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Heartwarming / M*A*S*H

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"But let me say this, honestly: when you live in a cruddy situation like this long enough, you get to love a few people and even hate a few. I guess outside of our families we'll never be closer to anybody than we are to each other."
Hawkeye, "Chief Surgeon Who?"

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    Seasons 1– 3 

Season 1

  • Hawkeye's speech in "Chief Surgeon, Who?" as quoted at the top.
  • A throwaway joke from "Cowboy" has Father Mulcahy pray in Hebrew for a wounded Jewish soldier. It's played for laughs as Mulcahy obviously isn't Jewish, but there's the implication that he learned enough Hebrew that he could accommodate Jewish soldiers.
    • The resolution from the episode wherein the titular Cowboy receives a heartfelt letter from his wife wherein she declares her renewed love for him after being tempted to cheat and resisting.
  • In "Henry, Please Come Home," Blake finally gets transferred to Tokyo, leaving Burns permanently in charge of the 4077. Hawkeye and Trapper predictably conspire to get Blake to transfer back through various underhanded means, but Blake is perfectly happy and comfortable in his new position and has no desire to return, even when hearing morale is low and how much people miss him. The kicker? Telling him that Radar is deathly ill. Blake immediately drops everything to fly back to the swamp and inspect him himself. Things quickly Go Horribly Right when he is so concerned for Radar's health that he demands to do exploratory surgery, and when Burns tries to throw his weight around, Blake steamrolls him effortlessly. It's a great show that even as early in the show as this, Blake and Radar formed a loving friendship, and makes Blake's eventual fate all the sadder.
  • "Sticky Wicket" - One for, oddly enough, Frank Burns. Hawkeye spent the early part of the episode haranguing Frank about his skills, or lack thereof, as a surgeon. Then one of Hawkeye's patients takes a turn for the worse. Margaret is unusually sympathetic, as she assisted Hawkeye with the surgery. At the end of the episode, when the problem has been found and fixed, Frank, who could very easily lay into Hawkeye about his mistake (and had been earlier), graciously concedes to Hawkeye, "Anybody could have missed that."
  • Henry and Radar’s scene in "Ceasefire" about how Henry has been a surrogate father to Radar.
  • "Showtime"
    • Henry's depressed due to not being able to see his newborn son. Near the end of the episode, Radar brings in a Korean woman and her infant son, so Henry could hold the baby for a while. Edges into being a Tear Jerker, as well.
    • One of the storylines involves Father Mulcahy worrying about how useful he's currently being. Hawkeye assures him by saying, "Some people say that God heals the wounded while the doctors collect the fee...I'm able to do a lot of things in surgery that I'm not really good enough to do."
    • The same episode has Trapper trying to save a wounded soldier who only gets worse even after the surgery is successful. The two storylines combine when Father Mulcahy is called in to deliver last rites. He takes the man's hand, makes the sign of the cross, and begins to pray when the soldier opens his eyes. Hawkeye asks, "What was that about not being sure you did any good?" while Mulcahy is in disbelief ("It's not supposed to work that way, you know.") and Trapper wordlessly realizes they've just witnessed a miracle, especially with how close they'd come to losing his patient.

Season 2

  • "Kim" - The growing affection between Trapper and the titular Korean boy whom everyone believed was an orphan. After hearing back from his wife and finding out that she agrees with his idea to adopt the boy, the happiness on his face was capable of illuminating the entire camp.
  • "Dear Dad...Three" sets the stage for how anytime the 4077th get a home movie from their families is both this and a Tear Jerker.
    Hawkeye: Henry, if you don't give the command to cry, I will.
  • "The Sniper" - After spending 24hrs under the scope of a panicked kid with a sniper rifle, a Helicopter finally shows up and unloads a Thompson into the Snipers position. After getting bracketed hard by said chopper, the sniper puts up a white flag. Despite having been shot at while also carrying a White Flag, Hawkeye opts to go out and tend to the wounded North Korean, even operating on him personally. More proof that Hawkeye doesn't play sides, and will work on anyone who's wounded.
  • "Carry On, Hawkeye" - Margaret showing concern when Hawkeye tells her he's coming down with the flu that's already laid up every other surgeon in camp, and Hawkeye coaching her through performing operations on her own. It's one of the first times they show appreciation for each other. Hawkeye refers to Margaret as "nurse, friend, and all around good egg", and at the end, when Hawkeye is sick in bed, Margaret tells him, "You were superb".
  • "Officers Only" - Hawkeye hatching a scheme that would allow all of the enlisted men into the titular club for the rest of the series.
  • "Henry in Love" - Radar arranging the phone call between Henry and his wife to break Henry free of his temptation to run away with another woman.
    • The actual phone call too. Lorraine was feeling stressed about not being able to balance the checkbook and he offers to take the burden from her. It's ultimately a conversation about little problems people have, but it's easy to really tell how much Henry still loves his wife.
  • "The Chosen People" - Even though he was not the father of a Korean baby, Radar was still willing to accept the responsibility of parenthood in order to prevent the mother and baby from being ostracized.

