • Delenn during the secession of Babylon 5. Also to merchant shipping in the episode lines of communication. And to Dukhat. Watching her in a Mama Bear rage is as beautiful as watching a volcano.
  • Jackie Tyler from Doctor Who WILL carry a HUGE gun and actually kill Daleks if it means saving her daughter Rose. Also from the series Amy Pond. She was going to take down a whole spaceship with crew, her and her husband inside just to save her daughter.
    • And when she failed...

 Lady Kovarian: [While her eye-patch give her a direct link between herself and her bosses that uses said link to torture her] Amy...Help me.

Amy: [Rips off her eye-patch] You took my baby from me. And hurt her. And now she is all grown up and she is fine. I never see my baby again.

Lady Kovarian: ...But you still save me though. Because he would. You would never do anything to dissapoint your precious Doctor.

Amy: ...The Doctor is very precious to me, you are right. But do you known what else he is, Lady Kovarian? Not here. [pushes her eyepach into her eye while she screams] River Song didn't get it all from you...Sweetie.

    • Madge Arwell, from the 2011 Christmas special, definitely fits. She's a recently widowed woman from 1941 lost in a forest on an alien world at some point in the future with three soldiers pointing giant guns at her. Naturally, she starts crying and, seeing how upset she is, the soldiers drop their weapons so she can compose herself enough to answer their questions. She then pulls out a gun on them.

 Head Soldier: We're from Androzani Major. The year is 5345, and we mean you no harm. Where are you from?

Madge: England, 1941. *pulls gun* And there's a war on. Crying's ever so useful, isn't it?

Head Soldier: If you say so, but there's nothing you could say that would convince me you'd ever use that gun.

Madge: Oh, really? Well, I'm looking for my children.

Head Soldier: (suddenly looks quite convinced he might get shot)

  • Nancy Botwin, from Weeds, has this as her best quality. Just thinking about hurting Silas, Shane or Stevie is a bad idea.
  • I Dream of Jeannie: Jeannie certainly had her Mama Bear moment in the climax of the 1991 made-for-TV movie I Still Dream of Jeannie. (She comes to her son Tony Jr.'s rescue by blasting open a set of heavy-duty fire-rated steel doors. Sweet, giggling, kind, seemingly ditzy Jeannie then gives way to an enraged monster). Truly her Crowning Moment of Awesome.


  • Played for laughs in Good Luck Charlie. Amy met with one of Teddy's teachers to try to talk him into changing her grade on a test (he had marked an answer wrong on a minor technicality). When he brushed her off, Amy calmly knocked everything off of his desk. "Mama Bear just cleared your schedule." The next day, the principal called Teddy in to discuss the security camera footage of Amy chasing the teacher through the halls with a janitor's broom.
  • Lindsay on CSI: NY goes full-on Mama Bear when she wakes up in the middle of the night to find that Shane Casey, the serial killer who has been stalking Danny not only has him at gunpoint, but is also holding their daughter, Lucy. He threatens to kill the baby if Lindsay doesn't drop her gun, but Lindsay responds by shooting him dead.
  • Brooke Davis on One Tree Hill is fiercly protective of her adoptive daughter Samantha-when Sam gets kidnapped by Xavier Brooke gets over her fears, rescues Sam, and throughly kicks his ass, then she holds a gun to his head and is the verge of pulling the trigger until Sam talks her out of it. Brooke then says she won't waste anymore time with garbage like him and then cold cocks him with the gun before walking off
  • The documentary Dinosaur Revolution has a Mosasaur giving birth discovering her babies are being picked off by a group of sharks and proceeds to kill the entire group to protect the last one.
  • Everybody Loves Raymond: Nagging, overbearing, and irritating though she may be, do not ever mess with Marie Barone's sons if you want to keep your dignity intact. Robert's first wife Joanne found that out the hard way.
  • Gwen Cooper in Torchwood: Miracle Day. Threaten her family and she will bring the PAIN.
  • Lawyer Alexis Davis on General Hospital has killed more than once for one of her girls and she's not above bribery, faking a paternity test or making deals with the mob if it will help one of her children. NEVER mess with Alexis's daughters Sam, Kristina and Molly. She WILL drive over you with her car, shove you out a window or send her hitman lover to mess you up if you forget these wise words of advice.
  • Elisabeth Shannon from Terra Nova. Up until the season finale, she's simply an amazing mother, a brilliant scientist and an incredibly-gifted doctor. But when her son and husband are captured and tortured, she takes merely thirty seconds to out-badass almost every other character to appear in the first season. And how.
  • The show I Shouldn't be Alive once featured a family that got lost in the desert. The mother's boyfriend went off for help and later the mother and her two daughters tried to follow him. While they were walking, human traffickers tried to capture the girls. The mother's response: "If you hurt my children, I will shoot you." The traffickers knew better than to mess with an angry mom.
  • Smallville: Clark Kent might be Superman, but if you try to hurt him, his adopted mother Martha Kent will retaliate. She even once held Tess Mercer at gunpoint- and got away with it unscathed!
  • The ABC show Missing has Becca Winstone, who retired from the CIA after her husband was killed. When her son is kidnapped, she goes nuts. " I am not CIA, I am a mother looking for her son!"
  • The BBC 3 Program Being Human when Annie entered the warehouse full of old, and powerful vampires and screamed "GIVE ME BACK MY FUCKING BABY" and defeated the old ones and then to save the world actually BLEW UP the child in question. Now that is motherhood.
  • JJ in Criminal Minds beautifully demonstrated in the season seven finale that you don't ever threaten Henry or Will. That UnSub had it coming.



  • King Agamemnon's wife, Queen Clytemnestra, killed him because he had sacrificed their daughter Iphigenia to the gods. The fact that Agamemnon was bringing his new mistress Cassandra home from the Trojan War probably did not help his case either.
    • However, it's worth noting that Clytemnestra and her lover also tried to kill her son (by Agamemnon) Orestes when he was a small child, and treated the remaining daughter Electra poorly (and in some versions, tried to get her killed as well). So she's not the best example of this trope.
  • Durga from Hindu Mythology. She is a nurturing mother goddess, but she is also a very powerful warrior. As The Berserker Kali, she takes this to a dangerous extreme.
  • Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire. According to legend, she regards all the volcanic rocks on the shores of the Big Island to be her children, and will inflict a horrible curse on any tourist who dares to take one of the rocks home with them as a souvenir

Newspaper Comics

  • Rose Is Rose played this trope completely straight with a Sunday strip, featuring Rose transformed into a "Mama Bear" to symbolize her overprotective nature before she meets Pasquale's new babysitter. However, Rose relaxes when she opens the door she finds that the prospective sitter is apparently a Mama Bear as well.

