Somewhere, embedded deep in the hornier crevasses of our collective subconscious, there lives a special lady with pendulous titties who’s very close to our hearts. With the impossible body of a fertility totem and the gentle authority of a preschool principal, she can be found on any given forum, issuing reassurances like, “I love you just the way you are,” and “You can always talk to me” to any adult child with a lonely heart.
Were she ever to materialize out of her 2D anime form into a walking, talking woman, she’d really make sure the two of you had fun — patting you on the head while stirring the pot of mac-and-cheese she’s just whipped up, tucking your napkin into your shirt and calling you “baby,” her heaving cleavage never far from eyeline. Oh, and don’t worry about the dishes when you’re done — it’s her job to take care of them!
This, of course, is the Mommy GF meme. No doubt you’ve seen her around. The fertile seed from which all “ideal GF” memes were sprung, the Mommy GF has been top-shelf copypasta ever since she was birthed from the gurgling bog of 4Chan in 2013. Now an album name, a Joaquin Phoenix-trolling device and an entire subcategory of incest-themed audio porn, she’s continued to be the unattainable older woman of choice for everyone from Reddit neckbeards to femdom bottoms to depressed teenage girls, defying both age and sexual orientation with her supremely maternal allure.
But though we’ve spent nearly a decade in her squishy embrace, we’ve never stopped to ask ourselves why. Who is this thicc mama on whose hogans we recline? And is she simply a reflection of the Oedipal desire to bang our moms, or is she something more?
First of all, no. The Mommy GF isn’t an extension of your real mom, it’s about the idea of “mommy” itself. It’s the feeling of “mother” that matters, here — the nurturing touch, the soothing voice, the soft, milky boobies that envelop you in their warm embrace. It’s the certainty of unconditional love that she promises; the soothing knowledge that you can cry, drain her wallet and poop your pants and she’ll still make it all better with a tummy rub and an extra hour of cartoons.
These fantasies are exacerbated by the many ways that parental involvement has shifted from mothering to motherboards. “What we have right now is a massive amount of people who’ve been emotionally neglected by their parents due to technology,” says Chris Gabriel, a 21-year-old YouTuber who posts extraordinarily in-depth meme analyses on his channel. “You see it a lot now where parents will look at their phones while they’re playing with their kids. That child recognizes that they’re being neglected, and the sick irony is that they themselves end up on the phone or tablet as well. And when the parents go to work, where do the kids go? Straight to the computer, which supplies them with the security, validation and comfort they’re missing from mom and dad.”
That’s exactly where the Mommy GF comes in — the computer is the mommy. It’s the personified, big-titted solution to our collective emotional neglect, and it’s here to pacify us with the limitless comforts of video games, food delivery, Reddit forums, collectible figurines and lesser waifus who keep us entertained until it’s time to crawl back to the warmth of her womb. Like the computer, the Mommy GF only exists in relation to your desire — she’s quiet and inanimate until it’s time for comfort, which is when she springs into action, inviting you to rest your head on her milkers and cooing at you in hushed motherese until you drift off to sleep.
It would be easy to pin the attraction of that on low-hanging psychoanalytical fruit like the Oedipal Complex, but Gabriel believes it goes much deeper than that. While the Mommy GF’s approachable, inoffensive sex appeal does strike an obvious incestuous cord, it’s not just her femininity or maternity that makes her seductive — it’s her ability to render you infantile. This is a direct correlate of the Jungian archetype of the “devouring mother,” a mommy that loves her children so much that she shields them from the outside world, rather than teaches them to flourish in it. In doing so, she not only isolates but consumes them, keeping them forever stagnant in her grasp (Lucille Bluth from Arrested Development is a perfect — though somewhat more sinewy — example).
That’s exactly why all this makes us “baby,” the equal and opposite companion meme to the Mommy GF. Even as an adult, you need the Mother Computer to find food, figure out where you are and siphon the fumes of validation from the 15 fans who tolerate you on Twitter. You need its dating platforms to bone, its online stores to clothe yourself and its search engines to nurse you back to health when you have a cold. If you run out of toilet paper, it’ll even wipe your ass with a same-day delivery of butt wipes from Amazon. Is there any teat more sucklable?
