It is a funny thing, we all know that the entertainment industry as a whole has always seemed to be largely obsessed with youth as it sees younger people as its most important demographic. As such, the vast majority of films and shows cast women that they want their audience to have the hots for; meaning, that younger people get to play those parts. However, despite that fact, there have also been a number of stories that are put on film that require the casting of an older woman who plays a character that is interested in younger people. Sometimes referred to as MILFs and otherwise known as cougars, differentiated by whether they have kids or not, no matter what they go by, these women are sometimes a treat to see on our screens. Realizing that is what inspired us to put together this list of the twenty thirstiest cougars in TV and film.
In order for a character to be up for consideration for inclusion on this list, they first and foremost have to be an older woman that is after someone several years younger than them. For our purposes, we’ve put a premium on characters played by women above the age of forty but that isn’t a hard and fast line if they are interested in someone much younger than they are. Furthermore, for this list, we aren’t worried about whether a character is a mother or not, which means that MILFs are also fair game. With that in mind, let’s get to the list.
20 Stella Payne – How Stella Got Her Groove Back
A movie that didn’t quite double its budget at the box office, you’d never know that if you were around when How Stella Got Her Groove Back was released as it felt like a cultural touching point at the time. Telling the story of the titular character who is a successful stockbroker focused on her work and raising her son, things shift for her after her friend convinces her to take a much-needed vacation. Meeting an attractive young man played by Taye Diggs while in Jamaica, the two of them become a romantic item quickly, teaching the viewers about the meaning of life, work, and love in short order. Very passionate about her young lover, this character played by Angela Bassett seems to relish their affair and after years of thinking of other people first, she gets a lot of a selfish and sensual relationship.
19 Diane Lodder – Tadpole
A 2002 film that reportedly took in more than twenty-one times its budget at the box office, that is an incredible figure but isn’t as impressive as it seems like Tadpole cost one hundred fifty thousand dollars. Still considered a massive success for those involved, it flew mostly under the radar but we’re surprised that more people didn’t take note of it considering how remarkable its story was. Led by a young actor named Aaron Stanford that becomes romantically involved with characters played by Sigourney Weaver and Bebe Neuwirth, it was the latter actress whose character was most thirsty. Shamelessly revealing that she was involved with the main character to his father and stepmother, that is astonishing as he was only fifteen at the time. So wrapped up in how satisfied she feels by what she has done, she evens informs her best friend and his stepmother that she would do it again and believes her pal might too if she had the same opportunity.
18 Erica Jane Barry — Something's Gotta Give
A film that starred Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson, trailers for Something’s Gotta Give somewhat accurately depict it to be about the budding relationship between their characters. Both actors of a certain age, if that was all the movie was about, Diane’s character, Erica Jane Barry, would have zero claims to deserve to be on this list but she is here since that is not at all the case. Also shown to be romantically involved with a character named Julian Mercer who is played by Keanu Reeves, he is stated to be twenty years younger than her in the movie itself. While we typically think of cougars being slightly younger than her character in this film, we think we’d be foolish to exclude her as she remains vibrant in the film and fits the mold in our eyes to perfection.
17 Diana Payne – Gossip Girl
A character that was introduced to Gossip Girl in its fifth season, from the moment that Diana Payne debuted, it was understandable why anyone attracted to women would want to be with her. Played by the perennially gorgeous Elizabeth Hurley, audiences were jealous of Nate Archibald, one of the series’ main characters that has his way with her own during their first meeting. Played by Chace Crawford, there was more than a twenty-year gap between their age at the time and when the episode aired, he would have been twenty-five at the oldest. Going on to hire the young man for an internship at the newspaper she runs, her character sees this as an opportunity to have her way with him at a moment’s notice and she does just that.
16 Lil & Roz – Adoration
A film about a pair of highly unorthodox relationships, the May-December nature of the two couplings at the center of this film isn’t the reason why we say that. Focused on two women played by Naomi Watts and Robin Wright, each of them end up getting busy with the son of the other and before too long are all open about the dynamic of their love lives. As the film progresses, the two young men move on to women in their own age range but it is clear that the two women continue to harbor a place in their hearts for their one-time lovers. That is especially true when it comes to Naomi Watt’s character who reveals that she could not keep away from her much younger paramour who she continues to have an affair with even though he is married.
