- “The world is dark, selfish, and cruel. If it finds the slightest ray of sunshine, it destroys it.”
- ―Mother Gothel to Rapunzel
Mother Gothel is the main antagonist of Disney's 2010 animated feature film, Tangled. She is a controlling witch who kidnaps and raises Rapunzel as her own in a secluded tower. Obsessed with her youth and beauty, Gothel hoards the magic of the princess' 70 feet of golden hair, so that she may remain young and beautiful forever.
- “This woman, Mother Gothel, hoarded the flower's healing power and used it to keep herself young for hundreds of years! And all she had to do, was sing a special song.”
- ―Flynn Rider's narration during the prologue
As an elderly woman near the end of her life, Mother Gothel is the single witness of a drop of pure sunlight falling to the ground, creating a magical flower with healing abilities. When she sings to it and strokes its petals, she becomes younger and beautiful. She is determined to keep this secret from the rest of the world and hides the flower to keep herself beautiful and young forever. Hundreds of years pass, and in that time, a kingdom prospers nearby. Sadly, the young queen falls deathly ill while pregnant, and the entire kingdom searches for a cure: the magic flower.
A guard manages to find the flower and Mother Gothel is powerless to stop him. After drinking a tea made from the flower, the queen is cured and the flower's abilities are inherited by her unborn child, a girl named Rapunzel. In the dead of night, Mother Gothel breaks into the castle and uses Rapunzel's long golden hair to replenish herself. When she tries to cut a lock of hair for herself, however, it turns brown and the healing powers are destroyed. The king and queen awaken as Mother Gothel kidnaps Rapunzel and disappears into the night. She isolates the princess in a tower hidden in a forest far away from the rest of the world and raises her as her own daughter. Mother Gothel refuses to let Rapunzel go outside, telling her the world is a dangerous place where selfish people would try to hurt her and use her gift for themselves.
Gothel presents herself with a theatrical flair, often flaunting her beauty and curvaceous appearance with much enthusiasm and dramatics. This ties into the fact that she is a phenomenal actress, dangerous manipulator, and is very intelligent, while it also indicates that in her actual life-time before discovering the flower, she was indeed an actual stage actress and performer before she retired to due to her aging. Aside from the magic golden flower Gothel selfishly uses to prolong her life, and her life alone, she lacks magical attributes, relying solely on her intellect to achieve her ambitions. She is also very possessive and selfish, evidenced by the fact that she had been hoarding the magical flower for hundreds of years all to herself which could have instead been a gift to share with other ailing beings of the world.
Throughout the story, Gothel's goal is to keep Rapunzel in a hidden tower in order to take advantage of the healing powers within the lost princess' hair. To do so, she cleverly poses as a kind, yet overprotective mother figure, that simply hopes to keep her daughter away from the outside world which, according to her, is filled with people who would abuse Rapunzel's power (which makes her somewhat hypocritical since she is one of those people who would do such). However, she is still extremely abusive despite her caring façade; she constantly insults Rapunzel, purposely lowers her self-esteem, avoids familial contact with the princess, and riles up her anxiety with warnings of exaggerated dangers she could run into if she'd ever leave, all for her own selfish gain. Gothel is also known to victimize herself, blaming Rapunzel for any sort of conflict or unfortunate event that befalls their lives and relationship, be it an argument or even someone's death.
Despite all of this, Gothel has several methods of furthering Rapunzel's dependence and loyalty to her; these include making her favorite meals, gifting her with paint and other luxuries to keep her occupied within the tower, and most notably, posing as Rapunzel's only protector in a vicious and unforgiving world. This is all for a deeply selfish reason, however, and comes at the expense of Rapunzel's happiness and dreams of experiencing life outside the confines of her tower. The illustrations even state she implanted scary and corrupted views of Christmas in the girl.
Gothel's burning desire to retain her youth for all eternity has notably driven the woman to complete madness, to the point where she was more than willing to force Rapunzel into slavery for the rest of her years, as opposed to taking the role of Rapunzel's mother, which would have avoided conflict for the most part. Not only that, she was also driven to a murderous state, evidenced by her immediate decision to kill Flynn Rider, upon deducing he somehow led to Rapunzel's eventual leave from the tower.
