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Fawlty Towers exists in the M*A*S*H universe.
There is a scene in the first series of M*A*S*H where, while Hawkeye is complaining about the food, he tells a joke: "Did you hear how one MASH unit halves their casualty rate? They shot the chef."Now, in Fawlty towers, there is a running gag on how Mr. Fawlty was in the Korean War and how he "killed four men". One time Sybel tells a customer "he was in the catering corps, he used to poison them." and Mr. Fawlty often complains of painful shrapnel in his leg...

There are multiple M*A*S*H universes.
Think about it, the show starts in 1952. Later on it is 1950. An explanation for this is that the show is actually multiple alternate universes. Each universe has differences. In one universe Colonel Potter didn't show up until 1953. In another universe Henry Blake was sent home very early in the war. This would also explain why in some episodes Hawkeye is from Vermont, his mother is still alive, and he has a sister. Several MASH universes exist.

Colonel Flagg's first appearance was in disguise.
Colonel Flagg was a self proclaimed master of disguise and CID man. In the episode "Deal Me Out", a CID man named Captain Halloran (played by Edward Winter) appeared and played Poker with several people including Sidney Freedman. In the episode "Quo Vadis, Captain Chandler", Flagg asked Freedman, "Didn't we play poker once?" Flagg wanted to survey the 4077 in "Deal Me Out", hence the disguise.

The 4077th is a 1970s zone in 1950s Korea.
Think of The Brady Bunch Movie and how the Bradys were still stuck in the '70s during the '90s. Well, M*A*S*H is the same thing, but in reverse. It's the 1970s at the 4077th, but everywhere else it's still the 1950s.

Think about it. If people stayed at the 4077th long enough, they developed '70s sensibilities, '70s hairstyles and a supply of pop culture references that postdated the Korean War. For instance, patients regularly went into the camp with '50s views and left it converted to a '70s way of thinking. In the case of Frank Burns, he attempted to maintain his '50s views while constantly living in the '70s zone and naturally went mad. Also, consider B.J.'s look when he first arrived and how his look changed after he absorbed enough of the '70s atmosphere.


Meanwhile, military officials outside the '70s zone were totally baffled by the 4077th since they could only relate to its members with a '50s mindset. As for Dr. Freedman, he only started to fit in at the 4077th because he hung out there so much. Remember he was actually a bit of an ass when he was first introduced on the show.

  • Except Sidney really wasn't that much of an ass, he got along well with Hawkeye, Trapper, and the rest of the crew, he's such a nice guy he can even be nice to Frank. At worst he was mildly surprised and privately amused at the shenanigans going on at the 4077th, which never really changes. The worst thing he did was he took Klinger's own schtick and turned it against him to get him to (temporarily) drop his request for a section eight, which was exactly what Henry wanted anyway because the fact of the matter is no matter how much trouble Klinger causes he's still a good soldier and medic who doesn't allow his antics to get in the way of his duties.
    • Sidney's only real offensive moment was when he found out that the 'psycho case' he was supposed to be interviewing for a recommendation for a Section 8 was Klinger. Sidney was okay, he was just upset that he'd been dragged away from patients who really needed help.
  • Also, this area is still 20 years ahead, and suffers from a high rate of car theft due to the South Korean auto industry stealing specimens of their own future products to reverse-engineer. This explains why Korean cars improve by leaps and bounds with each new generation but never quite catch up to Japan and Europe.

The 4077th is trapped in a "Groundhog Day" Loop.
This explains why years keep repeating. It also provides an explanation for the above theory: the 4077th went through so many permutations that they advanced onwards to the 1970s, leaving the rest of the world back in the 1950s.
  • Except in this loop, the people keep aging, a condition that's unknown to them. That's why they continued to refer to Radar as a kid when he was already 37 years old. This would also explain why the patients that were treated at the 4077th got older as the season wore on, too.

Frank Burns wasn't born in the United States
In one episode, Frank mentions that his family has had trouble with immigrants since they came to the shores of the United States in 1927! That would be 23 years before the start of the Korean War and Frank looks to be around 40. So, either MASH really was set in the 70s (which would make slightly more sense) or Frank was born outside the U.S. Unless he screwed up and meant to say 1827...

All the temporal continuity issues in M*A*S*H and any disfavored episodes can be attributed to Hawkeye's delusional mind.
Technically, this could go as far as it needs to, in order to fit the series into the time frame of the Korean War.
  • It also explains why the later episodes became more and more about him, as he descended further into self-absorbed madness.
  • It would also explain the increasing darkness and intensity of his breakdowns, from just making one up in a Season One episode to being bent and broken for good in the grand finale.
  • Or... He is in fact in a 1970s mental hospital, reliving distorted memories of his Korean War experiences. This would explain both the numerous anachronisms and the inconsistent time-looping.
    • And the glimpse of the mental hospital we get in the last episode is actually the only thing that is real, it's an actual 1970's mental hospital. Sidney Freedman is Hawkeye's 1970's doctor, whom Hawkeye retroactively inserted into his memories as Sidney questioned him about them. The therapy was obviously unsuccessful, as instead of being released into normal life Hawkeye descends even further into hallucinatory madness and fantasizes that he has returned to the 4077th.
      • But in the end Sidney himself sends Hawkeye back, suggesting that even if it is a hallucination of his delusional mind he still has business there he must take care of before he can ever leave and move on with his life, most likely the repressed memory and the final operations he performed on people who very likely never made it. He had to confront the fact that he couldn't save everyone and the fact that peace doesn't mean people stop dying. Sidney leaves the O.R., realizing that this is something Hawkeye must confront alone if he's ever to have any kind of closure. In the end Hawkeye not only leaves the 4077th, but Korea, which would suggest that he's made his peace with all he experienced there and can finally start to pursue a normal life.
      • Or, instead of being sent home, he still has issues resulting in a second breakdown, and is sent to a mental institution shortly after the events of the finale. Sidney was real and was his doctor in the Korea, he just remembers Sidney well into the '70s.
      • Or, everything, including his final breakdown and war's end, are memories. He just inserted his current doctor-Sidney- into his memories.
      • Henry's death is what triggered the breakdown. That's when the promiscuous practical joker began to be replaced by a darker personality It's also when more serious characters replaced the sillier ones and Radar started to become childlike. Trapper was too much like the old Hawkeye, so he created B.J.. Barely competent draftee Henry is replaced by regular army Potter. Frank was a reminder of his practical joker phase, so he creates more of an equal in Charles. Margaret mellows and becomes a friend.
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  • Alternately, an aging Grandpa Pierce is telling these stories to his grandkids as wartime anecdotes, and he's long since lost track of when their events took place and which of the accounts he just made up. The 1970s or post-70s attitudes are a result of him adjusting the stories to suit, first his kids' tastes, then his grandkids'.