Season 3

  • The end of the "Rainbow Bridge" episode, where Radar comes to help Hawkeye and Trapper pack for their well-deserved (and much-delayed) R&R in Tokyo. As he works, he turns his back on them and expresses how impressed he is with the work they do, offhandedly adding, "If you ask me, you guys are like supermen." Turning around, he finds them collapsed in exhaustion into their cots... so he quietly covers them up with blankets, whispers, "Goodnight, supermen," and leaves them to sleep.
  • In "O.R.", Hawkeye operates on a wounded Ethiopian soldier. Awhile after the patient wakes up, Klinger brings him to Hawkeye on a stretcher and says the Ethiopian wants to say something to the doctor. He says a few words in his native language while smiling widely and Klinger says he thinks the patient is thanking Hawkeye. As he's about to be taken to Post-Op, he grabs Hawkeye's hand and kisses it. A visibly moved Hawkeye says to Henry, "That's got to be the nicest fee I ever got."
  • "Aid Station" - One early one for Margaret is when she and Hawkeye are sent to help out at a front-line aid station during an attack. How she reassures one patient is one of the first times she showcases her respect for Hawkeye's skill:
    Margaret: You'll be okay. He's the best.
    • Anytime Margaret and Hawkeye have a Friendship Moment. It's really heartwarming to watch them move from deep dislike mingled with grudging respect in the early episodes to a genuinely warm friendship by the end of the show.
    • Klinger and Radar’s Friendship Moment, with Radar giggling (not meanly) at Klinger talking about his dresses, and reassuring him that he’ll come back.
  • For Trapper, there's his exchange with Hawkeye when they think he's going home, in "Check-Up":
    Hawkeye: Thanks, Trap.
    Trapper: For what?
    Hawkeye: You made it bearable. I was lucky. You were honest, and open, and let me lean on you.
    Trapper: [holding back tears] No charge.
  • Henry's goodbyes to everyone in "Abyssinia, Henry"... before that last O.R. scene shifts everything into full-on Tear Jerker territory.
    • As Henry is heading to the chopper, having said his goodbyes, he notices Radar standing there, giving him a salute. He hesitates, then runs over to Radar, tells him he'd better be good, returns the salute, and then hugs him. Considering the fact that he had been trying to avoid getting mushy with Radar (Radar had essentially told Henry that he considered Henry his father, given the fact that his real father had died when Radar was an infant), it shows just how much Radar really meant to Henry.
    • Blake's last words to Radar before he leaves. "You behave yourself or I'm gonna come back here and kick your butt". Doubles as a Tear Jerker when you find out Henry won't be coming back.

    Seasons 4– 7 

Season 4

  • The fast, easy friendship that develops between Hawkeye and B.J. in "Welcome to Korea." Examples:
    • B.J. seeing Hawkeye is upset and offering to help, even though he has no idea what's going on and is himself kind of dazed from the long flight and his first experiences in Korea.
    • After being caught in some enemy fire for the first time with a unit of soldiers, B.J. is doing his best to help the wounded, but it's finally too much for him when he sees a soldier with (presumably, though it's not shown to the audience) most of his front missing, and he has to crawl into the weeds to throw up. Hawkeye goes over to him and rubs his back and holds his head until he's done.
  • "Change of Command" has Hawkeye and B.J. setting up a miniature bar in the Swamp to fill the space vacated by Frank, who everyone expects to stay as CO of the camp. After a discussion about the late Henry Blake, B.J. proposes naming their little corner, "The Henry Blake Memorial Bar."
  • The B Plot of the episode "Dear Mildred" focuses on Radar's attempts to help an injured horse - and hide the horse from Potter. In the end he decides to give the horse to Potter as an anniversary gift. Not only does this ensure that the horse will stay in camp and Radar will get to take care of it, but it also helps Radar to become more at ease around his new commanding officer. Potter is moved to tears.
    (Potter slips on freshly made horse manure in his office)
    Burns: That's disgusting!
    Potter: [grinning] Son, to me that's a tiptoe through the tulips!
  • The lengths that Radar (and by extension Hawkeye and B.J.) goes through in order to get tomato juice for Colonel Potter. It goes to show how much respect and affection he commands after being there even a short time.
  • "The Kids" is the crowning example of how pretty much any time that the camp interacts with the orphans, or any children at all, really counts as one.
  • "Quo Vadis, Captain Chandler".
    Chandler: Bless you, Walter.
    • This is not only after Radar had asked him to bless his teddy bear, but also the first time we learn Radar's given name courtesy of him telling it to Captain Chandler.
    • When Sidney comes to speak to the man who believes himself to be Christ, he talks with pride about how his son got his first tooth. He and B.J. immediately swap pictures. It's a small moment typically cut from TV screenings, but it's touching.

