- S1E1 - Pilot:
- "Quo Vadis, Captain Chandler?" Potter proves that he doesn't take crap from anyone when Colonel Flagg arrives at the camp to investigate the titular character in this episode. Chandler is a bombardier who snapped from battle fatigue and guilt and now insists he's Jesus Christ. Flagg rants at Potter about getting Chandler's "highly trained thumb" back on the trigger, and Potter gives him an epic chewing out which includes this line:
Potter: I was in this man's army when the only thumb you cared about was the one you had in your mouth!
- He gets one a couple scenes earlier, when Frank and Margaret are accusing Hawkeye and BJ of using the incident to be anti-American and anti-Army:
Potter: As long as I'm in charge around here, which will be another seventeen months, two weeks, six days, there will be no shenanigans. I do not approve of carrying tales. Evidence is one thing. Innuendo is another!
- "The Consultant":
- Hawkeye pulling off an operation he'd never even seen done (admittedly he had an expert in the field standing right behind him coaching him) and saving a wounded man's leg with an arterial graft. Bonus points for the man being played by Alan Alda's father.
- Afterwards, Hawkeye tries to give the expert a What the Hell, Hero? for being too drunk to operate - while leaning on the distillery he has set up in his tent. This does not go unlampshaded by the visiting doctor.
The place got to me. I wanted to get into the game, but I forgot how rough the game could be. Didn't you ever have that problem? Hawkeye:
Not to your degree. Berelli: What's that you're leaning on, a bubblegum machine? [Hawkeye flinches]
You have a great many gifts, Doctor. It's a pity you can't number compassion among them. I'm suffering from the three sure signs of age. Bit of a spread, grey hair, feet of clay. I wish you better luck on your
- Even though he was the show's usually-deserving Butt-Monkey, Frank Burns was allowed one undeniably awesome moment in "Margaret's Engagement". Margaret has been acting so incredibly tactless and insensitive about her engagement to Donald Penobscot that even Hawkeye and BJ are giving him a break. At the end of the episode, after he's recovered from a mini-breakdown and she's still bragging, he gets her back. It's also heartwarming, because then Hawkeye and BJ laugh, and for quite possibly the first and only time, they are genuinely laughing with Frank as opposed to at him.
Listen, Pierce, why don't you and I go out on the town tonight, hmm? Hawkeye:
Well, this is so sudden, Frank, I don't have anything to wear. Burns:
Well, I mean, get a couple of nurses, go over to Rosie's bar, have a little fun. Hawkeye:
Sounds good to me. Burns:
There's this little redheaded nurse who's had her eye on me. And tonight her wish will come true. Margaret:
Do you mean that new girl with the freckles on her nose? Burns:
Yes, that's the one. Margaret:
She's a little young for you, isn't she, Major Burns? Burns:
Oh, I don't know. I thought a little youth might be nice for a change. Hawkeye: [drops his head into his hands to hide his grin] B.J.:
I think the convoy just took a direct hit. Margaret:
If you'll excuse me, I'll just go finish my letter. Hawkeye:
You need any help holding up your pen? Margaret: [leaves the mess hall while Hawkeye and BJ try to keep straight faces.] Burns:
I really got her on that one, didn't I?
- Frank's first awesome moment came in season one's "Showtime" when he felt that Hawkeye had insulted him one too many times. Over the course of the episode he rigged the still to spray Hawk in the face, pulled the "bucket of water over the door" joke on him and somehow rigged the shower heads to spray in the stalls Hawkeye wasn't in. And, while his motives weren't exactly pure, he and Margaret are the ones who finally get General Clayton to stop participating in the cover-up in "For the Good of the Outfit" and convince him to allow the truth to come to light, realizing even the army "needs to take its lumps."
- Winchester gets one at the end of his introductory episode, "Fade Out, Fade In"; when he turns Hawkeye's joke (a snake in the bunk) back on the prankster himself, calmly listening to classical music during Hawkeye's freakout, and responding only:
- Another for Winchester that may also count as a Tear Jerker — the Season 8 episode "Morale Victory" where he convinces a concert pianist who's had one of his hands irreparably damaged that his musical career is not over, when Charles explains his own frustrated desire to be able to make music. Doubles as a Heartwarming Moment, as Winchester tracks down some piano scores that can be played one-handed - and makes a point of skipping a party that the rest of the unit is having to be with the soldier as he plays Maurice Ravel's Piano Concerto for the Left Hand.