It's all a psych test.
After the war ended, the American government made a deal with Korea, or had them bug out to a neutral zone, because the group had been chosen as a test group to see how long a bunch of people could be kept in a hostile combat zone before they would be more sad to leave than happy to go. The characters who were removed without being pronounced dead, such as Trapper John, had either figured it out or were throwing off the statistics. There were multiple groups subject to this test, and they happened to be one of the groups that were told the war was over after an extra 12 years, and had a bunch of stuff happen that would test the remains of their sanity (The "chicken" on the bus was a final way of hitting the most upbeat person where it would most hurt their spirit, and why do you think Father Mulcahy wasn't hit by any shrapnel, just a shock wave?) This is, of course, entirely justified by the idea that American government agents are allowed to be sadistic psychologists, if it's in the name of "science" (or at least with a decent excuse).
  • Alternately, it's not the 70s at all: it's actually a test being done in the future, far enough ahead that they don't actually know the difference between '70s culture and '50s culture. They were (will be) using different sets of clones with the same sets of memories, and the same "title" for each character- Hawkeye for the happy-go-lucky manic-not-depressive surgeon, Trapper for his Put on a Bus partner and B.J. for his replacement, Burns for the belligerent thinks-he-knows-it-all, Houlihan for the snarky love interest. Two of the same O'Reilly series clones (Radar) happened to be used for the groups of the movie and the television series.
  • For this theory to work, it would have to explain the source of the hundreds of wounded soldiers that the 4077 treats. Researchers could be remorseless sociopaths back in the day, but it seems unlikely that they'd intentionally critically wound hundreds of people just to maintain the illusion.

M*A*S*H and The X-Files are set in the same continuity, and either Bill Mulder or the CSM was really Colonel Flagg.
This theory depends on how much of the Cigarette Smoking Man's back story (as shown in "Musings of a CSM") we accept. The theory depends on the similar characteristics and back stories of X-Files characters Bill Mulder and the Cigarette Smoking Man (CSM) and M*A*S*H's Colonel Flagg. Bill Mulder was an agent of the Cigarette Smoking Man who worked with the Conspiracy. If we accept CSM's early back story from "Musings," we also have the fact that both CSM and Bill Mulder knew each other when they served in the Army in the late fifties/early sixties. Earlier in his career as an MIB, Bill Mulder had hunted communists in the State Department. Flagg was a mysterious military MIB who impersonated other officers, carried out secretive and sometimes self-contradictory missions, spoke in hyperbole and threats, and was obsessed with hunting communists. He came with loads of fake IDs, so we can safely guess that Flagg wasn't his real name. It was either (Bill) Mulder or the nameless CSM.

Further similarities between The X-Files and M*A*S*H include:

  • Paranormal activity: both shows frequently featured near-death experiences, one episode of M*A*S*H featured the disembodied, self-aware ghost of a dead soldier and suggested the existence of an afterlife. Father Mulcahy often pulls off miracles. And Klinger once ATE A JEEP. The 4077th is located in the Korean version of the Bermuda Triangle where the camp is unstuck in time, fluctuating between the fifties and the seventies, for eleven years throughout a two-year long war.
  • Don't forget Radar's ability to hear things long before anyone else could and how he knew what everyone was going to say before they said it, even to the point that they would have to come up with something else to try to trick him.
  • Flagg is a Colonel.

Colonel Flagg is actually Stephen King's Randall Flagg.
Problem is, his usual methods of sowing chaos for The Red King only work on people who take themselves too seriously, like the weaker minds in The Stand and The Dark Tower, or Frank Burns. He was forced to resort to the oft-cited temporal whammy on the medics, but it left his form in the M*A*S*H universe in a state of growing increasingly caricature-like. Like faith for those in The Stand, and like ka for those in The Dark Tower, the 4077th's sense of humor broke the Walkin' Dude's power there.

Colonel Flagg is really Rick Flagg Senior.
He was secretly evaluating Pierce for recruitment in the 1950s Suicide Squad.

Klinger doesn't want to get out on a Section 8. He just wants to be the center of attention.
With all the talented people in the unit, Klinger needed a gimmick to get attention. Compared to the doctors, nurses, and even Radar who was a gifted clerk with a kind of clairvoyance, Klinger could have faded into the background if he didn't have something to get everyone's attention, so he started wearing dresses and pretended he was trying to get out for being crazy. Any time one of his stunts came close to working, Klinger would sabotage himself. When Radar left, Klinger became the clerk and suddenly everybody needed him. With his need for attention satisfied by his job, he was able to stop wearing dresses and stopped pretended to try to get out of the Army.
  • More evidence of this appears when the doctors are about to go make a swap of wounded prisoners. When Klinger finds out, he volunteers to drive the bus even though Radar was already going.
  • Sidney Freedman actually offered Klinger a discharge at one point, and Klinger refused it ostensibly because he would be labeled a homosexual in the discharge papers—after he had spent his entire military career trying to convince everyone he met that he was a transvestite.
    • This troper figured that if he was pronounced "crazy" under a general Section 8, Klinger could still find good work in Toledo's Grey Market economy, with the transvestite thing waved off as stress or acknowledged as a dodge. Being labeled as a homosexual, especially in the 50s and in (what I assume to be) a family of Lebanese Catholics, would mean instant ostracism at best.
      • Klinger implies a few times that his family is Muslim (various references to Allah stand out), although Mulcahey once references him as an atheist.
      • I always figured Klinger's family was Lebanese Orthodox, which refers to God as "Allah" due to the Arabic language.
      • He also mentions he gave it up for Lent when Mulcahey says that.
      • Klinger is probably of the Greek Antiochian Orthodox faith by upbringing (mirroring the real-life religion of Jamie Farr), though Klinger has on a couple of occasions self-identified as atheist.
      • Weren't most of the men in Klinger's family, or at least one branch of his family, proud evaders of military service going back generations? I seem to remember Klinger mentioning one uncle of his who had avoided military service by crossdressing and that that was where Klinger himself had gotten the idea. If he had been thrown out of the military on a Section 8, everyone would have understood that his pretended homosexuality and/or transvestism had just been a ruse.

