Frank Burns

Frank Burns

MASH character

Frank Burns as portrayed by Larry Linville (right) and Margaret Houlihan as portrayed by actress Loretta Swit (left).
rank=Major (captain in Richard Hooker's original novel and later Lieutenant Colonel after leaving)
name=Frank Burns
home=Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA
film=Robert Duvall
tv=Larry Linville
español=Francisco Colmenero
last="Margaret's Marriage"

Major Franklin Delano Marion "Frank" Burns is a fictional character in the "M*A*S*H" film and television series. He was portrayed in the film by Robert Duvall, and in the series by Larry Linville. Burns first appeared in the original by Richard Hooker, where he has the rank of captain.

The character is only slightly different in all versions; in the original novel, Burns was a borderline incompetent and egotistical doctor who blamed others for his own shortcomings; in the film, he is also a brooding religious fanatic, while in the television series he is an officious, frenetic, pompous twit obsessed with military order.


In the original novel, Captain Burns is described as a well-off doctor who had attended medical school but had no true formal training as a surgeon other than a long apprenticeship with his father in Indiana. He comes off as being, therefore, dismissive of those (such as the Swampmen) who actually went through a residency for their training. However, this masks serious shortcomings in his surgical style, which he dismisses as failures of others further in the process. Duke Forrest remarks that when one of Burns' patients dies, "It's either God's will or somebody else's fault." This practice comes to a head when he accuses Private Boone of killing a patient of his, through improper administration of medicine and generally berates him. After a while, both Hawkeye and Trapper assault Frank, in separate incidents. It is this turmoil that causes Blake to nominate Trapper as Chief Surgeon.

Later, after Burns and Houlihan commence a sexual affair, the Swampmen latch onto it, and one day at mess, Hawkeye makes some ribald comments about the relationship. Burns, having reached the limit of his patience, violently assaults Hawkeye. The next day, he is sent away for psychiatric evaluation, leading Duke to remark: "If I nail Hot Lips and punch out Hawk, can I go home, too?"


In the movie, Major Frank Burns (his promotion to major in the film and TV versions was presumably for dramatic and story conflict) is portrayed as a very religious man who prays for all the souls to be saved, but is still not much of a doctor. He also is a firm believer in military discipline who dislikes the undisciplined manner of both Hawkeye Pierce and Trapper John McIntyre. He also has a tendency to blame others for his mistakes; for example, when he orders a medical device for a man already dead, he blames an orderly he asked to get the device, causing the man to break down crying. This leads to McIntyre punching him and to Duke's comment that, when somebody dies around Frank, "It's either God's will or somebody else's fault."

When the new head nurse, Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan arrives, the pair soon fall for each other. In the film version (unlike the novel) it is only Henry Blake who calls her O'Houlihan. All of the other characters refer to her as "Major Houlihan". This was a mistake on the actor's (Roger Bowen as Lt. Col. Henry Blake) part. But Altman decided to leave this in the film to further show just how befuddled Blake really was. When the two meet in Houlihan's tent to dictate a letter condemning Hawkeye, Trapper, and Duke, they soon begin having sex. What neither of them know is that a microphone has been planted underneath Houlihan's bed by Radar (Corporal O'Reilly). Every sound the pair make during sex is heard in the clerk's office (including Houlihan's insistence that Burns kiss her "hot lips", resulting in her legendary nickname). Soon Trapper decides that this has to be shared with the rest of the camp, and he puts Burns and Houlihan on the PA.

The next morning, Burns gets into a fight with Hawkeye when the latter asks Burns how Houlihan was in bed, demonstrating noises. As a result, Burns attacks Hawkeye physically (with Trapper adding fuel to the fire by warning Hawkeye to watch his privates because Burns is a sex maniac), and is sent to a psychiatric hospital in a straitjacket. This is the last the audience sees of him in the movie.

