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It's quite common in fiction works for a character, even/especially an adult, to call out for dear old Mom in times of great fear. Even though unless she's a serious Mama Bear she probably wouldn't be much help in the situation. This could probably be explained by the fact that for most people, the mother was always there to comfort them and keep them safe in the early years of their lives. Sometimes the father is called too, but usually it's the mother who's called for.
Commonly used for comedic effect (often turned to Accidental Innuendo if another character responds with "Yeah, I want your mommy" or something to the effect of "Me too"), but can also be played seriously.
Used for tearjerking effect in war movies when dying soldiers call out for mother. Very much Truth in Television.
Anime and Manga
- In the manga Bio Meat, a lot of victims tend to scream for their mamas when they get eaten. Either that or apologize to their mamas.
- In the Pokémon episode "Charmander - the Stray Pokemon", Jerkass trainer Damien gets roasted by the Charmander he abandoned (and zapped by Pikachu), then runs off, crying for his mommy.
- Used in Episode 5 of the Little Lulu anime:
Westside Leader: You guys are trying to sound pretty brave.
Tubby: I'm all through being brave. I WANT MY MOMMY!!!!!
- During a Zako Zako Hour, one of the hosts is fitted with a giant jet pack and sent flying off the stage by his co-hosts.
- Azumanga Daioh does this in the episode with Tomo's dream during the "Nandeyanen" scene. Tomo dreams that Yomi gets a zero on a test. Just before the entire "nandeyanen" part, she lets out a somewhat feeble "Okaa-san..." (rendered in the dub as "I want my mom..."), though it's unclear if it's due to the shock of getting a zero, or if it's because she has to put up with Tomo's mocking... Or even both....
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS has a particularly chilling example combined with Scream Discretion Shot. At the end of episode 18, we get a scene of Vivio Strapped to an Operating Table,screaming for Nanoha as Jail prepares to forcibly bond her with a Relic. It's made all the more depressing by the fact that this scene came right after Nanoha's Adult Fear driven Heroic BSOD.
- In the Cowboy Bebop episode "Pierrot Le Fou", Spike throws a knife at the evil Mad Pierrot's leg. crying loudly in pain for his mother while writhing on the road where the Space Land parade is taking place, and getting killed by the parade's gigantic dog robot
- Discussed in Alan Moore's Promethea. When villain The Painted Doll kills rival mastermind Jellyface (who calls feebly for his mother), he turns toward the reader and says, "Now why do they always say that at the end, eh? Why, 'Oh, mother?'"
- Calvin and Hobbes:
Calvin: "We're brave hikers! 'Lost' isn't in our vocabuary!"
Hobbes: "How about the word 'mommy'?"
- In Asterix and the Big Fight, Legionary Infirmofpurpus blows his cover (disguised as a tree) and runs of yelling "MUMMY!"
- Skull screams this when he and Bulk skydive out of a plane in the beginning of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers the Movie.
- These are the Captain's last words in Hook.
- From Rocky Horror Picture Show (Rose Tint My World):
Brad: "It's beyond me / Help me mommy!"
- I'm Gonna Git You Sucka: After Jack Spade tells his mother he doesn't want her fighting his battles for him any more, she taunts him by reminding him how he called out for her when he was beaten up as a child.
Mother: I remember when you was always calling for your momma. [snip] All I could hear was "Momma! Momma!" [snip] I could hear your punk ass calling me half a mile away, "Momma help me! Momma help me!"
- Used tragically in 1776 in the song, "Mamma, Look Sharp," about a boy soldier dying on the battlefield, calling for his mother.
- Uttered by Morgana at the end of The Little Mermaid II after King Triton freezes her inside a solid block of ice and is tossed back into the ocean.
- In the Discworld novel Thud!, we're told that this was the reaction of a group of bandits who were given a stern talking-to by Lady Sybil's great-aunt.
- In the Robert Westall short story Blackham's Wimpy a German airman, his plane on fire, calls out "Mutti! Mutti!" in between bouts of rage and recitations of his name, rank and serial number.
- Bulk and Skull (again) in an episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers:
Bulk: I want my mommy!
Skull: Yeah! I want your mommy!
- Saturday Night Live: On the season 34 episode hosted by Jon Hamm, there was a sketch in which James Mason (played by Jon Hamm) insults a little boy's sailor Halloween costume. The little boy whines, "You're mean! I want my mommy!" Mason replies with a suggestive, "That makes two of us!"
- Hoodoo from Lidsville wants his mommy hoodoo
- In Blackadder Goes Forth, when Captain Blackadder and Baldrick are in the hands of the Germans:
Baldrick: I want my mum.
Blackadder: Yes, a maternally outraged gorilla would be a useful ally.