M*A*S*H takes place in an alternate universe where the Korean War lasted for almost nine years longer than it did in our reality.

The proof? The overly lengthy war...the even lengthier hairstyles not in fashion in this universe's' 1950's...the surprisingly modern views towards women and minorities...the lack of smoking in later episodes....the lack of military discipline or order...and the relative lack of friction between the Korean population and the characters.Clearly this show was not set in this universe....

Radar is a Mutant.

Or at least has ESP and/or some kind of psychic abilities. Both the former and the latter have been explored in Fan Fiction.

Radar is autistic or possibly retarded.
This would explain how he was seemingly wise for a kid in early episodes, but then regresses in later episodes. He's also fairly good at complex problems at times, but then can't accomplish everyday tasks.

Despite being in his 30s, he thinks of himself as a 15-year-old kid. That's why he gets shy around women and can't drink alcohol.

  • That's ridiculous. Radar was just a socially awkward, developmentally stunted young man who possessed unusually strong organizational talents and had almost supernatural auditory perception. That doesn't mean—holy crap, you're right! Radar had Asperger's!

Radar is a chameleon-arched timelord.
He detects future events subconsciously because of it. This is how he knows the choppers are coming before anyone else can here them. He also foresaw Henry Blakes' death. He wasn't just sad to see him go at the scene where he's leaving the 4077th, he's seen him die, but knows there's nothing he can do about it.

The 4077th is purgatory for U.S. Army medics.
Just like Life On Mars and Ashes to Ashes (2008) provide purgatory for Coppers, so the 4077th gives a place for those army doctors and corpsmen who have seen too much to work out their issues and move on. That is why it is a mishmash of 50s-70s stuff.