Acolytes of the Mommy GF are comfortable in this state of arrested development because it means they never have to mature. Who’d want to? It’s fun being a baby. You have no responsibilities. You can play games all day. You don’t even have to talk — mommy knows exactly what you need when your drool-sputtered mouth gurgles out things like this:
All of this is especially fascinating in the context of traditional masculinity, which seeks to shape men into completely independent, self-sufficient islands who need nothing, rely on no one and want you to think they could survive in the forest if dropped out of a helicopter like Bear Grylls. Crucially, this type of man is seen as masculine simply because he’s not “feminine” — he deplores “girly” things like emotions, apologies and soy, and he deeply believes that women’s primary role is a hard-earned, reproductive submission he has to “game” out of her with brawn and dating strategy.
You’d think, then, that the Mommy GF’s potent femininity and dependent tendrils would repulse him, and on the surface, it does. There’s a certain kind of manospheric neckbeard who hates the Mommy GF for the dependent infants she turns men into, but because he’s secretly just as horny for nurture as everyone else, he’s invented a masculinity-appropriate solution: the tradwife.
A feminism-hating housewife whose sole concerns are cooking, cleaning and motherhood, the tradwife is the genetic twin and aesthetic inverse of the Mommy GF. “You see a lot of right-wing, hype-rationalist people who want to destroy the mother entirely because she’s feminine and they need her,” explains Gabriel. “They want to be their father and to be dependent only on other men, so they despise her. But in that hatred, they adore her. They want her. That’s why the tradwife, the image of the ideal girl for a fascist sort of guy, is a caring, obedient woman whose main personality trait is that she’ll willingly reproduce — quite literally, she’s just a mother.”
Still, none of that explains the high-octane horniness. Why must we adulterate this sacred image of maternity with a giant bosom, thicc thighs and hair that smells vaguely of chicken nuggets? Presuming she’s already fed, clothed and comforted us, why must she also fuck?
Only a true Freudian psychoanalyst could answer such a question. According to John K. Burton, an instructor at the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, this tendency is distinctly Oedipal; an obvious result of the innate attraction to mother figures we develop the moment we exit the womb. “Our adult sexual life has its origins in our first physical and erotic experiences,” he explains. “Being cared for by a mother is a very physical experience, and our experience of the erotic goes back all the way to infancy.” As we mature, we move our erotic focus to other, more appropriate targets, but Freud believed that the original, infantile fantasies we developed as children stick around until they’re addressed.
If that’s true, it would explain the carnal thrill of being cared for like a baby or the taboo zing of suckling from mommy’s teat as an adult. “Our unconscious still wants to do that,” Burton continues. “It felt so good when we were little. But we repress it. When something taboo finally gets expressed, it’s very exciting. Freud also wrote about this — when the unconscious forbidden fantasy finds a way to express itself, it’s a great release of tension.”
The fact that those feelings are expressed in a figure who toes the line between nurturing and powerful doesn’t hurt, either. “That’s an intoxicating combination,” says Burton. “In some ways, we all want to feel that.”
You can shoot Freud down all you want — most of the world already has — but Gabriel points out that these ideas come from plenty of other sources, too. “All these teens on TikTok crying about wanting a Mommy GF have no idea who Freud is,” he says. “There are also countless posts from people on Reddit who have never heard of the Oedipus Complex. The feeling of wanting to be consumed by a hot mother are spontaneous products that just so happen to express a Freudian truth.”
Whether we can ever escape this truth and move on from our Mommy GF obsession is another story. “The raw mommy need in this meme cannot be satisfied because it’s a fantasy of someone who could never be real,” says Burton. “Even if you met a big-breasted woman who said all those things and breastfed you, there will always be a disappointment to the interaction. The milk dries up, you have to get off her lap at some point, she gets tired, you both age out of it.”
As for what actual mothers think about all this, one mom on Reddit — a true Mommy GF incarnate — urged people not to judge. “For any man that seeks to have this type of dynamic, it’s not always sexualized and in fact can be very therapeutic,” she wrote. “As mothers, we should seek to understand and empathize rather than chalking it off as ‘DIRTY PERVERT DUDES FETISHIZING MATERNAL BEHAVIOR.’”
However, Sarah, a 33-year-old pregnant mom-to-be in Portland, Oregon, has a bit of a different take. “That sounds fucking exhausting,” she tells me. “Like, I already poop you and feed you for 18 years, and now I have to deal with an Oedipal Complex?! I’m going to bed.”