Season 1 Episode 1

M*A*S*H - The Pilot

Aired Unknown Sep 17, 1972 on CBS



  • Trivia

    • When Hawkeye and Trapper are arrested by Hammond at the party there is a large crowd of people behind the General and Henry. When we cut to the shot of Margaret and Frank approaching, there is no-one in sight.

    • When it comes time for the raffle, Hawkeye tells everyone to take out their tickets. Instead of calling out a number that would match one of the tickets he calls out a name, so the ticket holders didn't need to have their tickets out to see if they won.

    • Goof: Hawkeye dances closely with Lt. Dish and has a wreath of flowers over his shoulder. In the next scene, the wreath is hanging between the two.

    • In the later episodes of M*A*S*H the surgeons wear their masks with the straps tied at their neck and near the top of the head, while the nurses wear their masks with the straps criss crossed. Here the surgeons wear their masks in the same fashion as the nurses. However, the doctors and nurses may wear their masks tied differently so you can tell from the style who's whom. Alternatively, they could have chosen to change the style to keep the mask more secure.

    • Goof: Hawkeye says Ho-Jon can stay with his parents while going to school. However, Hawkeye's Mother is dead and has been for some time.

  • Quotes

    • (Hawkeye narrating his letter to his father at the beginning of the episode)
      Hawkeye: Dear Dad, Hawkeye here. You said that I sounded a bit callous in my last letter, Dad. Let me see if I can put things in a better way. At this particular Mobile Army Hospital, we are not concerned with the ultimate reconstruction of the patient. We care only about getting the kid out of here alive enough for someone else to put on the fine touches. We work fast and we're not dainty...We try to play par surgery on this course. Par is a live patient.

    • Henry: This is Brigadier General Hamilton, Chief Medical Officer of the Seoul Sector!
      Hawkeye: Oh, hi.
      Gen. Hammond: Which one here's McIntyre?
      Trapper: Yo!
      Gen. Hammond: You and Pierce are both under arrest.
      Trapper: I'd like to get a second opinion on that.

    • (Father Mulcahy just won the raffle)
      Henry: Ten-hut!
      Gen. Hammond: Do I understand that the priest of this outfit has just won a weekend with a nurse in Tokyo?
      Hawkeye: It's a prayer come true.

    • Margaret: Captain Pierce!
      Hawkeye: Oh, I'm sorry, honey. My dance card's all full.
      Margaret: Where is he?
      Hawkeye: Who?
      Margaret: You know very well who. Major Burns! He's been missing for hours!
      Hawkeye: Oh, I thought you'd heard.
      Margaret: Heard what?
      Hawkeye: Frank's gone over to the enemy. They offered him one hundred dollars more a week and a royalty on bedpans.

    • (Radar hands Hawkeye an envelope)
      Hawkeye: What's this?
      Radar: It's the weekend passes for the raffle.
      Hawkeye: When did he sign these?
      Radar: When he thought he was ordering a ton of ice cream. Fudge ripple.

    • Radar: Yes, sir?
      Henry: Radar! Radar, don't do that.
      Radar: Yes, sir. You wanted to see me, sir?
      Henry: Yes, but let me say I want to see you before I see you.

    • Hawkeye: What does everybody want here? What do all these people want more than anything else?
      Trapper: To go home or, uh, Tokyo, whichever comes first.
      Hawkeye: What do they really want?
      Trapper: Sex.
      Hawkeye: Ahh.
      Trapper: 'Cept for those baseball perverts.

    • Radar: You guys got mail. That's Hawkeye. Trapper.
      Trapper: I don't feel like mail.
      Hawkeye: Go ahead, open it. They can't draft you again.
      (Trapper opens his letter)
      Trapper: Bad news from my wife. She still loves me. Would you believe this? She still thinks I got sent to Korea as part of some secret plot to cheat on her.
      Hawkeye: Well, didn't you?
      Trapper: Yeah, but how did she figure it out?

    • Trapper: Some nurse this guy had.
      Hawkeye: Oh, yeah. Was that the one with the...
      Trapper: Yeah, right. The one I was tellin' you about. Hi, Ho-Jon. She came to me once with a sore throat. She didn't mind me examining her tonsils, but she didn't understand why she had to take off her clothes.
      Hawkeye: That's a woman all over.
      Trapper: Best place for 'em to be.

