It’s easy to be friends and family when times are good. You hang out, laugh, and maybe even tease each other a bit. It’s when times are tough for one person that these relationships gets put to the test. You see the person struggling with something, but do you say something even at the risk of disturbing the relationship?

This happens in sitcoms to, and often leads to some of the more memorable scenes. They are scenes, or even just lines of dialogue, where one character needs to give another a little hard to time to get them past whatever rough patch they may be in. Sometimes it’s just a little talk with a few wise words of wisdom. Other times, it gets a little more intense. So much so there is the risk of detsroying the relationship. But the character goes ahead,maybe even crosses the line, to help their friend or relative. When written and acted well, these moments usually stand out as very strong character moments.

These are some of my favorite “tough love” moments. Some of these links are attached to full episodes, feel free to stop watching after the scene I describe has played.


This is a short one but has always been one of my favorites. Benson’s mother visits and then unexpectedly dies. Benson decides not to go home for the funeral. But the governor steps in. Normally the governor is the one in need of guidance, but he knows that Benson is hurting and will only regret it if he does not go home. Touching moment,

This is on YouTube but the video quality is terrible, someone just recorded their TV, Still:

Family Ties

It doesn’t get tougher than this scene. We see Elyse’s brother, played by Tom Hanks, dealing with an alcohol problem. The family tries confronting him but after a very dramatic moment when he slaps Alex across the room, Steven makes it very simple. No speeches, no lectures…just get help or get the hell out of his house!

Happy Days

I don’t think any scene I have on here shows what I mean more than this one. One of my favorite episodes, simple as that. Yeah the blind thing is a cliche, but this episode works. The scene is Fonzie acting like he his helpless because he is blind and Richie is determined to make Fonzie see that isn’t the case. Amazing stuff here.

The video quality sucks but the scene speaks for itself.

The Cosby Show

Sometimes you have to play games to get the person to accept things. In this episode, Claire has a broken toe but refuses to act like it. It takes Russell telling a story (we later learn he made up) to get her to accept her new limiation. A nice sweet moment in a nice sweet show.


Man this show had some fantasic writing! When Dr Cox hits a major dpression after making a huge mistake, it’s JD who comes in to talk to him and help. My favorite part comes after their talk, when Cox gives a simle thank you to JD. If you know these characters I don’t have to tell you how big a moment that is.

The Golden Girls

One of my favorite Golden Girls lines comes in this episode where Rose discovers she may be HIV positive.In one moment Rose is angry and venting that anger, when she insists Blanche should be the one facing this, Blance has to cool her down and point out AIDS is not God punishing people, It’s a quick but very well written moment.


Here is a scene which is hard for me to watch. Dan refuses to accept the truth about his mother. He has spent years blaming his father for his mothers illness, but that isn’t true. He father let him think that to make it easier. But now he must deal with the truth. so Roseanne has to get him to see the light. When he does…wow, good acting.

The King of Queens

Another great one. In this epispde Doug and Carrie leanr that Deacon has been having an affair. Carrie is also worked up about it and it’s the usually wacky Arthur who has to set her straight. She isn’t angry, she is scared that this could happen to her.


This series seems like a given to have one of these. That;s because the whole series is about six friends being there for each other in good times and bad. There were lots of choices but I decided this one was good. Monica freaks out about her relationship, and in an interesting role reversal Chandler is the one who talks her down.

Everybody Loves Raymond

Robert finds out he has to spend another three weeks at his parents house. He starts taking his angr out on everyone, until Debra steps in with a little tough love of her own. I bash on Debra a lot but she is very good here.

Fresh Prince

I wanted to talk about this scene especially for a reason I will explain soon. First, let’s talk about the scene. In this episode Uncle Phil has had a heart attack. Carlton is afraid to go the hospital, so Will has to come in and knock some sense into him.This is a lot less heavy then the scene I discussed last week and works better because of that.

Again, poor video quality:

After having experience almost this same thing with my father very recently, I can certainly empathize with Carlton. But I also know what Will says is right. This scene comes close to home right now.

The Big Bang Theory

Finally, this scene to end on a happier note. Sheldon has been fired and doesn’t know what to do with himself. Leonard gets annoyed and yells at him, causing Sheldon to run like a deer back to his room.

Sometimes tough love doesn’t work I guess. :)

There are dozens more but I think that’s it for now my friends. Until next time, be good to yourselves.

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