Season 5

  • In the "Bug Out" episode, the 4077th is forced to relocate in response to rumors of the encroaching Chinese advance. As part of that, they find an abandoned schoolhouse that they believe is perfect for setting up their army hospital... except that it's already occupied by several Chinese women who are using it as a brothel. After some heated back and forth between the madam and Colonel Potter, the ladies take an intense interest in Klinger... 's rack of fall gowns. Klinger, for the good of the unit, forfeits the entire rack of gowns, and 'buys' the schoolhouse for them. As Potter commented, "Corporal Klinger, that's the finest act of bravery I've ever witnessed."
    • It's played off for laughter, but the real heartwarming part is that while Klinger expresses skepticism at "doing it for his country," he warms up considerably and finally agrees when Col. Potter asks him to do it for Toledo. Klinger really loves his hometown.
  • "Margaret's Engagement" - In a small gesture towards his nemesis, Hawkeye's reaction to Hot Lips bragging about her engagement around a clearly depressed Frank Burns. Hawkeye has no reason to do it, but even he believes that Frank should be cut some slack. Further punctuated at the end of the episode, where he and B.J. join Frank in genuine, honest laughter after he finally gets a jab at Houlihan.
  • The end "The Nurses" is the beginning of Margaret's Character Development and any scene during Margaret's transition from antagonist to sympathetic character where she tries to make friends is a heartwarming moment. There are moments where she seems less like a formidable, confident major and head nurse and more like the unpopular kid from middle school. One example is when she awkwardly asks the doctors if she can have coffee with them, then gets really excited when they say yes.
  • "Ping Pong" - The 4077th coming together to put on a wedding for a South Korean ping-pong champion, including Col. Potter giving the bride away and Margaret helping to sew (or at least alter) the bride's wedding outfit.
    Potter: I am? Well why didn't you say so! [gives Radar instructions to have his dress uniform cleaned and pressed]
    • Father Mulcahy also explains the ceremony to the other members of the 4077th, showing just how much he respects the Korean people and their traditions.
    • Even Frank, for all his griping beforehand, is quiet and respectful during the service.
  • "Hepatitis" - Meta example: William Christopher contracted an almost-fatal case of hepatitis during season 5, preventing him from making several appearances. The producers wanted to nix him from the show but Alan Alda convinced them to keep him, especially as he needed the work to help take care of his autistic son. The episode was written to incorporate the illness into a plot thread.
  • "Movie Tonight" is an episode full of heartwarming. To start with the entire camp are at each others throats, getting angry over everything. When a movie Potter ordered arrives, he gets the entire camp (minus the nurses, who are going to dinner at I-Corps) to meet in the mess tent for the screening. The projector keeps breaking during the movie, and the camp start getting angry again. To stay calm they all sing "Gee, Mom, I Want to Go Home", during which the nurses decided to stay at the camp instead of going to dinner, watch Radar do impressions of famous people, and play the game no one has been waiting for: the Father Mulcahy sound alike contest! When the movie starts playing again, there's a shoot out scene, during which the camp play along and pretend they've been shot and are lying on the ground. An ambulance driver pulls into the camp with wounded and finds them pretending to be dead, and during surgery everyone is singing a song from the movie.
    • With a bit of Mood Whiplash as Frank tries his own verse of the song, which falls completely flat as he does it several minutes late and it's basically an angry threat to Hawkeye and B.J.
    • And Real Life Writes the Plot as well. The Mulcahy sound alike contest was based on one the cast did frequently behind the scenes.
    • The shoot-out starts with just Hawkeye clowning around, and in a testament to character growth Margaret, Major born-with-a-stick-up-the-ass Margaret Houlihan, is the first to grab an invisible shotgun and join in.

Season 6

  • In "Fallen Idol", Hawkeye hands Radar his Purple Heart medal, and then gives him one of the very few genuine salutes the good captain ever did.
  • "Images" - Hawkeye being the one to comfort Margaret when she breaks down and grieves for the dog she had befriended.
  • A side-plot in "The Grim Reaper" has a wounded man from Toledo arrive at the camp. After being told that Klinger's also from Toledo, he gives Klinger a matchbook from a pool hall that the two grew up at, which reduces Klinger to tears. At the end of the episode, he's sent Klinger a care-package of food from Paco's Hungarian Hot Dogs.
  • "Patent 4077" - Margaret is furious when she realizes her engagement ring is a Replacement Goldfish, after she'd lost her ring and the guys "found" it for her. (It says, "Over hill, over dale, our love will ever (not "never") fail".) She's ready to explode when Max gently tells her that she's being unfair, and they only had the replacement ring made to make her feel better. She later lets Hawkeye know she knows it's a replacement, then tells him she likes the replacement better. (It becomes Harsher in Hindsight when Margaret and Donald's love failed.)
  • "What's Up, Doc?" - When Margaret tells Hawkeye she thinks she might be pregnant he is genuinely overjoyed for her and later a bit sorry for her when it turns out she's not. Potter is equally happy for her until he finds out that Margaret and Donald are having trouble and Babies Make Everything Better will not apply.
  • "Potter's Retirement" has the colonel planning to hang it up after receiving the news that negative reports about his leadership are coming from inside the 4077th. The party in question turns out to be a corpsman acting as mole for a general who holds a grudge against the camp. After things have been sorted out, we get a scene in Potter's office where Hawkeye, B.J., and Radar let him know how much his leadership is valued and beg him to stay, Hawkeye even addressing him as "Sherman".
    • The absolute disgust Potter has in his voice when he confronts the mole shows just how protective he is of his men. He's in full Papa Wolf mode there.

