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Recap / M*A*S*H S1 E15: Tuttle

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Hawkeye and Trapper create the identity of a make-believe man, once Hawkeye's childhood imaginary friend, to get supplies from the 4077 over to the orphanage. Unfortunately, Tuttle's name shows up on some official paperwork and Henry starts thinking Tuttle's real. And when he does, so does Major Burns and Major Houlihan, and so do a few others, and a few others after them, and, oh you get the point. But as the story of Captain Tuttle continues, how long will it be before it gets too out of hand?


Attention, Captain Tuttle! Report to surgery with the following tropes:

  • The Ace: Captain Tuttle.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Radar during the scene where Hawkeye is filling in Tuttle's personnel file and handling the description.
  • Always on Duty: Frank Burns is the only person to volunteer for Officer of the Day. Tired of it, Henry insists that Captain Tuttle take it instead.
  • Anonymous Benefactor: For some reason, Hawkeye and Trapper don't want their donations to be acknowledged. That is where Tuttle comes in.
  • The Cameo: Sparky actually appears in this episode.
  • Credits Gag: Captain Tuttle is credited as himself.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: As intended by Hawkeye, Margaret acts amorously when she reads Tuttle's description. This gets Frank hot under the collar.
    Frank: Oh, for Pete's sake, Margaret. You're practically drooling.
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  • Here We Go Again!: At the end, Trapper's imaginary friend comes into the camp.
  • The Hero Dies: Captain Jonathan S. Tuttle
  • Imaginary Friend: The title character.
  • Invented Individual: Tuttle, who was the original Trope Namer.
  • Kill and Replace: A variation. A paranoid Frank believes that the army is against him and has sent Captain Tuttle to replace him at MASH.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Frank's reply to Radar telling him that Colonel Blake shouldn't be woken up because he might be dreaming of some new medicine that could help all mankind.
    Frank: Henry Blake? That launderette?
  • Malaproper:
    • Hawkeye not translating Berlin Polytechnic into German correctly.
    • A nervous Henry gets his and Crandall Clayton's ranks mixed up when the general calls.
      Henry: Colonel Clayton, General Blake here, sir.
      Gen. Clayton: Steady, Henry.
  • Noodle Incident: Hawkeye and Trapper glued Frank's bible together and drew fangs on his picture of Senator McCarthy.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Hawkeye and Trapper when Henry wants to see Tuttle in his office.
      Hawkeye: Should we go back inside and build one?
    • Just when Hawkeye seems to have the whole affair about Tuttle resolved, Henry tells him to deliver the eulogy
  • Reflexive Response: Hawkeye has just come off of another shift in the O.R. and is hoping for a good martini and sleep. Then Radar comes in.
    Hawkeye: Anybody coming in to tell me about more wounded is sucking around for a lobotomy!
  • Rule of Escalating Threat: All the business with Captain Tuttle eventually gets too out of hand.
  • Running Gag:
    • Radar continues to tell Henry how to sign the paperwork.
      Henry: Radar, you really understand all this army stuff?
      Radar: It helps not to be too bright, sir.
    • There is a particular one just for this episode where people are thinking Henry is more focused on doing his laundry than running the camp.
    • Henry having had a meal with Captain Tuttle.
    • Everybody in the camp except Frank and Margaret know their relationship is not a secret.
      Henry: Radar, there's something going on with Major Burns.
      Radar: Yes sir, with Major Houlihan. I know one guy who got pictures.
  • Take That!: Hawkeye doesn't believe in atheism.
  • Tearjerker: Hawkeye's eulogy for Tuttle gets both Margaret and Henry misty-eyed.
  • Too Dumb to Live: For all his (supposed) skill, Tuttle was so eager to help some soldiers in the field that he jumped from a plane without his parachute.
  • Too Much Information: Radar's description about his imaginary friend from childhood has Hawkeye telling the corporal to get out of the tent.
  • You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good: Trapper thinks Hawkeye should write fiction as he is writing up Tuttle's personnel file.
    Hawkeye: You should see my file.

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