- In River City Ransom, enemies sometimes cry out "Mamaaaaaa!" when they're beaten.
- In the flashback of Tomb Raider: Legend, one man shouts in fear when attacked by an unknown entity. It's subtitled as "Ah, no!", but sounds like "Mommeeeee!"
- Ratchet and Clank Going Commando: A character, Captain Qwark, gives a plaintive "Mommy" just before being swallowed by a monster.
- Wolfenstein 3D. When you kill the boss Hans Grosse he calls out "Mutti!", German for "Mommy!".
- And in Donkey Kong 64, the DK Rap (quite the Ear Worm) has a verse for Chunky Kong, who apparantly "Can make a Kremling cry out for Mummy!"
- Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. A couple of mercenaries are checking out a missile.
Mercenary 1: "I want my mommy!"
- Doctor Horribles Sing Along Blog has Captain Hammer do this: "Mommy! Someone maternal!" (runs offstage)
- After Bakura loses a brutal duel in Yu-Gi-Oh the Abridged Series, he was asked for his last words. He weakly responded with, "I want my mummy."
- In Suburban Knights:
- In SpongeBob SquarePants, Mr. Krabs says this to Squidward when the Krusty Krab is overrun by a wave of hungry anchovies.
- In another episode, Kevin the Sea Cucumber sits in a fetal position and cries for his mommy and blankie when attacked by a King Jellyfish. The other Jellyspotters join in shortly until Spongebob saves them all.
- Again with Mister Krabs: He cries and screams for mommy when the Flying Dutchman threatens to send him to Davy Jones' Locker. This display of cowardice is so pitiful that the Flying Dutchman decides to give Mister Krabs a second chance out of annoyance.
- The Powerpuff Girls defeat an extremely manly robot from space using their "Furious Flaming Feline" attack, causing him to fly off into space crying for mommy. Right after being extremely sexist toward the girls.
- Prince John does this in Disney's animated Robin Hood.
- When he faces impending pain, Daffy Duck often lets out a feeble "mother"
- Looney Tunes: Back in Action
also averts this with the car's monitor responding to Daffy's reaction as the car is about to hit a wall by saying, "Taking you to Mother," and then flying upwards.
- Wile E. Coyote does this once too. His failed attempt at riding a rocking horse while wielding a lasso results in him standing tied up on the railroad tracks with a train incoming. He promptly holds up a tiny sign that reads: "mommy"
- Fairly Oddparents: Timmy wished himself into an adult and got into a bucketload of trouble as a result of not understanding that some things are Most Definitely Not Okay for grownups to do. Stuck in jail, and likely to lose his fairy godparents forever, Timmy gets upset and starts crying for his parents. This apparently is child-like (or perhaps childish) enough for the fairy godparents to hit the Reset Button. (The rest of the people in jail, upon seeing this, start crying for their parents, too.)
- When The Beatles all turn into children in Yellow Submarine, Ringo starts crying, and whimpers, "I want me mam!".
- A Pup Named Scooby Doo
Garfield's Halloween Adventure. While in a rowboat drifting downriver:
Shaggy: "Oh-oh I want my mommy!"
- Garfield's Halloween Adventure. While in a rowboat drifting downriver:
Garfield: "Trim the mains, slip the sheets, libber the giblets, I WANT MY MOMMY!"
- In the Family Guy episode "Stewie Kills Lois", right after Stewie kills Lois, he trips and bangs his knee. He immediately begins crying for his mommy, whom he had just killed.
- After another one from "Mother Tucker" when peter(treated like a dumb baby) gets slapped by tom tucker after stupidly spoiling his dinner.
- Referenced in Arthur by the joke that Binky stole. "What did King Tut say when the Sphinx scared him? I want my mummy!"
- Bebop in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will cry out "Mamaaaaa!" often during a bad situation.
- In An American Tail: Feviel Goes West just before Tiger falls off a building because of a dog.
Tiger: I want my mommy." (sucks thumb)
- Codename: Kids Next Door:
When Chad detached the moonbase and sent it towards the sun, Numbuh 86 ordered her subordinates to implement "Plan M-11", which consisted of running around screaming for mommy.
- Peewit on The Smurfs often does this. So does Gargamel.
- One boy cries this after all the kids get kicked to the curb by their parents.
Boy: I want my mommy!
- Hey Arnold!: Harold, the school bully, will scream and run away whenever he gets scared.
Harold: AAAAGGHH! HELP MOMMY!
- The Super Mario Bros. Super Show:
In "Princess, I Shrunk the Mario Bros.", Mouser calls for his mommy after being shrunken and put in a fishbowl by Waldo the Wizard.
- During an episode of, The Simpsons Ralph starts crying for for his mom when the Itchy and Scratchy executive yells at the kids.
