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YMMV / Hogan's Heroes

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  • Acceptable Targets: Nazis. The most acceptable targets of all.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation
    • Is Schultz really the dim-witted Bavarian hick he appears to be, or is he Obfuscating Stupidity to cover his secret opposition against the Nazi system, while at the same time consciously helping Hogan's plans? It's more believable when you learn Schultz in peacetime was CEO of one of the largest toy-makers in Germany. Obviously he couldn't successfully run a large business for years if he was really as dumb as he acts. Now throw in the fact that his toy factory was repurposed by the Nazis as a munitions plant, and that Schultz himself was drafted as an enlisted man (the German military had a very rigid class system in which commissioned officers were basically nobility, enlisted men were common rabble, and NCOs like Schultz were only slightly better, though the Luftwaffe tended to be more lax), despite his obvious management skills, it starts to look a lot more than just likely.
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    • The same can be wondered about Klink. Schultz once admitted to Klink that he was a member of the German Socialist party before the war, at the same time Klink admitted that he hated the whole Nazi system - particularly the SS. These probably helped them to turn a blind eye to some of Hogan's most blatant lies and plots. On the other hand, if they actually did catch Hogan in any of his plots, they'd be most likely transferred to the Russian front, meaning both have a vested interest in not catching Hogan.
  • Crazy Awesome: Marya. Or maybe just plain crazy.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Sgt. Wilson. For a character who appears for 1 minute in one episode ("Operation Briefcase"), he is frequently featured in fanworks. Most likely so because he is the O.C. Stand-in for a medic.
  • Fair for Its Day/Values Resonance: In the casting, as described in the introduction to the main article. Critics who slam the program for trivializing Nazi concentration camps (always seeming to ignore how the show actually depicts a POW camp for Western Allied prisoners, not a concentration camp proper) never get around to just how much of a groundbreaker it was, in the American TV environment of the early 1960's, to cast an African-American not as second- or third-banana comic relief, but as Hogan's right-hand man and the man responsible for creating all the gadgetry the team needed to do its work (adumbrating Mission: Impossible).
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  • Fridge Horror: Whenever Hogan is ordered to eliminate a female target (such as in "Who Stole my Copy of Mein Kampf"), rather than killing them, he sets them up to be arrested by the Gestapo. Isn't that worse?
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • In "Easy Come, Easy Go," Burkhalter brings two very attractive ladies to camp in an attempt to seduce information out of Hogan, who seems very content sharing a sofa with two lovely ladies who are showering him with affection; predating any publically-made details of the antics of his private life.
    • The cast appeared on The Leslie Uggams Show in a gospel-themed segment in which the cast are asked of their sins, to which Bob Crane cheekily remarks, "I've been known to fiddle around."
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • All the self-deprecating jokes made by the German characters becomes this after learning that their actors were victims of Nazi atrocities: Leon Askin (Burkhalter) was tortured by the Gestapo—it's how he got that scar—and his parents died in Treblinka; Werner Klemperer (Klink) and John Banner (Schultz) were victims of anti-Semitic persecution, but managed to emigrate to the United States.
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    • Robert Clary (LeBeau) is a Holocaust survivor. For added harshness, his singing and performing talents were what kept him alive.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight
    • In "Klink Vs. the Gonculator", Sgt. Carter is trying to catch a rabbit. Former US president Jimmy Carter was attacked by a giant rabbit on a fishing trip in Real Life.
    • In-show, in an early episode Newkirk adamantly refuses to dress up as a woman (before a Gilligan Cut showing him in a wig and a dress, of course). Of the five Heroes he turns up to be the one who later dresses up as a middle-aged/old woman most often over the course of the series.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: Interestingly, the series is quite popular in Germany (with Macekred/Gag Dub dialogue — See No Swastikas below) under the name Ein Käfig voller Helden ("A Cageful of Heroes").)
  • Retroactive Recognition: Younger viewers might be a bit surprised to not see Richard Dawson either hosting a game show or being part of a panel on a game show.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The season 4 episode "Watch the Trains Go By" has the crew returning from an aborted sabotage mission to find a largely increased guard presence around the camp. An entire episode could be made of the phrase "How do we escape into a POW camp?" but the crew gets back in by sending two of their men to get caught cutting the wire and allow the others to sneak back in.
  • Values Dissonance
    • Some of Hogan's more... aggressive actions towards women come off as creepy to modern eyes.
    • While Kinchloe gets his chance at two women, both of them are black. He almost never vocally shares the other inmates' interest in beautiful white women. This might also be an aversion of Politically Correct History, as it wouldn't be particularly smart for a black man to do so even among friends in that time period.
    • When Carter reveals that he is part Native American, LeBeau and Newkirk spend the rest of the episode mocking him over it, to his evident displeasure. Especially jarring given the show's generally respectful treatment of its black characters.
    • Similar to the Native American example, women who aren't young and thin get hit pretty hard. Frau Linkmeyer gets the worst of it (due to appearing the most), but Burkhalter's niece in "Gowns by Yvette" is mocked for being a pudgy woman that no man would ever genuinely want.
    • More recently, the show made the #5 spot on TV Guide's Top 50 Worst TV Shows of All Time, with the author of the article arguing that the show is really outdated and tasteless in its subject matter.
  • "Weird Al" Effect: Hogan's Heroes is a parody of WWII POW films like Stalag 17, The Great Escape, and The Bridge on the River Kwai. The show is now better recognized than the serious movies it was making fun of, which is why there are modern viewers who wonder why anyone thought the subject matter was funny in the first place.
  • Woolseyism
    • While the original is unclear on where in Germany the Germans came from, the aforementioned dub has Klink from Dresden and Schultz from Munich. Why? Because the Saxon and Bavarian accents are the ones other Germans find the funniest...
    • There is an old rivalry between Bavarians and the rest of Germany, or, as the Bavarians say it, "Prussia". This is also referenced in the German dub. Schultz even calls Klink "Saupreiß" on some occasions.
  • You Look Familiar
    • About half of the one-shot German officers and Allied troops are played by the same four or five guys. Noam Pitlik alone made about seven or eight guest appearances throughout the show's run, playing anything from a German spy, to downed Allied airmen on a couple of occasions, to a Kraut who the Gestapo were planning to kill (Pitlik was actually a good friend of director Gene Reynolds, hence his presence on the show).
    • In the black and white pilot, Carter was to be a one time character who was helped to escape by the Heroes. When the show went to series, he was reduced in rank and made a regular.
    • Richard Dawson (Newkirk) often voiced "Goldilocks", their British radio contact, usually with a stuffy upper-class accent, old boy. Resulting in at least one instance of the actor Talking to Himself.
    • After leaving the series at the beginning of the second season, Cynthia Lynn made two random guest appearances on the show much later, appearing as different characters.
    • Before playing Major Hochstetter, Howard Caine appeared in two early episodes, playing different Krauts.
    • Jon Cedar usually plays Lagenscheidt (one of the camp guards), however, on at least two or three different occasions, he plays a different character, one of which includes a Gestapo officer who blows his cork (after enduring constant, gratuitous verbal abuse from his superior officer) and opens fire on Hogan, Klink, and Schultz.

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