Charles: Don't you see? Your hand may be stilled, but your gift cannot be silenced if you refuse to let it be... The gift does not lie in your hands. I have hands, David. Hands that can make a scalpel sing. More than anything in my life I wanted to play, but I do not have the gift. I can play the notes, but I cannot make the music. You have performed Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Chopin. Even if you never do so again, you've already known a joy that I will never know as long as I live. Because the true gift is in your head and in your heart and in your soul. Now you can shut it off forever, or you can find new ways to share your gift with the world—through the baton, the classroom, or the pen. As to these works, they're for you, because you and the piano will always be as one.
- Klinger gets a minor one in "Morale Victory" - Hawkeye and BJ have been tapped as the unit's morale officers by Potter, and they come up with a last-minute plan to have a seafood cookout rather than the same awful food. Klinger, being the poor shmuck who they ask to go to Inchon and pick up some seafood, cons them into giving him a blank three-day pass. He then disappears for an unspecified but long amount of time, to the point that Potter is yelling at the boys for giving him a blank pass, considering that Klinger's footlocker is gone. This is Klinger's perfect chance to desert, and he arrives moments later, triumphant, with crates of crabs in the back of a jeep - and a footlocker full of beach sand.
Klinger: [opens the footlocker and holds up some sand] What's a beach party, without a beach?
- And yet another episode-long one for Winchester that also counts as a Heartwarming Moment — "Sons and Bowlers" — being there for Hawkeye when he's worrying about his Dad going in for an operation (and even revealing that his own father-son relationship had always been strained) while teaming up with BJ to help their unit win the bowling match they had with a rival camp by sabotaging their star player.
Charles: Where I have a father... you have a dad.
- And the end of the episode, where Hawkeye buys himself and Charles a drink and they propose a toast.
Charles: To our fathers.
Hawkeye: And to their sons.
- Winchester's crowning moment possible comes in season nine, in the episode "No Laughing Matter." The man who reassigned Winchester to the 4077th is visiting the camp, and Winchester has swallowed his pride to try to win the man over and get himself transferred back to Tokyo. Unfortunately, after a long series of mishaps, he offers Winchester a deal - he'll transfer Charles if he testifies against Margaret Houlihan. Winchester's pained expression when he's forced to decide is priceless (and a great acting moment), but what he does next is both awesome and heartwarming. Everyone around him immediately applauds. It's also extremely noteworthy that this is literally the first time he's ever referred to anyone at the 4077th as a friend.
Winchester: As painful as this is for me to say, I must nevertheless unequivocally state...that...(whimper) Colonel Baldwin is lying through his teeth. He offered to have me reassigned to Tokyo if I would bear false witness against Major Houlihan. (turns to Baldwin) I've groveled! I have endured your insufferable cribbage playing. I have kissed your brass. But I will not - even for a return to that pearl of the Orient, Tokyo - lie to protect you while destroying a friend's career!
- Yet another for Winchester: The Christmas episode in which he follows his family tradition of donating fancy chocolates to a deserving family.
- On his way to some R&R in "They Call the Wind Korea," Winchester gets stuck in an overturned troop truck with some injured Greek soldiers and Klinger in the middle of a freezing windstorm. All Winchester has is a half-full first-aid kit and manages to reinflate a collapsed lung on one of the Greeks with nothing but a syringe, a catheter, a clamp, and some surgical tape, moments after saying he couldn't save the man without the proper instruments.
Klinger: You did it!
Winchester: More than that, Klinger, I did it here.
- Klinger himself is completely on point during the whole situation and earns his title of Hypercompetent Sidekick long before replacing Radar as company clerk.
- In "Patent 4077", the surgical staff has been lamenting the difficulty they've been having with reconstructing smaller arteries, as the clamp they need doesn't exist and the procedure hasn't even hit textbooks yet. Their solution? Invent it. That would be enough to land it on this page, but when their own efforts fail, a local Korean craftsman offers to take a crack at it - and nails it on the first try.