Tabletop Games

  • Unknown Armies has the Mother archetype. High-level Avatars of the Mother get huge bonuses in combat when they're either defending a child, or pregnant. The phrase "mama bear" even shows up in the rulebook description of their second Avatar channel.
  • Munchkin invokes this with the "Mommy" card. When someone is in combat with a weaker monster or one that's been turned into a Baby, you can play this card to summon the monster's mother, who is ten levels higher. And woe is you if the Baby+ Mommy combo is applied on a Lv. 20 Plutonium Dragon...
  • In Dungeons and Dragons, the Grey Render is a huge monstrosity with a penchant for "adopting" small creatures of other species, to whom it will thereafter bring food and protection. And if you dare so much as look at them funny, it will tear you down like the squishy little piece of meat you are and share your body with its protegés.
  • In GURPS Bestiary, a sidebar makes it very clear why you shouldn't get between a mother animal and her young.

 Mothers protecting their young are the fiercest foes on Earth, and probably anywhere else for that matter. Mother animals know no fear, are quick to feel threatened, take offense easily, and will attack viciously, giving no quarter.



  • Kim from Miss Saigon shoots her own cousin who tries to kill her illegitimate son by an American GI, yelling "I have no other choice, what I must do I will!" as she does so. A lot of people remember the part as a defining moment for Kim, especially with her screaming "YOU WILL NOT TAKE MY CHILD!"
  • Umbridge in a A Very Potter a very different sense of this trope...
    • "It's your Mama Umbridge's job to keep her baby bears safe!"

Video Games

  • The Pokémon Kangaskhan is extremely protective of it's child. If you so much as threaten it, you'll have to deal with a 7 foot tall kangaroo-dinosaur hybrid.
    • This trait can extend to other Pokémon as well, such as Gardevoir.
  • What spurs Samus Aran to action in Super Metroid is the Space Pirates stealing the baby Metroid that thinks she is its mother. Here, though, it's less motherly affection and more that letting the Space Pirates get their hands on a Metroid is an unspeakably bad idea.
    • Said Metroid sacrifices itself at the end of the game to save Samus. This is where the real Mama Bear reaction takes place, as the Metroid's death also gives Samus her final weapon with which to utterly obliterate Mother Brain. The phrase "Curb Stomp Battle" doesn't even BEGIN to describe it.
    • The Queen Metroid's reason for attacking Samus in Metroid II: Return of Samus was also implied to be of this trope, as an egg was seen behind the Queen, and she also spawned several metroids to take care of Samus in case she intended to kill the remaining hatchling. Other M also reinforces this theory, as evidenced by her attempt to shatter ice surrounding the various Metroids if frozen to reawaken them, and is further reinforced in the former game's remake Samus Returns, where, upon destroying the last Metroid larva before the confrontation with the Queen herself, a huge roar can be heard that was undoubtedly from the Queen in response to the death of her children (said roars were also heard in the original game, albeit upon entering the immediate preceding room from the Queen, with it being strongly implied that she was roaring in fury and grief over the slaughter of her babies.).
    • This trope is strongly implied (and confirmed via Yoshio Sakamoto in an interview) to be the reason why the Imago attacked Samus Aran in Metroid: Zero Mission, since Samus accidentally destroyed one of its eggs.
  • Morgan Fey from Ace Attorney will do anything to take care of her daughter Pearl. More specifically, to make sure Pearl becomes the Kurain master rather than being shunted to the side while Maya takes the position. Not only did she aid a murder and frame Maya for it, she then tried to make Pearl channel the spirit of Complete Monster Dahlia (Pearl had no idea that Dahlia was her dead older half-sister) so Dahlia could murder Maya. We didn't say she was nice.
    • In answer, and in a much more heroic example, Morgan's eldest sister Misty Fey totes around a sword-cane and swears to do anything necessary to keep her remaining daughter Maya safe (the eldest one, Mia, had been already killed), up to and including Morgan's death, or her own. The latter comes to pass when she deliberately channels Dahlia's murderous spirit so little Pearl won't be able to, and "Dahlia" gets killed while trying and failing to bring her plan about.
    • Morgan might be a subversion. For perspective, Pearl is like eight, and heavily sheltered (she's never left the village, for any reason, ever). Also, Morgan wants Pearl to become the master now. So it's pretty clear that Morgan only wants this not because she feels Pearl is particularly deserving, but because Pearl isn't even old enough to be up after dark, meaning she'll be the puppet through which Morgan (who is somewhat bitter over her position as part of the branch family) forces her own agenda upon the family. Not so Mama Bear. Maya, by contrast, is a much more nurturing caretaker while Morgan is imprisoned, encouraging Pearl to have fun and in general be a little girl while she has the opportunity; Pearl, for her part, reveres Maya completely and would probably flip her lid if she knew what her mother was really up to.
  • Fire Emblem has many, MANY examples:
    • Princess Ayra from Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War is an Auntie Bear. Her infamous threat at Munnir comes from him forcing her to do his dirty work - by using her beloved nephew and protegé Shanan as a James Bondage. "You better not double-cross me, Munnir, because I'll hunt you down and put your head to a stick! Even if it takes me to the ends of hell! Got it!?"
      • Also, even if she's going through horrifying times in between generations, Tailtiu is not gonna let her child Tine take abuse from her horrible sister-in-law, Hilda. This has two different effects: on one hand Tailtiu does manage to save Tine from physical torture by taking it herself yet it ends up killing her in the end... but on the other, this allows Tine to live long enough to join the good guys (including her lost brother Arthur), confront Hilda and Bloom, and earn herself a happy ending.
    • When Lady Eyvel from Thracia 776 first came across a little Mareeta at a slave market, she slaughtered all the traders and guards and promptly adopted the small girl as her own. (If only her in-game stats were better.) Her raging maternal instincts are likely a result of the children she lost after getting amnesia. Her epilogue has her recovering her memories and reuniting with them.
    • Both Fire Emblem Awakening and Fire Emblem Fates include dealing with the children of the playable characters. So any woman who gives birth to a kid in the game will become this to her kiddos - from Shrinking Violets to Yanderes, from Girly Girls to Tomboys, none of these ladies will just stay aside and let their kiddos be hurt.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses has one in the backstory: Byleth's own Missing Mom Sitri, an Ill Girl who once was a test subject for Crest experiments... and who, after baby!Byleth was a stillborn and she was very weakened by a difficult childbirth, chose to give the Crest to her kiddo while perfectly knowing that it'd immediately kill her.
  • Averted and then played straight in Final Fantasy VI. During the first Humbaba fight, Terra attempts to stand up to the demon to protect the orphans of Mobliz, having become their surrogate mother. However, the emotional turmoil she's gone through has robbed her of her Esper powers, and Humbaba easily defeats her. When the party returns, Humbaba attacks again. Unfortunately for Humbaba, he didn't realize that not only were two of the (teenaged) orphans going to have a baby together, but also that the annoying party attacking him was Terra's True Companions. The ensuing fight has Terra in Esper Mode for the entire battle.
  • Hope's mother, Nora Estheim, from Final Fantasy XIII.

