M*A*S*H (1972–1983)
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Radar wants to get a tattoo, which Hawkeye and B.J. try to discourage. Major Houlihan wants to transfer one of her nurses out because she is too emotional for the job.


Burt Metcalfe


Burt Prelutsky, Ken Levine (story editor) | 2 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Alda ... Capt. Benjamin Franklin 'Hawkeye' Pierce
Mike Farrell ... Capt. B.J. Hunnicutt
Harry Morgan ... Col. Sherman T. Potter
Loretta Swit ... Maj. Margaret 'Hot Lips' Houlihan
David Ogden Stiers ... Maj. Charles Winchester
Gary Burghoff ... Cpl. Walter 'Radar' O'Reilly
Jamie Farr ... Cpl. Maxwell Q. Klinger
William Christopher ... Father Francis Mulcahy
Susan Blanchard ... Nurse Cooper
John Durren ... Sgt. Rimmerman
Larry Block Larry Block ... Eddie Hendrix
Judy Farrell Judy Farrell ... Nurse Able
Enid Kent Enid Kent ... Lt. Bigelow, RN
Rebecca Taylor Rebecca Taylor ... Nurse Campbell
Carmine Scelza Carmine Scelza ... G.I.


Corporal Hendrix, a GI covered in tattoos, shows up on the 4077 operating table; he gives Radar the idea of getting a tattoo so he can be the object of respect, fear and sex. A scrawny stray dog shows up at the 4077; although it is against all regulations, Klinger is feeding him; and even Margaret sneaks table scraps and food to the mutt. A new nurse, young Lt. Sandra Cooper, is having problems getting used to the place. Cooper falls apart in OR and Margaret is convinced Cooper is not 4077 material. She tries to get Cooper transferred but Col. Potter tells Margaret to ease up and allow Cooper to adjust. Surprised at not being given the immediate boot, Cooper promises to become as cold and unfeeling as Margaret. But is the Major really cold and unfeeling or is that just what she tells herself to make it through another day? A senseless death sheds some answers for Margaret and, in turn, for Sandra Cooper. Written by LA-Lawyer

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dog | tattoo | See All (2) »


Comedy | Drama | War








Release Date:

15 November 1977 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In this episode, Radar is fascinated by a patient with multiple tattoos, and weighs whether or not to get one himself. In the Season 3 episode "Check Up" (1974), he already has one on his arm, and he flexes to make it move, though whether it is real or fake is not determined. See more »


Potter says he has been married for 38 years since 1913. Previously he has claimed to be in WWI (1917-1919) at age fifteen. That makes him 11 or younger when he got married. See more »


Corporal Walter Eugene O'Reilly: I want a tattoo, but I'm not sure what kind to get.
Captain Benjamin Franklin Pierce: How about a calendar? At least for a year it'll be useful.
Captain B.J. Hunnicut: Make it a tie, no restaurant will ever refuse you.
See more »


References At the Circus (1939) See more »


Lydia the Tattooed Lady
Written by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg
Performed by Jamie Farr
See more »

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User Reviews

The Tattoo, the Skittish Nurse, and the Little Dog
30 March 2015 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

A pretty young nurse has issues with emotions. Margaret has observed her leaving a patient or an operation to cry or withdraw in panic. She decides that his person is a threat to the wellbeing of the unit. Margaret wants her shipped out, but Potter won't have it. Margaret is put in the position of the unfeeling tyrant versus the reality of her commission. Meanwhile, Radar is impressed by a guy who comes in for surgery. He is covered with tattoos. Radar decides that in order to change his image, he should get a tattoo. Of course, his friends are ruthless. Another brief moment has to do with a scrawny little dog that has come to the MASH unit. People are feeding him and feeling a connection to him. This dog's fate provides a tipping point in this episode.

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