- From "Dear Uncle Abdul," Margaret's inventive solution to supply turning down her request for a new footlocker on the grounds that it needs to be damaged in combat. She borrows the shotgun that Charles had for quail hunting, walks back into her tent...and shoots her footlocker, before dragging it outside.
Margaret: There I was in my tent, when suddenly a sniper leapt out at me and fired two shots, bang, bang! Without hesitation, my brave footlocker threw itself into the line of fire, giving its life, that I might live! [slings the shot-up footlocker at Klinger] Now take this hunk of junk and get me a new one! And make it quick, or I'll use the same method to replace a defective company clerk!
- In "Death Takes a Holiday", Hawkeye, BJ, Houlihan and Mulcahy team up to keep a soldier from dying on Christmas Day proper, so that their family won't have to remember that as the day they lost their father. Counts as a MAJOR Tear Jerker and Crowning Moment of Heartwarming. They don't even make it on time; they falsify his report to show that he died at 12:05 AM, December 26th.
- Potter also got one in his introductory episode when he gives Klinger the what for, not at all impressed by the latter's Section 8 stunt.
- And then of course, there was his putting together an elaborate Batman Gambit April Fool's prank on the entire senior staff of the 4077th. Even the prank-ees were applauding when they found out.
- Bonus points for his partner in the caper, Colonel Tucker. Klinger chooses this occasion to pull a Section Eight scheme, playing the uber-competent, hyper-G.I. soldier. Potter had no way of knowing this was coming — Klinger had seemingly given up some time ago. When Klinger springs the second part, pretending to have gone crazy, Tucker rolls with it beautifully, acting like he buys the routine, thus pranking Klinger along with the others.
- A minor one - an EOD specialist dies on the table next to the young man who's just been brought in as his next patient, who naturally freaks out, starting to fight the nurse who's trying to administer anesthesia. Potter pins the casualty down and hollers in his face, and the young man immediately lets the nurse do her job.
- Potter also spends an entire episode in the middle of a Heroic B.S.O.D. after finding out Hawkeye had to operate on one of his patients because he missed a piece of shrapnel. He even calls in Sidney Freedman to help him through it, admitting that he's unsure if he still has what it takes to operate on patients and hit the bullseye every time. At the end of the episode, he re-enters the OR, looking unsure but resolute, and firmly says "Okay, boys and girls, let's go to work." But the payoff comes in the stinger, when he's finally smiling again.
- His crowning moment, however, has to be in "The Smell of Music." The A-plot is Hawkeye and BJ going on a dirtiness strike to protest Charles's godawful French horn playing, but the B-plot is Potter looking after a suicidal casualty named Saunders who's undergone Facial Horror due to his rifle backfiring and the bolt catching him in the cheek. When the on-duty nurse gets distracted by the A-plot coming to its climax, Saunders sneaks into the OR and starts trying to OD on anesthesia. Potter catches him, and while this is not something you should do to someone who's suicidal, he proceeds to cram the mask over Saunders' face until he starts fighting back.
Potter: You want death? We got plenty around here, suck it in, punk!
Saunders: [fighting the mask away] Get away from me, you're crazy! You stay away from me, or so help me, I'll belt you!
: Now you're fighting to stay alive? [Saunders breaks down, Potter hugs him]
The part of you that wants to stick around is stronger than the part that wants to end it all.
- B.J. got two: being revealed as the prankster at the end of "Dear Sigmund" in the fifth season, and the elaborate prank he pulled on Hawkeye in "The Joker is Wild" in the eleventh.
- Mulcahy had his when he performed an emergency tracheotomy on the back of a jeep while being shelled with only a skittish Radar for a nurse. Keep in mind Mulcahy is the unit chaplain.
- He wasn't even doing it with surgical gear. He had a bottle of rubbing alcohol from the jeep's medical bag, a pocketknife, and an eyedropper.
- And he only went there to be better able to help a soldier (by understanding what the soldier's been through)!
- He got a better one in "A Holy Mess." He held onto his religious principles against military law, and at the end disarms a soldier pointing a rifle in his face. This is what it means to be a man of God.
Mulcahy: How dare you! You seek refuge in this house of the Lord when it serves your purpose. Then when it's no longer convenient, you desecrate it by pointing a deadly weapon at another human being.
