To say MAS*H was a universally beloved show would not even come close to accurately describing the impact it had on pop culture and television. Its subject matter was unique, with the ability to weave between slapstick humor and darker themes, and its audience was massive. The novel on which it is based is great, and the 1970 film is also a classic, but the show is a monster all its own.
More than forty years after its debut, the wartime sitcom is still finding an audience. As a celebration of the show’s excellence, the following ten memes are here to remind everyone just how great M*A*S*H is. Some of these are direct quotes from the show, while others summarize certain characters.
10 Frank Burns And Intelligence
Frank Burns is one of the few people on the base vehemently pro-war. Colonel Potter comes close, but he is not so much supportive of the United States’ intervention as he is a man doing his job, which is getting as many people home alive as possible.
Frank’s blind loyalty is often a source of comedy, leading to lines like the one above. He’s certainly doing a great job at avoiding intelligence. Still, he must have something good about him if Margaret Houlihan was head over heels for him.
9 Just What The Doctor Ordered
Most people hate having to go to the doctor. It’s made worse when one has to go on their birthday. However, the day will look a little brighter if the doctor prescribes a martini, assuming one doesn’t have an aversion to alcohol for personal or health reasons. Trapper John and Hawkeye loved to party and indulge in the sauce when they weren’t saving lives. Considering the stress of doing surgery for days on end, they deserved every opportunity to lay back, sink down a few drinks, and engage in all matter of shenanigans.
8 Colonel Potter Inspirational Meme
Colonel Potter seems like a hard-headed, by the books leader upon his arrival at the camp, but his humanity immediately shines through. He’s not so hard on Hawkeye and B.J. Hunnicutt when they do their pranks because of how accomplished they are in the operating room. This quote is a solid description of his character, and explains how he has lived such a rich life and continues to get better at his job. Everybody could learn a little something from Potter. Don’t try to outdo others, just try to be a little better than who you are today.
7 Hawkeye Doesn’t Care
Part of what makes Hawkeye so loved by some and loathed by others is how little he cares about what others think of him. The above meme perfectly encapsulates his personality and attitude towards others.
He hated being in Korea, but he did his best to save as many injured soldiers as possible. Outside of the operating room, he made no attempt to live up to the military’s code of conduct or ethics. If he wasn’t an exceptional surgeon, he would have been court-martialed by the third episode.
6 Don’t Play Dumb
For all its profound antiwar sentiment and intelligent humor, plenty of dumb jokes come out of people’s mouths. It’s easy to forget the zany humor when the serious episodes are often the most talked about.
One week, a dire situation makes the audience cry, while the next week a character is saying something like this to get viewers rolling on the floor. Recurring character Sam Flagg uttered this golden line. He was a CIA agent who showed up to cause trouble for Hawkeye and friends, sometimes donning poor disguises.
5 Ahh, Bach
Hawkeye did his best to help friends, but it didn’t always work out. During this episode, Radar was trying to impress a woman who appreciated classical music. Because he knew nothing about the genre, Hawkeye told him to simply utter “ahh, Bach,” at every instance to pretend like he knew what she was talking about. Unfortunately, he overdoes it and the facade is blown. At least he tried, and kudos to Hawkeye for helping out his buddy while Frank Burns and Houlihan were trying to prevent a relationship.
4 The Legacy
It’s funny how long the show lasted compared to the war on which it was based. Maybe one can chalk up the actors’ aging to the extreme stress endured while living in the horrid environment. It’s a good thing it happened this way and not the other way around, though; three years in Korea was too long as it is. Most would say the show is more than twice as funny as the actual conflict, however. Little humor is found in a battlefield.
3 There Is Only One Hawkeye
This isn’t meant to throw any shade at Jeremy Renner, but when it comes to characters named Hawkeye, there is only one true answer. Granted, Alan Alda’s character got the nick name from a character in Last of the Mohicans, but the sitcom has since overshadowed the older story. People will forever be thankful for the MCU archer’s contribution to beating Thanos and bringing half the universe back into existence, but he can’t make people smile the way the gifted surgeon can.
2 Hawkeye’s Morals
Many of Hawkeye’s detractors will dismiss him as morally repugnant because of the way he flips his nose at regulations, but he has principles where it counts.
Hawkeye is vehemently against the conflict and would never raise arms against anybody. He socked a couple of people across the jaw, but only in impassioned moments of anger.
1 War Is Worse Than Hell
Hawkeye brings up a good point to contradict the old saying. Innocents are the most hurt by armed conflicts, while the Devil’s dwellings are reserved for unrepentant sinners. In war, people undeserving of punishment often receive the most pain, and the lines between good and bad are blurred.
The people claiming to be on the right side of history also commit atrocious acts. How any of the doctors kept their sanity in this environment is a mystery to those who never experienced it.