Season 7

  • "Peace on Us" - What is the final straw that inspires Hawkeye to take on the peace talks? Seeing the pain on Margaret's face when she decides to get divorced and just how much her failed marriage, a result of the war, and the war itself have taken their toll on her.
    • Later on, Margaret goes to Potter to talk, and he makes it clear he was already planning to talk to her, softening his tone despite how frustrated he was with the Hawkeye situation just seconds ago.
    Potter: Major, I heard, and I want to have a long talk with you about your problem...
    • B.J. throwing a party full of Hawkeye’s favourite colour to make him happier. And he wears that red shirt (even though it fades to pink and then beige) throughout the rest of the series.
    • Blink and you'll miss it: Margaret gives the returning Hawkeye a little shake by the scruff of the neck, a gesture of affection that would have been unthinkable just two seasons prior.
  • In "They Call The Wind Korea", Margaret's guilt over one of her nurses getting hurt, Winchester actually admitting he's scared to Klinger, and Hawkeye bringing back his early season Groucho Marx routine to make a Korean kid laugh.
  • There is the classic episode "Point of View", where we see all the action through the eyes of a soldier and Col. Potter confesses that he feels terrible that he forgot to telephone his wife, Mildred, on their anniversary because he was so busy with a rush of wounded. The soldier tells Hawkeye, and the doctor and Radar contact Mildred to explain the situation and she agrees to wait on the line for Sherman, with the instruction that he is to be told that she understands the weight of his duties.
    • In the same episode, Private Rich wakes up from surgery and Hawkeye blocks off his tracheotomy tube to see if he has regained the ability to speak. After he's said a few words, the doctors are about to leave and let him rest, but he gestures for Hawkeye to block off the tube again so he can say, "Thank you."
  • In "Dear Comrade", the episode is told from the perspective of a North Korean spy posing as Winchester's houseboy, trying to find out how the unit had such a high success rate. The group is so unorthodox and loose he finds it impossible for his faction to replicate it. He does, however, fabricate that he has to stay a little longer, because he'd grown so friendly with the gang, even Winchester - after the spy tells him off for his snobbery and mild racism, Charles just laughs and shows he's Not So Above It All.
  • In The Christmas Episode "Dear Sis", when Fr. Mulcahy feels that he's useless to the unit. At the end, Hawkeye and the rest of the 4077 let him know just how important he is to them, and sing "Dona Nobis Pacem." Also in the same episode, the look on Major Winchester's face when he opens his Christmas present to see the tobogganing cap he wore as a child—a little piece of home thoughtfully sent for by Radar, at Mulcahy's suggestion.note  Then Charles gives Mulcahy money for the orphans, telling him to "Buy them whatever they need." Starting to leave, he turns and hands him another wad of bills, telling him in an emotion-choked voice to "Buy them whatever they don't need."
    Mulcahy: Major, are you all right?
    Winchester: [putting his hands on Mulcahy's shoulders] You saved me, Father. You lowered a bucket into the well of my despair, and you raised me up to the light of day. I thank you for that.
    • As part of a conscious effort by the writers to distance the character of Charles Winchester from that of Frank Burns, Winchester was a part of numerous heartwarming moments over the course of the series, if usually in the episodes' B plots. They began to happen regularly after this episode.
  • "The Price" - Potter's horse Sophie goes missing. Potter is understandably angry, until he learns that the guy who stole her was an old Korean cavalry officer who just wanted one last ride before dying. Potter gives Sophie to him as a gift, at which the man tears up and bows to Potter in respect. He dies the next morning, but his granddaughter says that it was the happiest he had been for a long time.
  • It's a bit twisted, but in "Rally Round the Flagg, Boys," a GI is disgruntled that Hawkeye took a wounded North Korean officer ahead of his friend. Throughout the episode, the GI is giving Hawkeye trouble, and a few jokes are made at Hawkeye's expense about how he's short-tempered. The GI finally confronts Hawkeye in his tent, who is reluctant to hurt him for a number of reasons. He's got Hawkeye backed into a corner, attacking him with a cane, when an absolutely furious B.J. bursts in and grabs the GI by the shirt. B.J. is shaking the man and saying he should break his neck when Hawkeye grabs him to get him to cool off. Shows just how protective B.J. can get of his friends.
    • And the soldier in question's anger was all because he wanted to make sure his buddy would be okay. His rage is very misplaced and he takes it way too far, but it's clear those two have been through a lot.
  • "Preventive Medicine" is one of the darker episodes of the show, with B.J. and Hawkeye having a screaming fight over whether or not to perform a medically unnecessary operation to get a reckless colonel off the line. Hawkeye does it, compromising his morals as a surgeon, and then it turns out to be all for nothing. Then, at the end, as Hawkeye is sitting alone on his cot in despair, his face in his hands, B.J. walks over and places a hand on his friend's shoulder. For a few silent seconds, they grip each other hard before getting up and walking away together. The Heterosexual Life-Partners may scream, may crack, may vehemently disagree with each other, but they still love and stand by one another when needed. And it goes deeper still, as the views Hawkeye and B.J. held were the ones that Alan Alda and Mike Farrell held. That moment they take before they head out to surgery was a bit of a reconciliation between the actors, not just their characters.