- Also when he races against the star runner from another camp, being the only one in good enough shape to even compete. During the race the guy toys with him the entire time, letting him get close and then zooming away until Mulcahy pulls ahead at the last stretch. A foot from crossing the line he makes everyone swear to give the money that they were gambling with to the orphanage. Later on you find out that every time his opponent would get close, he would lament about how terrible the conditions were at the orphanage until the guy saw the orphanage for himself and took a dive. A man of God and a smart one too.
- In another episode Mulcahy hears a confession from a young soldier who had taken a dead comrade's dog tags and discharge papers; his intent is to impersonate his buddy so that he can go home and he asserts that he isn't hurting anyone. Mulcahy arranges for the dead man's mail to be forwarded to the 4077th and reads the soldier a letter from "his" father to show the man that his actions affect more people than just him.
- Mulcahy gets subtle ones throughout the series. Almost every time there's a betting pool of some sort, Mulcahy wins - and promptly gives the money to the orphanage.
Hawkeye [to Mulcahy after the priest has won again] Get a little inside information?
Mulcahy: [wordlessly looks upwards, implying God gave him the info he needed]
- In "An Eye For a Tooth," he volunteers to ride with a helicopter pilot who had to fly to some of the heaviest fighting to retrieve a wounded soldier after the dummy the pilot used for a counterweight got destroyed in the prank war between Margaret and Hawkeye/BJ.
- His best moment ever: during The Finale when he runs outside through an artillery barrage to rescue a group of POWs that are locked up in the middle of the compound. It turns out to be a Heroic Sacrifice, as he's rendered permanently hard of hearing and going completely deaf by the barrage.note
- His very first one in Season 1's "Dear Dad" when he protects Klinger from getting arrested (which would have escalated an already intense situation after Klinger literally punched out Frank) and then gets Klinger to hand over a grenade that he'd been planning to use to kill Frank moments later. Best of all, he doesn't hesitate to continue stepping forward while several people in the background are taking cover after seeing the grenade.
- In short, Mulcahy is a Badass Preacher who in the entire course of the Korean War, had a total of two violent moments - once where he kicked a stove after giving a What the Hell, Hero? to Hawkeye (and admitted that it was completely out of character for him), and once when punching a patient who had struck him while they were trying to give him medical aid (which he spent the entire episode angsting about). The man coached boxing and never once aimed to hurt anyone.
- Even Klinger got one, when he dressed up as the Statue of Liberty, complete with flaming torch, for MacArthur's visit. MacArthur saluted him as he drove by.
: [sits up straight]
Would you excuse me for a moment? [gets up, yanks open the lid to the jukebox, and rips the record out of the player, before smashing it] [beat]
Any requests? It's my nickel!
- Radar went out with bang in "Good Bye, Radar: Part 2." Radar and Klinger have been unable to get a new generator for the 4077 when wounded arrive. Radar instead asks his contact for "every jeep and truck" he has and sets up an operating theater outdoors by the light of headlamps.
- Klinger scores one for himself in the same episode - when one of Radar's contacts lines up a deal for a generator, Klinger closes the deal with a case of questionably-procured scotch. When the rightful owner of the generator shows up, Klinger realizes he's out of options and steals the generator.
: [imitating the officer who came to pick up the generator]
Lousy Commies. I've had two swiped here already! [grins]
Do I hear three?
- Radar also got a good one in "Out of Sight, Out of Mind", when Hawkeye was temporarily blinded by an exploding stove. Potter sent Radar to contact an eye-surgeon, which led to the following line. Made awesome by the delivery; Radar sounds just like a general and very unlike himself. Despite the fact that he's still holding his teddy bear while he's hollering at the clerk.
Radar: Now listen, you dumb clerk, and this time get it right. This is General Walter O'Reilly, three stars and real mad! If Major Overman isn't here by the time they crack my powdered eggs for breakfast, I'll have you digging a latrine for every GI in Korea!!! You got that?! Good!
- Hawkeye in "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen," the final episode of the series.
- Every time they save someone that you become emotionally invested with through the course of the episode.
- Moments before a "dead" soldier was about to be shipped out, Father Mulcahy goes to give him last rites, and sees a tear come from his eye...