She seems to be a misanthrope and has true hate for people because they took away the magic flower she wanted all to herself, even though it could help the sickness of others. She even advises Rapunzel to hate people, saying: "The world is dark, and selfish, and cruel. If it finds even the tiniest bit of sunlight... It destroys it."
Without the healing and age-reversing power of the Golden Flower, Mother Gothel is a very elderly woman. Her sagging skin is covered in multiple wrinkles and marks, noticeably on her hands, arms, and face, and she bears many signs of old age. Her thinning hair, while still possessing curls, is dull and has lost its volume, a combination of white and pale gray. Her veins are especially prominent in her hands and wrists, like most elderly people, and she has several bumps and other marks on her face. Her nails are thin and look far from healthy-looking, and her face and body overall do not look full, like younger people. In her very first scene, she wore a dark green dress and red cloak, probably because dark colors are more suitable for older people.
With the flower's power in effect, Mother Gothel reverts to her youthful appearance. She is rather voluptuous with a curvaceous figure, and she is a tall, slender woman. Her skin is flawless, smooth, and a shade of very pale ivory, lacking freckles, she has large, gray eyes, and her eyelids have brown eye shadow. Her cheeks are dusted with blush, probably to warm up her pale skin tone. Her curly black hair falls past her shoulders, and is rather thick and glossy, with three curls hanging over her forehead.
She wears a flattering, crimson-red Renaissance-era dress with a faintly dappled pattern, gold trim, elbow length sleeves with extended hems, a hem-line that reaches her feet, and a matching belt-like sash with a gold buckle, brown boots, along with gold, diamond-shaped earrings. Whenever she leaves the tower, she wears a dark green hooded cloak, especially to hide her face when the hair's power is low.
The effects of the magic that keep Mother Gothel young wears off in short time, so she needs to replenish it very often, otherwise, her aging will return, shown when her hair starts turning gray and she forms dark eye bags and wrinkles. The aging returns daily, it appears - she left the tower on Rapunzel's birthday, with the magic in full effect, based on her entirely youthful look. However, less than a day later, in the "Mother Knows Best (Reprise)", her black hair already possesses gray streaks, and her skin isn't as smooth as before. When the hair and its healing magic are destroyed, all the centuries rush back into Gothel at once, rendering her to nothing but dust within a minute.
Eighteen years after Rapunzel's abduction, Mother Gothel is still as manipulative and "overprotective" as ever. Since childhood, Rapunzel has witnessed "floating lights" covering the sky every year on her birthday (Which really are floating lanterns the king and queen set free to remember their lost daughter) and wants to find out what they are. Over the years, her fascination with the "floating lights" has reached new heights, and on the wake of her eighteenth birthday, works up the courage to finally ask Mother Gothel permission to see the lights in person, as a birthday gift. Feeling a slight loss of control over her flower, Mother Gothel constantly uses subtle jabs, over-the-top guilt trips, and refrains of "Mother Knows Best" to keep Rapunzel from leaving the tower, before firml ordering Rapunzel to never ask to leave the tower, again. Heartbroken, Rapunzel accepts. Subsequently, Mother Gothel leaves the tower once more, and during her absence, their home is invaded by an "on-the-run thief", who Rapunzel manages to knock unconscious and hide in the closet.
When Mother Gothel returns, Rapunzel pushes her with requests to leave the tower (hoping to use the unconscious Flynn as proof that she can handle herself in the world). However, before she is given the chance, Mother Gothel finally snaps and cruelly yells, "You are not leaving this tower, EVER!". Rejected, Rapunzel changes the subject to focus on her oncoming birthday and asks Mother Gothel for paint for her room made from white seashells as a birthday gift, which will require a three-day journey. Confident that Rapunzel is safe, an initially hesitant Mother Gothel agrees.
