- Hawkeye always referred to Colonel Potter by his rank or his last name ("Colonel, I need some help here" or "Ah, Colonel Potter, you're just in time for Happy Hour"), while he tended to call Lt. Col. Henry Blake by his given name. At first, I thought it was primarily because Hawkeye and Blake were more friends than officers. Then it hit - Hawkeye also had far more respect for Potter than he had for Blake (probably because Potter didn't put up with much from Hawkeye). The only time Hawkeye called Potter by his given name was when he was going to ask Potter to stay in Korea... and it came out like he was asking a loved one not to leave. I have no doubt that Hawkeye loved Henry Blake, but he respected Potter - and using Potter's rank was his way of showing it.
- It's not all one-way, either. Potter actually thought of himself as a Colonel first, a doctor second. He'd have told Hawkeye off if he'd gotten too casual with him. Blake was a reluctant commander who preferred not to be reminded of his rank or administrative duties when among his medical colleagues: doctor first, Colonel second (or third, if "drinking buddy" was also applicable).
- And this dynamic is inverted, naturally, with Frank Burns. Hawkeye et al. clearly didn't routinely address him by his first name from a sense of chummy camaraderie.
- On that note, they typically call Winchester "Charles" as both a rejection of military protocol and as a way of acknowledging that they view him as an equal. Ironically, Winchester likely takes that as an insult, since his Blue Blood makes him think he's superior to them. Still, he never objects to this (but don't call him "Charlie" or "Chuck").
- All the characters who disappear without explanation were in a frontline unit in a war zone, with a mine field nearby. In fact, one nurse near the end of the series dies after stepping on a mine while on a walk. These characters could have died, and it was too depressing for the main characters to mention close friends and colleagues dying. The nurse late in the series had only been there about a month, and no one had gotten to know her, and Henry dying was so much of a shock that they couldn't help but think of it.
- A less depressing alternative is that they were either transferred to another unit or managed to get discharged and sent home. Since the nurses had the highest attrition rate in the show's run, a reasonable theory would be that some got pregnant from the large amount of sex being had at the 4077, while others were able to simply get enough points to be discharged.
- This explanation might be an excellent case of fridge logic. Under the points system, the Army had a lot of trouble retaining experienced officers because they were naturally the ones who accumulated the most rotation points. This was especially true of Medical Corps officers, and the number of points a nurse needed to be discharged was significantly lower than a surgeon needed.
- The Points system was never available to doctors, and all medical personnel starting December 1, 1945. By Korea, Points were long gone. The real reason it was difficult to retain officers was that their requirement - 80 - was lower than the enlisted - 85 - and was lowered further after VJ Day. This is partly why it was discontinued.
- Or, they were disciplined for adultery and/or fraternization (a serious - and strictly enforced - offense, then and today, punishable by the UCMJ under Article 134), and were dishonorably discharged.
- Since Hawkeye makes reference to an increase in points in one episode, MASH seems to take place in a universe where the point system was maintained for draftees, despite being discontinued in Real Life. The other ideas all seem to hold water.
- A discarded early plotline had Hawkeye impregnating two nurses and trying to avoid marrying either one.
- Even leaving aside points, it's Fridge Brilliance because it's the military, and people come and go for lots of reasons, and it's usually nothing to make a big deal of like Henry's going home.
- Rewatching the early seasons, there are a lot of nurses that cycle through the camp on short stays (usually long enough for Hawkeye to attempt to bed them, then leave). Aside from that, many nurses' request transfers after a short time (this was back before Margaret's famous "cup of coffee" speech when she routinely treated the nurses like they were nothing to her, coupled with Frank's infamous mistreatment of the nurses [he once put a nurse on report for giving him the instrument he had requested]). Henry even complains that one batch of transfer requests had three nurses simultaneously requesting to leave.
- Edward Winter, known for portraying Colonel Samuel Flagg, first appeared as a Captain Halloran, an officer with the CID in the episode Deal Me Out, where he played poker with Sidney Freedman. When Colonel Flagg later met Sidney Freedman in the episode "Quo Vadis, Captain Chandler" he remarked that they once played poker together.
- Particularly good, as when he first appears as Colonel Flagg, a G2 officer shows up investigating him and tells Hawkeye and Trapper John that Flagg had previously infiltrated the CID.
- And now I note the brilliance of the character's name - Samuel Flagg, as in Uncle Sam.
- In the episode "Margaret's Engagement", Houlihan compares her new fiance to Frank Burns thusly, and I didn't catch the Getting Crap Past the Radar of that last example until several years later:
Margaret: "I'll always have a soft spot for a real patriot. But when I can have Adonis, why bother with Pinocchio? When I can have hewn oak, why do I need stucco? When I can have knockwurst, why settle for a..."
Hawkeye: "...a cocktail frank?"
- Margaret mentions her father was dead, yet he shows up alive and well later on in the series. Maybe she meant he was dead to her in the metaphorical sense, since their relationship was rather distant when he shows up.
- Eh, YMMV. He was distant, but she showed nothing but affection for him. She always speaks of him fondly, throughout the series.
- Why did Trapper and BJ get discharged before Hawkeye? The MASH universe maintains the points system used in World War II (in Real Life this system was discontinued long before the Korean War). Under that system, married men received extra points from the get-go (and men with children got even more) so as to allow them to return to their families sooner while still fulfilling their draft obligations. Also, BJ was shown to have gotten at least one medal during his time at the 4077. Awards were often worth discharge points, especially one as prestigious as the one that BJ got.
- Frank was right about Donald. Not in a 100% specific sense, but he did tell Margaret that Donald might not be on the level. Sure enough, look at the end result of that marriage...
- He wasn't the only one. When Margaret shows Potter a picture of him, he asks who the girl in the picture is.
Margaret: I think she's his cousin.
Potter: Huh, close family.
- When BJ strays, he nearly writes his wife and confesses until Hawkeye talks him into simply acknowledging his mistake and not letting it harm his wife. Why does Hawkeye get so vehement in the process? Because Hawkeye has seen the damage that hurting your significant other can cause, as we find out that his long-term girlfriend (whom he acknowledged as the only woman he ever really loved) left him because he was so involved with his work.
- The episode "Comrades In Arms (Part I)" opens with Hawkeye and B.J. singing opera (badly), which leads to this exchange:
Charles: Do you realize you are both singing entirely different operas and they are both out of tune?
Hawkeye: Well, don't blame me. I didn't write this stuff.
- Here's the Brilliance - the screen credit less than fifteen seconds prior was Written By Alan Alda. So he did write it!
- In "Bless You Hawkeye," Potter's idea that Hawkeye's illness is psychological seems like a strange intuitive leap, until you consider two things. One, Potter been a doctor a long time, and he might have seen something like it happen before. Two, there's Hawkeye's sudden conviction that he was going to die. His symptoms were serious, but not so bad that he should think he was dying. And sure enough, it goes back to a childhood trauma in which he almost died. So him saying he was going to die was a symptom.