 Nora: Moms are tough.

    • Unfortunately, she dies mere moments later. But it's the thought that counts.
    • Lightning gets a Promotion to Parent for her younger sister, who gets kidnapped and turned into a L'Cie. Lightning is a Super Soldier military woman who blows up a train, decimates a military unit, hijacks equipment to break into an ancient temple, and takes on a god-like being to rescue her in the first hour of the game.
  • Jade, the heroine of Beyond Good and Evil, operates a friendly shelter for war orphans, whom she views as her "children." In the opening sequence of the game, a band of evil aliens attempt to kidnap the children from the shelter. Naturally, very bad things happen to said aliens. Also, near the end of the game, all of the children get kidnapped. After working her way through a Heroic BSOD, her resolve goes Up to Eleven, and not a force in the galaxy will stop her from fighting to get her kids back.
  • Lauren Winter from Heavy Rain couldn't save her son from the Origami Killer, but swears on her son's grave to kill the man who did. And in one ending, she does just that.
  • Juno in Soul Nomad and The World Eaters is very devoted to her adopted son Penn — considerably moreso than the child's biological parent. In the Demon Path this devotion takes on a whole new level of fanaticism when Juno demands Penn's return after he joins team evil, upon which Revya states that they didn't really want him in the first place.

 Juno: What...? You kidnap him, and you don't even want him? What's wrong with him? He's cute! Everyone should want to kidnap him! You will pay for not wanting to kidnap him!

  • In World of Warcraft, there is a new talent in the druid class' Feral tree called "Protector of the Pack". It increases your attack power and decreases the amount of damage you take for every member in your party. For those who've never played, druids in bear-form are essentially meat shields.
    • And Alexstrasza: "Nekrosss...You had them ssslay my children! My children!"
    • With the new Cataclysm expansion, Beauty, the core hound boss, along with her 4 pups, of the new dungeon Blackrock Caverns will one by one 1-hit your entire party if the runt of the litter, creatively named Runty, ever dies.
      • It's kind off weird that killing any of the other puppies doesn't even affect the ferocious mother.
    • In the Worgen starting zone, there is a small series of quests involving a Grandma Wahl. One such quests asks you to find her lost cat before the evacuation. Once you find him, you are ambushed by a Forsaken, saying the cat would make good bait. Just as you engage him, Grandma, who we now learn is also a Worgen runs up to save her cat. "You do not mess with my kitty you son of a mongrel!"
  • In the 7th Touhou Project game, Perfect Cherry Blossom, the player encounters Chen as the stage 2 boss. When the player encounters and defeats Chen a second time on the Extra Stage, they are soon greeted by Chen's mother figure, Ran Yakumo, who is not at all pleased with the protagonist's treatment of Chen. Cue the game's difficult Bonus Boss battle.
  • Melissa from Siren: Blood Curse. And lord help you if you have Bella and she's in her Maggot Shibito form. "BELLAAAAA!! MY BABYYY!!!"
  • The Alexandra sisters, Sophitia and Cassandra. 'Nuff said. Not only eldest sister Sophitia is the very embodiment of Mama Bear, but younger sister Cassandra is one despite still not having carried a child - she entered the fight hoping to fill the role so Sophie would have a chance to live normally and not fight anymore.
  • Resident Evil. If you're a child hopelessly lost in a zombie- and monster-infested setting, all you need to do is find a safe spot to hide and hope that Claire Redfield is in the area.
  • Bayonetta is this to a little girl named Cereza. This causes a Stable Time Loop, as Cereza is actually Bayonetta as a child, and Bayonetta became what she was by presumably imitating her "mother".
  • Alma from First Encounter Assault Recon. At the end of the first game, The Reveal shows that her actions were all because of what was done to her...including them taking her two children away. It also turns out these two children are the Point Man (the main protagonist) and Paxton Fettel (the main antagonist).
  • Arl Eamon's wife Lady Isolde of Dragon Age Origins goes to some pretty extreme lengths to protect her son Connor. To hide Connor's magical potential she blatantly goes against the laws of the Chantry and hires Jowan, an apostate Blood Mage, to teach Connor just enough magic to be able to hide his abilities from others. This leads to disaster, to put it lightly. Later, after Connor has been possessed, Isolde lures Bann Teagan to the castle at "Connor"'s request. At the end, unless you Take a Third Option, Isolde will either allow herself to be sacrificed in a Blood Magic ritual to save Connor, or ask the Grey Warden to allow her to peacefully kill Connor herself to end his suffering.
  • A weird, weird example can be found in the joined games of The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons. The sister witches Koume and Kotake will do anything for their adopted son Ganondorf. They are the secret Big Bad of both games, the goal of which can only be seen when the games are linked up; they want to sacrifice Princess Zelda as part of a ritual to revive Ganondorf, and when Link screws that up for them, they sacrifice themselves instead.
  • In Bioshock, once Bridgette Tenenbaum's maternal instinct kicks in, she spends her time rounding up and saving the Little Sisters. Then after she finally escapes Rapture, she goes back for the sisters that were left in the city.
  • Aqua in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep is undoubtedly the Team Mom, and slips instantly into this once It Got Worse.
  • Fallout: New Vegas
    • The Mother Deathclaw. Shoot one of her little babies and prepare for pain.
    • Lily, who's more a Grandmama Bear (or Grandmama Yao Guai as it were) who is fiercely protective of the Courier, who she takes as a Replacement Goldfish for her real grandchildren.