    Seasons 8– 11 

Season 8

  • "Good-Bye Radar" - When Radar is sent home, he leaves behind his beloved teddy bear, indicating both that he is now a man and that he will always be with the unit in spirit.
  • "Period of Adjustment" - After B.J. rages at Hawkeye that he's jealous of Trapper because he built the still with him, the closing moment has them rebuilding the destroyed still together.
  • In "Nurse Doctor," an outcast nurse who was going to resign her commission and go to medical school has decided to give it up after an unfortunate Hot for Preacher incident with Mulcahy. Her being Margaret's responsibility, it's Margaret who tells her that she's not going to get to get transferred, nor will she be allowed to quit on herself. The next seven weeks (before she gets discharged) will not be fun for her.
    Nurse Harris: I'm sure you'll satisfied with my nursing.
    Margaret: Your nursing duties will only be part of it. The rest of your time will be spent under the supervision of Captain Pierce and myself in intensive study for your medical aptitude tests.
    Nurse Harris: What?
    Margaret: I know how hard it is for a woman to become a doctor, and the Army is no help. But with your background and talent, you've got a real chance! [smiles faintly] And as long as I'm your commanding officer, I'm not going to let you back out.
  • A casualty in "Life Time" is basically brain-dead and B.J. waits for him to fully pass away in order to use his Aorta to save the life of another patient. Roberts, a friend of the brain-dead soldier, berates the doctors for "using him as meat" and wants nothing to do with them. Father Mulcahy helps him see the bigger picture.
    Mulcahy: Was Harold the kind of man who would jump onto a live grenade to protect someone?
    Roberts: Yeah. Of course he was.
    Mulcahy: Even if it was someone he didn't know?
    Roberts: Y-yeah... I'm sure of it.
    Mulcahy: That's exactly what he's doing now.
  • "Dear Uncle Abdul" has the story of Eddie and Hank. Eddie considered himself dumb, but Hank befriended and helped him out. When Hank was wounded, Eddie was the one to save his life and get him to the aid station before following him to the 4077. When Hank is sent home, he assures Eddie that he's a great soldier and won't be alone as Dave, another member of their unit, offers to help support Eddie from then on.
  • "Yessir, That's Our Baby" - When an infant is left on the Swamp's doorstep, her crying wakes the Swamprats, who are understandably confused and irritated. Charles is the most irritated of the three by far and storms out to find the source of the crying and have a stop put to it. His demeanor softens immediately when he steps out and finds the baby and he shushes and coos at her as he picks her up. Later, he becomes violently enraged at a bureaucrat's blase attitude toward the child's fate.
  • Charles dictating a telegram to his sister in "Bottle Fatigue" containing a heartfelt apology for his angry letters. After spending the entire episode angry that she was engaged to an Italian, a combination of finding out that his family called off the wedding over religious differences and almost being killed by a grenade in the OR, he quickly began to change his mindset.
  • "Heal Thyself" - It's cut from syndication, but a scene between Charles and Colonel Potter is actually rather sweet. Both of them have come down with the mumps, which can result in a loss of fertility in adults. Charles is freaking out over not being able to father a child, and is practically in tears. Potter talks him down.
    Charles: The dread thought that Charles Winchester the Third would all be Charles Winchester the last ...
    Potter: Look, you've got a mild infection, you're getting plenty of sack time, you've gotten a butt-full of gamma globulin. The odds are you'll wind up in a house filled with little Roman numerals.
  • "Morale Victory":
    • Charles operates on Private Sheridan, who had been a pianist until he was wounded in the right hand, resulting a permanent loss of dexterity in several fingers. Charles, badly shaken by the soldier's despair at his aborted career, confides in Father Mulcahy in perhaps the characters' most sincere exchange in the series:
      Mulcahy: You know, you're being much too harsh on yourself - you mustn't think that you have failed.
      Charles: But I have... the boy's a graduate of Juilliard, he just embarked on a promising career. I reach out to him, but... [sighs] no matter what I do, I cannot get through.
      Mulcahy: That's not your fault.
      Charles: [scoffs] Oh, isn't it? We both know that there are other doctors here who are more able to... show compassion, provide... comfort... I... [stands up] have no... magic words. [sighs] I work my wonders on flesh and bone, I perform no... miracle surgery on the soul, that's, that's your department!
      Mulcahy: Major... I know how difficult it was for you to come here. It's obvious... that you care a great deal.
      Charles: Of course I care.
      Mulcahy: Then you must not give up! There's no-one here with a greater love or, or knowledge of music! And that's the key! You must show him that his musical career is not over. You can't let him waste that precious talent that God has given him.
      Charles: Thank you, Father.
    • Charles remembers that the composer Maurice Ravel created music which could be played with only one hand, and urges the former pianist not to give up on music. The scene ends with the music being played, one handed.
      Charles: Don't you see? Your hand may be stilled, but your gift cannot be silenced if you refuse to let it be.
      David: Gift? You keep talking about this damn gift. I had a gift, and I exchanged it for some mortar fragments, remember?
      Charles: Wrong. Because 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've 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 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, the pen. As to these works...they're for you. Because you and the piano will always be as one.

