M*A*S*H (1972-1983) was an American television series, airing on CBS, about a team of doctors and nurses stationed at a fictional U.S. Army hospital (unit number 4077) in Korea, during the Korean War in 1950-53. The series spanned 251 episodes and lasted almost four times as long as the war which served as its setting. The series was based on the 20th Century-Fox film M*A*S*H (an acronym for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital), a big hit of 1970 which was based in turn on the book of the same name.
The Best of Enemies
- Potter: (after Margaret tells Charles that Potter ordered her to play with him) Confucius say: "A bird on the collar beats your fifty dollar."
- Hawkeye: (passing out letters) Here's one in crayon, must be for Charles.
- Charles: I have no need to write letters to communicate with children. I have you for that, Pierce.
- Hawkeye: That is an insult and you'll answer for it at recess.
- BJ: (reading from a letter) "Dear Doctors, You live a great life, I am jealous of you."
- Charles: Je- He what?! Jealous.
- BJ: (still reading) "You guys get to camp out every night, eat real Army food, boy you're lucky."
- Charles: I... just... Give me that! (takes the letter) Get to camp out, eh? (writing) "My dear diminutive correspondent, Your misinformation is exceeded only by your ahhh-trocious grammar.
- BJ: Leave it to Charles to be the world's first poison pen pal.
- Hawkeye: You are great with scissors (talking to Bill the lawyer), you could be a doctor or a barber.
- Margaret: This is so unprofessional, I really must object.
- BJ: Objection overruled.
- Hawkeye: Relax Margaret. The lawyer is only here on a trial basis.
- BJ: Haven't you ever heard of anyone ever practicing medicine?
- Hawkeye: And besides, the case is closed and the patient rests.
- BJ: OR is now adjourned. (Hits an emesis basin with a hammer)
- Charles: (answering letter) "Dear Virginia, It is with indescribable joy that I accept your gift. It is indeed testimony to the beauty that exists in all creation, but perhaps nowhere more than in a young girl's heart."
- Hawkeye: (answering a letter after operating on a young girl) "Ronnie, it's not a good idea to take the love you had for your brother and turn it into hate. Hate makes war, and war is what killed him. I understand your feelings. Sometimes I hate myself for being here. But once in a while, in the midst of this insanity, a very small event can make my being here seem almost bearable. I'm sorry I don't have an answer for you, Ronnie, except to suggest that you look for good wherever you can find it."
- Klinger: Hey, how come you got the easy job while we had to bust our buns?
- Charles: Very well, Klinger. How do you spell "caution"?
- Klinger: C-A-W...
- Charles: I rest my case. When I have this sign finished, I'll hang one on this door, then I have to walk all the way around and put one on the other door.
- Klinger: K-A-W...?
- Hawkeye: Now you've got it.
- Charles: My good man, I have better things to do than stand around listening to someone make no sense in two languages.
- BJ: We can throw a surprise party in the mess tent. That's the last place anybody would expect to find food.
- Col. Potter: You know, I never got the chance to tell you how much Margaret means to us. We couldn't run this place without her.
- Al Houlihan: Well, that gal is the best thing that ever happened to me.
- Col. Potter: Is that so? Well, you sure have a funny way of showing it.
- Al Houlihan: I beg your pardon?
- Col. Potter: Margaret's busted her britches trying to please you, but you don't seem to give a tinker's damn!
- Al Houlihan: Forgive me, Colonel, but what business is that of yours?
- Col. Potter: It is my business because I care about her. That gal seems to think you have no use for her.
- Al Houlihan: Well, I flew halfway around the world to see her, didn't I? That should say it all.
- Col. Potter: It doesn't say enough when all you can do is find fault.
- Al Houlihan: What do you mean by that?
- Col. Potter: Well, for openers, walking out on her in the middle of O.R. didn't exactly boost her morale.
- Al Houlihan: That had nothing to do with Margaret!
- Col. Potter: Really? Then what did it have to do with? Was it the doctors' tomfoolery? Was it the blood? (Alvin looks up) Let me tell you something, Alvin. I've seen tougher birds than you who couldn't take it!
- Al Houlihan: It shouldn't be happening to me.
