M*A*S*H

The Most Unforgettable Characters - S5-E14

Corrected entry: In the scene where Hawkeye and BJ are actually fighting while pretending to fight; when they enter the tent, Frank is polishing his boots and whistling the theme music to The Muppet Show (1976). While The Muppet Show had already been screening for a year when this episode was first broadcast, the music was unknown in the 1950s as it was written specifically for the show by Muppets creator Jim Henson, and Sam Pottle.

New this month Correction: The song that Frank is humming is "Happy Days are Here Again", which was copyrighted in 1929.

Mail Call Three - S6-E20

Corrected entry: BJ gives his home phone number as 555-2657; in the 1950's, phone numbers were generally given in a TWo-letter-five-number format e.g. "PEnnsylvania-6-5000" or "BEechwood-4-5789".

Correction: This is not a mistake. First 'generally' doesn't cut it - they might be the exception. Also, film makers are required by law to use unassigned telephone numbers, and have always used 555 as a prefix as such numbers are never used in real life.

They don't have to use the 555 prefix, it is just better that they do. They also used KLondike 5 or KL5 before the local area name was dropped.

terry s

Correction: 555 was never an area code. Original area codes all had a 0 or a 1 as the second number. 555 was an exchange that was never used for general public but it was used for some information numbers such as the time and weather. Usually Klondike 5 was used in movies or shows instead of 555 but either one is correct although in the 50's, it would be common to say Klondike.

terry s

Correction: The place name in the numbers mentioned actually translates to a three-digit code, the two letters merely were an abbreviation of that place name. It is simply an area code. The code 555 was reserved and never assigned to any real city in the US. To avoid people prank-calling numbers they heard in songs or movies, movie directors often used the 555 prefix. As detailed above, songwriters were often a lot less squeamish about using real, assignable phone numbers. There are several cases on file where phone numbers used in songs had to be reassigned and reserved, because people would call it "just to see whom it actually belonged to"

Doc Premium member

Good-Bye Radar (Part 2) - S8-E5

Corrected entry: Radar tells Klinger that "nobody helped me when I took the job." However, when Potter complains about Klinger's performance, Mulcahy tells him about Blake taking Radar under his wing and helping him grow into the job.

Movie Nut

Correction: This is a clear case of taking the dialog too literally. When Radar says "nobody helped him" he doesn't imply that he learned it all by himself with literally no help, but that he too was thrown into the deep end.

Doc Premium member

I stand corrected Doc.

Movie Nut

Correction: It is made clear that Colonel Blake was inept and had very little understanding of Radar's job. While Blake may have been supportive of Radar, Radar still had to learn the job on his own.

Jason Hoffman

If he had little understanding of the clerk's job, then Mulcahy's statement that "Henry took Radar under his wing and helped him grow into the job" is moot.

Movie Nut

Not necessarily as such. Both "taking under one's wing" and "growing into the job" are rather generic statements after all. Blake may very well have just kept his back while he learned the job, even though he may not have been such a great source of topical information on company-clerking in particular. For the question at hand however one should keep in mind that neither Radar nor Mulcahy are lying down historic facts when they make their respective statements, but try to make their points, which are, to wit: Radar thinks Klinger should stop bitching and try to find his feet, and Mulcahy thinks Potter needs to be supportive of Klinger.

Doc Premium member

Show generally

Corrected entry: Both Klinger and Radar are far too old for their rank.

hifijohn

Correction: Though the TV show M*A*S*H was on the air for 11 years, the real Korean War lasted 3 years. Radar is a corporal and states in season 2 "As You Were" that his age is 19. We don't know Corporal Klinger's age, but Max is promoted to sergeant in season 10, which in "real" time would be somewhere between the end of the second year and the third year of the real war.

Super Grover Premium member

Show generally

Corrected entry: Radar is seen reading Marvel Comics that were weren't published until the mid 60s.

hifijohn

Correction: The problems with Radar's comics are already noted in the specific episodes.