15 Gabrielle Solis – Desperate Housewives
The youngest of the four main characters at the center of Desperate Housewives, in order for Gabrielle Solis to make her way to this list, she had to be involved with a man that was quite young. Clearly, she did just that as this woman played by Eva Longoria had a teenage lover at the time that the show began. Played by Jesse Metcalfe, it is revealed that the two became involved because Gabrielle had become bored with her husband. But as the series progressed, it was obvious that they really cared for one another. Of course, it would be naive of anyone to think for a moment that for Gabrielle, his ability to quench her physical desires didn’t play a major role in that fact.
14 Kathleen ‘Kitty Kat’ Cleary – Wedding Crashers
A hilarious film that is choked full with one awkward moment after another, Wedding Crashers features several sequences that will leave the audience uncomfortably squirming in their seats. Included in that is one moment that is both off-putting and enticing at the same time. Starring Owen Wilson as a man that becomes smitten with a character played by Rachel McAdams at first sight, he does what he must to be around her, which means traveling to the home of her father. Also present is her dad’s new wife who has her eye on him from the get-go, played by the always-alluring Jane Seymour. That is what sets up the scene in question where she tries to seduce him by partially undressing in front of him which is odd for us as he has his eyes on her stepdaughter. She is still stunning, though.
13 Tamara Jacobs – Dawson’s Creek
Just like our previous entry for the show Desperate Housewives, Dawson’s Creek featured a relationship between a teenager and an older woman in the early days of its existence, although it didn’t last. The main difference here, though, was that it was the young man, Pacey Witter, who was played by Joshua Jackson, that was a central member of the show’s cast which meant that we saw it from his view. Adding another layer to their dynamic as well, in the case of Tamara Jacobs, she also happened to be the English teacher of Pacey. That means that she was thirsty enough for her teenage lover that she was willing to risk the life she’d built since discovery put her career in danger on top of the possibility of criminal prosecution.
12 Suzanne Stone-Maretto – To Die For
A 1995 Gus Van Sant film that served as one of the best acting opportunities of Nicole Kidman’s career, To Die For featured her as a woman obsessed with becoming a world famous news anchor. She then decides that in order to make that dream come to fruition, she needs to get her husband out of the way after he asks her to step back from her career so they can have children. Opting to earn the affections of a trio of teens, she has her way with one of them and then convinces the trio to kill the man she married. While there is no doubt while watching the film that she is most in love with herself and her visions of worldwide stardom, it certainly seems like she thirsts for her young lover’s affections too.
11 Blaire Watson – Bates Motel
A language arts teacher at the school Norman Bates attends immediately after he and his mother take over the titular hotel, in the early days of the series, Blaire Watson seems to be great at her job. Ultimately revealed to viewers of the series to be having a physical relationship with one of her students, as the series progresses, she tries to distance herself from him. However, we find out that she is still thirsty for her male students, in this case, that was a costly mistake for her as she set her eyes on Norman. Offering him a ride home after she comes across Norman walking in the rain, instead, she takes the young man to her home where she attempts to seduce him. Paying the ultimate price for that decision, it was hard to feel bad for her knowing what she habitually did.
10 Thelma Dickinson — Thelma & Louise
A movie that was highly celebrated because of the way it depicted women as strong beyond measure and the deeply loyal friendship it depicted between its two female leads, it deserves the credit it gets. Starring Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis, it was the character played by the latter actress that became involved with a man many years younger than she is. Played by Brad Pitt, in real life, the age gap between the two actors isn’t overly large but in the film, that isn’t depicted as being the case. Having her way with J.D., Pitt’s character, she only loses all interest in him after discovering that he is a thief that has broken the terms of her parole. By then a woman who isn’t going to put up with any man’s guff, when she learns that her young lover robbed her, she stops at nothing to avenge that with the same passion she had for bedding down with him previously.
9 Shelby Corcoran – Glee
A musical series that was a hit for several years, it only makes sense that the producers behind Glee brought in several highly-touted singers to fill out the cast. The epitome of that, the first season of this show saw the debut of the incomparable Idina Menzel who is best known for singing the song “Let it Go” in her role providing the voice of Frozen’s Elsa. Involved briefly with several characters including Will Schuester and Hiram Berry, it is the intimate relationship she has with Noah Puckerman that lands her on this list. Adopting the daughter of the young man she would become involved with, that leads to them spending time together as he wants to be around his child. Giving in briefly to his desires for them to become a couple, she shags him and soon regrets it and cuts him off. But that is just proof that she couldn’t resist her desire for him in that moment.