Hawkeye and Trapper pretend to be opposed to the war, but in reality, they're communist sympathizers.
I think Frank was onto something when he accused Hawkeye of mutiny and attempted to have him court-martialed. Examples:
  • When Frank gets an anti-aircraft gun, Hawkeye sabotages it to keep Frank from shooting down a North Korean plane that has been dropping (by hand) small bombs near the camp.
    • Wasn't there a regulation against MASH units having weaponry on base? And the NK pilot was some nutcase thinking he could be a hero.
      • No, there's no such regulation prohibiting medical personnel from keeping or using weaponry, then or now. They are permitted to carry rifles, their sidearms (as officers, it is an entitlement), and even grenades. There is a regulation against chaplains from having weapons, but that only dates to about 1980 - in Korea, they were encouraged to carry sidearms because the KPA singled them out for execution. Charlie's plane has communist markings, something a civilian nutcase wouldn't have.
    • As a medical unit, the 4077 wasn't supposed to have heavy weapons like that (this was referenced later on when Hawkeye 'won' a Howitzer). Also, if a medical unit was reported to have shot down a NK pilot, then the 4077 would be hit in full force, more than the small number of troops stationed there for protection would be able to handle.
      • Gee, it's not like they could, you know, 'move' to a different location. This is supposed to be early in the war, when M*A*S*H units were exceptionally adept at mobilisation and could move at practically a moment's notice. It was only after the battlelines stablised and the need to bugging out decreased, resulting near disastrous attempts in late 1952-53 (the comments in earlier seasons about spending considerable amounts of time in one location, and acting as though moving to a new location was completely foreign to the camp are totally inaccurate).
  • After sabotaging Frank's efforts to shoot down the enemy plane, Hawkeye and Trapper guide his AA crew to aim for the ammo dump, resulting in its destruction. They have no concept of what the lost ammo would mean to US troops in the sector.
    • They are more concerned with the attacks on the hospital at that time. Besides, the general responsible for positioning the ammo dump near the hospital acknowledges that his actions are barely legal (at best) under international law).
      • No, he never says any such thing. He mentions its proximity to a MASH unit means it couldn't be bombed without also attacking a protected unit, which isn't illegal.
      • However, placing an ammo dump in such close proximity to a medical unit would strip the medical unit of its protected status, which is what led to the bombings in the first place.
      • An ammo dump located in the vicinity of a medical unit does not strip that unit of its protected status. Charlie was bombing the dump regardless of what collateral damage he caused, and the DPRK was not concerned with international regulation (they executed chaplains on capture and their snipers used the Red Cross painted on medics' helmets to aim).
  • Hawkeye steals a literal gallon of antibiotics and four dozen bedsheets and wastes both in a deliberate attempt to aid the enemy in destroying an allied munition depot.
    • Mechurochrome (the substance that Hawkeye requested) is an antiseptic, not an antibiotic. Roughly equivalent in usage to iodine or bactine, not penicillin.
  • When a soldier pays off a gambling debt with a piece of artillery, Hawkeye sabotages it. He claims he did it because the gun's presence was drawing North Korean fire, but sabotaging the gun doesn't change its presence. It just keeps it from being used later to kill North Korean soldiers.
    • It was drawing fire, and see above re: anti-weapon regs.
      • Yet Hawkeye does nothing to actually remove it from the camp, he just prevents it from being used again, despite being given a list of artillery units who would be more than happy to accept it. Though he knows its inoperable, the Red Chinese and North Koreans whose fire it draws don't. And, despite it be his gun, he for some reason feels the need to sneak around at night to disable it, as if he weren't allowed to do anything with it or if it was actively being used by an artillery unit. And Hawkeye didn't want to remove it from the camp in the first place; Potter had to order him to get rid of it, and Hawkeye fought him the entire time.
      • It's not that Hawkeye didn't want to get rid of it. He did want to, but he refused to give it to an artillery unit that would just use it to hurt people. I always thought that after they sabotaged it, he did give it to another unit. Add in that he was sneaking because it's not his gun. The gun belongs to the army.
      • Exactly, it's not his, which makes disabling it destruction of government property and sabotage. He also explicitely states he did not want to get rid of it.
      • There are no regulations against medical personnel possessing weapons, not now and certainly not in Korea. The closest thing would be the rules against chaplains carrying firearms, but even that only dates to 1980.
  • When a lone North Korean sniper shoots at the camp, Hawkeye comes up with a plan to surrender, and he and Trapper attempt to surrender the entire camp to the lone soldier.
    • Because if they issue a surrender, they can at least get their wounded into OR safely. Hawk's a doctor first, a soldier twenty-eighth.
      • How does surrendering to a single sniper allow them to treat wounded? And Henry was ordered specifically not to surrender. And how, exactly, were they supposed to know it was just a single soldier with a captured rifle and not a larger force ready to attack the camp? And the sniper fired at Hawkeye when he tried to surrender (against orders), so again, how does surrendering help?
  • Hawkeye refuses to fire his weapon at the enemy even when the enemy is firing at him.
    • It's called "conscientious objector" status, and it's still recognized now.
      • Yet many of his actions go beyond objector and are downright treasonous.
      • Hawkeye is a devoted doctor. He takes very seriously the Hippocratic Oath, which states "First do no harm." He doesn't think of this as just when he's doctoring, but as a philosophy of life.
      • Except when he drugged Frank to throw a party, or when he operated on a healthy patient - without consent - to remove a healthy appendix, twice.
      • If we accept that it's Hawkeye's adherence to his Hippocratic Oath at work, that makes him an Idiot Hero at best. A lot of the things he does will likely result in more of the young American men he ostensibly wants to save being killed or maimed.
  • Hawkeye and Trapper operate on North Koreans and Chinese before operating on Americans, sometimes using valuable supplies on North Koreans instead of using them on Americans.
    • Again, doctor first. His triage decisions ignore that pesky nationality business.
  • They falsify documents to get willing, effective soldiers sent home, but send cowards, homosexuals, and racists back to the front, probably to sabotage the units, knowing the presence of cowards, homosexuals, and racists is bad for morale.
    • They get overeager kids who signed up for stupid reasons sent home. Glory seekers can be more dangerous in the field than "cowards, homosexuals, and racists".
    • Most of the willing soldiers that they send home are not capable of being effective in the army anymore, i.e. the soldier who lied about his age to get into the army or those who had been too badly injured to continue serving in the military. The brand 'coward' was shown more often than not to be situational or caused by battle fatigue, and rarely was it demonstrated that it was an inherent personality trait of the individual i.e. the soldier who starved himself after his buddies were killed on Thanksgiving. The homosexual was willing and able to serve, just not legally. The doctors were willing to pull strings to help him thanks to their anachronistic sense of morality. The two most racist characters they encountered were the soldier who wanted his own color blood and the CO who was intentionally putting his black soldiers into harms way. The first one got an Aesop delivered intravenously, and the other they managed to get out of the army.
  • Hawkeye helps a North Korean doctor slip into character and assume an identity as a South Korean doctor, then helps him get transferred to a South Korean unit.
    • Helping a doctor be a doctor under better conditions? Le gasp! The evil!
    • Hawkeye recognized the man's skill and helped a defector get in place to assist allied troops. No real issue there.
  • They replace Frank's weapon with various other items, including a toy pistol, possibly in an attempt to get Frank killed.
    • More like to keep Frank from getting killed. Frank was an idiot and possibly a glory seeker.
    • Even more likely to keep Frank from killing the people around him. His tendency to pull the trigger while aiming at random people has been expounded above, and he even managed to shoot B.J. one time.
  • When the doctors go to do a prisoner swap at Rainbow Bridge, Hawkeye and Trapper try to befriend the enemy and seem at-ease with the North Koreans and chastise Frank for disliking them. This gives the impression that Americans with guns are bad, but North Koreans with guns (who explicitly targeted American, British, and South Korean medical personnel) are okay.
    • Frank was the one who broke the terms of the agreement of the patient exchange, no matter how ridiculous his gun was. He jeopardized a chance to get their patients back safely.
    • They were trying to establish a connection with the North Korean officer in hopes of making these exchanges a semi-regular event, and because they were outgunned roughly 20-1. That's a bad time to be throwing around attitude.
    • A good-faith agreement would have both sides show up unarmed. Going unarmed to meet your heavily-armed enemies is just plain stupid.
  • When Trapper's friend (an intelligence officer) visits the camp, Trapper and Hawkeye get him into conflicts with Colonel Flagg, wasting the time of two intelligence assets that could be working on the war instead of wild goose chases created by two doctors.
    • Oh yeah, Flagg was clearly competent at his job. Methinks you're protesting too much.
      • Trapper's friend seemed competent at his job, or at least more competent than Flagg. Plus, this was back when Flagg was a serious threat and reasonably competent.
  • Hawkeye stands by his Hippocratic oath when he doesn't want to do something, but dismisses it if it lets him do something he wanted to do, like drugging Frank so he can throw a party.
    • Wait, how does drugging Frank do him harm? All Hawkeye did was get the reg-happy idiot out of the way painlessly.
      • Drugging someone against their will is assault. Just because you don't like someone doesn't mean they don't have rights.
    • Or when he performs unnecessary appendectomy on Colonel Flagg and the colonel in "Preventative Medicine". In the latter, B.J. calls him out for it, but this doesn't stop him.
    • Hawkeye removing the appendix (both times that he did it) was his attempt at invoking the Zeroth Law, meaning he sought to do the least damage to the least number. He was able to rationalize breaking his Oath by reasoning that he was saving that many more lives. The rationalization was blown up in his face shortly thereafter when B.J. informs him of incoming wounded.
      • Cutting into a healthy body to remove a healthy organ without consent is still mutilation. Plus Hawkeye could have reported the colonel for conspiring to defy orders and provoke an attack against his own troops. Had he done that, the colonel would have been relieved of command, received a court martial and possibly dismissed or even jailed, but now his conspiracy will remain secret and go unpunished (and what happens when he returns from medical leave and resumes command?).
  • On their second run-in with Flagg, Hawkeye and Trapper stop Flagg from taking a North Korean prisoner to Seoul by putting Klinger in a stretcher in the prisoner's place. What happens to the prisoner after that is not revealed in the episode, but knowing Hawkeye, they probably fixed him up in a South Korean uniform and got him a job in a South Korean unit.
    • Assumptions do not a solid case make.
    • The more valid question in this case is how they kept Klinger from getting put in front of a firing squad for taking the prisoner's place.
      • Klinger was just following the orders of a superior officer.
      • Which raises the question of how Hawkeye got out of being charged for putting a subordinate in such a position.
    • The implication was that Flagg assumed the young man was a spy and shot him without verification, with added implication that he was, in fact, a civilian. This would seem to be born out in a later episode when Winchester tricked Flagg, and the M Ps suggest that is not Flagg's first wild goose chase.
  • When Hawkeye is the pay clerk in Payday, soldiers approach his table and salute him. Instead of returning the salute, Hawkeye raises his right hand in a limp attempt to wave, but this actually looks more like the Nazi indoor heil.
    • I don't think I understand what this last point has to do with him being a Communist sympathizer? I suppose that he is associating the U.S. army with fascists? I realize this is all in good fun, but I find it odd and troubling that the implication that being critical of the U.S. military means one should be suspected of being a traitor. Isn't it interesting that, in the 70s, a popular sitcom could have a conscientious objector as its key protagonist? Would this fly today?
    • I think it would fly today as long as Hawkeye was anti-war and didn't use so many anti-American statements.
      • I am lost as to which of these are anti-American (as opposed to anti-military or anti-war).
    • Yes, many of Hawkeye's actions are not just in opposition to the politics of the war. He goes beyond the definition of an objector or protester and commits several subversive and traitorous acts.
    • This is actually a common trait amongst staff officers even in the modern military. Medical officers (more often than not) see themselves as doctors first and soldiers second, so they are more lax on military protocol than career soldiers. Flimsy salutes, failure to show proper military regard, and other similar things are commonplace (and would have been even more so amongst draftees) in a war that they disagreed with).
  • When a wounded female guerrilla is treated at the camp, a South Korean officer known for torturing prisoners (played by Mako!) comes to the camp to take her when she is ready to travel, Hawkeye refuses to believe she could possibly be a guerrilla, even after she tries to kill a wounded US soldier (albeit found by the staff collapsed by his bed, with the unit of blood smashed on the floor) and when the officer spells it out that her life meant more to Hawkeye than it is to her, he still refuses to believe him, even attempting to evacuate her, disobeying orders from both Potter and I-Corps that he was not to interfere, yet he identified a group of Koreans as guerrillas in Welcome to Korea when they vanished into the woods and started firing on him, B.J. and Radar.
    • For part one, do I really have to raise the "doctor first" flag again? For the second, let's see, combatants who apparently know the woods like the backs of their hands and are firing on people in American uniforms. Plainly this is a US platoon we're talking about here.
    • Just watched the episode in question, "Guerrilla My Dreams", and some of the facts are wrong. Hawkeye never insisted that the woman couldn't be a guerrilla, simply that he didn't care whether she was or wasn't. The incident where she tried to kill a soldier was misinterpreted as her being disorientated by the entire camp, not just Hawkeye. At the time Hawkeye tried to evacuate the woman, there was still room to believe she might be innocent and the line about Hawkeye caring more about her life than she did came after that. On the other hand, the episode does rely on a False Dichotomy, where the only options are torturing her to death or letting her go scot-free. And Hawkeye does seem to be opposed to her being interrogated on principle, even before he finds out torture would be involved.
    • The woman, guerrilla or not, was his patient. He simply refused to allow his patient to be handed over to torture and certain death on the assumption that she was an enemy. The guerrillas he identified in the other episode were more an example of pattern recognition, as he had heard stories about that very same time of incident happening and had likely had it happen to him before. Also, Radar backed him up on that one.
      • Hawkeye seems vehemently opposed to releasing her before interrogation is even mentioned, and the only proof we get that Mako tortures prisoners is a rumour and hearsay at best by someone with the 4077, and we never get any real confirmation.
  • If someone says something bad about the United States, Hawkeye will join in on the bashing, but if you say something bad about the Chinese, like Frank did when he called them the Yellow Horde, Hawkeye will threaten you with bodily harm despite claiming to be a pacifist.
    • Referring to China as the "Yellow Horde" is racist. You don't have to be a supporter of China's communist government to think that's wrong.
    • Hell, even FRANK agreed with Hawkeye when Hawkeye expressed concern about Macarthur riling up China.
      • When does that happen?
  • When Colonel Flagg appears after black marketeers attempt to steal some penicillin, Flagg tries to steal the penicillin himself, explaining to Hawkeye that he can barter the penicillin for information that will end battles sooner and help American troops avoid deadly ambushes. Hawkeye doesn't even bat an eye at this, even though he's supposed to be more interested in saving lives and preventing bloodshed. I can't help but think that if a North Korean was stealing supplies for the same reason, Hawkeye would have even helped him load the truck and would have helped him forge a pass to make it past checkpoints.
    • See above re: Flagg and assumptions.
    • The thing about Hawkeye is that he ignores the politics surrounding a patient and focuses on those who are wounded. He doesn't care so much about hypothetical patients next week as he does about the person who is dying of an infection right in front of him. To him, the war isn't about millions of soldiers fighting, it's one patient that he treats and, when they are taken care of, he moves on to the next one.
      • This falls apart when one remembers that Hawkeye wasted a literal gallon of antibiotics in "Five O'Clock Charlie", in a deliberate attempt to aid the enemy. It's also strange that he would stop Flagg from gathering information that could prevent bloodshed, doubly so when one considers the penicillin would be used on patients being treated in a far lower standard of care than that afforded by the 4077.
      • Mechurochrome (the substance that Hawkeye requested) is an antiseptic, not an antibiotic. Roughly equivalent in usage to iodine or bactine, not penicillin.
  • If you look at the show through the lens of the actual state of U.S. politics in the early 1950s (rather than the 1970s when the show was made), it's likelier than you may think that Hawkeye and friends are communists or at least fellow travelers. At that time, U.S. politics was still divided between an internationalist left and an isolationist right. As with World War II, the Korean War was supported by the internationalist left and opposed by the isolationist right. Left-wing opposition to the Korean War was largely limited to the sort of radical progressive circles in which Stalin was regarded as a hero of the working class. Of course, this is really an illusion caused by the show putting 1970s politics into the early 1950s.
    • And there, everyone, is the rub. The show was originated during The Vietnam War, by people who were opposed to that war and who were disgusted by the nightly news about events like the My Lai Massacre, and the endless announcements of "body counts" (and the argument of whether or not the news was showing a bias against the conduct of the war is probably best undertaken elsewhwere). Since the show's mantra at least in the early seasons was "military bad", there is a metric crapton of Protagonist-Centered Morality in play. In short, the writers almost certainly believed whatever Hawk and Trap/B.J. did to frustrate the General Ripper or Colonel Kilgore of the week was completely kosher, no matter what the end consequences would have been. Because to their minds, it was giving a kick in the balls by proxy to the General Westmorelands, Col. Medinas and Lt. Calleys of real life.