Season 9

  • Season 9's first episode, "The Best of Enemies", sees Hawkeye—on his way to some well-deserved R&R—captured by a North Korean soldier who forces the doctor to work on a fellow soldier who has been wounded. Hawkeye does his best to save the wounded soldier, but the attempt ultimately fails and the soldier dies (to the frustration and anger of both the other soldier and Hawkeye). The living soldier lets Hawkeye go free, but Pierce stays behind for a moment to watch the soldier start digging a grave for his fallen comrade. At which point Hawkeye comes back, shares a glance with the soldier that says more than any words ever could, and helps dig the grave.
    • It's worth noting that Hawkeye thought he was about to be shot after the soldier died. However, his genuine effort to save the man had come through, despite the language barrier, so the friend lets him go, presumably realizing that Hawkeye really did do everything he could and as such is not to blame for the soldier's death.
    • There's a pointed moment while he's trying to save the man that the North Korean shows him a picture of himself and the wounded man, and Hawkeye shows him a picture he just received of his father and cousin.
  • Several reactions from Season 9 episode "Letters", most especially the one Charles gets from a girl named Virginia. She writes him a letter about how beautiful Maine looks in fall, sending along a fallen leaf from a birch tree. Charles, who has so far written two letters: one angry and one sarcastic, gets a look on his face of absolute joy and writes a truly thankful letter.
    Charles: [dreamily] Autumn in New England... [he begins writing] 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.
  • "Death Takes a Holiday" - Winchester earns the contempt of the rest of the camp by not donating to the Christmas charity drive... because, unbeknownst to them, he is instead following a family tradition of donating a large consignment of confectionery from an upmarket Boston supplier to a local orphanage. He is surprised in the act by the orphanage director, who invites him in to meet the orphans; Winchester declines, saying that for it to be a true act of charity, the gift must be given anonymously. He later discovers at the camp Christmas party, to which the orphans are also invited, that the director immediately sold the chocolates on the black market. Charles confronts the director, believing that he pocketed the money, only to learn that the money was used to purchase enough rice and cabbage to feed the orphans for a month. He is immediately humbled by the revelation, and returns to the Swamp. Klinger overhears the conversation and follows Winchester to give him a plate of leftover food from the Christmas party... on condition that the gift must be given anonymously. They exchange a "Merry Christmas", addressing each other not as "Klinger" and "Major" but as "Max" and "Charles". Charles' initial confrontation with the orphanage director also counts. Charles, who's usually pretty aloof, looks about two seconds from ripping the man's arm off and beating him with it — and sounds about three seconds into the act.
    Mr. Choi: I have failed to carry out your family tradition. I am very sorry.
    Charles: On the contrary; it is I who should be sorry. It is sadly inappropriate to give dessert to a child who has had no meal.
    • The other part of the plot is both Heartwarming and Tearjerker. Earlier in the day, a badly wounded soldier is brought in. Despite their best efforts, it soon becomes obvious that his wounds are too severe and there's nothing they can do to save him. Then they find a letter in the soldier's pocket from his children, and after a brief moment, B.J. begins treating the soldier again. Hawkeye and Margaret tell him there's no point, but B.J. counters that if they can keep him alive for just long enough, those kids won't have to remember Christmas as the day their daddy died. Hawkeye and Margaret share a look, then move to assist him. The three of them do everything they can, maintaining a vigil for hours on end without rest, but despite their best efforts, the soldier finally dies with less than an hour left to go. B.J. slumps in defeat, then Hawkeye climbs up on a table and turns the hand of the clock on the wall ahead just past midnight.
      Hawkeye: Look, he made it.
  • The home movie B.J. gets from Peg in "Oh, How We Danced" is particularly heartwarming. First, that Hawkeye would go to the trouble of setting B.J. up so he could record how the day might go. Then getting it to Peg in time for her to make the movie and send it back. Then the surprise party. The look of absolute joy and pride on his face when he sees Erin in the movie will have you ready to cry as well. Everyone else in the room cooing over Erin is great too.

Season 10

  • "That's Showbiz" has a couple for members of the USO troupe:
    • Sarah lost her brother in combat and was looking for a pair of ballet slippers given to him by his fiance so they would have a shared memento. Despite the odds of them being lost or stolen, Margaret, Klinger, and Father Mulcahy bust their butts to get them recovered. When they are found, Sarah asks Father Mulcahy how it happened, and he simply points to the heavens.
    • Marina was brought in to the 4077 for an appendectomy and took note of another soldier brought in at the same time who was very shell-shocked and didn't say a word. She's able to get through to him just by talking, and the moment hits when he first speaks up to talk to B.J.
    Hey, doc? Will you tell her I like apples too?
  • "Communication Breakdown" - A North Korean POW is brought into camp and a South Korean MP is tasked with guarding him. The MP secretly reveals to Hawkeye that the two of them are brothers; not knowing which side would win, their father sent one son (the MP) to the south in the hopes that at least one of them would survive and carry on the family name. The brothers can't speak to each other for risk of being marked as spies by their respective sides and killed for it. So Hawkeye, Margaret and B.J. fake an emergency that requires them to rush the POW and the MP to the OR where, under the cover of a phony blood transfusion, the two brothers are able to speak freely in private.
  • In "Where There's a Will, There's a War", Hawkeye writes out his last will and testament in the event that he is killed while serving in an aid station under heavy fire. While writing it, he reminisces about his friends and writes out something about each one of them that he loves. The one person he can't seem to find the right words for is B.J., until he has an epiphany and leaves to Erin Hunnicutt a list of all the people her father has operated on during the war.
    • In a flashback scene from this episode, Hawkeye notices a copy of Life magazine on Klinger's desk, which happens to contain a photo spread of coastal Maine. Hawkeye is excited to see pictures of his home state, and Klinger somewhat absently tells Hawkeye to keep it, it was just left there randomly anyway. After leaving Klinger's office, Hawkeye notices a soldier eating a large salami. The soldier tells Hawkeye that Klinger traded the salami for his Life magazine.
    • Another flashback scene has Margaret and Hawkeye taking stock of the supply room late at night. They're both tired and want to finish the job, but Margaret suddenly makes a joke, and Hawkeye is so surprised he can't stop laughing. The two of them then trade a series of puns until they're both falling over each other in hysterical laughter. It really shows how far they've come from their early antagonism toward each other.
    • Another, subtler, one is the flashback scene with Potter, where he sees Hawkeye sitting outside the OR looking discouraged, so he sits with him for a minute and talks about fishing, allowing a bit of normalcy to return in the midst of all the craziness.
  • "Sons and Bowlers" - Hawkeye's father goes in for surgery stateside, but his survival is not guaranteed. Winchester overhears Hawkeye trying to get through to the hospital where his father is being treated on the camp phone, and proceeds to spend the night keeping vigil with him until they can get word that the elder Dr. Pierce has made it through. As they discuss their relationships with their fathers (a discussion in which we learn that although Charles Winchester II wanted only the best for his son, he was nevertheless a typical emotionally-distant patriarch), Winchester calls Pierce fortunate in that while Charles has a father, Hawkeye has a dad.
    Hawkeye: Charles, you've never told me anything like this before.
    Charles: Actually... Hawkeye... I've never told you anything before.note 
    • At the end of the episode, the rest of the unit (regarding the episode's other plot) is celebrating in the Officer's Club. Hawkeye quietly comes over to Charles with two drinks.
    Hawkeye: To our fathers.
    Charles: And to their sons.

