The Dukes of Hazzard

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Just the good ole' boys, Never meanin' no harm
Beats all you never saw, been in trouble with the law since the day they was born
Straightenin' the curves, Flattenin' the hills
Someday the mountain might get 'em, but the law never will
Makin' their way the only way they know how
That's just a little bit more than the law will allow
Just the good ole' boys, Wouldn't change if they could
Fightin' the system like a-two modern day Robin Hoods.

An American action/comedy series running on CBS from 1979 to 1985, The Dukes of Hazzard followed the adventures of "good ole boys" Luke and Bo Duke, in the fictional Hazzard County, Georgia. On probation for transporting moonshine, the boys spend their time tweaking the nose of corrupt county commissioner "Boss" Hogg, who always has his eye on acquiring the Duke family farm. Hogg retaliates by keeping the incompetent Sheriff Rosco Purvis Coltrane always on the Dukes' trail for violating their probation.

The series is remembered for its wild car chases, campy Southern setting, and Catherine Bach's near-criminally short shorts, which subsequently acquired her character's name as a generic term: "daisy dukes".

As further evidence of the accelerated erosion of Hollywood's creative abilities, a theatrical motion picture version of the series was made in 2005, with a 2007 made-for-TV prequel. Two made-for-TV reunion movies with the original cast were also made, in 1997 and 2000. (What's often forgotten these days is that the original series was itself a loose adaptation of a 1975 theatrical film called Moonrunners, which featured essentially the same premise and the same characters under different names... or, in the case of Uncle Jesse and Sheriff Rosco Coltrane, the same names!)

Besides adding to the desirability of 1968-69 Dodge Chargers the show is also a major contributor to their rarity, having used up over three hundred over the course of the series (reportedly, the exact number was 309).