Super Grover Premium member

Show generally

Corrected entry: Many references to films mentioned appeared well after the Korean War.

hifijohn

Correction: A few movie anachronisms are already listed individually for the episodes, which include "McLintock!" and "The Ten Commandments." Also already listed are variations of "Godzilla" movies. If you watch an episode with an unlisted anachronistic film, submit it for that episode.

Super Grover Premium member

B.J. Papa San - S7-E15

Corrected entry: It would be impossible for Radar's bee Blitzen to sting the general as drones do not have stingers. (00:17:05)

Correction: "Blitzen" is never called a drone in the show. All we see is Radar calling the name repeatedly as if to a tame animal, then exhibiting fear and fleeing.

Doc Premium member

Correction: Since it did sting him, it seems that Radar had misidentified it as a drone.

LorgSkyegon

Sorry, dude, but that's not a valid rebuke. Had Radar identified Blitzen as a drone (which he didn't) then it would be a valid character mistake.

Doc Premium member

Bombshells - S11-E6

Corrected entry: At the end, after BJ has received his Bronze Star, Colonel Potter dismisses the formation with "At Ease. Dismissed." According to Drill and Ceremonies as I learned them, this is impossible. The only legal command from the at-ease position is "Attention."

Bob Blumenfeld Premium member

Correction: While this is technically correct, I've had NCOs and officers call fallout or dismissed from at ease, parade rest, and rest all the time. This is in line with a unit that has as little military discipline as the 4077TH.

Dear Sigmund - S5-E7

Corrected entry: After being loaded with wounded, an ambulance accelerates, turns left and moves out of sight. Immediately after there is the sound of a crash, and the ambulance is lying on its left side. Radar states that it turned too fast and rolled over...but in that case, it would be on its right side.

goofyfoot

Correction: The ambulance driver was quickly heading for the next left turn on the road out of camp, but instead wound up driving into the sloped rocky ditch on his left, hence the vehicle rolled onto its left side. Nothing wrong with its depiction.

Super Grover Premium member

Dear Sigmund - S5-E7

Corrected entry: In this episode, Sidney Freedman writes a letter to Sigmund Freud, detailing his experiences at the 4077. Freud died September 23, 1939. M*A*S*H is set during the Korean War, June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953.

Movie Nut

Correction: Yes, Sidney's addressing Sigmund Freud in his "letter" but it's not an actual letter he's writing, it's Sidney's therapeutic way of expressing and venting his own private thoughts and feelings regarding coping mechanisms to the founder of psychoanalysis, whom he greatly respected. Sidney knows that Sigmund Freud has been dead for over a decade, and BJ even commented to Sidney that writing a letter to Sigmund Freud is a little crazy, but Sidney's reply says it all, "who better than he would understand."

Super Grover Premium member

Strange Bedfellows - S11-E11

Corrected entry: When Col. Potter is talking to Father Mulcahy about his son-in-law's rendezvous, Father Mulcahy says he has seen the 6th commandment take a beating, but "Thou shalt not commit adultery" is actually the 7th commandment.

Correction: Yes, according to Protestants (and others) it's the 7th commandment which states not to commit adultery, however, according to the Roman Catholic Church (and Lutheranism) it is indeed the 6th commandment just as Father Mulcahy asserts, and since Father Mulcahy is a devout Catholic military chaplain, his statement, "I've seen the 6th commandment take quite a beating," holds perfectly true for his character.

Super Grover Premium member

Last Laugh - S6-E3

Corrected entry: Leo Bardonaro supposedly left his hat at the hotel where he used BJ's name as an alias. General Fred Fox made BJ put on the hat to prove he was at the hotel. When Leo shows back up at the Swamp he has his hat back on.

Correction: He could easily have more than one hat.