8 Annie Savoy — Bull Durham
Almost always in the conversation of the greatest sports films of all time, Bull Durham has earned a long-lasting place in the annals of film history for its wonderful storytelling and fascinating characters. Appearing on this list due to its female lead played by Susan Sarandon, in the film, it was revealed that her character had a long history of picking a new player each year to become intimately involved with. As a result of that, as her life progressed, she got older but the men she thirsted after stayed the same age. That said, as incredibly hot as she was at the time, there probably aren’t too many people who are attracted to women who’d fail to admit that they’d enjoy her company while watching the movie.
7 Honey Horneé – Wayne’s World 2
A franchise that was spun off from characters created on Saturday Night Live, Wayne’s World become such a big deal that it inspired several other characters to unsuccessfully attempt the same transition. Followed by a sequel that continued its story, one of the new elements added to it was the addition of Honey Hornée, a character played by the always-delightful-to-look-at Kim Basinger. An older woman that becomes involved with Garth Algar over the film’s run time, it seems like she goes down this route in order to convince him to murder her husband. He ends the fling after she pushes him to kill for her, and she seems disappointed by that outcome but we think it isn’t just because she is sad her scheme failed.
6 Jules Cobb – Cougar Town
A show that was even named after this phenomenon, it seemed like a no-brainer that Cougar Town’s main character appeared on this list. Unlike the other characters on this show, however, in her case, she isn’t here due to a single relationship. Instead, it is her entire romantic life on the series that qualifies her. A divorced mother of an adult child, she takes that opportunity to live it up in part by being involved with several younger men. As a result coming to terms with the modern dating world and how the world has changed, it doesn’t take her too long to decide that she prefers men a little bit closer to her own age. Still, she ultimately commits to a long-term relationship once again, marrying one of the show’s other leads, Grayson Ellis, who is her junior as well.
5 Stifler’s Mom – American Pie Franchise
A film that ushered in the return of the teen comedy that obsesses over getting laid, the first film in the American Pie franchise became the surprise hit of the summer in 1999. Introducing the world to a bevy of young actors that all became stars at least briefly, there was a single adult actor that also came to prominence due to her performance in the movie. Jennifer Coolidge’s performance as Stifler’s mom, a sensual older woman that spends the night with the character Finch who just graduated from high school after just meeting him made her a big deal. Brought back as the character an additional three times in the series, it is clear that the pair continues to have a guttural desire for one another.
4 Julie Cooper — The O.C.
A character that really runs the gamut when it comes to the age of those she is involved with in this series, it is clear that Julie Cooper as played by Melinda Clarke is open to anyone that catches her fancy. Married to a man her own age as well as one many years her senior as the series progresses, it is the relationship she has early in this series that lands her on this list. Having her way with a high school student, that would be bad enough but the young man in question also happens to be the ex-boyfriend of her eldest daughter. If that doesn’t prove that she was willing to put the thirst she had for him above all other concerns, then we have no idea what does.
3 Mrs. Robinson – The Graduate
There is a reason why people referred to older women who were romantically involved with younger men as Mrs. Robinson for several years after this movie was released. Still considered the preeminent film cougar of all time by many people to this day, never before or since has a film so expertly depicted the seduction of a relative innocent by an experienced woman. The movie was also made all the more powerful because many viewers knew that her ticks would have absolutely worked on them. That means that her character helped shape the minds of youngsters that viewed the film as well. In fact, looking back at the importance of this character, we have to say that even we are shocked that she didn’t end up reigning supreme at the top of this list.
2 Luisa Cortés — Y Tu Mamá También
A coming of age tale about two teenage boys on the verge of becoming men and the older woman that shepherds them through their transition, Y Tu Mamá También was an international success. Earning the largest debut weekend in the history of Mexican cinema at the time of its release, it would make more than six times its budget on top of getting massive critical acclaim. Depicting a three-way relationship, it wasn’t the first film to do so but there weren’t many that were embraced by the mainstream that did so. Earning a high place on this list because she had her way with not one young man but two, they took part in one of the most sensual and passionate lovemaking scenes of all time as well.
1 Samantha Jones – Sex And The City
One of the four central characters at the center of Sex and the City, which is one of the most acclaimed series of its era, Samantha Jones played a pivotal part in its massive success. Played by Kim Cattrall, never before had TV been the home of a female character that took pride in her many physical conquests and ability to satiate her physical desires. A major step forward for pop culture, it was a breath of fresh air for viewers to see her do her thing like few fictional women had ever done before. Involved with many men many years younger than her over the series’ run, there is no doubt that we’d never seen an older woman like her that didn’t hesitate to go after whoever she wanted before or since.
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