- "Rally Round the Flagg, Boys":
- Charles Winchester gets a Crowning Episode of Awesome when he pulls a flawless The Plan on Colonel Flagg to divert Flagg from his usual fruitless hunts for spies, traitors and Communist sympathizers. Winchester actually nearly gets Flagg to arrest the Mayor and Police Chief of Uijongbu by convincing him that the two are actually North Korean agents. The bonus? Flagg is never seen again in the series.
- A young soldier starts feuding with Hawkeye because the latter chose to treat a more severely wounded North Korean soldier before treating the soldier's friend. Throughout the episode whenever the two see each other they get extremely hostile. B.J. manages to hold back Hawkeye and lectures him on controlling his temper, emphasizing that he himself has the cooler head. Later in the episode the soldier comes to The Swamp and starts attacking Hawkeye, only to be stopped a furious B.J. who has to be held back by Hawkeye. It turns out that B.J. has a good old-fashioned Berserk Button when it comes to threatening his friends.
B.J: I oughta break your neck!
- A minor one for Radar, when he stands up to Colonel Flagg by preventing Flagg from blocking the North Korean soldier's IV.
Radar: H-hey, now wait just a minute. Hey, listen, I don't care who you are! You can't—you can't come in here threatening someone's blood!
- In "Bug Out", under intelligence that the front is moving, the camp moves out to another site further south... except for Hawkeye, Margaret and Radar, who stick around because they have a patient who literally couldn't be moved in time to join the rest of them. Repeat: they risked their lives/becoming POWs to make sure a patient could walk again.
- It's especially one for Radar as, in his own way, he says he'll stay behind because, "You might need me," and immediately takes on a lookout position to watch for the enemy, making it a Badass Boast for him and his abilities.
- In the pilot, the team needs to come up with money to send the local teen who has been working for them to school; to do this, they concoct a plan by which they will auction off a trip with the hottest nurse in camp to Tokyo. One problem: she's engaged and faithful. They therefore rig it so that Father Mulcahy gets the trip, so that nothing will happen. The best part? Mulcahy had no idea, and his look of shock when he hears his name called is ''priceless'.
- While away from camp, Margaret and Hawkeye are trapped in a hut by rain and shelling. Margaret has just received a letter from her husband that was meant for another woman (whom he was far more passionate with). After spending their own "passionate night" in the middle of nowhere, Margaret gets back by constructing her own letter describing the events with Hawkeye and mailing it to Penobscott.
- Hawkeye is the only character to appear in every single episode of the show. Part of this is because Alda was the producer; another part of this is because he did one episode with just him and a Korean family, effectively having a 22-minute nigh-monologue (in the show to keep him from falling unconscious with a concussion).
- Charles is listening to a USO accordion player perform in the Officer's Club. After Charles makes a few snide remarks, the accordion player walks over to the piano...and proceeds to blow Charles away with a flawless rendition of Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata in C Minor. Immediately afterwards, she pops Winchester's snob balloon by reminding him that the great composers of classical music also wrote dance songs and other ditties, not just grand concertos. She then jumps into a rendition of "Roll Out the Barrel" and Kellye comes over to ask Winchester to dance. He's so impressed by the pianist's remarks about him isolating himself that he accepts.
- Margaret gets one in season 4: Frank's wife finds out about Margaret, so he lies and proceeds to insult Margaret's appearance and even call her a battle axe just to keep his money... Margaret happens to be listening, and is especially mad since Frank just won't leave his wife because he's too weak. He exits Potter's office, where he was making the call - and gets a chair flung at his head by Margaret.
Margaret: War horse? ARMY MULE?
- Radar gets another in the season 4 premiere "Welcome to Korea": he, Hawkeye and BJ are on their way back to camp from Seoul they come across a Korean farmer making his daughters check a field for land mines to know that it will be safe for the ox. While Hawkeye is yelling at the farmer and trying to get the girls out a land mine goes off. Without hesitating Radar charges into the field, picks up the injured girl, then carries her and leads her sister safely to the jeep. Upon returning to the jeep, he seems almost surprised.
Hawkeye: That was very brave, Radar.
Hawkeye: Running into a mine field.
: Did I
run into a mine field? [beat]
Boy, that was brave!