  • Tekken: Jun Kazama. Because nothing says love for your son like kicking the ass of the closest thing this series has to the devil as it tries to possess your child while he's still in the womb and then holding off (and possibly being murdered by) an ancient, inhuman weapon of alien origin for the sake of your aforementioned son fifteen years down the road.
    • Even with its doubtful canonicity, Devil Jin's ending in Tag Tournament 2 confirms her again as one. Jin's ending has him finding out that Jun is the infamous Unknown and then has her fade away. . . But when Jin falls into despair and that triggers his Devil Jin transformation enough to have him fly into the atmosphere at serious risk to himself, Jun reassembles herself from pretty much nothing (and as JUN, not as Unknown) to calm him down and reverse said process, undoing said transformation and then sending the now human Jin back to Earth safely.
      • Actually, she already was this in Tekken 3. Sorta. Ogre's Tag Tournament 1 ending has him preparing to kill a defeated Jin, but Unknown (who is confirmed in TTT2 to be Jun) shows up to fight him. . .
    • She's this even in the pachinko games, again even with their doubtful canonicity. In Tekken CR, when Jin is losing a fight against Devil Kazuya, as Kazuya is about to deliver a killing blow Jun's soul appears between the two and uses her Devil Gene-reversing powers to momentarily hold Kazuya's DG off, helping Jin get the upper hand.
  • The female Commander Shepard in the Mass Effect series, is potentially this depending on how she's played. If played straight, threatening her crew is about the biggest mistake you could make.
  • In Baldur's Gate 2 Throne of Baal, the witch who raised Yaga-Shura and taught him how to render himself invulnerable by turning his heart into a Soul Jar initially asks you to retrieve his and her hearts so she can render him mortal since he betrayed her and she wants revenge. Immediately after the ritual is complete, her restored heart causes her feelings of maternal love to return. Realizing that your party will try to kill Yaga-Shura, she attacks your party despite being hopelessly outmatched.
  • Angry Birds. Those pigs really should not have messed with the eggs.
  • In Psychonauts, one could interpret Milla in this way--a Badass psychic secret agent who also loves kids, she is not happy when she's revived from Oleander stealing her, Sasha and their students' brains. This interpretation becomes more clear when you use Clairvoyance on her (she sees her students as babies) and when you find her back story (which reveals trauma from the Orphanage of Love she worked at burning to the ground).
  • The RPG Maker game Oracle of Tao has Ambrosia Brahmin who starts out as a Tsundere or Sugar and Ice Personality, during the first game. In the Playable Epilogue, however, she has a daughter that she is very protective of, in her own neurotic way.
  • Mary Barrows (or Burroughs) from Clock Tower is a villainous example: She is the mother of two extremely disturbed children, Bobby and Dan (their conception is heavily implied to be the result of occult work), and is very protective of them, to the extent that she is perfectly willing of killing Jennifer and three other orphans she adopted just to prevent them from killing them, and also intended to murder Jennifer in one of the endings specifically because the latter killed Bobby and Dan, but ended up being killed herself.
  • Palutena in Kid Icarus: Uprising has shown signs of being one toward Pit especially in later chapters of the game. By the end of chapter 21, when Pit saved Dark Pit from Chaos Kin, he had his wings burned as a result. Palutena is in a state of shock of what happened given that Pit might die. What does she do? Have Dark Pit go to the spring of time and dip Pit's wings into the water and bring him back to life. In Viridi's own words, Palutena is willing to go down into the Underworld and cheat death just to save her precious Captain (who she might see as a son depending on interpretation.
  • No one should harm a child or a teenager in the vincinity of one Chun Li. She pointed a gun at Bison and then fought him for kidnapping and brainwashing teen girls into his Bodyguard Babes, and later fought the Illuminati (in V) and Urien (in one of the III games) for kidnapping a Child Prodigy girl that she adopted and trained with other kids.
  • Mortal Kombat X.
    • During Sonya Blade's Story Chapter, her Arch Enemy Kano made very unsavory comments about her and Johnny Cage's Cute Bruiser daughter Cassandra aka Cassie. Sonya, who normally is quite the Tsundere to Cassie and Johnny, got so angry that she almost choked Kano to death, and would've killed him with her bare hands if not for Johnny managing to calm her down.
    • In the backstory comics, Kenshin's former girlfriend and Takeda's Action Mom Suchin was this to her son. Knowing that her ex's enemies would come for her and the kid, she sent him away and waited for the assassins, sword in hand. She managed to take all of them down before going through a Mutual Kill with the last one, ensuring that the boy would have a chance to live. (And live, he did)
  • In Katawa Shoujo, Hanako Ikezawa's mother was this in the past. Hanako survived the fire that consumed her house and orphaned her as a little girl solely because her mom chose to cover her with her body and let herself burn to death to protect her. While the poor girl was physically and emotionally scarred, she still got a second chance to live thanks to Mrs. Ikezawa's Heroic Sacrifice.
  • A player initiated version can happen in Overwatch if they are Ana and Pharah is on the team as Ana is one of the few supports who can dish out damage.