    • Hawkeye: Aw, come on, Frank! We've all had twelve straight hours of meatball surgery in there! My brain is sending me urgent rest telegrams. You must be tired, too, after all that malpractice you put in.
      Margaret: You're dismissed!
      Hawkeye: Thanks, Mother.

    • Frank: I don't want a Kelly clamp, Lieutenant!
      Ginger: But that's what you asked for.
      Frank: Give me what I want, not what I asked for!
      Hawkeye: Hey, Ginger, put a clamp on his mouth. You can show us all your diploma later, Frank.
      Frank: That's enough, Captain!
      Hawkeye: Oh, clever.

    • (in the operating room)
      Margaret: Everything under control?
      Hawkeye: Uh, yeah, fine. But if you don't move, I'm gonna have to cut around your 'B' cups.

    • Trapper: (after he hits his golf ball into the mine field and it explodes) Fore!

    • Gen. Hammond: Who are you?
      Hawkeye: Uh, Capt. Benjamin Franklin Pierce. Who are you, Sarge?
      Gen. Hammond: (pointing to his shoulder) What do you think this star means?
      Hawkeye: You're Tinker Bell?

    • Hawkeye: (to Margaret) Look, Hot Lips...(Margaret stamps her foot) Why don't you stop worrying about Elmer Gantry? Grab yourself a partner and give him a dancing physical.

    • Hawkeye: Hey, Ho-Jon, come here. Sit down. I got a letter from Dean Lodge.
      Trapper: Is that a good place to stay?

    • Hawkeye: Ya know we gotta do it someday. Throw away all the guns and invite all the jokers from the north and the south to a cocktail party. Last man standing on his feet at the end wins the war.

    • Hawkeye: Sorry, baby.
      Margaret: That's Major to you!
      Hawkeye: Sorry, Major baby.

    • Frank: What are you doing up there?!
      Hawkeye: I just wanted to borrow your Bible, Frank.
      Frank: Since when are you two interested in the Bible?!
      Trapper: I peeked at the end Frank; the Devil did it.

    • Trapper: We did it again-screwed up in reverse.

    • Hawkeye: (seeing Frank, wrapped in gauze, enter the mess tent) The mummy strikes!

    • Margaret: Those two, they're ruining this war, for all of us!

    • Burns: Your conduct in there was not only unbecoming an officer, it was equally reprehensible as a medical man!
      Hawkeye: Frank, I happen to be an officer only because I foolishly opened an invitation from President Truman to come to this costume party. And as for my ability as a doctor, if you seriously question that, I'm just gonna have to challenge you to a duel!

  • Notes

    • George Morgan plays Father Mulcahy in just this episode. He would be replaced two episodes later by William Christopher.

    • The flashback scene where General Hammond recalls the romantic interlude with Margaret takes place at Ft. Benning near Columbus, Georgia. This is only scene in the entire series that takes place in The United States.

    • Gary Burghoff is the only actor appearing as a regular character in the series to reprise his role from the movie. However, two other actors in supporting roles appeared in both the movie and the series - G. Wood reprises his role as Gen. Hammond from the movie in 3 episodes (including the pilot) during the first season of the series. Timothy Brown appeared in both the movie and the series, but in different roles - he played Cpl. Judson in the movie, and Spearchucker Jones in several episodes of the first season (Fred Williamson played Spearchucker in the movie).

    • The producers were concerned about the backlash that might occur if they depicted the horrors of war too graphically. During the OR scenes in this episode, the doctors and nurses don't even have blood on their surgical gloves. This would change later in the series.

    • The 4077 staff treat Canadian soldiers in this episode. 516 Canadians were killed in the Korean War.

    • Larry Gelbart received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series.

    • Gene Reynolds received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series.

  • Allusions

    • Elmer Gantry:
      Mentioned by Hawkeye as a description for Frank, Elmer Gantry is a book written by Sinclair Lewis about a con man who works with a female evangelist to bring religion to small-town America. The book was made into a movie that won three Academy Awards in 1960 and nominated for three more.