Season 11

  • Margaret's Pet the Dog moment in "Hey, Look Me Over." She's facing a grueling inspection from a senior nurse who seems to have the opinion that good is never good enough, and when one of her nurses comes up and asks what else she has to do, Margaret tells her to take the night off and have some fun.
  • "Who Knew?" - Hawkeye volunteering to deliver the eulogy for a nurse nobody really knew and using his experience in reading her diary to stop hiding his true feelings behind jokes and open up to everyone a bit more for a nice bit of Character Development.
  • The crew throwing a mortgage-burning party for Col. Potter in "Settling Debts". It was Mildred's idea.
  • In "The Moon Is Not Blue," Hawkeye giving a horribly socially awkward soldier a placebo so he could talk to women. Then telling him that it was a placebo, and he had the guts to talk to women all along.
  • "Run for the Money" - A wounded private is teased by the other men in his unit and his commanding officer for his stutter, and has been called a dummy for so long that he believes it. (The fact that the actor has a slight Southern accent gives him an even worse impression.) Major Winchester rips into the men who make fun of him and tells the private that he's seen his IQ score and that he's very intelligent, but needs to believe in himself. He then recites a list of famous people who stuttered and sends the Private off with a copy of Moby-Dick, saying that it's fit for a man of his intelligence. When the Private explains he knows the story, having read the comic book version, far from being affronted Charles actually laughs and explains he might get something more out of the original. An original he gives to the man for all the fact it's a precious, leather-bound copy. He then retires to his tent and listens to a recorded letter from his sister back home...who stutters.
  • In "U.N., the Night, and the Music," a rather good-looking Swedish doctor arrives, and Margaret almost immediately falls for him. Unfortunately, he's had an injury in the past (nerve damage after his jeep hit a mine) that prevents him from having any sort of sexual relationship with Margaret. Hawkeye agrees to run interference for the man, increasingly frustrating Margaret. Eventually, the doctor comes clean with her and tries to leave gracefully. She immediately stops him and asks if he wouldn't just like to stay and talk for a while. He practically falls over himself agreeing, implying this is the first time anyone's accepted his condition. Then, the next day, Margaret confronts Hawkeye.
    Margaret: [angrily] And you! [smiles] Thanks for trying to be a jerk.
  • "Say No More" - Margaret is eagerly anticipating a lecture by Dr. Steven Chesler, a hero of hers whom Charles dismisses as a charlatan. However, she develops laryngitis with only days before the lecture, and Charles tells her that she will only regain her voice in time for the lecture if she doesn't speak at all before then - an impossibility for a nurse. She has Charles act as her voice for correspondence with Dr. Chesler as their respective plans change, but she finally decides that since meeting Chesler would delay her recovery by several days, she will have to scrap her plans to meet him before he returns to the United States. The morning after she asks Charles to send Chesler a telegram to this effect, she gets a massive surprise:
    [Margaret is rubbing ointment on her throat; there is a knock at her door]
    Margaret: [almost inaudible] Coming... coming... [she heads over to the door and opens it, then gasps in shock - it's Dr. Chesler]
    Charles: Margaret, I don't believe you've met Dr. Chesler.
    Margaret: Ohh!...
    Chesler: [extending his hand] This is indeed a pleasure! [Margaret is about to shake his hand, but first wipes off the ointment, then sniffs her hand and grimaces]
    Charles: I believe that Major Houlihan is inviting you to come in. [Margaret nods enthusiastically] Well, get acquainted, you two! [Chesler enters Margaret's tent; Charles closes the door behind him]
    Chesler: Now, please don't strain your voice!
    Margaret: [still reeling from the shock of Chesler's unexpected visit] Why are you here?
    Chesler: Under the circumstances, I could hardly refuse your invitation!
    Margaret: I... invited you?
    Chesler: Well, I realise that Dr. Winchester's voice was on the telephone this morning, but... you were standing there next to him, telling him all those nice things to say.
    [Margaret is stunned - she wasn't there at all, and she realises this means Charles arranged this meeting especially for her despite his dislike for Chesler]
    Margaret: ... yes! [nods] Yes! That was me! Yes!
    Chesler: You know, I don't know whether it's your dedication to your job or all those lovely things you said about me, but... I wanted to meet you before I left.
    Margaret: I'm... speechless!
    [at the end of the episode, in the mess tent, as Charles gets his lunch, Margaret walks up to him]
    Charles: Hello, Margaret, how did it go with you and the quack?
    Margaret: [smiling ear to ear] Oh... he... I... we... [shocks Charles by grabbing his face and kissing him on the lips]