- Zig-zagged in the Daria episode, "Jake Of Hearts", when Jake speaking to his mother about the suffering they endured at the hands of his now-deceased father, "Mad Dog" Morgendorffer, she suffers a panic attack and slumps besides him in bed, which prompts him to cry out a feeble "Mommy?" and then curse his father and yell up at him. Fortunately, she was fine.
- In another episode, Jake is in a hot-air balloon, which gets stuck in a tree, which makes him cry out, "Mommy?"
- On Rugrats episode "The Shot", Angelica teases Tommy and another baby about how painful getting the booster shot will be. At the end, while both babies took the shot without a fuss,Angelica herself is crying for her mommy.
- In the Kim Possible episode "Emotion Sickness", Drakken realizes he's in trouble when he finds out that Shego has been tagged with an emotion-controlling chip locked on the "rage" setting. When she shows up, hands blazing and yelling his name, he whimpers "Mommy" just before she attacks him.
- During Catdog's Great Parent Mystery, dog looks around in a tree full of fire ants and exits through a branch along with cat heavily burning and saying this until they fall down a river
- In the first episode of Aaahh!!! Real Monsters
Nicky:Oh jakey, can you say "bunny rabbit"?
Anime and Manga
- In Doraemon, Suneo will cry "Mama!" in tears whenever he's a worst case scenario like being held prisoner especially in the movies.
- In Deadman Wonderland, as one of the members of Scar Chain is sprayed with acid while being pursued by a robot, he barely manages to utter "Mother" before getting crushed to death.
- Poltergeist. While she's on the Other Side and talking through a TV set, at one point Carol-Anne calls out, "Mommy!"
- In the film In Love and War, Sandra Bullock's character, a Red Cross nurse in WWI Italy, says that Italian men "respect their wives. They spoil their mistresses. But the only women they love are their mothers." We immediately cut to an Italian soldier screaming for his mother as he dies horribly on the battlefield.
- In The Others, Anne says this except for her dad.
- Saving Private Ryan, near dead soldiers ask for their moms at their last breathes. Consider the setting, it's not surprising.
- Disney's Peter Pan. After Wendy sings the song "Your Mother and Mine" to the Lost Boys, Michael says, "I wanna see my mother!"
- This happens in Disney's Pinocchio. Watch it here.
Coachman: And what might your name be?
Coachman: So you can talk.
Donkey: Yes, sir. I want to go home to my momma!
Coachman: [Grabs him by the tail and ears] Take him back! He can still talk! [Throws him into a pen with other donkeys]
- In the book Chamber of Culdi, when the hero's keep is attacked by the king's men, there is a moment when the daughter hears grown men crying out for mercy and calling for their mothers. She thinks on the fact that many of those same men where early being brave and swearing to fight to the end.
- In Stephen King's novel The Tommyknockers, reporter John Leandro's last thought before he's killed is "Mama!"
- There is a truly heartbreaking scene in Sharpe's Battle when young Rifleman Perkins is stabbed in the stomach and alternately begs for his mother and the company sergeant.
- The Legendeer trilogy has one moment when the Gorgons mention that all the brave Greek heroes who try to kill them end up wanting their mothers in their last moments.
- In the finale of Ashes to Ashes, Shaz watching a video showing how she died in the "real world": "I'm only twenty-six years old. I want my mum, Chris! I need to see my mum!"
- Silent Hill 4: Regardless of which ending you get, when Henry defeats Serial Killer Walter Sullivan, he utters an anguished "Mom".
- Near the end of Ruby Quest, the now monstrously gigantic, fleshy abomination known as "Subject Six" is seen cowering the corner of the room, crying for his "mommy" because "Ace is going to lock him up". The protagonist tried to call to him, but it was no use...
- In V4 of Survival of the Fittest, Amber Whimsy cries for her mummy whilst bleeding to death after being shot in the stomach by Kris Hartmann
- In The Spectacular Spider-Man,
after Spidey takes down the Rhino for the first time, the woozy villain starts deliriously calling for his mommy. Spidey takes the opportunity to pretend to be Rhino's mother and ask who his boss is.
- In Adventure Time, during the episode "Mystery Dungeon," Lemongrab cries out "Mommy!" as a giant monster is squeezing out all of his juice.
- The aunt variant also happens in Animaniacs of all shows. In the episode One Flew Over the Cuckoo Clock, Skippy does this just as the social worker is about to take him to a foster home.
Skippy: "I don't want to go, I want my Aunt Slappy!"
- In 1776, Washington's young courier sings the song "Mama Look Sharp" about two of his friends who died at Lexington. It will break your heart.
- Regardless of nationality, wounded and dying soldiers have been observed crying out for their mothers.