Hawkeye is in fact a reality warper with very little control.
This has more to do with some of the odder events in the camp. Hawkeye comes to a mostly functioning MASH unit and it ends up becoming rather anarchic, but also ends up having one of the most effective survival ratings of any other unit. As a side note, it is assumed that Hawkeye is only barely aware of these abilities if he is aware of them at all. Hawkeye's abilities might only be tied to that area of Korea however, seeing as they seem to not work when he's in other locations, examples as follows:
  • Early on he could get nearly any woman he wanted with a relative minimum of effort. Women seemed to fall over themselves for him, now later on it got harder and harder to the point where he was getting shot down heavily, could be his charm expired or maybe they had become immune to his ability to shift how things worked.
    • More likely, he simply spread his powers too thin, as he was trying to bed all the women all the time.
  • Colonel Blake was a friend to Hawkeye, and you'll notice that even when he could (and possibly should) have had the weight of the army's bureaucracy land on him something would bail him out. Hawkeye's abilities though likely have a bit of a snapback effect once you leave their aura, his protection had build up a big debt which was paid over the sea of Japan.
  • Also explains Franks Flanderization, in the beginning he was a mediocre surgeon but was still at least mildly capable and while not the hero he imagined himself showed a willingness to risk himself to save a child. Hawkeye's dislike for him began to shift Franks personality and caused him ill fortune. (When Frank got home there was a backlash effect on it, in essence all of the 'bad' caused to him by Hawkeye's power was now counterbalanced, hence his being cleared of charges, promoted, etc.)
  • Radar started off as much more canny and cunning, perhaps initially shaped that way, Hawkeye saw his youth and knew he was a farmboy, hence Radars gradual shift to being a more naive kid that hadn't ever drunk anything stronger than a grape nehi.
  • Might also explain why the army tried to keep weapons or other strategic supplies near the 4077, they weren't aware of Hawkeyes abilities but knew that SOMETHING was off about the camp.
  • Might also explain some of Margaret's character shifts. Initially she might have simply been caught in the effect of what happened to Frank, but as more things went wrong for her he felt sympathy and things changed.
  • It might also explain why the war seemed to go so much longer, in this case Hawkeye's thoughts that the war would never end actually kept drawing it out, meaning that in their world the Korean war lasted several more years.
  • Also could explain people like Flagg, assuming that he was mildly competent outside of the camp in it he was more or less subject to Hawkeye's views on the military system and this his disguises failed and his plans often backfired.