  • "As Time Goes By" - When Hawkeye donates the bear Radar left behind to the 4077th time capsule to stand for all those who came to war as boys as went home as men. And moments later, B.J. donates a lure that belonged to Henry Blake, standing for all the men who never made it home. It may have been several seasons later, but they never forgot Henry.
    • Especially considering that Henry was already dead by the time B.J. came to the 4077th, and yet he still takes the time to honor a man he never got to meet.
    • The B plot results in another nice moment. At the beginning of the episode, the camp learns of a chopper that was supposed to arrive with a critical casualty, but is now overdue. In an almost throwaway scene, the chopper arrives the next morning and delivers the casualty. The pilot casually says he had engine and radio trouble and had to land overnight, requests a replacement fan belt for his chopper, and leaves. The patient he delivered wakes up and tells their real story: shortly after takeoff, their chopper was shot down behind enemy lines, destroying the fan belt and radio. Without the fan belt, the engine would overheat, so they could only fly a hundred yards at a time. Knowing that the patient's life depended on getting to the 4077th, the pilot set off on foot in the dark to find a clear landing spot and then came back. By then the engine had cooled, and they flew the hundred yards until the engine overheated again. The pilot repeated the process through the night, even though he could have been captured or killed, scouting ahead then returning to fly to the hospital, a hundred yards at a time. This story in part is what inspires Hawkeye to help Margaret with her time capsule project instead of ridicule it, and he submits the broken fan belt as his contribution to the time capsule as an olive branch to her in the end.
  • "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen" - There are plenty from the finale:
    • Charles taking the Chinese musicians under his wing. After they surrendered to him and believed they were entertaining him with American folk songs played over his records, he yells that he wants to listen to Mozart. One of the musicians recognizes the name and begins playing a Mozart piece, which Charles then spends a large portion of the episode trying to improve with them. (Doubles as a Funny Moment when they play the piece perfectly on the way out of camp, suggesting they were just messing with him the whole time.)
    • Klinger loving Soon-Li enough to stay in Korea (go back to the early episodes and you'll realize what a surprise that must have been) to help her find her family. Doubles as a Funny Moment:
      Klinger: I can't believe I'm saying this...I'm staying in Korea!
    • Hawkeye and B.J. giving Potter a respectful, silent salute. Twice as heartwarming because you can literally count the number of serious salutes that Hawkeye has given anyone throughout the series on one hand. The gesture isn't lost on Potter either as he can barely hold back tears as he returns the salute.
    • Potter giving Margaret a kiss on the forehead and hoping that her personal life will be just as good as her professional life.
    • Potter saying goodbye to Sophie. (Doubles as a Tear Jerker.)
    • Hawkeye telling B.J. "I'll never be able to shake you" and the deep, desperate hug between the two of them right afterwards. It Book-Ends Hawkeye's speech way back from "Chief Surgeon Who?" as the two of them would never have become such close friends if not for the cruddy situation they shared.
    • Charles saying goodbye to Margaret. Previously, he had taken back a book of poetry he had given her, much to her disappointment. When it comes time to leave camp, he returns the book to her, now with a written message inside the cover, and kisses her hand, a true Officer and a Gentleman.
      • An additional meta example from that scene: David Ogden Stiers had also written his phone number in the book, finally granting Loretta Switt's request to allow her to keep in touch with him along with the rest of the cast since he first joined.
    • Winchester's departure from the 4077, remaining as dignified as ever, even though he is riding in a garbage truck. He comments that it's quite appropriate, considering he's leaving a dump. His final line:
      • It's a bit of a Call-Back to Hawkeye's Last Will and Testament, when he commented that Charles never lost his dignity, even in the most undignified situations.
    • The "goodbye" stones are a two-fold Heartwarming Moment: not only from B.J. to Hawkeye (giving him the goodbye that he wanted from B.J. and - it's implied - from Trapper), but also from the show to us.
    • The supporting cast has always gotten more love than most shows will give, to the point that the extras remained almost static in the later years of the show. The supporting cast was given special attention, including one episode showing Kellye being the backbone of the nurses and another where Goldman getting sick was a major plotpoint. Thus, it was especially touching in the finale when various supporting characters got to stand up and announce where they were going after the war. Gave a real sense of family and realism to the moment, as many shows would have focused exclusively on the main cast.


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