- The 4077th has been getting a lot of "business" from the colonel of a unit who sends his men out to retrieve their comrades who have died in battle, causing them to become casualties themselves. After said colonel visits the 4077th, Hawkeye gives him an "appropriate aloha" - he arranges for a helicopter to fly over the colonel's jeep while he is in it and drop a large amount of garbage all over him.
- Hawkeye finally swallowing his claustrophobia enough to go inside the cave to help treat a patient during the bug-out in "C*A*V*E". Margaret confronting her fear of loud noises to go back to camp with him to perform emergency surgery also counts.
- In one season 8 episode a Congressional aide comes to the 4077th and accuses Margaret of being a Communist sympathizer, and spends much of the episode harassing her to get her to give him the names of more suspected sympathizers. The aide pays Margaret a little social visit later in the evening and promises to "fix" things for her if she'll sleep with him - only for Klinger to pop out of Margaret's closet and photograph the two of them in a passionate embrace. He, Margaret, Hawkeye, Charles and BJ threaten to send the picture to the aide's wife if he doesn't leave Margaret alone. That would be crown enough, but at the end of the episode it turns out that the Congressional aide got his just desserts when a Stars and Stripes article reveals that his wife had been caught having an affair with the very congressman that he was aide to!
Margaret: Well, that seems fair. He got the congressman's ear, and she got everything else!
- Henry had one when he was being threatened with a court martial after Frank and Margaret ratted him out to the Army for giving Meg Cratty supplies for her civilian clinic. At first, Henry is overwhelmed and scared. Just when it looks like he's doomed, Hawkeye, Trapper, Meg and one of her patients walk into the hearing and speak up for him. Emboldened, Henry stands up and forcefully explains how he helped her:
Henry: May I say something General? Before Meg Cratty set up shop, 7 out of 10 babies born to the hill people never made it past the first few days. My giving her penicillin and whatever just made her job a little easier. No money changed hands and I didn't deprive our own wounded kids of one thing! I'm guilty. That's my explanation. So you can hang my butt from a flagpole!
- Henry is cleared moments later.
- Doubling as a Heartwarming Moment, in a season 10 episode one of Hawkeye's patients is depressed after getting a "Dear John" Letter from his girl, including being asked to return his picture of her. Hawkeye, Margaret and BJ help cheer him up by collecting pictures of women from around the camp to send with a letter asking the corporal's ex to pick her picture out from the bunch and send the rest back to him. Hawkeye's patient adds the crown when he suggests to send the whole thing postage due.
- When a racist CO is discovered to be sending the black soldiers in his unit out to where the most intense fighting is so that they will either get killed, injured severely enough to earn a trip back home, or earn points for discharge faster ("I don't want them in my unit"), Potter hatches a plan to force the man's resignation; he feigns agreement with the CO's racist beliefs and earns his trust. Then he invites the CO back to the Swamp for a drink, where a black major from the personnel office at I-CORPS is waiting inside. The major dresses down the CO and, along with Potter, Hawkeye, BJ, and Charles coerce the man into resigning his commission. The venom in Charles's voice when he points out that it's not four people who saw and heard him confess why so many black soldiers in his unit were getting hurt, but five is great. Doubles as a Funny Moment when the major, a captain who had borrowed Charles' major's insignia as part of his masquerade, is revealed by Potter to be a dentist, much to Charles' chagrin; he had been suffering a toothache the whole episode!
Potter: Major Charles Winchester, M.D., I'd like you to meet Captain Quentin Rockingham, D.D.S.!
Winchester: (horrified) Deeeeeeentist!
- After getting his hands on a bottle of good wine Hawkeye places an advertisement on the camp bulletin board seeking a nurse to share it with. The nurses, who are bored and a bit disgusted with his attempts at flirting, decide to get even. They write two lukewarm responses to the ad along with one they know will catch his interest. Then on the night of the date one of the nurses goes into the supply room to meet with Hawkeye. After expressing concern that she won't be enough woman for him she summons the rest of the nursing staff into the room. The nurses split the bottle of wine between them, leaving next to nothing for Hawkeye.
Margaret: Your wildest fantasy has come true: you've just been had by the whole nursing staff!
- When Margaret loses her wedding ring and goes crazy trying to find it, Hawkeye, BJ and Klinger have a cheap copy made by a local merchant to replace it. Inevitably Margaret learns of the ruse after she discovers a typo in the ring's inscription and she screams at Klinger to tell Hawk and BJ that their joke failed. Klinger immediately responds that she's wrong: they didn't do it to play a joke on her, but because they just wanted her to have her wedding ring back.