Tropes used in The Dukes of Hazzard include:
  • Absentee Actor: James Best and Ben Jones each boycotted parts of Season 2 due to disputes with the producers, while John Schneider and Tom Wopat missed most of Season 5 as contract holdouts. Even Catherine Bach and the General Lee (we can count the car as one of the stars in this case!) are absent from one and only one episode each ("To Catch A Duke" and "Mary Kaye's Baby" respectively).
    • Averted by John and Tom when the whole cast offered to join their boycott of Season 5.
  • Action Adventure Series
  • The Alleged Car: Every Hazzard County patrol car eventually ended up as this after chasing the Duke Boys.
  • Animated Adaptation: The Dukes, a Saturday Morning Cartoon series from 1983.
  • Anti-Villain: Enos, Type IV . Never really portrayed as corrupt or evil, and despite his Designated Villain role (by default by being on the same side as Boss Hogg), becomes quite sympathetic and likable over the course of the show.
    • Enos is plagued by a strong sense of duty. He's a deputy, and sworn to uphold the law. Unfortunately for him, Boss Hogg controls the law. At times, one has to wonder if his goofing up isn't at least somewhat intentional as a way of helping the Dukes. Especially considering that he was able to become the head of the Los Angeles SWAT team.
    • Enos is never viewed by the Dukes themselves as being one of Boss Hogg's cronies. They realize that he's just doing his job and is simply too honest to be a part of anything crooked that Boss has come up with. Even when he's chasing them, they hold no malice towards him. In fact, they consider him to be probably the most honest man in the County and -- they say it out loud more than once -- the only real law in Hazzard. Whenever they need actual help from the law, it's Enos that they turn to.
    • Enos' successor, Cletus, isn't quite so incorruptible -- he's a Hogg, after all -- but he too harbors no real ill will toward the Dukes and basically goes along with Boss and Rosco to preserve his job rather than out of any actual enthusiasm for their schemes.
  • Badass Adorable: Daisy. Hit one of her Berserk Buttons, and she'll kick your ass. Particularly useful against female villains.
  • Beauty Contest: "Miss Tri-Counties".
  • Big Bad: Boss Hogg.
  • Big Eater: Boss Hogg (and HOW!).
  • Binocular Shot
  • The Bus Came Back: Enos returned to Hazzard at the start of season 5, while Bo and Luke did so later that season.
  • Buxom Is Better: Daisy. Part of what makes her so good at using Distracted by the Sexy.
  • California Doubling: Apart from the first few episodes, which were shot on location in Georgia.
  • Car Skiing: Done regularly on the show. One time a film crew was in town and happened to see them doing it, and hired them to do it on film.
  • Chase Scene: The show's signature was its wild police chases, featuring as many jumps and wrecks as budget would allow.
  • Chronically Crashed Car: A borderline example. The General Lee doesn't count in-universe, but in reality they had to use 300 different cars to shoot it. With them having to use a number of 1970 and 1971 Dodge Chargers for the stunt work, because they couldn't get enough of the proper 1969 model.
    • The police cars are straight examples.
  • Clueless Deputy: Enos, Cletus.
  • Commercial Break Cliffhanger
    • They applied it inconsistently in season 1 before combining it with the now-famous freeze-frame format from Season 2 onwards.
  • Cool Car: The General Lee, a 1969 Dodge Charger stock car with welded doors, a proudly Confederate paint scheme, a horn that plays a bar from "Dixie", and uncanny ability to do multiple long jumps with the Dukes never worrying about having its structural integrity irreparably damaged. Several other characters also have signature vehicles, including Daisy's yellow Plymouth Roadrunner (and later her white Jeep CJ), Uncle Jesse's rusty old Ford pickup, Cooter's tow truck, and Boss Hogg's white Cadillac convertible with bull's horns on the hood.
  • Corrupt Hick: Boss Hogg and ...
  • Corrupt Politician: His lackey, Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane.
  • Crossover: Boss and Enos make a guest appearance in an episode of Alice.
  • Cryptid Episode: In one episode, The Greys are hiding in Hazzard County.
  • Decided by One Vote
  • Deep South: The show features an exaggerated depiction of the Deep South, filled to the brim with Civil War-obsessed moonshiners and yokels.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Daisy's specialty.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: In the pilot, one of the Duke boys explains that they don't carry any firearms because they're on probation. Later mentioned by the narrator early in the actual series. Fortunately, they have dynamite arrows.
    • Jesse and Daisy are exempt from this. Daisy in particular is good with guns, having put 6 bullets from a revolver though the same hole during her testing to become a deputy.
    • Boss Hogg, despite his dishonesty, hates violence and won't go in for violent schemes where someone could get hurt.
  • The Dragon: Sheriff Rosco.
  • Dramatic Curtain Toss: In the film.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Well, yeah.
  • Enemy Mine: The occasional episode would have Boss and/or Rosco forced to team up with the Dukes against an outside foe. Also, episodes where one of the cronies working with Boss would violently turn against him (usually after the villain thought that Boss was secretly working with the authorities (or the Dukes, if the bad guy was aware of them) to bring him to justice).
    • Boss used to be Jesse's best friend. And Rosco used to be an honest lawman.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Boss Hogg never actually physically hurt anyone. In one episode, he refused to get involved in selling drugs, despite his history as a moonshiner.
    • Even Low-Level Crime Has Double Standards: Jesse Duke is a former moonshiner, and only stopped after signing an agreement with the US government in exchange for Bo and Luke being put on probation rather than imprisoned for running the illicit booze. He blew his stack, however, when they showed up with a water heater box filled with marijuana.
    • Another example of this: when a rich asshole from Savannah with a stick the size of Texas up his ass tried to wrest custody of his grandson from the child's mother simply because she happened to grow up in backwater Hazzard, Boss was as pissed off as the Dukes.
    • If the love of money is the root of all evil, Boss Hogg is more evil than Satan. But he is quite firm on his stance that he doesn't want anyone to be killed by his schemes. He has turned against some of his former associates when they tried to kill the Dukes. What he does, he does for greed. Not for evil.
    • One episode spells it out plainly, where the Balladeer intones that while Boss is totally crooked he will NOT tolerate violence and will not get involved in any scheme where someone could get hurt. Boss is greedy for money, but will not have anyone physically hurt to get it.
