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Recap / M*A*S*H S3 E7: Check-Up

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All the members of the 4077th are forced by military regulations to endure a routine physical check-up. Hijinks predictably ensue, but things start becoming serious when Trapper appears to be suffering an affliction and refuses to have his. He is soon diagnosed with a duodenal ulcer, which Hawkeye tells him is enough to get him a medical discharge. The camp personnel gather together to throw Trapper the biggest farewell bash he will ever possibly know, and Frank and Margaret secretly applaud Trapper's departure since it will give them a chance to rein in Hawkeye's antics.

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As the party gets underway, Radar privately conveys a message to Trapper from headquarters: instead of being discharged, he has to report in for treatment of his ulcer and then return to duty. His only choice is between being treated in Tokyo and then transferred to another unit, or being treated at the 4077th and staying there. Trapper reluctantly chooses to stay at the 4077th, only breaking the news once everyone at the party is good and drunk to soften the blow.


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Attention! As part of your physical, ensure that your personnel forms note the following tropes:

  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Henry and Margaret each have a share of this trope at Trapper's farewell party.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Hawkeye jokingly implies this in regards to Margaret Houlihan.
    Hawkeye: I'm off to Hot Lips country. If I'm not back in two days, alert Intensive Care.
  • Amusing Injuries: Klinger pricks his finger on a pin.
  • And I'm the Queen of Sheba: Klinger claims he's not the complaining type. A knowledgeable Hawkeye quips "Since when?"
  • Can't Believe I Said That: Margaret, when preparing her nurses for their checkup, realises too late that her words could be taken another way.
  • Comically Missing the Point: During Radar's physical, Henry tells him to close his eyes, extend his arm, and touch the old nose. Radar translates the last one as meaning to touch the colonel's nose.
    Henry: Your nose, Radar. Your nose.
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  • Could Say It, But...: Frank's goodbye to Trapper
    Frank: Well, McIntyre, I guess this is it. I, uh, just wanted you to know I've always admired you, always liked you.
    Trapper: Thanks, Frank.
    Frank: But I'm glad you're going.
  • Curse of the Ancients:
    Henry: Oh, for Pete's sake.
    Frank: Oh, fudge.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Hawkeye, during Henry's announcement at the start of the episode.
    Henry: This is your commanding officer, Colonel Blake.
    Hawkeye: I thought it was Major Bowes.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: Two for the price of one. When Frank comes into the Swamp to give Trapper his check-up, the latter tells him to take a walk. Frank sternly reminds him that they're in the army, obviously alluding to the fact he's higher in rank.
    Trapper: Then take a hike!
    Frank: Are you refusing to take your physical from a superior officer?
    Trapper: No, I'm refusing to take my physical from an inferior doctor.
  • Informed Self-Diagnosis: Trapper explains why he thinks he has a duodenal ulcer in detail.
  • Get Out!: Frank demands Klinger leave the Swamp, stating the tent is no place for perverts.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Henry suggests to Radar that he might need to have his tonsils removed later. This eventually does happen later in the series.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Radar gets his microphone working by slamming it on his desk.
  • Running Gag: Klinger's newest scheme to get out of the army is pretending to be dreadfully sick.
  • Self-Deprecation: Trapper has a few choice words to say about the surgical methods, the medical equipment, and the people of the the 4077th.
    Trapper: This place is medically medieval. The lab equipment went up San Juan Hill with Teddy Roosevelt. Most of you guys wouldn't know a disease unless it was social and there's not a clean finger in the whole camp.
  • Ship Tease: Hawkeye is scheduled to give Margaret her checkup.
    Trapper: Does Frank know?
    Hawkeye: I'm thinking of tying him in a chair and making him watch.
    • A drunken Margaret comes on to Trapper at the farewell party.
  • Shout-Out: A film featuring Godzilla is announced as part one of the double feature on Movie Night.note 
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Think hard about it. You only get one guess.
  • Title Drop: Let's see. The word check-up at a military hospital? Yeah. It's a given.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Trapper is led to believe he's going home, but no dice.
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