Trapper died on the way home
When Henry was killed, Hawkeye had an off-screen Heroic BSoD (similar to the one he had prior to the finale), which is why he was on R&R when Trapper was sent home. However, Radar got word that Trapper had also died en route to the States, or shortly after arrival. Instead of telling Hawkeye, he kept that information from him for fear of triggering another episode. Any letters that might have arrived from Trapper's widow were intercepted by Radar, which is why he became so much more compulsive about keeping people out of the incoming mail as the series went on. When Radar left, he confided the truth to Klinger, who agreed to maintain the charade. Any letters and telegrams that Hawkeye sent were intercepted by Radar/Klinger, and anytime that Hawkeye might have tried to call Trapper's house, the channels were conveniently 'down'.

The prostitute in "Bug Out" became Rosie.
"Bug Out" is the first appearance of Eileen Saki, who plays a prostitute before playing Rosie.

The real Rosie went south ahead of the offensive and never came back. The prostitute played by Eileen Saki sees an opportunity and takes over Rosie's Bar, becoming Rosie in the process.

Klinger lost his faith after he was drafted
But regained it later. He claims to be an Atheist in one episode, but later he is seen praying. Father Mulcahy commented on the peculiarity of this and Klinger sardonically responded he "Gave [Atheism] up for Lent". My guess is that when he was drafted, Klinger Prayed desperately not to be sent to Korea but was denied this. Thus, he lost faith. But after accepting his life and becoming friends with Mulcahy, he eventually regained it which is why it was never mentioned after the first few seasons.
  • At one point, however, he converted to Muslim, as in the pilot episode of AfterMASH, he tells Mulcahy that he kept praying to Allah that his hearing would be restored, and it was.
    • Not necessarily. Many Christian churches based in the Middle East (including the Lebanese Orthodox Church) refer to God as "Allah" simply because that's the Arabic translation.

Radar put up a front when he first came to Korea
This explains why in the earlier seasons, he's a lot more worldly and sneaky: he doesn't want to come across as being immature, and doesn't want people to think of him as a little kid (though he's just barely 18). With the unit forming it's own little close-knit family, Radar is eventually able to let his guard down and just be himself with everyone in camp.