While on her way, Mother Gothel is encountered by a palace horse, without a rider. Upon realizing this, she fearfully assumes the royal guards may have found the whereabouts of Rapunzel and rushes back to the tower. There, she frantically calls for Rapunzel to let down her hair, but no response is given. Mother Gothel quickly uses the back passageway to barge her way inside and begins a search throughout the tower. Unfortunately for her, Rapunzel is nowhere to be found. She instead finds a satchel and inside lies Rapunzel's crown from the kingdom. The sight brings a rush of a shock to Mother Gothel before a further investigation reveals a wanted poster with an illustration of the thief Flynn Rider. Mother Gothel deduces Flynn had some involvement with Rapunzel's disappearance, and leaves the tower to kill him, and reclaim her possession—blade in hand and filled with bloodlust. When Mother Gothel comes across the Snuggly Duckling tavern, however, she overhears Rapunzel singing how happy she is now that she has left the tower. She spies Rapunzel and Flynn escaping through a hidden tunnel when the royal guards arrive and flirts with a Pub Thug before threatening him to find out where it leads.
After following Shorty's instructions to the end of the tunnel, Mother Gothel soon comes across the Stabbington Brothers, who are out to get back at Flynn for betraying them. Using this to her advantage, Gothel gives them the crown but tells them she can offer them an even greater treasure, along with revenge on Flynn. The offer entices them, and they officially join Mother Gothel's side as her accomplices. That night, Gothel finds Rapunzel and reveals herself while Flynn is out getting firewood. She goes for a direct approach in trying to bring Rapunzel back to the tower, but Rapunzel refuses, wanting to continue her journey and admitting she has some affection toward Flynn, believing them to be reciprocated. Mother Gothel insists that Rapunzel is being naïve and the only reason why Flynn is with her is to get the crown, which she thrusts into Rapunzel's hands and orders her to give it to him as a test of his loyalty to her before vanishing. Though Rapunzel stands her ground, Mother Gothel's words are enough to bring doubt into her mind, successfully sparking her plot.
Mother Gothel's plan is put into action while Flynn and Rapunzel are watching the lanterns the next evening. Rapunzel gives Flynn his satchel to show that she trusts him. But before they kiss, Flynn spies the Stabbington Brothers on the opposite shore and tells Rapunzel to wait as he goes to talk to them. Flynn tries to apologize and return the crown to them, but they reveal that they now know about Rapunzel's magic hair. They find Rapunzel and tell her Flynn left with the crown and told them about her healing powers. She refuses to believe them until they point out Flynn sailing away on a boat, ignoring her screams. Before they can kidnap Rapunzel, Mother Gothel betrays them so it appears she's rescuing her. She leads the heartbroken Rapunzel home and Flynn, who was knocked out and tied to the mast of the boat, is caught by the guards, who prepare to hang him the next morning.
Back at home, Mother Gothel reminds Rapunzel that the world is intolerant of joy and happiness, and will destroy any ray of sunshine it finds as the finishing touch of destroying the princess' glimmers of optimism. After she leaves Rapunzel's bedroom to fix dinner, she overhears assorted commotion coming from the room and heads up to check on Rapunzel. Before she can enter, she is confronted by Rapunzel, who has managed to somehow uncover the truth behind her upbringing, confidently announcing her realization that she's the lost princess. Stunned, she nervously tries to suppress these revelations, but Rapunzel denies her words. With her patience wearing thin, Gothel desperately claims her actions were out of love, but her manipulations no longer have any effect on Rapunzel. Angered that Gothel has lied and imprisoned Rapunzel her whole life for her own gain, Rapunzel physically denies the abuse and proclaims Gothel was wrong about the world and herself, and thus, will never again be allowed to use her hair's magic from that moment forward, just as Gothel breaks free only to shatter the mirror. With her mind made up, Rapunzel starts to make her leave from the tower, but a now openly-sinister Mother Gothel retaliates.