    • When Bo and Luke are mistaken for dead and Rosco thinks he's responsible, he takes it harder than anyone else, including Daisy and Jesse. He says that more than a few times, he's let them go on purpose and that mostly, he was just in it for the thrill of the car chase.
    • James Best has described his portrayal of Rosco's mentality as "A big kid who likes car chases".
  • Evil Minions: Boss Hogg has the entire Sheriff's office under his command. Of course, this consists of two men, both pretty incompetent. And Enos definitely isn't evil or corrupt. He's always in the dark about Boss' schemes-as he would probably arrest Boss if he knew the truth-and is just following orders from Roscoe.
  • Evil Twin: Inverted in Jefferson Davis "Boss" Hogg's good twin Abraham Lincoln Hogg, who drives a black Cadillac and dresses in black.
  • Expository Theme Tune: Also a Real Song Theme Tune, performed by Waylon Jennings.
  • Farmer's Daughter: Daisy Duke.
  • Fat Sweaty Southerner in a White Suit: Boss Hogg.
  • The Film of the Series
  • Fixing the Game: The Duke boys once rig the roulette wheel of a traveling casino.
  • Flanderization: In the first season, Rosco was portrayed more sympathetically and intelligently (well, barely), himself a victim of Boss Hogg's manipulations due to the loss of his pension. Later seasons showed him as a willing accomplice in Boss's schemes and far more idiotic.
  • Fruit Cart
  • The Funday Pawpet Show: MST3ked an episode of "The Dukes".
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The name Cooter.
    • In proper southern, "Cooter" means "turtle". I don't know what you're talking about.
  • Harmless Villain: Boss and Rosco, for the most part.
  • Hollywood CB: Textbook example, every time someone picked up a radio transmitter, just the right people were on the right frequency.
    • Though it's not too much of a stretch to assume the Duke family and their friends agreed to a regular frequency, or that the Hazzard County Sheriff's Department used particular frequencies as standard policy.
  • Hollywood Police Driving Academy: Former Trope Namer, "Rosco P. Coltrane Academy Of Police Driving".
  • Homage: Owes just as much to Smokey and the Bandit as it does to Moonrunners.
  • Humans Are White: An egregious non-SF example. The show takes place in a part of the USA where practically every other person is African-American. But you wouldn't know it from watching the show, which features all of one Black character (Sheriff Little). This probably qualifies as Politically Incorrect History.
    • Except that Sheriff Little was probably the only officer of the law the Dukes respected. He was honorable, if strict, and an all-too-rare non-stereotypical Black on TV.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Enos is considered by the Dukes, and pretty much all of Hazzard, to be the only 'real' law enforcement in Hazzard County. Despite his inherent innocence, Enos is very serious about being a good deputy and when the chips are down he can be counted on. He's good enough to have distinguished himself on the LAPD and was able to take down Frank Scanlon, a professional hitman, unarmed. And, if someone should ever threaten Daisy that will definitely hit his Berserk Button (actually, Scanlon was holding Daisy hostage at the time when Enos laid a beating on him).
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: The 1998 film, Species 2 has a non-video game example referencing this show. A clone being experimented on escapes from a government research laboratory, stealing a military humvee in the process. When asked how she learned how to drive, one of the scientists working on her explains that her favorite show is The Dukes of Hazzard.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Boss Hogg and Sheriff Rosco.
  • Jiggle Show
  • Jurisdiction Friction
  • Lighter and Softer: The first season of the show had a decidedly more adult tone, with references to sex, booze, etc. and more serious corruption from Boss and Rosco. When it was discovered that the show was becoming popular with children, the producers toned that stuff down and Flanderized the show and its characters into something more broadly comedic and harmless.
    • The whole show can be seen as a Lighter And Softer version of the film Moonrunners.
  • Limited Wardrobe: With the exception of Daisy, most of the main characters wore the same outfits day in and day out, except for when the story called for something else:
    • Bo wore a yellow button-down long-sleeved shirt (cuffs rolled up) over a blue T-shirt and jeans.
    • Luke's trademark was a blue button-down shirt (cuffs rolled up) and jeans. In season one, the shirt was plaid under a Levi's jean jacket. From season two, he took to wearing just a plain blue shirt, buttoned only halfway.
    • Uncle Jesse was identified by his beige/off-white button-down long-sleeved shirt with dirty bib overalls.
    • Cooter often had a khaki work shirt, jeans and a ballcap.
    • Boss Hogg was rarely seen without his white continental suit and cowboy hat.
    • The sheriff's department – Rosco, Enos and Cletus – were almost always seen in their sheriff's uniforms, even in social, off-duty situations. (More than once, Rosco was seen with a beer in his hand ... while wearing his sheriff's uniform!) And even when out of uniform, Rosco was rarely without his black cowboy hat.
  • Local Hangout: The Boar's Nest.
  • Locked in a Freezer: An episode has Uncle Jesse and Boss Hogg locked in a bank vault.
  • Man in White: Boss Hogg.
  • A Man Is Always Eager: Part of the reason Daisy is so good at using Distracted by the Sexy
  • Meaningful Name: Jefferson Davis Hogg and his good twin, Abraham Lincoln Hogg.
    • Let's not forget that Enos Strate (straight) was about the only non-crooked member of the police force.
  • Morality Pet: Later in the series, the Sheriff's Office gets a K-9 unit which consists entirely of Flash, a Basset Hound whose main purpose is for Rosco to be a googly-eyed, sweet talking daddy to.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Bo and Luke, on both sides of the Fourth Wall.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Daisy. And a truly iconic example too - due to her, denim hot pants have been immortalized as "daisy dukes" even among people who've never watched the show.
  • Mukokuseki: Parodied in The Movie.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: The show features two hunky guys as its main characters as well as a half-naked hot chick. The Deep South setting is constructed to appeals to Northerners and Southerners alike. The characters are all unapologetic about their way of life, including Confederate sympathies and illegal moonshining, but everything is taken to such cartoonish levels that Northerners can laugh at the silly rednecks. And once they realized that even kids were getting attracted to the car chase scenes, they worked themselves just a little softer to keep parents from complaining.
  • Narrator: The "Balladeer" Waylon Jennings.
  • Nephewism
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: The Dukes are always blowing things up, but, being the good guys, never hurt anyone.

