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Recap / M*A*S*H S1 E19: The Longjohn Flap

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A cold change is in the air as the onset of winter catch the members of the 4077 off-guard. The army in all of their infinite wisdom did not send the camp any winter clothing or extra supplies for the season. As such, the characters have to make use of whatever they got to keep themselves warm while also freezing to the bone. The only person seemingly unaffected by the chill is Hawkeye who, unbeknownst to everyone, has been sent double-weave longjohns from his father. Hilarity Ensues when Trapper persistently begs to borrow them from Hawkeye, who gradually caves in out of irritation, but loses them to Radar in a poker game. Radar trades it over to the cook in exchange for a leg of roast lamb and mint jelly. The cook bribes Frank with them. Margaret tells him forcefully to hand them over to her. Klinger tries to steal it from Frank at gunpoint, only for it to be revealed to him Frank no longer has them, and proceeds to steal them from Margaret. Overcome by a guilty conscience and fearful for his life if he was to be found with them, Klinger gives them to Father Mulcahy during a confessional. Father Mulcahy then turns the longjohns in to Colonel Henry Blake, who wants to keep them for himself. Hawkeye and Trapper enter his office to get them back.


These tropes weaved in through the camp like a pair of longjohns

  • Always Someone Better: Hawkeye loses a nurse to - (wait a sec, that can't be right! . . . Oh, Rule of Funny, huh?) - Hawkeye loses a nurse to Radar.
    Hawkeye: She must have frostbite on her taste.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse:
    • To get the longjohns from Radar, the cook offers him a real leg of roast lamb and a large bowl of mint jelly.
    • The cook covertly offers Frank the longjohns in return for not busting him down a rank for failing the kitchen inspection.
  • Answer Cut: Hawkeye learns his longjohns were stolen from Margaret's tent and remarks "Only God knows where they are now". The scene cuts to Father Mulcahy who is about to have an improvised confessional with the thief.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Klinger apologises for holding Frank up when the major reveals he doesn't have the longjohns anymore.
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  • Armor-Piercing Question: Margaret asks Frank how much he loves her and what he would give up for her.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: You get a snappy response from Hawkeye.
    Radar: If I have three red cards and they're all red, would that mean I have three of a kind?
    Hawkeye: Is that a question for a grown man to ask?
  • Bait-and-Switch: At the poker game, Trapper has a full house and Radar has two pairs. Full house beats two pairs, right? Not here. After being asked what pairs he had, Radar answers tens. They're all tens. Two pairs of tens = Four tens = Four of a kind. Whoops. Hand over the longjohns, Trapper.
  • Blatant Lies: The cook had once told Frank his wife was dead. Now caught in his lie, he makes flimsy excuses that even Frank can see through.
    Frank: Sergeant, I would be very surprised if you never even had a wife, let alone a stiff one.
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  • *Click* Hello: While on guard duty, Klinger holds Franks up so he can steal the longjohns.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Frank doesn't seems to realise Klinger is holding him at gunpoint for the longjohns.
    Frank: Take off my clothes?! Now look Klinger, I know you're trying to get sent home as a nut, but wearing dresses is bad enough. Don't. Get. Repulsive.
    • Margaret brings Hawkeye into her tent after calling out for help. Hawkeye naturally gets the wrong idea.
      Hawkeye: You know all the nights I've lain awake dreaming of this moment. May I kiss your oak leaf, Major?
      Margaret: Where were you just now?
      Hawkeye: Over in surgery, perfecting my sawing-the-man-in-half routine. Where do you think I was?
      Margaret: Somebody ran off with my underwear!
      Hawkeye: Well, I hope that teaches you something about blind dates, Margaret.
  • Confessional: Father Mulcahy shares one with the longjohns thief.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Played for laughs and subverted. In an icy cold Korean winter, without any other warm clothing available, it's hard to blame Henry for wanting to keep the longjohns for himself.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Hawkeye's response to Trapper's surprise reaction to him having longjohns.
      Hawkeye: Certainly. You think I want to catch cold and die like you.
    • Hawkeye suggests that Trapper uses his second blanket to keep warm.
      Trapper: I'd like to, but somebody stole it. This war is turning everybody into a criminal and it's making me sick.
      Hawkeye: Well, next time, try to stay out of the draft.
    • Trapper, again.
      Trapper: You better get some rest, Hawkeye. You're gonna need all your strength tomorrow . . . to bury me.
    • Trapper in the chow line
      Trapper: Is there a reason this line is going so slow? It's moving in the opposite direction.
  • Deal with the Devil: Played For Laughs with Trapper trying desperately to get the longjohns from Hawkeye. Doubly funny is that it's Trapper who's naming the price.
    Trapper: $50 and a picture of my children. $60 and you can have the children!
  • Disproportionate Retribution: At first Radar thinks Hawkeye and Trapper are taking Henry to surgery because he was hoarding the longjohns.
  • Don't Say Such Stupid Things: Henry remands Radar for writing down every word he's saying in a letter to the Quartermasters Corp commanding officer.
    Henry: Don't tell him about my thighs, Corporal! What's the matter with you?
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: When asked if she wants some pie, a nurse Radar's interested in answers positively, going on to remind him she's got to keep her energy up for 'later'.
  • I'm Gonna Kill Him: Hawkeye discovers how Radar caught the attentions of a nurse he was embracing. He's using his longjohns.
    Hawkeye: I'll break his leg, set it, and break it again.
  • Jaw Drop: Trapper is shocked to discover Hawkeye is wearing longjohns.
  • Here We Go Again!: Hilariously averted in The Stinger.
  • Honor Before Reason: If Hawkeye and Trapper had just kept their mouths shut about Radar's victory, they would have been able to keep the longjohns
  • Large Ham: Hawkeye
  • MacGuffin: The longjohns
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": Hawkeye and Trapper realise Radar won the poker game, and the longjohns.
  • Nominal Importance: A non-living example. Radar burns some old rescinding orders for heat.
  • Playing Sick: Trapper's last resort to getting the longjohns for himself. It works, but only because Hawkeye's irritated by it.
  • Ruptured Appendix: Henry, towards the end of the episode
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: More to the second part of the trope. Hawkeye got the longjohns from his father.
  • Skewed Priorities: Henry refuses surgery if it means cutting up the longjohns.
    • The camp reacts more jubilantly to the news the longjohns have been saved than the news Henry's pulled through the appendectomy.
  • Sturgeon's Law: Frank stakes his claim on the longjohns with the quote "Possession is nine tenths of the law".
  • Take That!: Henry Blake gives one to the army for not supplying winter clothing to the unit.
    Henry: This is ridiculous. Why can't they send us something decent to wear?
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: The entire plot starts because Trapper can't stand the fact that Hawkeye has longjohns. It then turns into the same with everyone else because as soon as someone else gets the longjohns, someone else wants them.
  • Troll: Hawkeye rubs it in to a desperate Trapper that he's warm while the other's freezing. He's gonna be feeling the cold soon.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Hawkeye verbally lashes out at Trapper for using the longjohns as a bet at poker. And losing them afterwards.
    • Margaret blasts Frank for letting her freeze while he was wearing the longjohns.
      Margaret: [shivering in shock] You've let me sit here and freeze to death with socks on my hands while you've been parading around in those?! You tell your fingers to start bleeding, Frank, and get out! After you give me that underwear!
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Hawkeye turns down Trapper's offer of twenty dollars for his longjohns.
    Hawkeye: Ha ha! Are you kidding? I wouldn't take twelve of your toes for these. I'm warm. Warm, do you hear? Warm!

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