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Recap / M*A*S*H S4 E8: The Kids

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That was terrible, Beej.

Attention, all personnel! The kids have brought the following tropes with them:

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  • Actually Pretty Funny: When Potter asks Hawkeye if Frank really does Margaret's toenails, Hawkeye answers that Frank's father is a world-famous manicurist. Potter smiles, chortling.
    Colonel Potter: Son of a gun. You're always full of comebacks.
  • Adult Fear:
    • Orphans getting injured in minefields while searching for scrap to sell and a young pregnant woman being shot, risking the lives of both her and her baby.
    • Being a father himself, Colonel Potter is naturally alarmed by the news of the orphanage being shelled, showing vivid concern for the children.
  • Androcles' Lion: B.J. tells the original story to the orphans bunking in the swamp. They fall asleep before he can finish but Hawkeye wants to hear the rest.
  • Ascended Extra: Nurse Kellye is the nurse that assists B.J. and Margaret in Sung Lee's Caesarean.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: An unrepentant Frank, on the lookout for a kid he assumes to be a thief, comes into the OR during his search and demands help from Colonel Potter, ignoring the wounded that have been brought in. After he ignores the colonel's order to get to work, Potter enlists Father Mulcahy to force him to scrub. The father responds without hesitation, dragging Burns into the scrubroom.
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  • Big "SHUT UP!": Frank complains about having to take the orphans in again on account that they steal. Potter's response:
    Colonel Potter: Burns, shut your face.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: More of the former when wounded are brought to the hospital. Lampshaded by Colonel Potter.
    Colonel Potter: Let's get some of this blood off the floor.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The episode starts off fairly lighthearted as the 4077 provides shelter for the orphans and spends time with them, then Sung Lee, whom Meg had been worried about, stumbles into camp after having been shot.
  • Companion Cube: One of the orphans steals Radar's teddy bear to sleep with. Radar gets it back at the end but also gives the kid a doll in return.
  • Continuity Nod: Colonel Potter asks Hawkeye medical advice in the OR, reminding the audience Hawkeye's chief surgeon.
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  • Deadpan Snarker: Hawkeye noting the condition one of his patients is in during surgery.
    Hawkeye: Send his X-rays to his draft board in case they like horror pictures.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Frank is none too happy when he learns two of the orphans will be bunking in the Swamp. As usual when he plays this trope straight, Hawkeye averts it.
    Frank: Oh, carumba. Don't tell me we're having two foreigners sleeping in here.
    Hawkeye: Frank, this is their country. We're the ones from out of town.
    Frank: Always attacking us and defending them! You like it so much, why don't you live here?
    Hawkeye: I do live here, Frank. You really ought to see a proctologist about possible brain damage.
  • Flat "What": Hawkeye's facial expression after B.J.'s Incredibly Lame Pun just screams this as seen in the page image.
  • Foreshadowing: Nurse Cratty comes into the Swamp, asking for a drink from the still, and expresses worry about Sung Lee who should have been at the 4077 already but is not.
  • Fridge Horror: In-Universe, Radar realizes he's singing a lullaby about her parents still loving her though her daddy's gone to war to a war orphan.
  • From a Certain Point of View: Frank received his Purple Heart for sustaining a wound described as "Shell fragment in the eye." Hawkeye, who treated that wound, immediately points out that said shell was an eggshell that got caught in Frank's eye when he panicked and broke the egg.
  • From Bad to Worse: Incoming wounded arrive just as B.J. and Meg begin to operate on Sung Lee.
    PA Announcer: Attention, all surgical staff. Heavy night patrol action. Stand by for incoming wounded.
    Hawkeye: Wounded. 4:30 am.
    B.J.: Terrific.
    Hawkeye: You can set your watch by this war.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Margaret, accompanying Frank looking for the Korean boy at the Swamp, looks down a picture scope belonging to either Hawkeye or B.J. and screams in horror.
    Margaret: Oh, that's terrible. Sacrilege!
    Frank: What is it?
    Margaret: It's a picture of General MacArthur. In the nude.
  • Gilligan Cut: As they start preparing for Meg Cratty and the orphans' arrival, Margaret tells Radar she's going to need a detail. The scene immediately cuts to her commanding said detail.