It should be noted that the film's Major Burns was a combination of two characters from the novel—-the small-minded twit Captain Burns (who had a liaison with Major Houlihan, as in the film, but did not live in The Swamp [he was moved out a week after Hawkeye and Duke arrived after they complained to Henry Blake] ) and the religious fanatic Major Hobson (whom Hawkeye and Duke had ousted from The Swamp because of his obsessive praying).

Television series

In the television series, Major Frank Burns was played by actor Larry Linville. The character's personality was said to be diametrically opposite of that of Larry Linville in real life, who was generally a friendly, courteous, well-read man.Fact|date=October 2007 (Reportedly, Linville could also be high-strung, and this trait played into his TV character.)Fact|date=September 2007 Linville based his portrayal of Burns on "every idiot I've ever known",Fact|date=September 2007 even referring to the character as a man with "a mind that stripped its gears". [Kalter, Suzy: "The Complete Book Of M*A*S*H", page 115. Harry N. Abrams, Inc. ISBN 0-8109-1319-4, 1984.]

While the TV Burns would appeal occasionally to religious and moral values (typically in the process of showing himself up), the emphasis in story lines was more on his surgical and personality shortcomings, than on his sanctimony. Burns' unpopularity with most of the show's other characters can be ascertained by his nickname, "Ferret Face" (which was originally given to him by his brother, as revealed in episode 1.18). When he failed to get his own way, or one of his schemes to discredit Hawkeye would fail, he would go off somewhere and sulk, or would throw a temper tantrum.

Personal life

Burns is a firm believer in discipline and unwavering patriotism (he keeps a photograph of Joseph McCarthy in his tent, which Hawkeye wrote underneath, "Know your Enema"), and hates the fact that Pierce and McIntyre are so laid back. He is also noticeably xenophobic and paranoid of Koreans and Chinese alike, sure that they understand English whether they really do or not. He even refers to native Koreans as "foreigners", despite the fact that "he" is the foreigner in "their" country. At the beginning of the series, Burns and Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan are a couple, and their romance scenes were played in a way that could be described as a soap opera parody, with the main jokes being excessive sentimentality, sappy nicknames ("Oh, Margaret, you're my snug harbor--I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have you to sail into,"), and casual references to Frank's wife, Louise (whom he is said to have only married for her money). It is hinted at in the second season that Hot Lips really is not happy with Frank and, deep down, she knows he's not the man they both like to think he is, but she clings to him anyway because he's the only other person in the camp who shares her opinion that strict discipline is the only discipline (though even at her worst she showed more humanity than Frank), and because of their common contempt of Hawkeye and Trapper. Though Frank is hopelessly in love with Hot Lips, he is unwilling to divorce his wife; when it was discovered that Louise had heard of the affair and tried to get a divorce, Frank lied about Hot Lips' beauty and the whole affair to get the divorce called off. (He called Margaret, among other things, "an old war-horse" and "an army mule with bosoms." with the livid Hot Lips in return calling Frank a "chinless chipmunk" and earned him a chair being thrown at him) This puzzled Radar, who thought Frank would have been happy to leave his wife and marry Hot Lips, but as Hawkeye noted, Frank did not want to leave "his mommy." (His wife owns the house, and stocks in her name. Hence his lies, but Houlihan doesn't believe it.) Furthermore, Houlihan is not his first extramarital affair; he also slept with his receptionist twice a week back home (4.21). After Houlihan's engagement(5.2), Burns proposes to Hawkeye and B.J. that all three of them go to "Rosie's Bar" for a "little action", and also tries his hardest to get Margaret back.

In 5.22, Frank is shown to have bought a Korean National Art Treasure (a priceless 800-year-old vase) on the Black Market, which he attempted to smuggle to his wife in Fort Wayne; but Hawkeye and B.J. put a stop to that, by replacing the vase with a worthless bedpan. Despite the fact that he detests enlisted men, several episodes seem to point to Burns as having elements of trust in, if not concern for, Radar. He is also quite simple-minded: when Trapper's friend (2.24), an Army Intelligence officer, is working undercover as an engineering officer, Frank very willingly accepts the man's far-fetched story that the US Army Corps of Engineers is attempting to make MASH hospitals amphibious.