Greg Dwyer

The General Flipped at Dawn - S3-E1

Corrected entry: Actor Lynnette Mettey was introduced in the episode "Carry On Hawkeye" (series 2) as Lt. Anderson - in the episode "The General Flipped At Dawn" her character's name changed to Nurse Baker.

Correction: Several actors throughout the series play different characters. Example: the actor who plays general Steele plays Colonel Potter in seasons 4-11.

Show generally

Corrected entry: Between season 2 and season 3, the interior decoration of the officers' club changes radically. Up to season 2, it's furnished with wicker chairs and tables and has a picture of General MacArthur at the wall, from season 3 on, it has the familiar look with the tables made from tires and the unit insignia on the wall.

Doc Premium member

Correction: As you say, it happens in-between seasons. Given the 4077th's successful track record, the higher-ups may reward them with better equipment for the Officers' Club. (At one point, they save the life of an officer's son, and he gives them an upgrade to the club as well. Who's to say that hasn't happened more than once?).

Captain Defenestrator Premium member

Actually, it isn't so much an UPgrade as a DOWNgrade. In the 2nd season, it had nice wicker chairs and tables and even local bartenders. In the 3rd season and on, both the decoration and the furniture have a much more home-brew/scrounged air to them. I think it's more likely the producers or production designers noticed the officers' club was out of whack with the rest of the production design and adjusted it.

Doc Premium member

Again, the officer gave them the upgrade, he'd get to pick the decor and they'd just have to learn to like it. What you call an upgrade and what he calls an upgrade might be two separate things.

Captain Defenestrator Premium member

The basic problem with what you say is always the same however: There is exactly nothing in the dialog to support any of your theories.

Doc Premium member

There's also nothing but your own personal flair for design to say that the officer's idea of "That's what I call an upgrade" was, in fact, a downgrade. The taste of the officer who's giving them the upgrade is what decides if it is or isn't, and if his "upgrade" sucks, there's not a lot that the 4077th can do but say "Gee... thanks... sir..." and learn to like it.

Captain Defenestrator Premium member

"In reward for your dedicated service, I decided to replace your barkeeper with no barkeeper. You also won't have to look at the ugly mug of MacArthur any more, I've found you some nice random unit insignia instead! What's not to love, eh?"

Doc Premium member

Pressure Points - S10-E15

Corrected entry: In this episode, Potter and company are being introduced to white phosphorous that is starting to be used. But in Season 2, Episode 1, "Divided We Stand", as Henry and Hawkeye come out of the O.R. a wounded soldier is brought in on a Jeep with white phosphorous burns, and they knew what to do.

Movie Nut

Correction: Even if they knew how to deal with it at the time, the information might not have been common knowledge. As WP came to be used more frequently, the Army would send instructors to field hospitals to make certain everyone was up on the latest technique for dealing with it. (Col. Potter was also not in the earlier episode you mention, and he wants to hear the information).

Captain Defenestrator Premium member

Understood, but Potter was there in Season 4, Episode 24 "Deluge" when a WP case was brought in.

Movie Nut

Remember that the main plot of this episode is that Col. Potter made a rookie mistake that almost cost a kid's life, and is fearing that he's too old to hack it as a doctor anymore. If the Army's learned something he doesn't know, he wants to know it.

Captain Defenestrator Premium member

The Consultant - S3-E17

Corrected entry: The only ones who knew Dr. Borelli was in camp was Radar, Hawkeye, Trapper, and Henry. Since they were the only ones who knew him at all, how did Frank and Hotlips find out so quick?

Movie Nut

Correction: Frank and Hotlips were always busy bodies around the camp and spying on the going ons of the camp. And as can be seen in other episodes, the swamp is near Hotlips' tent, so if her and Frank were in there, then it makes sense they would know pretty quick.

Dreams - S8-E22

Corrected entry: When she comes down the steps in BJ's dream, the backdrop behind where she's standing at the top of the stairs is white. When BJ goes back to work, the OR doors open, and the top of the stairs is now black.

