YMMV / China Beach

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: So many members of the fandom want to see Colleen as bisexual or even an outright lesbian, and in the fan fiction she's often written into a relationship with KC.
    • Of course, there were some moments of palpable subtext on the show.
  • Anvilicious: Not as often as you might think, although there were times when the "war is hell, just don't do it" message got a teeny bit strong...
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: Several, particularly Colleen and Dr. Richard Richard's successful removal of a live mortar round from a patient.
    • Also, the portrayal in the episode "The Always Goodbye" of one of the last choppers out of Saigon, which is a must for any Vietnam War media. This was also a possible Crowning Moment of Sadness in that it featured KC sending away, possibly forever, her young daughter Karen, whom she'd only recently gotten to know.
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: This show had quite a few of these, several of which surprisingly centered on Dr. Richard. Although, there's something about the moment in "The World part 2" when Colleen shares a dance with a wheelchair bound veteran to Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade of Pale" that's particularly moving.
  • Crowning Moment of Sadness: Again, many, but for most fans the sudden death of Red Cross "Doughnut Dolly" Cherry White after hostilities have apparently ceased on the morning after the start of the Tet Offensive is the worst.
    • Relating to that is the moment near the end of "Psywars" when KC tells Colleen about Cherry's funeral.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Possibly the snippet of Jimi Hendrix's version of "All Along the Watchtower" at the beginning of the episode "Limbo".
    • Although the Katrina and the Waves (featuring Eric Burdon) cover of "We've Gotta Get Out of This Place" that served as the sometime season 3 theme song comes in a close second.
      • The entire soundtrack of the series was composed mainly of classic hits of 60s-70s rock/pop music (hence the difficulty in getting a DVD release of the show, as the clearances are through the roof) and some fantastic instrumental/incidental pieces. Most of it fit this trope.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Colleen, KC (perhaps because of her main profession), Boonie (on occasion)...really take your pick.
  • Nightmare Fuel: It's a medical show set in a warzone. There's blood, there's guts.
    • Wayloo's dream at the beginning of "Cherry" of walking into the G.R.U. and finding herself in a body bag is at least a mild form of this.
  • Tear Jerker: Almost countless. Cherry's death, Colleen dancing with her ill father right before we're shown his funeral at the beginning of the next episode, KC sending her daughter away on one of the last choppers out of Saigon...the list goes on.
  • The Woobie: Colleen was definitely intended to be the Woobie for most of the series, but sometimes her drunkenness and occasional abrasive behavior got in the way.
    • Cherry was a sort of Woobie for the first season, even after she toughened up a bit at the beginning of season 2.
  • What Could Have Been: ABC was originally planning to use the two-hour premiere of China Beach as the lead-out program following their broadcast of Super Bowl XXII. However, concerns at ABC over the game running long and potentially pushing the conclusion after midnight on the East Coast led to ABC switching to The Wonder Years as the series premiere following the Super Bowl