In 4.21, he refuses to believe the fact that Sergeant Zale lost money gambling ($300 to Radar), on the grounds that gambling has been prohibited (refusing to consider it could go on behind his back), so he concludes that the "missing" money must have been stolen. Even at home he is a klutz; while serving as a Scoutmaster, he accidentally set fire to himself.

While portraited as being completely unbearable in the series, on some occasions Burns showed signs of humanity. He was very sensitive to his Swampmates' defeated comments about "being a friend once" after he declined doing something. Also, after Pierce and McIntyre foiled one of his schemes, after being offered a coffee, he asks the two why he can't get mad on them. In one episode ("Germ Warfare), he was forced to rest in post-op because of anemya, after McIntyre and Pierce soaked some blood from him in his sleep to save a patient. Frank played checkers with that patient, and also was flattered after Hawkeye and Trapper gave him flowers (although he threw them away after being insulted).Perhaps the two most visible attempts of becoming a human being undertook by Frank were associated with Hot Lips. In one episode, when Margaret was absent in Tokyo, Col. Potter asked Pierce and B.J. to ease up on Burns and to make friends with him, as it was impossible to live with him for a while. They invited him to a poker game, in which Frank got drunk on all their moonshine and won a lot of money without having any practice in the game before. After the game, he called his Swampmates friends in the bar and hugged them, also asking an obese nurse for a dance, though he was still extremely drunk. The attempt of making friends with Burns eventually was foiled. After sobering up, Frank was nice to his mates in the morning, but B.J. and Hawkeye were too angry with Burns - they played a drunken prank on him and the next day, they had to drive to an attacked medical outpost, as a completely drunk Frank fell into an ambulance and with driven there, the driver being unaware of his passenger.

In the second episode of the fifth season, Houlihan returned from Seoul engaged to Donald Penobscot. Frank's behavior was very erratic, and Margaret unwittingly fueled it up. It was also one of the moments in the show where Hawkeye was sorry for Burns, as he felt disgusted with Margaret's talking about Penobscot in Frank's presence; while it was the period when Pierce started getting on good terms with Hot Lips, he still felt that Frank has the right to be malicious to her. In the final scene, Burns played a verbal joke on Houlihan in the cantine, which left her visibly shocked. B.J. admitted it was a clear shot and moments later, the three had a big laugh, which appeared to be sincere.

As a surgeon

Burns is portrayed as a barely-passable surgeon; throughout the series it is stated that he only became a doctor to please his beloved mother, and/or for the money (more than a few episodes spotlight Frank's seemingly insatiable greed, making it a driving factor in his personality). He admits in different episodes that it took him twice as long to graduate medical school (having flunked out of two), and only passed his first year by buying the answers to a final exam. He stayed in medical school hoping to cure the acne that plagued him beyond his teen years, and would have settled for becoming a male nurse if he'd been able to master folding hospital corners in bedsheets. Frank's quality as a surgeon however seemed to deteriorate as the series progressed. In early episodes, Henry referred to Frank as,"a fine surgeon", who was only bettered by Hawkeye because Alan Alda's character handled pressure better. (He was also portrayed as often genuinely caring, especially about children, but this trait disappeared.) Later after Frank's behaviour became worse he was still regarded as a fair but competent surgeon by Henry. It is inconceivable that incompetence to the degree other characters suggest would be tolerated in a MASH and it is likely that Frank's skills are merely inferior when compared to the brilliant surgeons around him. This is supported when Pierce and BJ try to console Burns after Margaret leaves him, telling him he did good work that day in the O.R. Frank's surgical skills also seem to deteriorate when under immense pressure in comparison to the other doctors. Nevertheless, the 4077th is frequently referred to as having a high survival rate (90-95%) and as Frank is one of only four doctors at this unit, it would seem impossible to have such a high survival rate if one-fourth of the staff was hopelessly incompetent. What is more likely is that Frank is actually a highly skilled surgeon who is so intensely disliked by the other characters that they use every opportunity to humiliate him, including impugning his surgical competence.