  • I Kiss Your Hand: Hawkeye does this with a nurse to show his appreciation for the much-needed cup of coffee she brought him at the beginning of the episode.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: After ensuring all the kids have settled in for the night, an exhausted Nurse Cratty comes into the Swamp, asking for a glass from the distillery.
    Nurse Cratty: You got any tea left in this kettle?
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: To explain that Androcles was fed to the lion for being a Christian, B.J. states that, "Not only was Androcles very kind, he was also very gentile."
  • Infant Immortality: One of the smaller Korean boys previously lost his leg when he picked up a live unexploded shell, much to B.J.'s horror.
  • Kick the Dog: Frank tells the talented Korean girl playing Mozart on the piano to stop behaving like a child. She doesn't listen to him and keeps going.
  • Large Ham: B.J., when telling the story of Androcles and the lion to the two Korean boys.
  • Let Me Tell You a Story: Hawkeye's attempt at telling the two boys one.
    Hawkeye: Once there was an army doctor. A bad, bad Major. And what did he do? He pretended he deserved something that only certain soldiers can have. He accepted a medal he wasn't entitled to.
    Frank: If you think I don't know who you're talking about, you're a dumb Dora.
  • Loophole Abuse: The shell fragment Frank was apparently wounded from was a shell all right. An eggshell.
    Frank: Nevertheless, it was the result of combat and it's on my service record as shell fragment.
    B.J.: You were breaking open a boiled egg and got nervous.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: When the doctors and nurses unanimously decide that a Caesarean is necessary to save both Sung Lee and her baby, Potter asks everyone if they have any experience in the procedure. Meg can't because of her arthritis and neither can Hawkeye as it's been some time for him. The task eventually falls to B.J. solely because he's fresh out of residency. It's all justified though as there is no time to call in an expert.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Col. Potter's dramatic reading of a rifle maintenance manual and making it sound like an adventure story for the kids sharing his tent.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • The first time the 4077 took in Meg Cratty and the orphans
    • The time Frank got "wounded" when two snipers infiltrated the camp
    • When B.J. jokes that Hawkeye could have been a chambermaid instead of a doctor as they set up cots for the orphans at the Swamp, Hawkeye replies that he used to.
      Hawkeye: I've been both in my time. Worked in a resort hotel to help my way through pre-med. Ten dollars a week and all the pride I could swallow.
  • Oh, Crap!: Radar and Klinger when Sung Lee passes out in the compound and they see she's been shot.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Margaret insists that Frank gives a young Korean boy a quarter. When he refuses to, she turns Mama Bear.
      Margaret: Frank, stick a crowbar in your wallet and give it to him!
    • Overhearing Klinger offering to give Sung Lee a bed jacket as a gift, Potter acknowledges the corporal's sincerity, whispering quietly to a nurse:
      Colonel Potter: I gotta get him that discharge.
    • Frank is actually somewhat of a good sport about Hawkeye giving Frank's Purple Heart to Sung Lee's newborn baby, as the bullet that passed through her abdomen also grazed him.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Frank Burns
  • Reality Ensues: This episode is B.J.'s first encounter with just how tough even children have it during the war after hearing about them wandering into minefields.
  • Running Gag: One of the orphans repeatedly calls Klinger "Mama-san" despite his insistence otherwise.
  • Series Continuity Error: Hawkeye claims he can't do a Caesarean as he has never delivered a baby. He delivered Mrs Kwang's baby in "Love and Marriage".
  • Shout-Out:
    B.J.: I can tell 'em, uh, about Jack and the Beanstalk, but I have a fear of heights.
    Hawkeye: Freud says that has something to do with sex.
    B.J.: My wife's only 5'1''.
  • Skewed Priorities: Frank is trying to track down his stolen medal rather than help with incoming wounded. Potter tells him to get to work.
  • Wrong Assumption: Frank Burns accuses a Korean boy he's long suspected of being a thief with the theft of his newly-awarded Purple Heart.
  • The Tag: And Now We Must Go. Nurse Cratty, the orphans, and Sung Lee and her newborn baby head back to the orphanage at the end of the episode.
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