Klinger: You don't have to be grateful. But would it hurt to at least appreciate the effort?
- In the second season episode "Dear Dad...Three" Hawkeye operates on a bigoted soldier who is worried about getting the "wrong color" blood. To teach him a lesson Hawkeye and Trapper darken the man's skin with makeup while he's sedated, then once he's awake he's treated as though he were African-American. When the soldier asks them if he received the wrong color blood Trapper and Hawkeye tell him there's no difference between "white blood" and "black blood". They follow up by telling him about how the doctor who pioneered the system for donating blood died after a car accident because the hospital wouldn't treat him because he was colored.note At the end of the episode the soldier comes into the Swamp to thank Hawkeye (who panics at first, because the guy is carrying a rifle). He then turns and offers Nurse Ginger a genuine salute.
- Ginger gets one of her own earlier; when she's playing along with the ruse, the man speaks rudely to her, and she does a beautiful job of yanking him up short.
Ginger: [sharply] I'm a lieutenant, soldier! I don't care if you are passing, you watch your mouth!
- A relatively subtle one. When Margaret needs a pregnancy test, Radar allows his rabbit to be used, provided the doctors not kill it. Hawkeye and Margaret manage to perform surgery on a rabbit despite having no experience in this field, no training for anesthetizing an animal, and only the vaguest idea of what they're doing.
- After BJ learns that his wife has taken a job as a waitress in order to make ends meet back home he tries to use gambling to earn more money and turns into a complete jerk. Both Hawkeye and Margaret end up confronting him in the Officer's Club about his behavior, and Margaret gives him such a chewing out that when BJ turns to Hawkeye and tells him it's his turn, Hawk responds, "I don't think I can improve on that."
Margaret: How dare you! How dare you stand there and act like your brand of suffering is worse than everybody else's! Well, I guess that's the only way you can justify treating the rest of us like dirt. Well, let me tell you something, Sad Sack. If the worst thing that's happened to you is that your pretty little wife has to help pay the bills for a while, don't come to me for sympathy. Maybe you do have the most to lose, but that's only because you've got the most!
- Hawkeye and an irritating visiting doctor head up to an aid station to temporarily replace a killed surgeon. The station is shelled, and Hawkeye and the visiting doctor each wind up with one arm or wrist broken. Their solution? Put aside their differences and essentially staple themselves together so they can each work as one half of a whole surgeon. And it works. Extra awesome since the doctor in question is played by Robert Alda, Alan Alda's real life father. And the medic at the station? Alan Alda's half-brother.
- "Exorcism" has the camp experiencing a rash of bad luck after a traditional spirit post was moved from its place. When an elderly man throws himself in front of a jeep to cure his own Demonic Possession, his granddaughter enlists Radar to bring in a local exorcist. In brilliantly colored robes, a tall feathered headdress, a jingling sistrum and a fan, the exorcist dances and chants her way through the entire compound, lifting everyone's spirits. Everything starts working again, and Potter returns the spirit post to its proper place. During all this time, Frank protests bringing an exorcist, and Mulcahy of all people smacks him down. The sad truth of the matter is that it would have been far more likely for a Catholic priest, both at the time of the filming and the time the series was set in, to be dismissive, disdainful or outright hostile towards "heathen deviltry", an attitude that the audience would have swallowed without complaint. Instead, Mulcahy demonstrates a wonderfully sincere open-mindedness about a native religion and its spiritualistic culture.
Frank: You can't go through with this!
Potter: I can if I want to. And it won't be you I apologize to, it'll be the good Father.
Father Mulcahy: Why me?
Potter: It's not exactly what they told you to expect in chaplain school.
Mulcahy: I wouldn't miss this for the world.
Frank: (stunned) Not you, Father!
Mulcahy: Yes, Major. Me.
Hawkeye: Why, you spiritual thrill seeker, you.
Mulcahy: Wondrous is man and mysterious the ways of God. And I would have no one shield my eyes from the glory of His works.
Frank: (skeptically) What does that mean?
Mulcahy: It means there's more than one way to skin a spirit!