Burns' bungling in surgery has led to more than one headache, it is suggested that only the intervention of other doctors has averted the death of his patients in some instances. His inefficient surgical skills are a constant source of humor throughout the series, even after he left.
*In the pilot episode, when Frank is chastising Hawkeye for his behavior in the operating room, Hawkeye replies, "Frank, I happen to be in Korea only because I foolishly accepted an invitation from President Truman to come to this costume party. And as for my ability as a doctor, if you seriously want to question that, then I'm afraid I'll just have to challenge you to a duel." In closing, Hawkeye tells Frank that he must be tired after "all that malpractice" he put in.
*In a later episode, when Hot Lips threatens to file a formal complaint about Hawkeye (who publicly insulted Frank), Hawkeye retorts that he'll file a countercomplaint about Frank "impersonating a doctor and masquerading as a human being!".
*In an episode where Hawkeye is facing a review board for having supposedly committed mutiny while Burns was in command, he is asked whether the alleged mutiny occurred after questioning Burns' medical skills; Hawkeye responds that no mutiny took place and that it's Burns' medical skills that are "alleged".
*In one episode, it is revealed that a soldier operated on by Burns developed complications because Burns had not bothered to exteriorize the colon after removing a portion of the organ. This soldier required emergency surgery in Tokyo, Japan after developing peritonitis.
*In an episode where Hawkeye is wounded and bedridden, he calls out for a doctor to help another patient in Post-Op. When Burns arrives Hawkeye says: "Oh, Frank, I'm glad you're here. Go get a doctor."
*In an episode where a nurse correctly challenged something Frank said, Hot Lips chided her, "Preston, don't contradict the doctors.". "Or Frank.", Hawkeye jokingly added. In the same scene the nurse backtalks Frank, with a "listen, Mister", to which he and Houlihan take offense. A while later Hawkeye joked, "He may be a lot of things, but he's no mister."
*In the next-to-last episode when the 4077th buries a time capsule, Frank's replacement Major Winchester points out that they did not include any mementos from the "infamous Major Burns", and Hawkeye replies, "I thought about putting in his scalpel, but I didn't want to include any deadly weapons." It was the last mention of Frank ever, with Hawkeye capping it off with one final insult of his long-gone former Swampmate.

Burns' incompetence is also readily apparent to the enlisted men. In an episode where Hawkeye and Trapper arrange for an illegal nose-job for a depressed soldier, they stage an injury to Radar to justify the presence of a plastic surgeon in the camp. Hours later, Burns sees Radar without bandages on his nose, and asks how a broken nose could have healed so quickly. Radar quickly says that it was only sprained and so he was advised to stay off it for a few days. Burns responds: "I'm a doctor, and that's crazy!" to which Radar responds "I've heard that, Sir."

Even the Korean doctors (North and South alike) are aware of Burns's ineptitude. In one such case, Burns is kidnapped by two North Koreans in disguise who plan to use him as a cover to get through a series of checkpoints. However, fed up with their captive's apparent incompetence, they order him out of the jeep as soon as they pass through, telling him, "Go back to your unit. It's the best thing you can do for OUR side!"

During an inquiry (in "Novacaine Mutiny"), Burns quizzes a military lawyer about his service record, and is told, "If you hadn't been drafted as a doctor, you'd probably have been assigned as a pastry chef." (Yet Frank's culinary talents are also suspect; he once was injured in his eye during a sniper attack while trying to crack an egg, an episode he passed off as an injury from "shell fragments" when putting in for a Purple Heart.)

