An American television series following the exploits of the US Marine Corps fighter squadron VMF-214, based on the fictional island of Vella La Cava. The show lasted from September, 1976 to September, 1978, with a total of 37 episodes in two seasons. When not in combat, the members of the squad could often be found getting in trouble in and around base.
The show was originally called Baa Baa Black Sheep
. For its second season this was was changed to Black Sheep Squadron
in an attempt to boost ratings, as network execs thought it was being mistaken for a kids' show, and that's the title advertised when it's in syndication.
Black Sheep Squadron provides examples of:
- Ace Pilot
- Bring My Brown Pants - Movie star Rod Towers telling a reporter "I need to change my drawers."
- Butt Monkey - TJ Wiley.
- The Cameo: The Real Life Greg Boyington was given a cameo in one episode.
- Captain Obvious - "What are you flying?" "AN AIRPLANE, YOU IDIOT!!"
- Catch Phrase: "Hey Boyington!"
- Celebrity Star - Peter Frampton
- Child Soldier - Jeb Pruitt
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: James "Jim" Gutterman just disappeared between seasons 1 and 2.
- Cool Plane : The squadron flies Corsairs which in Real Life were the terror of the Pacific and looked suspiciously like bats.
- Do a Barrel Roll - makes for pretty action shots. Subverted with the landing gear malfunctioning on TJ's plane, a barrel roll or flying upside down was the only way he could get the landing gear to retract.
- Fan Boy - Harachi, who even named his toucan Major Boyington.
- Fanservice - Midway through the second season a medical facility was located on the island and several nurses, billed in the opening credits as "Pappy's Lambs," became a regular part of the stories.
- Friendly Enemy : Harachi
- Go Karting with Bowser
- Pappy and Harachi
- Pappy and Micklin
- Ping-pong with Rocky Araki
- Hospital Hottie - The Lambs
- Grease Monkey: Hutch and Micklin
- Japanese Ranguage - Harachi: "Hey Boiintaan! Where you hidiin? Come up and pray!" "You drraahnk! You prane no fry. I sink you chicken! I get you on ground."
- Jerk Ass: Micklin
- Put on a Bus
- Popular character John "Hutch" Hutchinson was killed off in the episode "Last One for Hutch".
- Pappy's first love interest, nurse Captain Dottie Dixon, was killed in "Fighting Angels" to make room for the new forbidden fruit, the much younger nurse Lt. Samantha Greene (one of Pappy's Lambs). And to dramatically give Greg back his golden cross.
- Sitting Duck: Lampshaded in one episode by the narrator while discussing how a new pilot was both very good and very foolish. While the airfield is being strafed, he jumps into a plane and somehow manages to out-turn a Zero and shoot him down while taking off. That is to say, the Narrator lampshaded the trope, explaining it as why most pilots don't try to take off while actively being strafed, and averted by the pilot, who manages to succeed despite it.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: The minor-key quote from the Whiffenpoof Song sung by an noncomedic offkey male chorus. These poor little lambs will kill you.
- The Squad
- Stock Footage: Actual WWII air combat footage, including archived footage of ''German'' warbirds. TPTB figured nobody would notice.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: There was a USMC fighter squadron nick named the Black Sheep and it was lead by Major Greg Boyington, and the true part ends there! The Real Life Boyington, a technical advisor for the show, called it "fiction based on reality", and noted that his show counterpart was the only real life character, with the rest being created for the show.
- You Look Familiar: Japanese characters were played by an unvarying group of Asian actors.