  • In Thespiphobia, Gwyneth could never be considered as a super sweet girl. Mikayla is even worse. However - if you mess with the theatre's techies, or Mikayla's inventions, be prepared to burn more mightily than fuse in Hell. Not that Gwyn is oblivious to her techies' shortcomings - she's just the only one allowed to deal repercussions.
  • Charon McKay from Shadowgirls, especially when she pulls the so-called Slayer of the Elder Gods that was manipulating her daughter out of her mind, with just her bare hands and kicks it in the face. Also Christmas Snow when she stabs the guy who's responsible for turning her daughter into an Elder God Avatar through the heart. And this guy was making fricking scary sea monsters afraid of him!
  • Miranda Deegan is one of the most powerful mages in the world most of the time. When her family or students are threatened, however, she is completely unstoppable. The necromancer Rilian once took advantage of this - he betrayed the Deegans' location to his age-old enemy, Helixa, knowing that Miranda would never let her lay a finger on them. He was right; Miranda killed Helixa (with her bare hands), and although it didn't take, she made a point of finishing her off the next time they met.
    • She took an infernomancer who tormented a friend of her son (the title character) and opened his mind to a world of arcane torture. And then she banished him to approximately the other side of the universe. This infernomancer had just attacked a classrom full of her students (she's the headmistress of the local Hogwarts) and killed three of them, though, so it's still valid.
  • The trope is referenced in this Beaver and Steve.
  • Von Pinn from Girl Genius. Unusually for Momma Bears, her charges are genuinely and justifiably terrified of her- largely because they understand how prone she is to violence and overkill.
    • She is introduced trying to encourage safe behaviour in a young woman whom she is holding off the ground by the neck.
    • Also unusual when she reveals that she's supposed to keep Agatha "safe" primarily in the sense of "preventing her from posing a danger to others."
      • Castle Heterodyne has also been showing a warped version of Mama Bearness in recent strips. Or maybe Papa Wolfness, I'm not sure which gender a castle can really count as.
  • Order of the Stick gives this, also (as is common) paired with a Crowning Moment of Awesome for Kazumi: she kicks ninja ass...while pregnant!
    • An example of this and minor aversion of What Measure Is a Non-Human? occurs later when Vaarsuvius has to deal with the enraged mother of an adolescent black dragon that the party killed.
    • Vaarsuvius also counts, making a Deal with the Devil to have the power to save her own children from the dragon. (S)he not only kills the dragon, but reanimates her head and uses a high-level Necromancy spell to KILL HER WHOLE EXTENDED FAMILYincluding eggs. According to V, that's nearly a quarter of all black dragons on the planet. This will ensure that no one in her family will come after V's mate and children again. Unfortunately, now V has pissed off Tiamat, the goddess of evil dragons. What's more, V inadvertently caused the death of many humans whose only crime was that they bore the child of a dragon (or hybrid thereof), or were related by blood to such a person, etc., etc. Vaarsuvius suffered a Villainous BSOD over that.
    • And, because we're not sure exactly what gender V or V's mate possesses, another Mama Bear moment goes to V's mate, who, after witnessing and perfectly understanding the above attack, still stands between V and their children holding only a stick.
  • Darken, another D&D based webcomic, illustrates that even borderline cosmic horrors shouldn't bother the daughter of an ancient dragon.
  • Wigu has Romy Tinkle who, while a raging alcoholic in poor shape, was capable of getting the jump on and knocking out a ninja when her family was threatened by bounty hunters.
  • In El Goonish Shive Abraham knowing that his opponent is half-human and half-immortal, saw only one implication, and mostly wrong one. The prospect of facing said immortal's reaction after he left her child within a hair's breadth of death somehow escaped his attention in all this haste. Immortals cannot interfere directly, but she's free to try killing him with mortals' hands...Isn't it surprising — where all those heavy boots flying toward his butt suddenly came from?

  Chaos: Also? He hurt my son.


Web Original

  • Tuck's mother in The Saga of Tuck, when Tuck is in that Convenient Coma, scares everyone except possibly her husband.
  • In Whately Academy, during the Halloween invasion, we get at least two or three. Deathlist, a monstrous cyborg of superman-level power and the most horrifying villain in the Whatelyverse, makes the mistake of attacking the school and threatening the children. By the time Dean Carson (aka Lady Astarte) gets through with him, the only thing left of him to escape is his head. Jimmy T, a generally peacable shapeshifter, finds out his house of misfits, Hawthorne, is being raided by troopers looking to take "samples" from the helpless students, turns into fricking GODZILLA and stomps a mudhole in the forces there. All over the campus were mother hens ripping bad guys a new one....
  • Hey, at least kiwi aren't that nasty. Right? Right?..
  • Do not threaten Strange Little Band's Addison Harris's children. Not unless you are prepared for a world of pain anyway.
  • Like the so very many Papa Wolves on the site, Lindsay Ellis will crush you if you hurt her friends.
    • Her character might hate children and would be willing to see the fictional ones die, but hurt an animal and you'll see some damn scary Tranquil Fury.
  • Chakona Space gives us Chakats. It's programmed into their DNA. Seriously, ten fur-hating rioters vs. two Chakats in child-defense mode. The rioters felt outnumbered.

