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Recap / M*A*S*H S2 E18: Operation Noselift

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Uncomfortable with the way his nose has been ever since he was a child, Private Daniel Baker has been seeking cosmetic surgery to have it altered, but he faces the issues of cosmetic surgery not being allowed to be performed at a United States military hospital and the fact that none of the surgeons stationed in Tokyo either. As one would expect, Hawkeye and Trapper go above and beyond to help a friend in need, calling in an expert to do the job. And of course, Majors Burns and Houlihan seek to stand in the way.

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Attention, all hands! Private Baker's surgery will involve the following tropes:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: An upset Private Baker finally cracks a smile when Hawkeye tells him a joke about Napoleon.
  • Amusing Injuries: Henry, in the middle of saluting, catches his finger on one of his hat's fishing hooks.
    Henry: What are you trying to do to me?
  • Anachronism Stew: Henry references The Blob as one of the films shown in the camp - even though it hadn't been filmed yet.
  • At Least I Admit It: Henry confesses that he is not very good with handing out discipline.
  • Berserk Button: Margaret catches Frank making lovey-dovey talk to a woman on the phone. The fact that it's his wife doesn't settle things.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Hawkeye arrives in time to stop Major Robbins forcing himself on Margaret. Trapper also gets to be this too by being a shoulder for Margaret to cry on.
  • Blatant Lies: Hawkeye informs Frank and Margaret that Stanley's visit to the 4077 is merely social.
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    • Once again, Frank fibs to his wife that Major Houlihan is a guy.
  • Brick Joke: When contacting Stanley Robbins, Trapper accidentally sits on Henry's doll, breaking its head off from the body. One scene later, Henry has discovered it and is hopping mad.
  • The Chessmaster: When Frank and Margaret get suspicious, Hawkeye and Trapper start leading the two into a game that was over before it began. That being said...
  • Complexity Addiction: Several steps could have been cut from the plan (along with having to explain Baker's new nose when he gets back from R&R) if they had simply had him get hit with the baseball.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The PA Announcer issues out a set of commands as part of Hawkeye's plan for Baker's operation as well as getting Frank and Margaret out of the way.
    PA Announcer: Attention. Major Robbins, report for emergency surgery. Major Burns, report to the CO. Major Houlihan, report to Supply. [beat] Those are the major announcements of the day.
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  • Description Cut: Henry instructcs Private Baker to go to Father Mulcahy to talk about his problems, confiding that the chaplain is a good and wise man. The scene moves to Father Mulcahy talking to Baker.
  • Didn't Think This Through: How are they planning on explaining Baker's new nose when he gets back from his supposed R&R?
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Hawkeye and Trapper make a pair when Baker is going through Robbin's catalogue of nose shapes and styles.
    Hawkeye: Gee, I never realised how hard it was to pick a nose.
    Robbins: [scowling] Do me a favour, huh? [points to a page] Big winner. Very popular number. This job paid for two Cadillacs.
    Trapper: I'd call that paying through the nose.
    Robbins: The wit in this tent flows like molasses.
  • Mythology Gag: Like the previous guest character he played in MASH, Stuart Margolin's Stanley Robbins has lecherously set his eyes on Margaret Houlihan.
  • Noodle Incident: MASH 4077 recently celebrated Mardi Gras, in which Henry appeared as King Neptune.
  • Plausible Deniability: Henry tells Hawkeye and Trapper not to inform him any further about what they have planned to help Baker get the cosmetic surgery for his nose, wanting to put this trope into effect.
    Henry: You guys have my full permission, and I never said that, I mean, I'm not even here, so how could I?
  • Psychopathic Man Child: Henry Blake.
    Henry: Hey! Who broke my doll?!
    Robbins: I didn't know you guys had a mental ward.
    Hawkeye: That, Doctor Ripley, is our commanding officer.
    Robbins: Do I salute or test his reflexes?
  • Pun: Henry, when asked by Hawkeye and Trapper if he's noticed Baker's nose.
    Henry: Ooh, that's quite a hooter. There's one bazoo that's begging for a salami slicer.
  • Rape as Comedy: Robbins follows Margaret into the supply tent and starts to make advances on her including shoving her onto a table. This is entirely played for laughs.
  • Reflexive Response: Father Mulcahy reiterates that all humanity was made in God's image. Bake retorts this with the following line:
    Well then he must have a schnoz the size of Texas.
  • Remember the New Guy?: This is not the first time Daniel Baker has gone AWOL.
  • Running Gag: Once more, Henry Blake has to deal with a negative report written by Frank and Margaret that was sent to a ranking general, in this example General Mitchell.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Cosmetic surgery is against army regulations. That doesn't stop Hawkeye and Trapper from helping Baker out.
  • Selective Obliviousness: A habit of Father Mulcahy's; he translates hearing things like sexual subjects into the Latin language.
    Father Mulcahy: Makes them sound noble.
  • Ship Tease: Margaret and Trapper.
    Trapper: There, there, my Margaret. Ain't nobody gonna harm y'all unless you leave old Uncle Trapper's arms.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Two of the movies shown on Movie Night in the past week were The Thing and The Blob.
    • Henry funnily tries to guess what famous Hollywood people Stanley Robbins has performed cosmetic surgery on, such as Sylvia Sidney, Slim Summerville and Sid Caesar.
    • Hawkeye refers to Frankenstein, claiming that Stanley built him in his laboratory.
  • The Tag: Hawkeye and Trapper (and the audience) realise that Stanley Robbins is leaving the 4077 without mentioning the nurse they claimed to be setting up for him. This leads to them to believe that he met a nurse who fit and reciprocated his tastes, and immediately set themselves about finding who that nurse was.
  • Title Drop: "Gentlemen, synchronize your watches. Operation Noselift is about to begin."
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