Pierce's mom was first heard in the study group's freshmen year together at Greendale. Pierce accidentally dialed her number after Spanish class was over. Pierce ended up putting her call on speaker and her stream of non-sequitor comments about him embarrassed her son causing him to run out of the classroom ("Introduction to Statistics"). In the study group's sophomore year at school, Troy was living with Pierce in his mansion along with his mom. One day he discovered her dead body in the laundry room. Pierce only believed her body died as per his religious belief in the Reformed Neo Buddhism movement. He explained to the study group how her body was vaporized and her spirit is now stored in an Energon pod awaiting the day when she will be restored after technology advances.
While the others are worried his delusions and denial are harmful to him, Jeff counters that as everyone has different religious beliefs and should respect his as well no matter how crazy it is. Later, Jeff goes to the Health Care Center and gets the results of his annual check up from Nurse Jackie. He becomes upset after learning he has high cholesterol and takes it out on Pierce in Anthropology class. Pierce had brought to class what he believed to be his mother whose spirit was now contained inside an energon pod. Jeff mocks Pierce's beliefs and decides to expose Pierce's religion as a sham rather than dealing with his own feelings of mortality. He tricks both Troy and Pierce to join him for ice cream when in actuality he planned on taking them to the morgue to view Pierce's mom's corpse.
While looking for music to play for the drive, Pierce comes across a disc in his CD wallet with his mom's hand writing on it. He plays it in the car's stereo learns it's a message for him from his mother:
“Pierce you've found this CD which means...I'm dead. ”— Pierce's mom
“I'm not vaporized. I'm gone Pierce...gone forever, and that's how I like it. Life is only worth a damn because it's short. It's designed to be consumed, used, spanked, lived, felt. We're supposed to fill it with every mistake and miracle we can manage and then we're supposed to let go. I can't force you to do that for yourself Pierce, but you can't force me to stay...and if you unscrew the top of that stupid thing, you'll see it was made in China. I love you son. Goodbye.”— Pierce's mom
A rap song then plays after she finishes her final message but Pierce stops the CD before it concludes. Jeff understands the message Pierce's mom was trying to teach her son. Unfortunately, Pierce doesn't and tossed the CD out of the car considering it just more crazy talk from his mom ("The Psychology of Letting Go"). In the study group's fourth year at school, Pierce now has no family left with the passing of his father Cornelius Hawthorne the previous year. On Halloween, the study group goes to his mansion to rescue him after he accidentally locks himself inside his panic room. While they are there they notice various family portraits including one showing his Pierce, his father and presumably his mother. A photo of Gilbert Lawson was taped onto to it as Pierce had recently discovered that his father's assistant was actually his half-brother.
Mrs. Hawthorne's name has never been spoken on the show, however the Energy Pod that supposedly houses her spirit has a metal base inscribed with the full name Marian Anastasia Hawthorne. The name itself has not been officially canonized but Pierce's middle name was also revealed to be to be "Anastasia" in the Season Three episode "Advanced Gay"