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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 toymakers 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.
    • It's very possible that Klink is actually Nimrod or at least a secret ally. He blatantly lets slip classified information in front of Hogan and the others often, which could be because he's an arrogant fool, but there are also times that he goes out of his way to help which suggests otherwise (warning about radio-detecting equipment probably being the biggest example).
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  • Awesome Music: The opening and closing themes.
  • 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.
    • Major Hochstetter is this for his Large Ham tendencies.
    • Corporal Langenscheidt, for being the only recurring guard besides Schultz (often sharing scenes with him in fanfiction) and seeming like a decent, but bumbling guy.
    • Olsen, the "outside man" of the camp made a strong impression in the first episode that left many wishing he'd had more than just three subsequent appearances, and he's a regular fan fiction character.
    • The well-meaning but bumbling unsuccessful Prison Escape Artist Colonel Crittendon.
    • Conniving Russian spy Marya.
    • Prison Escape Artist Malcolm Flood.
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  • 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).
  • 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 publicly-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.
      • Of the main recurring German characters, the only one to actually be in the Nazi party was Hochstetter- played by American actor Howard Caine. Klink, Schultz & Burkhalter were Luftwaffe, which were barred from being members of the Nazi party even if Burkhalter often reported directly to Hitler.
    • Robert Clary (LeBeau) is a Holocaust survivor. For added harshness, his singing and performing talents were what kept him alive.
    • A number of times firearms are used or mentioned in the show get much harsher to look at in the present
      • When Carter impersonates Klink in one episode to destroy a train, Hogan says to knock out the station master if he asks questions. When Carter cites the fact the stationmaster might have a weapon, Hogan points out that civilians are not allowed to carry firearms. While Hogan is referring to German civilians, this type of playing a fear of guns for laughs would be impossible to get away with in the present with gun violence an increasingly common reality.
      • When Klink and Schultz enter a café full of patrons and staff to arrest Newkirk and Lebeau who have escaped to discredit Schultz who has been made a commandant, Klink calls Schultz an idiot for recklessly carrying a machine gun and proceeds to fire a whole belt of ammunition. No one is injured, and Schultz has to pay the bill for the damage, but playing a potential mass shooting for Hypocritical Humor would be rejected outright today.
    • Anytime the gang creates a water shortage or water is a central focus of an episode is a lot harder to look at for amusement due to the fact that by the end of the war, much of Germany lacked access to water.
    • Anytime an episode features treasure seized from different nations, especially France, can be quite a fair bit harsher if you do some research and realize that some of those treasures were taken from nations that were conquered or colonized by Europeans. The ivory fans are explicitly stated to be from Africa in one episode.
    • Schultz's constant eating & the jokes about him being fat became this due to John Banner dying of a heart attack not long after the series ended.
  • 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.
  • Magnificent Bitch: Marya is a Soviet spy who operates under the cover of being a White Russian émigré. Extremely capable behind her overacting and eccentric behavior, she proves one of the most cunning and charismatic schemers in the series. In her first appearance, she helps the Heroes to spring captured French Resistance member Tiger in order to obtain information about secret German airbases for her country. Subsequently, Marya alternates between working with the Heroes towards a common goal and working at cross purposes towards her own objectives, often using their own scheming to her advantage. Her achievements include destroying or discrediting plenty of high-ranking German officers and scientists, helping to steal a large portion of Hermann Göring's art collection, sabotaging the reputation of an experimental wunderwaffe, retrieving a Soviet scientist, and saving her spy ring from an SS plan to expose it. The only recurring character to consistently get the better of Colonel Robert Hogan, Marya stands head and shoulders above the show's other schemers.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Klink and Schultz provide the two memes below respectively.
      • "Dis-missed!"
      • "I see nothing. I hear nothing. I know nothing!" (Or later, just "I know nothing!")
    • Major Hochstetter has two catchphrases that are also meme-able.
      • "What is this man doing here?... What is this man doing here??... WHAT IS THIS MAN DOING HERE!?!?!?"
      • "WHO IS THIS MAN?!"
  • 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.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Major Hochstetter was a reprisal of Gestapo Colonel Feldkamp, played by Howard Caine in season 2. Feldkamp was killed by a car bomb but his behavior was otherwise identical and even asks "WHO IS THIS MAN?!" when first meeting Hogan.
  • 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.

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