"Mad Men" might've been a boy's club for the most part -- in title and temperament -- but there were a few notable women who secretly ran the show. Like Peggy Olsen, who quietly emerged as one of the most marketable members of the SCDP staff and was actually too cool for the halls of McCann Erickson. And Joan Holloway, who had the hardest partnership track of anyone but never let a thread come undone from her meticulously crafted exterior. And, of course, Betty Draper Francis, the blonde bombshell who spent six seasons proving she was so much more interesting than anyone ever realized.
Sure, she was pretty awful at times (side eye to her every moment around Glen and how she treated Sally/Bobby/Gene/all children in general), but she also had her moments of laying lit truthbombs down so hard that you almost didn't know what was happening 'til the explosion inevitably followed. So, to celebrate January Jones' 38th birthday (cheers, beauty), we decided to pull together a few of the essential Betty Draper moments that still give us life.
When she went to town on that ice cream sundae because dammit she'd earned it.
This delicious moment was topped only by the time she guzzled some whip cream straight from the canister.
When she broke the dining room chair.
By this point, Betty had enough intel about Don's philandering to convince herself he was the lousiest spouse in all of New York (except maybe Pete Campbell), and so she took a practice shot on the chair before laying into the man himself -- though not breaking his leg in the process.
When she fully ran out of patience for whiners.
Yeah, so this kinda belongs on the bad mom moments list too, but you have to kind of appreciate her blunt fact approach here when Bobby comes and complains about being bored, even though he's got everything a little boy could want/need/imagine and then some and she's got her hands literally full with a sleeping infant.
When she figured out an alternative use for her household machinery.
Betty was still deep in the thick of suburban perfection fantasizing when she got an unexpected visit from an A/C salesman hottie and realized she had more things to fill than just some drafty windowpanes, but she found a way to satisfy herself that was 1000% less taboo than anything her husband was doing behind her back, so.
When she shut down being shut down.
Betty spent the good part of her life being considered a "house cat" -- which is an actual term that her father once used to describe her role in the Draper household, teasing that she's "very important" -- but when she finally got fed up with that nonsense and demanded to be heard, it was the moment of pure excellence we'd been waiting on all along.
When she had a reunion fling with Don and wasn't one bit precious about it.
The Betty we used to know might have let a few rekindled flames with her handsome ex burn the whole house down -- better yet, she probably wouldn't have dared to sneak like this in the first place. But she made it very clear during their brief return to coital connection that (1) she'd gotten Don all figured out by then and (2) he shouldn't take this little incident to mean much because NO. And when she dropped that sick burn about the pigheadedness his current wife was in for it harsh but certainly deserved.
And last but certainly not least...
There was the time in Season 1 when she retaliated against her next-door neighbor's cruel threat to shoot the Draper family dog by whipping out Bobby's BB-gun and going open season on his precious pigeons. It's probably no coincidence that Don's nickname for her was Birdie and that she was getting quite sick of his nonsense as well by then. Metaphor much?