A MASH unit runs in a similar fashion to any other business
And not only that, but MASH units aren't recession-proof either: so much money went to the Korean War effort, that the 4077th fell on hard times, and like any other business that falls on hard times, had to lay off a number of personnel. This is why Ugly John, Boone, Lt. Dish, Ho-Jon, Spearchucker Jones, Margie Cutler, Captain Kaplan, and Barbara Bannerman all disappeared after the first season - none of them had any kind of position or seniority among the camp personnel, and as such, Henry had to let them go. He kept Leslie Scorch a little longer since she was his mistress, and Ginger Bayliss was an efficient nurse and also remained a little longer; Henry laid off Leslie because word of his affair with her was started to spread, and his didn't want it on his military record, while Ginger was later laid off because of too many complaints from Frank. Since the military was Potter's career, the 4077th began to pick back up while under his command, and as such, due to a shortage of help in the O.R., hired a slew of new nurses, including Able (Judy Farrell), Baker (Jan Jorden), Bigelow, Shari, and others.

Henry Blake was an enabler
Hence why Hawkeye and Trapper never get in trouble for their crap. Sure, Henry may weakly threaten them from time to time, but he never punishes them or reprimands them for their behavior (he even confesses in one episode he can't think of a punishment for them when they cause trouble in trying to obtain an incubator), and in fact, seems to egg it on at times. If Potter had been in command from the beginning, Hawkeye and Trapper probably would've been court-martialed long before (and much to Margaret and Frank's delight too).
  • Not the most original theory considering Margaret voiced it all the way back in the original movie: "This isn't a hospital, it's an insane asylum! And it's your fault because you don't do anything to discourage them! [...] At first they called me Hot Lips and you let them get away with it! And then you let them get away with everything!"

Potter will eventually feel like he's experiencing an episode of The Twilight Zone (1959)
Potter was in love with Doris Day, and had seen every single one of her movies — without Mildred. If this pattern of his continued while in civilian life, then he would have a rather bizarre experience when seeing With Six You Get Eggroll, which features both Jamie Farr and William Christopher as the leaders of a hippy motorcycle gang (not only that, but their big scene also includes a chicken truck driver who wears Radar's cap and jacket).

Hawkeye dies in the end
His plane home crashes just like Henry Blake's did. Hawkeye and Henry leave the 4077 in surprisingly similar fashions. Both take the time to say goodbye to everyone, get a salute of respect from their comrades, kiss Margaret with surprising passion and then board a helicopter. Also note how certain B.J. is that they will never see each other again.

Hawkeye caused Wendell to be arrested for identity theft and possession of stolen property.
Wendell reveals to Hawkeye that he lied about his age by stealing his brother Walter's identification. When Hawkeye alerts the authorities of this, he steals Frank's Purple Heart and gives it to Wendell, who was ineligible because he had appendicitis and was not injured as a result of combat. Identity theft is a serious crime, and now Wendell has a stolen award that Margret and Frank will almost certainly report, which means Wendell isn't going home, he's going to prison.

Colonel Potter is a White Mexican
He changed his name and hid his heritage to avoid prejudice when he joined the army. He admits that he was underage when he joined so he would have needed a fake birth certificate anyway. Potter frequently uses Spanish idioms in conversation (such as calling Father Mulcahey "padre," grew up as a southwest cowboy (a heavily Hispanic occupation,) and in one episode Klinger even says he looks like Ceaser Romero.
  • Addressing a popular chaplain as "Padre" is a US military tradition that dates at least as far back as World War One, possibly earlier, and is not unheard of in the British Army, either. It's a detail establishing Potter as an Old Soldier and indicating that Mulcahy is a good Chaplain (troops will only call a chaplain "The Padre" if they like him).
  • Klinger does look a little bit like Romero.

Hawkeye had always been sexually active, even as a child
In one of Colonel Flagg's episodes, Flagg takes pride in the fact the he can "find anything," to which Hawkeye asks, "Can you find my virginity? I lost it twenty years ago and I haven't seen it since." Now, this could very well just be chalked up to it being just another one of Hawkeye's zingers, but behind every joke, there's some truth, and Hawkeye has never been exactly shy about his past sexcapades that seem to date back even into his youth, such as telling B.J. how his father caught him smoking in bed when he was fifteen, adding, "Boy, did his face turn red. Matter of fact, so did the girl that I was with." But what really makes the above-mentioned zinger almost hard to believe is that even though Hawkeye's age has never really been explicitly mentioned in the series, the general concensus among much of the fandom has it that his age during his time in Korea was anywhere between 28 to 31, which means if there really is any merit to his comment, he would had have to be between the ages of 8 and 11 when he first engaged in any sexual activity.

Private Paul Conway anonymously cooked meals for the 4077th before getting caught and sent back to his unit
If you stop and think about it, the personnel of the 4077th didn't start regularly complaining about the food until Season Two or Three, and if you pay close attention throughout Season One, the food they eat isn't really all that bad - they've had such menu items as hamburgers, pork chops (both Henry and Frank requested these on two separate occasions), rare steak, fried chicken, beef stew, pancakes, among other items. The only person who seemed to be able to create masterpieces of the culinary arts was Private Paul Conway, whose MOS was a cook, even though he was made a rifleman. Conway, at one point, went AWOL from his unit because being a klutzy soldier was lowering the morale of his comrades, so he assumed an alternate identity, and hid out at the 4077th as their cook for a short while, before somebody (presumably a recuperating patient) recognized him, had him turned in, and was sent back to his unit to continue fighting until some time later when he became a patient at the 4077th.

Radar suffers a nervous breakdown over the course of the series

Radar starts out almost as one of the guys - a drinker, a smoker, and a lot more aware of the ways of the world than the naive farmboy he becomes by his exit. What if his change in personality wasn't Flanderization but a result of the war? He starts regressing early on in the series, but it really ramps up after Colonel Blake is killed on his way home. Blake was a second father to him - and he was already a witness to his father's death. What if that brought out repressed trauma over the loss of his father more than the carnage of the war and sent him over the edge? It would also explain why he was "away on R&R" so often - a lot of the time it was a cover for his treatment.

