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Recap / M*A*S*H S3 E16: Bulletin Board

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Attention, all personnel! The following tropes were posted on the bulletin board:

  • The Ace: Hawkeye is not only a terrific surgeon, but he's also an expert paddle baller. He can do it with his eyes shut, much to Trapper's chagrin.
  • Always Someone Better: Inverted. Trapper tries to break Hawkeye's paddle ball score of 71. He never gets past one point.
    Trapper: What did you do, change balls on me?
  • Berserk Button: Hawkeye hates being woken up by someone
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  • Body Horror: While writing a letter to his daughter, Trapper recalls many times in the past December where patients are suffering from frostbite.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: It is usually Margaret who quotes that she has a headache when she's not in the mood to have Frank coming onto her. Now it's Frank's turn to give her the excuse.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Trapper asks Radar in the opening scene what he's putting on the bulletin board. Radar answers that it is regarding Henry's upcoming lecture about sex.
    Hawkeye: That should be an enjoyable sixty seconds.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Frank Burns gives a hilarious and friendly one to Trapper when the latter starts snoring at the sex lecture.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Margaret's father is strongly implied to be dead. This is clearly not the case later on, especially since he visits the unit at one time.
    • There is also a debatable one. Margaret says that she has a younger sister who is never mentioned again in the series.
  • Escalating Brawl: Klinger and Zale duke it out at Movie Night. Father Mulcahy tries to intervene but his efforts are less than successful.
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  • Fanservice: The hula dance at the barbecue
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: The levity of the barbecue is bitterly concluded when Radar gets up and there is a transfixed expression on his face. Everyone else falls silent and looks to him. He turns to them and nods, giving them the dreaded announcement.
    Choppers.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: A naive Radar asks during the sex lecture if he should roll down the tent flaps so the nurses don't hear the lecture. Henry skims over this by saying the nurses probably already know about sex.
    Hawkeye: I know I've been spreading the word.
  • Heroic BSoD: Henry Blake suffers from this when a patient of his dies in post-op. This leads him to take a level in cynic and he almost orders the upcoming picnic and barbecue to be cancelled. Luckily, Hawkeye and Trapper are there to convince him not to.
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  • Jerkass: Being the financially greedy weasel that he is, Frank absolutely refuses to loan any money to Margaret unless there's an IOU and five percent interest involved.
  • Kick the Dog: For no provocation whatsoever, Hawkeye and Trapper stall a fight between the two of them and start throwing objects at a sleeping Frank Burns.
  • Lovable Coward: Henry is at the head of his team for tug-of-war game when Father Mulcahy is testing the depth of the mud puddle. Henry is alarmed by the depth and goes to the rear of the team.
  • MacGuffin Title: Majority of the lot is determined by the postings on the bulletin board.
  • Malaproper: The PA Announcer says "negilent" instead of "negligent".
  • Mood Whiplash: The trope is referenced by Henry Blake when Hawkeye and Trapper are dissuading him from cancelling the picnic and barbecue.
    Hawkeye: You did everything you could.
    Trapper: Yeah. Come on, Henry. Loosen up. You'll have a ball.
    Henry: Yeah, that's just it. Everybody unwinds, has a good time, then the war comes back and it's a real belly drop.
  • Random Events Plot
  • Reality Ensues: Hypothermia, the deadly succumbing of a person to freezing temperatures, prevents a wounded soldier from bleeding to death.
  • Red Scare: Frank is of the opinion that the United States Army is in Korea to put an end to Communism.
    Frank: We are here to stem the red tide, to finish off the commies once and for all. Everyone with half a mind knows as I do, that after Germany, we should've knocked out the Russkies, then clobbered the Chinese before they forced Chiang Kai-shek and his very beautiful wife off the mainland, to which I for once say they should be unleashed so that they can liberate the real Chinese people and restore the government that America has paid so many millions of dollars to help get.
  • The Scrooge: Frank refuses to lend Margaret money
  • Shout-Out: The Littlest Rebel is shown at Movie Night.
  • Shown Their Work: Trapper gives a summary explanation and a demonstration of looking for the symptoms of hypothermia in a frozen patient.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Unlike previous awkward sexual health lectures, Henry's on his A-game for this one, putting Frank in his place after his jingoistic rant, and even swiping a magazine out of a distracted private's hands.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Klinger and Zale.
    Zale: You wanna remove your hat, lady?
    Zale: Sit down or I'll make you eat your bra.
  • Voiceover Letter: Trapper writes a letter to his daughter Becky.
    • The Tag features the latest notice from the bulletin board in this manner.
  • Wrong Assumption: At Movie Night, Margaret mistakes the person touching her as being Frank or Henry Blake who are sitting on either side of her. She should have checked who was sitting in the row behind her.
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