Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thursday Thirteen #71: Some of My Favorite M*A*S*H Quotes

Ever since I was a kid, I've been a fan of the series M*A*S*H (1972-1983). I've always enjoyed how the series mixed hijinks with the horrors of war. Although M*A*S*H tended to get preachy towards the end of its 11 year run, when it was at the top of its game, you'd have to look hard to find a better written and acted series on TV. In honor of the reunion of the surviving cast members of M*A*S*H on the 2009 TV Land Awards (which premieres Sunday April 26th at 8 pm EST), I decided to share 13 of my favorite lines from the series. Because there were so many great quotes spread out over the 251 episodes, it was difficult to narrow it down.

If you are a M*A*S*H fan and have a favorite quote that isn't listed below, feel free to post it in the comments section.

1. Hawkeye: I will not carry a gun, Frank. When I got thrown into this war I had a clear understanding with the Pentagon: no guns. I'll carry your books, I'll carry a torch, I'll carry a tune, I'll carry on, carry over, carry forward, Cary Grant, cash and carry, carry me back to Old Virginia, I'll even 'hari-kari' if you show me how, but I will not carry a gun!

2. Henry Blake [not wanting to deal with Major Houlihan] Radar, turn on the news. Maybe the war just ended and I won't have to talk to her.

3. Frank (shaving as he talks to Hawkeye and Trapper): It wouldn't hurt you two to shave. You look more like bums than doctors.
Trapper: Actually, I was thinking of becoming a bum doctor, but the proctology class was full.

4. Margaret: I'm not so think as you drunk I am...

5. Hawkeye: Margaret, how many times do I have to tell you there are no communists under these beds.
BJ: Of course not, they're in the Lenin closet.

6. [a Halloween party is in progress]
PA System Announcer: Attention, all personnel - some party guests have arrived - dressed as wounded soldiers.

7. Frank: The men hate me, don't they?
Radar: Just your guts, sir.

8. B.J. (to Hawkeye): We sit around here in our Hawaiian shirts and red suspenders, thumbing our nose at the Army, drinking home brewed gin and flouting authority at every turn, and feeling, oh, so superior to those military fools who kill each other and oh so self-righteous when we clean up after them. Well, good luck to you pal. I hope you can...keep it up. The minute I cut that rope, they made me a soldier.

9. Capt. Halloran: [sitting down beside Cpl. Klinger, and seeing him in drag for the first time] Hey... Up close, you're a guy!
Cpl. Klinger: Far away too.

10. Col. Potter (referring to the notoriously bad food in the mess tent):The only way they should serve these meatballs is with a ping pong paddle.

11. Charles: Just a minute! (to Igor, who is working on new latrine) You handle our food AND dig LATRINES?
Igor: Don't worry sir, I always wash my hands before I dig the latrines.

12. Trapper (referring to "The Bible"): I peeked at the end Frank. The Devil did it.

13. Father Mulcahy: When the doctors cut into a patient, and it's cold, you know...the way it is now, today, ... steam rises from the body... and the doctor will... (hesitates) ...will warm himself over the open wound. Could anyone look on that and not feel changed?

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Nicholas said...

I thought MASH was one of the most inventive shows ever. I think it reached its peak when Col. Potter, BJ and Charles joined. Yes, it did get too preachy, because it was set in Korea but it was all about Vietnam, and those were two different wars. Those are great quotes, though the last one was of the preachy kind that really dragged the show down.

On a limb with Claudia said...

That was a fun trip. I used to watch this show.... Gosh I don't even remember when! (That's sad.)

Thanks for the laugh, Malcolm

Kristen said...

I grew up on MASH in prime time, dated my husband watching it in syndication and am now training my kids to enjoy the sharp wit during MASH marathons. "It's nice to be nice to the nice," is one of the lines I quote often.

Lori said...

My Dad use to love that show....Happy TT:)

Adelle Laudan said...

That was such a great show. They just don't make 'em like that anymore. Sigh.
Happy Earth Day!

Betty said...

