This article's content is marked as Mature
The page Mature contains mature content that may include coarse language, sexual references, and/or graphic violent images which may be disturbing to some. Mature pages are recommended for those who are 18 years of age and older.

If you are 18 years or older or are comfortable with graphic material, you are free to view this page. Otherwise, you should close this page and view another page.

Don't you have any respect for the dead?!
~ Norma Bates abusing a young Norman in Psycho IV: The Beginning

Norma Bates is a character in Psycho film series. She is the evil mother of Norman Bates, and would indirectly influence her son's development into a serial killer.

Norma is based off of Augusta Gein, the mother of serial killer Ed Gein, who was fanatical in nature and also had schizophrenic tendencies.

Norma had an incestuous relationship with Norman throughout his teenage years, causing him to develop an exaggerated form of the Oedipus Complex. She is depicted as highly unpredictable, cruel, controlling, jealous, and possessive, but at other times very loving and affectionate. Although never mentioned as yet in any film, it is possible, and very likely that Norma suffered from severe mental health issues, two of which are Schizophrenia and Borderline Personality Disorder.

Olivia Hussey plays the character in flashback segments for Psycho IV: The Beginning.


Norma Bates [nee Spool] married John Bates in the 1940s, and lived with him in Fairvale, California. They had one child together, who they named Norman. When Norman was only a few years old, John died after being attacked by a swarm of bees. In Psycho II and III, Norma's sister Emma Spool killed him, while in the orignal novel, John simply left the family.

Norman recalled in his conversation with talk show host Fran Ambrose that whilst they attended John's wake, she tickled him as they sat in the church causing him to laugh. She immediately chastised him for his laughter, despite being the direct cause of it.

This behavior would continue as Norman grew into a young man, with the relationship becoming sexualized to the point were simple mother-son play would result in her sexually stimulating him, then punishing him for developing an erection. As Norman started to become interested in girls, she imposed a strict belief system on him which had him believe that all women, apart from her, were whores and should be punished for being promiscuous. 

She would become very jealous if Norman interacted with girls, even blowing up into a rage when she found a pornographic magazine in his bedroom. When Norman was in his teens, Norma became romantically involved with Chet Rudolph (Joe Considen in the original novel), and was not shy about her sexual activity with him around the house.

Chet himself repeatedly discussed his sex life with Norma in front of Norman, and was egotistical, chauvinistic and pig-headed. Norman quickly grew to dislike Chet and became extremely jealous of his relationship with Norma. After Norma married Chet, they built and invested in a motel which they built close to the house.

During a conversation with Norman whilst out in the yard hanging some laundry, Norma expressed her hatred for Norman and told him that he was a mistake and should never have been born. This was the end for Norman, who decided he could no longer tolerate her abuse.


After a night of having sex with Chet, Norma was surprised to find Norman had made them both two iced teas. After consuming the drinks, Chet began to convulse, shortly followed by Norma. Chet instantly surmised that Norman had poisoned them, and he was correct; the drinks were laced with arsenic. Despite suffering the agony of arsenic poisoning, Chet found the strength to attack Norman, and after a short struggle and scuffle, fell down the stairs to his supposed death. Norma would cheer Chet on as the poison took affect on her and confronted her son on the stairs though she fell down.  

Norman would soon drag the two bodies to the basement, there he'd put Norma in her rocking chair where she weakly regained consciousness and glared at her son before she finally died. Chet would then attack Norman but he succumbed to the effects of the poison and died on the basement floor. Norman would then cover their deaths with a fake suicide note that made it look Norma killed both herself and her lover.


Norma Bates' corpse

Norma Bates' mummified corpse.

Norma's voice is heard at various points throughout the first film, with it transpiring that it was either Norman hearing voices, or him emulating her voice himself. We are led to believe that Norma is the killer until the film's climax, when it is revealed that she has been dead all along, with Norman taking on her persona and donning a disguise. Her desiccated corpse is located in the basement of the Bates house by Lila Crane. It is later stated that Norman killed her faked the cause of death before becoming her as a way to hide his guilt over his action. Norma's body is then given a proper burial in a real cemetery.

Psycho II

Norman starts to lose his mind again, which prompts Dr. Raymond to prove to him his mother is truly dead. Norma's coffin is dug up and opened, showing her corpse similar to the one in the original film. During a psychotic episode, Norman hears her voice over the telephone and becomes convinced that she has come back to haunt him.

Bates Motel

See: Norma Bates (Bates Motel)


Don't you have any respect for the dead?!
~ Norma slapping her son Norman for laughing despite her being the cause of his laughter by tickling him.

Norman, come over here!
~ Norma calling for Norman when she's scared of a thunderstorm.
No, not with those wet clothes! You'll catch a cold. Take them off.
~ Norma asking Norman to remove his wet clothes before consoling her.

Now hold me!
~ Norma asking Norman to hold her as he comforts her during a thunderstorm
What's the matter with you? What's wrong?
~ Norma questioning Norman's rejection of her due to his becoming aroused by her.

Norman? NORMAN!!
~ Norma calling for Norman as he exits her room and runs to his room
It's a wonder you don't have 100 exotic diseases in this place!
~ Norma questioning the state of Norman's room during the thunderstorm.

A lot like you'd care! Sometimes I think you'd loathe me!
~ Norma rebuffing Norman when asked to go back to sleep and calls him out on his running away from her.

~ Norma's horrified and angry reaction upon discovering a pornographic magazine in Norman's room.

You dirty little pig! Take that right out to the garbage!!
~ Norma in her anger towards Norman upon discovering the pornographic magazine he keeps in his room.

No, you go as you are! Maybe some of the rain will wash some of this filth off of you!!
~ Norma ordering Norman to dispose of his pornography and forces him to go outside in the rain in just his underwear.

~ Norma yelling hysterically, calling Norman out for his hidden pornography while he disposes of the magazine.

Someday, you're going to wish I had been more firmer with you.
~ Norma teaching Norman a lesson as she covers him with a raincoat.

I'm going to die from this heat! You'll wish you'd be nice to me.
~ Norma bemoaning to Norman about the summer heat while joking to her son.

With your fingers. Unless my skin disgusts you, does it?
~ Norma telling her son where to apply flower water to keep cool then questions his rejection of her out of insecurity.

Silly boy, spilling mommy's orange flower water! WICKED WICKED BOY!
~ Norma engaging Norman into mother-child play by throwing him to the floor and tickling him uncontrollably.

~ Norma's furious reaction to Norman developing an erection whilst on top of her during their embrace.

You're going to forget you even HAVE one of those things! You understand me, boy!?
~ Norma emasculating Norman, as she forcefully him puts a dress on him to wear it.

There, see?! Look at yourself, boy! Ha! GIRL! Yes, girl! Mama's little girl!
~ Norma to Norman as she forcefully dresses him as a girl and locks him in the closet as punishment.

He's going to live here...In MY house!
~ Norma to Norman about her relationship with Chet Rudolph.

You're dead! You hear me, boy? You're DEAD!
~ Norma to Norman as she realizes too late that she's been poisoned.


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.