- "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Marla Maples once guest-starred to comfort Allison after being shabbily-treated by a man, encouraging her to put the man behind her and become her own person. She made a point of producing Donald Trump's phone number and ripping it up in front of her. A few years later, guess who she marries in real life?
- The episode "Oh, Brother," about Julia and Suzanne's alcoholic and mentally ill half-brother Clayton, can feel like this knowing that his actor, Lewis Grizzard, died of heart failure at the age of 48.
- Heartwarming Moments: While most of "Killing All The Right People", the Very Special Episode about AIDS, is a Tearjerker, Kendall having his funeral done up not just for himself, but so other AIDS victims after him can have as nice a service as he did definitely counts as this.
- Hollywood Pudgy: Delta Burke's weight was up and down throughout the show. The character Charlene may also qualify because of an episode where all four women go to a spa. While Mary Jo and Julia are allowed to eat anything they wanted, Charlene and Suzanne have to stick (unhappily) to the diet menu. An interesting inversion with the first-season relationship Charlene has with an overweight man—she's embarrassed to be seen with him, but he's not allowed the same sympathy as Suzanne in later seasons.
- LGBT Fanbase: Similar to The Golden Girls, the show presented a very forward-thinking view of homosexuality at a time when such things were very provocative for TV. As a result, like the aforementioned Golden Girls, the show has found a niche on the LOGO TV network.
- Replacement Scrappy: When Delta Burke decided to leave the series in 1991 (or was forced out by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, depending on which version of events you believe), the writers brought in Emmy-nominated actress Julia Duffy to play the role of Julia and Suzanne's wealthy cousin Allison Sugarbaker to fill the void. But the audience never warmed to the character and Duffy was replaced after one season by stage veteran Judith Ivey, who played wealthy Texas widow Barbara Jean Poteet until the show's cancellation.
- Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The AIDS episode in the second season, that also included as a birth control/safe sex Aesop as well.Mary Jo: "I think that it really shouldn't matter what your personal views are about birth control, because, you see, we're notwe're not just talking about preventing births anymore, we're talking about preventing deaths. 25,000 Americans have died and we're still debating. For me, this debate is over. More important than what any civic leader or PTA or board of education thinks about teenagers having sex or any immoral act that my daughter or your son might engage in, the bottom line is that I don't think they should have to die for it."
- Tear Jerker: "Killing All The Right People", the episode about a friend of the Sugarbaker's crew dying from AIDS, is a MASSIVE one, particularly the Sugarbaker's crew's faces after being told and Anthony's absolutely heartbroken reaction to them telling him later.
- A lot of Anthony's scenes qualify as this with Meshach Taylor's passing in 2014 from colorectal cancer.
- Ditto for several of Julia's scenes after Dixie Carter's passing in 2010.
YMMV / Designing Women