Jesse Duke: "The Dukes revenge on property, not people."

  • Not a Scratch on It: As the countless cars totaled over the show's run to keep up the illusion reveal, the General Lee is borderline indestructible.
  • Not So Stoic: The rare instances when Boss Hogg -- or a bit more commonly, Rosco -- when a loved one close to them was in genuine trouble by a particularly dastardly villain. This use of the trope reminded fans that, despite their outright lack of ethics, beneath it all Boss Hogg and Rosco did have morals and were decent people who were truly concerned about the safety of everyone, even their sworn enemies the Duke family.
    • Much rarer, but it has happened, when Bo and/or Luke cried when someone was in grave danger. The most blatant example was in "Too Many Roscoes" ... when Rosco was thought to have driven his car into a lake and didn't re-emerge (he had actually gotten out of his police car safely, but was kidnapped by a gang of bank robbers).
    • Even rarer, with Uncle Jesse ... although there have been instances where he was genuinely saddened by a development or rift in his family.
  • Permanent Elected Official: Boss Hogg.
  • Poorly-Disguised Pilot: "Enos Strate to the Top".
  • Poor Man's Substitute: James Roday did a Ben Stiller role in the movie.
  • Punch Clock Villain: Cletus and (especially) Enos.

Daisy: After Enos warns the Dukes that he'll have to try to help capture Bo and Luke. "Why'd you stop by to warn them?"
Enos: "What I do on my lunch hour is my own business. The rest of the day, my soul belongs to the law."