I've never watched MASH, but with your quotes and all the other comments here, I really wonder what I'm missing. Happy TT!

Rasmenia said...

It's been a while since I've seen an episode of M*A*S*H, so I got a giggle out of this... well, except for the last one, of course, which made me feel something else just as cool. ;)

Have a great Thursday.

Grace @ Sandier Pastures said...

Great quotes! LOL at Cary Grant in quote #1! Love this list!

DrillerAA said...

MASH was an absolute favorite of mine as well. I liked both Cols. Blake and Potter. They brought different personalities to the show without compromising the quality of the program...a tribute to the writers.
This is a wonderful list. Have a happy TT.

Angel said...

I love that show! I've watched it for a while now!

Cindy Swanson said...

You're right, Malcolm...some of hte best TV writing ever. The humor has held up remarkably well over the years.

Anonymous said...

My mom was a huge fan when I was a kid, but I don't really remember the show. These quotes made me want to get some copies though. I might be quoting this even more than Seinfeld. (But I'm moving to South Korea, so I don't know how they'll take it there! )

Happily Retired Gal said...

MASH was one of my favorite shows and today's post brought back many memories. Thanks ;--)
Hugs and blessings,

I am Harriet said...

I remember being a huge fan at one time.

Great post!

shopannies said...

I love MASH as well and love to watch the reruns even today. I will be posting later today so please visit

Anonymous said...

"We will now leave, in order of departure." Hawkeye

-- David Burke

Anonymous said...

This brought back memories! Despite being off the air well before I was old enough to appreciate it, I remember watching it with my mom and knowing something important was going on beneath the funny.

Considering how young I was, I think it makes Radar my official first "Geek Crush". I'd forgotten about that. Thanks for the reminder. :)

Happy TT


Daisy said...

LOL! I wish I would have seen it based upon the lines I just read. Maybe I'll have to see if I can find it in re-runs.

Thursday 13 - edition 4

Daily Panic said...

I love MASH!! these quotes brought back some memories.

An Eerie Tapestry said...

Great list (and great show). Loved #7. It's a long time since I've seen it, so the only quotes I remember, both ridiculously short, are Henry Blake's "Boom" (which was only funny in context) and Hawkeye's "My mouth runneth over," which I've used a few times since myself.

Malcolm said...

Nicholas: I've never heard anyone refer to quote #13 as preachy, but OK. :-) One thing I like about M*A*S*H is that you can watch the opening credit sequence and have a pretty good idea of what to expect. For example, if you don't see the back of Radar's head, it's almost certain that preaching is on the way.

On A Limb with Claudia: You're welcome.

Kristen: "It's nice to be nice to the nice" almost made this list. Thanks for stopping by.

Lori: Thanks for visiting.

Adelle: Happy belated Earth Day to you.

Betty: I think the show is definitely worth checking out.

Rasmenia: I'm glad you enjoyed the last quote. I thought I would wrap up the list with something more serious.

Grace: #1 is one of the best quotes from the series and I almost forgot to include it.

DrillerAA: Good point. If the writers had made Col. Potter an ineffectual leader like Henry was, it wouldn't have worked.

Angel: I have lately started getting into it again because it airs on three cable channels in my area.

Cindy: I might use MASH quotes as an annual T13 theme.

Ruby Canary: Yeah, MASH might not go down so well where you are going.

Happily Retired Gal: I'm glad this list brought back some memories. By the way, I am jealous of your username.

Harriet: Thank you!

Shopannies: I'm late as hell, but I will be over this weekend.

David: That quote vaguely rings a bell. Do you remember the plot of that episode?

Xakara: "Geek crush"... that might be a good idea for a future T13. Now that I think of it, I don't know if I can come up with 13.

Daisy: If you have cable, there's a good chance you catch MASH. It currently airs on TV Land, The Hallmark Channel, and ION.

Daily: I'm glad this list brought back memories; thanks for visiting.

An Eerie Tapestry: Good call on Henry's line of "Boom". I seem to remember him having a toilet seat around his neck when he said it.

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