Meanwhile, Flynn manages to escape the palace and journeys to rescue Rapunzel. When he arrives at the tower, he finds Rapunzel chained and gagged, before he is fatally stabbed in the stomach by Mother Gothel. As Flynn starts to die from blood loss, Gothel begins to forcefully drag Rapunzel out of the tower, with intent on finding a new hidden place where Rapunzel will be forced into slavery. Desperate to save Flynn, Rapunzel struggles against her restraints until her gag falls off and fiercely states she will never let Gothel use her hair or stop trying to escape her again. However, she promises to go with Mother Gothel quietly if she is allowed to heal Flynn. Knowing Rapunzel never breaks a promise, Mother Gothel agrees to this and releases her, instead chaining Flynn down so he can't pursue them once his life is saved. However, Flynn uses the opportunity to cut off most of Rapunzel's hair with a shard of glass before she can heal him, causing the hair to turn dark brown and lose its magic. With this, the healing powers are gone forever and a horrified Mother Gothel attempts to salvage the hair, but it is no use and she forever loses her youth and beauty as all the centuries of de-aging rapidly catch up to her; her curvaceous body begins to shrivel up and wither away, her skin becomes wrinkled, her hair turns snow white, and her fingernails become broken and chipped. Upon seeing her true age exposed in the shattered mirror, a hysteric Gothel pulls her hood over her face to hide her aging, but fails to see Pascal pull the length of Rapunzel's cut hair, which trips Gothel, causing her to fall out of the tower window to her death. However, by the time Gothel's cloak finally hits the ground, only dust remains of her, hinting that instead of the fall, her age is what ended her.
Six months after the events of Tangled, Rapunzel continues to reside in the palace with her real family. At the start of the movie, during the prologue, Gothel is mentioned and makes a cameo appearance in Rapunzel's paintings recounting the events that led to her return as a princess.
Gothel is also alluded a few times throughout the events that unfold: when King Frederic and Queen Arianna discuss why the former is so overprotective of Rapunzel, he mentally flashes back to the night Gothel broke into the castle and kidnapped Rapunzel. Later, during the climax, the antagonistic Lady Caine warns Rapunzel that, "she has no idea who's she's dealing with", to which Rapunzel retorts with, "Believe me, I've dealt with much worse", a clear reference to Gothel.
In the episode "What the Hair?!", Gothel appears in a nightmare Rapunzel suffers from one night. After sadistically bragging about her supposed return, Gothel summons the thorn-like rocks that appeared on the night Rapunzel's hair mysteriously returned. Gothel takes notice of the hair and suggests that both she and Rapunzel return to her Tower where the latter will be "safe". Rapunzel abruptly wakes from the nightmare, though it prompts her to learn more about her revived hair.
During the latter half of the first season (specifically in "The Alchemist Returns" and "Secret of the Sun Drop") King Frederic had been accused of mistreating Rapunzel in a manner eerily similar to Gothel, as he had been caught lying to Rapunzel and demeaning her by limiting her freedom. Rapunzel would eventually come to discover the difference between the two, however, as Frederic's actions were out of actual love, whereas Gothel's were out of pure selfishness.
In "Rapunzeltopia", Rapunzel is thrust into a sleep-like state by Matthews, a demon subordinate of the evil warlock, Zhan Tiri. In during which, she is trapped within her own dream. When Rapunzel tries to break free, Matthews turns her dream into a nightmare in, during which, he forces Rapunzel to relive the day in which she was nearly enslaved by Gothel. Rapunzel uses her imagination to overpower Matthews, and ends his stint as Gothel by smacking the latter with a frying pan. Upon doing so, Rapunzel remarks, "I've always wanted to do that!"
An emoticon version of Mother Gothel appeared in the Tangled entry of the As Told by Emoji short series. Like the film, she becomes a pile of dust after Rapunzel's hair is cut; the dust humorously appears alongside the rest of the cast during the curtain call.
Mother Gothel appears in the series as the main antagonist of Season 7. She is portrayed by Emma Booth. In the series, she is the mother of Alice with Captain Hook from the Wish Realm, as well as the enemy of Rapunzel Tremaine. In this version, she is portrayed as an evil and genocidal witch, who is the leader of a coven of evil witches known as the Coven of the Eight.
