saturday night live

Emma Thompson and Tina Fey Explain What Moms Are Really Thinking on SNL

Tina Fey, Emma Thompson, and Amy Poehler.
Tina Fey, Emma Thompson, and Amy Poehler. Photo: Screenshot via Youtube./Opheli Garcia Lawler

For the Mother’s Day episode of Saturday Night Live, host Emma Thompson had some help delivering her monologue. To break down the sometimes coded language of mothers, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey came out to help explain what moms actually mean when they talk to their children.

“Sometimes it can be hard to decipher what our mothers are in fact saying. They do speak in code,” Thompson explained. “So as a mother myself, I’d like to offer a little language lesson to help you understand what we mean.”

Between Poehler, Fey, and Thompson, the women explained what it means when your mother says she wants to relax in the backyard for Mother’s Day. (She’s trying to figure out how to buy weed.)

The examples continued. “Oh I like that shirt,” can be translated to “oh I think I bought you that shirt!” And when she says “you look tired,” what she means is “you look bad.” A plea to “not talk about politics” could actually mean: “Please don’t ruin Joe Biden for me, he’s what I pictured.”

The decoding of momspeak continued, hitting specific regional dialects from Philadelphia, Boston, and the U.K. They ended the monologue with a sweet reminder: When your mom says she wants to strangle you or that you’re driving her crazy, what she actually means is “I love you,” “you make me so happy,” and “you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”

Watch the full monologue below.

Emma Thompson Explains What Moms Are Really Thinking on SNL