Abbott Elementary fans amazed as Empires Taraji P Henson makes debut

Abbott Elementary fans amazed as Empires Taraji P Henson makes debut

Taraji P Henson makes cameo appearance as Janine’s Mum

The latest episode of ABC’s award-winning sitcom Abbott Elementary saw Janine Teagues’ (played by Quinta Brunson) Memorial Day plans become derailed after an unexpected visit from her estranged mother. While fans looked forward to getting to know more about the teacher’s personal life, many were stunned to see her mother portrayed by Empire’s Taraji P Henson.

This week, Taraji P Henson became the latest A-lister to make an unexpected cameo on the hit mockumentary.

While Janine was teaching her class about Memorial Day and Earth Day, she was interrupted by the sound of high heels in the hallway.

She nervously turned to her young students and asked: “Do you hear that?”

Only to be interrupted by her proud mother Vanetta, who entered the classroom and exclaimed: “That’s my baby, what’s up my baby’s babies?”

Viewers were also over the moon to see Taraji on screens and took to social media with excitement.

An enthusiastic @diegozvd tweeted: “Completely freaking out about Taraji P. Henson in Abbott Elementary,”

A second fan @siralphey added: “One thing Taraji P. Henson is gonna do with a role is EAT THE F**K UP.”

@xoraveen remarked: “Taraji is really channelling her Cookie Lyons with this role.”

@TheLastLiberian shared: “Taraji P Henson on this episode of #AbbottElementary was the laugh I didn’t know I needed bruh.” (sic)

A thrilled @haulyuhass__ praised: “Taraji is perfect at being Janine’s mom, I’m crying.”

As @MalikThaElite stated: “Taraji really brought levity as the dysfunctional mom on #AbbottElementary.”

During the episode, Vanetta revealed she decided to visit after she “grew worried” when Janine didn’t answer her call.

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However, Janine noted the pair hadn’t “spoken in like six months,” as their alienation became more obvious when Vanetta met her daughter’s co-workers.

Her ulterior motives were brought to the surface after she tried to manipulate and guilt Janine into paying for a late phone bill.

Janine’s co-worker and “work mum”, Barbara Howard (Sheryl Lee Ralph) stepped in and intervened on her behalf.

Barbara offered to give Vanetta money for the bill so Janine could keep the vacation money she had earned.

Janine eventually realised her mother’s plan to manipulate her and offered a compromise.

Instead of giving her the money for the phone bill, she decided to set up a payment plan with the phone company which Janine would only cover for the first two months.

Although Vanetta agreed to the deal and realised she was on her own after Janine’s payments, she also understood her daughter had learned independence and the courage to stand up for herself.

Janine’s tensions with her mother was previously teased earlier in the season when Ayo Edebiri guest-starred on the show as Janine’s sister, Ayesha Teagues.

Abbott Elementary season 2 continues Wednesdays on ABC in the USA and on Disney+ in the UK.

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