Born a Tree Nymph, Gothel was groomed by her mother to take on the responsibility of "mother" in leading her sisters to maintain nature. However, Gothel becomes curious about humanity and befriends a group of humans who see her doing magic and apparently want her to teach them. This is just a ruse though as they actually believe magic to be an abomination and humiliate Gothel before heading to the Tree Nymphs' grove and destroy it, which in turn kills all the Nymphs but Gothel. An enraged Gothel confronts the humans and uses her magic to kill all of the humans in the realm except Seraphina, a witch who hid her powers in fear of persecution. With all the magic in their land having been purged, Gothel uses a magic bean to transport Seraphina and herself to the Magical Forest, vowing to return and take vengeance of humanity once they come back.
Sometime during her life, Gothel becomes known as a famed Mother Nature and details about ways to summon her ends up in a spellbook. One night, Gothel catches Rapunzel stealing her magical herbs. In a bid to find the Guardian, she makes a deal with Rapunzel to secure her family's happiness by imprisoning her in a tower, but Rapunzel eventually escapes six years later. Gothel pays her a visit and provided her with a curse via toadstools from New Wonderland. Later, in the brink of death, Rapunzel brings Anastasia to her, where Gothel preserves Anastasia's last breath and threatens to keep Anastasia in her tower, but Rapunzel traps her instead. In order to escape, Gothel has to replace herself with a bloodline of hers, resulting in her deceiving Hook into bearing her child. Speeding up the pregnancy in a day, she gives birth to a baby girl and escapes the tower, leaving the child to replace her as the tower's prisoner. Eventually, she is sent to the Land Without Magic when the Dark Curse is cast.
In Hyperion Heights, Gothel ends up as a prisoner of Victoria Belfrey as Eloise Gardener. She is locked in shackles at Belfrey Tower, at the highest level, away from plain sight. After digging up her deceased daughter's coffin, Victoria brings it to her prison, hoping for her help to resurrect her daughter, but she declines. Days after, Ivy investigates the room with Roni to find dirt on her mother, but Eloise was gone at the time. Ivy later visits the room again, this time revealing that she was the one who asked Eloise to hide while Roni was around, with Eloise aware that Ivy too remembers her past life, much like Victoria. She then creates a potion for Ivy in order to wake up a cursed Roni. Eloise is eventually freed by Detective Rogers and teams up with Ivy to find Anastasia's body. After double-crossing Victoria and Ivy, Gothel plans to use Anastasia to gather together their followers like the ones who helped in the Dark Curse. In order to heal Lucy, Gothel plans to sacrifice Ivy as part of the resurrection amulet's magic only for Victoria to take her place instead. Gothel is eventually double-crossed by Anastasia when the latter makes amends with Ivy and leaves the Coven of the Eight. She eventually indoctrinates Tilly into the coven, planning to use her to cast a spell that will exterminate all of humanity.
Before the spell can be completed, however, the curse is broken when Henry gives true love's kiss to Regina. When Tilly arrives with Weaver, Margot, and Rogers, she stands up to Gothel. Gothel attempts to kill her, but Tilly blocks her attack and strikes Gothel instead. Gothel is unable to stop her transformation into a tree. Tilly sympathizes with her mother and promises to do better than her before creating hyacinth flowers on the roots of her tree.
Ghost of Christmas Past
Mother Gothel appeared in illustrated flashbacks in the Christmas-centered story taking place after the events of the film. It's revealed Mother Gothel spent every Christmas season telling scary stories and using the holiday as a way of keeping Rapunzel from the world outside the tower. According to Rapunzel, she would sing and chant eerie "Christmas tunes" nonstop and told tales of Nicholas; a mythical man who (as the tale goes) would creep into the rooms of children on Christmas Eve to kidnap them. The traumatic stories would continue through Rapunzel's teenage years and stayed with the princess even after leaving the tower, as the story focuses on Eugene attempting to subdue Rapunzel's hatred for the holiday by showing her a real Christmas.
Mother Gothel is one of the villains brought back to life only to be imprisoned on the Isle of the Lost. She now serves as the teacher of Selfishness 101 at Dragon Hall and has a daughter named Ginny Gothel.
Mother Gothel is the central character in the fifth novel in the Disney Villains series by Serena Valentino. She lived in the Dead Woods with her two sisters Hazel and Primrose, and her mother Manea. She also has a history with The Odd Sisters.
