Adam's Ribs was the 11th episode of Season 3 of the CBS-TV series M*A*S*H, also the 58th overall series episode. Written by Laurence Marks, and directed by Gene Reynolds, it first aired on November 26, 1974.


Sick and tired of being served the same meal (fish or liver and onions) for about a week, Hawkeye throws a fit and hatches a plan to get some ribs and barbecue sauce shipped in from a restaurant in Chicago.

Full episode summaryEdit

It's the eleventh straight day the Mess Tent has served liver and fish for lunch. Everyone is sick of being stuck with the same two choices, especially Hawkeye who explodes in rage, hurls his lunch across the mess tent, and goads everyone into loudly chanting "We want something else!! We want something else!!"

Henry bawls out Hawkeye, but when he makes an off-the-cuff remark about a rib-tickler, a light bulb goes off in Hawkeye's mind. He's suddenly reminded of some delicious barbecued spareribs he enjoyed in Chicago near the Dearborn Street station. Hawkeye can't remember the restaurant's name, so Henry gives him the phone number to Dearborn Street station and says call them to find out. Henry still remembers their telephone number because he spent “half his life” there and (supposedly) where he met Lorraine.

Later that night, Radar gets a call placed for Hawkeye to Chicago. Hawkeye poses as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune getting background information for a story and determines the restaurant is called Adam's Ribs. The station transfers him to the restaurant, where Hawkeye places an order for 40 pounds of ribs and a gallon of sauce. His elation is short-lived, however, when he realizes he forgot to order the coleslaw.

Hawkeye works out the logistics of getting the ribs flown from Chicago to South Korea, but needs someone in Chicago to pick up the ribs, pay for them, and deliver to the airport. Hawkeye learns Klinger has an uncle in Chicago, but the corporal refuses to help unless he gets his discharge papers signed.

Trapper comes to the rescue by remembering a former fling named Mildred Feeney who lives in Chicago. A telephone call is quickly placed and “Big John” talks Mildred into delivering the ribs to the airport under the cover of urgent medical supplies.

A few days later, the ribs arrive in South Korea, but they're hung up in channels at a supply depot in Ouijongbu. Hawkeye and Trapper quickly travel there where they encounter an uncooperative Major Pfiefer, who is willing to let the captains move cartons for him but won't track down their package.

He sends them to Sergeant Tarola, who refuses to release the package because no requisition orders were cut. The captains resort to threatening to shut down Tarola's depot under the guise of unsanitary conditions. Fearing reassignment, Tarola caves, asks what the package really is, and Hawkeye admits they are ribs from Chicago. Tarola correctly guesses they are from Adam's Ribs and takes 12 pounds and a pint and a half of sauce as his cut, but is astonished Hawkeye forgot the coleslaw.

The ribs are cooked and delivered to Hawkeye, Henry, Trapper, Klinger and Radar, who are waiting in earnest at a table in the Mess Tent. But before they can take so much as a bite of the food, wounded arrive, and Hawkeye is forcibly taken from the mess tent, leaving his ambrosia for later.

Research notes/Fun facts Edit

  • Although they receive billing, neither Loretta Swit nor Larry Linville appear in this episode. No explanation is offered for the absence of their characters, which is particularly noticeable in the case of Frank Burns, as several scenes are set in The Swamp.
  • Anomaly: Henry makes a comment that he met his wife Lorraine at the Dearborn Street Station. In another episode when the surgeons are watching Henry's home movie of his daughter's birthday party ("Dear Dad...Three"), he says he met her at a freshman mixer (unclear if this was high school or college).

Guests/Recurring Cast Edit

Uncredited appearances by:

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