• Welcome to Talking Time's third iteration! If you would like to register for an account, or have already registered but have not yet been confirmed, please read the following:

    1. The CAPTCHA key's answer is "Percy"
    2. Once you've completed the registration process please email us from the email you used for registration at percyreghelper@gmail.com and include the username you used for registration

    Once you have completed these steps, Moderation Staff will be able to get your account approved.

  • TT staff acknowledge that there is a backlog of new accounts that await confirmation.

    Unfortunately, we are putting new registrations on hold for a short time.

    We do not expect this delay to extend beyond the first of November 2020, and we ask you for your patience in this matter.

    ~TT Moderation Staff

Top 50 Older Women in Fiction - Grandmas Get Thing Done

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)


#16
M

Age: 61-77
Source: James Bond franchise, Goldeneye through Skyfall
Created by: Ian Fleming, Barbara Broccoli, Michael Wilson, Michael France, Jeffrey Caine, Bruce Feirstein
Portrayed by: Dame Judi Dench

Points: 101, Votes: 4, Highest: Issun

There have been many incarnations of M, the head of MI6 (though not as many as there have been Bonds) but the one we're concerned with here came in with the Pierce Brosnan era and stayed on through the franchise reboot to the Daniel Craig era. In line with a set of sweeping changes to bring the story up to a post-berlin-wall world, she has no time for Bond's swagger and performative masculinity, famously calling him a "sexist, misogynist dinosaur, a relic of the Cold War." Though initially frosty, the two develop a close working relationship.

M is the ultimate pragmatist, doing whatever needs to be done with no apology. She's also not afraid to go into the field when necessary, and becomes embroiled more directly in the franchise's action than her predecessors.

I'd normally put a quote here, but some mixed up M and Q in their head so I'll spare them. ;)

Speaking of which, did you know the letters mean things? Q is "Quartermaster" for supplying equipment and "M" is "Mission".
 

Issun

Avarice
Guys what are you talking about this is Baba Yaga:



Edit: Missed the update. M was my number one. Bernard Lee may be the "definitive" M, but Dame Judi owned the role. Kind of surprised she's not higher.
 
Judi would have been a top 3 for me easy, I heavily regret not submitting my list in time. She gives the character so much gravitas and swagger. She is easily the definitive M. Previous Ms were barely even characters and had no real bearing on the plots of most Bond movies until Dench entered the scene. Absolutely magnificent. And she did a lot of heavy lifting for the franchise, laundering a lot of Bond's worst baggage out of it.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Guys what are you talking about this is Baba Yaga:

This definitely played a factor in her ranking on my list.


Those three Russian movies are actually probably among the best produced movies from MST3k history and "Hunchback Fairy" is definitely the best part of Jack Frost.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)


#15
Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham

Age: 70-84
Source: Downton Abbey
Created by: Julian Fellowes; Shelagh Stephenson; Tina Pepler
Portrayed by: Dame Maggie Smith

Points: 102, Votes: 3, Highest: Mogri

The Matriarch of the Crawley family, Violet is the widow of the 6th Earl of Grantham and the mother of the current 7th Earl Robert. Quick witted and unapologetically aristocratic, she represents the "old guard" of the pre-WWI era, and often clashes with younger and more forward-thinking members of the family. The series creator describes her inspiration as "a woman whose dry wit concealed a good deal of personal suffering and who was no tougher on the rest of us as she was on herself. It is perhaps that draconian sense of discipline that makes her breed seem admirable to me."

JBear said:
Scathing wit, judgemental, and a schemer, but fiercely loyal to her family and willing to do whatever it takes to get them ahead. I think she and my #1 would get along smashingly.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)


#14
Emily Gilmore

Age: (actress 56-63,72)
Source: Gilmore Girls
Created by: Amy Sherman-Palladino
Portrayed by: Kelly Bishop

Points: 107, Votes: 4, Highest: FelixSH

Here we have yet another woman who begins in the role of acerbic, wealthy matriarch. Emily was estranged from her daughter Lorelai when the latter ran away at the age of 16 to escape her mother's disapproval and raise her new baby on her own. Money issues force the family back together, and much of the series revolves around the resulting conflicts. The characters grow over the course of seven seasons, and even more-so in a mini-series revival almost ten years later that does much to resolve Emily's character arc.

Lokii said:
Hilarious archetype but not without hidden depths. Her journey to self-actualization is the climax of the series.

Bulgakov said:
This series is wonderful for helping all of its characters move beyond stereotypes (despite reveling in those stereotypes stylistically). Emily is especially notable for being three-dimensional and capable of adapting, despite her exterior resistance to the process.

