"Trapper" John McIntyre
Wayne Rogers as Trapper on the M*A*S*H TV series.
M*A*S*H character
Vital information
Rank: Captain (O-3), U.S. Army Reserve
Job/Role in Unit: Surgeon at the 4077th M*A*S*H
Home: San Francisco, CA in Trapper John, M.D. series
Hair Color: Sandy reddish blonde (on M*A*S*H TV series), Black (in 1970 film and Trapper John M.D. TV series)
Eye Color: Hazel
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 185 lbs.
Family/Personal Information
Born: 1922 (?)
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Spouse(s): Louise referred to as such once on the "M*A*S*H" TV series
(depicted on Trapper John, M.D. series, divorced)
Relatives/Children: 2 daughters, Kathy & Becky (mentioned on M*A*S*H TV series)
Dr. John 'J.T.' McIntyre, Jr., M.D. (son) (on Trapper John, M.D. TV series)
First appeared in: "Pilot" (Season 1, Series pilot)
Last appeared in: "Abyssinia, Henry" (Season 3 finale)
Appeared on/or in: 1970 MASH film and M*A*S*H and Trapper John, M.D. TV series
Played by: Elliott Gould (MASH film)
Wayne Rogers M*A*S*H TV series
Pernell Roberts Trapper John, M.D. series

Trapper John McIntyre  (born John Francis Xavier "Trapper" McIntyre),  is a character in Richard Hooker's M*A*S*H novels, as well as a film and two TV series (M*A*S*H and Trapper John, M.D.) that followed them.

"The only man who ever took a piece in the ladies' can of a Boston & Maine train", McIntyre was depicted by Elliott Gould in the film M*A*S*H, Wayne Rogers in the television series M*A*S*H, and Pernell Roberts in the television series Trapper John, M.D. In both the book and the film, Trapper John is a thoracic surgeon and the 4077th's Chief Surgeon. In the film, he had a very dry, sardonic deadpan sense of humor, while in the M*A*S*H TV series he was something of a class clown. Trapper spent much of his time on the series playing "Ethel" to Hawkeye Pierce's "Lucy", and partaking in playing practical jokes on the two majors, Frank Burns and Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan. Trapper did spend considerable time fraternizing with the nurses, even though he apparently did love his wife and two daughters.


Elliott Gould as "Trapper John" McIntyre in MASH (1970).

"Trapper John" in the M*A*S*H TV seriesEdit

In "Mail Call" (first aired 2/23/74), Trapper is attacked by homesickness and a longing to see his family. After getting drunk, he packs his duffel bag and tries to go AWOL, even knocking Hawkeye to the ground with his duffel bag. Frank then shows up and the drunken Trapper gets caught up in lampooning him and forgets about desertion.

At one point, Trapper tried to adopt a Korean orphan (Kim), and was crushed when he found out that the boy's mother was still alive.

On two separate occasions, Major Houlihan drunkenly professed how Trapper's sturdy frame, crooked smile, and curly hair appealed to her. After the first incident (Hot Lips and Empty Arms), he teased her at breakfast by telling her that "last night" (when he and Hawkeye were sobering her up in the shower) meant a lot to him and he wanted to know she was not "playing games". He even made Frank panic when he said: "to think of all those years I wasted taking showers by myself."

Trapper apparently played football at Dartmouth College. In one episode he refers to a hemorrhoid as a "football injury" caused by sitting on the bench. When he tosses a football in careless play, Hawkeye teases him about having an "arm like a rifle" and he replies "Hall of Famer." The strain and stress of being separated from his family plus his alcohol addiction caused Trapper to have a severe case of stomach ulcers which almost got him out of the service (Check-Up), although he doesn't leave until Welcome to Korea. There was also another episode which resulted in Trapper fraternising with the enemy.

Though he was typically easygoing and a class clown, he also had a dark side. This was demonstrated in Radar’s Report when a patient he was trying to save died in part because a wounded POW destroyed the last bottle of blood the patient desperately needed. Trapper was so enraged that he confronted the bedridden POW in a threatening manner, with serious thoughts of murdering him in retaliation for the loss of his patient. Hawkeye was able to stop him before he did anything, though, gently reminding that as a physician, he was there to save lives, not take them.

Trapper's departure from the 4077thEdit

Wayne Rogers was told when he accepted the role of Trapper for the TV series that Trapper and Hawkeye would be equally important, almost interchangeable. However, that changed radically when Alan Alda was cast as Hawkeye, and as Hawkeye Pierce character proved to be the more popular of the two characters amongst fans of the show by its third season. To make things worse, in the original book and 1970 film, Trapper was the thoracic surgeon and Chief of Surgery of the 4077th MASH. The role reversal in the TV series, with Hawkeye being the thoracic surgeon and Chief of Surgery was one of many signs that the Trapper part was being eroded.

