Top 10 Movie Characters with Mommy or Daddy Issues

Written by Nick Spake Characters from movies that have serious issues with their parental figures, whether it be with there mom or their dad. WatchMojo presents the top 10 characters that have parental issues. But who will take the top spot on our list? Will it be Norman Bates, Christina Crawford, or Luke Skywalker? Watch to find out! Watch on WatchMojo: Big thanks to MikeyP for suggesting this idea, and to see how WatchMojo users voted, check out the suggest page here: WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Movie+Characters+With+Mommy+And+Daddy+Issues

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You think you have a complicated relationship with your parents? Take a look at these basket cases! Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 movie characters with mommy or daddy issues.

For this list, we’re taking a look at characters that have a dysfunctional dynamic with one or both of their parents. Just so you know, there may be a few spoilers ahead, so SPOILER ALERT.

#10: Hiccup Horrendous Haddock
“How to Train Your Dragon” (2010)

Growing up without a motherly role model around, Hiccup is solely raised by his stern, masculine father. While Stoick the Vast loves his son, he’s always viewed the wimpy Viking as a bit of disappointment. Hiccup spends his youth desperately trying to earn his father’s respect. Upon gaining the trust of a dragon, however, Hiccup learns that being a man isn’t about impressing your elders; it’s about fighting for what’s right. Hiccup helps Stoick to see the light and his entire family is even reunited in the sequel…for about five minutes.

#9: Eddie Adams [aka ‘Dirk Diggler’]
“Boogie Nights” (1997)

There’s a better than average chance that anybody who turns to porn probably doesn’t have the best relationship with their parents. At least that’s the case with Eddie Adams in “Boogie Nights.” His mother’s an abusive, judgmental alcoholic who’s always ready to snap. After one particular freak out, Eddie finally decides that he’s had it with the crazy old bat and sets out on his journey. From there, he assumes the alias of Dirk Diggler and is taken under the wing of a more experienced porn star. Sometimes, your real family can be found in the most unlikely of places.

#8: John Bender
“The Breakfast Club” (1985)

Anybody as self-destructive as John Bender from “The Breakfast Club” must have some serious mommy/daddy issues. During his Saturday in detention, Bender constantly quotes the brutal words of his sadistic father. At first, nobody is sure if Bender is for real or if he just has a sick sense of humor. However, this bad boy has the physical scars to back up his mental scars. It’s clear that his home life has taken a damaging toll on Bender, who fears he’ll grow up to be just like his old man.

#7: Jim Stark
“Rebel Without a Cause” (1955)

Even if two parents aren’t necessarily abusive and try to bring their child up right, they can still end up with a rebel without a cause. James Dean had already played a character with daddy issues previously in 1955: In “East of Eden,” Cal Trask is constantly competing with his brother for the affections of his father – and loses. In the case of “Rebel,” only child Jim Stark feels torn apart by his parents, with his mother being overly controlling and his father completely lacking a spine. Despite his reckless tendencies, his parents still do everything they can to protect their son and preserve his future. However, this family is basically a car crash waiting to happen, and will continue on a collision course until they hit the brakes.

#6: Loki
“Thor” (2011)

Thor may butt heads with his godly father on occasion, but they ultimately reconcile in the end. The same can’t be said, however, about his bro, Loki. Learning that you’re adopted can come as a massive blow but Loki takes things a little too far. After all, usurping the throne, plotting to murder his adopted father, and basically betraying anybody who ever loved him is what we would call over-the-line. In the process, he also stirs up a heap of trouble on Earth and endangers countless lives to prove himself. Well, at least Loki got his daddy’s attention.

#5: Carrie White
“Carrie” (1976)

As if Carrie’s life at school weren’t unbearable enough; her home life is an even greater nightmare. Her mother takes Christian fundamentalism to an unhealthy extreme. She not only condemns Carrie for wanting to go to prom, but also tells her that getting her first period is a punishment from God. Just when it looks they might be able to forgive and forget, though, Carrie is literally stabbed in the back. However, our young telekinetic does get her revenge on her mother after years of torment, resulting in one of the most satisfying comeuppances in cinema.

#4: Frank T.J. Mackey
“Magnolia” (199)

This motivational speaker presents himself as a bona fide ladies’ man. However, underneath his confident persona and sexist comments, Frank Mackey is hiding severe inner pain brought on by his parents. His father bailed on him years ago, leaving Frank to take care of his dying mother. Frank’s façade comes undone in an interview and he’s eventually prompted to confront his dad on his deathbed. It isn’t easy, but Frank is finally able to get his true feelings out in a powerful scene that’s full of anger, sadness, and regret.

#3: Christina Crawford
“Mommie Dearest” (1981)

Based on the memoir by Christina Crawford herself, “Mommie Dearest” paints Hollywood legend Joan Crawford to be a complete monster. When Christina was a child, Joan gave away almost all her daughter’s birthday presents, locked her up and chopped off chunks of her hair. When Christina was an adult, Joan nearly strangled her to death. And do we even need to bring up the infamous wire hanger scene? While it’s still debated whether Christina’s accusations are accurate or exaggerated, it’s clear that she had some serious issues with her adopted mother. In any case, Christina got the last word with this melodrama.

#2: Luke Skywalker
“Star Wars” original trilogy (1977-83)

Anakin Skywalker has his fair share of emotional baggage, seeing as how his mother dies in his arms and his father is virtually nonexistent. However, that can’t quite compete with the trauma Luke Skywalker endures. It comes as a huge shock to Luke when he learns that his deceased idol and the man who killed his father are one and the same. On top of that, his Darth daddy cuts off his hand right before delivering the news. You know what? We don’t blame Obi-Wan for fudging the truth a little with Luke.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Owen Lift
“Throw Momma from the Train” (1987)
- Willy Wonka
“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (2005)
- Indiana Jones
“Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989)

#1: Norman Bates
“Psycho” (1960)

Where do we even begin with this guy? Well, it’s hard to discuss the full extent of Norman Bates’ mommy issues without giving away the immortal ending to “Psycho.” In a nutshell, let’s just say that his mother keeps him a tight leash; there’s nothing he can do to escape her. She’s always there to undermine and criticize Norman, damaging his self-esteem and preventing him from ever having a meaningful relationship with anyone else. That’s okay, though, because after all, a boy’s best friend is his mother.

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