21 Complicated Mother/Daughter Relationships from the Last 15 Years

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"It's complicated," isn't just a Facebook relationship status from the early 2000s. Sometimes it can be used to describe the relationships between members of the same family. 

Mother and daughter relationships can be filled with emotional turbulence; on a good day.

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While we all may fight with our mom's sometimes, there are some relationships that get thrown more curveballs, making them ripe with new layers of complication. 

Sometimes it's a story hinged on a feeling of inadequacy because as their child grew up they don't share their parent's values. Sometimes it's a shared journey through a winding and looped road of sobriety. Sometimes your child gets picked to be used as weapon against your alien best friend. 

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Still, the depth and dimension displayed in these narratives make them compelling stories worth delving into over and over again. 

Here are 21 of the most complicated mother and daughter relationships from the last 15 years. 

1. Bonnie and Christy Plunkett (Mom)

Bonnie and Christy Plunkett (Mom)
Bonnie and Christy have a very trying past. They're both recovering alcoholics who reconnected through an AA meeting and have had many ups and downs since. There was Bonnie has relapsed, Christy facing the fact that she has a gambling problem, and Bonnie confessing to knowing who Christy's father was the entire time. As turbulent as their relationship has been throughout the series run they always find a way to forgive each other and end up stronger for it.

2. Amy Pond and River Song (Doctor Who)

Amy Pond and River Song (Doctor Who)
Oh boy is it complicated when it comes to Amy and River. Amy's daughter, Melody, was stolen at Demon's Run, but it was later revealed that she had already met her daughter grown up. Not only did Amy skip the child rearing portion of motherhood, but her daughter also grew up to marry The Doctor; also known as, Amy's imaginary friend. Making Amy the Doctor's mother-in-law. Now let's also add non-linear meetings to that mix, and you can see what a headache it is to parse out this relationship.

3. Abby and Clarke Griffin (The 100)

Abby and Clarke Griffin (The 100)
Abby might have loved her daughter, but making one decision fundamentally changed their relationship. Since Abby sent Clarke to the ground during The 100 Season 1, Clarke has had to grow up fast and make decisions she wouldn't have otherwise made. When Abby finally gets to the ground the sixteen-year-old girl she once knew is gone having now wedged herself into the role as leader of her people.

4. Emily and Lorelai Gilmore (Gilmore Girls)

Emily and Lorelai Gilmore (Gilmore Girls)
Emily and Lorelai Gilmore might epitomize the term "it's complicated," when it comes to mothers and daughters. They were estranged in the original series and still had some issues to work out during "A Year in the Life." Yet, as much as they don't get each other, they both make an effort to understand the other's point of view; most of the time.

5. Rebecca and Kate Pearson (This Is Us)

Rebecca and Kate Pearson (This Is Us)
There's a lot of baggage behind Rebecca and Kate's relationship. Kate was always closer to her dad, and she felt like her mom compared her to herself at Kate's age. There's been a lot of growth and understanding over the years though, and now that Kate has her own baby it seems like she'll appreciate having her mom around a little more.

6. Ellis and Meredith Grey (Grey's Anatomy)

Ellis and Meredith Grey (Grey's Anatomy)
It's no secret that Meredith Grey has lived in Ellis's shadow. From the very start of Grey's Anatomy, we've heard Meredith talk about her mother in very frank terms. Ellis wasn't very loving either, calling Meredith a disappointment at one point. Since her death, Meredith has gone on to eclipse her mother, and even though she'll always be The Daughter of Ellis Grey, she's carving out her own space. Yet, occasionally, you'll still hear her referred to as "Ellis Grey's daughter."

7. Stephanie and Alice Quinn (The Magicians)

Stephanie and Alice Quinn (The Magicians)
To say Stephanie and Alice's relationship is icy might be putting it a little too mildly. Stephanie admits that she never really understood Alice, Even going into The Magicians Season 4, the two butt heads more often than not. However, they seem to mend fences as they attempt to cast a mother/daughter spell, and Alice learns that her mother will protect her even if she doesn't always understand her.

8. Victoria and Charlotte Grayson (Revenge)

Victoria and Charlotte Grayson (Revenge)
Victoria and Charlotte's bond as a mother and daughter was rocky before Emily Thorne arrived in the Hamptons, but with Emily's arrival came some truths. Such as Victoria's true feelings about having a second child. The rift between Charlotte and Victoria grew more with the reveal that David Clarke is Charlotte's biological father. Victoria and Charlotte's relationship never recovered from the lies, and each interaction between the pair brought with it baggage and the sting of betrayal.

9. Mrs. S and Sarah Manning (Orphan Black)

Mrs. S and Sarah Manning (Orphan Black)
When we first met Sarah, she and Mrs. S were on the rocks. Mrs. S. was charged with looking after Sarah's daughter Kira, and when Sarah returned Mrs. S. wasn't sure she could be trusted with her. With time Mrs. S. came around and Sarah proved herself. The two eventually formed a partnership that worked; even if a good portion of it had to do with figuring out the freaky clone stuff.