By the end of the third season, Rogers was fed up with the fact that Trapper was being treated as a sidekick instead of an equal. Even though at the latter half of the third season, the show's writers started to flesh out and develop Trapper a bit more, Rogers still decided to depart at season's end, and his character was written out of the series.

At the beginning of the fourth season, Hawkeye returns from R & R in Tokyo to find that Trapper has been discharged. Upon hearing the news, Hawkeye learns, an ecstatic Trapper ran through the mess tent naked. Radar had tried to reach Hawkeye in Tokyo to alert him of Trapper's departure, but without success. Trapper left no goodbye note but did "give" Radar a kiss on the cheek to pass on to Hawkeye, which he very reluctantly does.

Trapper John was referred to a few times in the series after his departure, most notably in an episode in which B.J. Hunnicutt, hearing of the pranks played by Trapper John, attempts to show that he in fact is "the number one scamp". Trapper was also referenced in the episode, Period of Adjustment. B.J. is overcome with envy of Radar's discharge, and says he almost hates Radar because he is home while B.J. is still in Korea, then mentioning that he feels the same way about Trapper even though the two have never met. In the final episode, B.J. is discharged from the army and leaves while Hawkeye is under psychiatric treatment. He must leave so quickly after hearing the news that he has no time even to leave a note, echoing Trapper's failure to do so at his departure. (Hunnicutt's orders are rescinded, however, and he gets only as far as Guam before being sent back, by which time Hawkeye has been released.)

Despite his friendship with Hawkeye, it is suggested that Trapper never bothered to contact him for the duration of the war (perhaps to apologize for his awkward departure); even though that was completely selfish and out of character on his part, it was probably the writers' intent to not let his departed character cast a negative shadow upon his successor, B.J.

Incorrectly regarded as a goof in the series is him being shown as a Captain. The series is correct in having him be a Captain. Once the degree of MD or DO is conferred on a member of the military, they are given the rank of Captain in both the US Air Force and US Army. The rank of Captain is achieved after 7 years of active duty service or a field promotion for officers on the line side (fighting). The rank of Major is attained for members of the AMEDD after serving as a Captain for 6 years.

Trapper John, M.D.Edit

Trapper John, MD was a series that showed the character about thirty years after the Korean War. It ran from 1979 to 1986, and thus overlapped with M*A*S*H, which ended in 1983, but not with Trapper's time on M*A*S*H.

Pernell Roberts Trapper John

Pernell Roberts as an older Dr. John McIntyre, head of surgery at S.F. Memorial Hospital on the CBS-TV series Trapper John, M.D..

In the period between his Korea experience and his tenure at San Francisco Memorial Hospital, the character had matured considerably, becoming a more sedate part of the medical establishment. Much of the story line of Trapper John, M.D. revolved around the relationship between the Korean War veteran Trapper John and Dr. George "Gonzo" Gates, who had served in a MASH unit in Vietnam and exhibited some of the personality traits Trapper John had had when he was younger. It has been conceded by both fans, critics and the producers of Trapper John M.D. that Pernell Roberts' portrayal of Trapper John McIntyre was modeled after the film personification of Trapper, which was played by actor Elliot Gould, rather than the Trapper played by Wayne Rogers on the TV series. Interestingly Trapper John is apparently divorced; his two daughters are not mentioned..but he has a son who is also a physician.

Ironically Wayne Rogers stared in a hospital Comedy "House Calls" which aired from 1979-1982. Although Rogers played a wise guy doctor similar to Trapper John it was more comedic in tone similar to the early seasons of MASH commanded by Lt. Colonel Henry Blake.

Personnel of the 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital
Commissioned Officers
Henry Blake | Major Frank Burns | Augustus Bedford "Duke" Forrest | Major Sidney Freedman | B.J. Hunnicutt | Oliver "Spearchucker" Jones | Captain "Trapper John" McIntyre | Father Francis Mulcahy | Captain Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce | Colonel Sherman T. Potter | Walter "Painless Pole" Waldowski | Charles Emerson Winchester III | Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan | Nurse Margie Cutler | Nurse Ginger Bayliss | Nurse Kellye Yamato | Nurse Peggy Bigelow | Lieutenant Maria "Dish" Schneider
Sgt. Maxwell Q. Klinger | Corporal "Radar" O’Reilly | Sergeant Zelmo Zale | Pvt. Igor Straminsky | Sergeant Luther Rizzo | Sergeant Major Vollmer | SSGT Gorman | Corporal Judson | Private Lorenzo Boone
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