- Col. Potter: You mean, you'd sooner let her think she was a failure than admit you were about to lose your lunch? You'd rather crush her feelings than let on you're human like the rest of us?
- Al Houlihan: Colonel...
- Col. Potter: You're so busy being 'Howitzer Al' Houlihan you can't even let your own daughter know you love her?
- Al Houlihan: Colonel, you raise your family and I'll raise mine.
Death Takes a Holiday
- Charles: (after a Korean orphange headmaster confesses to selling Charles' gifts of chocolate bars on the black market to buy food for the orphans) No, it is I who should apologize. It is sadly inappropriate to give dessert to a child who has had no meal.
- Margaret: It never fails to astonish me. You're alive, you're dead. No drums, no flashing lights, no fanfare. You're just dead.
A War For All Seasons
- Charles: Oh yes. In the springtime a young dolt's fancy turns to baseball where one can sit and munch red hots and crackerjacks and watch eighteen hillbillies in knickers run around in circles and spit tobacco chaws on one another.
- (after Charles expresses interest in backing Klinger financially in baseball wagers)
- Hawkeye: (laughing) Charles. You want to get part of this? You, the man who asked how many carats there are in a baseball diamond?
Your Retention Please
- Potter: OK, I got something to tell you and I don't want to hear so much as a titter, a snicker, or a guffaw, from anyone.
- Hawkeye: You hear that, Charles?
- Potter: The subject of this meeting is... the Army. (pause) So far so good. I have been directed to address you on the possibility of making the Army your career.
- (Hawkeye, Charles, and BJ begin laughing)
- Charles: Army... Career...
- Hawkeye: I'm sorry; if I held that in, my teeth would have exploded.
- BJ: Come on, you gotta be kidding.
- Charles: Gentlemen please it's impolite to laugh at the senile.
- Potter: What'd he say?
- BJ: Loss of hearing is the first sign.
- Klinger: Now the army is my best friend... I may get shot in the stomach... but I won't get stabbed in the back.
Tell it To the Marines
- Hawkeye: And then this harebrained colonel, whose crew cut I could HEAR, had the nerve to hang up on me. Well, that's when I REALLY told him off.
- Hawkeye: Klinger, come with me.
- Charles: Klinger, you will do no such thing.
- Hawkeye: I am trying to help that Marine and I need Klinger.
- Charles: Oh, very well, you may have him. Have him back in an hour, though.
- Klinger: My God, I've been traded.
- Hawkeye: Thanks for the lovely peasant.
Taking the Fifth
- BJ: Hawk, I never thought I'd use this word in a negative manner, but you're depraved.
- Hawkeye: Well what do you expect? I come from the land of the free and the home of depraved.
- BJ: No self-respecting nurse is going to have anything to do with that [ad].
- Hawkeye: That's what I'm counting on.
- (Charles is in the shower)
- Klinger: So O Great Girth One, do you still want that valuable wine?
- Charles: Do I still have a palate?
- Klinger: I don't know and I'm not about to peek. I can get you five bottles, it'll run you forty per.
- Charles: For--! My last offer was thirty.
- Klinger: Consider it a cost of dying increase.
- Charles: I smell the distinct odor of profiteering.
- Klinger: Try a little more soap.
- Charles: But I also smell the delicate bouquet of a '37 Bordeaux. You're taking advantage of me. You know I'm an oenophile.
- Klinger: Hey talk like that in the shower makes me nervous. Now do you want it or don't you?
- Charles: Unfortunately I am at a disadvantaged position. You have me drinking out of the palm of your hand.
- (Hawkeye and BJ in the Mess Tent)
- Hawkeye: Well Beej what do you think this is? (shows him letters)
- BJ: You've been drafted.
- Hawkeye: They're greetings all right from three nurses with no ounce of self respect. One of whom is in striking distance of sharing a delicious Bordeaux.
- BJ: And a tasteless Pierce.
- Hawkeye: Get your water ready. This might set the tent on fire. (reads first letter) "Dear Hawkeye, I think your contest is a wonderful idea. I really love good wine and I think it would be fun to share a few belts with you. Signed, Chastity."
- BJ: That one came with its own cold water.