Western Animation

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender gives us the above quote; said character knows what she's talking about, having killed Fire Lord Azulon for ordering her son Zuko's death. There is some debate as to whether this Mama Bear attitude applied to Azula as well; we didn't see enough of Ursa to really know what was up with her.
    • Also, Katara's mother Kya, who pulled a Heroic Sacrifice to keep the Fire Nation from finding out her daughter was a Waterbender. Not only did she lie about being a Waterbender, she did so right after telling her daughter that everything was going to be okay. With the Southern Raider's commander standing right in front of her, that took a great deal of courage. This is why no one shall screw with the Water Tribe.
    • Avatar Kyoshi may have been motivated by this trope when she split her home town off the mainland into its own island, as her backstory reveals she bore at least one child.
    • In a milder, funny example, the saber-tooth moose lion.
    • The turtle-duck that attacked young Zuko, prompting Ursa to state the top-quote.
  • Kyle's mom Sheila in South Park takes this trope a bit too far, as she starts World War III and nearly triggers Armageddon all in the name of protecting her son from toilet humor in the media.
  • Danny Phantom where at least two episodes have the main character's mother, Maddie Fenton, kicking all sorts of ass towards a group of ghosts to protect her son. One of which involves an Ecto-induced lightsaber. She's a 6th degree black belt who was already an Action Mom and whose response to a threat not directly aimed at her son is normally overkill. When she goes Mama Bear, prepare for a butt kicking.
  • Before Family Guy's unfortunate degredation of Meg's character and Lois's Flanderization, "And the Wiener is..." had Lois go out of her way to stage elaborate revenge against the cool kids for humiliating Meg at a football game. When the initial plan fails due to Meg believing the lie that the cool kids like her now, Lois had a contingency plan of sending Quagmire over to rape them.
    • She also gets a moment with the Straw Feminist Gloria Ironbox in "I Am Peter, Hear Me Roar". At first, she just makes some snarky comments about Gloria's extremist opinions, but then the offending strawwoman insults her children. Cue the Cat Fight.
    • And you do NOT want to steal her baby's candy. For that matter you don't even want your KIDS taking her baby's candy. Seriously, she's harsh.
  • At the end of the 'Odyssey' arc of Gargoyles, we find out that Fox is actually the half-fey daughter of Titania, the Queen of the Fae, but she's been unable to use her magical powers due to being raised amongst humans. Then Titania and Oberon try to steal away her newly born baby, Alexander, and a united front by the Gargoyles, Cyberbiotics, Xanatos and (in a last-minute effort) Puck, fails to stop them. Then, Fox proceeds to blast Oberon through a wall in her first and last display of her true powers. It may actually have been planned that way by Titania, in an effort to force Fox into displaying her potential by deliberately invoking this trope...Xanatos isn't the only one in the series who can throw a good gambit.
    • Also, Demona in the episode 'The Reckoning'. She and Thailog have the Clan at their mercy - until Thailog threatens to kill her daughter Angela, at which point Demona first turns on Thailog and then frees Goliath and the rest of the Clan rather than allow her daughter to be killed.
    • Do not try to attack sixty-something-year-old Princess Katharine's adopted gargoyle children when she's around. Bringing a laser gun to the battle will just make things worse.
  • Teen Titans: In the episode "Hide and Seek," Raven has to escort three very young superpowered kids to a monastery. She resents the job at first, but eventually comes to care for her charges, culminating in the line "Nobody messes with MY kids!"
  • Justice League Unlimited has a small example with a nameless woman. A mother and her daughter are trapped in a car that just fell from a suspension bridge. Hawkgirl comes in and rips the roof off with her mace. Rather than wait for rescue, the mother does not hesitate to grab her kid and throw her up to Hawkgirl. Hawkgirl rescues both of them. Even the nameless extras in the DCAU are badass.
  • Peggy Hill from King of the Hill has a tendency to do this. When her niece/adoptive daughter Luanne's real biological mother, Leanne, returns and starts treating Luanne like crap, being a crappy mom in general, and as the final straw, humiliating her by giving Luanne's boyfriend a lap dance in front of the whole neighborhood, Peggy finally snaps and tears into Leanne in a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
    • Also subverted: when Bobby kicks Hank in the groin and then takes advantage of his injury to calmly play a video game, even though he was banned from doing so, while forcing his father to limp around the house after him. When she sees this, Peggy attacks her own son, even giving him a noogie, because "If you show disrespect toward the man I love, you are going to have to deal with Peggy Hill!" Hank then reinforces her demonstration by telling Bobby "I can get her to do that any time, you know."
  • The Secret Saturdays: Drew Saturday. Mess with her "boys" (her biological son and a cat-gorilla cryptid) and prepare for a world of hurt. She's already an Action Mom trained in martial arts, armed with a Flaming Sword, and has survived conditions and situations on a daily basis that would kill an average person, and is part of a Badass Family. And that's when she's not in Mama Bear turf.
  • On The Simpsons, Marge gets her own moments every now and then.
    • When she was treating Nelson all nice, and giving him money. Nelson's own mother came by and yelled at Marge. Her reply? "Go home, Mrs. Muntz...AND TRY NOT TO HAVE INTERCOURSE ON THE WAY!" The reaction of her family was priceless.
    • This is the sweet-tempered Housewife who saved her daughter from an erupting volcano. After the "feminist" Intrepid Reporter that Lisa admired abandoned little Lisa to her luck.
    • In "The Great Wife Hope", Marge ends up fighting the guy in charge of a shallow pastiche of Ultimate Fighting. She gets one-punched to the floor, Bart comes to her aid, and when her opponent picks up Bart and threatens to hit him, she growls, "That'!" and proceeds to beat up the guy. Do NOT F*** with Marge.
  • On The Fairly Odd Parents, Wanda will get violent if either Timmy or Poof are threatened.
    • Mrs. Turner has her moments of Mama Bear, too, in spite of her usual condition of neglectful parent.
      • Both of Timmy's parents, despite being comically irresponsible enough to leave him with an evil babysitter, have gone to crazy lengths to protect Timmy. This came to the fore when Timmy wishes they had superpowers, and he ends up using this to his advantage when convincing them to give up their powers to save him.
  • Helen Morgendorffer in Daria. Never has a matter of fact threat of litigation been so Badass:

 Helen: "Let Me Get This Straight...; you took my daughter's picture, altered its content, displayed it against her will and now you're threatening disciplinary action for vandalizing a picture that you admit to stealing? ...Ms. Li, have you ever heard of violation of civil liberties? ...and big fat lawsuit?!"

  • Hunky, from Max and Dave Fleischer's Hunky and Spunky cartoons, was a Mama Burro. When the other barnyard animals ganged up on her bratty offspring, Spunky, she whooped them all to save her baby (then proceeded to spank Spunky for still being a brat). And God help any prospectors who think they can turn Spunky into a pack mule...
  • Eve from Alpha And Omega. Put one paw on her daughter and you're in for a world of pain. This quote says it all:

 Eve: If any of you wolves have hurt my daughter, I will personally RIP out your eyes, and SHOVE them down your throat so you can see my claws TEAR YOUR CARCASS OPEN!