JBear said:
I've never actually sat down and watched the Gilmore Girls, but I've been in the room doing other things for countless hours of it, enough to know that you don't mess with this lady. Unless you're Lorelai, anyway, who can't help but do just that.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Editor's note, I am a' leavin' on a jet plane at an ungodly hour tomorrow morning and will be family vacationing 'til after Xmas. I'm gonna try to get in some more entries from there but the pace is definitely gonna slow down.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)


#15
Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham



The Matriarch of the Crawley family, Violet is the widow of the 6th Earl of Grantham and the mother of the current 7th Earl Robert. Quick witted and unapologetically aristocratic, she represents the "old guard" of the pre-WWI era, and often clashes with younger and more forward-thinking members of the family. The series creator describes her inspiration as "a woman whose dry wit concealed a good deal of personal suffering and who was no tougher on the rest of us as she was on herself. It is perhaps that draconian sense of discipline that makes her breed seem admirable to me."
Downton Abbey was an interesting journey for me. I remember it being a genuinely good show about an era ending with some bittersweetness but ultimately for the better. Season two got a little too soapy but I still enjoyed it. But I dropped out after the season three Christmas special and didn't watch more until my mom really wanted to see the movie. I LOATHED it. The series clearly fell to self-parody, moving from more level-headed drama to full-bloodedly wanking off to the past and ends with Violet saying, basically, "EARLY 20TH CENTURY FOREVAH MUTHAFUCKAHS!" and meaning it. By the way, the movie is "let's have a dinner with a royal" and they have it and the end. It's very, very dumb.

But man, I really liked those first seasons and Violet was so much fun, a sharp wit, an acid tongue and while on occasion she was bested in wit by her more sweethearted and optimistic sparring partner in law, she remained my favourite part of the show, even in the movie with the speech I hated.
 

Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
Kind of surprised she's not higher.

Yeah I figured M would be top 10 or even 5
I did my part - I had M at #2. I think I just appreciate characters who were over this shit a long, long time ago and are having none of it.

I had Nanny at #6. She's a hedonistic dirty old woman who loves having fun but will get serious/dangerous when she needs to.

I had Mona at #10.
 
Last edited:

Issun

Avarice
This definitely played a factor in her ranking on my list.


Those three Russian movies are actually probably among the best produced movies from MST3k history and "Hunchback Fairy" is definitely the best part of Jack Frost.
Jack Frost might be the laugh out loud funniest episode of MST (Ivanushka! Try me on a Plaza Burger). So yeah, I should have remembered this version of Baba. "All right, come up for a beer.'
 
I wouldn't worry. You're doing great and no one would fault you for some downtime.

Seriously! This is impressive.

I think I just appreciate characters who were over this shit a long, long time ago and are having none of it.

Same!

Jack Frost might be the laugh out loud funniest episode of MST (Ivanushka! Try me on a Plaza Burger). So yeah, I should have remembered this version of Baba. "All right, come up for a beer.'

I showed my now-husband this episode when we were dating and he was laughing throughout it, but the "oh big deal you got a flocking gun" scene hit him so hard we had to stop the movie so he could recover. He's an MST3K fan but had somehow missed that one and I was very proud of myself for introducing him to it.

Didn't even think of Baba Yaga, oh well.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)
Welp, apparently getting logged out of the forums clears XenForo's saved post drafts. Gonna try to get a few entries in before we leave *again* for a short new year's trip, but also got a lot of work to get through.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)


#13
Aunt May

Age: usually elderly
Source: Marvel comics
Created by: Stan Lee, Steve Ditko
Portrayed by: Rosemary Harris, June Foray, Lily Tomlin, Sally Field, etc etc etc

Points: 109, Votes: 5, Highest: Mogri

Aunt May is a Marvel character from a major sub-franchise, which means it's a fool's errand to even attempt to count the different versions of her that have appeared in comics, TV, and movies. The actresses noted above were called out by Torz, there are many others as well, and of course dozens of artists and authors have also given her various portrayals. The only constant is that she's Peter Parker's aunt, usually an older woman widowed by the inciting incident of the Spider story, and while she may initially seem frail she often has surprising depths, and is always unquestioningly supportive of her nephew, regardless of whether she knows anything of his secret identity.


Happy Holidays! The Top 50 will resume in the new year.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)


#12
Sophia Petrillo

Age: 80-90
Source: The Golden Girls
Created by: Susan Harris
Portrayed by: Estelle Getty

Points: 110, Votes: 4, Highest: FelixSH and Ixo

Welcome back from the holidays, and back to the Golden Girls. The eldest of the group and mother of Dorothy, Sophia was born in (probably) 1905 in Sicily. She moved to Brooklyn as a teenager and quickly adopted the local accent, but still upholds various Sicilian traditions and may or may not have connections to the mob. She's known for her sharp humor, commonly directing wisecracks and put-downs toward her daughter and roommates, whom she nevertheless cares about deeply. She also likes to tell tales of dubious veracity (including claiming to have had affairs with Pablo Picasso, Sigmund Freud, and Winston Churchill) but each one comes around to some sort of moral lesson.