Mother Gothel appears in the mobile app game and was released with the Sleeping Beauty Update on May 6th, 2016.
Gothel appears in the game as an antagonist in her homeworld, the "Kingdom of Corona." Her role is largely the same as it was in the film but with a few minor changes; upon returning back to the tower to discover that Rapunzel has disappeared and finding the satchel with the crown and Flynn's poster, Organization XIII member Marluxia appears and offers to help return Rapunzel to Gothel, causing her eyes to turn pink. While tracking Rapunzel down, she finds Sora, Donald, and Goofy walking around in the swamp and remarking on Marluxia, whom they had just met. Gothel watches for a few moments before dismissing the conversation as unimportant but doubles back when Sora calls out for Rapunzel and Flynn. With her best impression of a concerned and loving mother, Gothel presents herself and asks if they knew where she was. Donald and Goofy admit that they lost her and Sora offers to look together with Gothel. At this, her demeanor grows cold and she dismisses their help, vowing to find her alone.
Much later, Gothel 'strikes down' a pair of Reaper Nobodies that were going after Rapunzel before persuading her back to the tower. The only other noteworthy change is that after Rapunzel's hair is cut and Gothel ages into dust after falling out of the Tower window, Marluxia observes from a distance, saying that she had given in to darkness and they couldn't allow her near Rapunzel's pure heart. He subsequently turns what little is left of her into a tree-like Heartless called the Grim Guardianess, which he leaves Sora, Donald, and Goofy to fight and destroy.
Gothel makes a brief appearance during the finale montage projected on the castle in Villains Night Out!
- According to the makers of Tangled, Mother Gothel's dress is inspired from the fashion of the Renaissance, 400 years older than the rest of the sets and costume in the film, which were instead inspired by the 1780s. This is meant to emphasize Gothel's immense age. Interestingly, when Rapunzel's hair is cut off and she experiences the centuries of aging she'd avoided within a few seconds, all that remains behind is her cloak, implying her dress was similarly old and she had been using the Hair's magic to let it stay together.
- In addition, the directors of the film stated that Mother Gothel is designed to be the opposite of Rapunzel, thus explaining her curly black hair, dull gray eyes, and dark red dress; the opposite of Rapunzel's straight gold (really brown) hair, bright green eyes, and light purple dress.
- Mother Gothel's clothes at the beginning of the movie when she first finds the magic flower is a black dress and red cloak. The reverse of the clothes she wears for the rest of the film are a red dress and black cloak, which is a small change.
- Apart from the opening narration, Mother Gothel is never referred to or addressed by her name in the film.
- Mother Gothel is a very unique villain, demonstrating what appear to be some feelings for Rapunzel, making Rapunzel her favorite dinner, agreeing to go on a long trip to get seashells for a paint Rapunzel said she wanted for her birthday and other things that made Rapunzel genuinely love her. But in the long run, she really only cares about herself.
- Also, Mother Gothel's motivation for her villainy is not power or revenge, unlike most Disney villains. At the beginning of the film, she was willing to take only a lock of Rapunzel's hair in order to achieve her goals of cheating death and remaining young and beautiful; the only reason she stole Rapunzel herself was that the magical hair lost its power once it was cut off. Her wish to remain young is caused by her own vanity and fear of death.
- Mother Gothel is probably the second oldest female Disney Villain (assuming Maleficent possesses true immortality, as implied by hers not visibly aging during the time-skip between Aurora's birth and her meeting with Prince Phillip).
- One strange thing to note about Mother Gothel is her fingernails are a dark grayish-brown color (though they sometimes appear red in certain lightings). This clearly wouldn't make any sense for her nails to be such a color for two reasons; Nail polish wasn't invented until the 1920s (150 years or so after the time period of the film) and finger nails don't usually darken with age. The reason behind this out-of-place feature is unknown though it is likely done to indicate Gothel's true age.
- While not fully notable Mother Gothel acts rather immature for how old she looks, let alone her actual age.
- Disney revealed Mother Gothel did not fall to her death but died of old age, the first Disney villain to do so. Her death is also among the cruel and unusual deaths for Disney villains as a result since she not only died of old age, but also turned into nothing but dust.