As a soldier

With military weapons, Frank has been shown to be inept. In an early episode, during a poker game he shoots a lamp with a .45 automatic pistol, and in a later episode he runs over Colonel Potter's jeep with a tank (4.5). In 4.13, Frank steals an old fashioned .45 cavalry pistol and then shoots himself in the foot trying to return it to the weapons bin. In 5.7, when Houlihan is "missing", Burns accidentally shoots B.J. Hunnicutt and causes a flesh wound in his leg, this earned him the epithet, "Hop-A-Long Ferret Face". In 5.2, he nearly kills himself with phony heroics (calling himself "Blood-and-Guts Burns") when he takes the pin out of a grenade and throws the pin away. (in the episode he pulls the pin out with his teeth and spits it away- whereupon he panics and starts frantically searching for the pin.)

Burns, along with Houlihan, often tried to undermine Commanding Officer Lt. Col Henry Blake due to Blake's rather lax approach to those under his command and in his desire to take control himself. Several times he goes over Blake's head to complain about events at the camp; one example of this is when Pierce was appointed Chief Surgeon over him; he then appealed directly to General Barker (Sorrell Booke). Initially ready to send Hawkeye packing, Barker winds up so thoroughly impressed with him that he tells Henry to give Burns a high colonic and send him on a ten-mile hike with a full pack as punishment for wasting his time. Henry once threatened to note in Frank's personnel file that Frank did not work and play well with others. Frank spent most of his time on the series battling and antagonizing virtually everyone in the camp, specifically his tent mates and commanding officers. By the fifth season, he was the show's main antagonist (having lost Houlihan as an ally upon her engagement) and, essentially, the closest thing the series had to an actual villain, aside from the North Koreans; a fact commented on by B.J. upon hearing of his removal ("This reduces the enemy to just North Korea!").

On the few occasions when Burns commanded the camp, he would frequently lord his own authority over others by micromanaging camp operations, just for the sake of being in command. For example:
*In Episode 4.1 "Welcome to Korea", when he asks Radar if he brushes his teeth in the morning, Radar answers "right after breakfast", to which Burns replies "I want it done before!"
*In Episode 4.2 "Change of Command", when Hawkeye and B.J. look in Burns' private command files that he is going to donate to his college, they laughingly find an order to "glue a cracked bedpan", and an order to the Mess Sergeant to "drain the oil from the tuna fish".
*Another instance of Frank's high-handedness as commander was shown in the 4.20 episode "The Novocaine Mutiny", in which Hawkeye faced a court martial for allegedly taking over Burns' command. B.J. testified to the Review Board that Burns, in Colonel Potter's absence, ordered the entire camp to pack up and move to the other side of the road. After the camp settles in Burns gives the order to pack up again and move right back to where they were before.

Burns also seems to not know Army regulations as well as he says he does. In Officer Of The Day, when Col. Flagg brought a prisoner to be treated so he could execute him later, and Hawkeye and Trapper refuse to release him, Frank ordered them to release him, which is against Army regulations. However, he may well have ignored the regulations in order to curry favor with Flagg. This would not be first time that Burns has gone against Army regulations in order to gain favor of a superior officer. In Officers Only, when Hawkeye informed General Mitchell that his son could not enter the newly built Officers Club because his son was a private, Burns (as well as Houlihan) stated that General Mitchell's son should be allowed to enter the club, although that would be against Army regulations. Despite his bullying and gung-ho patriotism, in several episodes, Burns shows himself to be a panicky coward in crisis situations. One trademark feature of Burns is that when he is drunk, happy, or asleep, he lets out an irritating, high screech of a laugh.