10. Maya Lewis and Olivia Pope (Scandal)

Maya Lewis and Olivia Pope (Scandal)
Olivia has complicated relationships with both parents. Her dad is the head of B613, and her mother sold government secrets. Maya is lying and manipulative and not at all warm and cuddly, but in her final Scandal appearance, she seemed to genuinely regret the rift that had formed between her and her daughter.

11. Holly and June (The Handmaid's Tale)

Holly and June (The Handmaid's Tale)
On The Handmaid's Tale Season 2, we got a peek at June's past, and particularly her relationship with her mother, Holly. Holly had a very different opinion for what June should want out of life and the two did not always see eye-to-eye.

12. Helen and Ashley Magnus (Sanctuary)

Helen and Ashley Magnus (Sanctuary)
Helen's gift of longevity means that these two look more like sisters than they do mother and daughter. Helen and Ashley seem to have a pretty solid relationship working together protecting abnormals. However, Helen also knows that her line of work is dangerous and since she's been alive for 150-plus years she's made some enemies. That doesn't stop her from wanting to protect her daughter at every turn.

13. Diana and Sabrina Spellman (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)

Diana and Sabrina Spellman (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
Sabrina's parents died when she was a baby, and death can be a pretty big obstacle when it comes to relationships. Fortunately, Sabrina is a witch so she can hold a seance to talk to her mom and call upon her for help.

14. Erica and Hannah Shepherd (The Enemy Within)

Erica and Hannah Shepherd (The Enemy Within)
Erica Shepherd might have saved her daughter, but she has a long way to go in her eyes. Erica betrayed four CIA agents to protect her daughter from a terrorist, but the price was her freedom. In exchange for her help Erica is able to barter with the CIA for access to her daughter, but with the coverage of Erica's trial, and public opinion against her, earning her daughter's trust might be harder than she bargained for.

15. Sarah and Katie Campbell (The Village)

Sarah and Katie Campbell (The Village)
No relationship is perfect, but that doesn't mean that they can't love each other. Sarah and Katie definitely have some obstacles in their path, but the support they show each other makes their relationship compelling on screen.

16. Aleida and Dayanara (Orange is the New Black)

Aleida and Dayanara (Orange is the New Black)
Aleida slapped Dayanara the second she saw her in Litchfield, but the complications in their relationship go even further than that. Despite their sorted history, being in the same prison gave them a chance to work things out, but things got more complicated when Aleida got released. With a distance between them again, it looks like they may be in for more complication as the show comes to an end with Season 7.

17. Annalise Keating and Ophelia Harkness (How to Get Away with Murder)

Annalise Keating and Ophelia Harkness (How to Get Away with Murder)
Annalise's mother wins best entrance by a mother in a drama series. Greeted by Frank and Bonnie, the audience quickly gets the impression that she doesn't put up with nonsense, and is there to protect her daughter. Ophelia has a dark and sorted past with many demons, but she is someone that Annalise can turn to during the various trials she endures.

18. Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose Blanchard (The Act)

Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose Blanchard (The Act)
Hulu's docu-drama detailed one very complex relationship indeed. Dee Dee Blanchard suffered Munchausen by proxy and over the course of her daughter's life subjected her to numerous unneeded medical tests. While Dee Dee was abusive, Gypsy Rose also struggled with the dichotomy of her mother being her best friend and her worst enemy at the same time.

19. Cora and Regina Mills (Once Upon a Time)

Cora and Regina Mills (Once Upon a Time)
Cora's past was no fairytale, and neither was her relationship with her daughter. Her sole goal was to rise above her station as a Miller's Daughter, and she projected that need onto her Regina orchestrating the death of Snow White's mother so that Regina could Mary a King. Cora killed her daughter's first love, which caused Regina to resent her and ultimately made Regina turn evil and resent her.

20. Grace and Brianna Hanson (Grace & Frankie)

Grace and Brianna Hanson (Grace & Frankie)
When you inherit your mother's cosmetic's company after her retirement, things are going to get a little complicated. Like, when you decide you're going to take your mom's photo off the packaging. Things get more complicated when you hire your mother to consult because the company is going bankrupt and you can't turn things around. And for good measure, why not reveal your mother's actual age at an office party you throw in her honor?

21. Jane Doe and Avery Drabkin (Blindspot)

Jane Doe and Avery Drabkin (Blindspot)
The problem with injecting yourself with ZIP is that you forget everything, including the daughter you gave up for adoption. Jane had that ghost come to light on Blindspot Season 3, learning about it from her brother Roman. Avery was not exactly on the search for her birth parents, but the paths aligned for the two to work together. While they don't exactly have a traditional mother/daughter bond, but their working relationship got pretty strong.

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