Spanning 255 episodes, MASH is one of the longest-running sitcoms ever and it truly left a mark in American popular culture. This comedy-drama depicts the events of the Korean War, but while many critics consider it to be a period show, we can’t help but point out that a few mistakes slipped in.
Up next, the greatest mistakes and bloopers behind the fan-favorite TV show MASH.
If you’ve ever watched the show, then I’m sure you’ve already picked up on this error on your own. Did you ever realize that they got the time difference wrong?
The characters in the sitcom claim that Korea is 18 hours ahead of the U.S., when actually, the time difference between both countries is roughly 13 hours (depending on which part of the country you live in).
Do you remember that Radar was totally into comics? Him loving comic books isn’t a problem per se; the problem is that he is sometimes shown reading comics that didn’t exist back in the 50s.
In one particular scene, Radar is seen sleeping while holding a teddy bear and a copy of The Avengers, but while the series is set from 1950 to 1953, Marvel’s comic only came out in 1963.
They really slipped up with Radar’s character, didn’t they? Other than the fact that he loved comic books that hadn’t yet been published, he also made reference to a movie that hadn’t hit the theaters yet.
In the episode Movie Night, Radar makes an impression of John Wayne, saying “I’m not gonna hit ya… I’m not gonna hit ya… Like hell, I’m not!. But wait a moment… that quote comes from McKintock!, which was released in 1963!
Now that I think about it, the show would barely have any flaws had it been set 10 years later. Season after season, the characters make reference to movies, books, or even objects that belong to the 60s.
Here’s another example that proves my point. The Officer’s Club where the troops would always hang out had a Spot-a-Card pinball machine, but this iconic arcade game was released to the market in the early 60s.
This blooper may not be as noticeable as the James Dean impression, but it still counts! You probably recall that the Lieutenant Colonel had a passion for helicopters. Well, here’s a detail you might have missed.
The Lieutenant sported a Bell Huey UH-1 model helicopter, but this particular model only became popular at the peak of the Vietnam War during the late 50s. Also, the model that’s hanging from the ceiling dates from 1956.
As you can see, most of the show’s inconsistencies stem from the fact that objects from the 60s are constantly depicted. I know, it’s not so bad if you only miss it for a few years, right? Well, the problem is that sometimes it was more than just a few years.
For instance, in the episode Baby It’s Cold Outside, Sherman is seen watching ice-skater Sonja Henie on TV when he claims “This is supposed to be where she does a triple axel”. However, the triple axel was created by Midori in the late 80s!
If you ask me, the writers should’ve really checked their facts before writing Radar’s lines. It seems he had some sort of psychic abilities, because in the episode titled Springtime, he once again makes reference to a movie that hadn’t been released by that time.
In this episode, Radar tells the gang that the movie they would be seeing that night was The First Born of Godzilla, which was actually released in 1954, one year after the end of the war.
It’s perfectly clear that the writers should’ve checked their facts with a team of historians before handing in the final script. However, the plot of the show also has a few continuity errors for which only the writers are to blame.
A detail that didn’t go unnoticed by fans is that in the first season, we’re introduced to Henry Balke’s wife, Mildred, but in season 3, they start referring to her as Lorraine. Did the character divorce and re-marry? Or was it just a rookie mistake? I’m leaning towards the latter.
We’ve already mentioned the fact that the show makes reference to a few films and books that still didn’t exist by 1953. In case you didn’t notice, they also mention a few songs that hadn’t been released by that time.
In Season 3, Margaret receives and reads out a letter that alludes to the songs Diddy Wah Biddy by John Diddy and The Wayward Wind by Gogi Grant, but these songs were only released in 1956.
Just as the writers made a huge blunder when getting mixed up with the real name of Henry Blake’s wife, they also got Hawkeye’s family history all wrong.
In the episode titled Hawkeye, the captain claims to be an only child. However, in another episode earlier that season, he ends a letter with the words “kiss Mom and sis”. Up next, another silly continuity error.
Colonel Sherman told the rest of the gang that he had grown up in Missouri in the same town than author Mark Twain more than once. However, the writers seem to have missed out on this detail when writing the script for season 5.
In an episode on Season 5, the colonel says he’s about to head back to his hometown in Nebraska. If you check the map, Hannibal, Missouri isn’t even close to the Nebraskan border!
During the early seasons, we are told that Margaret‘s dad had passed away. We’re never told when, though it doesn’t really matter.
This being said, it comes as a shock when Margaret’s father shows up at the party organized by B.J. in season 7. He makes yet another appearance in Season 9. Did he resurrect? Did she have more than one father?
In the the show’s third season, Henry Lit. Colonel Henry Blake accumulates enough points to go home, so he is temporarily discharged. But was that how things worked in the 50s?
The points system was used by the US Army during the 30s and 40s, but it was dropped shortly after the end of the Second World War. In case you forgot all your high school history, the Korean War broke out 5 years after the end of WWII.
Do you remember Father Mulcahy‘s appearance on the series’ first episode? The character was played by George Morgan, but it seems that the casting directors changed their minds at the blink of an eye.
If you re-watch the opening season, you’ll realize that as of the third episode, Mulcahy started being portrayed by William Christopher. OK, maybe we can forgive them for this sin!
Margaret’s letter from season 3 wasn’t the only thing she received back from the future. In the first season, she is shown leafing through a Life magazine. But wait a moment… something doesn’t quite add up.
This entertainment magazine launched its first editions in 1967, way after the ending of the Korean War. But the worst part is that the front cover of the magazine made reference to the Vietnam War. That should’ve done the trick, guys.
In the show’s first seasons, we are told that Colonel Sherman Potter had only one child: a daughter named Evelyn. But at some point of the series, the writers changed their minds, or so it seems.
A few seasons later, Potter shares the news that he would soon become a grandfather because his son’s wife was pregnant. But wasn’t Evelyn his only child? Did he have a second kid and keep it a mystery? I have my doubts.
The show’s writers definitely should’ve taken a basic geography lesson before going about with the script, and here’s why.
In the opening season, one of the characters mentions something about “US Military’s Southeast Asia field of operations“, but we all know that Korea is actually located in East Asia (or, in any case, in Northeast Asia). I think they had it mixed with Thailand!
It’s pretty obvious that you can only have one birthday each year, but this doesn’t seem to be so clear for the writers. Ever noticed this blunder regarding Major Frank Burns’ birthday?
In the second season, the characters celebrate the Major’s birthday on a snowy day, but a few seasons later, everyone shows up at Frank’s birthday sporting nothing but Hawaiian shirts. Something doesn’t quite add up.
Everyone loves chocolate, and why would soldiers and officers be any different? There’s nothing wrong with the fact that enjoy a candybar every once in a while, but producers should’ve picked the candy more carefully.
In the episode Give and Take, Klinger gives one of his fellow soldiers a Hershey’s candy bar, but this chocolate bar was released to the market by the late 70s.
This silly and avoidable blooper truly deserved to make it to the top of our list. Remember the time Frank whistles to the beat of The Most Unforgettable Characters from The Muppet Show?
Well, this catchy melody was first released in the mid-1970s. I know that Google didn’t exist at the time, but the scriptwriters still could’ve done a little bit more research!