When Blake left, and died on his way home, Burns (who actually wept when he heard of Blake's death, one of the few times he ever showed any genuine humanity) was initially slated to take command of the camp. However, the Army soon appointed a new Commanding Officer, Colonel Sherman T. Potter. Burns was so upset that he ran away to sulk and returned several days later. Everyone except Burns liked the new commander from the start, even Major Houlihan. Burns, having never gotten over being passed for commander, made it a point not to get along with Potter, often making insulting comments regarding Potter's age, (one time, Burns called Potter an old dimwit, while he was screaming at Radar). Potter in turn referred to Burns as the camp's "head twerp". During various episodes, Burns is almost always filing charges against nearly anyone and everyone who dares to go against him or even mildly disagree with him, most especially Hawkeye Pierce, whom he clearly despises. With Potter's arrival, Frank now had more formidible opposition (backed up by the likes of Hawkeye, B.J., Radar, Klinger, Mulcahy, and eventually Houlihan herself). In the episode, "Ping Pong", he vows to put a stop to the antics of a wedding between a Korean Ping-Pong player and his fiancee, but Margaret puts him in his place. Even during the wedding, Burns, who is the only officer not dressed in his formal Military uniform, vowed that the camp wouldn't get away with this wedding and that he would go to a General Harrelson about it, but Margaret, also involved with the wedding (and someone who used to back him on such matters), forcefully tells him to shut up.


Eventually, Burns and Houlihan had a falling out. Early in the fifth season, Houlihan got engaged to a Lieutenant Colonel Donald Penobscot, another career military officer, and wasted few opportunities praising Donald and her love for him. Margaret unsensitively broke the fact that she now loved Penobscot to Frank, breaking his heart. Throughout that season Frank constantly made insulting cracks about Penobscot and tried to get Margaret back (in both 5.2 and 5.18, he tried to rape Margaret). After an eight month engagement, Donald came to the camp to marry Margaret after she told him about Frank's comments. Frank was terrified by him, but accepted his offer to become Donald's best man.

After Margaret and Donald left on their honeymoon, Frank was left alone and heartbroken, finally realizing he would never get Margaret back. During their honeymoon, Burns was sent on leave to Seoul. While there, he suffered a breakdown and started running wild throughout the city with the Military Police in pursuit until he accosted a General's wife (whom he mistakenly thought was Houlihan) in a public bath. As a result of a psychiatric examination after his capture, he was sent back to the States. Potter, Radar, Pierce and B.J. have one last toast in Frank's honor. Hawkeye's last words on the matter are: "Goodbye, Ferret Face!" However, Burns has the proverbial "last laugh": to Hawkeye and B.J.'s disgust, and which caused Hawkeye to throw the portable phone out the door in a savage fury, he is promoted to Lieutenant Colonel with all the charges against him being dropped, and posted to a VA Hospital in Indiana. (Hawkeye sarcastically referred to this as a decision made by "the army in its infinite wisdom", and what was worse, was that he was cleared of all charges of accosting the General and his wife.) Burns was replaced with Major C.E. Winchester III, who by contrast, was considered an excellent surgeon even by the people who disliked him. Winchester also had a relatively more bearable personality and unlike Burns, Winchester actually has compassion for others.

Burns was written out of the series at the request of Linville. Linville (who once commented that there was actually a very dark aura hovering over Frank, that Frank was not all that stable, yet still operating on patients) felt that the character of Frank Burns had gone as far as it possibly could, with the way the series had developed. Burns' leaving is generally seen as the last straw in the "funny" years of the show, with latter storylines mainly focusing on the horrors of war.


Several times throughout the series, the awards that Major Burns had earned during his service in the army could be seen on his uniform. He had earned the following:

*National Defense Service Medal

*Korean Service Medal

*United Nations Service Medal

At least twice Burns tried to claim a Purple Heart for minor injuries he incurred at the camp, but quick work by Hawkeye and either Trapper or B.J. made sure Frank could never keep the spurious award, One medal (for throwing his back out dancing with Major Houlihan) goes to a wounded GI (1.17), and the other medal (for an eggshell fragment in his eye from breaking open a hard-boiled egg and Frank claimed it was a sniper shot) is awarded to a just-delivered wounded baby (4.9) (However he keeps the medal upper ribbon). In 5.14, he even tried to steal one from an unconscious patient, but Hawkeye and BJ walked in, forcing him to abandon the attempted-theft.