JBear said:
My favourite Golden Girl, she has a scathing wit, a smart mouth, and delights in embarrassing and inconveniencing her put-upon daughter when she's not busy talking about the old country.
 

Falselogic

Techno-Threadcromancer
(they/them)
It was until last week when the partner and I started watching Golden Girl episodes (rest in peace Betty White) that I understood why Sophia is so acerbic.

In the Pilot episode of the show it is explained that Sophia had a stroke that removed her ability to dissemble or censor herself. She tells you exactly what she is thinking when she is thinking it because she can't do anything else.

Before, I had just always thought she was malicious. Hilariously so, but still malicious.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)


#11
Yubaba

Age: unstated, probably ancient
Source: Spirited Away
Created by: Hayao Miyazaki
Portrayed by: Mari Natsuki, Suzanne Pleshette

Points: 112, Votes: 4, Highest: Issun

Yubaba is a powerful witch of the spirit world, with abilities that run the gamut of transforming people, conjuring, fire-breathing, telekinesis, flight, and so-on... but more uniquely, she has the power to remove characters from someone's name, binding them to her service, a contract which becomes unbreakable if they cannot remember their true name. She runs a famous bath house of the spirit world, with dozens of employees catering to all manner of spirits, and she prioritizes running an efficient business over all other concerns aside, possibly, from care of her very large baby boy. She is gruff, authoritative, intimidating, and stingy with her wealth, but also runs the bath house professionally and protects the well-being of her contracted servants when things get rough, and while she is loathe to part with any of her possessions (sentient or otherwise), she's not above striking a deal if the terms are right. She also has a long-time rivalry with her older twin sister Zeniba, who is a similarly powerful and cunning witch but leads a much simpler life in an isolated cottage.

In the English release of the film, both Yubaba and Zeniba were voiced by Suzanne Pleshette in her last film credit at the age of 64, before she passed away from lung cancer. She was previously known for being killed by some Birds in 1963.
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
It was until last week when the partner and I started watching Golden Girl episodes (rest in peace Betty White) that I understood why Sophia is so acerbic.

In the Pilot episode of the show it is explained that Sophia had a stroke that removed her ability to dissemble or censor herself. She tells you exactly what she is thinking when she is thinking it because she can't do anything else.

Before, I had just always thought she was malicious. Hilariously so, but still malicious.
Oh, I vaguely remember knowing that at one point, but forgot about it. A pretty important detail, considering how sharp-tongued she is.

I love Sophia, she is great.
 

Issun

Avarice
Yubaba is awesome and is one of Miyazaki's most interesting creations in an oeuvre full of them. I had her at #2, and my vote was effectively for her and Zeniba together. Which, thinking about it now, I probably should have just gone ahead and done, since whether or not they're completely separate entities is always left kind of murky.
 
Yubaba is awesome and is one of Miyazaki's most interesting creations in an oeuvre full of them.
Never been a big fan. Not to say she's a bad character or anything. Just she - both visually and personality wise - fits into a very clear pattern/archetype that the man has continually employed over and over again in his works. Which I don't think is necessarily a problem, lots of very famous and celebrated artists work variations of the same themes until they've felt they've fully explored something. But I've never held Spirited Away with the kinds of reverent tones that a lot of people do, because it just wasn't as special and unique a film to me, when I'd gotten in on the ground floor and seen this character archetype several times already in his other films prior to Spirited Away.
 

Kirin

Summon for hire
(he/him)


#10
Mom

Age: 120? 140?
Source: Futurama
Created by: Matt Groening
Portrayed by: Tress MacNeille

Points: 120, Votes: 4, Highest: JBear

AKA Carol Miller, Mom is the owner and CEO on MomCorp, a sprawling conglomerate that includes such companies as Mom's Friendly Robot Company. She projects a sweet and motherly image in public appearances but behind the scenes is a ruthless capitalist, scathing authoritarian, and sometimes outright maniacal world-conquering villain. Long ago she had a relationship with Professor Farnsworth, who is the father of one of her three sons, and she is also apparently friends with Zoidberg due to unknown circumstances.

She shares a voice actress with Agnes Skinner from earlier on our list (as well as Dot Warner, Babs Bunny, and Daisy Duck, and Martha Kent).

JBear said:
Head of an evil corporation, ironically terrible mother (both figuratively and literally), and curses like a sailor, but very fun to watch.
 

Johnny Unusual

(He/Him)
Ooh, good one. She didn't make my list but Tress MacNeille adds some great venom to the Mr. Burns formula, making her hateful in a bold new way (though thankfully less implied to be normal racist, because the future).
 
Top