- Hawkeye: Send that one to the dead letter office. (reads second letter) "Dear Hawkeye, Bordeaux is one of my favorite wines, along with Maneschevitz. (BJ laughs at remark) During a happier time my husband and I used to share many a bottle back in the states. Drinking this with you would bring back fond memories. Signed, Very Married."
- BJ: All you get there is a swig and a missus.
- Hawkeye: What is this world coming to? Everywhere I look morality.
- BJ: Read on rebuffed.
- Hawkeye: My heart is not in this anymore. (reads third letter) "Dear Hawkeye, I find you an incredibly exciting and vibrant man." I just had a rush of blood to my ego. "Your contest sounds like the perfect appetizer to a wonderfully intimate main course. I must admit wine does make me a little crazy but I'm sure it's nothing you can't handle." Oh this is a sick woman. "I hope you pick me Hawkeye. I have always thought you were all man. Every time you look in my eyes I turn to jelly. Signed, Sweet Preserves."
- BJ: To think that that nurse is responsible for human lives.
- Hawkeye: Home run. Turned her to jelly. What do you think is the look that jars her. Do you think it's my :Rudolph Valentino:? Maybe it's the boy next door.
- Hawkeye: Charles is fine, but Klinger has damage to over fifty percent of his body; he broke his nose.
- (discussing Dr. Traeger)
- Hawkeye: Do you believe this guy?
- BJ: If you're that obnoxious, you better be good.
- Hawkeye: And, damn it, he is, but he's still a jackass.
- BJ: (laughing) I know what I should've done.
- Hawkeye: What?
- BJ: Could've really showed him.
- Hawkeye: What? What?
- BJ: Should've died, right there on the table.
- Hawkeye: Wouldn't we have had the last laugh?
- BJ: Well, you would.
- Hawkeye: Well, yeah.
- Hawkeye: His gut looks like a jigsaw puzzle and I think a couple of the pieces are missing.
- Charles: Carbon paper in the safe, what brilliant foresight. In only two million years, it will turn into diamonds.
- Klinger: Facetious, but erroneous.
- Charles: I am sorry to wake you sir but I am in the direst of straits.
- Potter: (Still asleep but being led to his office) Straight. My full house beats that.
- Hawkeye: Margaret, how many times do I have to tell you there are no communists under these beds.
- BJ: Of course not, they're in the Lenin closet.
- Klinger: Surely Madame knows of my sincere sincerity? To me the words Houlihan and hubba hubba have always been synonymous. You are a vision of great loveliness even dripping as you are.
- Margaret: If there's a point to this, get to it.
- Klinger: I've unanimously chosen you to be the beauty editor of my paper.
- Margaret: Your paper what?
- Klinger: Paper news. "M*A*S*H Notes." Read it at your leisure and imagine how much better it would be with your very own beauty column: "About Faces."
- Margaret: That's cute.
No Laughing Matter
- Charles: Colonel, what's the point in bearing a grudge?
- Potter: Glad to see you using some common sense.
- Charles: What possible benefit could I derive from becoming angry over the impending arrival of the cretin that banished me to this flea hatchery?
- Potter: You are using common sense, aren't you?
- Charles: Just because I was forced to surrender the delights of Tokyo, where I could indulge in kabuki, and octopus.
- Potter: Winchester, you're letting that goat of yours get got again.
- Charles: Have you ever savored the epicurean delight of fresh octopus?
- Potter: I don't care for any food that hangs onto the plate when you pick it up.
- Charles: The injustice of it all to banish me to this vermin preserve just to avoid paying the 600 dollars he lost to me in a cribbage game. Ergo when he arrives I shall perform surgery on the first organ that presents itself.
- Potter: Major I got a hospital to run and I don't want Baldwin in it.
- Charles: Oh sir this might be the only chance I have to savor the sweet fruit of revenge. I swear by all that is holy on Beacon Hill, I shall get even.
- Potter: Major, ten-hut! I need a volunteer to stay away from Baldwin and you're it! (Charles tries to argue) About face! Forward Skedaddle!
- Charles: The last laugh has yet to be laughed Colonel.
- Potter: Major, you were kind, courteous, and every bit the gentlemen. What do you have up your sleeve?
