While The Dukes of Hazzard was primarily known for its car chases, high adventure and insofar as Boss Hogg and Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane were concerned slapstick comedy, the creators made sure viewers knew the Duke family and even their adversaries were human beings, whom we all could love (or dislike) and relate to. As such, there were plenty of tearjerker moments throughout, particularly when one's life or safety hung in the balance.
- "The Ghost of the General Lee": In a sense, when Rosco breaks the news to Uncle Jesse that Bo and Luke have (thought to be) drowned after a chase gone horribly bad and the General Lee plunges into a lake. Uncle Jesse cries for one of the few times in the entire series. Semi-averted, since viewers are in the know all along that Bo and Luke are OK. (It was a pair of auto thieves who stole the car and crashed the car, and both escape wet but otherwise unharmed).
- You can tell poor Roscoe's heart is breaking at several points through out the first part of the episode
- Both Rosco and Enos are clearly distraught as they search the lake for 'Bo and Luke'.
- "Grannie Annie": Rosco is very close to his brother-in-law, Boss Hogg, the series' main antagonist. So when Boss is kidnapped by a no-nonsense counterfeiter who plans to rape, brutally beat and then kill the Boss (for seemingly swindling him out of $25,000 for engraving plates) and Bo and Luke initially balk, Rosco begins to cry and tearfully tell how Boss Hogg deserves to be saved, that his relationship with Boss is more than just two partners-in-crime but means a whole lot more, and even though he's been a thorn in the Duke family's side for years, that Bo and Luke have a moral obligation to stop a potentially more dastardly crime and that he will hold them morally responsible should they continue to refuse and Boss be killed.
- "Coltrane vs. Duke": Although most of the episode had plenty of comedy, there were several very heartbreaking scenes. The scene where, after Rosco is (somehow) successful in his lawsuit against the Dukes, is hard to take, particularly when Jesse concedes defeat to his bitter enemy. The empty house, with everything packed, is also heart-wrenching.
- "Witness: Jesse Duke": During an altercation with an armed robber, Uncle Jesse suffers a concussion that causes him to totally lose his eyesight. None of the treatments to restore his sight seem to be working, and his physician breaks the news to Daisy, Coy and Vance that it is possible that Jesse will permanently be blind. Coy and Vance become emotional, but Daisy downright becomes distraught. She then tearfully prays to God to restore his eyesight, and it is about as heart-wrenching and dramatic as any scene during the series history.
- "Opening Night at the Boar's Nest": The final scene, where Rosco who was playing a magician at a talent show thinks that he made Boss disappear into thin air for real. Rosco tearfully reflects on their friendship and how he means everything to him. Boss, who wants to walk in like normal to the empty tavern, overhears Rosco and realizes that his brother-in-law is being sincere.
- In the 1997 TV-movie, we're shown now-county commissioner "Boss" Rosco's office, which has a large portrait of Boss Hogg behind his chair. Rosco at one point goes up to the portrait and laments that "I sure miss you, little fat buddy", while almost breaking down crying. Best and Booke were close friends, and his show of emotion is genuine.
- Rosco causes a lot of problems in harassing the Duke family, but yet one cannot help but feel for the inept, child-man sheriff when he either loses his job or has his heart broken. A prime example was in "Mrs. Rosco P. Coltrane," when the mastermind of a bank robbery ring uses a computer dating service to dupe someone into marrying her... and the lovestruck Rosco is the fall guy. When the Duke boys — who were suspicious of her all along — reveal her true colors, the emotional pathos is heartwrenching, with Rosco flat-out humiliated and heartbroken, and after composing himself becomes determined to bring his "bride" (along with her legitimate husband and their associate) to justice.