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SYFY WIRE The Addams Family

Morticia Addams: A witch icon worthy of all the praise

By Tai Gooden
Morticia Addams

Morticia Addams is a bad witch in the best way. She’s the brainchild of cartoonist Charles Addams, whose talent for creating ghoulish and darkly humorous characters led to the infamous Addams Family single-panel comics in The New Yorker during the late 1930s. Actress Carolyn Jones expertly brought the slim, pale, and black-clad family matriarch to life in 1964's The Addams Family television show which detailed the aristocratic odd family’s constant culture differences with their neighbors.

The series only lasted for two seasons, but later gained a cult following with re-runs as well as two '90s movies with Anjelica Huston giving a brilliant take on Morticia, complete with raised eyebrows and red lips. Most TV moms during the show's original run had a June Cleaver type of vibe as exemplary homemakers with immaculate kitchens, scheduled meals, and rather bland personalities. Or they were supernatural beings who desperately tried to assimilate to our world, like Bewitched’s Samantha Stephens, but Morticia bucked societal norms in several ways.

She oozed sexiness with a signature style featuring a form-fitting black dress, long black tresses, and a decidedly pale face — a look that inspired millions of future goth girls. She wasn't afraid to be overtly sexual with her husband Gomez by enticing him with “the look,” relishing in his peppered kisses on her arms, donning new lingerie, or whispering sweet nothings in French.

It was a stark contrast to the squeaky-clean portrayal of '60s TV marriage that didn’t even allow most couples to sleep in the same bed, much less show sexual advances from a wife. This passion carried over into the movies with Morticia instructing her hubby to let her do the torturing and complimented him on, ahem, a job well done the previous night. Yesssss.

Morticia Addams GIF

Her marriage is absolutely #RelationshipGoals for anyone who wants a healthy long-term relationship because it challenges the stereotype that years of love and kids automatically leads to passive misery. Her guy is passionately in love with her, views her as his equal, supports her endeavors, respects her thoughts sans mansplaining, and frequently compliments her brains and beauty. Oh, and let's not forget that he's filthy rich. It’s a bold, refreshing portrayal of a marriage that was certainly revolutionary then and isn’t explored as often as it should be on TV today.

Morticia is the voice of reason and the queen of zen, even when things get a little chaotic in her home. Her ability to find beauty in thunderstorms (literal and metaphorical) and other things normally perceived to be dark while exhibiting a relentless optimism about life is admirable and inspirational. She’s valuable and interesting outside of her mom and wife roles and has imperfect moments that root her in reality.

Typical “ladylike” activities like knitting, picking fresh flowers, and cooking are never mundane with Morticia as she makes items out of odd materials, conjures up strange concoctions, and arranges thorny stems in vases. And what other witch is an expert at cultivating carnivorous plants, playing the shamisen, emitting smoke from her body, challenging local politicians, taming beasts, fencing, painting, and being effortlessly cool while chilling at home 99% of the time? Morticia is truly the GOAT of all activities.

Morticia and Gomez

Her excellence is also exhibited via her unconventional yet supportive and smart parenting style. Yeah, she allows Wednesday and Pugsley to raise poisonous spiders and play with guillotines, but she also listens to them, values their feelings, and encourages their autonomy. She will quickly jump into action in their best interests, whether it involves hiring a psychologist or advocating for changes at their school. When Pugsley joined the Boy Scouts — which was their equivalent of him joining a wayward gang — she was concerned but she gave him the space to explore things on his own terms. He was her “unconventional” child who sometimes wanted to be like everyone else and Morticia didn’t try to force him fit perfectly into their family dynamic. She was generally patient, kind, and respectful towards her children and encouraged them to stay true to themselves even when it goes against the grain.

Morticia Addams expertly balances family and her unconventional personal interests alongside a rosy general outlook on life. She has a partner who adores her and works with her in a partnership to solve problems and rear their children with a loving hand. And she’s no doubt a witch icon, from her fashion sense to her occasional penchant for potions and “smoking.” We absolutely stan this creepy, kooky, and incredibly dope character who is dearer to us than all the bats in all the caves in the world.