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Marie Barone

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Everything I do comes from love!
~ Marie Barone

Marie Barone is the main antagonist (but sometimes protagonist villain and anti-hero) of the American sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond. She was played by the late Doris Roberts. She is the mother of the protagonist, Raymond Barone, and his brother, Robert. Throughout the series, she is known for her bullying and condescending demeanor towards Raymond's wife, Debra, as well as her constant, often ill-conceived interference in her sons' lives.

Marie and her boorish husband, Frank, live directly across the street from Raymond and Debra's house, a fact they use to constantly barge in unannounced, usually when they are needed the least. She constantly smothers Raymond with affection, still treating him like a child, while almost always ignoring Robert. Her main opponent in the series is Debra, who she continually criticizes for everything from her cooking, to her housekeeping, and the way she raises her children.

Most of the family, with the exception of Debra and Frank, are terrified of Marie and go out of their way to make sure she is happy, even undermining the efforts of Debra to stand up to Marie. Frank and his wife constantly bicker and make jokes about each other, to the point where they hardly recognize anything amiss about their relationship.

Personality

Marie is ultimately caring, affectionate and loving towards her family and friends. She is a stereotype of the perfect housewife, being a terrific cook, cleaner and nurturer. Most of the time however Marie is shown to be an extremely passive aggressive narcissist and a bully. She is arrogant, vain, petty, selfish, cruel, scathing and hypocritical almost every time she's on screen. She is always condescending towards everyone around her but the moment somebody says anything even remotely unlike praise to her she makes a big dramatic scene to get attention and sympathy.

Marie is very controlling and manipulative to the bitter end. She installs fear in her sons to such a degree they're scared to break eye contact with her and seem to freeze and have trouble talking/breathing whenever she confronts them. She uses this to make them always side with her over everyone else, not so much for any logical reason but simply because she won't rest until she gets her way even if that means others don't get what they want. She frequently claims to care for others even though any of that care is buried beneath tons of selfishness. Debra has remarked that Marie has a very "It's my way or no way attitude". Marie normally flips out whenever someone does something better than her or has something she doesn't and will force others to go out of their way in her mission to be back on top. She once even tried to cruelly throw her own son (Robert) out on the street when he politely and rationally refused to cave into her manipulative tactics of bearing her grandchildren.

Marie's strongest weapon is fear but when that doesn't work she utilizes the guilt bomb of which she is the master. She constantly lies in combination with guilt to get what she wants, usually putting everyone through a scenario of grief in order to have her ego massaged. Marie's relationships within the family are very muddled. Her clear favorite is Raymond and her least is Debra. Even though Marie loves Debra she has always held a burning resentment towards her that boarders on loathing. This is because Debra married Ray, thus taking away her baby boy. As such Marie has been incredibly critical, rude, judgmental and discouraging to Debra at every possible turn in a sick lifelong vendetta. In the first episode of the final season when Debra poured her heart out in a loving, sincere manner, Marie was only able to respond with rudeness disguised as kindness. It was either another intentional snide remark at Debra's expense or proof that Marie can't see how nasty she is. Although Marie is well versed in literature and culture and is very smart when it comes to getting her way or upsetting others for her own amusement, she is very dense and ignorant on other occasions.

Even though she loves both her sons she smothers Ray with overwhelming affection and practically alienates Robert. She justifies this by saying Robert never needed to be taken care of as he was always tough, smart and independent. As a result both her sons abhor & love their mom simultaneously. They are fiercely loyal to her and always give in to her fear/guilt manipulation even though they're usually aware of her rotten agenda and tend to hate themselves after they've helped her. She has made it clear on several occasions that she disproves of violence so their reason for fearing her is unclear. All she does is glare coldly at them and that seems to work.

Even though Marie never really redeems herself she has anti-heroic traits. The best example is even though she's a conniving liar, she's never lied about how much she loves her family and is always happy to help them with anything (though usually to get something in return). She also always supports both her sons with what they do even though she never believed they would amount to anything and hates how dangerous Robert's job as a cop is.

Trivia

  • Marie can be seen as the "Big Bad" of the series as her pampered way of raising Raymond is what cuases many of his wild antics in the series.

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