>>There is absolute zero tolerance for any kind of criminal behavior. Which I think isn't a bad thing as such.
Well, it depends what kind of criminal behavior you mean. There is a very great deal of tolerance, aka lax regulatory standards, for social crimes such as environmental pollution, which might be what the pest-control joke was referring to. A chemical that every other state had banned for causing cancer might indeed be legal in Texas, if the decision were left up to the weak will of the majority (though actually I think environmental standards may be mostly federal). If the movie joke is just some sort of fictitious machine or device, though, I would assume it was just gross exaggeration for the sake of comedy. Texas tends to be good for cheap laughs, because it's a cliché in the minds of many non-Texans -- in that respect, yes, much like Bavaria.
Historically, Texas has also shown more tolerance, not less (and certainly not zero), for other antisocial behaviors that might be criminal, or at least considerably more strictly regulated and enforced, in a number of other states. For instance, drunk driving (the blood alcohol level was only lowered from .1 to .08 in recent years, IIRC); gun crimes of any description (shoot a trespasser? no problem, in the past; though a couple of really shocking recent cases, which have not yet gone to trial, may change that); civil crimes that might occasion a lawsuit (malpractice, workplace injury, etc.); and violations of equal-rights standards (sexual harassment, unequal pay, etc.).
It is true that people who are convicted of more ordinary crimes (drugs, theft/burglary, assault, etc.) may be more likely to get long jail sentences, not only in Texas but often elsewhere in the South. If you think locking more people up for a long time is a good thing, then Texas is probably 'better' than other US states in that regard.
However, if you compare the incarceration statistics of the US as a whole with other 'developed' countries, the percentage of the population behind bars is really shocking, actually comparable mainly to dictatorships and the like. It's also a severe drain on taxpayer dollars, because it costs far more to keep people in prison than to provide rehab or halfway houses to help them stay out. And once people get into that kind of downward spiral, if there's little to no assistance available to help them turn their lives around, the self-fulfilling trend tends to affect racial and ethnic minorities disproportionately, because they tend to be poorer to start with. So to me, the high incarceration rate only magnifies issues of persistent racial and economic injustice, and is therefore nothing for Texas to boast about.
I personally would even class as criminal, in the broad sense, a number of sadly regressive policies like failing to provide adequate health insurance, public education, public transportation, and so on. The generally useless Texas legislature did finally pass a (bare-bones) children's health insurance bill, but the health of adults doesn't seem to concern them at all, and God forbid you should ask them to spend public funds on transportation infrastructure or public schools for all Texans, when they can shift off those social responsibilities onto the private sector (charter schools, toll roads, etc.), thus making them affordable only to middle- and upper-class Texans. To me, that degree of elitism is criminal, especially in a state that has some of the poorest counties in the nation (mostly along the Mexican border), and neighborhoods in all its large cities struggling with urban poverty.
I doubt that any of that has much to do with friendship. The state motto may indeed reflect a practical historic attitude, from the days when settlers, farmers, and ranchers had to be able to rely on each other for help, because there wasn't anyone else nearby. Individual Texans still do tend to be (or like to think of themselves as trying to be) friendly, in contrast to, say, the industrial/urban northeast, where people used to be reputed not to smile on the street or welcome strangers readily. However, all those clichés are now probably very dated, and may not even have been all that true to begin with. There are friendlier and less friendly people almost anywhere, and in any case, the US population as a whole is so mobile nowadays that regional differences have been considerably blurred.
Certainly, despite Texas's obvious failings, so much of its population is now non-native, whether Latin American immigrants or employment seekers from northern states, that political attitudes already seem to be shifting and will probably continue to do so. Even many longtime Texans, who tend to be fiscally conservative, have grown disillusioned with the ineffectiveness and blatant selfishness of their state government. In the 2008 elections, for instance, most large Texas cities voted liberal rather than conservative for at least some offices, which would have been unthinkable only a few years earlier.
What the short-term future brings, though, will probably depend on the success (and speed) of economic recovery on the national level.