When we think of a typical on-screen mother-in-law, we most likely think of a wicked woman with a big bindi and a dramatic smirk. From Daadisa to Ramola Sikand, our beloved soaps and movies have given us several evil mother-in-law figures that were always plotting and scheming against their daughter-in-law.

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However, the times have changed now. From dark and malicious, mother-in-law characters are now perceived as supporting and understanding. Here are some on-screen mothers-in-law who might not be absolutely perfect but are surely genuine.


1. Beeji – Vicky Donor 

From chugging down whiskey and talking about remarrying her daughter-in-law to accepting a divorcee as her grandson’s wife, Kamlesh Gill absolutely aced this character. There is no doubt that this role was way ahead of its time. When everyone finds out that Vicky is a sperm donor, it is her who explains to her daughter-in-law how he has helped the childless couples bear children.

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2. Durga Devi Kaushik AKA Daadi – Badhaai Ho 

While she is in constant squabble with her daughter-in-law for a major portion of the movie, she takes a stand for her when their relatives mock her for bearing a child at an old age. Portrayed by Surekha Sikri, the character is seen defending her daughter-in-law for her dutifulness. This bitter-sweet relationship shared by them is nothing but charming.


3. Maya Sarabhai – Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai 

Now who doesn’t know and love this character? From her classy sarees and suave to her witty digs at her daughter-in-law, she has given us some epic burns and catchphrases. Who can forget the iconic nok-jhok between sophisticated Maya Sarabhai and middle class Monisha Sarabhai? Played by Ratna Pathak Shah, this mother-in-law is the epitome of sophistication and grace. 

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4. Mrs. Godbole – English Vinglish 

Whether it’s making everyone work for her or having heart-to-heart conversations with her daughter-in-law, this character is absolutely amazing. From supporting her homemaker daughter-in-law to telling her to enjoy her personal time abroad, Sulabha Deshpande was an absolute delight to watch in this movie.

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5. Devkiben – Tu Tu Main Main 

There is no doubt about the fact that Reema Lagoo became the most loved mother-in-law across the small screen after this show. With the bittersweet chemistry between the saas and bahu, this show was a breath of fresh air for Indian television. With her excellent dialogue delivery and on-point comedy timing, this mother-in-law was loved by every television soap fanatic.

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6. Mamta Sahni – Ki & Ka 

While the entire movie tries to break the set mould of the society for married couples, her character portrays the role of a progressive mother. With her supporting yet mischievous character, Swaroop Sampat was totally loved for her role in this movie.  

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7. Sushma Mehra AKA Naani – Shararat: Thoda Jaadu, Thodi Nazaakat 

With her bang-on comedy timing and sharp dialogue delivery, Farida Jalal absolutely stole the show with her acting. She was not just the coolest grandma and mother, but also an absolute chill mother-in-law. With the constant bantering between her and her son-in-law, we absolutely loved the cute and naughty punishments she gave him.


Which mum-in-law is your favourite?