* In 1.10, a picture of Frank Burns' mother is seen; in fact, it is a "stock picture" which can be seen in a Tarzan movie.
* Twice in the series Frank has his wrist nearly broken, once by "Buzz Brighton" (Leslie Nielsen) in 1.16, and once by a Korean General in 4.17.
* In 4.12 Burns leaves all his money to his wife, all profits from his prescription kickbacks to his children - and his clothes to a flabbergasted Maj. Houlihan.
* In 3.10 Hawkeye, Trapper, Henry, Radar, and Klinger are watching a home movie of Frank's wedding ceremony to his wife Louise (without Frank's permission, of course). They begin to understand why Frank cheats on his wife with Margaret when they see that Louise (played by Jeanne Schulherr) is a very frumpy-looking woman with an apparently domineering personality. The wedding itself was sparsely attended (only eight guests appeared), an obvious sign of unpopularity of both Frank and Louise. It should be noted that Louise had an angry look on her face during the entire event.
* Often, when Hawkeye, Trapper, or B.J. bade him a friendly hello or goodbye, a suspicious Frank would respond with a sarcastic remark. Among them: :*"That'll be the day!":*"That was totally uncalled for.":*"A lot you care.":*"You wish!":*"Oh, sure!"

*Frank Burns is now a nickname Keith Olbermann uses on Countdown with Keith Olbermann to refer to Bill O'Reilly (AKA the Frank Burns of News)


"You've slandered one of the finest Americans since my father."

[To Radar] "Don't give me any of your snottiness, I am not that old dimwit [referring to Colonel Potter] you work for!"

"Well I wouldn't kill just anyone, Margaret."

"Nobody double dares me and gets away with it!"

"Oh, pish posh."

[During a Korean wedding] "They won't get away with this! General Harrellson will hear about this!" [Margaret replies, "Oh, shut up!"]

"Oh, cockypop!"

"Oh, go peddle your fish!"

"Oh, go peddle your petunias!"

"Oh, go practice your putts!"

[To Margaret, during a temper tantrum he is throwing after learning that Pierce and not he, will perform Margaret's appendectomy] "I should be doing this operation! I know Major Houlihan's appendix better than any of you! [...] I hope you get a great big scar!"

"We all know it's brutal up there at the front, especially those of us at the rear."

"I'm sick of hearing about the wounded. What about all the thousands of wonderful guys who are fighting this war without any of the credit or the glory that always goes to those lucky few who just happen to get shot."

"Margaret, I get so excited when you say the word excited."

"We're so lucky to be two of the few and not the many."

[after Hawkeye apologized for putting peanut butter in Frank's stethoscope] "And autographing my mother's picture: Dear Frank, Dad was not your father. Love Mom?!"

[During assembly] "I hope you realize that by trying to introduce more discipline, more order, I've hopefully made this a more enjoyable war for all of us."

[During the Army Life song] "Oh Hawkeye and oh BJ, they think they're pretty smart. I'd love to take a scapel and stab them in the heart!"

"I can't wait two days! That'll be...three days ago!"

[When told by Hawkeye that he made up a phony stock to make Frank look foolish] "I don't need your help!"

"If I close my eyes my brain won't get any air."

[Hawkeye: "Hi, Frank.", Trapper: "Hello, Frank."] "That'll be the day."

[Watching Margaret fly away on her honeymoon] "Good-bye, Margaret."

[Trying to insult Hawkeye] "Stink Fish-pot"

"Unless we each conform...unless we obey orders...unless we follow our leaders blindly - there is no possible way we can remain free."

"That's the last tray you're going to upset, soldier, there's a war on! And we've no time for violence."

"Oh, stop dreaming and go to sleep!"

References & External links

*cite book
last = Kalter
first = Suzy
authorlink = Suzy Kalter
title = The Complete Book Of M*A*S*H
publisher = Harry N. Abrams, inc., New York
date = 1984
pages = 235-240
doi =
isbn = 0810913194

* [] - "M*A*S*H" website with character profile
* [ Best Care Anywhere] - "M*A*S*H" website with character profile

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