  • The Mis Adventures of Flapjack: What's even worse than a Mama Bear? A Mama WHALE named Bubby, laying a hand on her boy in front of her will be a TERRIBLE mistake.
  • Somewhat off-screen in Winx Club and crossing with Papa Wolf is Miriam (Bloom's Mom). After both she and her husband think both their daughters to be death, they according to one account went completly berserk at the ones responsible; the Ancient Coven. Considering how high they are in among other's Faragonda's and Baltor's regard, that says something about the power which was unleashed. Ouch...
  • Smurfette is like this with Baby Smurf in an episode of The Smurfs, especially when she was changed back to her old un-Smurfy self and Gargamel wants to use Baby Smurf to test out his gold-making formula. Realizing Gargamel would stoop to that level made Smurfette change back to her good self, and she immediately kicked the wizard's ass for thinking about doing that.
  • Fluttershy of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic is like this to her friends. Although normally painfully shy and quiet, when her friends are in danger, she not only is able to rise to the occasion, she will get so mad she can glare down a dragon and make it cry. Or glare down a cockatrice while being turned into stone.
    • Even if you are a towering, fire-breathing, smoke-snoring drago...YOU DO NOT! HURT! HER! FRIENDS! You got that?
    • The episode "Dragon Quest" has Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, and Rarity become this to Spike, as they are willing to fight a group of teenage dragons much bigger than them if they dare to lay a claw on their precious "Spikey-Wikey".

 Rarity: Fighting is not really my thing. I'm more into fashion... But I'LL RIP YOU TO PIECES IF YOU TOUCH ONE SCALE IN HIS CUTE LITTLE HEAD!"

    • Princess Celestia is this for everyone in Equestria. Threatening them in her presence is not likely to do your lifespan any favors.
  • In the original My Little Pony episode "Bright Lights," the mothers among the ponies were more than ready to tear Knight Shade limb from limb after the baby ponies' shadows were stolen, which meant that they'd soon become Empty Shells.
  • In Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension, Candace-2 is a Mama Sister to Phineas-2 and Ferb-2, with her whole La Résistance movement largely based on keeping them safe.
  • Cybersix is this to Lucas, but also very much to Julian. In Julian's introductory episode, we see that this is because he reminds Cybersix of her dead brother who she failed to save when he fell off of a cliff right next to her.
  • Rebecca Cunningham of Tale Spin is a literal example, while usually not much for the teams' action packed heroics, she really steps up a mile whenever Molly is threatened. The others tend to suffer quite an earful whenever they inadvertantly put her in danger as well.
  • In Voltron: Legendary Defender, when Keith's mother Krolia finally appears and is able to reunite with her long-lost son, she's shown to be this to him. Big time.
    • Colleen Holt, the mother of Matt and Katie/Pidge, is no fighter but she is quite the Hackette, and when her computer skills were needed to hack on the Garrison's systems she did it without hesitation for her kids and their friends the Paladins so they could help save Earth. Not even being threatened by the Garrison higher-ups stopped her from doing what was right. She also plays it for laughs later, when she hilariously grounds her teen daughter for being away for a LONG time.
  • Francine Smith in American Dad!. Usually pretty mild but raise a hand against her children and there will be hell to pay. She even t-boned Stan's car in "Bully for Steve" when she discovered that Stan was outright bullying Steve to try and toughen him up.