Movie Nut

Correction: What you're noting is BJ's dream (more a nightmare) with his wife Peg. She first appears at the top of a phantom stairway with a white backdrop, at the OR's outer doors - where stairs don't actually exist. When Peg leaves she walks up the phantom stairway with a black backdrop, which has moved and changed direction, and is now at the OR's inner doors - where stairs don't really exist either. During the dream BJ's dressed in a white tuxedo and they're dancing through the OR - where dancing never occurs. When Potter hands BJ the scalpel, BJ performs surgery in his tuxedo - which would never happen. This is a dream sequence involving a non-existent stairway with a non-existent backdrop, and formal attire and dancing in the OR. The significance of a stairway becomes clear in 9x14 "Oh, How We Danced" when BJ reveals to Hawkeye his dream of an evening with Peg. And even within this episode's dream we can infer that to BJ, seeing Peg with the white background at the top of the stairs of the outer room, is as if she's heaven-sent, and to him it represents life, joy, and being home with his wife, but later when they're in the OR Peg's forced to leave on the stairs which are now at the OR's doors, and within BJ's dream it's as if the OR is his personal hell and the black backdrop represents his reality of war, death, and BJ being away from his wife and family.

Super Grover Premium member

Sticky Wicket - S1-E21

Corrected entry: In the Swamp, Hawkeye, Trapper and Radar are playing with red backed cards, and Ugly John is holding blue back cards.

Movie Nut

Correction: Being in the middle of nowhere and a mobile facility, it's not hard to imagine a situation where some cards from both decks got lost and they decided to combine two partial decks. (They might then choose to ignore the fact that they could tell which cards are from which deck out of sportsmanship).

Captain Defenestrator Premium member

B.J. Papa San - S7-E15

Corrected entry: As Potter realizes who is in the jeep, he quickly salutes and drops his hand. After the angle changes, the General salutes. By regulations, Potter, as the lower rank, should have held his salute until Gen. Prescott returned the salute.

Movie Nut

Correction: By regulation he should have done that. However, a MASH unit is hardly a parade ground and "hash marks" Potter isn't very gung ho on military protocol in the first place. Also what is true for a first lieutenant thirty years junior years younger isn't necessarily true for a full colonel the same age. Regulations aside, customs differ greatly in this area. In some units insisting on a parade ground salute from a near-equal rank would be considered an insult. Also, a convincing case could be made that potter's "abbreviated" salute was a breach of regulations in the other direction, because salutes usually aren't permitted in the field. Long story short, Potter's salute is perfectly in character with him, and makes perfect sense in the context.

Tuttle - S1-E15

Corrected entry: At the credits, the fictional character is mentioned: "Tuttle.........as himself" (00:25:05)

Correction: This is a joke and not a mistake. By "fictional character", you do not mean one created by MASH writers for the show, but a fake Captain made up by Hawkeye and Trapper. It was just a funny way of saying since Tuttle only existed on paper, that paper existence was real and fictional.

Bishop73
M*A*S*H mistake picture

Death Takes a Holiday - S9-E5

Visible crew/equipment: After Charles confronts Choi Sung Ho about the candy, Ho explains that he sold it on the black market to buy real food, and when Ho reenters the mess tent through the side door, we can see that outside there's a director's chair, which actors also use, with something printed on its back.

Super Grover Premium member
More mistakes in M*A*S*H

Sometimes You Hear the Bullet - S1-E17

Henry Blake: All I know is what they taught me at command school. There are certain rules about a war, and rule number one is that young men die. And rule number two is that doctors can't change rule number one.

More quotes from M*A*S*H

Trivia: Season 4. Episode 1 "Welcome To Korea". At the end of the episode the new commanding officer, Colonel Sherman Potter, played by Harry Morgan is introduced. In Season 3 Episode 1 "The General Flipped at Dawn", Harry Morgan played Major General Bartford Hamilton Steele.

jle
More trivia for M*A*S*H

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