  • Put on a Bus / Brother Chuck / The Other Darrin: Bo and Luke went off to "join the NASCAR circuit" at the start of Season 5; once they returned midway through that season, replacements Coy and Vance were sent off to "tend to a sick relative"...and never seen, heard from, or spoken of again.
    • Cletus also disappears without a trace in Season 5, although he later shows up for the reunion specials.
    • Rosco also left "to be re-trained" for a while. He was replaced by some Sheriffs of the Week, until they settled on Grady Bird, played coincidentally enough by the original Other Darrin (Dick Sargent), to replace him during the rest of his absence. He eventually returned.
  • Quip to Black: The narrator would regularly do this on an action sequence freeze-frame. (The Dukes jump a chicken house: "Looks like the boys have flown the coop." Cue dramatic steel-guitar lick.)
  • Real Song Theme Tune: "Theme from the Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol' Boys)" by Waylon Jennings.
  • Ret-Gone and Unperson: Combined for Coy and Vance, the Season 5 replacements for Bo and Luke (when John Schneider and Tom Wopat walked after a dispute with the producers). Prior to the fall 1982 season opener, there was never any indication that Coy and Vance existed ... and when Bo and Luke returned, there was never any mention (or so much as an acknowledgment) of them afterward.
  • Reunion Show: Two reunion movies were made with the original cast.
  • Robin Hood: Thematic elements, underlined by the Duke Boys' use of dynamite-laden hunting arrows as one of their preferred weapons.
    • As shown above, it's even lampshaded in the theme song.
  • Scary Black Man: Sheriff Little.
  • The Sheriff: Rosco P. Coltrane.
    • Also Sheriff Little, of neighboring Chickasaw County.
    • And for a while, Sheriff Grady Byrd.
  • She's Got Legs Daisy. Part of her talent with using Distracted by the Sexy.
  • Sleazy Politician: Boss Hogg.
  • Slo-Mo Big Air
  • Smoking Is Cool: Boss Hogg regularly smokes cigars; he is the only character (aside from several extras in first-season episodes, and the rare villain thereafter) to light up.
  • Special Guest: Usually a country-music star who got caught in Boss's "celebrity speed trap" and dragooned into giving a free concert at the Boar's Nest in lieu of jail time.
    • While Waylon Jennings appeared in one episode ("Welcome, Waylon Jennings" - he narrated as well), he did not get caught in the trap.
    • Every so often, other guest stars appear such as race car driver Cale Yarborough.
  • Spin-Off: Enos had the deputy moving out West and working for the LAPD.
  • Stripperiffic: Daisy Duke, at least halfway.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Coy and Vance (for Bo and Luke), Cletus (for Enos), and occasionally B.B. (for Cooter).
  • Sweet Home Alabama: While this version of the Deep South is replete with caricatured characters, the heroes are proud Southerners and their values and way of life are portrayed positively.
  • Take That: The movie, to almost every aspect of the show. Universally considered a slap in the face to fans of the show and the living actors.
    • Ben Jones (a.k.a. Cooter, and the organizer of Dukes Fest) organized a boycott of the film.
  • Tights Under Shorts: A very notorious, if subtle, example with Daisy Duke in the TV incarnation due to issues with the network censors.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Enos, in his spinoff show and the reunion movies. He's the head of the LA SWAT team.
  • Vehicular Sabotage: Happens quite often on The Dukes of Hazzard, occasionally even to The General Lee.
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head
  • We Used to Be Friends: Uncle Jesse and J.D. Hogg were best friends (and fellow moonshine-runners) in their youth.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: "Luke Duke"? Come on. (Anyone ever mention that on the show?)
    • Not in the show, but in his mostly positive review of the series, TV Guide's Robert McKenzie ended with the statement "You don't expect much wisdom from a boy named Luke Duke."
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: Daisy wears short Shorts. And even today, cut-off shorts are still called "daisy dukes".
    • In the TV version, she wears flesh-colored tights underneath due to TV censorship rules; in the film adaptation, where she could freely show her legs, she does just that (of course, she wouldn't have worn tights if the TV version was made today, since today bare legs would usually get away with a TV-14 rating, which happens to be commonplace on TV shows broadcast today, particularly in Prime Time).
    • The tights were not so much about the bare legs as much as not wanting any accidental cheek or "camel toe" to show (Catherine Bach has noted that the shorts were so tiny and snug that she had to "go commando" to be able to squeeze into them). Ironically enough, cheeky shorts (daisy dukes that intentionally show off some cheek) are just as popular, if not moreso than the original full-booty version, so that wouldn't have been a problem whatsoever in any modern version.
  • Written-In Absence: Both in Season 2. Sonny Shroyer (Enos) was missing for two episodes due to appendicitis (they gave Enos appendicitis as well) while James Best (Rosco) left for a while due to a contract dispute (so they shipped Rosco off to the academy for re-certification). Also, John Schneider was absent for an episode because he was filming a TV movie (this was before the great merchandising dispute in season five) so Bo spent a weekend with the Marine Corps.
  • Wrongful Accusation Insurance: All those car chases, and the Duke Boys are never arrested for resisting arrest. Of course, by the end of the episode they usually have evidence of some sort of wrong-doing that could nail Boss Hogg, so perhaps a more literal example of this trope.
    • They tried. Resisting had been mentioned, but usually by the time they got to that point, the Dukes already had their ammo against Boss and Roscoe, so it tended to be forgotten.
  • You Meddling Kids: Boss Hogg generally regards the Dukes as these.