- Mulcahy in general shows an open-mindedness regarding other religions and denominations; as chaplain for any soldier who wants spiritual counseling, he does his best to meet their diverse needs.
- In "Souvenirs" Hawkeye and B.J. discover one of their pilots, Stratton, is buying from South Korean children who go through dangerous territory to collect war junk that he can sell to his fellow soldiers, with little to no regard for their safety. Two awesome things happen. One, a drunken Hot Lips catches wind of it and decks Stratton, not deliberately but because she wanted to explain what her absent fiancé would do if-he-were-there-but-he-wasn't-so-he-couldn't. She gets reprimanded for it, but it was awesome nonetheless. And two, BJ and Hawkeye imply that as both of them are Stratton's official doctor, they could BS and say he is too sick to fly his helicopter. Stratton backs off and we have this little gem.
Stratton: A hundred other guys out there like me—what are you going to do, change the world?
- In the finale, although it's supposed to show his mental instability, Hawkeye getting fed up with being shelled and driving the tank that's been making the 4077th a target out of the camp and a safe distance away was pretty friggin' awesome. Sidney is called due to this incident, but he admits it was probably the sane thing to do.
- One episode has one of Col. Potter's old friends show up as wounded. While normally a desk jockey, the officer wanted to earn his Combat Infantry Badge in order to earn a promotion before retiring. After hearing how completely inept he was as a commander, Col. Potter gives him a complete dressing-down and says he doesn't give a damn about his friend's pension and is sending him home to keep him and his incompetence from getting more men wounded or killed.
- Hawkeye accidentally pisses off a colonel who's working a checkpoint, and later (against the man's direct orders) saves his life after he takes shrapnel in the chest from a guerilla. The man wants to court-martial Pierce for being a "goof-off" and having no respect for the military or the war. Potter takes objection, since he knows that Pierce spotted some shrapnel in the man's heart that he (Potter, who the wounded man wanted to operate on him) might have missed.
Col. Potter: That "goof-off" saved your can!
- One episode, "Bottle Fatigue", has Hawkeye quitting drinking for a week, to prove he's not an alcoholic. After a marathon OR session in which a patient nearly blows them all up with a grenade, Hawkeye orders a drink, shocking everyone, though even Potter understands. Anyone would need a stiff drink after that horror. Hawkeye then has this winner.
BJ: Gee, Hawk, I thought you were gonna make it.
Hawkeye: Look, I admit it. I need this drink, all right? (long pause) I'll be back when I want it, not when I need it.
(Hot Lips flashes a beaming smile at him as he leaves.)
- Mulcahy's self-effacing speech from "Blood Brothers", which, as the visiting cardinal puts it, is "a tough act to follow."
: I want to tell you about two men. Each facing his own crisis. The first man you know rather well. The second is a patient here. Well, the first man thought he was facing a crisis. But what he was really doing was trying to impress someone. He was looking for recognition, encouragement, a pat on the back. And whenever that recognition seemed threatened he reacted rather childishly. Blamed everyone for his problems but himself because he was thinking only of himself.
But the second man was confronted with the greatest crisis mortal man can face, the loss of his life. I think you will agree that the second man had every right to be selfish. But instead he chose to think not of himself, but of a brother. A brother! When the first man saw the dignity and the selflessness of the second man
, he realized how petty and selfish he had
... I... I... I had been.
It made me see something more clearly than I've ever seen it before. God didn't put us here for that pat on the back. He created us so He could be here himself. So He could exist in the lives of those He created, in His image.
- Margaret leads a group of unit members to break through the stalemate between Hawkeye, BJ, and Charles in "The Smell of Music." First by spraying Hawkeye and BJ with a fire hose and dumping soapy water on them to break their non-bathing strike, then taking Charles's French horn and flattening it with a jeep! When Colonel Potter finds out, he confines those responsible to the Officer's Club for the duration of the whiskey, with Hawkeye, BJ, and Charles paying.
- Radar gets a minor one in "The Kids". Frank Burns is, once again, in his usual xenophobic and paranoid way, accusing the Korean children of being thieves. He even rants that stealing isn't considered a crime in Korea. Radar, carrying a sleeping Korean child, states matter-of-fact to Frank, with none of his usual timidness, that the Koreans are poor and need to steal to live.