Frank Burns never recovered from his breakdown.
After Frank's nervous breakdown following Margaret's wedding to Donald Penobscot, during which time he attacked a general whom he thought was Penobscot, Frank called up Hawkeye to gloat that he was now a Lieutenant Colonel and was reassigned stateside. In reality Frank was still delusional; he had escaped custody to make the call, and after he hung up, the doctors managed to sedate him. Let's face it, even in the M*A*S*H universe, you punch out a general, your career is over. Shortly after that incident, Frank's wife Louise contacted him, only to announce that she was divorcing him. Frank fell into a catatonic state, and died quietly six months later.

Frank did get promoted as a cover up.
Potter was told that Frank was arrested and shipped stateside after attacking a general and his wife, thinking they were Margaret and Penobscott. In reality, the woman with the general wasn't his wife. The general was having an affair and said she was his wife because he didn't want his real wife to know. It wouldn't have been the first time in M*A*S*H that an officer was cheating. So the general gets the charges dropped and ships Frank back to Indiana to a cushy job. And Frank (who let Hawkeye get away with schemes to keep his infidelity secret) manages to accidentally get someone else to do the same for him.

After the war...
  • Margaret Houlihan ran into ex-husband Donald Penobscot, who admitted to that the real reason their marriage fell apart was that he was no longer able to deny that he was in fact gay. He has since accepted the truth about himself (although his wealthy upper-crust parents didn't and essentially disowned him), and shortly after the war met Steve, a physical therapist. The two of them were quite happy, and while Margaret was taken aback by Donald's confession, she wished them well and the two of them parted friends.
  • Shortly after her meeting with Donald, Margaret took some long-overdue time off and found herself driving through Maine. She decided to look up Hawkeye in Crabapple Cove, where he now had a small but successful town practice. Hawkeye was pleased with the chance to show Margaret his hometown, and the two of them became closer than either of them had suspected; away from the war and the Army, they both realized how much they have in common, and Margaret came to fall in love with both Crabapple Cove and with the town doctor. Six months later, Hawkeye and Margaret were married in a small ceremony presided over by Father Mulcahey. Trapper John, B.J. and Radar were Hawkeye's groomsmen while Nurses Baker and Kelly, and B.J.'s wife Peg were Margaret's bridesmaids.
  • Klinger and Soon-Li also attended the wedding. Unable to afford to buy Soon-Li a nice dress, Klinger fell back on his dress-making skills and made an original dress for his wife, a sky-blue creation that combined traditional Korean formal wear with contemporary lines and pleats. At the wedding reception, everyone complimented Soon-Li's dress and Margaret, along with several female guests, wanted to commission Klinger to make dresses for them. Within a year, Klinker opened a boutique, Klinger Originals, and began a career as a successful and much sought-after fashion designer.
  • Dr. Charles Emerson Winchester was unable to attend but he did send the bride and groom a fine gift, a hand-carved teak chest from Kenya. When he returned to Boston after the war, Charles was distressed to find that his sister Honoria was not there to greet him. His parents informed him that shortly after graduating from college, she had joined a volunteer group that was helping to build a hospital in Kenya. His curiosity piqued, he contacted the volunteer organization and within a month, he received a tape-recorded message from Honoria, explaining the progress she and her group was making in establishing the hospital. Charles was amazed, not only the work the group was doing, but in the changes he noticed in his beloved sister as a result; her stutter, which she had dealt with for much of her life, was absent from the recordings, and she seemed more confident and focused. Finally, he flew out to the site in Kenya and visited Honoria, to witness first-hand the construction of the new hospital. He was so impressed by the work, and how this work had transformed his sister from a shy and submissive slip of a thing into a confident tower of strength that he ended up joining the volunteer group, offering his services as a surgeon to the new hospital. As the hospital and surrounding facilities were being built he spent the next few years working, living and sleeping in conditions that made the 4077th look like the Hyatt Regency. And he was happier and more satisfied than he had ever been in his life. For the first time in his life, he felt he was doing something worthwhile.

The Real Reason M*A*S*H Lasted Longer Than The Korean War...
At some point during the series, the 4077 was in fact bombed and destroyed by enemy planes. The attack happened nearly instantaneously, and thus the staff of the doomed field hospital didn't realized they had been killed and continued on in a purgatory of sorts. The souls of Henry, Frank, and Radar eventually discovered the truth and moved on, thus their exits from the show. Trapper John actually survived the bombing but was in a coma for awhile until he awoke in a hospital in Japan. Sherman Potter, Charlies Winchester, and B.J. Hunnicutt were all killed in other separate incidents but their souls were drawn to the spectral 4077 and became part of it's world. Many of the patients the 4077 received after the bombing were other souls of fallen soldiers who they were unknowing helping to move on to whatever afterlife they were supposed to go to.

Frank Burns Never Actually Got Put in Charge of a VA Hospital
How did Hawkeye find out? Talking only to Frank over the phone while Frank was still at the psychiatric hospital. It's entirely possible Frank was completely delusional about his career path going forward and lied either willingly or as part of the delusion.note 
  • You don't know the VA. Frank being in charge of a VA hospital might actually improve their level of care and bedside manners.

Louise was pregnant when she and Frank got married
In the footage of Frank and Louise's wedding, he is the only one shown to be happy, with the few guests that arrived looking to be out for blood. Given Frank's libido, it's easy to assume he talked Louise into having sex (or possibly raped her, when you look at how aggressively he goes after Margaret at times) before they were married, and impregnated her. With her family's wealth, he was quite happy to 'be a man' and marry her, despite the lack of genuine affection on either side.

Colonel Potter and General Steele are cousins.
Before appearing as Colonel Potter, Harry Morgan appeared as the one-shot character General Steele. They look identical because they are played by the same actor, but the in-universe reason for this is family resemblance.

Henry was lying about his wife.
In several early episodes, Henry mentions his wife, Lorraine. From his descriptions, he makes her sound like a somewhat frumpy, somewhat nagging spouse. However, in "Dear Dad...Three", we see home movies of her where she looks quite attractive and seems very nice. The reason for the discrepancy? Henry missed her and his family terribly, and, deep down, felt guilty about cheating on her in Korea. So, in order to cope, he made it seem like she was no prize, anyway. When it really counted, though, he clearly loved her very much.