- BJ: Perhaps a gun. Does a Winchester carry a Derringer?
- Hawkeye: It seems unlikely.
Oh, How We Danced
- Charles: (dictating his will into his tape recorder) The morning air is crisp and still. In mere moments, I embark on a military mission which may mark my final hours on this planet. Therefore I leave you with these few parting thoughts. To my dear father, I grant you power of attorney, for the disposition of all my real estate. To my devoted mother, I bestow upon you my proxy with the single proviso that it never be used to vote for Cousin Alfred. To my gentle sister Honoria, I bequeath my butterfly collection. I know you probably don't want it, but Cousin Alfred does. Farewell Cape Cod, farewell Harvard Yard, farewell baked scrod.
- (BJ and Hawkeye enter the tent applauding)
- BJ: Bravo, bravo.
- Charles: Anthropoid boors.
- BJ: What a touching farewell to Cod, Yard, and scrod.
- B.J.: We didn't know if you were late, Charles, or the late Charles. We thought maybe you'd been shot, and we were trying to figure out which side did it.
- Charles: Hunnicutt, go hurt yourself.
- Charles: (addressing the mess tent) Ladies and gentlemen, we must all have compassion for the wretched harlequin with his compulsive need to amuse; so I say to you, do not condemn the pathetic clown but rather, pity him.
- Everyone: (applauding) Yeah!
- Klinger: (looking for pants for Charles) Let's see, about a 42 extra pompous.
The Red/White Blues
- Margaret: All right, now I need the post-op patient status report for April 11.
- Charles: Well, I haven't the foggiest idea where that would be.
- Margaret: Well, look under P.
- Charles: Post-op under P? That is the one place I know it won't be. We must not labor under the delusion that these were filed by another homo sapien; the last ones I found were under G, for "Getting Better."
- Margaret: Just what do you suggest we do?
- Charles: Burn the damn place down and take a tax loss.
- BJ: We discovered a new medical procedure. Take no pills and call me in the morning.
Bless You, Hawkeye
- Hawkeye: Maybe I'm allergic to Charles; stuffiness makes me sneeze.
- Charles: Arsenic will solve your problems, Pierce. I know it will solve mine.
- Mulcahy: I wish you'd given me this two-day notice a couple of weeks ago.
- Mulcahy: Look at this place, it's a den of iniquity.
- Charles: Ah, don't think of it as a den, Father, think of it more as a rec room.
- Hawkeye: (drinking coffee) I'm sorry Father. I don't really feel much like talking. I just had to tell a patient he has leukemia.
- Mulcahy: Good heavens. That must have been very difficult for you.
- Hawkeye: I didn't want to tell him but he wouldn't let me off the hook. I'm a doctor, a guy looks to me for answers and the only thing I can say is that you have this incurable disease and there is nothing I can do about it. Can't blame this on the war. Can't blame it on anything.
- Mulcahy: Especially yourself.
The Foresight Saga
(after Potter finishes reading Radar's letter)
- Hot Lips: That's very sweet.
- Hawkeye: Little twerp, just when I've gotten over him.
- BJ: How about that. Our old buddy is a tycoon in the making.
- Charles: Indeed. Today Ottumwa. Tomorrow Keokuk
- Klinger: (After breaking Potter's glasses) We just shared a moment of great warmth. I think a murder right now would really spoil the mood.
The Life You Save
- Soldier: Am I all right? I can't feel anything in my legs.
- Charles: Try to hang on. We're going to get you to a MASH unit and they'll patch you up just fine.
- Soldier: I don't know if I can, Doc. I feel real weird.
- Charles: Just stay with it.
- Soldier: Doc?
- Charles: Hm?
- Soldier: You still there?
- Charles: Sure.
- Soldier: I can't see you, hold my hand.
- Charles: I am holding it.
- Soldier: I can't feel it. Oh God, I'm gonna die.
- Charles: Can you hear me?
- Soldier: Yes.
- Charles: (crying) What is happening to you? Can you feel anything? See anything? Please, I have to know. What is happening to you?
- Soldier: I smell bread.
- Charles: I don't understand.
- (soldier dies)