- "Maybe I wasn't the mother you wanted, but I was always there. I stayed and I tried."
- —Donna Smaok to her daughter, Felicity Smoak[src]
Donna Smoak grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada in a Jewish family. When she was young, Donna met and fell in love with Noah Kuttler and they soon got married. They had a Jewish wedding officiated by a rabbi impersonating Tom Jones. Donna and Noah had a whirlwind romance, with the former putting her "love, trust, and 20s" into their relationship. The couple made frequent romantic trips to a cabin in Cypress Cove called Ravenspur, where their child was apparently conceived.
Leaving Noah and raising Felicity
Sometime after Felicity's birth, Donna and Noah's marriage was in turmoil due to the latter's status as a fugitive cybercriminal. Donna gave her husband the benefit of doubt multiple times but after too many lies and broken promises, she ultimately left Noah, unwilling to potentially risk her daughter's well-being on the chance that he would truly change. Donna then became a cocktail waitress, working 60 hours per week in order to raise Felicity by herself and make ends meet for them. Due to her long work hours, it was implied that Donna couldn't spend a lot of quality time with her daughter as she would barely remember to pick Felicity up from school or make her snacks.
Whenever Felicity was sad, Donna made hot milk to cheer her up. She did this in once such instance when breaking the news that her daughter couldn't go to Space Camp. Donna was too embarrassed to admit the reason was because she couldn't afford it, so she instead claimed to not be comfortable with sending Felicity that far away for eight weeks.
As Felicity grew up, Donna soon became estranged from her daughter as she found herself unable to keep up with the former's expanding technological expertise. Donna attempted to bond with and continue keeping her daughter close, but her best efforts only served to alienate Felicity further. As a result, since Felicity left for college, she and Donna had little to no contact for years.
Visiting Starling City
In late 2014, Donna received an email stating that she won a free first-class round-trip to Starling City. She texted Felicity that she was paying a visit, but forgot to hit "send" on the text. At Felicity's apartment, Donna enthusiastically greeted her mortified daughter. She was excited to meet Ray Palmer, showing him she owned one of his smart watches and was given a more advanced version by Ray. After the first wave of cyber attacks by Brother Eye, Donna and Felicity dropped by Verdant, where Felicity lied that she had to help the owner, who was her friend, turn the power back on. Donna then happily greeted Oliver Queen and John Diggle and fawned over Diggle's infant daughter, Sara. Before they went down to the Arrowcave, Diggle temporarily left Sara in Donna's care. Later, Donna and Sara were sent to Felicity's home.
That night, after Sara was picked up by her "nanny" from A.R.G.U.S., Donna found Felicity at Palmer Technologies, upset that her daughter kept blowing her off in favor of work. The two had an argument in which Felicity angrily claimed that her mother never tried to understand and has always been disappointed in her. Taken aback, a hurt Donna expressed that she always wanted what was best for her daughter and revealed her insecurities of Felicity not taking after her in any way. Before leaving, Donna tearfully admitted she was always afraid Felicity would one day leave her, just like her father did, which she now felt had come true.
At Felicity's apartment, Donna was packing when her daughter arrived. Felicity tried to apologize for what happened earlier and reassure Donna that no matter what, they're still family. Donna conceded she shouldn't have arrived so abruptly and revealed her free flight, concerning Felicity. Suddenly, some armed men burst into the apartment and kidnapped the two women, bringing them to Cooper Seldon, the leader of Brother Eye and Felicity's ex-boyfriend. Donna learned she was brought as leverage so Felicity would hack into the GPS of cash-carrying trucks sent by the Treasury and reroute them to Brother Eye's current location. After Felicity did so, Donna's new watch went off, and Felicity realized she could use its Wi-Fi to call for help. When Cooper returned and pointed a gun at her, Donna angrily told him to leave her daughter alone, proclaiming that he was no match for Felicity. Just then, the Arrow arrived. Felicity then took out Cooper when he took her hostage, much to Donna's surprise. Felicity freed her mother and the two embraced.