- When Disney premiered Tangled on Disney Channel, Mother Gothel's cleavage was censored, even though it wasn't fully shown too much.
- Mother Gothel is essentially a dark parallel to Flynn Rider. Flynn, while he is a thief like her when she kidnapped Rapunzel, he truly cares for Rapunzel, not for her hair but herself, and thus is willing to sacrifice himself so she can be free. This shows that his love for Rapunzel is pure, selfless, heartfelt, and most of all, real. Mother Gothel, on the other hand, only cared about Rapunzel for her hair, and as such, she'll do anything to keep Rapunzel with her, even if it means psychologically destroying her life. This shows that her love for Rapunzel is corrupted, selfish, twisted, and most of all, fake.
- In Sofia the First, Mother Gothel is alluded to in the episode The Curse of Princess Ivy; being compared to the titular villain by Rapunzel. Though her name was not mentioned, Rapunzel referred to her as an "evil woman pretending to be her mother".
- The fact that Mother Gothel only cares about the power of Rapunzel's hair, and not Rapunzel herself, is demonstrated in almost every scene in which she appears with her.
- By referring to Rapunzel as 'Flower', rather than her name.
- By always stroking or checking her hair every time they embrace.
- By immediately removing Rapunzel's braid when they return to the tower so that she can use it at the expense of making life more difficult for Rapunzel (the braid allowed Rapunzel to move more freely, for having such long hair might've hindered her movement).
- Vanity is a recurring theme around Gothel, as shown by her constantly checking and admiring her reflection in the mirror which she later breaks. This vanity is ultimately her downfall in more ways than one; breaking a mirror is thought to bring bad luck (typically for seven years), Flynn uses a shard of the mirror to cut Rapunzel's hair and it is the sight of her aging in the broken mirror that causes her to fall to her death when she isn't looking where she's going due to hiding her face in her cloak and when Pascal trips her with the cut hair.
- In the original fairy tale in which Tangled is based on, she is named Dame Gothel instead of Mother Gothel. She owns a beautiful garden next to where Rapunzel's parents live who are just ordinary people instead of royalty. When Rapunzel's mother becomes pregnant she longs for the herb that grows in the Witch's garden, becoming ill and tells her husband that she will die if she never has a taste. So Rapunzel's father makes two attempts to sneak into the garden to get the herb for his wife. On his second attempt Gothel catches him, but she agrees to let him takes the herb if he promises to give her their baby. He agrees and soon after their daughter is born, the witch takes her way and raises her as her own naming her Rapunzel after the herb that was stolen from her garden. When Rapunzel is twelve she locks her in the tall tower in the forest and visits her everyday with food, climbing the tower by Rapunzel's long hair. Later in the story she finds out that Rapunzel has been seeing a prince behind her back when Rapunzel lets slip that she is pregnant. However bowlderized versions say that Rapunzel unthinkingly made a remark of Gothel being more heavier climbing her hair than the prince. Outraged, the Witch cuts off Rapunzel's hair and banishes her to a far away place to fend for herself. When the Prince arrives, she hangs Rapunzel's hair on a hook and tosses it down for the Prince to climb. She then tells him that Rapunzel is gone and he will never see her again before pushing him out of the window where he falls into the brambles that scratch his eyes and blind him. Fortunately Rapunzel and the Prince are reunited and live happily ever after. She is never seen again after this, but some versions say that she stayed trapped in the tower and died of a lonely bitter heart as the hair fell from it when she pushed out the Prince.
- In the Kingdom Hearts series, Mother Gothel becomes the second Disney villain to become a Heartless after her initial defeat in the film, followed by Scar, and the first to take on a new form.
- Gothel appeared to be somewhat like Frollo, seeing as (like what Gothel did to Rapunzel) Frollo attempted to keep Quasimodo inside by claiming the world is a cruel and dark place while putting on a kind and caring personality to hide his own dark self. However, it should be noted that, while Gothel simply lied to Rapunzel that the world is cruel and dark, Frollo geniunely believed that the world, aside from himself, is indeed cruel.