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Recap / M*A*S*H S1 E14: Love Story

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"Better to have loved and lost than never love at all."

Not in Radar's case. The 4077's company clerk has received heartbreaking news from home that his fiancée is now engaged to someone else and his poor little heart is broken. In his emotional state, he is unable to run things properly and starts messing things up. All that changes when a new nurse rolls in and he gets smitten. However, because of the army rules and regulations, Frank and Margaret seek to break up the potential romance. Hawkeye does not take this lying down and declares war on the two.

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The Love Story has a few tropes along the road:

  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: This is how Hawkeye gets back at Margaret.
  • Angst? What Angst?: Radar's emotional issues practically disappear when he meets Lieutenant Anderson.
  • Berserk Button: Hawkeye is not happy when Frank refers to the North Koreans as a "godless horde".
  • Big Eater: Hawkeye and Trapper lampshade how much food Radar piles onto his platter.
    Hawkeye: That's a nice-looking hors d'oeuvre.
    Trapper: Would you like a doggy bag in advance?
    Hawkeye: Don't give him a doggy bag. He eats those too, with cream and sugar.
  • Blatant Lies: Margaret denies she has a date set with Major Burns when Radar comes to tell her he can't come.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Radar sums up Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire from just its title.
    Radar: "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire"? Sounds serious.
    Hawkeye: Well, it was no picnic.
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  • Dear John Recording: The proven source of Radar's troubles.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Margaret bites back at Hawkeye's continued insults.
    Margaret: The next time you see me, I want a salute, Captain.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Frank realises a little too late that his cologne is either spiked or has been replaced with chloroform.
    Frank: (whimpering) Oh no.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Lieutenant Anderson is wary of Hawkeye because of his infamy with the ladies.
  • Hollywood Dateless: Hawkeye thinks Radar getting a date with one of the nurses will solve his issues. None of the nurses are interested. Luckily though, two new ones are arriving.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Once again, Frank and Margaret believe their romance is the only pure and untouched one in the whole camp. Yeah right...hypocrites.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Because of this with Radar, Hawkeye and Trapper teach him some tricks to provoke belief in Lieutenant Anderson that his interest in reading and music is similar to her own. The results are very mixed.
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  • Ironic Echo Cut: Henry too is surprised by Radar's Out-of-Character Moment
    Hawkeye: That's a first.
    Trapper: Radar not eating.
    [cut]
    Henry: Not eating?
  • Jerkass: Frank Burns. When something's physically wrong with a patient or a friend, he's the perfect doctor. When there's something mentally or emotionally wrong with somebody, he automatically thinks it's nothing, the patient's just goldbricking and they should be getting extra duty for it.
    Hawkeye: Frank, would you mind not being so true red, white and blue first thing in the morning?
  • Love at First Sight: Radar meets Lieutenant Anderson and is head over heels.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Hawkeye seems on the verge of success of getting one of the nurses to take Radar on a date, but he's too much of a casanova to go through with it.
    Nurse: Oh hey, what about Radar?
    Hawkeye: Radar who?
  • Noodle Incident: The first sign Radar was having problems was when the day before, Henry found him on top of the filing cabinet in the foetal position.
    Trapper: The foetal position?
    Hawkeye: [picks up the phone] Doctor Freud, call your office.
    • The second sign occurred earlier that morning. General Clayton had called for the monthly report. Radar told him the camp doesn't deliver.
    • As part of their war on Margaret for interfering with Radar and Lieutenant Anderson's relationship, Hawkeye and Trapper sewed Frank into his cot blanket.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Hawkeye and Trapper realise something is getting to Radar when he doesn't eat one bite of his lunch.
    • Radar has also been fouling up supply requisitions. Henry notes it's been a long time since that happened.
  • Running Gag: The first occasion where Henry gets something stuck to his hat. Here, it's one of his fingers getting caught on a fishing hook. Ouch.
  • Shout-Out: To Goldilocks and the Three Bears
    (in baby voices)
    Hawkeye: The first one was too hard.
    Trapper: The second one was too soft.
  • Spanner in the Works: Margaret tries to drive a wedge in the growing romance between Radar and Lieutenant Anderson. This is lampshaded by Henry and met with sarcasm by Hawkeye.
    Margaret: It's against regulations for enlisted personnel to consort with officers.
    Henry: Major, has it occurred to you that these two people may be in love?
    Margaret: That's not important.
    Hawkeye: Not important?! Without love, what are we worth? Eighty nine cents. Eighty nine cents worth of chemicals walking around lonely.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: When Margaret is well and truly broken by Hawkeye and Trapper's campaign, she reverts to this.
  • This Means War!: Hawkeye gets beyond irritated by Margaret's by-the-book demeanour on the matter of Radar and Lieutenant Anderson dating.
    Hawkeye: One of these days, I'm gonna booby trap her garter belt. Wonder how she'd like it if I broke up her romance with Frank Burns? I wonder how she'd feel about that?
    Hawkeye: You got it.
  • Uptown Girl: Lieutenant Anderson has some very classy interests in literature and music.
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