10 Movie and TV Grandparents We Wish Were Ours

All grandparents are great. These ones are just, well, better.

By Colleen Thornhill

Tonight on FOX, John Stamos’s beautiful self finally returns to television. In Grandfathered, he plays Jimmy, a restauranteur who discovers he has not only a son, but also a granddaughter. Thus, he has been “grandfathered.” If Jimmy is anything like Stamos’ famous alter ego Uncle Jesse, it’s safe to say he’ll be quite good at his new role. But if he’s in need of pointers, he should look no further than these 10 movie and TV grandmothers and grandfathers who, in one way or another, have the whole grandparenting thing down. Despite a few quirks, these are still some folks we would love to see at our family gatherings.

  • 1 1. Grandma Annie, The Proposal
    Hello Giggles
    Grandma Annie is the true definition of “young at heart.” Despite being on the verge of turning 90, this grandma enjoys tribal dancing in the woods, saying it like it is, and the occasional exotic dance routine. That sounds like a winning combo for the best Thanksgiving dinner ever.

  • 2 2. Richard & Emily Gilmore, Gilmore Girls
    Amaneceres Líricos
    Richard and Emily Gilmore pride themselves on being members of the country club elite, but behind their steely demeanors, these grandparents have a lot of love (and dollars) to spare when it comes to their granddaughter Rory. Sure, visiting them for weekly dinners can get tedious, but when they pay for your Ivy League education, it’s the least you can do.

  • 3 3. Violet Crawley, Downton Abbey
    The Dowager Countess of Grantham isn’t exactly a warm and cuddly grandmother. She’s full of frank advice and never afraid to give her opinion, no matter how uninvited it is. Yet even when you think you’ve royally screwed up (which her granddaughters can’t seem to help but do), she’ll still stick by your side and do everything she can to ensure your happiness.

  • 4 4. Grandma Huang, Fresh Off the Boat
    She’s not fluent in English, but that doesn’t mean she can’t relate to her grandkids. When her grandson needs her to pretend to be Topanga (yes, that Topanga, of Boy Meets World) over the phone to trick his friend, Grandma Huang goes along with the charade in exchange for some combos. Childhood would have been a lot more fun if we all had a grandma so willing to partake in our elementary hijinks.

  • 5 5. Grandma Elle, Grandma
    Sony Pictures Classics
    In Grandma, Lily Tomlin proves sometimes the unconventional grandparent is the best kind. Despite being broke herself, Grandma Elle goes on a mission to raise $630 to help her young granddaughter, who needs an abortion. When your whole world seems like it’s caving in, she’s the type of grandma you want to be sure you have in your corner.

  • 6 6. Grandpa Edwin, Little Miss Sunshine
    Grandpa Edwin has a heroin addiction and a penchant for curse words, but as long as he loves you, that’s all that matters, right? When his granddaughter Olive qualifies for the Little Miss Sunshine pageant, he gives her the confidence she needs to compete. He doesn’t bake you chocolate chip cookies, but he’ll be your number one supporter when everyone else is a skeptic.

  • 7 7. Mary Margaret & David, Once Upon a Time
    You know when your grandparents tell you stories about their youth, and you wish you knew them back then? On Once Upon a Time, Henry’s grandparents are still in their 30s (it’s a long story), so not only does he know their younger selves, but he also gets to have them around for years to come. Plus, they’re Snow White and Prince Charming, so he’s basically living out every Disney fan’s dream.

  • 8 8. Queen Clarisse, The Princess Diaries
    Clarisse Renaldi knows how to be the queen of Genovia, but it’s the role of grandmother that’s a little harder for her to inhabit. Once she realizes she needs to wear her heart on her sleeve and stop acting like, well, a queen, she’s finally able to connect with her teenager granddaughter Mia. We’d easily forgive Clarisse for her early distance, though, once she started giving us free limo rides and an Anne Hathaway-esque makeover.

  • 9 9. Grand Duchess of Oxford, The Royals
    Although she only briefly appeared on The Royals this season, the Grand Duchess of Oxford still stole the show. She’s so preoccupied critiquing her daughter, the queen, that she barely bats an eye at the scandals and gossip surrounding her granddaughter Princess Eleanor. We could all use a grandma who loves us for who we are, drug habits and all.

  • 10 10. Sophia Petrillo, Golden Girls
    Sophia Petrillo is not the grandma for the faint of heart, as you never know exactly what’s going to come out of her mouth. But then again, doesn’t that sound like some great entertainment? You’ll never have to worry about being bored when your grandmother is the funniest person in the room. She isn’t afraid to make fun of anyone. Just pray you’re not her next victim.