Real Life

  • The Trope Namer: Mother bears (REAL bears) will harm, and occasionally kill animals and humans who threaten their cubs. They'll even harm other, often male bears who may harm (not caring that the males are generally bigger than them) the cub so their young will have better chances at surviving.
    • There's a video of a mother Grizzly Bear attacking a male Grizzly Bear that got too close to her cubs for her liking, that's been on several TV shows. Considering that male Grizzlies will kill Grizzly cubs so that their now-childless mother will go into heat, this isn't surprising.
  • Elephants, though not limited to a calf's mother. Taking things further, there have been instances of when some of their calves have been killed by lions, the herd would attack the lion pride and kill their cubs.
  • Queen cats and Bitch dogs are also naturals at this due to their maternal instincts as they don’t take kindly to attempts at their young. Bitch dogs are also known to treat their human handlers as their young and are often used for personal safety.
  • Rosie the Riveter. Those Wacky Nazis had better not rile up America's mothers!
    • According to an obscure legend, a sailor named Elgin Staples in a ship sunk at Guadalcanal had his life saved by a life belt which had been inspected, packed and stamped by his own mother.
  • A mother who fought off a cougar with a towel.
  • Catherine de Medici could fit this trope, considering to what lengths she went to keep the crown on her son's head.
  • Female Crocodiles are rather passive compare to the males but will go berserk if you are even near their young.
    • There's even a case where a whole bunch of little alligators were trapped on one side of a river, and all the mother alligators scooped up as many as they could, whether they were their own or not. So apparently, mother alligators will protect other mother alligators' young too, which is almost completely unheard-of in reptiles.
    • This protection even extends to other species' young: Turtles, which are usually considered prey for alligators, sometimes lay their eggs in alligator nests along with the alligator's own eggs. Not only are these eggs given the same protection, but they also hatch at the same time, and the mother gator mistake them for their own young and scoop them up in their jaws to be taken to the water in the same way.
    • No surprise there considering that they're the closest living relatives to birds, meaning they have much less in common with other reptiles.
  • This mother from India.
  • A woman named Susanna Eastman/Wood/Swan took up a spit from a fireplace to defend her husband and children from Indian attack in colonial Massachusetts years after her first husband and children were killed by another Indian attack. She killed three of them who broke down her door in a single strike (they were lined up single file). She was never bothered again.
  • Kirsty MacColl died pushing her son out of the path of a speedboat.
  • Kristin Chenoweth is a Christian woman and actress with an open and accepting view of LGBT. Someone writes an article in Newsweek about how her co-star Sean Hayes is unbelievable and self-hating in his role as Cheno's lover interest in a musical, along with a young co-star on Glee she's worked with on that show and other pieces. Let's never piss off Cheno ever again with an article like that, can we? Because she is 4'11" of powerful and feisty and will always defend who she works with vigorously, no matter what their identity is.
  • Even squirrels can be Mama Bears.
  • As mentioned in the Papa Wolf trope real life listing, humans regardless of gender can access quite a bit of strength which is normally blocked off by various biological and psychological blocks to prevent damage both to the person and others around it, one the the strongest releases of said blocks is seeing one's offspring in jeopardy.
  • A bizarre example, related to porn...Chi Chi LaRue, a gay porn director and Drag Queen called herself one when the stars of one of her films are being criticized.
  • Flower, matriarch of the Whiskers meerkat colony. A Heroic Sacrifice as well, but the cobra surely had some scars to remind it not to threaten a Mama Meerkat's pups.
  • This puma mother's willingness to defend her cubs by attacking a full-grown, male grizzly bear hundreds of pounds heavier than her.
  • Mama cat saves her kitten from a dog.
    • The side links take you to several other videos with other mama cat protecting their kitties. And one of them has a cat protecting a little girl from a dog.
  • A violent mother attacking an innocent reporter, or is it the reporter's fault? You decide?
  • Skunks, despite what fiction would have you believe, actually only spray as a next to a last resort (after which is physically defending itself). A mother skunk is far more likely to spray if her kits are in danger than normal and are extremely protective of them. And papa skunks are just as lovely as the papa bears...
  • Katherine of Aragon, the first of Henry VIII's six wives, refused to accept Henry's attempt to set her aside and annul their marriage partially because she was in love with her husband, but, she admitted, her main reason was because allowing him to do so would mean her daughter, Mary I, would be declared legally born out of wedlock and therefore unable to inherit the throne. By the end, she was reduced to living in near poverty because she refused to speak with anyone who did not address her as 'Queen,' and Henry VIII left her to rot in damp, unhealthy houses, and severed all contact between Katherine and Mary. Given that Katherine suffered six pregnancies (Mary was her fifth child) and only Mary survived infancy, it's no wonder.
  • If you encounter a hippo in the wilderness, run as fast you can. If you a encounter a baby hippo and then notice it's mother approaching, you will face the wrath of Nature's ultimate fury. In fact, mother hippos have been known to kill lions and crocodiles that get near their young.
  • Queen Boudica of the Iceni Celts went from Chieftan's widow to Lady of War when the Romans whipped her and gang raped her and her two young daughters. True, she was eventually defeated, but she made things difficult for the Romans for a while, and razed 3 of their largest cities to the ground (to the point where evidence of the fires can still be found by digging in parts of London, Colchester, and St. Albans today) and slaughtered 70 or 80 thousand of their inhabitants and the soldiers defending them in the process, taking time out to massacre the Ninth Legion, leaving only around five hundred survivors out of over two thousand. Nero, the emperor at the time, almost made the decision to abandon Britain during the crisis.
  • A Spanish woman was raped, and the rapist taunted her mother about it. Her response? She just calmly walks in, turns the rapist around, pours petrol all over him, lights a match, stares at the resulting inferno, and then just "turned and walked away." Lesson learned: Don't fuck with the Spanish. (She was sentenced for murder but prematurely released from prison after one year and ten days.)
  • Rukhsana Kauser was a Daughter Bear to her parents. When terrorists came to her parents house for the purpose of extorting - well - Rukhsana, from them, they refused and so the terrorists began hitting them with rifle butts. While they were busy doing this, Rukshana whacked one over the head with an ax and she and her brother grabbed their rifles and chased the terrorists away.
  • This adorable little grasshopper mouse.
  • Margaret of Anjou was definitely this. While her husband, King Henry VI. of England, was suffering from mental instability which made him unable to rule and defend his crown from the House of York, she took things into her own hands and became the leader of the Lancastrian faction. She did this mostly to defend her under aged son Edward's birthright as the future king. She ended up defeating the Yorks at the second battle of St Albans, but was eventually forced into exile. After years of political scheming she returned to England with her son in order to support the Earl of Warwick's rebellion against the Yorkists. Tragically, she was defeated at the battle of Tewkesbury and 17-year-old Edward was killed. She herself was taken prisoner and later ransomed by King Louis XI. of France. In France she spent the last years of her life as a broken woman and died there.
  • A 2-year-old Chinese girl falls off a 10-store window. A young woman rushes to her and manages to catch her. Sorta.
  • On July 26, 2011, a miniature horse ran away from a mother hen in hot pursuit. Apparently the horse had a nosy tendency that didn't sit well with the Mama Bear hen.
  • Cherilyn Sarkisian aka Cher, too. Mama Cher does NOT like it when her FtM Transsexual son Chaz Bono is harrassed, and has used her twitter to defend him against "stupid bigots".
  • Anna Timofeevna Gagarina, mother of Yuri Gagarin. Getting between her and her children was not a good idea. During World War II, she verbally and almost physically bested an armed and considerably larger German soldier who attempted to hang youngest son Boris from a tree — needless to say he was quickly released to her. Apparently before Yuri's funeral, she demanded the casket be opened.
  • This Oklahoma woman.
  • Unlike most snakes who really don't give a damn about their young, the female King Cobra is a very dedicated mother. She builds a nest for her eggs and aggressively guards them until they hatch. No mongoose would want to mess with a Mama cobra. Though, when they do hatch, she immediately leaves so she won't eat her offspring.
  • Invoked in this article for an anti-child abuse site.
  • Deconstructed in this article.
  • In 2009, Barbara Wyatt was told that her daughter is a lesbian after the school outed her, she decided there was something she can do for her child… file a LAWSUIT against the school for making her daughter’s life hell for bullying by destroy her right to privacy.
  • The 2014 Sugar Bowl ended becoming WWE When Michael Connolly decided it would be a good idea to insult the children of Michelle Pritchett. He thought wrong!
  • This carjacker made two mistakes while trying to steal a car: threatening the children of Dorothy Baker-Flugence and… the incident happened in TEXAS… oops!
  • Sarah McKinley called the police about a home invasion involving her stalker and two other guys. Since Oklahoma has a law that is legal for a person to defend themselves with deadly force in their home, McKinley simply got her gun and right forward on fatally shot the one of the intruders, forcing the others to run. Her reason… her husband died of lung cancer a week before, leaving her a widow and a single mother to their son.
  • This California mom made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure her children were saved from their abusive dad.
  • Parental Substitute example: the Indian nanny Sandra Samuel, who managed to save herself and her bosses' son Moshe during the Mumbai terrorist attacks of 2008.
  • Female pigs are also very protective of their offspring. One barbecue had a Spaniard trying to sneak up on a piglet to grab him, presumably to prepare it for the main entrée. The piglet's parents were nearby, especially the mother. Let's just say the would-be chef had to abandon his quarry and get the hell out of dodge for his own good. You can see it here.