The next morning, Donna dropped by Palmer Tech to say goodbye to Felicity before she left that night. Felicity assured Donna that while she may have gotten her intelligence from her father, she gets her strength and resilience from her mother, much to the latter's joy. When Ray arrived, Donna thanked him for the watch, citing it was "a real lifesaver". Felicity "called in sick" so she and her mother could spend some quality time together.
Attending Oliver and Felicity's wedding
Donna attended Oliver and Felicity's wedding reception with Noah. While overjoyed for the couple, she fretted over her daughter and Oliver eloping and not having a traditional wedding. During the celebration, Donna attempted to catch the bridal bouquet, only to be thwarted by Curtis. Later, Donna and Noah watched their daughter share a dance with her new husband.
- "Over the past two years, I have been through a lot. And I have learned that I am a lot tougher than I thought. That, I get from you."
- —Felicity Smoak to Donna Smoak[src]
Donna Smoak is a warm, jovial, energetic, talkative, compassionate, caring woman and loves children. Underneath her bright personality though, she feels lonely and insecure when it comes to her relationship with Felicity; Donna often struggled to connect with her daughter and believed she took mostly after her father, seeing nothing of herself in Felicity. In spite their vast differences however, Felicity is ultimately the center of her mother's world; Donna worked hard in dismal conditions to ensure Felicity would have a good future and tried her best to give her daughter a happy, loving childhood.
While she seems like "all nails and hair", Donna is bold and fearless when the situation calls for it; Donna stared down and defied Cooper Seldon when he threatened to kill her daughter, showing that she is fiercely protective of Felicity and will not hesitate to put her own life on the line for the latter. After the events of "", Donna and Felicity were able to reconcile and rebuild their relationship, becoming closer than ever.
Donna is very insightful and intuitive, especially when it comes to romantic relationships. She knew Felicity well enough to deduce that she was in love with Oliver Queen after seeing them in the same room in mere seconds, and encouraged her daughter to pursue him. Donna is supportive of Oliver and Felicity's relationship, being in awe of their love, and is always there to provide some sage advice to her daughter as the latter navigates her new romance. Donna also formed a close, almost motherly bond with Oliver. At his and Felicity's wedding reception, she even asked if she could call Oliver "Son", which he agreed to.
Donna is very devoted to and proud of her Jewish heritage, a belief she instilled in her daughter; she was shown to be slightly annoyed that Oliver and Felicity's impromptu wedding didn't incorporate any Jewish customs.
On the subject of her ex-husband, Noah Kuttler, Donna is shown to be distrustful, stern, and aloof due to past experiences with his lies and how their relationship ended. When Noah returned to their lives, Donna remained bitter with the former over his criminal past, refusing to believe he had truly changed and maintaining that Felicity was better off away from him. By the time of Oliver and Felicity's wedding however, the two appear to have begun making amends, albeit with some residual tension.
When Donna started dating Quentin Lance, she was able to begin moving on from her failed marriage to Noah and got along well with Quentin's daughter, Laurel. Donna was accepting of Quentin's work with Team Arrow and encouraged him not to hide the fact that he knew, and was proud of, his daughter's identity as Black Canary. Even after they broke up, Donna remained friendly with Quentin, glad to see that he was sober.
- Like her daughter, Donna is Jewish.
- Donna has a habit of folding laundry when stressed.
- She is a bad cook.
- Donna seems to have the ability to instantly determine the weight and cut of precious stones upon first glance, as shown with Felicity's engagement ring in "".
- Her favorite color is pink.
- Donna enjoys Lionel Richie and, like her ex-husband, Tom Jones.
- According to Felicity, Donna believes in premonition signs about life, such as stars, horoscopes, and even ouija boards.
- Donna loves the movie Bull Durham, considering its lead actress, Susan Sarandon, to be her "fictional life coach".